Healthy Ever After….

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I’m in the process of truly moving on from Chance. He has such a long way to go emotionally…and if I stick around he will never not resent me. He does not want me. So, I will move on and in a couple years he will be ready but I’ll have moved on. Our timing in this life is shit. Just bad timing. The way he treats me, the way he judges me, the way he is such a dick to me — I’ve been thinking a long time about how to answer my daughters when they eventually ask about why Chance and I didn’t work out. My answer is, “If he’d treated me right, I’d still be with him.” And that is exactly why I am moving on. It’s not about what he wants or what he needs anymore. It’s about me and what I want and need. I’ve had relationships where I’ve been treated insanely awesome in every facet and capacity! I was willing to be with Chance even though he treated me with the most minimal standards, and then frequently treating me less. I was willing to compromise on that and settle for way less than common decency and common respect. It would be one thing if I never knew from a good relationship, but I’ve had truly great men in my life and I’ve had incredible relationships. It is important for me to be treated right, not only for myself, but as a bigger example to my daughters. I hope to set the example that, although it’s hard and extremely painful, we have the courage and strength to walk away from a relationship that no longer serves us. I had tried my hardest, I had been patient and forgiving and devoted. I had given all the chances I could give. At some point I realized that the issue is not me. It’s him. No matter how many times he twists it around to blame me, whether for something I did recently or something I did 15 years ago –those are his issues, his handicaps, not mine. True love is about forgiveness and seeing the best in the other person. Although Chance loves me, it is not true love. The example I want to set for my daughters is to recognize the difference between love and true love. I want to show them that it is possible to move on and feel good about it. I want to show them that it is possible to have a “healthy ever after” instead of a happily ever after. No matter how much I fought to make it work, no matter how deep I dug my heels in to stay committed and devoted during the most painful times, I have been unable to give my daughters the cliche fairytale ending. But it’s ok. I can still set a great example for them. I can give them the healthy ever after. This is the modern fairytale ending. This is how the fairytale between Chance and I ends.

Healthy ever after means a strong working relationship with Chance for the girls. The girls should have the best possible relationship with him, and I will never get in the way of that. I will always encourage them to bond and to have as great a relationship as possible.

Healthy ever after means that I come out stronger and better because of what I’ve been through. It didn’t work out the way I wanted, but that’s ok. I shouldn’t have to settle and compromise on being treated well in order to be with the man I love. I deserve to have a love that is reciprocated. I deserve a lot of things that I was willing to go without.

Healthy ever after means that I can find a man who will be a great partner to me and who is a true family man. It means finding a partner who is enthusiastic, willing and capable of stepping up to be an awesome daddy. The girls have a father now, but they deserve a daddy.

Healthy ever after means we are all amicable and friendly, and there is love. We are able to work together when we need to, we are able to problem solve when we need to, and all in the best interests of the girls.

No Drive…

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In most animals, it is nature to have some sort of prey drive. If something runs, it creates this overwhelming urgency to chase after it. Typically this is most pronounced in males. In the relationship and dating rituals, when someone runs away, typically it is inspiring the other person to chase after them in any number of ways. Physical, emotional, manipulative (guilt, threats, etc…) and sometimes it is a good thing to chase. It means there is a need –a passion, and it is a very healthy natural thing.

For the past month Chance has been texting me a good morning text every day and skyping me for at least an hour every evening. I told him he doesn’t owe me anything and he’s not obligated to me. I told him that I’m ok. Genuinely. I don’t need him to be there for me in that way. I’m ok and I’ve made my peace with him not wanting me. But he persisted with the morning text messages, being nice and texting throughout the day, and skyping several times with a big call in the evenings. At one point I asked him why he was doing all of this and he said, “Coz I want to.” To me, if there was any confusion about his actions, this clarified it succinctly because he was not doing these things to please me, or because I wanted them. He was doing it because he wanted to. Which, conversely, also meant that when he didn’t want to anymore, these niceties would cease. Most likely abruptly, and knowing him, as a punishment in a passive-mostly-aggressive way for him getting mad at me for some stupid reason and instead of working through it like a mature emotionally intelligent adult, he would just withdraw, abandon, and ignore.

