For this one we are going a little deeper into Fifty Shades of why the big deal and I’m tackling the epic notion of love that rescues, saves, transforms.
Hi Lovies, in case you haven’t met me yet my name is Laura and I was a classic fixer until not so very long ago. If you don’t know what I mean let me explain. I have attracted a lot of emotionally broken dudes in my time, the last being my borderline sociopath ex-Paul. Short version is I met Paul at a time in my life when I didn’t have my shit together. It was an online relationship that brought havoc and turmoil in my life, heart, soul and mind. It was the biggest heartbreak of my life and it changed me for the better. Paul may have been the last boy I tried to fix, but he certainly wasn’t the first, or second, or third. I used to have a habit of falling in lust, like or love with men who were emotionally crippled commitment phobes who I allowed to string me along, sometimes for years at a time. Like all of us, I have my own set of childhood issues and wanting to feel loved and needed, cherished, paid attention to were all hot buttons for me. I would entangle myself with these guys and then if they weren’t giving me what I needed because of whatever issues they had I’d try to give more and more to them in an attempt to fix it, I’d try to be more and more what they wanted so they wouldn’t leave. Nothing extreme, just your typical, that guy treats you like shit why are you still with him, BS. Why? Well a myriad of reasons many of which I have written about, but for today I’m focusing on two things.
1. I did not love myself or think I deserved to be loved, they may have also felt the same way about themselves.
2. I wanted my love and care and how awesome I was to magically fix the guy. I wanted him to magically change through repeated exposure to my love, attention and personality.
Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight are books that along with Beauty and the Beast or any rom-com movie where the guy is magically transformed into You Complete Me, do nothing but perpetuate this myth of love that saves. And it’s absolute bullshit…but it makes for good reading and watching because somehow many of us are programmed to swoon over that stuff. We feel the characters angst, we see the love blooming, the set backs, the pain of the turmoil, the emotional break through and the happily ever after. I want a love like THAT, we think. I want my poor broken, sad, fucked up little man boy to love me, to change from a Beast to a prince, my prince. It’s fine on the movie or Nook screen, but real love can’t and shouldn’t work this way.
Anastasia’s love transforms Christian, one brutal emotional roller coaster ride at a time. I don’t think the guy stops trying on his forward momentum of transformation from the moment she trips into his office until the epilogue when they are expecting their 2nd baby. When I started reading this book the first guy I though of was Paul, my personal fifty shades. Not knowing what all the hype was about I got curious and started reading, mostly to see what the sex scenes were like. Then I was confronted with Christian, severe mommy issues, emotional issues, self loathing and no love of himself. Deja Vu, I buckled in for the potential emotional roller coaster and took the ride. He always trying, so did Paul, but unlike Paul, Christian is fictionally created to easily succeed at it. As I read I kept waiting for him to turn completely sociopath, or some other kind of evil monsterliness. This never happens, he is written with plenty of reason to roll your eyes at his controlling behavior and adolescent reactions to anything and everything, but he falls immediately for Ana and spends the next 3 books slowly changing, working to move forward out of the darkness and into the light with Ana. For her part Ana decides early on that this man is worth 110% of all her effort and seeks to bring him into said light with her, where they can be happy and he can be whole. Why anyone with any brains would want someone THAT messed up for her first real boyfriend I couldn’t begin to tell you, it’s fiction after all.
Shorty read before me and was worried about my emotional reaction to the last book, it get’s worse so if you need to show up on my doorstep when you’re done that door is open, she told me. I was just done with book one at that time. At the end she leaves him, wants no part of the sub/dom deal. If he wants to be with her it’s going to have to be in a normal and vanilla relationship. The 2nd book starts with him winning her back. I wondered very briefly what would of happened if I’d managed to make good on any of my attempts to remove myself from Paul’s life in order to try to push him to be what I wanted; what he said he wanted to be, for himself, for me, and for us. My fifty shades was either trying or pretending to try to get himself together, it never happened. I kept reading into book 3, and I had no choice but to tackle the theme staring me in the face, I wanted to save Paul, to fix him. I wanted my love to heal all of his emotional wounds. I wanted to be THAT girl for him. It never happened. I admit I got a little teary eyed, when Ana is in the hospital and the author is clearing up ALL of Christian’s emotional issues in one chapter while Ana drifts in and out of consciousnesses. before that it was all three steps forward two steps back and THAT is an emotional game I was very familiar with, because I lived it. Who knew a mediocre set of books would allow me to see and reconcile that while I was living that nightmare I wasn’t trying to fill a Babu hole with Paul, I was trying to fill Paul’s hole for him. It’s not the first time a book or movie has enlightened me out of nowhere. I once went right home and broke up with a guy after watching “He Said , She Said” or whatever that movie with Molly Ringwald and Kevin Bacon was called.
