Four Minutes

I am so angry at myself right now. So angry, that I spent a decent amount of time crying, and would not be at all surprised if I cry again while writing this.

Procrastination has always been a strong habit of mine, and it’s one that I have been working pretty hard to break. I’ve done really well this past semester with meeting my deadlines (I was late ONCE and my professor very graciously extended it), but sometimes it still rears its ugly little head. Fall semester-well, this one in particular, was extra important because this was the semester when I would FINALLY be applying to four year universities for transfer. I had three picked out, one of which I submitted a transfer guarantee-basically I was a shoo-in for it if I submitted this application. The deadline for application to most of the UC’s was extended. Did I have all of my stuff done before the extension deadline? Well, just about-the only thing I had to work on was my “personal insight” questions. It was a set of four questions total that we had to answer. I knew that I should have been working on them sooner. I kept putting it off. Oh, I’ll have plenty of time…the deadline isn’t  until January now, so it’s cool. Christmas hit, and I was so busy with all of that, and family and friends visiting, and all of that stuff that I kept putting it off. Wrapping gifts and having fun with everyone just sounded so much better.

Fast forward to last night: I knew that the deadline was today. I was REALLY going to work on my stuff last night. But then I decided that I knew that I could get it done today if I really buckled down, and so I settled for watching old episodes of Sex and the City. Overconfidence strikes again.

Tonight: Two hours before the deadline, and I’m cruising along, take a ten minute (if that) break, and I’m happily crafting answers for my questions. I’m on the last question, and I look at the time. 11:50. Crap. Ten minutes. I have ten minutes to finish this and review everything to make sure I have it. 11:59. 12:00. 12:01. I finish the questions, copy, paste, submit…and two sections on my application are incomplete. Hmm…that’s weird, because they were complete before. The box that was checked for the university I was applying to is now unchecked. I go to click it, and I can’t. “This campus is closed to your level.” It is now 12:04. I’ve missed the deadline by four minutes, and now I can’t submit the application.

Tears hit. Angry, disappointed tears. I had no one to blame but myself. I knew when the deadline was, and I was the one who put it off. I was mad at myself for waiting. I was ashamed, because now when I tell people what schools I’m applying to (many who already knew that I was applying to that school), I’m now going to have to tell them that I screwed up and “no, I’m not applying there because I missed the application deadline by four minutes.” You’d think I have learned not to procrastinate in all my 33 years of living, but no. I’ve already been accepted to one school, and this other school that I was applying to was never one that I had really had a desire to attend…but the fact that it was no longer an option upset me. I am applying to one more school, and then I’m done. The overachiever in me is saying that isn’t good enough, I should apply to 3, or even 4 schools, just to see where I can get accepted. And then I became angry because I always push myself so hard that I feel like nothing I do is good enough. I’m sure a lot of that stems from the abuse, but it’s stuck with me.

I tried not to be upset, and I had my good cry about it. I eventually got some peace when I just gave it to God and prayed for guidance about which path I need to take. I guess I wasn’t meant to go to that school for a reason.

And I need to stop procrastinating.

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Moving On

Hi. It’s been a really long time.  Like, super long…really, there’s not been much of an excuse except for, well, life. School, kids, boyfriend (yes, I said boyfriend-more on another post), and just everything. Things have been going well, and I wish I could say that I had kept up with writing, but I’ve been meaning to come back to it and then something happens. If you’re still reading after all this time, thank you. If you’ve stumbled upon this somehow, thanks for reading. Anyway…I’ll have to do a “yes I’m still around and here’s what’s been happening” post sometime soon, but for now, I had to get something out and I figured there was no better venue than here.