So, this happened exactly the way I thought it would. I was waiting for the other shoe to drop and sure enough, a couple days ago, it did. He returned from his hiking trip in the most negative state about me. He had finally confided in his long-time friend about our relationship and 2 daughters, and his friend was very distrustful and negative about me and my motives. He also forewarned that things would get much worse between us. Unfortunately, Chance is in a very mentally weak and vulnerable state and these words started to marinate rapidly in the back of his mind. He was aggressive towards me on the phone in our conversation that evening numerous times and eventually I’d had enough. The last straw was when he was telling me that India’s school system could learn a thing or two from the USA’s –and I said that was one of the first times I’ve heard him say anything nice about the USA. Chance is typically always talking shit about America, yet he’s living here and got his citizenship. I can’t honestly remember anything good he’s said about the USA until a few nights ago when India could emulate a thing or two from our school system. Anyway, Chance got hysterical when I said this and yelled at me, “You don’t know jack shit about me!” This was the last outburst and dickishness I could take from him during our conversation so I ended the call and hung up. However, we’d agreed not to go to bed pissed at each other because this type of thing is important to me. So I called back and tried to hold him accountable to this. He was tired and pissed even more, gave an apology just to get me off the phone. So we hung up. The next morning he sent an obligatory good morning text. Which is weird since he is supposedly doing it because he wants to. He has no obligation to me. So I reminded him of this in my own way. I sent him this in response to his, “Good morning.”

good morningI haven’t heard back from him since! Ha!

Even better, I have absolutely ZERO urge to chase after him. The old me would have called him up and tried to ameliorate the situation and smooth things over. I would have minimized his part, I would have been overly understanding and offered him excuses for his behavior –you were tired, you’re under a lot of stress, the honesty with your friend was hard on you, etc… but you know what? Not one shit was given that day or the days following. If he wants to pout, sulk, be passive aggressive, give me the silent treatment –you know what I have to say about that?  GOOD RIDDANCE!!!! I don’t need his tantrum or to cater to his emotional ups and downs when he does not cater to any of my needs ever!!!! He doesn’t want to talk to me? I’m better off! Genuinely better off. Like, truly happy he’s keeping that bullshit away from me. Tempted to almost write him a Thank You note. ;)

I have a ticket to take the girls to Maryland in the near future and Chance and I had previously planned that he would drive down and take us to Pittsburgh for a week during our upcoming 2 week trip. However, now that he’s not talking to me I’m planning on going to Maryland and staying there the ENTIRE time, unless he calls. I’m not going to chase after him. I’m not going to be pro-active and coordinate the trip. If he wants to see the girls then he needs to call and arrange it. He has my itinerary. He knows where I’ll be. I have ZERO drive to chase after Chance and ensure that he’s ok, and I do everything to repair the relationship while he sits back and throws tantrums, acts like a brat, lashes out at me and is a general dick whenever he wants to be. Fuck that pattern. Besides, I’m still pissed about February. He doesn’t want me to bring it up anymore because he has to apologize every time I bring it up, yet he brings up shit about me from 15 years ago that isn’t even true and uses it against me on a whim to complement whatever negative judgment he has about me. He’s always putting me on the defensive; always being offensive and I don’t need to put up with it anymore.

I’m sick and tired of his negativity. I’m sick and tired of walking on eggshells and after every one of his outbursts where he’s been a dick I’m always the one who calls or texts or emails and resolves it and ameliorates the situation. I’m just done with his bullshit! I’m done with his old outdated obsolete unfair grudges and judgments of me.

Besides, I’m starting to remember, and be reminded, of my worth. I’m getting genuine compliments. Genuine interest. Genuine care. Genuine concern. Genuine friendship. Genuine communication. I’m starting to be chased in that really seductive way of courtship. I deserve to be chased. I WANT to be chased. I NEED to be chased after. AND I LOVE IT.

The Wife…

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I think it’s important for me to add that I implored him to be up front and honest with his wife when I first initially approached him about the Dream, and consistently thereafter. I pressured him so much that he finally said, “It’s my marriage and my business so stay out of it.” –and this was before he even committed to conceiving our first daughter. His logic was that if he was honest with his wife and she said, “No,” then he wouldn’t be able to help me and resolve the past. He wanted to help me, but he was not completely altruistic. He wanted redemption and absolution for himself as well. He wanted to right a horrible wrong, and the only way he felt he could do this was by concealing it from her.

