Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Guess the joke's on me.

So, we went on the trip.

Me, the Ex, the kidlet.

Eric was very sweet about sending me off. Brought me a dirty chai the morning I left.

I'd gotten into it with the Ex the evening before we went and I was not exactly looking forward to it.

But then we went.

And it was great.

And we were a family. And the kidlet thrived.

The day I got back, Eric said, "I'm going to tell my boys about you next month. We will have been together for six months by then."

Together? For six months? Does it really count?

"But I don't want to be significant to your kids."

Then there was the kidlet's birthday party. And I found myself looking at the Ex in a very different way.

I cried each night after we got back.

And then sobbed to TF on our way to her brother's bday bash. Finally verbalizing what I had realized.

I want my family back. I want to sleep where my son sleeps every night. I want to be married to him for real. I want to be the one to take care of him. We have this...history together. And that takes a very long time to create. We still have the same inside jokes. The same laughter. He's still my best friend.

And I'm terrified. Because I can't go back and have it be what it was for those last couple of years. But I've changed. Maybe he will have missed me enough to want to be with me again.

Enter therapy. Dr. Tim is not thrilled about me jumping into anything. Which I wouldn't. But he offered to help me find a couples' therapist. And told me to get some sleep before I made any major decisions.

So, I took a nap.

And called Eric that night.

I told him I wanted to put my marriage back together and that I really shouldn't be dating anyone else if I'm really trying.

And then I waited patiently until the next time I saw the Ex.

And we sat in his truck and I told him what had been on my mind.

He was a little bit stunned.

He told me he wants the same thing. But he's scared. Which I can understand. But he loves me. I kind of knew that.

He wouldn't make an impulse decision, but was very affectionate toward me, putting his arm around me, holding my hand. He asked about Eric. I told him that was done. And that, no, I'm not going to Europe with him this fall. I'm ready to start working on us. For real.

So, now... I wait. And hope. But I know what I want. And I know what he wants. Now the only question is how badly he wants it. Because it's going to take a lot of work. But the end result could be so very sweet...

My son deserves this. And so do we.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


I went home for a few days. Got to see some dear friends who were in from out-of-state.

Made a small effort to get a group together, and that didn't happen.

And it turned out to be lovely.

I met one gal for coffee. She and I have been friends online and have always had lots to talk about when we've been at group gatherings. But we'd never made the effort to see each other one-on-one. And she sought me out and I was flattered and so glad. She had caught wind of the dramas from a few summers back and said to me, "I don't want to know." And I'd been relieved to reply, "I don't want to tell you!" And I really didn't. By that time, I was kind of over it.

But over coffee, she stared at me and said, "Retromama, you're such a positive person! Why don't those girls like you?" And I said something about too many strong personalities and whatnot, but it wasn't a big deal. Here's someone who actually does hang out with those girls and truly doesn't seem to be in the middle. I can be candid with her, and while she sees flaws in all, she can still navigate friendships with all of us. I admire that about her.

Later, I met another friend, and was thrilled that it was just us two moms and our boys. And we can get to the nitty gritty really easily. And she spoiled my kid and I let her.

I just read a blog that prompted this one. It was written by a friend that I know through an online group. She and I have gone through phases where we're pretty close and other times when we're not. It was usually pretty easy. She's someone I've trusted with some pretty major stuff. She's particularly close to some other close friends, so I know she knows a lot about me.

Something happened several months ago, and I really pulled back from her. Because we weren't that tight at the time, she probably didn't even realize it. But it was a wake-up call for me. Because she showed me where her loyalty was. And it wasn't with me. And that was fine. I was hurt and angry, but didn't confront her about it.

We've had a few interactions since then. And I've hung out with her and we've talked (not about my hurt feelings) and it's okay. While I would never really want to be particularly close to her again, she's still someone I can appreciate having in my world. Just on a different level.

And that's not weird for me.

I've made some major changes in the last year in how I relate to many people in my world. No, not all of them are people with whom I've felt like I had to "break up". Nor have I always felt the need to have a big conversation about the changes. I've just changed my own way of communicating with them.

