white picket fences

This year was my first Christmas without my kids. It was the first time in 21 years that they did not wake up to a magical Christmas Day that I was a part of. This year I let their Dad have this time with them because I thought he needed them more than I did. It turned out that they needed and wanted me more than they wanted him this year. They know that Christmas has always been a special time for me. My parents always made a big deal over the importance of spending time with family and so in turn I always made it a special family time for my kids. One night over the Christmas holidays, I had a conversation with a new friend of mine. We had played some family games, and had a few too many drinks when he asked me how I saw my life these days. I wasn’t sure what he was asking me so he started to explain. He said that this was not how he envisioned his life. He had built his white picket fence and when it came down he was crushed. He missed his family and with this conversation I became vulnerable, teary and admitted to him that I missed my kids. I didn’t miss my relationship but that I was hurting and his question made me start thinking about how I had built my own “white picket fence”.

When we are young and witnessing our parents relationship, we begin to decide what kind of relationship we will have or want for ourselves as adults. If your parents were considerate of each other, worked collectively as a team of two to raise you and your siblings in a respectful, loving, and attentive environment; you probably would have grown up wanting to find a partner modelled after your mom or dad. If you grew up with a dad disrespecting your mom or visa versa you may have made a conscious decision to either be more of a dedicated, respectful partner rather than what you grew up knowing or maybe you had never really thought about it at all; not really placing any value on any relationship you might have.

As a child I started building my white picket fence. I wanted to marry a loving husband who would engage and teach his children what being a husband and father looked like. My mother is my fathers whole world..she always has been. Her happy has always been his happy. He spent time doing things with my sisters and I in ways that my mother did not. He encouraged my sisters and I to read, he took us camping in the summer, took us sliding and skated with us in the winter. He let us choose the music we wanted listen to or the books we wanted to read, and in doing so he created the same love in me for music, reading, and writing. Today those three things, soothe my soul..he must have known I would need these tools to get through the hardest time of my life. In the back of my mind he was the type of man I wanted to be a father of my children. Unbeknownst to me the father of my children did not have that kind of family life or upbringing.

His dad did as he pleased, without much respect or consideration for his mother and therefore in his mind vowed he would not be that same kind of man. In the beginning of our relationship he wasn’t like his dad. He worked hard to provide for his family and we worked as a team to build our own version of a picket fence around our house; however, he wasn’t the dad I envisioned. I didn’t expect him to change or to be something he wasn’t, but I did want him to form a bond with his children that would also create a strong belief of family in them. The bond between my husband and his children was important to me, and still is. Unfortunately with his work schedule he was often up before the kids, and home after they had gone to bed. If he was home while they were awake he was often irritated by them and their “noise”. They were apparently not part of his “program”. I was at a loss of what to do. Moving forward from that point on, I felt I was alone and on my own. The paint on our fence had started to peel.

Just when I thought we had built our fence, and that it was sturdy and looking good; it started to need repair. The white paint wasn’t so white anymore, boards were coming loose and the posts weren’t as strong as they once were. It wasn’t something I could mend on my own but tried for several years until I started feeling like a dog chasing its tail. No amount of paint, nails or cement could fix what I didn’t break and he became the man he vowed he would not become. I stayed in the relationship for my children which was the absolute worst reason for me to stay. They witnessed their father’s disrespect and the abuse he inflicted on me because I gave him the power to do so. I stayed and he figured that he got away with it once, then when I stayed for round two there was no way I would ever leave. What he didn’t know was that I felt round three beginning and decided it was time for me to go. Three strikes and YOU’RE…OUT!!