From my end, I wanted him to be honest with her and had she said, “Yes, go ahead and help her to have this child again.” I would have worshiped her like a saint for having the grace and mercy to allow it. When he was not honest with her and I started to object again, he stopped me and said, “Well, do you want the baby or not?” Basically meaning to leave him alone about his decision not to tell her and if I wanted it, this was how it was going to be.

I’ve suffered a lot that she doesn’t know he was living a double life. He was right, it was his marriage and it was none of my business, but at the same time, he has also punished me for the fact that there was a secret and it affected him, and was a catalyst for the dissolution.

Over the years I have repeatedly asked him to tell her the truth but he has been completely against the idea for whatever reason. Mainly he does not want to hurt her. He would rather his children grow up without a father than hurt her. Faulty logic. Backwards thinking. Besides, she’s a grown woman. She will experience pain and he cannot shelter her from that forever. But to deny her the truth is incredibly wrong.

Anyway, I’m enjoying being able to have entire conversations with friends without bringing his name up. Most of the time I’m biting my tongue. But I’m able to refrain and enjoy a nice conversation with a friend without the topic turning to him. As more time goes by, it will get easier. I’m not a cog. I have needs and worth, and he does not want me. It’s not all about him. I need to do what’s right for me, and he is not right for me. He does not want to be right for me. Because he could very easily be right for me and give me what I need, he even admits that I am not hard to please and he knows what he would need to do. He just doesn’t want to do it.

I’m heading into the space where it’s about what I want. I want a reciprocated love. I want my needs and wants to matter. I want to be loved and cherished and honored and respected. I want a relationship where I am not worrying about stepping on eggshells. I want a relationship where I never know where I stand or what his mood will be like, and worry about the emotional punishment. I want a relationship that is not emotionally abusive.

The Burden of Freedom…

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There’s been a long history between us. We were together about 15 years ago. We got married, mostly for his citizenship papers, but also because we were in love. A few days after the wedding I found out I was pregnant. He turned rabid. Accused me of sleeping around and he doubted it was his. I had an amnio done and we hired a private company to do DNA on the fluid. It came back positive that he was the father which only angered him more. I waited as long as I could, hoping things would work out, but he kept bullying me. The straw that broke me was when he vowed to use all his money against me. I was still in college and he had a great job as a software engineer (yes, he’s Indian.) He would drag me through the Courts and use all his money to ensure I never got custody. He promised that the minute the child was with him he would kidnap her to India and I would never see her again. My life was upside down and I was out of my mind about this situation. I waited as long as I could legally wait to have the abortion, which made it exceptionally brutal on me. I couldn’t see any other options. I had tried to give the baby to a nice couple for adoption but he refused to sign away his paternal rights. So, I was stuck. I felt like this was the most merciful choice. I felt that he would only get worse, and there was no indication that he would have a change of heart. I hated him. I hated him with an anger only a mother can feel at the monster who murders her child. We didn’t speak for 8 years until I had a dream. In this dream the soul of my child told me there was a small window of opportunity for her to return. I had been haunted by this child for 8 years, and would go a bit insane leading up to the anniversary of the abortion every year. The thought of absolution –of redemption– and getting my daughter back was like a brushfire of love in my heart, awakening everything that had faded and withered. But this meant I had to reach out to the one person I hated the most in this life. Not only that, it meant I had to forgive him. And love him. The love I had for this aborted child was stronger than the hate I had for him. So, I reached out. I ended up reaching out to him while he was happily married. I’m not sure if his marriage was at the beginning stages of dying on the vine and if I was the catalyst for the eventuality of it. But he was happy with her and wanted to be with her. In those 8 years he had come to the realization of the horrible things he had done. It was hard for him to take personal responsibility and he blamed his brutality on others, his browbeatings were because of other people’s influences, and he minimized the extent of the damage. However, he also felt an obligation to me, and deep guilt about what he had done to me. So we met up. It worked the first time. And she was born.

