Worthy

I said I was going to keep this place from being a pity party and that I was going to write about all the funny things the kids do or maybe a funny rant every once in a while. I want to, and I’m honestly trying, but tonight I need to let it out. I’m on an emotional roller-coaster and at the moment, I’m sad. I know. You’re already rolling your eyes thinking this is going to be about the ex-boyfriend, and it is, but only to a certain level.

I am sad that I’m alone again, but the broken heart pain is starting to fade. When I really think about it, I know we weren’t right for each other, but I wanted it so bad that I tried to make it right. I think what it boils down to is feeling like if a man loves me that much, then I must be okay. I might even be worth it. Realizing this makes me want to scream in frustration, because it’s a part of the same feelings I’ve always had. Feelings I thought I had moved past, worked through, gotten over.

People say, “No one else can love you until you love yourself.” I know there’s an opposite, no matter how wrong it is. “If no one else loves you, how can you love yourself.” I know this is wrong, and yet I can’t do anything about it. I need to feel needed. I need to love and feel loved. What I really want, is to be cherished. Just. Cherished.

Getting over Barret is still hard. I need to unfriend him on Facebook because nearly every time my mouse points to my name on accident, the hover window opens up and he’s there. I know they’re random, but it makes me think he’s still checking on me. I know he’s not. Maybe I just need to believe he might be for a little while longer. I don’t know. I’m terribly confused tonight. And I meant to write about something else entirely. And that would be the following, I suppose…

Well. I typed that and now I’ve really got nothing. But I do have plans. Plans for my career, education, and my self. I’m working on making a lot of fundamental improvements, but I guess it’s just hard to write about it. I don’t want to sound silly or immature. One thing that’s been nice is I’m getting a lot of compliments, on Facebook if nowhere else. That helps so much. I need to believe in myself again, and it’s beginning to be a little less of a struggle.

A Five Year Old’s Logic is… Logical

I haven’t told you much about my kids here, and if you don’t know me, this is your chance to meet one of them. Maritessa (pronounced like a combination of Marie and Tessa, with the emphasis on Tess) is my five year old. She is super sweet, super divafied, and super smart. She has this imagination that’s just crazy, and I love it when she makes observations about life. It’s like she’s a little blogger in the making.

Tessa

Tessa in her Pretty Woman dress

For the time being, we live with my mom and dad while I lay out of work so I can go to school. That means there is a myriad of boxes in various corners of the house. And on shelves and in closets and on top of the entertainment center… Occasionally, I take a box down and look through it. Sometimes I need something, or I need to change out toys, or sometimes it’s purely to remind me that we do have “things” and even though they’re put away, they’re still ours and we’ll have ready access to them again. When I was packing to move here, I was working 65+ hours per week, and the packing became mostly a last minute thing. Rather than pack in an organized way, throwing away old things we don’t want or need, having like items with like items, I threw shit in whatever box was closest and didn’t really care if we still needed it or not.

Earlier today, I had one of the boxes of toys down and Tess was looking through it with me. She found beloved Barbies and babies and trucks for Tripp and Noah’s Magic 8 Ball. Mixed into the box was my favorite stapler that has followed me to every job I’ve had since I opened a restaurant when I was 19, a half-filled notebook, and an answering machine.

She turned the little white answering machine this way and that, pondering what it did. I didn’t offer an explanation because I enjoy letting her figure things out as well as she can. Finally she gave in and asked me what it was, and I told her its an answering machine. Just then, Tripp started climbing the shelves on the big old entertainment center. I turned away from her and walked the few steps to pry him off his indoor gym. I heard her whisper behind me, “Does my brother love me?” I turned, ready to reassure her how special she is to us all, and saw she had the machine pressed to her ear, listening intently for what answer the answering machine would give her.

Rebuilding

Okay… Last post about the boyfriend, I promise. I can promise that because he’s now officially my ex-boyfriend. He texted me good morning yesterday, then ignored me all day. I called him and it rang til it went to voice-mail, so I texted him and told him it’s over. I don’t know if that was redundant, because I kind of feel like he broke up with me when he quit talking to me, but I needed the finality of it. I really don’t even know if he read the damned text, because he still ignored me, but I have to assume he did.