The fence came down, along with everything I had tried to build for and in-still in my kids. Now that two of the three are adults and the other is just starting his teens they have to decide how they want to build their fence. They will have to decide how they will model their lives around what they’ve had to deal with and probably continue to struggle with it for the rest of their lives. My hope is to find a different route this time and maybe not concentrate so much on what kind of fence I build, if I build one at all. I know what I want and feel free to express to them the importance of honesty, appreciation and respect in a relationship…can build a strong fence. The fence will still need to be maintained regularly, but being aware is one of the first steps in making it strong. The “white picket fence” that I built with their dad, was just as much theirs as it was mine and I’m sorry for them that he didn’t think it was worth maintaining.

new beginnings, strength and protection

I bought two bracelets at a little shop in Las Vegas in February. One was a beautiful gold little moon and the other was a silver little tree. The moon represented new beginnings and the tree represented strength. I bought them at a time when I needed both a new beginning and strength. Of course I know they are just bracelets but part of me wonders if there is a little bit of magic in them.

Within a couple of weeks of buying the bracelets I lost the new beginnings one and was devastated. My daughter who was with me when I bought them laughed and said “I guess no new beginning for you” I cried because the new beginning was what I was looking forward to the most. Still I forged on and the new beginning started..even without the bracelet. I attributed the going forward with my plan to move and start a new life from the strength I was receiving from the bracelet with the tree.

But now I’m afraid that I might lose the bracelet of strength and what will happen if I do. Are amulets or talismans real? Do they really give you protection..or keep evil away? Do they really give you the strength you need, when you need it? I believe so. I need to believe that even without this bracelet that my strength will still be with me..but right now I don’t. I feel anxious when I notice the red string is coming loose. B says that the bracelet is just a bracelet, and that everything I’ve accomplished so far is because I am strong enough to do what I need to do.

fear

I love you but I hate you.

I miss you but I’m better off without you.

I want you out of my life but I never want to let you go.

I love you but you’re easy to let go of cause you’re really really challenging and I don’t know if I need it.

If you’re out…say so.

I’m struggling with all of that…it makes me feel like I don’t matter the way I should. I shouldn’t be that easy to walk away from.

I say things when I’m hurting that I can’t help but say because it’s my armour, my protection. B says I can say them to him but can’t put my ex in his place when he comes at me. My ex was abusive…and my reaction has always been the same, fear. I left that situation and swore nobody would get to hurt me again. I get defensive now, lash out, fight with words and say things I couldn’t before. I don’t want to feel controlled by anyone anymore.

I will do things in my own time. Fear has a constant hold on me and I don’t trust myself to move forward. I have to retrain my brain and find a way to not feel triggered.

I fear that I am not enough.

I fear that my love will be rejected.

I’m afraid of overthinking and the decisions I make.

I’m always afraid I’m going to hurt someone with my words or actions and I won’t be able to take it back. I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s pain.

I fear that I love too big, unconditionally, without judgement or expectations and it comes across as needy. I want to be held tight enough, to crush the fear.

My insecurities run deep, and are hard to escape…but I’m working on them.

I need to focus on me right now, just breathe and keep telling myself…

I matter. I am enough. I am amazing. I am beautiful inside and out. I’ve got this, chin up girl. I deserve love. I will love myself first.

It’s hard to do…but I’m working on it. Patience and understanding needed.

home

He became the light when I thought the darkness would never end, but now it’s creeping back in.

He was the music that made me want to dance, and now there’s only silence. My body still.

He was my favourite Sunday morning, afternoon and night…now I just wish the day would end.

He was my nightly comfort, keeping the bad dreams at bay but the demons have returned to the edge of the shadows cast from the light I leave on. I don’t sleep because the demons know they can get me if I do.

He was my first and last thought of the day…”My love…Have I told you today…that I love you?” I have no words.

There’s a void growing. Deep and dark. A feeling of worthless nothing. There is no sunshine only rain. I’ll grow cold and numb again.

He breathed life back into me when I thought it might be gone for good but now he’s gone and says…it’s for the best.

There are so many hours in the day…I lay here and just let them pass. I’ve been here before, watching the sun rise and set. No purpose. No reason to move…so I don’t. Emptiness consuming me.