We went on with our separate lives, with him as a Donor more than anything, yet we had begun a romantic affair. Forgiveness and love paved the way for other emotions, I suppose. Our romantic passion returned, but there were still a lot of underlying emotional traumas that would make us fight. His marriage deteriorated and my engagement ended. So our affair picked up speed and I asked for another child. He relented and it worked the first time, again. Our second daughter was born at the height of the dissolution of his marriage and the collapse of our affair. He had promised me that if he ever divorced, he would be with me in a heartbeat, but that’s not how it played. He realized that he had such immense guilt that he felt he couldn’t be married to her with me and the girls as his secret double life, and he couldn’t be with me because of the immense resentment he felt towards me for ruining a marriage he was happy with. This is why he does not want me. This is why I am right now, currently dealing with finally facing the truth that Chance and I did not work out as a couple. Over the years our romantic relationship has put him in the position of father (but he’s not the daddy, slight nuance of the words, but an important one.) He is the biological father and he has love for all 3 of us, but he is unable to be with me. We have had a relationship that is addictive for us both. I have felt burdened by the freedom he is forcing me to have. I have felt resentful for having to date others and deal with the bullshit of the dating scene. I have felt torn between wanting a traditional family for my daughters with someone new, and wanting to stay single and be totally free. I feel anger and resentment towards him for putting me in the position of having to deal with these issues. It took a long time and a lot of redundant pain for me to even realize that he truly did not want me and I would have to move on, whether alone or with someone new. After all that, I got dumped. But this time, he has not abandoned me. So, he is there. He is here as a biological father and someone who wants to spend a couple weeks a year visiting. He has been Skyping me regularly, but I am no longer encouraging it. I am starting to dismantle and extricate myself completely from him. There was a time where I did not surrender and to have known this great love was enough for me. I was talking to my housemate last night and telling her the whole story, and she said I needed to work on self-love. That I’m not just some cog. I have needs that weren’t getting met. And she’s right. It was a one-sided love. So, as great as this love was that was able to forgive and move past some really traumatic stuff…it was still really one-sided because he didn’t want me. He had taken one daughter, and given me two. He had ruined his happy marriage for me. But to give me all of this cost me our future together. I realized last night that I want a Greater love. I want it reciprocated. I want someone who wants me. Who is happy to be with me. I had been burdened by the fact that I was being forced to move on when I wasn’t over him. I faced that reality. I’ve started feeling over him. I’m not totally over him, but I feel more objective at this point like I have the vantage point of seeing the forest and not just a few trees. He’s an idiot, in a lot of ways, for letting me go. But that’s not my problem. He’s not my responsibility anymore. Feeling done –in a good way!

Myself.

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I’ve been feeling so good lately. There is peace and I’m relaxed and happy. I’m not walking on eggshells anymore. Now that I’m not pressuring Chance for a relationship anymore, he’s been such a sweetheart. I’m at the point where I returned home expecting not to hear from him, but he’s been Skyping and texting regularly. However, if he were to stop, I wouldn’t be crushed or even upset. It’s nice to be in contact with him and we are getting along fabulously, and if he were to not Skype for whatever reason, it registers on my radar, but it’s something that isn’t bothering me. I’m neither expecting it or not, so if it happens it’s a lovely thing, if not, then not. Simple.

I’m seriously enjoying the calm and tranquility right now. It’s like a battle was being fought for a couple years and suddenly there’s a cease-fire.

I’m starting to focus on myself again. I’ll be heading back into the gym next week. Possibly this week, however, I’m giving myself until next week to get my act together. I’m eating healthier. Doing stuff around the house and landscaping. Getting my kids on a good path and focusing on being a better, more fully present, parent to them. My biggest fail is always facebooking, texting or emailing when I should be interacting with them. One day my daughter will stop saying, “Mommy play with me!” and I will regret all the times I told her, “In a minute honey, I’m busy.”

Pittsburgh.

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Friend: How did the trip with Chance go?

Me:The trip went really well! We had a great time together. He vowed that he’s not going anywhere and he loves me and the girls, but he doesn’t want to be in a relationship. He wants to stay in our lives, but not move forward together as a family.

