Expectations of no expectations

In yoga our instructor told us to give up expectations. Okay. I normally don’t have any, so that was easy. I don’t expect to fail or succeed. I hope that my strength, flexibility and concentration is enough to keep me from falling on my face or ass, depending on the pose. But if I do fall, I don’t really care. No one is going to die because my Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana causes me to stumble. I am not somehow more spiritually connected because I hold Natarajasana.  But now that I am challenged to not have have any expectations, I wonder if I should have. Am I doing it wrong? My journey of having no expectations or no goals has been painful. It is a paradox to have no expectations – that is still an expectation. so the chatter in my monkey brain starts. If I wasn’t expecting to fall, isn’t that an expectation?  “QUIET!” I yell to myself. Ah…. my breath. I feel balanced. My breath is filling my lungs. My exhale is smooth. No expectations. Nothing. “I did it!,” I rejoice to myself. I am breathing and thinking of nothing. Oh crap…. I am now thinking of the nothing. so now it’s something. My breath is something.  “Don’t think'” I order my brain! Now here I am  I am thinking of nothing. isn’t nothing something? is this the right nothing. I hear my hear beat. I listen to my breath. I expect to hear my hear beating. wait, that’s a thought. Empty my mind. Is it empty now. Is this nothing? The nothing  is something. Not expecting is still expecting.

My mind wanders. I think how this nonsense is in my life.  I have no expectations of my gay ex husband. I don’t expect him to be kind and generous with our children. I reflect that the lack of that expectation is really an expectation. I expect that he will be a disappointment to them. I am correct more often than not. History informs my opinion. He is a moron. Yes, I am judging. Yes I am aware that I shouldn’t. This journey is a painful one where I struggle with letting go, forgiving, moving on and being present.

The IRS and Forgiveness

I don’t mean to offend any government workers – but my last encounter with a government official yielded the following gem: ME: “This is the worst customer service ever! You were wrong and have wasted so much of my time where I have to prove to you that you were wrong. I don’t owe you anything.” IRS Dude: “We are not a service organization. We are a compliance bureau and it is our job to make sure you are compliant with the tax law. Send us the proof of your claim and we will evaluate and adjust your account if needed.”  

Parallel situation to dealing with the Gay Husband! He is wrong and he owes me but my yelling at him will not make it hurt less or get to the end game faster. 

It has taken a while but I have finally forgiven the Gay Husband. Not for being gay but for not knowing how to live an authentic life and being so weak and insecure that he couldn’t face the truth of who he was. I have forgiven him for loving his mother more than his wife and children.  

Sadly, his children and I were collateral damage in attempt to protect his mother’s feelings.Yes – he was protecting his mother. Not his wife. Not his children. His choice of allegiance and loyalties not his gayness was the main source of my anger. I couldn’t fathom why would this man get married.  His mother had strong religious convictions whereby the Gay Husband believed she would not love or accept him as gay. To date, his worst fears of being alienated by his mom have not come to pass. In fact, she’s embraced him and still loves him. I don’t know how difficult her path to forgiveness was, maybe she is not there yet. but on the outside all of the justification that the Gay Husband had for hiding his identity were not real. 

Secondly and mostly, I was mad that I gave up my career and comfortable life for the promise of new life with him where we would own a business in his home town, geographically and emotionally isolating me from all that was familiar.  

My life as I knew it is over and forgiving him at least lets me lighten my load in that I put him out of my mind. I don’t snoop, don’t ask the kids questions and have reached a point that I just don’t care. On my part, our communications now have no emotional filter and are mostly transactional in nature. 

 

 

Don’t Pray. Do.

I temporarily stepped in front of a backdrop that made my life seem so enviable. For outsiders looking in and from my perspective, I had it all. There was nothing in the world that I wanted. I really felt like I had it all. The Gay Husband nuked that life and that part of my life is in the past. It is now gone. But I still have my health, my kids are healthy and our needs for safety, food, and shelter have been met. I live better than 99% of the other humans on this earth. I have no real, legitimate complaints.

