Sunday, March 30, 2014


It hit like the deluge of rain that was pounding on my window.  A veritable tidal wave of pain arose from deep with in me. Every event, every word, every action that had sunk in to me over the last few months began to pull out of my bones, out of my blood, out of my skin, and out of my tears.

I don’t even know what started it but my heart was so heavy I didn’t want to get up. I ran a bubble bath and sat in what became a bath of my own tears, taking stock of my body, emaciated from years of stress that burn the calories faster than they come, and of my life that appeared before me as a twisted mess.

I’ve put myself out there time and time again in hopes that I will meet someone nice. And between Chap, the Pace Setter and most recently Officer Hottie who runs hot & cold faster than you can say “ma’am you were speeding” - I have internalized a world of pain.

Though in each situation I recognized their words and actions were a reflection of them, not of me.  Yet I held on to a part of it and internalized it, letting it eat at me until I couldn’t take it any longer and my body forcible rejected it all in the form of a stream of tears.

During this nuclear breakdown, I reached out to Chap. Because that’s what I do when I’m feeling low. Partly out of naive hope that maybe this time he will say ‘oh wow, I totally f’d up, I’m so sorry’ but full well knowing he is not capable of that and that all he will dish back is pain.  Which he did.  But an interesting thing happened. I dished it back - I sent the most honest email I’ve sent him. I told him he uses other people’s actions to justify the fact he is a monster. And he really is, a monster. My heart hurts even knowing I said it to him - and I don’t think he has to always be one but he has certainly chose that path and his fears are eating him alive. My knee jerk reaction was to send a follow up email, apologizing for my brash honesty. But as I read and re-read when I sent, I realized I couldn’t apologize for telling the truth. The truth that has been there all along but I was too scared to say.

And during this time, my mind did a flip flop. From focusing on the hurt and pain to seeing the strength that has been growing this whole time. The fact I could see Chap clearly. The fact that I know Officer Hottie’s ambivalence won’t work for me.

I went and got a massage and as she pushed deep into each knot, I imagined it was releasing all of the poisons that I had allowed inside and was setting me free, starting anew.

24 hours later, my muscles have never felt better. There is now a permanent wall separating Chap from me. And I’ve deleted Officer Hottie’s number because I don’t have time to be strung along through hot and cold games.

The pain is still there, it doesn’t disappear because of one good cry. And I still can’t tell you what is at the root without making up a knotted explanation that may or may not be true.  Whatever I’ve held on to, however I ended up back in a place of unworthiness - I can only count myself lucky that my body chose to let it go, literally forced it out, and pray that I move forward from this place. Acknowledging the feelings of unworthiness that have arisen and letting them go with whatever amount of grace can be found while crying in a bubble bath!

I know that grace and forgiveness of myself will be found at the heart of this particular storm (even if I don't know particular storm this is...yet). It's a painful road to get there but at least I know where I'm heading.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Pressure relief

It’s funny what a good round of venting can do. After all of the pressure I’ve been feeling, I had a call with the Sage Shrink and basically she said “yes that would all cause a lot of pressure, and I think you just need to talk it out”. Boy was she right, it felt like a weight was lifting after having an hour to vent out all of the thoughts that have been piling up in my head. I swear if everyone saw a Sage Shrink once a month, world peace would be achieved.

The night after the fun date with Officer Hottie, I was out and about and had really nice conversaton with a cute guy who was sitting next to me - who turns out to be a local sports anchor (hereby known as Anchorman). Though I went into to convo just making idle chat about the NCAA tournament (I didn’t know he worked in sports or I wouldn’t have rambled on about my uneducated opinions!), we ended up talking for a while and it is one of the most enjoyable random-stranger conversations I’ve had in a bar. Though I got up to leave rather abruptly, I paused and said “should we do this again” and he said yes, and texted me that night.

