Monday, July 29, 2013

Life's Learning Chronicles

To give you a little back-story here: I have been divorced for a couple years now. The same month of our divorce, my ex-husband remarried. The divorce wasn't easy - what divorce is? During this period he attempted to use people against me, even went to the extent of drawing up an affidavit stating that I was not mentally fit to care for our son! Just because I was not bending to his work schedule. Why should I have to bend? The divorce was his doing - his actions - he's the one that destroyed a marriage by his adulterous behavior. But! The silver lining - he actually did me a huge favor! I have been a much happier person without him. I never knew how much he actually drained from me. I was the sole caregiver to our severely handicapped son and was too supportive of his needs, and not receiving the support I needed from him and I had forgotten my own, I had forgotten myself.

Top 5 Things You Should Remember When Going Through a Divorce:
5. Don't let your soon-to-be ex-significant other use your children as pawns in their manipulative mind games. I was told that the majority of the time, men will resort to using their children to get what they want. I didn't understand this concept and it was explained to me that women carry their children and have that protective instinct, a close bond; where men are more detached (or detachable). I don't know if this is true for everyone - but, it has proven true from my experience.
4. Don't be the martyr. It gets you no-where. The one thing I regret looking back now, was being so submissive. I should not have let my ex bully me into certain things. Like getting a job. I knew I couldn't work and I could have gone to the doctors and have proven it all - and I should have. It is definitely not easy! But - do what you have to do - don't live in anymore regret than we already do.
3. Seek counseling - a lot of people refer to their friends, and I think that's great. But, I still think a person going through this experience needs professional direction. It is so easy to get swept away and damage ourselves, especially the cognitive behavioral distortions in our thought processes. For instance, because my ex cheated on me, I thought I wasn't "worth it" - because of his actions. This isn't the case at all - I can't be held accountable for what he did - it was his mistake, not mine. I had thought since we were in a marriage that I had to take some blame in the failure, but this isn't the case either. Definitely look into CBT (Cognital Behavior Therapy).
2. You are worth it! Fight for yourself - you deserve better! Don't let the actions of your ex keep you from opening yourself up for love and happiness. Going through this left a huge, deep-deep pain, and I don't know yet if it every really leaves. You may think that life will never be as good as you thought it was with your ex - and you would be right - but, the point is - it could be better
1. Put your children first - fight for their advocacy. I think the worst struggle has been dealing with child support and working out schedules. The more I talk to people, the more it is the mother that continues to have to sacrifice. I have only met one father that is dealing with a dead-beat mother; mostly it is dead-beat fathers.

In our divorce, in lieu of child support he was to continue to pay the house mortgage so our son and I would have a roof over our heads. I had a plan in place, I thought. I was going to college (on-line) trying to get a degree so that I could support my family (at that time it was just me and my son). I did get my Associates of Arts degree, unfortunately, this year was the breaking point and I had to make hard decisions. The first one, as always, I put my son first - I decided, yet again, to put what I want aside and stay home to take care of my son. His health was more important to me (after spending New Years in the hospital with him). I can't seem to find that balance of working and taking care of my son. His care requires so much, I couldn't give him what he needed while I was working too.
Last summer (2012) my ex-husband was forced to resign from his position with the state, because he failed a certain... (insert patronizing cough) requirement. He was unemployed for a couple months. Instead of collecting unemployment to meet his obligations with child support, he didn't make the mortgage payments. Then, my home went into default. Even when he went to a different county and was rehired, he did not make any attempts to continue paying child support in any spectrum. Then, he claims bankruptcy and includes my home in his case. I guess the loop hole here is, since he was still paying the mortgage, his name is on the deed, so he could include it in his bankruptcy - screwing me yet again.
Meanwhile, I have been applying everywhere I can for assistance and help. I am trying desperately to keep the home my son knows. I understand though, if it is not God's plan, then my battles are in vain. In this case, I pray for understanding and peace. Until then, I continue to fight through the pain and tears to hold fast to what little bit' of dignity I can grasp. This past fall I did have a nervous break-down, and a very wise person told me that I was fighting too hard, that maybe it was time to let something go. I knew what she meant, I was fighting too hard to continue to work and take care of my son and his needs. I feel this same gut-wrenching, horrific, succubus feeling now. Maybe I'm fighting too hard to keep the house?

In The Wake of Wickedness

Last night my ex-step-mother-in-law text me to inform me that it was in the local paper that my house is set to go to auction. After the dizziness subsided, and a lot of support from my mother, family and friends. I could think clearly, pulled up my big girl panties, and first thing this morning, got to work! 
If God Is For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?

Holding onto my faith, I told God that he needs to step-up. I'm tired of being the door mat - I definitely deserve better! This morning, I know He is with me - even my mom commented to me that He is giving me the strength to power through this. I have the clarity and peace I need to keep motoring on. Even if I do loose the house - oh well, as many great memories are here, there are more not so great memories. A fresh start could be on the horizon. I've always said, out of something bad comes something good. How do I know this isn't God's plan?
What is sick and twisted to me, is when individuals are not happy in their lives, and want to drag other's down with them? I've never understood this. Even when I am miserable, when other's around me have exciting news, I fight to put that genuine smile on my face and to truly be happy for them and their happiness.
For instance - if you see your ex happy - do you consciously create drama, because you are not happy and if your not happy, then no one should be happy?
This, to me, is disgusting! Don't send me a text "call me" or try to call and make me think there is an emergency, when you know something horrible is going on. You can create a BS reason to call - but you can't call me to let me know our son was in the hospital while I was on vacation? I wonder if he even realizes how idiotic his actions are? Just because he is a moron, he doesn't think others can't put the pieces together.
He tried to tell me that he never had anything to do with the affidavit against me... oh yeah, that's why the person when to his lawyer to file the affidavit stating their 'professional' opinion was that I wasn't mentally fit to care for our son? I'm not an idiot. I know he did this to 'put the squeeze on me' because he was acting like a spoiled brat and was throwing a tantrum to get what he wanted. He used the only pawn he had - our son. 
He hasn't paid any form of child support for the past year - when I asked him what he wanted to do about it, he actually said that I would have to take him to court. He is by definition a dead-beat dad. I use to think he was a great father, a great father would be paying child support and taking care of his obligations. Not willingly and knowingly let the mortgage go to foreclosure and then added into his second bankruptcy claim. He didn't have money for child support - but, apparently he had money for a wedding, vacations, vehicles... and God knows what else.

The Silver Lining

Something I have learned is to count my blessings. Deal with what needs to be dealt with, but don't dwell on them that they weigh us down in a negative way. Replace the negative with positive. Negativity only creates more negativity. I am so grateful and thankful for the wonderful people in my life. My parents, my son, my boyfriend and his family. We had an amazing vacation! And I am NOT letting this upset me or ruin the wake of goodness either. 
I was upset at first - but I believe the Holy Spirit has given me this peace and understanding. There are much worse things in life. We are strong, we have survived much worse! We will conquer this as well - it might not be what we want - but, it might be what we need!