And I'm discovering that it's okay. I'M okay with it.

I was about to type about how that's strange.

But the strange thing is this: It's not.

It's just... Me.

Meet the Parent.

Eric did.

And it wasn't a whole "my guy is coming to meet my dad" kind of a thing.

It was just that we all happened to be in the same town and they are two men who would have a lot to talk about.

And they did.

I probably didn't even have to be there.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Timing is Everything.

A few weeks ago, I'd made plans to meet a couple of the good girls for dinner. We had kept it on the DL because one of them was in town for a few weeks and didn't have time to see everyone. I decided to meet them and then stay at my gramma's for a night before heading to the spa and a little getaway.

I'd planned the getaway a few weeks earlier. Eric was going to be out of town and the Ex and the kidlet were supposed to take a trip during that time. They would be back in time for my niece's birthday party and I wasn't going to be invited, of course.

After the whole new year's debacle and then the experience with the sheriff, I knew that getting the hell out of dodge would be the best for everybody. Most importantly, it would be the best for me.

Of course, the Ex didn't end up taking the kidlet on the trip he'd planned. And there I was, with a pre-paid hotel room. I was going away, anyway.

As I was finishing up my packing, I got a text, asking me if I was going to be getting together with the mean girls that night. Ironically, a couple of them were in town and there was a mini-reunion happening that night. A mini-reunion that the good girls would have known about. And I was so grateful that I already had plans. And while I would have enjoyed seeing a couple of the people who would be at that reunion, I was extremely grateful to be planning a low-key evening with people that would keep it drama-free.

I had the thought-process that perhaps my name would come up at that mini-reunion. And I thought that it would be really sad if these women who hadn't seen each other in a year had nothing more interesting going on in their lives than to talk about me. I haven't asked what happened that night, and I'm pleased with myself about that. I'm pretty beyond that whole crowd.

And the three of us just had a wonderful time. Jenn kept telling me that the Ex still loves me. And while I didn't like hearing it, I knew that I needed to. And we talked about how we do actually judge people, but that a real friend loves you anyway.

I'd been reflecting upon a question that Eric asked me not too long ago... "Retromama, do you have a lot of girlfriends with whom you've had "breakups"?"

And I was somewhat embarrassed to admit that, yes, I have had very close friendships that have ended in some kind of a breakup. Of course, Eric had witnessed the Ari thing. And I found myself contemplating the mean girls and their reasons for being so cruel to me. And it came down to how they had judged me for behaviors that were none of their business. And they decided they no longer loved me because of something I had done that had nothing to do with them. And I really wondered if I had ever done that in any of my past breakups with friends.

And I realized that when I broke up with girlfriends in the past, it wasn't because they had made a choice for themselves with which I didn't agree. It was more because of WHO they were. As in, their aura. Their energies.

Sure, Ari and I broke up because of her betrayal, but she and I were on the outs long before us. She was a person that I couldn't count on or even trust. Hence, the ultimate breakup.

With Rae? Who had been my closest friend when the Ex and I had first gotten married? Sure, she was making decisions about her own life that I didn't agree with. But the breakup came only when those decisions actually affected me and my family. I couldn't keep her negativity around me and my family.

The crap that I pulled that caused the mean girls to break up with me? Shit, they should be grateful for that stuff. Because if I hadn't been running around keeping a few secrets from them, I wouldn't have even been around for all of the amazing experiences we shared. At the end of the day, I was a better friend to them than I would have been during that time.

Which gets me back to my grateful place about the soulmate. I didn't run into him when I was in his town. And I was glad. But I know now that I could have. And I would have been okay. And I reflected upon all of the experiences I had during the time that he was in my world. Not experiences I had with him, but on my own because he encouraged me to get out.

And then there I was, all alone in a hotel room for two days. And I spent an entire glorious day reading... It was lovely. The book was split into chapters that had dates as titles.

And when I got to the date that was my wedding anniversary, I kind of came undone. I was shocked to realize I was crying. And for about thirty seconds, I did the whole, "it was supposed to be forever. Why doesn't he love me?"