In my head, I’m convinced he’s a total player. I mean, he’s on TV – how can he not be? The bartender was flirting with him. A gorgeous model-esque girl showed up to hang out with him and his friends. All of the classic signs of a player. The next day he went silent on text for a few hours – which was no big deal but I definitely imagined he was probably out having drinks with some supermodel – he later texted and informed me he spent the afternoon taking a nap. LOL!  Why would I assume the worst? I’ve def done this with a few different guys – assumed the worst when they turned out to be on the up and up (and assumed the best when they turned out to be a player).  So what have I learned? That my radar is way off and may as well just have fun while keeping my guard in tact (easier said than done since I’m infamous for letting my guard down based on misplaced optimism).

Nonetheless, I was happy to have two very fun nights out and it was great to finally have some of the pressure relieved!

Letter to My Ex-Husband Part 2

Dear Ex Husband,

Thank you for your response to my earlier email.  I agree that sometimes things are easy between us and sometimes things are strained, that is exactly why I sent that previous email, because when things are strained, it rarely has to do with the present situation.

I can’t erase that when you are ‘traveling for work’ I imagine that you are lying and just sneaking off to be with some girl. I can’t change how I get physical nauseous when I see a new dad with a baby. How my eyes filled with tears when our mutual friend mentioned that her husband said likes to go out together was a family – I had to look away to hide it from her. How jealous I am of friends who are having babies and their husbands who are sticking by their side, spending time with their wife and baby.  It is hard for me to even be around them.

Even seeing my friend's twins' birthday – they went through hell to have those boys and they have it all now. And I have a broken home, I’m tired constantly, I can’t even register feeling ‘fun’, I consistently get ditched by guys because I have a kid – and I have to interact daily with the person who broke all of this. I don’t know how you can ever fix that.

Everyone says it will heal, but those same people have said 7 years for them.  I don’t want to lose 7 years of my life, I already lost 3.  I miss every moment of Grace’s first year when I was a wreck and crying and sick and scared. When I couldn’t just enjoy my baby girl.  Right now I miss sleep because the stupid PTSD symptoms, caused by your sudden affair and ending of our marriage, won’t go away and the nightmares invade every night, followed by panic attacks in the morning.  I’m so, so mad.

I’ve thought of a million ways to make you pay for this, something that could be done to set things right. But in truth, nothing will change it. It just has to heal. But I do hope that inside you can feel the pain I feel because it still takes my breathe away. It still makes me cry at random moments. It still makes me feel like an outcast in society – the girl who’s husband was out cheating while she was home with an infant.  It feels like I’m permanently branded by you.  I don’t know how to forgive you for that.  The best I can do is pretend you are 2 different people so I can hate the man that I married but tolerate the person who is Grace’s father.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Officer Hottie

I saw a tall, cute boy at the bar on Saturday night. He was singing with his friends and having a great time – not caring what anyone thought, not trying to impress anyone, not playing any games. So, I decided to give him my number.  Although when I did, I was so nervous that the act of giving him my number to every ounce of courage that I had and I forgot to ask him name!

He texted the next day and asked me out the day after. We went out last night, but in the days in between, I found out 2 salient facts: 1) He’s 29 and 2) He’s a State Trooper!

Me: Mom, he’s 29.
My Mom: Well, what do you think about that?
Me: I think it’s pretty badass that I picked up a 29 year old when I’m about to turn 35
Mom: That doesn’t have to do with him!
Me: Yeah, but it’s the important part!

When he walked in last night he was even cuter than I remember and my first thought was “Great taste, Diana!”  We had a fun time. He was flirty and funny.  At the end of the night he walked me to my car and lingered for longer than necessary (I had to finally say I needed to go because it was getting late).  Despite all of the Officer Hottie fantasies that were playing in my head during our 3.5 hours of drinks, he left without even trying for a kiss.

I hope we hang out again, as he was easy to be around and kept me laughing.  But at this point I can’t even begin to understand what guys are thinking… And so begins the patience of waiting to see if he will make a move. 