He was my tree, tall and strong, holding me up.

He was my home, my safety, my security.

My love.

dear lonely littlest…

My littlest is on his own right now trying to navigate this part of his new normal without his mother. I miss him.

I know without a word from him..that he’s missing me too. He won’t connect with me when he misses me because he wants to stay strong and not let me know how he feels. He doesn’t want to feel like he’s burdening me with his loneliness and because of this..my heart hurts for him. I want to feel burdened and I want him to know that it’s okay to miss me and share with me all of the feelings he’s having. Him and I haven’t been apart for more than a week or so ever in his life, and this feels so unfair to do to him, even though I know it’s not..that he’s going to get through this, because he’s strong like me. These last three weeks without him in my space feels like something is missing and I’m constantly wishing he was here when something happens that I know he would enjoy. I miss our conversations, I miss our daily routine, I miss snuggling up with him and running my fingers through his hair like he likes me to while we talk about our day..I just really miss him.

I know too, that I need this time to get a new house set up for us, and that I need to find a new job to help support what we will need when he finally comes here. I need to get on my feet so that when he does finally get here that I will be so much stronger and he will see that I’m doing the right thing for us. I think about him every minute that I’m awake and can’t wait to share with him all of these new things I’m experiencing. He’s been my comfort for so long it doesn’t feel good, to not be with him every day.

I keep telling myself he’s going to be here really soon..that once he’s here our new life together will start and he’s going to love it. I just wish he knew that he didn’t need to be strong for me..but that I’m going to be strong enough for both of us. My love for him, his brother and sister is so big that if we stick together..we can do anything.

I can do anything.

dreams are wishes

There’s a dream in place.

One that wants to be a reality.

One where..we wake up with each other every day and I say..Have I told you today..I love you and he says I know..I love you too.

One where..we have coffee in the mornings and wine in the evenings.

One where..we build our dream home together with a deck all the way around it that has a swing in the front and a swing in the back, so we can enjoy sunrises and sunsets.

One where..we spend Sunday’s making love or waffles, hiking in the sun or reading on a rainy afternoon snuggled up in our favourite spot in our house.

One where..there is only room for honesty, happiness, respect, trust and love.

One where..we are free to be the people we always wanted to be and should have been together.

Dreams are wishes and these are my wishes. So, as the sun comes up..and sleep starts to leave me..I hear his soft snore beside me..and I know this dream of ours is moving one loving moment at a time, slowly into reality.

being a half of something so whole

I’m reading a book right now called Grace after Henry..and about half way through this book part of a sentence strikes me. “..being a half of something so whole..” and I realize this is how I feel in my relationship with B. We are two halves that are wanting to be whole which is why when we are apart..we struggle. We struggle with talking, we struggle with texting, we question what and why we are doing this and I’m left with a very incomplete feeling in so many ways..I’m only half of a whole without him.

It is getting SO close to being time for me to move, and pretty soon we won’t be separated by so much distance. I think we are both wondering and a little nervous what it will be like to be able to actually drive 40 minutes for Cookies and a Kiss whenever we want. (There is no sexual innuendo intended here…*read very first Blog*) It will be a very new and exciting experience for us to be able to do that. I haven’t dated anyone in more than 27 years and neither has he..so this will be new for both of us. We’ve spent less than 20 days together since our relationship started, this month alone I’ve spent over thirty hours talking to him on the phone not to mention the texting, so we really will be finally figuring out face to face where we belong in each other’s lives.

B is worried about me and how I’m handling everything right now. He can’t see me or read my body language so he’s struggling with that. He wants to know why I have put up with the disrespect that I have and I can’t seem to give him the answer he’s looking for. He feels protective of me and I can’t tell him what that means to me but I’ve been dealing with all of this for so long that it no longer bothers me the way it used to. I’m dealing with the things that are happening the best way I can. I really am fine. I’m looking forward and not looking back anymore. This shitty situation I’ve had swirling around in my head for so long is about to become part of my history. I’m writing a new chapter in my life and I really want it to include him.

