Stay With You

As I’m starting to settle into my life here, I’m realizing that I need to scale back on my social media.

Last night, my daughter asked if our cat could have an Instagram, and my older daughter is now the cat’s social media manager. This kind of made me realize how dependent we have become on social media. Maybe we are way too invested in it, keep people on our Facebook accounts that we don’t like for no apparent reason or we post our whole lives, etc. 

 

feel free to follow my asshole cat @peachy.the.cat
 
I’m super guilty of this, especially since the move. I’m on social media & blogging far more than I used to, mostly to stay connected. But perhaps I’m also inviting negativity into my home, which is causing me unnecessary anxiety. I am blessed with amazing friends. I am also friends with those who love to be right, at the expense of my happiness under the guise of helping. And by inviting people into my personal life as much as I do, perhaps I’m allowing them access to make me feel less than happy with my life. 

I refuse to walk on eggshells. I want my life to be positive and joyful & happy. So, I’ve started distancing myself from people who do not make me happy, including family members. If you do not contribute to my life, my home in a positive way, then you are welcome to leave. I know who contributes positively to my life; Erica, my best friends Melissa, Doug, Sarah, Gleason, Bree & Damanda. My brother. My boyfriend. All of these people enrich my life & make it better. Crossfit enhances my life. But, my heavy social media presence is allowing others to analyze my life. Same with my blog. I write because, to be honest, I don’t have much else to do. But perhaps I need to be more mindful about what I put out there. I write about my failings because I’m human. I feel like being honest about my humanness will help people see me the way I want to be seen; as a resilient, beautiful, kind hearted person who is not perfect. And they can love me in my imperfections, because people on pedestals fall down. I just want to be a regular person who tries her best & makes mistakes & is deeply loved by those she loves. And those I don’t know personally can take some refuge in the fact that others are not perfect either. But, I also don’t want to be analyzed like a specimen or my blog used as a substitute to engage with me. Maybe I invite that by writing about my life so candidly. So, perhaps I need to scale back my social media involvement & keep more of my life offline. 

Maybe this is a sign that I’m finally starting to embrace this as home. I don’t need my lifelines at home to make me feel connected to human beings. I have a great life here, I was just too afraid to see it, because I was afraid to lose it. I love my work. The stuff I’m writing is so cool. And I’m building contacts, which will help me later.  I’ve gotten rave reviews for some of my articles & even my editor is impressed by my growth as a writer. My kids love it here so much. They love their school & their friends. I’m making friends. My new job is both exciting and terrifying. And for the first time ever, I’m really happy in a relationship & I’m not analyzing every move wondering if it’s gonna fall apart. I trust him completely & it’s such a good feeling to know you’re with someone & they make you happy & even months later you’re happy & you’re content with where you are. I have never had this & it scared me, but now I’m just so happy. And maybe, because I’m settling into my life, I don’t really need to advertise on social media that I’m doing well. Maybe I just want to do well. 

 

Maybe I need to focus more on this instead of social media
 
However, social media is an addicting thing, so I’ll probably still post on my FB, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr & Snapchat (all of which you can find &  follow by clicking here), but less frequently. I want to catch up with friends, but we can text. And if we can’t text, maybe we aren’t that super close. Either way, I will not damage my happy life with doubts or negativity. I’ve worked too hard to make my life epic. Even if you don’t agree, just be happy with me, because that’s what I want for everyone I know. 

 

But You Won’t

I’ve struggled to talk about this with anyone but my best friend Melissa & friend Paul, and Erica, but she knows everything all of the time.  It’s been a source of great guilt for me, but I guess I’m sharing it because I wonder if other moms have been in this boat. 

Last week, I made a very important decision about facilitating a relationship between my kids & their dad; I’m going to stop trying. 

When we moved out here, I tried to make it easier. I called with updates, sent photos, and offered to cover the entire cost of travel for him to visit his kids for Xmas. I also told him if he wanted to move closer (as he is currently unemployed) & take a job here, he wouldn’t have to pay child support & we could split custody, where he could have them most weekends (as they are at the age where they want slumber parties with friends, etc) & I could have them during the week. He said he’d think about it. 

Meanwhile, the excuses started coming. Already he couldn’t afford to come for Xmas, as he wasn’t working or if he got a job, he wouldn’t be allowed any time off to see them. As flights are already filling up for holiday travel, I started texting, asking when he wanted to fly out, so I could book it. No reply. Second reminder. No reply. More excuses to the girls as there was just no money for him to come, maybe March Break. Or next summer. But not Xmas. That’s when I realized, no matter how easy I make it, he just doesn’t want to see them. He doesn’t care enough to be a dad. 