I’m not saying there aren’t real life examples of guys and girls that decided to get themselves together when they found “the one”, or “the one” left them. My ex-Mick got his stuff together when I left him, because I was the third girl he loved to do so for the exact same reason; his inability to share any kind of intimacy and allow a girl to get and stay close. It was too late for me to stick around but he is happily married now. Everyone has things inside of them that could use work, and another person could certainly serve as a catalyst to spark the desire to change, or be a pillar of love and support while someone is working to change. Love is supposed to be team work, but here is the thing…
It is not your job to fix someone else, you can’t, shouldn’t even. It is your job to love yourself, own your life, seek change and growth, to fearlessly be yourself. Only then can you properly give to another person. When you are completely reliant on someone else for ALL your emotional upkeep I think they call that co-dependent ( Christian is very co-dependent). No one can fix you, you can’t fix or save anyone else. You have to love you complete with beautiful flaws enough to believe that you DO deserve the best life possible. If you don’t, then you go around making the same mistakes in relationships over and over wondering why there aren’t any good men/women out there. Or in the case of the broken one, they get left or bail on every relationship they have because they feel like they didn’t deserve you anyway. The broken boy sees himself as unlovable, unworthy, he has no emotional skills worth coveting in a relationship. He isn’t fixable, HE CANNOT LOVE YOU BECAUSE HE DOESN’T LOVE HIMSELF. My attention, empathy, understanding, sexiness, feisty personality, attempts to make Paul see himself in the light I initially saw him in were never ever going to work. I’m pretty sure this is almost a universal truth.
Successful relationships require whole people who love and respect themselves enough to give appropriately, to set and hold to limits and boundaries. How can anyone else love or respect you if you don’t love and respect yourself. Stop messing with potential partners that don’t have that down. You are beautiful and lovable and you deserve better.
I ran 7.5 miles and then did 30 push ups earlier today. I’ll get to that in another post some other time, hopefully soonish. I’ve had my first ever ice bath, wasn’t as bad as I thought and finished my cleaning chores so I can finally sit down and write.
I had to actually vacuum my own home today and it got me thinking about cleaning. . I pay The Ladies to clean the whole thing every 3 weeks. Well, to be fair Babu pays them to do it. So other than dishes or the more than occasional disaster I flat out prefer not to clean, ever. It’s not that I mind cleaning, it does a lot for the clearing of a mind or the satisfaction of a job well done, it’s just that there are always at least 100 other things I’d rather be doing. When we didn’t have The Ladies, Babu and I split the chores we couldn’t pawn off on the kids evenly, and that division of work applies to what’s left for us even with regular The Ladies visits. I could go into an entire side bar about how much I loathe laundry, but I’m trying to stay on track here because very soon I’m getting to my point.
I have never been a neat freak. We don’t live in filth , most of the time, but I’ve been known to let dishes pile up for days and days before doing them. They aren’t going anywhere. I recently solved this problem by assigning MiniMe and the Destroyer to dish duty. Babu does 90% of the cooking because he wants to. I am a great cook but ever since he moved back in this is just how it has been and I’m certainly not going to screw myself out of that deal. The rule in our house is whoever doesn’t cook, cleans. As the kids are 6 and 9 now, and they eat the family meal, they can participate in the family chores. I’m not sending my kids out into the world with no life skills. I don’t want my future children in law glaring at me because my kids don’t know how to load or unload a dishwasher, or scrub a toilet, or fold their laundry. Houses and families don’t run themselves and they live in this house and are part of our family. One of our family rules is that everyone participates in the running of the household.
Since I’ve never been a neat freak when you come to my house you get what you get. I don’t play the do special freak out cleaning game. I don’t subscribe to the Mother or MIL is coming so the house has to be spotless crap. If they are coming to see a clean house then they can clean it if they don’t like it. Thankfully I don’t have a Mother or MIL with cleaning issues, so this has worked out well for me. In reality there are only 2 people I will go out of my way to clean for.
the first is more a set of people than a person. People who have never been to my house before because I don’t want them to think we live like pigs all the time. This way when they come back over that 2nd time and see that we actually DO live in a messy house they are more apt to forgive me because they saw the nice cleanish pretty house the first time. I have even been known, in times we don’t have maids, to clean my house but leave something uncleaned on purpose because I don’t want to set the bar too high. Like the dusting, or the mopping etc. I work, Babu works, we both have outside activities and if you’re spending too much time looking at the dust bunnies or dog prints on the floor and making judgments about that, then you are a bitch and don’t need to be in my house or in my inner circle. I will ALWAYS try to make sure the toilets are clean, the drive is shoveled and the couch is febreezed because we aren’t savages. But those 3 things are pretty much my only standards.
