7/6/14

Ribs and Birthdays and Neverending Hurts

The smell of the ribs filled our house. It was late, almost 8:00, and they still needed another 20 minutes in the oven. It had been one of those insanely busy nights and somehow I'd put off making dinner until the screeches of my nestlings became too insistent to ignore. But now...mmmm....good things come to those who wait, and we were proving that worn-out old saying true.

Charlie's girlfriend was there, as she often is. I like her. A lot. She feels like one of my own now, almost. Charlie has blossomed since she's been around. Maybe he would have, even if she hadn't been a part of his life, but I think she's been a good thing for him. And therefore, good for our family. She and I were standing in the little area between the living room and the sliding glass doors that open to the deck. It's a weird spot of real estate, that area...not quite big enough for a usable table, not quite small enough to brighten up with a few tchotchkes and call it a day.

"Oooh they smell so good!" she said, her pretty brown eyes so open and kind.

"Thanks" I replied, "Wait til you taste them!" Modesty is my middle name, yo.

"So it looks like Charlie and I will be having ribs a few nights in a row" she said. "Tomorrow we're meeting his dad and his grandpa at Market Barbecue."

Me, being diplomatic: "Oh, nice! Have you met Charlie's dad before?"

She didn't miss a beat, and nodded as she said, "Yep. Charlie and I were at Spawn's birthday party yesterday. Wow, it was the most lavish party I'd ever seen for a three year old."

Cut back to me, frantically gathering up any and all remaining bits of diplomacy I could find. Dammit it's harder than you'd think.

"Oh. A birthday party? Fun. I guess that means you met the stepmom, huh?" I'm sure at this point I had a decent case of the Crazy Eyes setting in.

She nodded again, and added, "Yes! She was really warm and welcoming. And she's so young!" Bless her heart, I thought. And I also thought, don't. Don't say anything bad, Jenny. Don't. DON'T.

"Yes, I'm sure she was really warm." Warm from the hellfire that surrounds the skank, right, Jenny? STOP IT! Seriously! Just go into the kitchen. Walk away from this conversation! 

Charlie's girlfriend is a child of divorce, just like he is. Her situation is similar to ours, complete with a dad remarried to someone much younger, and a half brother just a couple years older than Spawn. Her parents, however, have somehow managed to keep things civil, amicable. I'm guessing it's because although the situations are similar, they aren't exactly alike. Meaning, the new, younger wife isn't the one who helped dismantle the marriage. I think that makes the concept of civility somewhat more palatable.

I felt that old, familiar warmth spreading. No, I wasn't peeing my pants. I was feeling that hot anger spill out of nowhere. Where does it come from, I wonder? Where does it hide? Nothing else on this planet can draw it out like one of these seemingly innocent conversations. And then, BOOM. There it is. All the old hurts. The pissy anger. The shitstorm of emotions that flies right out of left field and lands, with a sick thud, on my heart.

She continued on, oblivious to the tsunami of feels that were welling up behind my eyes..."There was a bouncy house and so much food and we went swimming in the pool..."

At this point I did waddle back into the kitchen, to check on the ribs. They were done, perfectly done, so I pulled them out of the oven and began cutting them apart and placing them on a big serving platter. "They're done!" I yelled out to everyone, and stepped aside as the stampede came forth and dished up plates of saucy goodness.

Henry was there first. I asked him, "Did you go to your dad's house on Sunday?" He turned around, sauce already smeared on his face, licked a finger and looked at me quizzically.

"No. Why would I have gone there?"

Almost immediately I regretted asking him. The naysaying Jenny in my head was already shrieking at me to SHUT UP! But I had to. I had to find out.

"Apparently they had a big party for Spawn. Didn't your dad call and invite you?"

His eyes answered me before his mouth. "Nah. Wow." He shook his head, and then backed it up by saying out loud, "Shake my head." Which, by the way, is kind of a little joke between the two of us. I try to be hip and stay up to date with all of the acronyms the kids use. SMH is one of my favorites to use with Henry. So of course he does me one better by saying the phrase in its entirety, when appropriate.

It was appropriate that night, I guess. Shake my head.

I asked William, and then Molly. Neither one knew about it, neither had been invited. I felt myself beginning to seethe, the thought of sitting down and enjoying a good ol' summertime dinner completely clouded by thoughts of mother effing bouncy houses and young, welcoming homewreckers and splashes in a pool.

Molly smiled at me. And then she laughed a little. "Mom. I can tell you're pissed. Don't be!"