  
So, I wondered if by pushing the girls to call, to continue to facilitate a relationship that he’s made it clear doesn’t matter, am I hurting my children? After all, they get hurt when Dad doesn’t bother to call or visit. When we lived in the same city, every visit ended early. When I let him take them for March Break, he brought them home on Wednesday, because he was too busy. When they spent the summer with his mom, he rarely saw them, instead spending time with a girl he was seeing & drinking (according to my eldest). He doesn’t care to make that effort, so why should I? Why am I saving money for him to come here & see the kids when he can’t even tell me what day he wants to come?

I find myself offering him mental health support, which I did again this week, and for what? To be on the receiving end of his rage when I ask him once again to be a parent or tell me when he wants to come see his girls on my dime? Why do I keep trying to help this person? So my kids can have a dad? Shouldn’t that be his job? Shouldn’t he be making his kids his number one priority? Maybe my constant attempts to remind him to be a dad are hindering him from wanting to make his own efforts to be a parent. 

So, the flight I was going to pay for, I offered to his mom for March Break. I’m not sending any more photos or updates unless he asks me for them. I’m not going to ask the girls to call unless they choose to. I can’t keep trying to force someone to do what they can’t be bothered to do; which is be a parent. He doesn’t want to be a parent, so I’m not going to try to make him into one. It’s sad because I have friends who just want to coparent and spend as much time with their kids as possible & he won’t even come see them when it’s free for him to do so. 

  
But I’m done trying. It’s up to him to be a parent now. Maybe he’ll step up & be the kind of parent my kids deserve, calling every day & asking about school, life. Maybe he’ll save up to visit & spend all his time with them. Maybe when they fly to visit family next year, he will devote all of his time to his children. But if not, it’ll be on him. 

As for me, I’ll feel guilty, because that’s who I am. But I won’t keep trying to be nice & include someone who doesn’t want to be included & I will focus on raising strong women. 

  

She Ain’t You

This week has been super crappy. But also very therapeutic.

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As I packed up Target Mobile into boxes & shipped it all back to head office, I paused for a moment & burst into tears. The overwhelming enormity of what was happening, which I ignored because I had it under control hit me; while I had a job, my friends, my coworkers, they weren’t set. They had families too. My heart was breaking for them. Then, as I do, I took a deep breath & kept going. I also took this time of upheaval to be the sassiest bitch to rude guests. My coworkers joked about how I had become Squidward. I regret nothing.

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I pulled some strings & start my new job on Tuesday. I’m getting a generous severance (although I haven’t been fully explained the details just yet, but if my former boss says its generous, it must be) & I’m going to use it to plan a nice little trip for myself once I’m done training. I’m calling it a friend vacation, where my girlfriends & I are going to enjoy some R&R. I need that. I’m still not 100% happy MHC, but I’ve managed to feel better.

One of the things I’ve had to do is remind myself that the life I want may not be part of the plan (my hippie friend is so proud). That job was a stepping stone to a better job. This new job is a great Johnny punch clock job but my future as a writer awaits if I ever feel comfortable writing again (It’s just easier to let people know en masse what was up with this sitch). I need to keep trusting that the universe knows where I belong & it’ll happen when the time is right & enjoy the moment I’m in.

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 But in order for change to happen, you need to change what you’re doing. I used to write obsessively about nothing when I’m hurting. So, now I write almost nothing & I’ll continue to write nothing until I feel okay. There are reasons I stopped & until I feel okay about them, I’ll just stay quiet. I always tell my best friend that I’m an emotional eater who makes bad life choices. But am I really gonna undo 100lbs of hard work because I lost my job? NO. So, while there were slip ups, I stuck to eating right & when I felt stressed, I grabbed my Stratusphere yoga DVD & FitGloves & found some zen. I went to my crossfit classes & improved my personal best for overhead squats. I can lift heavier, that’s progress. Progress is rad. Moping when bad shit happens or choosing not to deal with emotions (aka the old MHC way) won’t get me to the next phase in my awesome journey known as my wacky life. So, I changed how I cope. I had a huge cry. I texted Erica & Paul & the Psych Major & Damanda & freaked out. They listened without judgment because they’re the best. I ate a large pizza. I listened to Flight by Lifehouse 100 times in a row. I wrote my most raw feelings in a password protected post. Then I got up off my ass & worked out. Endorphins cure all. Suddenly, things didn’t feel so shitty anymore. This morning, things felt optimistic & bright. That couple of days of saying goodbye to my job & my coworkers were hard. But now, it’s time for the next chapter.

