Finding Myself

My cousin asked me to post about finding my worth rather than losing myself to an unhealthy situation.

Before I start, I have to put this in black & white. M & I are friends. Good friends. We get along & we coparent well. I realize how blessed I am to have this kind of relationship with the father of my children. Whenever anyone asks about why our marriage didn’t last, I just let them know that we were really bad at being married to each other.

It took a lot for me to find myself. I was in an ugly mental place before I deciding to split from M. I was depressed [I have a mostly official diagnosis now & I take medication to help my brain chemistry behave]. I have suffered with anxiety for a long time. It dates back to before M & I got together, but I didn’t realize that my rage cleaning & freaking out when things weren’t going the way I planned were symptoms of anxiety. I was accused of being controlling & mean, but for the longest time I never understood that my anxiousness was just the way my brain is wired, not who I am as a person.

I promise I am not mean. Don’t ask my kids, though. They’ll disagree with you & tell you I am the meanest mom to walk the planet. I tell them I had to sign a piece of paper that said I would be the meanest before I was allowed to take them home from the hospital.

I am an introverted empath who suffers from anxiety. I over think things & worry about over thinking things & feel the things the people around me are feeling & sometimes I’d just like to be alone to figure this stuff out because it’s too overwhelming, thanks.

Up to us calling it quits, I knew something was inherently wrong with me. I took on too many tasks & genuinely didn’t know how to say to “no” to people, to the point that when I did say no, I was called a bitch by someone with whom I was very close. It was tough for me to fit all of the things I said I’d do in one day & I was always, always exhausted. It didn’t help that I’d already had two brain surgeries & that contributed to my mental fatigue.

I had, at one point: four jobs, two kids, a husband, friendships I was supposed to maintain, a house to take care of, & a literal mountain of laundry at any given time.

I. Was. Exhausted. All of the time.

That didn’t stop people from piling stuff on to my plate. There is a quote often attributed to Lucille Ball that says, “If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” Lucy, I genuinely love you, but that isn’t always true. Asking a busy person to add one more thing to their To Do List might just be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

After I moved, I started working on who I was as a person. I have been working on the art of saying, “No,” when I need to & gained a backbone I thought was gone forever. I purposely take time to sit down & read books or do something that I enjoy doing. Even if that task is making something for someone else via knitting or cross stitching, it’s a thing that allows my brain to turn off if it chooses to & allows me to enjoy my time.

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I feel bad when I take time for myself. But I have learned to prioritize my mental health & time with the people who love me over, say, the neatness of my house. So what if it’s cluttered? My children are making memories & the LEGOs on the floor will keep for another day. The toilet can be cleaned tomorrow, but my son may not want to crawl into bed & read with me tomorrow. Who cares if I spend half of my day off in bed if I’m allowing myself to heal from a headache I previously would have forced myself to work through?

This stuff came to me through a lot of reading & even more self reflection. I wrote. I have notecards somewhere with messages that remind me I am strong, I am wise, & I am courageous. I used to pull them out when my head got to an especially dark place, but I’ve memorized them so I don’t often need to look at them any more.

I started therapy.

I desperately need to continue with therapy. I am absolutely not ashamed to admit I need therapy, either.

I am a work in progress & at 36, I am no longer ashamed to say that.

Here We Go Again


Are you surprised to see me writing again so soon? Not going to lie, I definitely am surprised to find myself sitting at my computer [which is on the verge of dying thanks to being six years old] clicking away at the keyboard.

Where was I?

Oh, my cat. He’s actually sitting in the chair off to my right at the moment, staring
at the computer & wondering why I’m not sharing pictures of him. He’s sassy, this one.

Say hi to Lucifurr, aka Luci with the Fur [he has his own song which may or may not have taken me two days to write, even though it’s just a reworking of Flo Rida’s Low], aka the cat who is the perfect cat to deal with my crazy.

This is his, "Hey lady, you interrupted my nap!' face.
This is his, “Hey lady, you interrupted my nap!’ face.

I don’t know that I can put in to words what it felt like to be the one to leave when M & I split. And then I read an amazing book called, Hold On, But Don’t Hold Still by Kristina Kuzmic & she put it into words so beautifully: “No one gets into a marriage thinking it won’t work. And when a marriage fails, it feels like a death. If there are kids involved, it feels like many deaths. Many slow, painful deaths. And when you’re the one who is making the decision to pull the plug on a marriage, it can make you feel like a murderer.”

Holy crap, she is right. Whether it was myself or other people, I felt like the worst human being in the entire word. I couldn’t believe I “left” my kids. I couldn’t believe I left a marriage I was determined to make it work when I said my vows. The thing is, even before I read the book, I realized that sometimes people are just incompatible & don’t realize it soon enough. Unfortunately, that’s what happened between M & me. We tried, but in the end, it was best for us to separate. The kids are happier, the two of us are happier. It sort of worked out in the end.