Now my life is finally stabilizing and I’ve run into a few acquaintances who seem to feel like they can take credit for my new found happiness. They say, “We’ve prayed for you! God answered our prayers.” I should be grateful, but I am not. I am irritated and depending on who the person is who prayed for me – I am outraged!  It also irks me when people I know say they want to pray for me. I know that they mean well.

Why can’t I simply smile, nod and graciously say “thank you” or just exchange pleasantries. The Gay Husband has made me so sensitive to the most minor infraction and lies of any scope set me into a frenetic tailspin where I want to address the lie. Confront it and force honesty to the surface. He denied me truth for so long and I refuse to have any part of my life touched by lies. I want to protect my kids from the lie of a god that will answer prayers for a new baseball glove, nicer clothes or a good grade on a test. I don’t believe in a God who would listen to and answers prayers – If there was, he should focus on fixing things like Darfur, meth-head moms, sex slaves, and the gazillion other social injustices and inhumane things that his children are doing to one another. In any community, there are homeless people, hungry people, children who are not safe from predators in their own homes.

So don’t pray for me or anyone for that matter. Sing a song, tell an inspiring story or a joke, spend time with the person who you want to pray for. Send money if you can, volunteer and improve the conditions of the world we all live in.  The soul crushing debilitating shame, disgust and pain that so many people suffer can’t be erased with someone’s prayers. If you can’t actually bring your self to physically or financially help someone in need,  you are not helping.

And for the record in my case, it was not YOUR prayers that were answered, it was the manifestation of other people’s efforts and my own personal conviction and focusing on the future is what helped.

You mean it is NOT everyone else’s fault?

For me, putting myself first was unimaginable. My inner voice, in the shrill sounds of catholic school nuns, encouraged me to sacrifice. “True sacrifice equals love.” And if I loved my family as much as I say, I would sacrifice. I didn’t dare think my wants, needs or desires should come ahead or compete with those of my children or my spouse. My mother-in-law, the reigning queen of self sacrifice and martyrdom set an example that I was expected to follow. My needs became my husband’s needs and my children’s needs. If I happened to derive pleasure from their activities and need, that was a bonus, and many times I did. But to do something just for me, something for which no other person other than me would derive benefit – well that was heresy. Dare I even consider going to a Yoga class when dinner is scheduled? Pass on the invite to the niece’s birthday because I was tired from a grueling work and travel schedule?  No way! What kind of selfish bitch would I be? What would people think? My identity was shaped on how good of a mom I was: Did I get everyone’s homework corrected so that we got A’s? Did I get each kid to each activity in time? Did I encourage them enough? Do I dare skip out on watching my kids’ ball practice because that is when the Vinyassa class is scheduled?  Also, my spouse was a priority: Are we doing the activity he wants to do this weekend? Are his favorite foods on the menu this week? I push aside that I hate his mom’s meatloaf that I now obliging cook with a a smile on my face. To acknowledge that I don’t like what my spouse likes or not feel up to sitting at a ball practice makes me feel inferior. Not good enough. Like I will not get my “Mom of the Millennium” or “Spouse of the Century” merit badge. And, I am pretty sure these things exist. If you believe in heaven, I think all the moms are lined up in the order of best performer to worst performer and I wanted to be up near the front of the line. I didn’t just want a certificate of completion, I wanted an award.

I thought I was doing it all right. The sacrifice. The constant acquiescing to my husband’s desires. The endless accommodating of my mother in law’s whims. But there was a little voice, a whisper that was starting to whimper. It was me. It was me saying, “I am tired.” If i listened, the voice told me more of what I didn’t want to hear: my marriage was in trouble and no matter how many meat loafs I made or how many times I gave of myself to my husband, children or family, I still wouldn’t have the life I wanted. I wanted to fix it but didn’t know how.

It is ironic that the fix came from the destruction of the marriage, home, business, and family. My husband’s infidelity, years of random anonymous affairs with gay men from the internet is what broke my life and ironically fixed it.