Last week, I asked the Ex if he was upset I am planning a trip to Europe with Eric. He said he was happy for me. While pretending to cry. He did say that he was glad for me, though, because he had heard me say a lot that I want to go to Europe.

And it was in that hotel room that I heard Jenn's words in my head, "He still loves you."

And for years, I've been telling myself that he simply doesn't love me ENOUGH.

But then there was that moment of clarity. When I realized that he does absolutely love me. And he loves me enough to let me go. Because he knows what I truly want and what I deserve. And he knows that he cannot give it to me. So, he lets me go and encourages me to live my life. And if someone else will provide for me what he cannot, he's happy for me on some level.


I also came to realize that I'm really happy with where Eric and I are. I don't think I'll ever be married again. And right now, Eric's okay with that. And that makes me glad. I'm truly looking forward to the things we have planned together.

Although, I was somewhat uncomfortable when he told me that he's looking forward to meeting my gramma. Because I still haven't met anybody in his world. Well, except for his sons. But, whatever. My gramma said that it sounds like Eric is more of a match for me than my Ex is.

And then I went shopping, and got into a conversation with the sales gal and called him my boyfriend.


But at the end of the day, that's probably what he is. I just can't handle the label. And hopefully he'll continue to be okay with that.

And then I got to hang out with TF and her whole family as I came back to reality last night. And CB said something about it being dangerous for me to be alone with my thoughts for two days.

But, it's not really, anymore. I was really okay. My self-talk is far more positive than it used to be. I'm pretty happy these days.

So, even though it's summer, and there are anniversaries hitting me right and left, I'm actually okay with taking time to reflect and move through it. And I'm moving through it much quicker these days. I'm not the drama-girl that I was three years ago. And I'm not getting drawn into that anymore either. Not being a part of whatever went down last week was a beautiful place for me to be.

IP said to me not too long ago, "You can't have your cake and eat it too."

And I've really thought about that as well. And I decided that I absolutely can. Because I'm doing it. And I'll continue to do so.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Those Three Little Words.

This afternoon, I got a text from someone who had recently "caught up on" my blog entries. Asked if I was okay with the whole on-again, off-again thing with Eric.

And I realized that I am pretty much totally okay with where he and I are right now.

Although something happened today that gave me pause.

He called me when he had a spare few moments... And as we ended our conversation, he threw out "I love you."

I hesitated. The kidlet was in the next room, and I wasn't sure I wanted to answer any questions. I did answer with "I love you, too," after a moment.

And it's strange.

Because he refused for so many months to say it, stopping himself whenever we got off the phone. And then he said it that one night, but then didn't for several days.

And today.

He just threw it out there. Like it was the most natural thing in the world.

And now I'm the one that's all uncomfortable.

And I wonder if I'm uncomfortable because of where we, supposedly, are in our relationship? Sure, I'm free to see other people. So is he. But I told him not to tell me if he does. Because I would be horribly jealous.

And yet... The Ex and I are taking the kidlet on a trip together. Just for a few days. And I have yet to mention that to Eric.

Why am I not telling him? I know that I will tell him. I just haven't had the chance. It's not really something I want to throw out in a text. And I have nothing to feel guilty about. I don't think it's guilt that I feel. I keep trying to put myself in his shoes, though. How would I feel if he and his ex were taking a trip together with their kids? I'd like to think I'd be okay with it. But I don't really know. And I can say I'd be fine with it 'til the cows come home, because I am 100% certain that I will never have to worry about that.

Ah, sweet hypocrisy.

I guess I feel like maybe he thinks we're back together. And in my mind, we're not. Sure we're planning a major trip out of the country together. But that doesn't mean I'm his girlfriend. Or rather, I suppose I am his girlfriend. But he's not my boyfriend. Does that make sense?

Hmm... Actually, it does make sense in my head.

So, I'll just keep doing my thing. Not freaking out when I only hear from him sporadically during this time... Going on my own little mini-vacations.

I laughed when I said something about how "It must be summer. I'm barely sleeping in my own bed." And it's not that I'm sleeping in anybody else's. At least not WITH them. I'm just traveling a lot.

And I like that. It keeps me sane... Well, sane-ish.