Yesterday, Mr. C and my mother and I decided to go to the farmers’ market, because summer. And we wanted fresh strawberries, and because we just needed to get out. It was a beautiful day, and there were so many people out, just enjoying the day and browsing the awesome variety of fruits and vegetables that grace our little town every week. Somewhere between the tie-dye booth and the plums, I saw her: the girl I caught my ex-husband with. I knew it was inevitable; she is from my hometown and she is engaged to someone who lives here, so I had figured it would happen at some point. A long time ago, I may have reacted differently. I may have said something, or tried to make a snarky comment within earshot. But today was different. Although my heart was racing on the inside, I remained calm. I’ve been working out, so I felt a bit more confident. (Thank you, BeachBody). I focused on Mr. C trying to raid the samples of peaches and plums and then she was gone.

I know she saw us. I was okay, actually up until she left. I became paranoid, as if she was watching  us still. She probably would have played dumb if I ever tried to confront her. Honestly, I knew that it wasn’t worth it-it was part of my past, and I am so happy now that it really doesn’t matter. But why, why the heck did it hurt still? Because seeing her brought back all of those feelings. The feeling of betrayal, of being blamed for finding his Facebook page open to all of their interactions. Remembering what it felt like when I knew he was talking to her on the phone in his car, but lying to my face. Seeing the obscene pictures she sent him, and seeing the pictures of engagement rings she was sending him, while he told her he loved her. And after it all, him telling me that it had been a joke. And what hurt the most (and the part that I am most ashamed of), begging him not to leave me. I suppose that it just serves as a reminder of what I absolutely will never stand for again. Also, that I have come a long way…and to be proud of where I am now. And especially, because I finally found a good man who knows the value of a relationship.

I’m still not where I need to be yet as far as healing, but bit by bit, I am getting there. I’m moving on, one day at a time.

Alive.

It’s been forever since I’ve written. I meant to write a long time ago, and life (and everything else in between) happened. So, I figured I’d get restarted and kind of update. First of all, if you’re still following, thank you. This blog was something that I’d wanted to do for a while, and I’ve neglected it big time. It’s two years old now (what?) and I’ve not done much, but I’m planning on making that change. I’m in my second year of school now. One more year, and I transfer. More on that later. Mr. C will be having his THIRD birthday next week (how the heck did that happen?). And, I’ve been dating someone for over a year. Much more on that a bit later, as well. I still have much to write about, as far as life experience and the usual dealings with life go. My divorce was finalized last year, I’m still dealing with child support. We’re happy. We’re doing well. I’d like to say we’re healthy, but I’ve missed two (not including the holiday) days of school because Mr. C has had a fever, cough, and runny nose. Turns out it’s been an ear infection and sinus infection. Thank goodness for antibiotics. I stayed up almost all night on Tuesday to finish a paper that I had procrastinated on doing…I finished around 6:30 a.m., ran to school to slip it under my professor’s office door, and came back home. I have another test next week. I’m ready for summer already.

Cleaning the Closet

It’s not even 10 a.m. and I’m already in tears. It’s definitely not my ideal Saturday morning,  but that’s just how my day is going. I woke up early because Mr. C decided that 8 was a great time to want to watch Thomas the Train. I decided that since I was up, I’d start putting out some of our fall decorations.  Only trouble was that they were at the bottom of my closet. I had to take out a bunch of stuff to make room for the bins to pull out of the closet, so I started moving things: old cheerleading uniforms, my letter jacket, and at the very back of the closet, purposely pushed as far back as it would go: my wedding dress.

I opened the bag to look at it (not the smartest thing to do, I know), and it was still beautiful, even though it desperately needed cleaning. The beading on the bodice and on the beautiful chiffon skirt was delicate and elegant. I put the veil on. (Seriously,  why do I do these things?) It sparkled, even through the wrinkled tulle and the frayed thread. I looked at the dress again. I needed to get rid of it.

Most people keep their dress, and I still would like to, but I just can’t. Looking at it brings back so many memories.  Yes, it was a happy day for the most part, and yes we were happy sometimes, but somehow those other bitter memories come back. The tears and the heartache, and the sadness of knowing that my marriage is over and was never what I had wanted it to be.