Friend: But how did it make you feel?

Me: Peaceful. It’s kind of like this, when you have a kid who says they don’t like spinach but the kid never even tried it, so how do they know they don’t like it! Same thing with Chance. He had tried. But it still wasn’t for him. So I’m at peace now. Before I was really fighting for it to work and holding on, but once he gave it an honest genuine attempt and it still wasn’t for him, now I’m at peace with it and can move on.

Friend: You’re still friends and he’s still going to see the girls?

Me: Definitely. It’s like this, if I called him up today and said I needed him, he would be here. Out of love, guilt, obligation and duty….but not because he *wanted* to. He doesn’t want to be with me. But he loves me and isn’t going anywhere and wants to be in our lives.

Friend: Wow, that’s deep. I’m speechless.

—End—

It’s true, too. I feel immense peacefulness. Chance and I are getting along better than we have in ages. I feel, of course, something like the aftermath of grief. It’s good to be out of the dark and into the light. I feel lighter and more peaceful. The trip did go really well. I offered to do some free sales consulting for his start-up company to start inching my way back into the working world and getting some recent experience for my resume. I met his partner, one of the other co-founders. Chance told Paul, “Hey, this is going to come as a shock, but I have a daughter.” Although Paul was shocked, it was not a big deal and I think that was a huge relief to Chance. It’s kinda what I’ve been telling him all along anyway, so my inner monologue was all like, “Told ya so!!!” It’s a huge step for Chance to publicly claim that he has a daughter. I’m proud of him.

Chance is the father, but he’s not a daddy. There is a nuance there that is very important. It’s how I’m raising my daughters. My eldest understands that she doesn’t have a daddy. Chance is her father.

Chance and I began this chapter of our lives in 2011 as a Donor situation. We had contracts. But then he began an affair with me. This brought confusion. Our original arrangement evolved into a love affair. It was during this time that our eldest daughter began to see him as a father and talk about him in that way openly. It’s one of the reasons Chance and I tried to move forward together as a family. But it just isn’t for him. And that’s ok. I’m genuinely *finally* ok with it.

I am really happy I did this trip to Pittsburgh. Best decision. Definitely gave us both an opportunity to talk openly and humanely with each other. The additional clarity, insights, peacefulness and more are because of this trip. It resolved ALL my withdrawals and I feel good. Really good. And Chance and I are getting along so good again now that the tension is gone from me pressuring him and his guilt and resistance at not wanting to be with me. We were up until 1am skyping last night. Our talks are deeper and more heart felt, an older more mature love, without the angsty romance stuff. He’s begun apologizing and feeling remorseful for his behavior, and admitting to panicking in February when our second daughter was born. So things are getting resolved. All the loose emotional ends are getting tied up. I’m really feeling the energy flowing now so this is the right direction. I was scared to get to this place because it meant failure –I had fought so hard and I believed in holding on and staying committed. I realize now that I needed to learn another lesson. The grace of knowing when to let go.

I feel like this is the healthiest situation for everyone. He is still a part of our lives and isn’t a stranger, his role is defined, and there is space for someone else to be a daddy (to get that honor and title) if I’m with someone and they’re stepping up and doing the daily grind and filling those shoes. At this point I’m taking a little bit of space for myself. No agenda. Focusing on trying to keep edging my way back into the working world. I networked on my flights and both networking contacts have paid off by putting me in direct touch with the hiring manager with their personal reference. I was lucky enough to sit next to this awesome and kind guy who was flying to New York to ring the bell as his company just went IPO. It was my baby’s first flight so I was happy he was a part of her maiden voyage. He’s a VP and we spoke about some opportunities and I followed up after I got to Pittsburgh. By the time I got home he wanted me to forward my resume! On my flight home from Pittsburgh I sat next to a guy who put me in touch with an opportunity for a straight commission job that I can do from home and work a super flexible schedule. It’s honestly a job that sounds so flexible I could probably do it as a second job and work weekends and evenings without it eating up too much family time –which will always remain my priority. I’m feeling that fire again.

I’m starting to feel ok again.