When I am with B, I feel like the person I used to be and want to be again but when I have to leave him to come back to this messed up situation I’m trying to leave, I have to be someone else. I have to be a mom to my youngest..making sure he’s okay with everything that’s happening, I have to be a co-worker with a smile on my face..acting like everything is okay at home, I have to be a cook and housekeeper..I have to be someone that I’m not going to be anymore. I need to look strong on the outside while not really feeling it on the inside. I’ve learned to cope by shutting down my feelings and this week I need to do just that.

I’m packed and ready for the road trip to my new life..it’s a long drive but it will be worth it. I’m so excited every day when I wake up and it’s one less sleep until I leave. One less sleep until I can make my way to my other half so we can start working on becoming a whole ❤️

bambi legs

I used to be strong.

I used to think that happily ever after was a thing.

I used to not need anything from anyone..I was okay on my own.

I used to love the life I was living until the person I trusted the most let me down..hard. How do I trust anyone again? I’m working on it but it’s not easy.

I’ve been doing things by myself for awhile now. A few years ago, I decided to go away on my own for a weekend. I rented a beautiful hotel room with a beautiful tub where I slept and soaked away my misery. I wandered a shopping mall buying nothing at all. I went to a movie alone and ate a massive bag of popcorn..the movie was really good with Ben Afleck and Anna Kendrick. I ate alone in restaurants and spent the whole weekend not talking to or texting anyone, and no social media. It was just a solitary quiet weekend where I completely shut down everything and everyone. I often think about that weekend..particularly the one morning I was having coffee and I watched an elderly couple interact. I heard him read a joke from the Coffee News Paper that he was reading. Her face lit up when she laughed at it, and in return he smiled at her pleased with his efforts to make her laugh..they were still in love. I felt myself smiling at them, wondering what tough times or happy ones they’ve been through together to bring them to this point in their lives but then thinking the important thing is they made it..together. I began to wonder if I would ever get to that place where I would be sitting across the table from the man I loved and wanted to grow old with. Since then when I need to recharge, I will go for coffee or a glass of wine alone just to be quiet and watch other people interact. I’ve seen some really wonderful happy relationships. I want that. A solid happy relationship..to grow old in.

My legs feel shaky right now, like anything could take them out from under me. Today, they did get taken out from under me when my Most Favouritest Neena (that’s what I call her) told me her wish. We’ve worked together for three years now in the same office..me often teasing her..with her being fake bossy with me and in return I’m fake upset telling her that she’s so hard on me. Today with her voice breaking..she made me realize the place, I didn’t know, I held in her heart. She told me she wished I was staying, that she will miss my smile when I’m being mischievous and she will miss my hugs and she hopes I won’t forget her. I won’t ever forget her..ever..because she wedged her way into my heart too.

I’m hoping that I will grow into these new Bambi legs of mine and that maybe by the fall I will have made them strong again. I’m beginning a whole new chapter in my life and I’m terrified that I will fail. Failure is not an option for me..I need to prove to myself and my kids that I can do this. I can go back to school and become the woman I should have always been. That I can have the kind of relationship that I want with B..he’s the guy I want next to me in the coffee shop making me laugh and feel loved. I want to share my life with him.