Except for person #2. I will go out of my way to clean for Chef Badass. Chef Badass is a professional. He likes a clean working area and does not like to cook in a messy kitchen. Our relationship has deepened over the years as he has spent more time cooking in my kitchen, but even in the early stages I tried to make sure the kitchen was presentable because I could just tell he would prefer not to cook in a mess. This means I make sure the sink is empty and clean, the stove top is clear from gunk, the counters are clear and as spotless as I can get them. He has never demanded this, but it has become a bit of an inside joke with us and at this point in our relationship he would probably tell me to get my a$$ is the kitchen and prep it properly for him. I’m not entirely doing this out of unselfish motives. His food is amazing and he is probably going to be famous some day. Famous like 4-5 star restaurant maybe even on TV famous. It started out as sucking up. If I give Chef B a great kitchen to cook in maybe he will cook for me another time beyond this one. If I give him a really clean kitchen when I walk in with enough ingredients for a DOUBLE batch of B’s and G’s and sweetly demand he comply with my desires maybe he won’t tell me to STFU. I may have mentioned previously that, and I mean this in the most love filled way possible, Chef B is kind of a dick. He is unabashedly himself, and all chefs are probably a bit of a dick, just like all surgeons are arrogant. These personality traits are almost required to be a good one. One day Chef Badass is going on to big things. We have loved and supported he and Ava G since that very first night I got her wasted on wine while she was helping him cater out Open House. One day he will have his own place, and he will command that place in whatever way he sees fit, it will flourish. My not so secret hope for this eventuality is a personal bottle of vodka in the cooler and a stool in the back with my name on it. The cute boy named Julio to fetch my Vodka and pour it for me is entirely optional. ” Chef, the crazy curly haired lady is here again.” I want to be able to walk into his place and walk right back to the kitchen because we are just that close. Truthfully, I dream of this stool/vodka combo as a little nirvana where I can escape the world and enjoy a fabulous make me whatever meal without having to worry that there are no reservations for 6+ months. I want Chef B to succeed, and I hope that when he does he remembers all those times I cleaned my kitchen and let him use my printer. 🙂
Which brings us full circle. Tonight Chef B and Ava G are coming for dinner, which Chef B is cooking. And Uncle Shaggy is coming over and bringing his new girlfriend, who has never been in my house. The Ladies don’t come until Wednesday so the house is a bit worse for wear at the moment. But I febreezed the couch, vacuumed up the dog/cat hair from the hardwoods, made MiniMe clean the guest bathroom toilet and made darn sure the kitchen was clean for Chef Badass. I hope he remembers 5 years from now that I like Ciroc Red Berry, a stool with a back and a foot rest and to hire a cute waiter named Julio.
I think some people in my life think Babu and I just jumped back into being together, that I lost Paul, immediately begged Babu to take me back, and that he just stupidly and willingly came. This used to bother me slightly because I was still carrying around the new shame of the whole ordeal, now it just makes me laugh. Let me write it out for you another time, it would have been emotionally easier to simply go on and get divorced. That printed out; ready for the notary Divorce Decree was the weapon of choice in those first weeks when we didn’t know what we wanted to do.
It’s time to revisit communication. First let’s review. Remember way back in something like Part 2 when I said that I should of run to Babu and poured my heart completely out about what I was going through and the emotionally issues it was causing? I’ve mentioned the hours and hours of awful conversation we had as we started down this journey, all that time spent discussing one yucky situation after another. We collectively smoked through a pack a day because of all the time we spent in the garage having Mommy and Daddy are going to go in the garage and talk time while the children literally ran amok inside the house.
After we spent a weekend together at the Chateau, we came home and went back to our regularly scheduled lives as separate people. We still switched the kids on Fridays after school; the opposite parent still had dinner with the kids on Tuesday’s. We did make an effort to talk more about what was happening to us, and to spend more time together as a couple and as a family. What this looked like to the kids was small things like Mommy being invited to dinner at Daddy’s house and vice versa, or the babysitter coming so Mommy and Daddy could go out. We didn’t talk to the kids about what any of it meant, or act like it was anything special, we just did it. We also took a lot of time during those visits to engage in many conversations of varying degrees of emotional discomfort and potentially explosive results.
When we were ruining our marriage and getting divorced we went through lots of anger and yelling, had heart baring, gut wrenching talks. We learned through all of that practice to get better. We had no choice if we were going to become any kind of amicable co parents and all of that drama of our journey helped to teach us how. Now that we were trying to figure out if we wanted to be a couple again we had to sit down and have more of those talks. Two people who only weeks ago were ready to move on had to sit down and re-hash their separation, what we learned about ourselves, each other, our relationship. It was like we were attacking it on two fronts. Offensively with things like both of us writing down what kind of relationship we want (with anyone) and then meeting to discuss and share. Then the defenses of anger, grief and confusion that arose when things like: I realized I never tried anything new and when I did I was a douche about it, so while we were separated I hung out with this friend girl and did all this amazing shit I’d never do with you; or how many guys did you sleep with were addressed. This wasn’t 2 high school kids getting back together after a stupid fight about what Betty said in the lunch room, this was a 12 year relationship that was ripped apart in an amicable but deep and ugly fashion, scars were being reopened, new wounds were being drawn, we still had the “Fuck you, I’ll sign those papers right now and meet you at the bank at noon and we will get divorced anyway”. We both pulled that line MORE than once before we realized if we were going to have any chance, we had to take that card off the table. I’d end up divorcing him on proving I don’t bluff alone and that would certainly have been obstinate and stupid stubborn. We didn’t do anything about the filing, but we had to remove it from our conversation. Removing it from the conversation forced us both back to communicating emotionally uncomfortable things in an as safe and open and environment as we could provide for each other. My opinion is this communication intimacy is the inner glue that keeps any relationship together. Intimacy deeper than just I know a lot about the other person and how their mind works, what is really in their heart, what are their triggers and issues. True intimacy allows you to communicate the scariest thing you can imagine and trusting that no matter how awful it is, sharing the fearlessly be yourself BGP truth of it and trusting that the other person is engaged, committed and capable of loving you in spite of whatever it is. You become a team that sharpens each other, trusts each other, knows when to let each other be and holds each other up in times of need. True intimacy requires the not always pleasant truth. I have some level of this intimacy with many of my Besties. There is no relationship more important to have this in than with the person you plan on making a life and children with. I have close to 12 years of marriage in and I will tell you that life and children will do everything they can to tear you apart. They say pick a mate that is easy to be with in the beginning because “they” know it gets a lot harder as time and life changes are added. The stakes are greater and Babu and I both seem to understand that now.