Maybe that’s the lesson in life; while people travel with you, there’s always a next chapter. There’s always the next job, the next adventure. There’s always the next lesson. While I don’t believe that should be applied to people, it does apply to events & this one is over & the last two months haven’t been the most awesome, but I bet the next two will be. Why? Because I said so. There is a new job, new coworkers & a really cute pair of jeans I bought a size too small so I could work to fit in them. All of these things will be exciting & I’m looking forward to them all.

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It Takes Two

My friend recently posted this to her FB page & it got me thinking (because I am a weirdo who analyzes memes);

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As the poster child for “taking too long to heal from a bad relationship,” this made me sad. So, I sent her this text;

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The reality I learned is humans choose to make themselves happy or miserable. We choose who we become & no amount of bad relationships can “turn” us into anything. I chose to be miserable & believe my former friend’s lies that it’ll all work out it I wait. I chose to mourn for the life I thought I wanted. I chose to ignore the fact that he is too closed off emotionally to give that life to me & I needed to heal from my emotionally abusive marriage to be in any position to build a life; I just missed the idea of what I thought we were building. That’s what we miss when a relationship ends; the idea of the life we were supposed to have, because we never really have it. If I had that life, we would have talked about our feelings instead of me hiding my concerns because he’d leave me. I shouldn’t have had to be afraid he’d leave if I breathed wrong or asked for my feelings to be validated or to be made a priority. If that life had been real, I would have felt safe & happy. I thought I did, but now I realize I didn’t, because I was so afraid he’d leave, because he did, all the time. What I missed wasn’t real & what made my friend feel like the graphic wasn’t real. She’s too sweet to ever do it, but if she becomes a bitch, it’s her choice, just like I chose to be miserable. I made that choice & then I un made it. I decided, much like when I mourned my marriage, that I wouldn’t mourn a life that wasn’t real. I mourned this family that wasn’t real. Reality was an emotionally defeated mom, and three little girls who were afraid of their angry father. I needed to focus on why I make bad choices, which is that I choose broken men. I choose them because I want to make them happy so I can feel happy knowing I bring someone joy. I do this because I was unhappy with my weight, my lack of byline, my insecurities about who I am. If I make these broken men happy, then I’m doing something right so I have value. So, I choose to bring myself joy, give myself value & then I won’t need to choose broken men & keep up that cycle. The only reason the cycle in the graphic exists is because we allow it. When my teen daughter mentioned the emotionally abusive relationship of Damon & Elena on The Vampire Diaries was romantic, I had to think about what I had been teaching her. I had been teaching her that women in love allow men hurt & manipulate them & it’s their fault for not loving them enough. I don’t want my daughter in that cycle, so I had to break it, for myself, for my daughters. Again, that’s a choice I’m making for us, to teach them what a healthy relationship is.

No one can “make” you a bitch or an asshole. You chose that. You chose to crush the heart of that person that loved you. You chose to let someone crush it. You made those choices & you chose to dwell & let it warp you. Why choose to destroy joy? I was destroying my own joy & for what? Nothing. So, I choose joy. I choose my happily ever after. It’s right now, in this moment. I’ll fix what makes me feel weak & make myself happy, because then no one can rip it away. But in the moment it’s hard to see that reality & seeing my friend’s pain (albeit in snippets with her talking about binge eating, etc.) made me realize something I didn’t for a long time. I understand why my ex-BFF lied for so long. I was crippled emotionally by the on & off, the intense togethers & sudden splits & the consistent rejections that I couldn’t think. I went to school & raised my kids but my friend saw me broken, so very broken. He just wanted to make the pain go away. Hearing her pain made me want to do the same thing. But we have to choose the path of reality & allowing someone time to figure out what they miss isn’t real & the real happy ending is around the corner is much kinder in the long run.

My friend is an amazing & strong woman, mother, performer & friend. She will choose joy & meet her match & live a beautiful life. Even if she doesn’t, she’ll live a beautiful life with her son. Because happy is a choice, not a situation.