I looked at her, my sweet girl who is mere weeks away from embarking on her college career. My sweet girl who has taught me so much about rolling with punches. "Doesn't it bother you?" I asked her, "Doesn't it make you sad that your dad wouldn't ask you to be there?" Her answer broke my heart.

"It doesn't matter to us anymore. We don't care." She spoke on behalf of herself, and her younger brothers. William, who was listening, just nodded.

Charlie chimed in then, his anger stepping up to spar with mine. "Mom...knock it off." It was too late, though. I had already opened this can of worms and they were everywhere. "Charlie, I'm sorry, but this kills me. Why weren't the other kids invited? Why just you? Didn't anyone ask where the other kids were?"

Charlie put down the rib he was devouring. His eyes were dark. I'd seen this look on his face before, and it made me feel shameful and defensive.

"He might have told me to ask them. I don't know. You need to stop it, Mom. Stop making this into something it isn't." The tone of his voice, coupled with that shadow in his eyes...I retreated. I backed off. But I had to say one last thing, had to get it out there so my kids know that it's not jealousy or bitterness that causes these small outbursts.

"I'm sad for you guys, that's all." I said quietly. "I think it's sad that you weren't invited, and Charlie, I think it's sad that your dad put it on you to invite your siblings. That's not your job."

Charlie looked at me, the other kids in the room looked at me. Charlie's girlfriend, who had been silent through this brief but intense interaction, looked at me.

"I'm sorry." I said. I gathered up plates, crumpled up napkins, began stuffing the anger and the hurt back down from whence it came. I wanted to put a fan on, blow away the residue of this mini-explosion, turn back the clock just far enough so I could shut my big mouth and not say anything.

"I'm sorry" I said again. And I was sorry. I meant it. I am always sorry, it seems, sorry for the divorce and sorry for picking their dad to be their dad. Sorry for not being a better wife, sorry for gaining weight and not being attentive and sorry for finding it hard to accept the fact that sometimes shitty things happen. Sorry for wanting everything to be fair and even and nice for them, sorry for their dad for not knowing exactly how much he has hurt them, sorry even for the shiny stepmom who might or might not realize what she's done to these kids. And sorry for myself, truth be told. Sorry that I don't have the maturity or the balls or the grace to suck it up and let things like this just roll off my back and onto the floor and out the door. Sorry that I feel so much, and then on top of that, feel it 4x more for each of my children.

Here's the thing: these are the vapor trails of divorce. Like those white fluffy lines left behind jets, arcing in the sky long after the plane is out of sight, these insults and injuries follow you even after the divorce is buried in days, months and years. They go away and then they ambush you, rain all over something as sweet and simple and normal as a late night summer dinner of ribs.

I wonder if they'll ever disappear completely? Will they ever just go the hell away and never come back? Or will they slip in under closed windows and locked doors even when we are past the time of birthdays and bouncy houses and teens who are so used to being treated like afterthoughts that they don't care anymore?

The good news is, although they haven't disappeared completely, they don't stick around as long as they used to. That night, Rib Night, continued on in relative peace. The kids finished two slabs, and even left me a few morsels. I apologized to Charlie, and to his girlfriend. The dishes were done, the mess in the kitchen cleaned up and by the time I went to bed that night my sleepy time thoughts were focused on the upcoming weekend and not on exclusive birthday parties for three year old half-siblings. I thought about spending the 4th of July with my kids, at my friend's cabin, and how grateful I am that I have a friend with a cabin and kids to bring there.

And you know what? I slept really good that night. Take that, vapor trails.










50 comments:

  1. I HATE how much energy you and so many others like you have to expend trying to be the better person. It's bullshit and it's disgusting. You and your kids deserved so much more.

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    1. Oh, thank you, Kristen. It really is bullshit.

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    2. Yes. It is bullshit. Here's to vapor trails and their impermanence.

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    3. Damn straight, shelka. They eventually DO disappear!

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  2. Thank you... when I least expect it, I get hit with feelings I thought long dead. It has been a long time since my divorce. My daughter's father is remarried and has a three year old. I work hard not to react to things she tells me about the new wife and his new daughter, but there are days when I have a flood of emotions. Nice to know I'm not alone...

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    1. You are SO not alone, my friend. I keep thinking to myself, "Yay! No more bad feelings, no more guilt, no more anger" and then nights like this happen. Luckily, they don't stick around as long as they used to. Maybe by the time we're old and creaky (for me, that means older and creakier, by the way) we won't hardly feel them.

      Thank you so much for reading :)

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  3. This post hit home. The young new wife who gets my kids 50% of the time. So many years now and the pain is fresh - sometimes more than I think I can bear.