We baby stepped our way through week after week, then month after month until one week he went for a visit to Florida and when he got home he came to the house and never left. Eventually he made the decision to let the apartment go and move all of the displaced stuff back home. I’ve mentioned some of the miss-steps and distractions of our reconciliation path before. The first year was a little bit of a roller coaster, but we got through it, each on our own, as a couple and as a family. We are not perfect people, we don’t have a perfect marriage, our family has flaws, but we work to be engaged, committed and capable of loving each other to keep that intimacy glue strong in our marriage. This doesn’t mean we go around having these kinds of talks all the time these days, or that when we do they are as emotionally charged or as yucky as those from our almost divorce. Lives always have set backs but are not always in a state of crisis.
I think we have reasonably reached the end of our story Lovies. Never one to close a door, I may write an epilogue or random AD post from time to time if I have something I need to say or add. Thanks for reading it, I hope you laughed, learned, and loved.
This series is published roughly once a week on Thursday’s.
You can start at the beginning here
The timeline is here.
Last week we covered Lesson 1 of Reconciliation, We each worked on ourselves. Even before the Divorce got put on hold we both went to individual counseling. Not to work on our marriage but to work on ourselves. What that meant was we were more aware people with a better capability to communicate properly with each other. We had a chance to be able to see mistakes we each had made in our marriage without the others judgement of those mistakes. The great news about this was the change it caused in Babu. In typical man style, before he went to individual therapy he thought there was absolutely nothing wrong with him, that he had zero issues and that everything was my fault. He was the great “victim” in all of this. He learned he was wrong, that he had shit to own and change and without that realization and the work he put into himself and his actions over the summer we never would have been able to get back together or stay together. He realized there were things about himself that he needed to change, for him, not for me. He found his spine and he found his ability to evolve into a man, not a boy. He recognized things he could have done, should have done differently in our relationship. He discovered what kind of MAN he wanted to be and started to change his thought patterns and actions to become that man. I have talked a ton about doing work on myself so I’m not going to further outline it again. At our core we were still the same people we had always been. The foundation of almost 12 years of being a couple was still there. I once loved this man, he was still very much in love with me. For him what he truly wanted never wavered, I have heard it from him and from my SIL. He was the one in this situation that was trying to never give up while I was the one trying to push him away while I ran. I don’t think you often find love like that, and I’m grateful for it..now. I certainly didn’t always feel so positively about it during this debacle. Knowing he loved me like THAT is part of the reason we are still together today. He looked into himself and found some self respect and learned to love himself and change his actions to demand the respect he deserved from me as well. It was one of the game changers. I also learned a lot of things about our relationship that I needed to handle differently and together we set out to do that. But not at first.
At first we both had to seriously take a moment and determine if it was worth it to even try to get back together. We were as I have said numerous times, HOURS AWAY FROM DIVORCE. We were both over it, it was done, about to be over. It would have been so much easier to simply stay on course. To continue and go to the bank the next day, or the next and get that Divorce Decree notarized and take it to the judge. The kids and the adults were coming out the far end of the emotional tunnel. Everyone was used to the new dynamic and the new schedule. It was on the verge of becoming the new accepted normal. We had all been practicing it for 3 months, a new school year had already begun. Tab told me on more than one occasion that it is best if separations do not last longer than 6 months. She educated me that in her professional opinion, the longer things go on the closer everything DOES become to the new normal and it gets harder and harder to put things back together again. Basically you reach a point where you are actually creating even more new obstacles to a path of reconciliation if you let a separation go on too long. You both get settled into your new lives and re-adjusting them as well as the pressure s of trying to get back or stay together can be too much. I knew the clock was ticking on that window, and I knew I would have to make a firm decision very soon. Ultimately I decided to try because of Paul’s lies and because of our children. I felt I owed it to my kids, myself, and lastly Babu to really take a look at things with my new perspective and explore them. Because of Paul’s lies I couldn’t totally trust all my decisions and actions. His lies pushed me away from Divorce. I should thank him for being a despicable double douche bag. He tried to destroy me and instead played a major part in making my life much better and making me much better. Cheers to you Paul Jay Mathis!