I felt the part of the murderer sometimes, though. I know I was vilified by many people. Not always to my face, mind you, but I know without a doubt it happened. I had people say to me, “I can’t believe you moved four & a half hours away from your kids! How on earth could you do that?” A] They were in a better school distract where they were & B] they needed some sort of stability. If stability meant not uprooting their entire life at once, I was all for it because me moving away uprooted them enough.

I will never say it was easy. In fact, it was damn difficult. We FaceTimed almost every day. I came back to Delaware for a week at a time every month or so. They spent Thanksgiving, Spring, & Summer breaks with me. I came back for Christmas.

But in late 2018, I decided I’d had enough. In November 2019, I moved back to Delaware. J came with me after working through some stuff with my Bonus Kid & coming to an agreement with her mom. The move was supposed to happen in the summer [right around the time the boys went back to school], but it had to be pushed back.

It’s working so far.

With the full understanding that not a whole lot of people are reading this, I’d love it if you’d pose questions I can blog about in the future. It gets old for me hashing out the same things. I can only say, “I suck as a mom because I moved away from my kids” so many times before even I am sick of myself.

Until next time . . .

Starting Over

I have so many posts in drafts. It’s sort of ridiculous when you think about it, because I’m paying to keep this blog around, but I’m not actually using it.

I think it’s going to take a turn, though. I started out writing about my kids & my family, but maybe it’s time to start writing about who I am now that I am a separated woman, who has done some really difficult things in the past few years, & is desperately working towards the funds to make this damn divorce final. [Sorry, Gram. I’m frustrated & there will probably be a lot of swears.]

So here I sit, glass of wine to my left, three kids playing in the living room of the house where we’re staying [those of you who don’t know that framily is a legit word are missing out; I have been blessed with the most amazing framily in the entire world], preparing to pour my heart out about . . . stuff.

The frustration lies in not knowing exactly where to start.

I’ve written about it before, but M & I split in January of 2018. I moved back to Virginia to be closer to my mom because a girl needs her mom when she’s struggling, damnit. It sucked, though, because I was away from the boys. They’re my entire world & I hate that people thought moving away was an easy choice. It absolutely was not. I hated every single second of being away from them & sometimes the only reason I was even able to get out of bed was because I knew I had to go to work to be able to afford the week long trips I made back to Delaware each month.

The living situation wasn’t ideal, but it was what worked for me. Because I knew the boys would be down to visit in the summer, I chose to live 45 minutes away from my job. I knew my mom would want to be able to help by watching the boys while I was working, so I didn’t think it was fair to make her drive an hour plus to my apartment every time I needed to work. [Side note: I am so entirely lucky that my mom even agreed to do that.] It wasn’t ideal for more reasons than that & maybe I’ll eventually get in to them [when I’ve had an opportunity to ask whether I have permission to share that part of my story since it intertwines so thickly with someone else’s].

Every time that I went to work, I had to drive through a tunnel. If you’ve ever seen or heard about Hampton Roads traffic, you know it is no joke. I’d start stalking Waze two or three hours before I even had to be at the restaurant just to make sure traffic wasn’t horrible. Spoiler alert: it usually was. There was one holiday weekend I left for work two hours early & skated into the pre-shift meeting three minutes late.


It was BAD.

I got a cat. Actually, I got three cats, but only one of them is technically mine. The rest just suck up to me because I’m the one who feeds them most often. Actually, the cat [my cat] was a birthday gift from the guy I eventually started dating. He knew I was sad about missing my boys & when he was being a good roommate & dragging me out of the house to make sure I actually got a shower on my days off, we usually went to pet stores. He’s got a wicked obsession with all things aquatic & would try to steer me to the fish section. I usually veered off to where the adoptable cats were because fuzzy animals are the best. [I said what I said, J.] So the day before my birthday, we went to a local shelter. We met this cat & he was aloof & wonderful & pretty much everything I needed in a cat. I adopted him the next day. So it’s kind of cool that his gotcha day is the same day as my birthday.

So, as J so fantastically pointed out, this is getting long. I’m going to update again soon [I swear I mean it this time]. I’m going to work through the rest of my drama in another post.

If you’re reading, thank you. If you’re not; whatever. I don’t actually care at this point. I went from wanting to be a big name Mommy-blogger to just wanting to get my thoughts down somewhere. They’d probably be more suited to a private journal, but I type way faster than I write.

Hope you’re all doing well. I’ve missed this little corner of the internet.