Ok, fine, I have to admit, he texted first after we parted last night. But I texted first today. Clearly I am lacking in texting self-discipline, as I literally couldn’t hold out!  To ease my anxiety of this waiting game, I bought a dozen chocolate chip cookies from the Amish market.  This is my guaranteed hedge that I’ll be satisfied no matter how the situation turns out J

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Letter to My Ex-Husband: The Quantifable vs. Unquantifiable

Dear Ex Husband,
There isn’t really a point in getting in to this, but you and I address the things that are in quantifiable terms such as scheduling, babysitter fees, and flexible Grace’s extracurricular commitments because that is all we can do at this point.  And that makes sense, it is all anyone can do in this situation.

But the things that are hardest on me are not quantifiable. Nothing you can point to, pay for, trade off, or fix in any way. Those are the things that make the quantifiable items more irritating to me. So though I will likely get prickly about this stuff sometimes, I actually think the quantifiable things are going well, the scheduling, the flexibility, looking out for each other when possible. I’m not actually annoyed with any of that, just the opposite –I’m grateful it is going smoothly.

It is the things that are not quantifiable are so painful and are the root cause of so much hurt and underlying stress – that sometimes that stress leaks into the quantifiable things.  So I’m not annoyed about your work travel or when you pay for a babysitter, I think most stuff shakes out fairly and we operate smoothly.

But my underlying hurt, pain and stress – nothing can be done about it. Just time. And sometimes it heals more, then the wound opens again, then heals more, then opens a little again. The past few months the wound has been opening. And I’m hurting. And it is hard to see you or talk to you or even look at you in the eye.

I’m not sending this to ask for something different. Just to let you know why sometimes things are lighter and easier and sometimes they are harder and I seem frustrated.


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Patience versus Endurance

Work and personal life have been trying on both fronts lately, leaving me exhausting and hoping for that short term fix of ‘happy’ to remind me that the tough stuff is worth it. This great article on Patience versus Endurance articulates the difference of the two, in terms of what you experience as a leader.

As the 'leader' of my household (though I’m sure Grace would say she is!), I need Patience as I am waiting that someday things may feel less like a pressure-cooker. Patience that someday maybe I’ll meet Mr. Right.  It is taking a lot of Endurance to get through the daily pressure-filled grind, to hold up under the demands of house fixes, kid-obligations (I didn’t have an outfit for her on Dr. Seuss dress up day and I didn’t even realize they were having a Valentine’s Day party at school nor that I was supposed to sign up to bring a snack!)

On the professional front, my new gig is a 'leadership' position running a marketing department at a mid-size company. This is the job I’ve worked toward and what I’ve wanted to do.  I am beyond excited for this opportunity, yet it is taking Patience to turn a services-oriented marketing department into a strategic function. And it is taking marathon-level endurance to get through some performance issues.  Oh boy!

On both fronts, it feels like the “double whammy” (as the author has termed it).  It is leaving me run down. I’m still searching for the balance of how to move forward toward personal & professional goals while taking care of myself so I can take care of others as well!

What do you do when you are hit with the double whammy to keep your energy up and take care of yourself?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Dear Me, Well Done! From, Me

In the last week or so things with the Pace Setter fizzled and I cut short a few dates with a cute swimmer who had more than enough ego for the two of us. So I’m back at square one. Last night, in the quiet of the evening, after Grace went to bed, I found myself wishing an thoughtful or caring email or text would pop up from someone who was thinking of me.  Alas, my phone stayed silent and dark. And my spirits started to darken as well.

That is when I realized, I was waiting for someone else to send a positive note brightening my day. Waiting for someone else to validate what a good effort I had made that day at my new job (which is rapidly becoming more demanding on many fronts) and as a Mom.  So why am waiting on someone else to lift me up? Why am I not lifting myself up? Seems about time to do so…

Hi Diana,

You really rocked today. I’m so proud of you for taking ownership of that mess of a project at work and moving it forward, finally it is almost complete!  Also, Grace seemed so happy and at peace as you cuddled with her tonight – you are so lucky to have such a sweet, loving child rest her head upon your chest and cuddle in to you. It is also a testament to your warmth and positivity toward her that she feels so comfortable and natural in doing so.

Lastly, I must say your skin is looking much clearer after whatever random issue caused that breakout & the new highlighter makeup you are using is really taking the years off.

Well done!

Yours truly,