I don’t know who started the, what are we going to do here, conversation, but I do remember the first thing we decided is that Babu would come with the kids and I on a pre-scheduled Bad Gurls and Families Vacation to the Chateau. I think it was probably more like I invited him to see how things went. This trip was scheduled over Labor Day Weekend, mine that year in the Holiday rotation. Before we almost divorced the Bad Gurls hadn’t really mixed the husbands much. I had gotten to know them both better over the summer due to the copious amount of time I spent with everyone. The Bad Gurls were down with Babu coming on the trip if I was and the Chateau is sort of “mine”. It does not belong to my family but we have a very strong claim to it and a long history of spending time there. My father’s ashes are buried on the property and I hadn’t been to visit more than 1-2 times since we put him there when I was preggers with MiniMe. I just told the kids that I invited daddy because The Chateau was a family vacation place and he was going to come. Never during our reconciliation was there a time when we sat those kids down and said Mommy and Daddy are getting back together. There were no guarantees that was going to happen and we were not about to get their hopes or only to break their little hearts again. I was still reeling from Paul, I was still crying almost daily even weeks and weeks later. Even though what Paul broke was a stronger me, not a shell of me that he met, I still had to pick myself back up from that loss and find some solid ground. I needed to make sure I wasn’t just running back to Babu. I needed to see if I thought I could love him again. I needed to see if it looked like we could forgive each other. Babu and I had lots and lots and LOTS to work through and I couldn’t do it all while in the state of grief I was in. We had to take baby steps.
More to come soon Lovies!
Happy Monday Lovies! I’ve really been enjoying participating in the Photo a Day Challenge for February created by Fat Mum Slim. It’s fairly quick and easy to do because it takes a lot less time to follow a pre- ordained theme and snap a few pictures than it does to write a post. Yesterday she released the themes for March and I had to stop and think.
Am I going to keep doing this photo a day thing? I’m not a photographer by trade or hobby. I haven’t taken daily pictures since the Gonewild days and though I enjoy coming up with ways to capture the theme, it seems a little silly to keep doing it if I’m not going to grow or make it more meaningful somehow. I’m only using my iPhone and instagram even though Babu got me a new point and click camera for Christmas. Should I maybe work to get technically better at photography if I’m going to keep taking daily pics? I haven’t written nearly as much since I embarked on this project and though I like providing daily, quick content , it isn’t nearly as satisfying as sharing my writing with you. The AD story is in the reconciliation phase and isn’t going to last forever. If anything ever develops on the Paul front I would probably write about it, but this isn’t a movie and there is no big movie gesture coming so the subject is drying up and folding into my life. I’ve got plenty of other things I write about, but do I really have time to commit to pics daily and writing 2-3 times a week? I was working through all of these things in my head last night as I was falling asleep when it hit me, what if I tried to take some of the photos and after I post them for the day, expand upon them and tell a story? As it just so happens today’s photo is a perfect example of how I can do that. I’m going to tell you the story of how the phrase BGP came into my life!
About 6 years ago when The Destroyer was a tiny baby and I was much fatter I started looking for local Mommies Groups to join. Now most of these groups are predominantly for Stay at Home Mom’s, of which I am most assuredly not. So I had to find a group or groups that were working mom friendly, and it was harder than you’d think. Also once I’d find one, I had to try to work their events into my schedule, determine if there was anyone I clicked with etc. Not to mention that running a Mom’s group is pretty much a thankless job and bitches are catty, so even if I found a group I liked, it didn’t always stay in existence or active as long as I’d like. So sometimes I would be in 2 or 3 at once as I navigated my way through the world of Mommy groups.
If you only know me through reading this blog or you don’t yet know me very well in real life you may be under the mistaken assumption that I go though life with my IDGAF ( I don’t give a fuck) if you like me amour permanently on. Let me tell you this is absolutely not the case. My, and I think most girls, preference is to be liked, to click with other girls and to have that initial click grow into a meaningful relationship. The truth is not everyone can like you, nor probably should they. As I have gotten older I’ve become much more comfortable with that realization, what other people think of you does not define who you are to anyone but them. If I care about you I absolutely care about what you think, I want your honest call bullshit opinion about things. If I don’t, well you are more than welcome to your opinion and to however strong your feelings about your opinion are. I’m not about to tell you how you should feel, only that if you’re hating you may want to find a better more productive outlet because hating is a lot of work and it’s sad that you spend time poisoning yourself and/or others on my account.
How does this tie in with joining new mommy groups? Well duh, when you are putting your self out there to a bunch of new people, you certainly hope it is an enjoyable experience, not a sucky one. When I joined Righteous Momma’s group I went to 1 or 2 events before it became obvious that this one bitch was seriously HATING on me. As in being obviously mean and trying to be a bully directly to me. I think she was jealous or alpha or whatever, but it became a, she was causing drama about me problem, and I was the NEW GIRL!! I didn’t let her bully me, but I didn’t get in the bitches face either because I was the new girl. I won’t go into the drama bitchy girl details, but the way it worked out was Righteous Momma called me or we ended up at an event where Bitchy wasn’t there and all the details came out. Turns out Bitchy had been causing a lot of other drama as well and Righteous reserved judgement on me until she got to know me better, and when she did she liked me. She is a prime example of fearlessly be yourself and she recognized that in me. She also recognized my BGP attitude. So Bitchy left the group and I stayed and made some friends I still have today . Her group fizzled but one of its main tenants was basically no drama and no bull shit. Put on your Big Girl Panties and own it. It was like God shined down from heaven and put words on how I think we all should conduct ourselves. I adopted the mantra and I have been seeking to live it to the fullest ever since. I can’t remember if I or Righteous added Big Boy Boxers to that mantra but I have ingrained it into my life and I seek to spread it to others as much as possible. Nothing bad can come from putting on the BGP and owning it. And if something bad does come of it, you will get through it, but it all starts with finding them, putting them on and seeking the fullest extent of ownership you are currently capable of. The flip side of that is learning to still love and forgive yourself when you can’t find them, or don’t want to put them on. We all go through times like that. Just keep trying 🙂 ❤
Love you Righteous Momma and now I have given you the rightful credit for bringing the mantra into my life!