My marriage was not the problem. My ability to manage and prioritize me and my needs in consideration others was my problem. I gave them the power to make me feel inferior and believed that the answer was to give more of me than I had.  Sadly the lessons I have learned on how to be a good spouse, good mom, and business partner will never be skills I can use to repair my broken marriage. But now I feel more prepared to start the next chapter where I am responsible.

Gazing into my crystal ball

I have a condo. It faces south and has trees shading the front and the back faces a wooded area. From the inside it feels very private and is quiet. I have just finished painting the interior to colors that I like. My bedroom is a bluish grey with a brighter blue accent wall. The bathroom is a lime green and it all feels very fresh and feminine. I have photos hanging on my wall that Amy took: My favorite photos of Will and emma an a collage of our snapshots and phone photos from races and trips to Vero.

Will wanted his room black, red and grey, so I painted his walls Grey with Black and Red stripes along the ceiling. Emma wanted a room that was very colorful and it looks like a jewlel box. One wall is purple, one is red, one is turquoise and the other is a yellowish green. It is bold and full of personality. I hung paper lanterns on her ceiling and her bed has a canopy from the ceiling. the veil is  lavender color and the bedspread is a combination of all the colors of her wall. She’s got her desk and school supplies and white board hung up. I painted a purple heart on the ceiling and it has little mirror squares and jewels in it.

The main living room and halls are a butter yellow. I paired them a neutral color until I decide on the furniture that I want. For now though I have furniture that Sue used: an old ethan allen sofa and coffee table. and a kitchen set from dad’s attic.  My kitchen is also a neutral color. The deck opens out form the kitchen/dining area. And I brought with me the wrought iron table and chairs with an umbrella. It is decorated with the wine bottle tea lights and other party lights and tiki torches. It is very festive and I love sitting out side, having a glass of wine and watching the fire flies in the trees.  I have a few bird feeders hung up where I can watch the birds come eat and fly around. When I look out, there are so many trees it is easy to forget that  I am in a very populated neighborhood.

There is a basement that has a storage area as well as a finished area for the kids to play with their friends. I have space enough to partition off an area to make a bedroom/ guest area for when company comes. there is a sliding glass door to the outside years and some windows that let natural light in. The walk out patio has another wrought iron table set and more party lights strung up along the ceiling. I have moved our large sofa from Illinos and our large tV is on the wall so that the kids have lots of space to play xbox and hang out with friends.

Originally I wanted a garage, but for the price, I opted for a parking space. I don’t mind because I saved that money to take a yoga certification class. The garage would have been used to store our bikes and other items, but the condo has a storage closet off the back patio and additional storage in the basement, so the garage was not really necessary for storage.

Living where I want to live now, I am working at a corporate job again. I love going into the office everyday. my commute is not bad at all, in fact, I enjoy it because I can listen to the radio and catch up on news. When I get to the office, I am so happy to be greeted by my co workers who are grateful that I am on their team. I am well respected and am able to contribute to the team’s goals. I feel so secure to have benefits again and to have a 401k savings plan that I can contribute to again. I am saving a lot of money as well as paying down the mortgage on my condo.

It is so freeing to know that i am able to make the salary I do and to have the financial freedom to take the kids on vacations and to save and to pay off the condo. I feel so at ease, like I had been holding my breath for so long and can finally exhale.

The kids are really happy and adjusted to our new life. they have made several friends at school and they can take the bus home or walk or when the weather is nice, they can ride their bikes. I jus love t the freedom that I have with them and I no longer have to interrupt my day to pick them up from school. On days when I am at the office late, I don’t worry because they are old enough that they can come home and wait the hour or so for me to get home. There are days though that they both have after school activities and I can pick them up or they can walk home.

We all love the variety that our new location offers us. There are plenty of grocery stores and restaurant and recreational activities all around us. Every thing is so close and we are all very happy. I am so relieve that I don’t have to spend hours each week in my car to simply do the tasks that are required to live life!

My family is near by and they join us on occasions for dinner or we all go to see them. The kids and I are at peace. I feel like they are getting a great education, I am making enough money to not have to worry about anything. My family is close and are able to help me when I need it and the kids are very secure.

