I spent my Saturday helping D with her graduation party, buying and making tacos to celebrate her graduation AND Cinco de Mayo! She’s now Dr. D with her PhD in physical therapy! CONGRATS, D 🙂

As I was sitting chatting with her various friends and family at the party, I started chatting with D’s sister and her husband. He is from Loveland, Colorado (not to be confused with the ski resort), which is only a few miles south of Fort Collins, and he was telling me about a scandal that happened at his high school with the football team.

Apparently the football players would spray their jerseys with PAM so no one could grip them to tackle them. As he was talking, I realized I’d heard that story before– straight from the source of one of the players who had done that… my ex, Voldemort.

Whenever I ask people if they know someone just because they went to the same high school, I hold little hope because I’m useless when it comes to other people asking me to play the the “do you know ___” game. I casually asked him if he knew “Voldemort” and his reply was “he was one of my best friends in high school!”

I then replied that he’s my ex!

He then told me “I friended him on facebook and found out he was getting divorced that week because he posted about having to go pick up the papers.” “Yup, that was me!” I exclaimed. I couldn’t believe it– someone else who knew Voldemort from a different time. Of course, they didn’t stay actual friends, but that didn’t surprise me in the least– Voldemort dumps friends faster than you can say “friends.” There was ONE person at our wedding that he invited who wasn’t related to him– because he didn’t have any friends from his past. (Major red flag #738 ignored!)

I then found out that he recently got married, which didn’t bother me at all. I’ve known Voldemort was engaged (and has been for a long time), so it was pretty inevitable that he would finally tie the knot. Now the clock has started to tick down until he does the exact same thing to this girl that he did to me. It’s his nature– it’s the way it continues to be modeled for him by his mom, so there’s no hope for redemption. I already pity the woman he just married…

It was quite the eventful graduation party! It also says a lot that finding out my ex got remarried didn’t bother me and I didn’t give it a second thought– except to tell all of you about it, of course. I’m always relieved that my heart has moved far past the hurt and pain that he caused me almost 3 years ago.

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I’ve been thinking a lot about fate and meeting “the one” lately. As I’ve been talking about in my recent posts, I feel like I’m finally in a place to be ready to be in a relationship.

With the personal work I’ve done over the last few years since my divorce, I feel like I’m in a great place emotionally and mentally. I want to do the work required in a committed relationship– I want to take the good with the bad. I’m no longer afraid of not being perfect (well, I’m at least working really hard on not being…), I’m happy with who I am as a person and with my life on my own. I’m now at a place that I want to share myself and my life with someone else.

I have a much more realistic view of relationships and longevity than I used to. My problem wasn’t that I didn’t know what the problems were with my ex when we got married (alcoholic/drug-using family, lack of long-lasting friendships, history of cheating…), it was the fact that I didn’t think that those issues would be a big deal in our relationship. And I believed that just because we were in love/married, all problems could be solved and overcome.

I’ve grown up a little bit and now I feel like I have a better view of things. And I’m ready to bring that new view into a relationship. I want to love someone and I want them to love me back. I don’t want to sacrifice who I am for the sake of a relationship, and I would hate for my future mister to do the same.

It’s one of my goals this year to fall in love and besides it being a romantic idea, I think it speaks volumes about where my mind and life are at in regards to that idea. I want to fall head over heals in love– no holds barred. I want to find someone who is perfect for me– I want my friends and family to meet him and say “oh my gosh! he’s exactly the person you should be with!” I have friends and family who are with people like that, so I know what it is like on the other side to see it in someone else’s relationship.

I’m ready– probably for the first time in my life.

Now all I have to do is just meet him…

This song is dedicated to everyone in the process of seeking out the person of their dreams:

 

On March 21, I wrote a post about the fact that my ex, Voldemort, is just some guy I used to know.

I have a “book of the day” calendar that The Roommate’s mom gave me for Christmas. I was ripping off the 22nd’s listing when it hit me…

Four years ago from that day, I had made the biggest mistake of my life. I had walked down the aisle and said “I do” to a man who in no way, shape, or form deserved to have me say those sacred words to him.

No wonder Voldemort was subtly on my mind!

I wrote the post not realizing the date, or the huge significance of the following day… stupid subconscious!

I’ve had that happen around Memorial day, but that one I’m much more aware of– it is a national holiday, after all. The date of March 22 is meaningless to me now. It’s just another day.

But apparently my subconscious refuses to let it go so easily.

The fact that I got through the day without ever acknowledging the significance of the date seems like a success to me!

 

 

I go through phases where I become completely obsessed with a song and will listen to it non-stop. The repeat button is worn out on my itunes (if that is possible…).

Here is my current obsession: (for those of you who get my blog via email, you may have seen a random post that had this video… I seem to fail in figuring out how to attach a video in wordpress’ weird “quick post” layout…)

I’m pretty sure I’ve contributed to at least a million of the 120+ million views the video has. I just can’t get over how hauntingly beautiful this song is.