The really unexpected development is that I’m actually relieved it’s over. The stress of the last week and a half was crazy. My heart broke a little every time my text alert went off and it wasn’t him. Now, I don’t even expect or hope he’ll text, and it feels good. It’s also a relief because it is hard to date when you’re a single mom. The late night visits to his house and juggling my time between him and the kids on the weekends was exhausting. I usually went to his house at least once a week after the kids went to bed, and I wouldn’t get home til two or three in the morning. Then I had to get up at six to get the kids and myself off to school.

Lately, I had noticed I never felt good enough when I was with him. I’ve thought about that a lot and I don’t think it was anything he did that caused it. It was something going on in my own head. In fact, to be perfectly honest, it may have had something to do with why things went sour. Confidence is attractive, but it also acts attractive. When I felt really down about myself, even though I could pretend to be confident, I was snappish and on edge, and analyzing everything he said, and being overly sensitive about it all because I felt like I didn’t really deserve to be with him.

So! It’s time for a little more life change, baby!

I know I’ve come a really long way since Thomas left almost two years ago. I was a mess when we were together, but I was a complete mess after he left! I mean, seriously. I’m not yet able to really put it into words, but if you knew me then you had a tiny idea of what was really going on with me. I was able to rebuild my confidence in my intelligence and abilities, but not in my physical self image. Mainly because of my weight.

You see, I’ve never been a skinny person. Even in high-school, I was a size 8 or 10. While I would KILL to be that small again, all the other girls wore a 0, so I was still “fat” in my head. Recently, I came across an old Polaroid of me holding up a pin and certificate from being inducted into the National Art Honor Society, and I literally gaped at it. I was SO SKINNY! I can’t even believe I didn’t know it then. Last year, I lost around 30lbs and was really starting to feel good about myself again. But when I got promoted, the weight just piled back on and I’m right back where I was. I’m fat and I hate it. I’m literally “extra-large” or “plus-sized.”

However, I’m super excited to get the weight off.  I even applied for food stamps today so I can afford to buy the kind of food I need to lose weight. I’m going to pull Tripp’s stroller out and want to start walking the neighborhood with him. I want to start again with the work-out routine I used to do. I wish I could still buy ephedrine. It’s bad for your heart but it helped me lose a good 50lbs before.

I’m not going to go on and on about my plans. No one really cares about that. I just wanted to say I’m okay, and I’m happy, and I have plans.

Oh! There is one other thing! I’m taking a break from dating. This is the first time since Thomas left that I didn’t want to be a part of a relationship. Technically, I guess it’s the first time since before I started dating Thomas, and that was a loooong time ago. Tentatively, I’m saying six months of no dating. I may extend it if I want, but I really want to do at least that. Even if something changes with Barret (because like it or not, I do still love him and miss him) I’m sticking to my six month break. I need to figure out me first. That doesn’t mean “me, but I really want to be an us,” either. Seems like every time I date a guy, I start off thinking he could be The One, at least for a period of time.

Something else… I’m really enjoying just writing for me. I’m getting some hits, but I have no idea where they’re coming from. So whether or not anyone reads this, I’m okay with it because I’m actually writing for me again. It feels good.

I’m really excited about life right now!

Dichotomy

Okay, I swear I’m going to stop going on and on about my love life, but hang in there with me a little longer. The good news is I’m really enjoying writing again, and soon I hope to get back to the funny things I used to write about. But until then…

The kids and I had to stop by the store after school for lunch supplies for the week. Out of habit, I had my phone in my pocket rather than my purse so I can hear and/or feel it if it rings. It screeched out it’s annoying text alert and I tapped it without looking just to shut it up. I finished prying the dozen toys from Tripp’s sticky little death-grip, and feeling frazzled and more than my thirty-two years, I checked my phone. I expected it would be one of the several awesome friends who have been holding me up the last week.