My neighborhood has many other single parent families and the kids have made friends. I have gotten to know some of the parents and have a few ladies who I run with and a couple who go to yoga with. It is so nice to have a social life again and feel connected to human beings. I remember how isolated I was in Illinos. There were so few people who had common interests as me and the ones I found were quite a distance a way an it was a feel effot to stay in touch with people and to be active. I am so much more inspired here and feel so much more alive. It is hard for me to believe that I lived in Illinois as long as I did.

I know that this will not be a permanent place, but for now, I am so content and do not want to be anywhere else.

Crushed

Its been nearly a year since, “fuckkkk yeahhhh” was whispered in my ear by a burnt out, pot smoking chiropractor. Since that tragic date, I have had one long love affair with GI Joe, who for all practical purpose is really an imaginary boyfriend. The untimely death of a mutual friend brought us back in contact and then because of our jobs we were physically separated only to be reunited online.

GI Joe resurfaced online and existed in cyberspace, on the other side of the world wide web. He became my boyfriend in my pocket, constantly close to me. He was on my pc and in my phone. Where I went, he went. I’d snap photos of where I was and wish he was with me. He went grocery shopping and lingerie shopping. He went to the gym with me and helped me with my diet and exercise form. Always there. For several hours each day for months, we shared our lives. He thoughtfully listened to all of my daily going ons and without telling me what to do or how to do, he let me be me. He asked thoughtful questions, he offered advice when I asked. He told me I was beautiful but more so, he made me feel beautiful. Not just on the outside, but on the inside. He saw me, vulnerable, broken, and damaged. He saw my desperation. My need to be whole and my need to be wanted.  The years of deceit and mental abuse by the Gay Husband were being cured. Slowly the hurt and anger that I felt was dissipating. I let him in and it felt comfortable, like I could do no wrong. I trusted him, and he knew that to be true. He, more than anyone, has been in my head.  For the first time in  a really long time, I trusted again. The Gay Husband lied for so long about so many things. Well, technically it was everything  When you like about your sexual orientation to the person you are married to, your entire life is based on a lie.

GI Joe didn’t lie. He was brutally honest. I Only, I didn’t want to listen.

Now I can hear what he was saying. “I can turn it off. I can turn people off and out. Like a switch,” he said. Somewhere in the depths of our conversations and the intimacy that we shared, I knew his affections were to be fleeting. Wishing it to not be true would not make it so. In the depth of my soul, I knew he’d break my heart and I think that I wanted him to. I gave him what little was left of me, the scraps of me that were untainted by the gay husband. I gave it all, knowing but not wanting to know, that he could either cradle me or crush me.

Ah-ha! Because I Can

Do you ever feel those “ah-ha” moments where everything seems crystal clear. You’ve got all the answers and for a split second there is no fear. You may have the answer to a question you have had or if you are a believer that maybe god answered a prayer.  Then a quiet, zen-like moment occurs and you feel at peace.

I used to work for a woman who had brilliant ideas and moments of insight all the time. Her ideas were usually obvious, but she happened to be the first who thought of them. She’d have answers to all kinds of perplexing life questions and work scenarios. Her wisdom tended to occur as a flash of brilliance in the shower. She’d start, “I was in the shower and….” then she’d share her marvelous pearls of wisdom.

Secretly I was jealous. I wanted a ‘shower idea.’ Since knowing her, I have had many situations where a brilliant moment would have been appreciated. I’d get in the shower and ask the universe for an answer to some kind of situation du-jour that needed a remedy. Na-da. The shower gods were unresponsive.

Then, 5 weeks ago, I was in the shower, doing what the shower is designed for: showering and washing my body. I soaped up my scrubbie and started scrubbing, just like I’ve done for 40+ years. When I got to my boobs, I had the moment. The Shower Thought had come to me. Boobs. I needed a boob job. Yes, I said ‘need’ not ‘want.’  In my mind there was no difference because I had made up my mind. The equation is simple:

{2 Kids + Years of Weight Fluctuation + (Gravity*42 Years)} / {Self Esteem – (9 * (years of neglect from gay husband) = Boob Job

Obvious, right?

