Friday, March 30, 2012

all about why my (EX)husband and i are in the middle of a divorce

alternately titled: the post i keep promising. its finally here.

i was 19 and about 3 months into a long distance relationship. i had just flown up to the bay area and was spending 3 or 4 days with ex. because those days partially fell on weekdays, ex was at work and i was spending the morning relaxing in his apartment until he got off.

i called my mom to let her know i was safe and sound and she made a comment to me about looking for red flags. not a bad comment, just a you-are-young-and-dating-is-fairly-new-to-you-so-i'm-gonna-give-my-little-girl-advice comment. i'll be painfully honest and say that i kind of blew her off. as we've established, i was young. and even more painfully honest? i was in a rough mindset of just wanting to be loved and accepted. so blowing her off was more because, in my mind, this guy loved me and wanted me so i could deal with any red flag thrown at me.

after moving back 5 months ago, i went to lunch with my little sister and she asked me what the red flags were. "i have no problem telling you what the specific red flags were that i ignored, but what i'd rather tell you and what i think is more important is not to ignore them. there are good, sweet, wholesome, love-you-for-exactly-who-you-are men out there. so don't ignore them. no guy or girl is perfect. there are going to be little things. but those big things that make you pause and go hmmm? don't ignore them. address them. give them clout. make sure its not something that is going to make you miserable down the line." that's what i said.

in all honesty, the things that happened in my marriage got a lot worse after the wedding and a million times worse after buying a house. but there were little signs all along. there were fights where i thought about packing up and leaving and was sweet-talked into staying. there were promises of changing. aren't there always?

what it comes down to is this: i was never good enough. i was never skinny enough. i never made enough money. i was too careless. i didn't clean the house the right way. i didn't wear the right clothes. i didn't spend time with him the right way. i didn't watch the right tv shows. i didn't read the right books. i didn't interact with his family right. i didn't make the right decisions. i spent too much time blogging and tweeting. i made too big of a mess crafting. i didn't decorate our house right. i didn't drive right. i didn't buy gifts right. i didn't go after the right profession. i didn't dream the right dreams. i wasn't the person he wanted to mold me to be.

i wish i was kidding. i wish i was being ridiculous and exaggerating but unfortunately, that's not the case.

i will be the first to admit i'm not perfect. not even close. but he managed to take a perfectly good human being and make her feel worthless.

i know what you're thinking. why did you put up with this? why did you allow him to make you feel this way?

i wish i had all the answers. i can tell you that, like i said above, i wanted to be loved and he loved me. maybe he didn't love me the way a person deserves to be loved. but he loved me in his own way and i was stupid enough to think that was normal.

after moving in to the new house, he was completely consumed by it. i think that's fairly normal but suddenly we had a mortgage and a 3600 square foot house to furnish and never enough money coming in and that was my fault of course. somehow in the 6 months we lived there, i managed to take off my rose-colored glasses that i had been hiding behind and started seeing things for what they really were.

it was a rough realization to come to. it was painful in a way i can't even put into words. i cried a lot of tears. i spent too much time staring off into space trying to figure out how things had gotten so bad. what had i done wrong. how had i gotten myself to this place. after a couple months of going through the motions while i had an inner turmoil going on, i packed up a bag and drove to my parents to get away. i laid it all out on the table. told them the truth about the fact that my husband didn't even believe in unconditional love. and the truth about everything else. and i just spent time in the moment trying to figure out how to move forward.

you pretty much know the rest of the story. 3 weeks after that, i packed as much as i could fit in my car and officially left for good.

i am posting this now because i desperately want to put this behind me. because this is a post i have wanted to write but now i want it done. i have gone through a lot of stages in the last 5 months and now i am ready for the rehashing part to be over.

i have told people about my life with ex. the good, the bad, and the ugly. there were good times. i can't deny that. but the bad and ugly? was my daily. the good came way too rarely to ever have a happy life. a nice big house and a vacation every now and then don't make a person happy. they aren't enough. ex seemed to think that those things were enough and it gave him grounds for which to treat me horribly. unfortunately it doesn't work that way. he doesn't seem to understand that but that is no longer something i can worry about.

because everybody seems to ask it (its a legitimate question) i will answer it ahead of time. there was no physical abuse. it was an emotional and verbal issue but he never hit me.

so there it is. i believe in being real and being honest. and more than anything, i believe that my story can help someone else. looking back on my mindset at that time, i don't know that i would have listened had someone tried to tell me (and in actuality, people did in subtle ways and i ignored it) but i still hope that, like i told my little sister, someone may read this and pass it on or whatever, and remember that red flags are there for a reason. and maybe its not a huge deal now but think logically about whats behind it and realize people are who they are and there are certain things ingrained in them that will never change.

a couple months ago, i was up north getting the rest of my belongings and ex told me about a girl he was dating at the time. at one point, i asked "so is she super skinny?" (almost completely joking but remember, my weight was one of the biggest issues between us) and he said "i wouldn't say super skinny, no" and i said "oh you better be careful, we know how you have an issue with that" and his response was "well you know how i like to have a project." after months of him telling me he had changed that was it right there. the moment when i knew without a doubt that people can change here and there but that man would always be the person he had been for the last 7 years. he would never stop making me feel like crap unless i was his ideal weight. and that is just one thing.