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    1. Augh. I know, my friend, I know. If only I could keep strawberries fresh like this pain.

      You can bear it, though. You know that? You have, and you will, and you will keep bearing it. As long as you have to. Because that's what we do.

      Thank you for reading :)

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    2. Thank you for sharing another chapter of your story. I also hate the effort you're having to expend - but rest assured, you already ARE a better person. Nothing will change that.

      And I just had to comment that this is an incredibly beautiful, poetic line:
      "If only I could keep strawberries fresh like this pain."

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  4. My ex-husband and his new (closer in age to our oldest son than him) wife just had a baby 3 weeks ago. I know this not because he's bothered to tell either of our sons, but because I happened to drive past them. He was driving, she was in the back next to the baby carrier.

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    1. Ugh. Double ugh for the age thing. What is wrong with these guys?? Do your sons know yet? I'm so sorry.

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    2. I haven't told them. I don't think it's my responsibility. He didn't even tell them they were expecting until 5 weeks ago, and then only told my younger son, who passed the news on to his big brother.

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  5. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoyed your post - great story telling: authenticity, honesty and humor. I needed to read this today. While our stories are very different, it's nice to know I'm not the only human out there dealing with 'stuff'.

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    1. Thank you so much, Rellie! And yes, even though the crap we are dealing with isn't the same, it's always comforting to know other people have it too.

      I hope your stuff takes it easy on you. Thank you so much for being here.

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  6. Hi Jenny, this post just was simply a kick to the gut. I have memories of this kind of nonsense that goes back to when my own parents divorced. Their inability to communication sure made lots of days so uncomfortable and downright intolerable. And for you to hear it from a source that you love, respect (the GF of your eldest child), and isn't even privy to the inner-workings of the mess, is almost harder to bear. This weird triangulation of communication haunts me and obviously has not gone away completely. It's been about 35 years and these things don't happen as much so I know it does get better. Then there are people like Reuben's divorced parents who embrace when they see each other, and invite each other's kids to things. It helps that she is almost 80 and he's 88. She has a child from a teen pregnancy who is almost 60 and he has a child from his 3rd marriage who is 30. Bottom line; the invite needs to come from the parent, not the child. It holds no weight if it comes from one sibling to another. I don't know why I reacted so strongly to this one but it really tugged at my heart. Thanks for writing about it.

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    1. Oh, thanks Gail. Yes, hearing it from her mouth was shocking. She spends A LOT of time over here, and like i said, she feels like she's part of this family. To hear, without warning, that she'd been "over there" was weird. Because I kind of feel like my own kids don't ever go there, it was odd to know that she'd been there. I don't know if that makes sense. But also, that she and Charlie had been welcomed at such a special event, but the others hadn't even been invited. I think that was the knife in the gut.

      I have a little fantasy that some day in the future, Big Daddy and I will be friendly. I don't know if that will ever happen though, because shit like this keeps popping up. And I've said before, if I had a "friend" who acted like this, I wouldn't be friends with them.

      Thanks so much for reading. And for such a thoughtful comment. <3

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  7. I feel your pain, makes me sick. Thank you for being so honest, I too have had moments where I've said the wrong thing or asked one too many questions and then wish I could take it back...yes it still bothers me that my ex is living large, not because he has more "material" things than me but because those material things are more important to him than a relationship with our children. It gets a little better as time goes on but I can go back to day one in an instant if I let myself go there.
    Keep doing what you're doing Jenny, you're a great mom. And thanks for sharing your experience with us so that we know that we aren't alone in this journey.

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    1. Thank you, Samantha! I agree with you about the material things. I don't care about any of it. I am jealous, on behalf of my children, though. Jealous that two other people get more of their dad than they do.

      And YES. God help me, it is just like going back to day one, isn't it?

      I love when people like you chime in, Samantha. None of us are alone in this. Thank you so much for being here.

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  8. Don't apologize for being human; nobody's good at it all the time.

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    1. Thank you, Queniff...I always tell people that they will slip up sometimes when it comes to "how to act post-divorce", and to be gentle with themselves when it does happen. Sound advice ;)

      Thank you so much for reading!

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  9. Thank you so much for sharing this tough time on your blog. I am two years out from a nasty separation and divorce (found out my ex was involved with another woman right after I signed the separation agreement that was in his best interest financially because he was telling me it was a temporary separation...he just needed space...yep, I was duped). It is so hard to hear from my sons about the fun times they have with the Ex and the OW. It is like a dagger in my heart...even after two years. I too wonder when it will end and when I will get rid of this lump in my throat. The good days outweigh the bad at this point, but I still cry at night over what all this is doing to my children. They are angry with their dad for his behavior and choices AND angry with me for still being hurt and not being open to communicating with their dad at this time (he has been verbally abusive and I have cut off contact for now). So much anger and hurt. It's so unfair for our kids. I would never wish this on anyone!

