Tag Archives: singleparenting

Rantings of a People Pleaser

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In recent weeks my ex of 1 yr has been slipping in a People Pleaser nightmare, “by the way”… this is 3 words a struggling people pleaser never wants to hear. That’s because those three words are almost always followed by the inevitable…”Can you”…
My ex has been casually tossing in, “we’re playing board games, by the way….Can you stop by?
…”Or I’m going to take the kids to Cracker Barrel, by the way if you want to join us”….This sounds innocent enough, but trust me divorce is not for the innocent.
Last night my evening culminated with a trip to let’s call him boyfriend‘s house. Said boyfriend was sick which was already causing me to proceed with caution.
I’ve learned to pick up on the buzz words of a snare trap. The tiny pitch of a miniature violin playing the uncanny oh so familiar sympathy solo, is my first red flag. Much to my surprise, boyfriend seemed to really just want company and eventually I headed home without having chewed any of my appendages off to set myself free.
A welcomed relief settled in as I answered my 16 yr old daughter’s call. Even as she spoke I felt the tug of the rug beneath my feet. “Why is dad playing board games at our house?”….”Wait? What?…were the two words that won the hole shot out of my mouth.
So if he couldn’t get me to the games, he’d bring the games to me? What does the word divorce mean to this man? In the 16 years I lived with him, never once did we play board games and now twice in a week?
WTF? Too little too late is a real thing people. We’ve crossed right into creepy, of stalker proportions!!
My ex has little to do with our 16 yr old daughter. I’ve tried to explain the emotional turbulence of teenage girls, but they both have an affinity for collecting offenses from one another. Did I mention I’m don’t live with my ex-husband? Did I mention he’s in my house and I’m not? How is he not aware of these things? Wait am I crazy? Is this really happening? For the record I’ve made zero visits to his house when he’s not home, and it was my home for 16 years!!
The most self-doubting card is always played by my ex, and I fold every time. One look he shoots me that says… What? Nothing outta the ordinary here…I’m always sitting here at your table, playing your board games with our children! Don’t look so surprised!
This is a look I should be immune to, but last night proves I’m not. I don’t care how civil our lives apart are, there are still boundaries! I don’t have a key to his house, because his locked doors keep me out! How is this not an obvious, same rule applies?
The above scenario should have been the Grand Slam, dive in, no water wings needed, let one rip, you can’t go wrong whichever way you blow situation. I’ll just say I was reaching hard to tap into my inner black girl. My “here hold my earrings, gurlll” moment was here and I walked right passed it. Straight into the kitchen like everything was normal. I did, I won’t lie. He knew what he was doing, I was sidestepping an inch and he’s was closing in on the mile.
Will it happen again?
I bet it will. And I hear the Olympic echo let the “cycle games begin”.

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My 1st unanniversary

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Today I would have been married 18 years. My first divorced unanniversary. Last year we were separated, but this year was different. Let me preface this whole thing, by saying, I’ve never been happier. I wanted the divorce. My kids are happier and more adjusted than I ever thought possible. Perfect best case scenario. So why was there a tug at my heart all day? I think this is some of the things people fail to mention about divorce. It still hurts, even though it hurts less. I guess it’s like getting a tooth removed, why does your tongue seem to question the emptiness? Every night I go to bed (by myself) thrilled to be me. That’s an unbelievably amazing feeling. The first year I was separated I had some pretty great mentors. A question they constantly made me revisit was who is Christel? I wasn’t sure. What does Christel want? I didn’t know. What does Christel like? I didn’t have an answer. That sounds crazy, but it’s true. I had spent so many years walking on egg shells trying to please, I completely lost myself. The past almost two years I’ve spent dating myself, getting to know me. And it’s been the best relationship I’ve ever had. I know what I want. I know who I am, and I definitely know what I like. Freedom to be me has been the most amazing journey. No wonder the path to get here was so difficult, it was complete unexplored. I guess my first advice to anyone wanting to avoid marriage explosion would be, don’t let you path get overgrown. The Segway from yourself to others should be well beaten. No matter how far you reach out, always return to yourself.
Today tugged at my heart because I’m human, not because I failed, not because I feel guilty, just because.
So today I started a new celebration. I got my hair highlighted. My stylist of 15 years, brought a bottle of champagne, we ate chocolate, cheese and drank to a beautiful friendship. If I was a mouth, today would’ve been a tooth implant. It’s a little foreign at first, but less distracting to my tongue. My hairdresser and I laughed about things that had happened over the years and we toasted to lot’s of happy memories. When I left I was full of hope, because I had been celebrating my victories, and my hair looked phenomenal. Cheers to new reason to celebrate old days.