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Closing Time

Normally, my song title blog post titles are just as random as what I’m listening to at the time. Today is different. I deliberately sought out this song for one line, which sums up this post nicely;

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Much like every part of life, this Windsor chapter has been about beginnings & endings. I started over after my first attempt to get a post secondary diploma didn’t go according to plan. I succeeded, graduated & became a writer. I welcomed my youngest daughter & watched her grow into a bright & happy young girl. I obtained a second post secondary diploma when my dearest hippie friend called me & suggested we both needed a change. I started a retail, johnny punch-clock job (even though I swore I’d rather be shot) to support my family & found that it wasn’t so bad. I made great friends & found I was pretty darned awesome @ this real people job thing. I fell out of love with my husband & closed the door on my marriage. I fell in love with a man & had my heart broken. I kept longing for a person who couldn’t or wouldn’t ever love me back. From that experience, I became closed & guarded, terrified to let anyone in again, even my closest friends. I was alienating anyone near me for fear of getting hurt by another person, but I’m slowly stepping out of that shell, taking Gigi’s advice to go out & live again, spend time with friends & even go to some “meetings” (first dates) & be the beautiful, strong & vibrant woman I was meant to be (she’s a wise woman, that Gigi. Meghie also suggested to pick the opposite of what I usually would, but Meghie doesn’t mince words). Truthfully, I haven’t been happy with my Windsor life for years. I often mentioned to Drew that I wanted to get as far away as I could, but there was always one thing that appeared & made me stay & I kept romanticizing this life. Much like “How I Met Your Mother’s” Ted Mosby ignored his incompatibility with former love Robin, overlooking her faults even in the closing moments of the series, I chose to ignore my unhappiness. I pretended not to notice how I let friends dictate everything, including the colour of my living room, while borrowing money & dragging me down with their negativity & chose to ignore that the continued attempts to take over my life were making me passive aggressive & bitchy. I also didn’t notice my own dragging down a good friend, allowing my broken heart & fear of starting over without his guidance & the person I truly believed was the love of my life with me to choke the life out of one of the best friendships I’ve ever had. I ignored my professional dissatisfaction at the magazine, because I was living my dream so I had to suck it up. I ignored that I didn’t care for my neighbourhood & wanted more out of my life, I had been so happy in that life that I was afraid to let it go, even when it was gone. I wanted to go back to that life, with those friends (even though they weren’t perfect, they were my life mates), with that man (even though I knew he’d always hurt me), with that little girl & my own girls, that I couldn’t see that old life wasn’t where I belonged, all I felt was the pain because it didn’t exist anymore. I needed to let go of the life I wanted, the one I’ll never have, to get the life I truly deserve. Much like when Ted finally let go of Robin, he found true love with the titular mother (I’m not acknowledging the last five minutes of the show because I’m trying to make a point), one random September day, I decided to let it all go & just leave town & start over. I got sidetracked by a person & their cruelty, which left me leaving them in a bar in tears, sobbing to the Gleason Table. But that helped me remember that I need to do what’s right for ME. So, I set a timetable, found a house, focused on my personal goals (including a 31lbs weight loss!) & I have been happy. But we all do this at some point; we hold onto nothing because what was once there was amazing, even when it wasn’t. Most of those friends were toxic, that house not the place you want to settle into forever. That man probably wasn’t the beautiful person you remember. Once you realize that (sometimes if you listen to Wide Awake by Katy Perry 100x times in a row, it’ll speed things up), it’s easy to cut that cord & move forward. But don’t feel badly if you struggled or if it took you longer to heal, because all humans heal on their own time. But you’ll get there. We all get there.

But today is the last day & one can’t help but be nostalgic on the last day. I will turn around tomorrow to look back at my empty home & face the flood of memories. I’ll take that instant to remember the birthday parties, the Christmas get together’s, the St. Patrick’s Day I made corned beef even though I didn’t like it. I’ll remember the night he asked me (indirectly) 15 different times to marry him, the cold night air against my face when he showed up late at night, held me in his arms, called me his salvation & said my smile healed his pain, and the night I leaned against my bedroom door & broke down sobbing for hours until I mercifully passed out on the floor because he walked away. I’ll remember MH & Drew’s grand adventures, the nights we were late for the movies because he got watching Maury, needing him to light my barbecue because I was afraid of it, shopping for an iMac, the great ostrich debate & any conversation that ended in “Right?!” I’ll remember blinking back tears as two of my babies started school, sidewalk chalk artwork & all of the times the pirate princess demanded to feed the “gooses” in the yard. I’ll remember school projects, silly songs & clean up days singing Taylor Swift into my mop while my children laughed. I’ll remember a little girl who ran to me & always embraced her little friend like they’d been separated by war every time they met. I’ll remember rushing home from my office to my home office to interview Penn Jillette, my happy tears when my musical hero Amanda Marshall said I was a good reporter & the two am revisions passing out on my computer because I know if I read it over ONE MORE TIME, this time it’ll be perfect. I’ll relive every emotion & then I’ll take a deep breath…& let it all go so I can make a new fresh start & make it a good one.