i will end this lengthy and heavy post with this: i believe wholeheartedly in the goodness of people. it legitimately upsets me to realize some people are just plain mean no matter how much i put my friendly, altruistic self forward. i believe ex is a good person in a lot of ways. there are some inherently good things about him. i can't deny that. but he and i were not a good fit. my loving, kind, supportive nature was just not compatible with him - the good or the bad.

i truly, from the bottom of my heart, hope he finds happiness. i honestly don't know what that looks like or means for him at this point but i do hope he finds it. i believe there is a right person for him. and i hope with every ounce of my being that he finds that person. and even more so, no matter what it is, i hope he will be happy. we all deserve happiness in one way or another.

(i will answer any and all questions via email from your comments or you can email me directly at snapshotsofjoyblog[at]gmail[dot]com i have no problem answering questions, hearing your stories, giving advice or just being there for you if need be. please ask :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Random Thoughts from a Hospital Waiting Room

My grandma was admitted into the ICU today after my mom was supposed to take her to the doc for a stomach bug but she ended up being so weak, that my mom took her straight to the ER. Turns out they think she had a small heart attack sometime in the last couple days. Doing tests and such tonight and tomorrow and then we'll know more.

In the meantime, I packed up my work stuff and my brand spankin' new MacBook Pro (eeeek!) and I have spent the afternoon working in a hospital waiting room next to my sister who is doing the same thing. And of course, hanging out with my grandma when its my turn :)
Sidenote... loooove my teal lace TOMS :)

So I've done tons of work and now I blog. If I have to enter one more volunteer shift into the software right now, I might lose it. 1700 shifts I'm creating. 1700. Yeah, we're blogging now.

Anyway... so I got a new MacBook Pro.. did I mention that? SUPER excited! I've been wanting this and saving for this from my etsy shop for a long long time. I am beyond happy to finally have it in my little hands. And MK helped me get a super good deal on it with his connections. So bonus!

Other random thoughts...

...things are going really well with the boy. I'm a smitten kitten. :)

...my little sister just moved back to So Cal and I'm super happy to have her home. All 3 sisters are finally back in the same city for the first time in 8 years. Craziness.

...is it May 5th yet? (that's when the film festival is over and I can breathe/have a life again)

...I'm a happy girl. Content and love the place I'm in emotionally with the divorce stuff right now. Good things.

...and lasting, prayers for my grandma are muy appreciated right now. I think she'll pull through but, at 85,   I worry for her a lot.

Happy almost Wednesday :)


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Flowers at Work


Work has been crazy intense the past couple weeks. I feel like I keep saying that but then it gets more intense and i'm surprised by it for some reason still.

Wednesday of last week was a super frustrating day for me and I was beyond overwhelmed to the point of calling my sister and my mom for a pep talk because I was ready to leave and cry in my car for awhile. I felt like I was drowning and there was no coming up for breath.

At some point that morning I texted MK (boy I'm dating) whining about how overwhelmed I was and what a crappy day it was starting out to be. He was, as usual, beyond understanding and supportive and sweet about it.

I managed to get through that day and Thursday my sister was in the office to help me get some things done that were extremely time-sensitive. She and I left for lunch and when we returned, a couple of my interns were standing in my office right by my computer. I didn't think much of it until they moved and I saw a large purple box sitting on my keyboard.

For the first time in my life, a boy sent me flowers at work. Two bunches of beautiful orange tulips in an adorable tin. I was all cheesy and smiley the whole day.

The note said "Just thinking of you and hope these make you smile :)" So simple and yet it meant so much.
Guys? I'm smitten :)

**Photos taken by me... please do not steal**

Monday, March 19, 2012

on a mini ah-ha moment

It's almost 8am. and I have been at work since 5:30am. Oh and I went to bed last night at 12am. Tired is a major understatement right now. I had to be up at 4am to take my sister to the airport which I can see from my office so it was pointless to drive 25 minutes home and back again. So I'm at work. I have gotten a lot done in the last 2 hours but I hit a wall about 20 minutes ago. So now I'm blogging instead of working. Productive.

Work has been crazy intense in the last couple weeks and I have to remind myself to stop and breathe and enjoy this stage of life. Because the truth is, while I still have my moments, this is a good stage.

I feel like I'm in a really good place mentally and emotionally right now.

I was talking to a boy (now to be referred to as MK) yesterday (more on the boy later) about how I am feeling regarding the whole divorce and marriage and ex situation and I had a minor one of those ah-ha moments.

I am really content with things right now. As I was explaining to MK, I don't really have issues surrounding the divorce or marriage but I do have some deep-seeded self-esteem issues that stem from the way I was treated and talked to. They will always be there a little bit.

