I wouldn’t have believed it if I wasn’t there

She came into my room pale and crying. “Something is really wrong with me mom! It hurts!” Through bleary eyes, I looked at the alarm clock. 4:00 am. As I slowly woke up, one thing registered more than anything else. Tinkerbell was crying. Tink never cries. Never. Especially during the past year and a half, with her teenage rebellion going to the extreme, she never cried, especially around me. something was definitely wrong.

I went through all the typical questions a mom asks, Do you need to poop? Do you have your period? Gas? Even as I asked these questions, I knew we were facing something far more serious. Mr. Wrong and I exchanged a look. Even with our marriage in the toilet, we still had that silent communication that couples develop after spending a lifetime together. This was bad. I quickly got dressed, while Mr. Wrong called an ambulance. While we waited, we decided logistics. I would go to the hospital, Mr. Wrong would stay home and get the rest of the kids to school. I would call him at work when I knew something.

In the ambulance, the paramedic watched Tinkerbell and then looked at me. “Is there any chance she could be pregnant?” I quickly assured him that wasn’t possible. Tinkerbell was only 15 years old, I explained. She wore a size 2 jeans to school just the day before.

When we arrived at the hospital, I started to worry. By this time I had decided she had appendicitis. If an appendix ruptures, can’t you die, I wondered? I moved away from my daughter reluctantly, to make room for the nurses and doctors who were suddenly everywhere. I desperately wanted someone to tell me what was wrong, and how to make it ok. Finally a young nurse came over to me. She looked at me sympathetically and suggested I may want to sit down. Now I was really scared. I assured her I was fine, and begged her to just tell me what was happening. “There is a head between her legs.” A head…between….WHAT?

Apparently someone had told Tink too, because she sat straight up on the bed. “No, I can’t have a baby! I am NOT having a baby!” The nurse assured her that not only could she, she would in about 10 minutes. 5 minutes and 2 pushes later, Baby G made his appearance. As the nurse put this tiny child in my arms, and I looked with shock at his adorable face, which somehow looked as confused as I was, Tinkerbell looked at me and said timidly, “Mommy? I think I should tell you, his father is black.”

All of this took place one year ago today. I was in no way prepared to have another infant in our home. I was not ready for my little girl to be a mom. I really wasn’t ready to be a GRANDMOTHER! I wasn’t ready for any of it, but I am so grateful for all of it now. Little Baby G has been the greatest blessing this family has ever received. He turned my rebellious teenager into a different person, and the way she has taken to motherhood has been a source of constant pride and amazement. He has completely melted everyone’s heart with his quick smile and easy laugh. A year ago, I wasn’t at all sure things would work out the way they did, but I will always be thankful that they have. Happy birthday Baby G! We are all so happy you are here!

Life Lessons

Today, my bff and I went to Starbucks for “girl time”. I love doing this even more now than I ever did, because while we were roommates, girl time was whenever I wanted it to be, and I miss that dearly. We now schedule our time, and try to make the most of her break from work. We drink awesome coffee, window shop for expensive things we can’t afford and don’t need, and talk about anything and everything.

Today, after discussing kids and men, our conversation turned to affairs. Certainly, that is understandable, since it seems lately every time I turn on the news someone else has had a scandalous affair. Really though, we were talking more about every day people, not people in the public eye. People, perhaps sitting next to us drinking coffee. People like her. People like me.

I hate to admit it, but I did have an affair. I could spend the next several hours explaining (justifying?) my reasons, but there really is no point to that. What I did was wrong. Period. I know that, and I live with it every day. I can’t change that, I can’t undo an affair. All I can do, is try to figure out what happened, something I am still trying to figure out.

What I do know, is that happy people do not have affairs. That is not to say that my husband was to blame. In the end, the blame and responsibility lies with me. I was very unhappy, living in a marriage with no communication and no trust. I felt like I was unloved and unappreciated. I asked for help, and was told I was helpless. I lived in relative isolation, I had no outlet for my feelings. I cried a lot.

When my affair began, I knew, deep down, that there was a possibility of being caught. At the time I would have said it wasn’t likely, because I really didn’t think my husband paid that much attention to me. Deep down though , I knew that I was taking a chance. I guess he was paying closer attention than I thought, because I did get caught. I will not say that he handled it the best way, because he did things that there is really no excuse for. Again, I knew my husband. I knew he would blow up and do inexcusable things. So, wrong or not, ultimately, I have to take responsibility for that, too. Believe me, I have, and I do.

I have often said that my affair was a symptom of my marriage breakdown, not the cause. I still truly believe that. I was so starved for love, for affection, that as soon as I was shown a little,even by a stranger, I jumped at it with both feet. However, many times a person dies because of the symptoms of a disease, rather than the disease itself. So, if my marriage does die, I have to take my responsibility for that as well. There are other ways I could have handled my situation, I am sure. My regrets are too vast and great to mention. I believe very strongly in living not in the past, but using the lessons we learn to move foward, and that’s what I do, every day. Honestly, that’s all I can do, accept responsibility, and move forward.

Confusion

My last post was a total downer, to quote one of my many favorite 80’s sayings. That is because, my life right now is a total downer. Interesting thing though. Mr. Wrong always reads my blogs. Always. I think he is probably my biggest lurker. So, I was a little worried about posting that last night. We have argued before about posts, and I was mentally preparing myself from the time I hit publish. He never said a word. I am reasonably sure that he read it, like I said, he always reads my blogs. So, this means what exactly? I have no idea. Does it mean he is so angry that he doesn’t want to talk about it? Or, does it mean that he really doesn’t care how much he hurt me?