Today was my day to struggle..B and I spent a long weekend together in each other’s space and it was a comfortable, easy feeling. We opened the weekend with our usual coffee, then we bought some groceries to cook breakfast at the little VRBO apartment he rented for us. We spent time going for walks in the sun looking at the newly built homes around us as we walked and discussed what we like in a home. We became very comfortable very quickly in those four days together but now we miss each other in the worst way and I don’t know if seeing him was a good or bad thing to do. Obviously it was good for us at the time..it was what we needed but at the same time it leaves me missing him so much more and for him it’s the same. We really needed the weekend together..almost two months apart was tough on both of us. I spent time touching his face, smelling his soap, hugging him, feeling his kisses on my lips and making a mental imprint to carry me through to the next time we start over again. These first few days apart leave me with a hurting heart and disoriented. Today was day three apart…it started out good but ended with the start of a weekend where we both have things to do and have to carry on separately. Now..it’s only a matter of a couple of weeks until I move and we will be able to spend more time together but again we will be starting over in a new place. A place of freedom and where we are able work on our relationship over the next year. B says “we are taking a dating approach to this next year..and get to really know each other.” Sounds good, Babe (mimicking Taylor Swift’s character in Valentines Day)..as I give him the biggest smile.

These next few weeks on these shaky new legs are making me feel vulnerable and I’m not liking how unsteady I feel. I am looking for strength to come from somewhere..but just like Bambi..I’m going to have to stumble around a little, get used to the instability and probably find myself a cute little rabbit to help prop me up on the ice beneath my feet.

not sure, babe

Sometimes B and I try to rationalize why either of us would ever be interested in the other. I don’t know why we do it, but he has often asked me “Why would a woman like you want to have a relationship with a guy like me?“. My response often is “What is a woman like me and a guy like you?“, hoping that he can describe himself to me and what he thinks I may not find attractive about him.

He has often said he thought he was too old for me and I should find someone closer to my age and enjoy time doing things people my age do. I don’t think 40 somethings do anything different than 60 somethings. We still listen to music, we enjoy hikes and being in the outdoors. We enjoy evenings out for drinks and dinners with friends. There is so much we can do together. I will look forward to going to the gym and working out with him. I will enjoy hiking with him or just relaxing beside him on our couch with a glass of wine and discussing our day apart. There isn’t anything I don’t think we can’t do together because of our ages.

We like to do “research”, read and discover things that will help our relationship evolve. We’ve actually had a lot of fun with this and I believe ultimately that it has made us stronger already. Our level of honesty has surpassed our previous relationships. We are different people this time around. We don’t want a relationship that is just out of convenience..we want one that completes us. I’ve often felt over the course of my marriage that I haven’t been enough for my ex but actually I’m beginning to see he wasn’t enough for me. He had friendships with other women and the only woman he should have had a significant friendship with was me. He was always doing things with other women that he should have just been doing with me.

How would you feel if your spouse continuously had friendships with people of the opposite sex?

B gave me this to think about this evening he said he was standing on deck and this struck him..we have just spent a very enjoyable weekend in each other’s space and as always struggle being apart in the first few days. Today..is day two apart.

What have we been dealing with.. both of us?

Inability.. in a partner..

Lack of interest...?

I have been dealing with so much lately.

Mentally and physically..I’ve been planning a big move for my youngest son and I .. plus find a suitable place for us to live, getting registered to go back to school for the first time in more than twenty years, pack up the things I will need and some of the things I want, make sure my youngest is okay emotionally/mentally, on top of all this and all the while..I’m falling more in love with this man I hardly know. We’ve decided that this first year of us living closer to each other will be about dating and getting to know each other better. Take things slowly and make sure that it is the relationship that both of us want.

Emotionally, I’ve been dealing with saying a final goodbye to 27 years of my life..friends, family and my home. On one hand..I’m sad to say goodbye to some of my good friends but I know they will visit and so will I..then on the other hand I’m so extremely happy to be starting a new chapter in my life. Saying goodbye to some of the in-law family will be great..so much less drama in my life..while very few I will miss.

Was the inability and lack of interest on us or our partners? Most often I feel it takes two in the relationship to make it work well..I don’t think there was lack of interest on my part but there definitely was on my ex’s part. He wasn’t interested in me until I was out the door..and then dishes were being done, garbages taken out, vacuuming getting done etc. Although I appreciated his help, he expected that I would say “Thank-you!” and pat him on the head with a “Well done!” Did he ever say thank-you to me? No..because he expected that, as a stay at home mom/wife, it was just part of my job/duty. WRONG!! A thank-you or just a little appreciation would have gone a long way for him. It was his inability to see me..really see me. To him..I was just the cook, the maid, and the nanny.