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Why? Because every new beginning in comes from some other beginning’s end. This chapter of my life has come to an end & the London chapter is a blank page. It’ll be interesting. I’ll find another magazine & tell more interesting & exciting stories that I hope people will read & love. Maybe I’ll fall in love again & finally meet the great love of my life, but that’s not really a priority. Maybe I’ll keep moving towards the GTA & finally land that sweet job in a PR firm or a magazine. But whatever happens, it’s time to stop being afraid & see what happens next, because it may very well be everything I’ve ever wanted.

So, goodbye to this life & welcome new adventures. Let’s see what you have in store for me.

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Day 23: My Thoughts on Television & How It Affects Our Lives

Confession time: I am an entertainment reporter who rarely watches TV.

I have had some friends recommend Dr. Who for me, as well as Supernatural and Reign. I’ve given the latter a try and haven’t been able to get into them. Even Law & Order: SVU is hit or miss for me without Stabler. I’m just not a big TV person, I get too bored or annoyed and quit watching. The only show I almost watched to the end was Dawson’s Creek and even then, I gave up after season six.

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I pretty much only watch TV two days a week, which is Monday and Thursdays, when I watch Monday Night Raw with my daughters and The Vampire Diaries with the sometimes angry Tween.

courtesy wwe.com
courtesy wwe.com

I used to love WWE as a kid and as a grown up it became my favourite soap opera. All of the camp of real soap operas, but much better looking men! However, the storylines are getting lame (or I’m growing up) and the only thing that interests me are the Divas, who get very little love from the WWE writers. However, watching my children laugh and get invested in their campy characters (the overlord has long joined Daniel Bryan’s Yes Movement and the angriest tween of course idolizes AJ Lee) and get happy or angry with it, knowing it’s fake all the while.

courtesy the CW
courtesy the CW

The Vampire Diaries was my favourite book series as a tween. I remember sitting on my couch sobbing as (SPOILER ALERT) Elena died @ the end of the Fury (and later was resurrected in Dark Reunion). However, the show (which was a staple for seasons 1-3) has strayed so far from the novels that I loved as a young girl that I can’t seem to get into it anymore. But I must admit that the chemistry between Paul Wesley’s Stefan and Nina Dobrev’s Elena sucks me back in periodically. I sometimes wish I could enjoy the show again, as I used to love it so much and there is still one scene in the season three opener that gets me every time.

I think I struggle with this show because season four & five have Elena spurning her compassionate & gentle suitor Stefan in favour of “taming the bad boy” in brother Damon. Sometimes, the angry tween will tell me that love can fix the broody bad boy, BUT IN THE REAL WORLD, IT DOESN’T. I’ve learned after my last few relationships, all with broody, emotionally stunted bad boys & want to be players, love does not turn a bad boy good. A bad boy has to want to be a good man & he has to want to do it for himself. Too often, a TV shows teach girls that love tames the bad boy. Carrie converted Mr. Big. We all swooned over Jordan Catalano (I still do. Jared Leto. Sigh) & Joey Potter abandoned nice guy Dawson Leary to reform Pacey Witter. Maybe the reason we women spend so much time crying into our Ben & Jerry’s is because we’re conditioned through these love stories that we can love a man into wanting to grow up & be a good husband & father. In reality, it’s up to him to look @ the people he claims to love, look @ his children & look in the mirror & if he wouldn’t want his son to be just like him or his daughter to date someone like him, he needs to become that person. But he has to love himself first. A man will never love a woman enough to better himself for her; he has to love himself enough to be the good man that lives in every bad boy.

Women need to stop being so simpering (especially me) & realize that the bad boys aren’t good for us. We need to find the Stefan, not the Damon that will chew us up & spit us out, strangle the life from us & leave us for dead the minute it gets too hard. We need to marry the Aidan, not Mr. Big. It may not be as thrilling, but at least we won’t be abused & neglected & crying in our ice cream or driving our friends nuts wondering why we weren’t enough to tame the bad boy. Because TV is TV & reality is much uglier. We are good enough. We are all good enough to be loved by the right person. But we’ve got to also recognize that love isn’t enough to make someone want to treat you better. You’ve got to love yourself enough to sit back & wait for the right person & not let the fact that the bad boy didn’t see the good in you ruin that. This is a lesson every woman learns the hard way at least once.