This series is published no less than once a week on Thursday’s. Or you can start at the beginning here
A timeline can be found here.
How did you do it? This is the number one question I am asked about our reconciliation. I’m not sure I have a cut and dry answer for you Lovies, but I will try to represent and tell this part of the story in the same raw and no holds barred manner that I have given you the rest. But you simply must understand that this part of my world is a little more private, because it is the marriage I currently enjoy, instead of some bad fairy tale of the devil I willingly danced with. I always try to be very careful not to give other people’s secrets away in this public forum, unless those secrets were lies, and then well… you’ve already seen that part.
I’ve often said that I have a 1% husband. A Husband who is better than 99% of all husbands out there. He is MY husband so I suppose it is a good thing that I feel this way, but I want to get in writing those same type of caveat items that prefaced the r/gonewild and gone wild chat posts. My marriage is not perfect, there is no perfect marriage because there are no perfect people. There is also not a perfect person for you or for him, because neither of you are perfect. You are human, and as such beautifully flawed and always in some state of incomplete. There is no perfect mate, perfect time, perfect anything. It is a nice ideal to shoot for, we should seek to change, grow, become more, less, better whatever adjective you choose for whatever “it” is you seek to change. There are things about myself, Babu and our marriage that drive me absolutely NUTS! I fold them into this best life we are living because quite frankly that is simply just how life is. If you want happiness the first thing you need to do is let go of holding so tightly to whatever you think happy is. Here is a huge news flash for you Lovies, THINGS DO NOT ALWAYS TURN OUT OR EXIST IN THE MANNER YOU EXPECTED IN YOUR HEAD, LET IT GO AND ADAPT. Holding on too tightly to that expectation is only going to cause you emotional angst. Don’t wallow in that angst, if you spending time being pissed, angry, sad, or whatever other negative emotion you are harboring about what you wanted/expected/think you deserve you are only poisoning yourself and staying stuck. You are not a tree, if you don’t like something in your life, then seek to change it. And by the way the key to seeking to changing it is not in influencing or controlling others or the situation. It is in seeking to look inside YOURSELF and making the changes there.
Welcome to life. Put on your Big Girl Panties or Big Boy Boxers and own it.
Oh you don’t like that answer? Neither did I when I first discovered it. Hell, I have remind myself of my own mantra on a regular basis. The crazy bitch lives inside of me, right next to the pathetic one, the weak one, etc.. ALL of us have those little pieces of not perfect inside of us. Your first key is to spend some mindful time seeking to become self-aware. Examine yourself, reconcile yourself and learn to love yourself. Forgive yourself, forgive others. No one else can do this for you, NO ONE ELSE CAN DO THIS FOR YOU. Don’t like something inside of you, don’t know who you are, don’t know what is wrong with you, don’t know how your life got “here”? All of the answers to those questions are there, inside of you, if you will only put in the emotional and mindful practice of discovering them and working to tweak them in whatever manner you think is best for you. Got childhood issues, mommy issues, daddy issues, trust issues, control issues, whatever issues. OWN THEM!!!!!!!!!!!! You are an adult now, you are no longer owned by your past. Your past does not control you, your past does not dictate how your future has to be, at any given time you are in some control of the end of your own story. Don’t like that answer? Get the fuck over it and do the awful sometimes gut wrenching but so very worth it in the end work of change or choose to stay in whatever state of misery and stuck you are in. It is quite bluntly your choice. How badly you truly want it is shown by how hard you CHOOSE to truly keep working for it.
I’m no better than you, no more capable than you, I’ve just had to learn this the hard way and I’m passing along some already started on this journey notes. It is not easy work, it is not fun work, is is not short work. It is continual work. I promise the more you do it the better you will get at it. The faster you will see when you start down a path of old behavior or thinking, the less time you will allow yourself to remain there, and the faster and with more conviction you will be able to course correct yourself with LOVE instead of judgement and beating yourself up. You are never going to be perfectly the way you want to be, and neither is your life, your marriage, your kids, your job, your friendships or anything else in life, save a really great vodka and a good pair of designer jeans that transform your ass into something magical. I’m not special and I’m not always good at taking my own advice. If you are human, you can do this. Don’t underestimate yourself, your worth, or what kind of life you deserve to choose to live.
It may take medication, it may take finding a good therapist, it may take using other bad things to cope for a while, it may take running or kick boxing or Zumba or cycling. It may take a LOT longer to do than you’d like, it may be MUCH harder than you ever imagined and there will be times when you simply want to throw your hands in the air and say FUCK IT. Find in yourself the strength to go on, find GOD if you choose to believe in HIM and the power he can provide you in all things, find a network or even one true friend to lean on, find books to help, blogs to read. Seek these things out, trust in yourself and go for it. You will be amazed at how much “better” things will get little by little or sometimes even by leaps and bounds. All because you did, are doing, want to do the hard work of affecting change within yourself.