Or perhaps it could be summed up as simply “mid life crisis.” But I doubt it. It was my ah-ha moment. I am owing it and claiming it as my ah-ha moment. Plus, I rationalized, I deserve it. I am young(ish), generally attractive, and new boobs would look really good on me. Mind you, I’m not talking porn star boobs, but some serious knockers that would look smokin’ hot on my petitie frame. I also do have a practical side and need them to be unobtrusive so that I can still maintain my exercises, which has been critical to my my mental health.

So there I was, soaped up and charged up. I had my shower idea and the very next day had a consult. I met with the surgeon and tried on several sizes. Within minutes, I made up my mind. I suppose major surgery should take more deliberation and thought, but I knew exactly what I wanted. I booked my surgery date, paid my deposit and was ready to go.

A week later, a friend was driving me home to recover. When all was said and done, I had 350 ccs of silicone inserted under my muscles. Everything was lifted up to where it should be. Now that the swelling has gone down a bit and the incision sites are healing, I must say that they look good. Not fake. They fit me like I wanted them to and I am quite pleased with how they look. I was in the shower soaping them up and that is when it hit me.

I didn’t ask anyone permission. I didn’t discuss this with anyone or ask opinions on what size I should get. I didn’t socialize this idea with girlfriends, family, or GI Joe. I didn’t deliberate or have to ask my spouse. That is when I chuckled out loud because I could imagine how that conversation would have gone. My gay husband was not a ‘boob’ guy. He was a ‘dick’ guy so he would not have been supportive of this plan.

This decision, I kept it to myself not because I was embarrassed or felt that someone would think less of me or more of me. My big discovery was: I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks of me. This is about me and for me.  I felt empowered and strong. I did this because I can.  Ah-ha!

The Last Tear

I still cry every time my kids leave to visit their dad. It’s a total breakdown complete with the sobbing kind of cry. Then every time, I say with conviction, “This is the last tear I will cry. No more tears because it is not my fault. I did nothing wrong and I have so much to be thankful for.”

Then, I dutifully count all my blessings and wipe my tears away. I have so much to be thankful for, but what I really want is my family whole again and I can’t help but feel angry and sad. I am still grieving for the life I will never have. Yes, I know I need to ‘get over it’ and move on. But the tears keep coming. I want the father of my children back in my house. I want him to not be gay and to love me like he promised he would. But the thing is, he was always gay.

From the start, our life together was a lie. I am sure he wanted to love me. But what he wanted more was to have children and to return to his home, near his mom, sister and friends. I went along for the ride, replacing my individual dreams with dreams of our new life and his family. Slowly I gave up who I was and blended into his family, his town, his friends. Never really feeling like any of it was a sacrifice because I wanted my husband and children and me to have a shared story.

I traded in the dreams I had for me for dreams of ‘we.’ I cry as I grieve for the loss of my dreams, my spouse, my family as I knew it.

Not a single tear will erase the pain. I take a deep breath, wipe my eyes and grab my yoga mat and head out the door, knowing that in a matter of time, I will have some peace and my practice will help me balance the pain and loss I feel with the uncertainty of my future.

In time, my grief will be balanced with the joy and gratitude I have for the wonderful opportunities and friendships that would not be present in my life if it were not for these circumstances.

I Want Dorothy’s Shoes

The universe has made a giant mistake. Giant may be a bit of an exaggeration. Perhaps it’s just a stutter. But, I am now living in some strange parallel universe that makes no sense. How can it be that my children are not allowed to leave Mapdot and live a normal, stable, and enriching life with me back East. I just want to go home.

I am grieving all over again. This time it’s because of the death of a dream. I wanted so badly to leave Mapdot and to escape and just move on with my kids. I wanted to be granted sole custody and go home, to my family and friends. I had a home waiting for me and a really good, high paying job. I was so sure that I would be allowed by the courts to go.