So ladies (& guys), let’s stop letting the romance novels & TV shows sway us into believing that we were put on this Earth to reform a bad boy & our love is powerful enough to make him a good man. It’s not. Instead, let’s accept that our self love is enough to make us good people & the rest will be better than any passionate & stormy TV romance on Earth.

Day 20: What If?

I used to wonder this a lot.

What if I had been more understanding of my ex husband’s mental illness? What if I had treated my boyfriend better? What if I had just spit the words out by the water? What if I hadn’t befriended that person on Twitter? What if I hadn’t introduced our friends? What if I had been nicer to people? What if I had kept my big mouth shut? What if I had stood up for myself? What if I hadn’t wanted my kid to spend their first Xmas with their dad? What if I had kept going to the gym? What if I had tried harder to be a better friend? What if I hadn’t have walked out of that exam? What if I had just switched seats on the way to the art gallery? What if I hadn’t entered that contest, even though my intentions were good? What if I hadn’t left the bar?

It went on & on. Then, one day…I stopped.

While I was wondering “what if?” my life was passing me by! My girls were growing up & I was missing it! So, I stopped wondering, as none of it would change the current outcome. But what would was coming to terms with it, hence my summer of cathartic blogging. I got it out & I refocused my energies on me & my girls & I don’t wonder anymore. It’s helped me become a happier person.

If things are meant to turn out a certain way, they will & nothing will change that. Nothing I do will change it. The universe will make it happen. So, I’ll just continue to be happy & let it go, just like Queen Elsa of Arendelle told me to do.

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The universe will put things as they should be & I’ll just ride out life while pursuing my dreams of being the best mother & journalist I can be while the universe puts everything as it should be. When that day happens, I’ll understand why everything else happened & it’ll all make sense. But until then, I’ll just enjoy the ride.

Protected: Day 19: A Letter to A Former Lover

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Day 18: Something I Miss

I miss lots of people in my life.

I miss my father, who died when I was a little girl. I miss a little boy who was just a baby when I saw him for the last time, but I struggle to discuss that even now. I miss children that I’ve never even met, because they had to go before they came into the world. I miss my best friends Gigi and Meghie, because they live 2.5 hours away and I don’t get to see them as much as I’d like and sometimes, I feel like digital communication doesn’t always properly convey emotions, sarcasm, wit & not to mention all friendships need that face time & I miss girls’ night & daiquiris. But there are two people I miss more than most and that’s my former best friend and a little girl.

I loved that little girl. I loved her as much as if she were my own little girl and she loved me. My absolute favourite memory from my time in this house was after I finished writing my second semester transcription exams and my girls were playing with her and her dad in my backyard and she saw me before anyone else and she ran to the gate to meet me, giggling and laughing and gave me the biggest hug. In that moment, we felt like a family and I can honestly say, in that moment, I was the happiest person in the entire world. During this past year, my therapist actually questioned if I missed her dad, or her. (I thought I knew the answer, until the incident at Thanksgiving that left me fleeing a bar in tears made me reevaluate). But I do miss her, especially when my youngest daughter asks for her. Fortunately, she asks less and less now that she has her new BFF Josy. But every couple of weeks, she will ask when her friend will come over and play with her and Josy and her little face still crumples when I remind her that she’s not coming over anymore. I know why I can’t see her anymore & it’s what’s best for her. I know that she’s likely forgotten me. I’m glad for that, for I know how much it pains my youngest when she sees a silver, two door car go down our street & she gets so hopeful. I hope she’s happy & healthy & has a wonderful life. I know that this is the best way, but I miss her so very much and the night @ the bar, I bombarded my companion with questions about her; had she grown, was she healthy, does she still smile that giant toothy grin when she sees a camera, does she still look just like her dad, did she still sing the word “no?” I wanted to know about her more than anything. But, unfortunately, part of life is learning that sometimes you lose people that you love, which also meant this little girl. I also learned what I can handle, & while I would have loved to be this child’s stepmother & help raise her, I know that I cannot date a man with kids. I’m too afraid of once again getting attached to a child that can be taken from me when the relationship goes to Hell. This was a good learning experience for me, if nothing else & I’ll take the lesson into my future relationships.