The reason I’m sharing this song obsession with you is the fact that when I listened to the lyrics, I realized that when I think about my life, I have actually had the thought “oh yeah, I was married once…” My ex, Voldemort, is just some guy I used to know. I’m not at all connected to him. I don’t wish to have him back. I hope to never even run into him. I never use the term “ex-husband” even– he’s always “my ex.” He doesn’t even have enough standing in my life to be acknowledged in his past standing of importance.

When I was in the middle of my divorce, I couldn’t imagine how I would ever not feel sad about it. And yet, here I am, 3 years later, vaguely recollecting that I was even married to him… It’s crazy how I went from committing my life to this guy to labeling him under “some guy I used to know.”

Time really does heal all wounds.

I’m going to step out of my shell a little bit and be extra-vulnerable today. I was inspired to share this after reading this post by Larissa at thoughts simply arise. My thoughts and feelings about my divorce 2 years ago were pretty hidden from people not related to me. I talked with my counselor and my mom pretty openly, but otherwise, the grief and anxiety and hurt was kept to myself. I have about two dozen “private” posts on this blog that I wrote before I made it public that I’ve never shared with anyone. So today, I’m sharing one of those posts with you.

I wrote the following letter after reading about an exercise about letting your hopes and dreams from your relationship go so you can move on. Letting go of “what was to come” was one of the hardest parts about starting over– I was starting from square one, no longer having those same “goals” to work towards.

Now those dreams I had are distant memories, and my new experiences and goals and dreams are what I’m looking towards. My personal dreams are now more likely to be fulfilled without my ex in my life than they were with him.

This is from July 30, 2009:

The Loser, [his nickname before it became Voldemort]

Goodbye to the life we were trying to create. Goodbye to the hours dreaming and fantasizing about what our lives might be like, the places we will go, the people we will meet. Goodbye to the house we will never buy, the cars we will never drive, and the children we will never have.

Goodbye to making new traditions that are just our own. I will not be able to wake up next to you on Christmas morning in our own bed, sit across from you at our own table, and open presents meant just for us.

Goodbye to the friends we were making. They will no longer be our friends the way they used to be. They will feel like they will have to choose sides, feel uncomfortable by our decisions, and it will be uncomfortable to be around them all for long periods of time. I know you never really cared about them– you only were interested in what was in it for you, not what you could give them.

Goodbye to our dreams of growing old together and watching our lives pass before our eyes, each day a new adventure.

Goodbye to having someone beside me, holding me and loving me through the ups and the downs. I know I will feel that way again, but I have to say goodbye to trusting people easily. Thanks to you, I will now have a nearly impossible time trusting anyone again because everyone might have the potential to do to me what you did. I can’t bear to go through that again. My heart cannot handle any more betrayal.

Goodbye to your empty promises and “I’ll take care of it.” Tomorrow always became tomorrow’s tomorrow. I can’t believe I put up with you never following through with the small things that you “promised” to do– like the laundry, picking up the house, running an errand, making a phone call… I got tired of hearing you say you’ll do something, all the while knowing that it will not get done because you’ll find something better to do with your time.

Goodbye to the suspicion that you were cheating on me. I don’t believe you did, but the fact that I even thought you were capable of doing something so horrendous is heartbreaking. You’re not trustworthy or loyal. You text girls while I sit on your lap, and yet think nothing of it. Why would I trust you when cheating was the way you ended your last relationship?

Goodbye to the stress of where the money’s coming from. Goodbye to having to persuade you that whatever shiny new toy you found is too much money. Goodbye to being your financial support. Goodbye to feeling obligated to buy things. Goodbye to sharing and splitting money you have no right to spend.

Goodbye to all of your jobs. Every. Single. One. Goodbye to trying to make you understand that staying in a job, even when it’s not fun, is the responsible, adult thing to do. Goodbye to fighting with you about what stability is. Stability is not just bringing home a meager paycheck. Stability is being able to rely on you to be an adult and contribute to the household and care about my feelings. If I have no one to lean on, how is that stability?

Goodbye to your emotional reactions. Goodbye to plugging my ears to drown out your yelling and cussing. Goodbye to your disrespect. Goodbye to your temper-tantrums and your childish perspectives. We learned how to fight like adults, and yelling and screaming is not one of those ways. Neither is acting like a teenager and leaving me stranded.

Goodbye to your lack of direction in life. I’m tired of hearing about your new idea of the week that you will be tired of by next week. Goodbye to getting an education and being married to a man with any sort of degree. Goodbye to being married to a man who is no better than his alcoholic mother.

Goodbye to not standing up for myself and what I want. I know what I want and I will fight to get it. I was not brave enough to do so before, but I’m brave enough now. Goodbye to being a people-pleaser and trying everything I can think of to make you show me an ounce of love or affection.

And last, but not least, goodbye to feeling embarrassed about what has happened to our relationship. I was blinded by your lies and your sweet-talking, but now I see you for who you really are. Goodbye to any tears of regret I might shed. I do not regret my decision to end things. I deserve a better, happier, love-filled life and I was not getting that from you.