It’s hard to be happy sometimes, seeing so many of my friends getting married and having babies. I’ve been there and done that, and now I’m in a different season of life, and that’s okay. I just hope that one day, when I look at the back of my closet, there will be a dress that will make me cry tears of joy at the memories.

Seeing Ghosts

Once again, it’s been a while since my last post. Admittedly, I haven’t turned out to be so great at this blogging thing. I salute all of you bloggers out there who do this regularly! I actually forgot about the blog for a bit, and then I remembered and realized that I should post something, and then I forgot again. But tonight, I remembered, so yay! I am famous-or infamous, rather-for starting things and not finishing them. I know I have hardly posted on here, but I wanted to at least post before school starts next week and I’m totally bogged down in studying. So, here goes.

It has been a somewhat odd couple of weeks. Not anything crazy, but just kind of emotionally taxing and a bit stressful. You would think that since I have been on break from school for a bit it would be more relaxing, but we don’t really have much of a routine lately (unless you count waking up daily at 10:30 or 11), so things kind of get a little chaotic. I had to go to court for child support, which I was really dreading because I a)had never been to court and b) don’t like anything having to do with my divorce, but I knew that it was necessary to move things forward. The days leading up to the date were creeping by, and finally it was the weekend before. That Sunday, I went outside with Mr. C, because he was itching to go out and play with chalk and bubbles (mostly chalk, and mostly drawing on himself, or the house). I was helping him down the stairs of our front porch when I heard a car approach the house. I looked up just in time to see a guy driving past my house. It was him. My ex-husband.

I froze, and my blood immediately chilled and tingled through my body. I immediately scooped up Mr. C and went into the house and told my mother. We were in shock (except for Mr. C, who was really angry that I made him go inside), and I contacted my lawyer who advised me to make note of it. I was shaking, and I felt out of control and shattered. I felt as if my whole world had been violated. Why was he here? Why now? I knew that it was because we had court, but why would he make it a point to drive past my house when he knew there was a restraining order against him? I just didn’t get it. I was paranoid everywhere I went after that, and I didn’t sleep well for the next couple of days.

It turns out it wasn’t him–he didn’t show up to court, which is a whole other story (and extra frustrating, but I know that it will all work out somehow, eventually). I still couldn’t help but feel haunted by the whole thing. In that tiny moment, I had let everything get to me. I had come so far in a year, tried building myself back up from the ground, and in that one moment, I had felt like I reverted back to where I had been before. I know that’s not exactly true, but I just felt all of that anxiety and fear rushing back to me. It served as a reminder that we are so much better off now, and that I never want to feel that anxiety again. I pray that no one has to feel that way, and the sad reality is that so many do. The good news is, that it can and does eventually get better.

What a Difference a Year Makes

Today marks one year since I finally made the decision that would change my life (and my son’s life) forever.  It’s hard to believe that it’s already been that long.  It still feels like yesterday that I made the phone call, and yet at the same time, it seemed to go by slowly as well. So much has happened in the past year–birthdays, holidays, so much growth and change.  No matter what though, I still remember the details of that day just as vividly.

I remember the argument that turned physical (four times in ten days things got physical); I remember leaving for work and not wanting to leave my son with his father.  I remember feeling a strange push, like things were going to change.  I remember the voice at the back of my mind saying “You have to do this.  Now.”  I remember the details of the conversations with my friends at work, the phone call to my mother to come and get me (we lived four hours away), my tearful call to the police reporting my husband.  I cried and cried as I made that call, knowing that he’d be so upset with me, but knowing that I had to do it, even though I loved him. I knew that I couldn’t live like that anymore, and I knew that I wasn’t going to let my son grow up in that.  He was an innocent bystander in all of it, and he didn’t deserve to live that way either.  I remember the conversation with the officer, showing him my bruises, and waiting around nervously as he went to my apartment to question my husband. I remember leaving work to wait down the street for them to call me back to let me know whether or not they arrested him, and them calling me to come get my son.  I remember seeing him in the back of the police car and crying, my friend urging me out of the car to come get my baby.  Seeing my son being held by a police officer as I tearfully scooped him up and held him close to me.  Friends came over to help, sat with me and helped me pack things as I waited for my mother to come.  One thing I will always remember is the feeling after they all left and I was in the apartment alone with my son.  Relief.  Overwhelming relief.  It was over.  He couldn’t touch me anymore.  And yet, at the same time, I was so sad, and scared.  Now what?  We were about to start on a whole new chapter of life, and I had no idea what to do.  I had spent four years with someone, and now I had to learn how to function without them, all while learning how to take care of another life.  How the heck am I going to manage that? 