However, (ah-ha moment...) I have realized how much better and happier I am since leaving. Suddenly I realize that I have worth and that I am actually kind of a cool person in some respects (I have my faults though... let's not get crazy-sauce). Maybe I'm not the careless, overweight, loser that I was made out to feel like on a daily basis. Maybe I do deserve to be loved for exactly who I am and not only if I do certain things the "right" way.

It's amazing how much happier I am with myself. There are things I'd like to change (oh hey, 10 pounds that came creeping back with the emotions of leaving my husband, you're welcome to go away now) but we all have those and in reality, I always will have those. But on a whole, 4 1/2 months after leaving my ex, I am a whole new girl. I am happy and fun and remember how great it is to laugh and just be without the stress of trying to please a person who could never be pleased wholely no matter who hard I tried.

As far as the ex, he is still fighting pretty hard. I get texts or emails every couple of days telling me he misses me or whatever but at this point, I just take it in stride. It'll phase out on its own and he'll move on (he already did once...). But here's the thing about his texts... instead of making me feel sad about us being over, they remind me of why its over. For example, yesterday I received this text: "Gosh I miss your beautiful smiling face so much." and my first thought was... 'you mean the smile you hated because I have one tooth that sticks out a little too much and you thought I should get braces for it? That's the smile you miss so much?' Of course I don't say these things anymore because they just start a big debate where he tries to tell me he never meant it and he loves me just as I am but all I can think is, you should have loved me like that for the last 7 years. So that's my thoughts on that. And a little glimpse of the whys... I swear I still intend on doing a big post more on the whys soon.

But for now. I am happy. I like who I am now. The person I get to be without G. The person I lost along the way in spending all my energy on trying to be who he wanted. I like this girl. :)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

dating...

I don't know how to date...

It's true. Hear me out.

I was 19 when I met my ex. He lived 400 miles away and we did the whole long distance thing for 6 months. I then moved to the area of California he was living in and moved in with him. There wasn't a lot of convential dating involved. Sure we "dated" before living together but for us dating meant a weekend of intense time together spending as many minutes as we could cram into that weekend together doing as many things as possible (get your minds outta the gutter.. not like that). He was in So Cal? That meant Disneyland, Sea World, Universal, dinners with my family, dates out, movies, cuddling, kissing, talking, whatever. I was in Nor Cal? Horse races, dinners with family, San Francisco, Sacramento, dates out, movies, cuddling, kissing, talking, whatever. All normal dating stuff but crammed into 2 or 3 days together and then one of us would hop on a plane, go home, and not see each other for 2 or 3 weeks. That's not real dating. He told me he loved me very early on. He met my parents moments after meeting me in person (we met online - no not a dating site, it was a fluke). The whole thing moved fast and was intense in those "dating" months.

Before that, I dated a little but not a ton. I did have one other kind of relationship (rebound/crazy-status much?!) since my ex and I separated but even that wasn't conventional dating and was completely ridiculous.

So I don't know how to date. And I certainly don't know how to date someone that actually lives in the same county. Its always been different.

I mean do you talk on the phone daily? Is a day (or multiple days) of just texting normal? Is one date a week typical? Even when the person lives 20 minutes or less from you?

I don't know. This is a whole new ballgame for me.

But its fun. And I'll be honest... I kind of feel like I'm living those 20s I never lived since I moved in with a guy at 19, was engaged at 21 and married at 23. Now at 26, I'm actually dating like a normal 20-something.

[disclaimer... that is not to say there is anything wrong with getting married young. Plenty of people find the perfect (for them) person when they are young and stay happy and in love for their whole lives. Please understand I am not trying to be negative on that situation with that last paragraph. It would have been great and I would be happy to have that situation had my ex not continually put me down and emotionally abused me on a regular basis.]


Wanna give me some big girl, real life dating tips?! I'll take 'em! :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Content

I went a little MIA over the last few weeks as things got a little rough in my brain. My thoughts were all over the place and I couldn't even make sense of them in my own head let alone to anyone else.

But I'm in an okay place now.

About 2 months ago I started questioning everything and I do mean everything. Did I do the right thing? Did I just make the biggest mistake of my life? Who am I? Where do I want to be? What kind of life do I want? What do I want my future to look like? Who the eff am I?!

It was frustrating to say the least.

But somehow going through all that has led me to this okay place I'm in now. This place of contentment. I'm still confused about a lot of things but I'm in a place where I am okay with that confusion. I have accepted that things are going to be like that sometimes.

I am working my butt off at my job and I am making stuff for etsy in the little bits of spare time I can eek out. I am tutoring a 10 year old and spending time with my sister. I am dating (I know...) which is weird and new and different and ridiculously nerve-wracking.

But I'm okay with that.

I am content to take it one day at a time and not be in a rush to have all the answers and make any big decisions right now.
I am content to work hard and continue to do well at it.
I am content to date (well, kind of... I find dating to be so stressful) and have fun.
I am content to spend as much time with my sister and with my best friend as possible because they are my rocks.
I am content to vent and tell every single thought in my brain to my best blog friend ever who will never judge me and will always be the long lost soul sister I never had.
I am content to return to blogging and pour my thoughts out to all your wonderful friends.

I am content.