My Single Mom Challange

My Single Mom Challenge –

There’s a lot of challenges that face single moms, to the point the term “single mom” evokes almost the same pity as the term orphan. I’m a single mom so this is real time perspective. Being a single mom can be challenging, there’s are parts of it I cannot change. Focusing past the parts I can’t change, is my single mom challenge. Focusing on the things I can change is where the mountains begin to move. Hind sight focuses best in great distance. But, in just 2 years of living on my own with my kids, I can easily see that I’m a better mom, and even their dad is a better dad. That means my kids got an upgrade, that’s right, first class baby!! As a single mom I have to work more, I’m also a full time student, but even with all that I still have free time, everybody does. I can actually give all that to my kids if I wanted to. I know we all need “Me” time, I know that. “We” time is what I’m talking about. Every sunny day, I can declare a picnic day. Why do kids love picnics so much? Who knows, but they do, it makes eating an adventure. I could actually make macaroni and cheese every night, if I were so inclined. I can make thumb wrestling mandatory before bedtime. I can make pillow fights the way we announce dinner. I can make up new games, listen to more stories and color more pictures. Because looking perfect when they come home from school, doesn’t matter to them. Having a snack ready, that matters. See I’ve saved time already. Looking effortlessly hot, takes a lot longer than making a sandwich. I grew up in church, I understand families were designed to have two parents. On a side note, I’ve done a couple 10k(s) and been passed by runners with prosthesis where there was supposed to be a leg. The original human design is two legs, but like I said I particularly noticed these runners as they passed me. There is no dismissing the struggle, but the struggle is in the dysfunction, not in the adaption. Struggle is when something doesn’t work no matter how hard you try. Struggle is fighting a losing cause. Struggle is zero return on your investment. Struggle is working hard for nothing in return. Struggle will wear you out. Which is why I think people bleed struggle into adaption. When worn out people finally, cut their losses and adapt, they are often still weary from the struggle. Adaption pays off. Adaption works. Adaption requires gusto even when you’re tired. But Adaption eventually, syncs and compliments your efforts. There is no reason I can’t set my sights on changing the way people look at broken homes. I’m not saying I want to chop off my legs and get a springy prosthesis, but as those runners past me, my first thought was wow, maybe they have an advantage. What??? An amputee has an advantage! Without a doubt, sincerely that was my first thought. They took their struggle and made their adaption an advantage. As optimistic as that sounds, the truth rings louder than the cheer.

One giant thing I’ll have to monitor being a single mom is my hearing. Poor thing, I don’t know how you do it. Sympathy is fine, even kind, but letting it define you is a trap. I’m the strongest person I know. My kids have an emotional Olympic champion as a mom, lucky kids! I’m actually not lonely, and if you must know, I’m also not walking around on egg shells. I’m not missing out, I’m finally finding out how beautiful a house is that’s full of peace and absent of fear. I’m the lucky one, I walked through what scares most people into staying. I faced the giants and discovered the smoke and mirror illusions for myself. Someone told me once, “that’s sad, you gave him the best years of your life”. How could that be, because I only just begun to live? I am the happiest I ever even hoped or wished I would be. How many kids can say that about their mom? The adaption process takes time, but the work yields results. In the end, you will out run those who thought you couldn’t, shouldn’t or wouldn’t be able to keep up. Keep the faith, run the race. amy-palmiero-winters

No strings attached

Strings-Attached

No Strings Attached

 

Does that even exist? What do you do when you find yourself all tangled up in the good intentions of others?

  1. You start with the string that’s with the greatest choke hold, and you cut it. Usually all lines lead off of this one. So it may be the hardest to cut. When I thought about the strings in each of my relationships I know where the anchor rope was.
  2. Not all string are bad. Strings secure things in life and in relationships. Every single person wants security on some level. Strings can keep you connected. Strings can bring stability.
  3. Sometimes good people unintentionally tie you down. Any lifeguard knows a drowning victim has to be rescued the right way or the victim will drown the rescuer. In relationships it’s not always obvious at least initially what someone may be struggling with. We’ve all been pulled into other people’s drama, but the regularity of your tap-ins needs to be your red flag.
  4. You float. Believe or not you float, hope floats. You’ll survive, the choke hold you thought was your life line is the victim, YOU are the beautiful hero.

You will survive, you will grow. Cutting strings will set you free. The freedom to be you, is the very best gift you can give yourself. Discover who you are and how you handle what was holding you, for yourself.