I’d have to say that I am pretty darn proud of myself.  I still have a long way to go, and a lot of healing to do, but I have never felt so sure of where God has wanted me to be.  We are healthy, we are happy (I honestly haven’t been this happy in a long time), and we have a lot of love surrounding us.  I thank Him every day for where we have been and where we are.  Even though this is never where I imagined I’d be in life, I am so excited for the journey that lies ahead, and the present.  I have my days where things are rough, but I have gained confidence, courage, and trust in God.  It’s amazing how much change a year can bring.

Changing the Story

Happy belated Mother’s Day to all of you mommy readers (and if anyone still reads this, thank you)!  I realize that it has been quite some time since I’ve posted on here, but I figured I’d give it a go again before I start school and get completely bogged down in everything else.  Hopefully that won’t happen, but that seems to be the way that things go sometimes. 

The other day was my 2nd Mother’s Day with Mr. C, and my first since moving back home.  It was really nice to be able to celebrate it with my mom, since we were away from her the previous year.  We did our usual get up and move really slowly and then rush to get to church routine, and we were a bit late but we made it before the message started which was good.  (I don’t like missing worship and I really don’t like coming in in the middle of the message.) One of the assistant pastors had all of the moms in the room stand, and then they applauded us, which totally made me feel good.  It’s always nice to be recognized for hard work, even when you don’t think you’re doing the best job sometimes.  Then, they said a prayer for us and they had people put a hand on all of us and pray.  My mom and I both teared up.  It was amazing to feel so much love from everyone, and to be encouraged and reassured that we were all doing a great job just was a great feeling.  The message was awesome, my mom walked around with Mr. C so I could listen since I usually miss it because I’m always running around with him (he isn’t feeling the nursery quite yet).

After church was over, we went to brunch at one of the more upscale restaurants in town, because why not?  We deserve a $9 mimosa and some eggs benedict, darn it!  🙂  Aside from Mr. C having a minor meltdown at the end of the meal (and pouring his entire sippy cup full of water on himself at the beginning), it was a very enjoyable time.  Later in the day, we went for a walk and picked up some groceries, and my mom bought me some purple tulips (my favorite).  I felt very blessed and happy to have been able to spend my Mother’s Day here in my hometown. 

As I was getting ready that morning, I knew already which dress I wanted to wear to church and brunch-a beautiful floral print dress with a flowy handkerchief hem and ruffled cap sleeves.  I had bought it last year right after Mr. C was born, and it just made me feel so pretty.  I was determined to wear it this year, even though I had worn it last year on my first Mother’s Day.  I felt like I had to change the story of the dress.  I couldn’t bear to get rid of the dress, having only worn it once, and I couldn’t just let it sit in my closet with those awful memories behind it.  The argument, the memory of him hitting me, and choking me, and blaming me for ruining my Mother’s Day surprise.  Me holding my tiny baby as I attempted to run out of the house and down the street, and him running after us, picking us both up, and carrying us inside.  Me, sobbing brokenheartedly on the couch as he spoke to his mother on the phone as if nothing had happened.  Memories that still won’t go away, no matter how many times the dress is worn. 

I changed the story.  I created new memories, ones that I will forever cherish, and ones that I will be happy to remember.