“Barret” it said. My heart froze, except it sped up to a million miles an hour at the same time. How it could simultaneously beat and not beat is beyond my intelligence, but I swear that’s what it felt like. I was absolutely terrified to open the message and yet I was thrilled he had texted me. As my finger moved to the open button, the sound and motion of the kids around me faded into a pale, swirly tunnel. All I could see was the phone and my shaking hand.

I knew it would basically say one of two things. Either, “I’m sorry. Let me explain.” or “I’m sorry. I don’t want to see you anymore.” Theoretically, we had already broken up simply by him not speaking to me for a week. It didn’t really matter who decided it, we weren’t seeing each other. But, you see, I needed that conversation. Not to sound cliche, but I needed the closure. I think these must have been the thoughts in my brain. It was my heart that was contradictory. My heart suddenly burst forth glitter rainbows at the hope that it would be the first option. I knew then, as mad as I am about the recent treatment, I love him. I don’t want it to be over. Not yet. Just a little while longer.

As is typical with Barret, he completely threw me for a loop with that first text. It wasn’t either previously explained option. It said simply, “OMG.” Naturally, I asked, “OMG what?” He said he always get himself into situations and I had some snarky, thinly-veiled, passive-aggressive comeback. He tried some idle chit-chat, and I kept up the snark. His replies became short one or two word texts. I kept on, and when he said I was acting immature, I come out full-aggressive. Angry and accusatory. So he stopped responding at all. I was angry again. I mean, who the hell does he think he is, you know? I hadn’t done anything wrong and he just disappeared and acted like I was NOTHING to him. All because he had some big mysterious problems?? Where did he get off?

When I got the kids to bed, I reread the conversation and thought about my texts more than his. He was trying to be friendly and I was being a complete and total bitch. I checked the time on the first message, and he seems to have texted me pretty much as soon as he got home from work. I know I’m supposed to be all mad about what he did, but I really started to feel bad about how I was handling it. I read further back into the texts from the last week or so, and there were a few that were snotty, to say the least. The night before he stopped talking to me, in particular, stood out. I was mad because we had planned that he would come over Sunday night (for the record, we had just spent the weekend together), and after I fought to get the kids down on time, rushed through cleaning the house and getting ready, he asked me if he could come the next night instead. It would have been better if he had told me that before it was time for him to get here, and I told him so. Rudely.

I texted him again, nicely this time, asking him why did he text me if he didn’t want to talk to me. Since you can’t read intonation, I added that I wasn’t being mean or bitchy, just asking. And I think I hit the nail on the head. He texted me back that I take things out on him. I apologized for that, told him I’m just so confused and upset, but I didn’t hear back from him.

Now that I know this, I can think about it. And in thinking about it, I can accept responsibility for my part in this. I’m not saying what he did was okay, because it’s not. Not by a very long shot. But what I’ve done wasn’t okay, either. Also, not by a long shot. I just wish he had told me. That he had talked to me instead of shutting me out so I could try to address my part of it. Not only to him, but mostly to myself.

It’s no excuse, but the depression has been trying to come back the last four or six weeks. I’ve been aware of it for a couple of weeks, but it’s not an over-night fix. When the chemicals get low, it takes time to build them back up. In my borderline depression, I’ve been overly… Everything. Overly sensitive, over analyzing everything he says and does or doesn’t do, overly aggressive or overly quiet. I think that led me to being snappish with him. Considering the things I know he’s been going through the last month, it’s no wonder we’re where we are today.

I have no idea what will happen now. I hope we can work it out. I hope,together, we haven’t managed to ruin this wonderful thing we had. I… Hope. And that’s not a bad thing.

Feelings. Nothing More Than… Feelings

I haven’t written in so long, I almost don’t remember how, but there are all these thoughts racing around my head and it’s either get them out or explode. So here goes nothing. The good news is no one reads this anymore, so I can write openly and honestly. Right? I’m so overwhelmed by feelings today. For one thing, I’m utterly and completely exhausted and I don’t really know why. Sure, I go to school full-time, but honestly (because I’m being honest with myself. Right?), it doesn’t take much time or effort. Algebra is the hardest and that’s only one good day of it. All the rest is ridiculously easy so far. I’m sure it will get harder. I’m sure there will be classes that I have to bust my ass for, but the point is right now I’m barely putting forth any effort at all and doing pretty well. I mean, I do try to do well, but it’s just… Easy. I don’t think I can chalk the exhaustion up to school.