You are beautiful, you are worth it, you deserve your version of a good life and you need to love and respect yourself enough to make it happen.
Lesson #1 is over, the key to putting it all back together for us was that we each sought to change ourselves. More to come soon Lovies.
This series is published no less than once a week on Thursday’s. Or you can start at the beginning here
A timeline can be found here.
This event was a game changer that came late in the game, the sick twist at the end of the story.
Being lied to at that level of magnitude is life changing. I made decisions based on those lies. I took actions based on those lies. I formed opinions, perspective, lived my life all based partially on 22 weeks of those lies. I don’t know how, if it wasn’t by the grace of God that I forced the vanishing mere hours before it would of been too late to turn back on being divorced. It was time to take a step back and do some analysis. Try to make some sense of everything from start to finish and figure out what I knew about myself and the situation. I literally had the driving need to revisit every conversation, every thought, every action and re-evaluate it with the new insight. I also discovered during those initial weeks of grief that I had put the job of dealing with the grief of the divorce on hold because I was distracted dealing with Paul. He had been partially right, I was using him to fill a hole, but it wasn’t a husband hole per se, it was a me hole. Once I had nothing to distract me, I started to process and deal with the emotions and grief from the divorce itself. Huge chunks of my time were freed when he vanished. Rituals were no longer the same, my physical and mental schedule was no longer the same. It was almost as if I was waking up from the wreckage. I was waking up broken and shell shocked but getting back up is my specialty.
Here I was alone, with a vanished sociopath behind me; and a man, the father of my children, my husband of 10 years, who still hadn’t given up in front of me. What to do, what to do? I was in control of the pace of the divorce, and after we talked we both agreed to put it on hold. I honestly felt I owed it to my children, our family and myself to really take a look at where we had been and figure out where I thought we might go. Figure out if I could forgive him for his portion of wrong, trust that he would be able to forgive me and that I could fall in love with him again and be content. I didn’t want to trap myself in something I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get back out of, because there was no fucking way I would be putting my kids through another round of this. If we decided to see if it could work it would have to be slow and with no expectations and without telling the kids or many others until we were absolutely sure. Before I go on I need to take a step back and give you some insight into The Husband and our story.
How The Husband became my Sweet Babu!
I met my Sweet Babu at work, this was the 90’s and we worked at a Computer Reseller that through mergers and acquisitions is now HP. Times were flush and the party was always raging. Hooking up, coupling, or marrying a co- worker was almost a requirement here. No one blinked an eye. Before I met The Husband I had slept with more than one sales rep, had one sales rep as a boyfriend for a while and been to countless parties held by vendors and co-workers. I started out as a 23 year old girl with no job and desperately needed one, who barely knew how to use a mouse and by the time I met Babu I was a traveling “fixer”. I went in to assess a fucked up situation, determined whose “fault” it was; ours, the sales rep, or the customer’s and implemented changes and controls to make things better so the customer would stay. I also gave presentations to potential new customers about what our portion of the organization would be bringing to the package. Before that I ran our largest account and a few smaller ones and had a reputation for talking business to the reps. I didn’t take their shit and I didn’t stand for them lying to our customers or setting us up for failure. I worked with mostly men and cussed like a sailor when needed. This was not only tolerated but also rewarded. I was placed in the Northeast Region as my territory and I thrived there. I was known for talking business. I was young (23-27) and I was pretty, I had a good amount of game, but I didn’t have half the confidence I have now. That came with good mentors, age, maturity, and self-acceptance.
Part of my job was travel, as in 3 cities in one week covering both coasts sometimes travel. My desk was often just a pit stop for a day or two before I was out again on the next plane to the next customer. I spent more time in town cars to and from the airport and in rental cars navigating cities like Memphis, Nashville, Atlanta, DC and surrounding areas, Boston, SFO. I took one of the prettiest drives of my life in Connecticut. I had some of the best times of my life on that job, met some of the best women who provided amazing mentoring and got to see a lot of our country. It helped me feel not so trapped and filled with wanderlust to get the heck out of Indiana where I was born, raised, and still live. The frequent flier miles and Amex perks also paid for something like 3 full vacations for Babu and I, including the one to Fort Myers where I got my turtle tattoo and he burned the tops of his feet.
One day I badged in and started walking through the rows to the back room of our cube farm where my desk was, when something stopped me. There was this tall, dark haired dude in dress pants and a white button up standing in one of the team’s rows. I remember I stopped and looked for more than second and wondered who is that? He is yummy. We often had reps or vendors visit and more than a handful of them were yummy, so this wasn’t out of the ordinary. I may have asked around a little bit about who he was but nothing ever came of it.