The other person is the person I used to call my life mate, who was my favourite guy in the whole world until he got sick of my being super depressed and found out that he lied to me about a whole bunch of stuff, including telling me to wait for the little girl’s dad, we’d work it out. For months, I let my anger fuel my refusal to miss him, because I trusted him and he lied to me over and over again. I felt betrayed. But one day, after a long period of months, I got thinking that maybe he lied because, in his mind, he was protecting me. He didn’t want to see me hurt, so he wanted to make it better. But, his lying kept me living in misery, and as my life continued to fall apart, he kept the lies up and I kept falling apart. I thought about it though; I was a super crappy friend. I was so miserable, missing a man and a little girl and flailing at school and struggling to live without journalism. I literally hated my life and I wanted something to make things better and I leaned on him so hard to make things feel a little better. So, he lied, trying to give me a silver lining. Yes, it was cruel, but his intentions weren’t. Sometimes, I want to apologize, but then I think about how he deserves an apology but I’m always the one apologizing & he’d need to apologize to me too. I was a miserable friend; but it takes two to wreck a friendship and when he wrote me the “break up” letter, he barely acknowledged his part. It was a lot of how he and another friend were blameless, and that’s not how things work. It takes two to mess things up. Just like it took two people to sever the tie that took the little girl out of my life, it took two people to wreck our friendship, and if he apologized, I would accept it and maybe he could accept my apology. He & I could talk and he could see that I’ve found my own happiness without anyone and I like my life. The Pirate Princess could tell him about her shoes. We’d go to Starbucks and laugh @ the hipsters and I’d text him tales from the new city and one name would forever be banned from conversation. But, I doubt that would happen, so I just prefer to think that he’s happy with his life. I hope he meets an amazing guy and get his six coloured wedding. I hope he does well in his career and takes a million pictures and expands his portfolio. I hope he knows I’m not mad about his actions anymore, because I understand that my actions helped him make the choice to do that and I own those actions and I’m sorry. But most of all, I hope he looks back on all of the memories and smiles.

That’s the one good thing about people; we remember. I’ll always have the awesome memories with my life mate. I’ll have the flowers from his promotion, the birthdays @ Hoi. I’ll have the blue Darknuts being stupid, the Hedley concert and our Valentine’s day date @ Olive Garden & Maroon 5. I’ll have the moments on his porch, walking his dog and the time he embarrassed me @ Chili’s. All of those plus the other memories will go with me wherever I go. I’ll always have my memories of that little girl and I can take them with me wherever I go and remember these people as the good people I loved and will always love and hope they’re happy in everything they do.

Mirror

A good friend of mine sent me this article last week & I’ve been reading it & rereading it for about a week.

I guess it hit home because it could have been written by…me (save for a few parts, as the article references adultery, which was not an issue & some of the character definitions were a little strong. But the jist of it).

For a year I struggled to get over the man I thought was so amazing, but everyone, even his best friends said was a psychopath & a jerk. I just recently wrote a sobbing piece because I love him so much that I would literally do anything for him & he wouldn’t do a damn thing for me. This came after he told my friend he was coming back for me after a year of healing. I couldn’t take the pain anymore. But now, I think I understand.

There was NOTHING I could have done.

He’s too damaged.

He’s too broken.

He’s a narcissist who uses women to feel happy & then crushes them to rebuild an ego broken long ago. He’s as bitter and broken as everyone said. I am very flawed, but this wasn’t me. I could have been PERFECT but it never would have been enough. Like my girlfriend said that night, “he’ll always just want more.”

So, I’m going to do what I was unable to do for so long. Not just because I had been conditioned by him to believe he’d come back, but because of all the things the article said. I feel better, knowing it took others just as long to heal. But now I’m going to find someone who loves me & wants to make me happy too. Because I deserve that.

I can’t promise follow through if he were in front of me, but I would never initiate a conversation if I saw him or even go over to say hi. No. But I’m not going to punish myself for his actions anymore. He proudly manipulated me. That’s him. Not me. It’s not my fault that he’s that person that destroys people. I gave him the best I had; not perfect, but I tried. By his own admission, he never put in a single ounce of effort. He was happy & then when he got spooked, he made the choice not to talk to me & push me away. HE chose to reach out right when I was moving on & then watch my heart break from the sidelines, boosting his ego. He didn’t have to put my friend in the middle, further straining my relationship with someone I’m wondering how much of a friend they were. He could have called, sent flowers with a card, come to my damn door. But no, he needed to feel loved & I was an easy target . He likely needs help (& I wanted to help him so badly), because my friend was right, he’s everything she said he was & I was just another notch, while he was the love of my life…for now. But like 80% of the population, he deflects it on to the women he crushes. Always them. Never him. I wasn’t perfect, but I was good to him. It’s all I wanted to be. I forgave all the jerk stuff. The number of times he walked out for no reason. Gave him a free pass to walk back in. I made mistakes, sometimes I needed reassurance. Sometimes I overreacted. Sometimes I pushed too hard to get to know him because I was so afraid that he’d turn out like the others & physically hurt me. I let my own past scare me & I would get afraid that he’d walk out again that I would try too damn hurt. But I was good to him & his child, better than I had been to any man. But, it’ll always need to be more. Even after all of this time & his claims he manipulated me for fun, etc. I still believed that he was the facade he created. But now I know they were right. He is everything they said & not worth the tears I cried.