The kids take a lot of my time, but I can’t say it’s all them, either. There are chunks of time in my day where I’m essentially doing nothing. I have things to do, but that doesn’t mean I’m doing them. I suck at so many parts of motherhood. Like always having the house clean. And laundry. There’s ALWAYS too much laundry to possibly ever catch up. The kids do their homework mostly alone. They bathe themselves. I don’t even have to cook dinner most days.

So why the hell am I so tired all the time?

Some of it could be spending time with my boyfriend, but I don’t really think so. I usually see him one night during the week, and one night on the weekend. If it’s the weekend that Tessa and Tripp are at their dad’s, I spend the night and part of the next day with him. I don’t think that could really be the cause of it, but even if it is, there’s no way in hell I’m giving that up.

He’s incredible, by the way. There are so many times I wonder what my life would have been like if I had not broken his heart ten years ago. If he hadn’t broken mine six years ago. I can’t go back, and I know the struggles I’ve been through have made me the person I am today. What if that’s just some big dumb cliché, though. What if I would have been an awesome person or so stupid happy that no one but he could tolerate my company?

As amazing as he is, I’m absolutely terrified of him. If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that people will hurt you. It’s inevitable. There really isn’t much chance of finding that One True Love. I fully believe you can fall in love with a person, and never stop loving them until the day you die, but the chances of that person feeling the same way about YOU are pretty slim. They’ll probably fall in love with someone else and love them until the day they die. And that person will love someone ELSE til the day they die. I think the whole point of life is love, but what if the missing factor in that belief is that its unrequited love?

I’ve loved Barret for ten years. It changed, evolved, morphed into something else while we weren’t together, but it was always there. I’m deeply in love with him now. My heart is thrilled that we’re together, but my brain is screaming that I’m an idiot. That it’ll never last because I’m not thin enough, smart enough, funny enough, perfect enough. It scares the fuck out of me that we first dated, brief as it was, before I had kids. And that the second time we dated, I’d only had one and had most of the baby weight off. I don’t know if I’ll ever get back to that size. Even if I do, my boobs will never look that amazing again. I did have a great set back in the day.

I don’t know. I know he loves me. I can feel it and hear it and see it. But he’s as scared of getting hurt again as I am. While I know how I react to things, naturally I don’t really know that about him. I mean, he’s so fucking smart. He really might be the smartest man I know. And he’s more logical than emotional, so what if the fear gets the best of him? One part of me thinks, “Get out before he does.” The other part, the bigger part, basically threatens to beat that part down with brass knuckles and a billy stick if they so much as utter a word.

My main instinct says it will be fine. I can really see a future with him. But oh my God I am so fucking scared right now. I just don’t want to be hurt again. I don’t want to put that much belief in a person because if I’m proved wrong again, my faith in the whole of humanity will be gone. GONE. I want to believe in the fairy tale. I want it so bad. But life has taught me that fairy tales don’t exist. And life has proven me right about that time and again. So. Now what?

Can’t Never Could

I didn’t sleep again last night, and that left a lot of time lying in the dark and thinking about life. I wasn’t very pleased with it, either. When did I become this weak, ineffectual person? Life happened, and there have been quite a few really fucked up things, but it’s how a person reacts to life happening to them that makes them who they are. I miss the girl I used to be!

I was on the phone last night with an old friend, and he asked me what kind of job am I looking for. I realized he meant NOW and I told him I can’t go to school full-time, raise three kids without help, and work. He pointed out lots of people do it, and he seemed sure that I can, too. Conversation moved on and we talked a while longer, but that stuck in my head. There was something wrong with it… After we hung up, I replayed our conversation, and realized the problem. I said I couldn’t do it because it was too hard. I couldn’t believe I had said that! And worse, I believed it!