Certainly alone and certain loneliness…

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He has told me he doesn’t want me. He doesn’t feel for me the natural possessiveness a man has for a wife, child or the woman he’s with. He’s told me that he will cheat on me; that it’s his pattern. He’s told me I’m inconvenient. I’m not his ideal partner. He has mixed feelings about me. He looks at me like I am an unfaithful person and I don’t have the ability to be faithful. He doesn’t trust me. He said I’m not brave, kind or strong. He said I’m nothing special to the world. He said I have a delusional sense of self worth. He’s said he loves her more than me, and that maybe in time he will love me more than her. He’s not a family man and his work comes first. He told me that if we do end up together he will walk out on me one day –that one day I’ll come home and he’ll just be gone. I feel I constantly need to defend myself to him. I feel like I walk on eggshells around him. He is arrogant. He is selfish and self-absorbed. He is not emotionally available to me. I had a nervous breakdown after the birth of our second child because of his cruelty. It’s how my labor started, too. He wants to be alone.. He says maybe he will, at some point, realize he wants me or feel for me that possessiveness, but not right now and never in the past. He says I’ve always been second choice to him; always second fiddle.

With all he’s said; with all he’s done: He is undeserving of my devotion. He is undeserving of my addiction to him.

The definition of purgatory is: a place or state of suffering. I feel like I am in purgatory. At least the definition of purgatory means temporary. I just wonder if I go to heaven or hell after this. I feel like I’m straddling two sides of a cliff with a huge abyss in between. On one side is my need to hold on –that redemption and salvation lie just beyond the next corner and if I hold on just a little bit longer it will all work out. This dark chapter will be just a blip on the radar in our future together. On the other side is the gorgeous 1994 version of me with tight-rolled jeans and straight long hair down to my tush asking me what da fuck I’m doing with this loser punk-ass chump bitch and how I need to super-size some self-esteem and quit him.

Anyway, aside from me feeling like a victim of self-inflicted emotional abuse who is conscientious about it and still, like an addict, goes back for more…..

I’m trying to take steps to change that.

I had booked this ticket to see him weeks ago. Back when we were trying to give us a fresh start. Before he broke up with me. Twice. We’ve talked and we decided to still do the trip, but as friends. Afterwards I will leave him the fuck alone. I think this takes the pressure off of each of us. It’s somehow made him more relaxed and more like the “good” him. (moderate reference to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). We’ve both been on our best behavior, for the most part, so things have actually been good. Which, I am very grateful for, even with the knowledge that it’s an illusion and this is all temporary to get us through this trip until he can be rid of me and be left alone like how he wants.

What I would like to see happen is, of course, the fairytale ending where this trips leads him to want more. To want me. To want a family life together. I’m at peace with the fact that it probably won’t, and not only that, but it is delusional to even think that. He wants his space. He doesn’t want me. And he’s happy living in another state. And in this purgatory I am alone and filled with loneliness. The addiction to him makes me tremble, itch and ache in anticipation of the withdrawals.

In the meantime, I need to focus on my life again. The girls need a father. Especially the older one. She is desperate for a daddy. I’m not ready to start dating again, but I did join a dating site. Of course none of the guys compare to Chance and emailing with a few of them is like nails on a chalkboard. I want a real man. It’s so cliche, but I love it when a man acts like a man. Especially since I’ve been starving for that passion, possessiveness, nurturing, protection, chivalry, attention. I’ve been living like a cactus for far too long. I’m tired of fighting for someone who doesn’t want me no matter how hard I fight and how much I bare my soul and the extent I put myself out there. I want a man to want me, and pursue me. I want to be pursued. I want to be wanted. I want to be needed. I want everything I’ve given him to be given back to me. Someone to take charge, yet be sensitive enough to know when to give me the control. I feel like a heroin addict standing in a grocery store looking at the OTC section of headache meds. Advil doesn’t come close to heroin. Neither does Tylenol. But as long as I’m in the grocery store reading the labels I’m distracting myself from the heroin. And if I stand here long enough, maybe the withdrawals will pass and I’ll be recovered. And when I’m recovered I’ll head over to the oatmeal section. Because, fuck all the meds. I need a kind, healthy, stable, nutritious warm-hug-that-lasts-all-day type of love. Like oatmeal.