So goodbye… to you.

This is one of my favorite songs, not just because it’s a catchy tune, but because it’s a really good reminder that life is not a romantic comedy and it’s not going to turn out like we think or plan.

But I can’t help but wish and dream that my next (and hopefully final) relationship will start off with some cute, romantic-comedy meet-cute where we eventually ride off into the sunset, living happily ever after. I can’t seem to shake the fantasy out of my head.

Where’s the line between hope, having a standard, and just being ridiculous? My very logical side of my brain knows that things like a movie don’t happen in real life. But my hopelessly romantic side of my brain seems to spin a very convincing tale to convince my logic, and before I know it, I’m daydreaming a full-fledged fantasy that looks eerily similar to Return to Me, minus the whole heart-transplant thing.

I can’t seem to help myself. And then my expectations are completely out of whack because I start to insist men respond and act like the men in the movies. It’s completely unfair to the men I date, and it’s a complete downer for me when the men don’t match up. It’s ridiculous that I do that!

I know I need to just let the men be themselves and find one that meshes with me in a way no other man has, but I just can’t seem to shake that fantasy man from the back of my mind.

It’s frustrating and unfair to everyone involved, and I can’t figure out how to just let it go. The men I date are flawed humans, just like me. I cannot put the expectations on them that I wouldn’t want put on me. I wouldn’t want the pressure to live up to some skewed fantasy of a guy that in no way aligns with reality.

If I want a man to love me for me, I need to love him for him. Plus, as the best friend, Paul, in (500) Days of Summer says, “Robin is better than the girl of my dreams. She’s real.” I can create the most incredible, dark-skinned, dark-haired man I can imagine in my mind… but he’s not real. It is a complete waste of time and energy thinking about it. There are great men out there who, if I give them half a second’s chance, can show me that they are better than my fantasy man because they are real, their kisses are real, and the connection we have is real.

Now if only my logical side would just tell my hopeless romantic side to shut the hell up!

I always forget that during Memorial Day weekend I’m supposed to be remembering and honoring fallen soldiers. It’s not that I’m not patriotic or that I don’t appreciate what the United States armed forces have done and sacrificed. It’s because Memorial Day was hijacked by my ex a few years ago, and I can’t help but spend my time and energy keeping those memories at bay. It wasn’t until last night, while reading through Facebook statuses of people thanking the military that I said to myself “oh yeah…”

Two years ago, while at a cemetery honoring the fallen military personnel buried there, my marriage fell apart in the blink of an eye. I use Memorial Day as my “anniversary” date of the end of my marriage because the following two weeks were a pathetic attempt to deny the obvious. Memorial Day was when things really ended, not June 12 when he moved out.

Last year, the one-year anniversary of the shit-storm, I spent an entire therapy session dealing with the memories of what had happened. It had finally been enough time that I could actually face and deal with everything that had happened. I try to joke about it now, playing it off as no big deal, when in fact it still traumatizes me. I don’t know if I have ever expressed to anyone just how completely life-shattering that day was. The only person who probably has any idea is my mom who had to come rescue me from the cemetery in the pouring rain.

On Memorial Day of 2009, my marriage ended. My husband proved to me that he did not love me or care about my well-being. The details of everything that happened that day become unimportant compared to the truth that was brought to light. It became infuriating, however, when I would tell people that me and Voldemort (how he is referred to now) were splitting and everyone was still convinced that he was a great guy, based on his charismatic, life-of-the-party personality he showed to everyone else. I wanted to scream at those people “HE FUCKING LEFT ME IN THE RAIN AT A CEMETERY WHILE HE STAYED AT A RESTAURANT TO EAT BREAKFAST! HOW IS THAT OKAY?!?!” I wanted to tell the world what a horrible, deceiving, narcissistic man he is– but all they could see were his jokes, his position as a worship pastor at our church, and the optimism that maybe… just maybe, he’ll change.

The frustration around the fact that no one saw the real Voldemort was probably the worst part about our breakup. I know some people were trying to be encouraging, but their attempts at talking about the possibility of change and his “good” qualities just made me want to yell and scream!

So every Memorial Day, I fight the images, emotional scars, and feelings of dread that come along with the recollection of what happened two years ago. It always takes me by surprise, too– I hardly ever think about Voldemort, but my subconscious finds a way to bring him forward in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day. And then I have to face the reality that something that sad and terrible– my marriage disintegrating before my eyes and the person I loved and had committed my life to showed me that I was not loved or valued by him– happened to me.

I know as more Memorial Days come and go, the less I’ll think about him, and the less I’ll have to deal with the lingering emotions that come with that day. When I “reclaim” the day by doing something amazing and awesome, in the back of my mind is the reality of why that day needs to be reclaimed in the first place.

I hope the Memorial Day comes soon that I don’t need to think about reclaiming it, that I don’t think about what happened on that day, and I can just enjoy the extra day off work and have the thankfulness of the sacrifice of military personnel at the forefront of my mind.