Growing up, my mom always said, “Can’t never could!” It drove me crazy back then, but it stuck and I say the same thing to my kids. How can I ever do it if I don’t even try? My classes get out by noon, so there’s really no reason I can’t go back to work. Sitting in this house is killing me. Literally. And then? Once I’m working again? I’m moving us back out. I love my mom and dad, and I appreciate their help when I’ve needed it, but it’s turned out to be a not so healthy environment. I’m constantly stressed out and pissed off and I haven’t been a very good mother. I made sacrifices when I needed to move home. Now it’s time to make sacrifices to move us back out. I’ll get on welfare if I have to. Living with my parents is far from my only option. I even had myself believing that if I go to school, I have to stay here. That I was tied in for the next two years. For a while yesterday, I even thought about not going back to school at all, just going back to work so we can move back out. But thanks to that friend reminding me of the girl he remembers me being, I realize we do have options. I just had to think around the problem. Ambush it instead of a direct attack.

I know it’ll be hard. I know it’ll be homework at midnight and studying every free second I have. I already talked to the kids and they say they’re willing to help out and have peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. They want out as badly as I do. They know it’ll be hard. But just like their mother, they have strong spirits and won’t let it stop them.

Life happened and I let it happen to me instead of fighting back. I let my self be replaced with wife and mother and daughter. I can’t change the past, but I can and will direct the future.

Gourmet Chocolate

I’ve always been the type to rush headlong into things. I used to think of it as spontaneity, and while that is a good thing, I’ve finally come to learn jumping right into things isn’t always smart. Not if they’re life changing decisions, at any rate. Certain things should be given time, pondered patiently, and carefully considered. How many times have you heard someone say they’re an excellent judge of character? I’ve heard it countless times. I thought I was, but I’m not. I suck at it, in fact. There are a few friends that I hold near and dear and liked them from the start, but there are more that I trusted right away, just KNEW they were as awesome as I thought they were, and then I got burned. One thing I am not is a moron. I’ve learned my lessons and won’t rush into important things again.

It’s like if you have a Hershey’s Kiss. It’s so pretty and sparkly on the outside with its tinfoil wrapper. You unwrap it and pop it into your mouth, enjoying that subtle snap as you bite into it. Your mouth is flooded with sweetness and chemical connections are made in your brain that remind you of all the happy things you’ve ever experienced. Certainly not a bad time, but then it’s gone and you’re left with nothing but a sticky residue. You could get another Kiss from the bag, but every single one is exactly like the one you just had. And boredom and disappointment set in and you don’t even want them anymore. You want something different. Something… Special.

One day you’re offered a piece of chocolate out of a nearly empty box. On first glance, the chocolate is pretty, but when you take it out and examine it a little more closely, you can see from small imperfections that this piece was hand-crafted. The outside is beautifully glossy, with a perfect drizzle and swirl, and it appeals to you on a deeper level than a shiny wrapper. You smell it, drawing in subleties like bright citrus, soft vanilla, and just enough sweetness to balance the sharper smell of perfectly roasted cacao beans. The scent alone is enough to make you happy, but you know there’s even more.

Slowly, you slip the morsel into your mouth, eyes closed. You don’t bite this kind of chocolate. You savor it, a hint of the flavor to come all that’s given to you as the colder candy meets the heat of your mouth. The chocolate begins to melt and a slow awakening begins. Suddenly, taste buds explode in places you didn’t even know you had taste buds! Nearly breathless with the overwhelming sensations, you lie behind your closed eyes, visions of the tropics flashing through the darkness, and wait for the rest.

Most of the silken chocolate shell has melted away, and you discover it was filled with the richest, butteriest, smoothest caramel you’ve ever had in your whole life. Your brain almost doesn’t know what to make of the change in flavors and textures. You thought the chocolate itself was going to be the best part, but you were wrong. In a state very near sensory overload, the caramel melts, slowly enveloping your mouth in a sweet embrace. You are amazed. Utterly and completely amazed. You open your eyes slowly, letting the world back in through half-shuttered windows. This. This is what you had been searching for and you are satisfied.

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