So, I’ll meet someone & they’ll be the one. Or the one that sticks. But it doesn’t scare me anymore. Because he’ll never love anyone, not me, not himself, to evaluate why he continues to hit & run, only to look back & reach out & hurt me over & over. I used to believe that he loved me, & that he needs to work on himself because he leaves all of these people in his wake, & that I wanted to help him figure out why he did this to himself so I could give him the emotional support he needed, but I think maybe my friend is right & he’s too screwed up to love someone (or himself) & be happy. He’ll never love anyone, not me, not his child, not himself to admit that underneath all of the narcissism & bravado & vanity, he hates himself & still asks “what if” about every choice he makes. He punishes himself so much for past sins & women for the mistakes the one he loved first made & had he let me in, I would have helped him have the life that he wanted. But he’ll never admit that he hates himself & always hide behind his ego. Every woman will fail him, because he wants everything & nothing & complete control & to never have to make a choice to be second guessed & judged. He’ll never let someone close enough to him to let him see that he doesn’t need to push everyone away, he doesn’t need to play the jerk womanizer. He’ll always want perfection (while giving next to nothing) & no one is perfect. He’ll never see that someone loving him the way he wants isn’t “clingy” or “too invested” & he’ll always hold onto to the ghosts of the few women he did love & that hurt him (or that he hurt) & use that as an excuse for why he hurts women. He’ll always do this, to every woman & hide behind the masks & he’ll never truly be happy. Somehow, that is the saddest part of it all. Because he deserves to be happy. Not “happy with me,” but happy in life, even if his source of happiness was tearing me apart for sport, because while he may have lied, I didn’t. I only wanted him here if he wanted to be, because he loved me & because he knew that no matter what happened, I’d love him unconditionally & I’d do anything to make him happy. But if he didn’t want that, then I wanted him to find what he did want. I only believed it was me because he always found a way to talk about me, observe me. I never chased him, he sought me out, to the point where it strained my friendships because they felt in the middle. I let him go, just like he asked, but he made sure I knew he was around, just close enough to keep his hold but not enough to be here. I didn’t think it was a game; I thought he loved me & didn’t know what he wanted. I thought he was torn between doing the right thing & his own selfish ways. He always said I knew him better than he knew himself, so I thought if I just waited & lived my life, he’d sort through his desire to be the “family man” & “the man whore” & his love for me & my girls would win out in the end. I wanted to give him every chance to come back, finally let me in & I would love the person he truly was. I knew how hard it was for him & I was going to love him so much that he never had to feel like anything less than my Prince Charming. Had he ever shown up, he told me to tell him no, but I wouldn’t have. No, I would have told him that I love him & I understand. I will always understand & I’d hold him & tell him we made mistakes, but we’ll learn & get through it. I was going to give him whatever he needed to feel happy & comfortable & he’d finally have what he always wanted; someone who loved him enough to make him a priority, & look past all of the self sabotage, love him when he’s his worst & take the meanness & see the man he truly is; the vulnerable & sweet person who just wants someone to love them but fears losing them or letting them down, so he has to push them away, hurt them, break their heart so his will never get broken again. I wanted to show him that as he got closer, he wouldn’t get hurt, because I couldn’t hurt him, because it’s not in my nature. Even now, I couldn’t hurt him because I’m in love with him & want him to be happy. I could never have hurt him on purpose & had I by accident, I would have done anything I could to make it up to him. I was going to love him enough to make up for all the women that broke his heart. But, in the end, he’ll always pull away so he doesn’t get hurt again. Kill or be killed…& I got slaughtered. He lied; I didn’t. I meant what I said; I love him & only want the best for him, because he is a good man somewhere in there. The man I love was real. So, I’ll choose to remember the man I love, and not the man he showed me he really was and someday, I hope he becomes the man I saw, because he’s amazing & could change the world. He is the sweet, gentle man I fell in love with & he could be so much more than he allows himself to be, if he would heal the wounds that forced him to become what he is; a broken man who refuses to let anyone near him & pushes away everyone who truly loves him in favour of boosting his ego, not realizing that if he would let someone truly love him, he could be happy, the greatest ego boost of all.