After all, the Gay Husband doesn’t not exactly participate in the day to day life of our children. He doesn’t tend to their basic needs like feeing them or providing them with a safe home. His mother prepares all the meals and the GH has a shanty in the country that serves as a place to sleep. In my option, its in the best interest of the kids to be far away from the ridicule of having a gay dad, be with their primary care giver, be removed from an environment where they are exposed to a lot of adult behavior. I wanted my kids to attend schools that are some of the nation’s best and be near the museums, art, culture and diversity that is offered in a metropolitan area. I want my kids to have every opportunity and not deny them the relationship of their dad. My offers for visitation were generous and I offered to foot the bill to ensure that the kids and their dad stayed close.

My job, which is located in the Northeast, is a good high paying job that is in my field. I have been doing it since prior to the discovery of The Gay Thing and prior to GH moving out. So it is not as if I planned to have a job where I would want to run away to because after all, I didn’t know I would want to leave.

Can I work at that job from Mapdot? Yes, sort of. I can work here, but not efficiently and there will be travel, which means my kids will be in the care of their grandmother and with GH. My job is at risk, and while I may be able to technically work here, I don’t see it being a long term solution. By not being physically located in the East, my job will be redefined and possibly eliminated or re assigned to someone else.

For the past several months, I could see no other solution than living back East. My dad has a rental home that I would rent. I envisioned myself waking up with the kids, packing lunches, sending them to school on the bus. I would go to work and come home. I have friends who I would work out with, run with, and who have kids that would be my kids’ friends. In my mind, it all seemed so real. So real that in fact, there were days I’d wake up in Mapdot and be actually surprised that I was here instead of there. It just seemed so right, so perfect and such the obvious solution. But then I’d realize I was still here.

The Guardian assigned to evaluate our custody case and make a recommendation on my request to leave thought differently. Her interviews and visit revealed no surprises. I scored high in the ‘better parent’ category and GH was caught in lies and told he ‘has his head in the sand’ when it comes to the risks and dangers he presents. I was granted residential custody and GH is to have visitation. Most importantly, she noted that the kids are attached to the farm, their friends and family and she thought it in their best interest to preserve status quo with their living situation. My request to leave was denied.

My employment and career, in her mind is replaceable. While she made not inquires or calls to my employer, she felt that I should be able to replace my job locally. Clearly she missed the memo about high unemployment and lack of high paying professional jobs in my field in this area.

My career and the way that I earn a living and will support the kids is at risk.

The farm and physical surroundings of the kids will change as GH and I have decided to sell the farm. We will have to move and  the kids will be moving and changing schools.

The reasons that my request was denied are no longer relevant. I am challenging premise for her findings and asking her to modify her findings and recommendation. I simply cannot accept that my kids and I are to be held hostage here to preserve a set of circumstances that have irreversibly changed. I am begging the universe to put me back on the trajectory I was on before meeting GH. Or, can I please have a pair of magic red glittery shoes to tap three times?

Getting my heart broken for all the right reasons

As much as I want to be with GI Joe and as much as I want him to want to be with me, the reality is that I can’t force him to feel something for me. I can’t ask him to be there for me, and while he’s safe and at the other end of my computer, I am going crazy wanting him.

For weeks, there’s been cute, funny flirty banter. A few photos exchanged, and all it does is make me want him more. He gives me what I crave. I feel wanted. I feel special. But really, if I am honest with myself. It is really dangerous for me to assume anything and I don’t want to punish him for the sins of GH.

So, he wants more than me. Or different than me. Or just not me. Or quite possibly, he doesn’t want anyone and is just bored and sexually deprived, just as he said. I shouldn’t make this about me, because it isn’t. I know that, but I am obviously quite damaged and crave an intimate connection that is personal and special. I crave that from him and don’t want it to end.

GI Joe told me he was bored and sexually deprived. He joined the site to see what the fuss was about. He has been honest. Now the question I have to answer is, “am I okay with that?”

I trust him to be honest and he has not told me or done anything that has been less than forthright. We don’t have a relationship where we’ve chosen each other. We don’t have any expectation of commitment. The one thing I can count on is that he breaks my heart it won’t be because of lies and deceit. I am okay with that.