Fast forward and one day my friend Dr. M tells me a new guy is going to be moving into our cube row. Dr. M is a TSE, a technical rep for one of the teams and the new guy is getting assigned to a team that doesn’t have a spot for him in their row, so he has to sit over by Dr. M and I. He’s young, Dr. M tells me. Be nice to him, he laughs. Babu shows up and he’s fine, but I don’t recognize him as the dude from the cube row in the button up b/c our dress code is business casual and he takes that to the lowest level possible. He sits there for several months and as I travel in and out of my cube we get to know each other. Mostly this is via him marveling at my business talk and being ever so slightly afraid of me. I am actually a very sweet and nice person and since there are just 4 of us in our cube row; me, Dr. M, the other fixer in my area who is also young and pretty and can talk business, and Babu. I’ve always shared my business pretty openly, Babu and I get to be coworker friends who talk about our lives a little and give each other shit. One day he comes back from lunch and brings me a big bag of Chili Cheese Fritos, these are my favorite kind. I don’t take this as a move, I was fairly oblivious to his feelings and I was also embroiled in my own boy drama at the time. He is also about 4 years younger than me, which puts him out of my scope because at the time I liked older, more established, better dressed and spoken dudes. I was in the process of having a bit of a dating life crisis though and starting to realize that maybe these types of guys and this checklist of things I was looking for were not really the best answer to finding a lifelong mate. I had just recently decided that I would go out at least once with anyone that asked and see where it went. Part of giving each other shit involved me relentlessly chiding Babu about his footwear and clothing. He had zero style. One day I am sitting at my desk and in walks Babu. He is dressed in dress pants, a button up and dress shoes. I laugh because I think he is doing this to be funny and prove a point and I respond “Oh, my Sweet Babu you look so nice!” This was the first time I ever called him that and in my head it is what Sally from Charlie Brown called Linus. Later in the day Dr. M turns to me and says “Hey, you know he did that FOR YOU, don’t you? He is into you…”. Wait..what??? Seriously? He has a girlfriend he hardly ever mentions in any way, but TJ ( the other fixer) and I know she exists. I start to ponder what this means and little things start to click into place; the Fritos, the breakfasts out, etc. So he is way too young in my book, and he has a girlfriend. But I have just been told he is into me and he is in a band and he also has a tongue ring and these brown eyes with these lashes that my son got in the DNA pool. Plus he is tall dark and hairy. I’m 27, he has a tongue ring, he is into me. I do what any 27 year old horny slut would do in my situation, I start flirting with him more voraciously via the IM system we have at work. Now part of that was voicing my concern about his age. But somehow it works out that on Friday night he is going to come over to my apartment and we are going to hook up.
He gets there and he is a nervous shaking wreck. He is WAY out of his element and is not capable of the walk in and start sexing me plans that were hanging in the air. It is actually quite sweet. So we sit on my couch and I am leaning against his big, I don’t it’s hairy yet, chest and we talk for a really long time. Eventually this leads to our first kiss and some third base action on my couch and floor and he leaves. He had told his GF he was helping another co-worker, who ended up standing up in our wedding, move. There are no discussions about what this means or doing this again, he just leaves. As far as I was concerned it was probably just a hook up and I’ll see him at the office when I get back in on Wednesday.
Tuesday night comes and I’m standing at the airport getting ready to catch the town car home when my phone rings. It’s Babu. He broke up with his girlfriend while I was gone. Oh holy crap, I just stole someone’s boyfriend. I’ve messed around with more than a few boyfriends in my time, but never actually stolen one. Wow, I tell him, that was a pretty bold move. I’m happy he did it I tell him, but he should probably plan on seeing other people besides just me since they were together for something like 2 years, basically lived together and I’m not really looking for anything super serious right now. That’s cool he says.
He then proceeds to ignore me and not date anyone else, and neither do I. We start out slowly and pick up speed pretty quickly. We hooked up in the beginning of August and by the time Labor Day rolls around we go away on our first weekend trip together. I get home from that and I tell him standing in my bed room, I just want you to know that I love you, I’m not expecting that you have to say it back right now but I just wanted you to know how I am feeling. I love you too, he says. The next week I started a merger rotation where I had to travel out to DC every week and stay Mon-Fri for almost 6 months. I was out there with a team of two other guys and we were ALL overwhelmed. I’m so exhausted and emotionally spent at the end of any given day that I don’t even have the energy to hold up my end of a proper conversation with Babu. While I was gone he was staying at my apartment and dog/cat sitting for me, then picking me up at the airport every Friday night when we landed and we would spend the entire weekend together. Every once in a while I’d need some alone time or want some time with my girlfriends but by the end of December we had the, I’d like to maybe consider making a life with you (too) conversation. We proceeded to do just that, started building a house together and got engaged on Good Friday, roughly 8 months into our relationship. We got married a year later after roughly 18 months of knowing each other. I was 29 and he was 25.
When we were starting this romance I was unsure. He wasn’t as educated as I was, he wasn’t as high on the food chain as I was, he was 4 years younger than I was. But being with him was easy. There was never any drama or games, there were no huge fights, he treated me like a queen and was wonderful in so many ways. Being with him was emotional salve, he said and did all the right things and backed it up with his actions. He was soothing my time and trips around the block battered heart and soul and I was growing him up. He became a man while he was with me and I was firmly attaching my heart, soul and life to him. Some small greedy part of me always wondered if I’d settled. I don’t feel that way anymore, but it took this ruin paves the way for transformation experience of Almost Divorce to land me here.
More to come soon Lovies.