B and I both have ideas about how we want our relationship to develop and that this time around things will not be left unsaid between us as they may have been with us our ex’s. We are different people now than we were when we were married. We want new experiences this time around..but most of all we want the companionship we’ve missed in our lives up until now. B asked me today.. “How does a guy (like him) find this kinda love .. and why so late 😏”

I had nothing significant to offer him other than..

“Not sure babe..

But..I’m glad you found it no matter when it was..and found it with me 😘”

50 first dates

If you follow this blog then you know..B and I are navigating a long distance relationship. Something neither of us has done before, nor particularly ever wanted to do but yet here we are and have been doing so for about six months now. We started our relationship in November and have managed to make it this far. Texting is sometimes difficult, talking suits us better but we’ve managed to learn to be gentle with each other. With only 6 weeks left until I move, we have decided to meet one more time in an airport, spend a few days together just looking at each other and have a few uninterrupted days together so that we can make it through these next few overwhelming weeks.

Every time B and I have met in an airport, we are always nervous as to how we are going to feel. Will our feelings have changed? Will we have changed? I’ve referenced our meetings to the movie 50 First Dates with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler..only I don’t have amnesia and B isn’t singing a song while he plays a ukulele but…the feeling is similar. B laughs but he knows exactly what I mean by it. We do talk on the phone daily, text each other frequently and always feel quite comfortable in doing so but that first few hours we are together is like, we really are getting to know each other, all over again.

We always smile big..I restrain myself from making a scene because I’m so happy to see him. I’m not big on public displays of affection but I can’t help kissing him as soon as we are within arms reach of each other. He pulls me into one of his amazing hugs and I don’t want to ever let go. We chat about the flight and hold hands, continuously looking at each other’s faces..searching for how the other is feeling, mostly we are in disbelief that we are actually together as we wait for either my bag or his depending on who is coming to whom. Since November we have only been together twice for a few days and had a couple speed dates in April. I think this may have been our longest stretch yet, that we haven’t seen each other. I’m sure I will be emotional when I see him, I always have this flood of relief and feeling of safety when we are reunited. He has become my home and without him I feel like something is missing…that I am incomplete.

After we leave the airport we usually find a McDonalds to have coffee and reconnect. We get all the jittery feelings out and talk before we proceed to either his place or wherever he has booked for us to stay when he visits me. We have made a conscious decision to make sure that we slow our feelings down and that our relationship isn’t just about being intimate. I think the distance in our relationship has really helped us make good, rational relationship decisions as well. We haven’t felt compelled to jump in head first and just live together when I move.

I’m moving closer to B in July and I’m so excited about that but I’m not moving to be with him or live with him. I’m moving to start a new chapter in my life that I really want him to be a part of. There will still be distance between us but nothing as significant as 18 hrs distance and a different time zone. We have decided to concentrate on dating for at least a year and make sure that this is the relationship that we want it to be. Neither of us wants to end up in a relationship where we aren’t 100% sure that this is what we both want. We’ve both had relationships end for various reasons but the biggest reasons being the lack of communication, honesty and trust.

I’m starting to feel like Christmas is coming because it’s only six more sleeps until I pick him up in the airport.

Six more sleeps until I get to greet him with a kiss and be enveloped in his arms for a big hug.

Six more sleeps until we are having a coffee and getting reacquainted as we plan out the rest of our weekend.

Six more sleeps until I see him wearing my favourite sweater of his and smell the scent of his soap when we hug.

Six more sleeps until it’s the last time we meet in an airport to spend a few days together because the next airport greeting we have, I’m going to be moving an hour away from him and won’t be leaving him ever again.