This not talking about the big elephant in the room is driving me crazy! It’s funny, this time last year, Mr. Wrong was constantly demanding that I talk to him. If I didn’t talk to him, well, doors were broken, objects were thrown, general destruction ensued. So, where did this need to talk go? Now that I would LOVE for him to want to talk to me, I live in icy silence. Sometimes we “surface talk”, about the kids, the news, something on television, no real talk. It kills me to think this, but I really believe that this is all part of his getting back at me. For most people, this would seem to have been a very long, detailed plan, just for payback. They don’t know Mr. Wrong. He would totally do something this detailed, and more.

So, aside from trips to Starbucks with Mama Ho, I am still not quite sure what to do about this situation at all. I guess, as with so many things in my life, it’s a game of wait and see.

Played

I was separated for over a year. I lived apart from Mr. Wrong for 6 months of that time. During those 6 months, I heard all types of promises from Mr. Wrong. I heard how if I gave him another chance, I would never be sorry, that he was ready to accept responsibility for things he has done wrong, he was willing to talk to me about those things. I was told he knew how wrong he has been, and just needed a chance to make it up to me. I was all he wanted, all he needed.

I was played.

I came back mainly because of a family emergency, one that is still ongoing. I wouldn’t have come back, however, if I didn’t believe all of the promises that he made to me. I have been played before, I can’t believe I fell for it again. This is worse though, because I have 20 years of history with this man. I have stood by him during some of the most impossible situations I can imagine, I have stayed with him when everyone around me knew I should leave, and for what?

So, the question now is, where do I go from here? I really have no answer for that. I know that I will not leave my children again, and I won’t leave my home again. I know that no one can say that I haven’t given this marriage every possible chance. I tried my best. I will continue to try. I can’t do it alone though, and I really don’t think it’s fair to expect me to.

7 Steps to Guarantee Lifelong Unhappiness

Hold onto the past. Keep old hurts and wrongdoings close, visit them often to keep the wounds raw and opened. Don’t be tempted to listen to any apologies, they probably don’t mean it anyway.

Always hurt people before they have a chance to hurt you. Don’t allow yourself to be open with people, they will only use your openness against you. Demand total honesty and openness, never give it. Always be sure that you can walk away without looking back.

Do not have any pastimes or outside activities. Do not have a circle of friends or a support system of any kind. Work, eat, sleep, repeat. Do not deviate from this pattern.

Always think about what you don’t want to happen. “I can’t lose my job”, “She/he is going to break up with me”, “I am going to lose my house”. Play these tapes over and over in your mind. Make them a mantra, of sorts. If you should accidentally think of things you would like to happen, stop yourself immediately.

Do not take any responsibility for your own life. Never admit guilt. If left with no other option, find some reason to justify your actions. “I did that because I was stressed out”, or “I might have done that, but YOU did THIS” work well.

Always look for the gray cloud behind every silver lining. Look as hard as necessary for the bad in every situation. Never see just the good and be grateful. As a matter of fact, never be grateful, for anything. No matter what.

Cultivate a sense of entitlement. Do not make your own good fortune, look for it to be handed to you, and complain incessantly when it’s not. Allow jealousy to overtake you. This will help a deep and lasting bitterness and resentment against all humankind to grow.

The Push to Change

My very best friend wrote this post yesterday that made me think about a lot of things. In her post she talks about people changing. She wonders weather a grown adult can somehow learn things that should have been learned long ago in childhood. I find it hard to be objective, because I know her situation so well, as well as I know my own life. Sadly, I think that long term change in this case, is not likely.

In every relationship, there are inevitably things that we wish we could change about our partners. That is basic human nature. In a long term, mature relationship, we realize that the only thing we can change is ourselves. Not who we are, but how we react to others. Ultimately, we decide how to handle things we don’t like, and what we are willing to tolerate. If we are the kind of person that needs the emotional daily affirmations of love, we have to be able to decide if we are going to be able to be with someone not as outwardly emotional, for example. Likewise, we need to be able to identify personality traits that we can not and will not tolerate. I think to try to overlook these things will only make both people miserable.

I don’t think that change can be taught, any more than you can teach a person to love you. What I think the real question in her post is is can you teach maturity, and I am afraid that my answer to that is no. Maturity comes at different times for different people. There is no magical age that maturity kicks in. Tinkerbell is far more mature at 16 then people I know in their 20’s and 30’s. Lack of maturity doesn’t make you a bad person, just perhaps not equipped to handle the responsibility that comes with a long term relationship. No matter how much we may want to, we can’t push someone into maturity, even if we feel that it is long overdue.

I believe

I believe:
– We each are responsible for our own happiness, and that no one can make someone else happy.
– I was born to be a mother.
– We can learn a lot of valuable lessons from hard or painful situations.
– The most important things in life can not be bought, and have nothing to do with money.
– There is good in everyone.
– True beauty is found on the inside, not the outside of a person.
– I am a lot stronger than most people give me credit for.
– It is vitally important to laugh every day.
– That sometimes smart people make stupid choices.
– Mistakes are a part of living.
– When we know better, we do better.
– Starbucks coffee, when combined with best friends, has healing properties.
– Love never makes people sad.
– Tears are not a sign of weakness, but they do make you stronger.
– Some of the most unexpected events can bring life’s biggest blessings.
– Age is nothing but a number.
– Wisdom comes with maturity.
– If you don’t take control of your life, you are a spectator, not a participant, in life.