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    1. Oh Nicole, I'm sorry :( I wish I could tell you that dagger feeling goes away, but I'm still waiting myself 7 1/2 years later. The dagger gets smaller though!

      I also do not communicate much with the ex. Mostly via text or email, and even then it's very very brief and only when necessary. One of my kids gives me crap about that, so I get what you're saying.

      It is totally unfair to the kids. And let's not be shy: it's unfair to us, too. I think that's where a lot of the resentment comes from (at least for me), the fact that I didn't WANT any of this. Right now, just typing this, stirs up that indignant old me, crying because it's not right that I have to be all nice and civil and struggle when all along I was playing by the rules.

      Ugh. Hugs to you, my friend. Here's to hoping that we can finally reach that stage of no more daggers.

      Thank you for reading.

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  10. This sucks. I love the way you write about it, though. Hang in there.

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  11. Someday, I think Charlie will come to understand how wrong it was for their dad to not invite his kids to Spawn's birthday party directly, to not make it a family event, to not just make it on anyone else to invite them. As for the rest, I'm just really sorry that it had to hit like that. I know that my mom tried to keep up this whole thing about how my dad wasn't a bad person, and she always tried to speak of him in a positive light. But, the truth was that he wasn't really interested in parenting, he wasn't really a great guy, and he wasn't someone who deserved that kind of apologetic positive talk. I know you're just trying to do your best to not make things worse. But, the truth is...even if they say they don't care, your kids DO care. They're just learning to not care that their dad's actions hurt them, and to expect the bullshit. I know that I learned to just never expect anything from my biological dad, and later to never expect to be part of my step-dad's "family" as he understood it (only his biological sons are his REAL children). It's just awful, and it's honestly their dad's fault. He may later come to regret this stuff, because it sticks around in your memories for a long, long time. Thank you for sharing this, though. As a child of divorce, it's sometimes nice to read another side of the story. Believe me when I say that you're doing the best you can. Your ex is not.

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    1. Thank you, Athena! I really like hearing your perspective, as a child of divorce. I went through that as well, and I have really clear memories of my mom actually coaching me about how awful my dad was (she was the one who left). It sucks seeing your kids truly grasp the reality of life. When they're little, it's easy to cover things up, and to sugarcoat the icky things. But like you said, they begin to expect the bullshit. And that sucks.

      Thanks so much for chiming in...

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  12. You captured that feeling perfectly, the way you think you're feeling okay about the divorce and then something reminds you of what happened or what is continuing to happen and, well, yeah.

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    1. Yuck. Sorry you know that feeling :( But most days it's easy to brush off, so there's that!

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  13. Oh the hurts...feeling for you...I've noticed after several months the hurts get a little less intense, but they are still there...your description of the hurts and anger was perfect and so evocative

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    1. Thank you, Java! And I finally got around to following your blog :)

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  14. The pain and hurt forms a temporary scab but it's a thin one unfortunately. I totally get it and big hugs to you. Someone told me that she wished being stupid hurt more and I would agree with that and would add that I wish being a big ol' cheater and homewrecker hurt more.

    My kiddos are on a vacation with Cheater Asshat and his whore. They've gone to the same state that we used to family vacation in. Seriously, he couldn't have picked a different place to go? My kids have only met his whore three or four times and now they have to spend a week in her company. Wonderful. I try to tell myself better the whore is with him than me because an asshole is an asshole even on vacation. But it's hard not to feel hurt when your kids are experiencing adventures that you're not included in.

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    1. YES. I wish they hurt more too, but you know what? Never gonna happen. Unless the same thing happens to them. I guess being sensitive is something we should be proud of, huh? All of these big feelings, though. Some days it really is too much.

      Girl, I will never, ever forget the first time Big D and Secretary took the kids for a week. They went to a resort here in Northern MN. One of the kids called me from the backseat and I had to hear HER yelling at them to be "nice to your dad!".

      It does hurt. It would hurt me every time they'd come home smelling of chlorine after a day of swimming in the pool. Or when my daughter came home with a fresh mani/pedi. Or all of the hundreds of other times they'd mention just little, stupid things that shouldn't hold ANY power over me, but there I was, getting the gut-punch over something like "oh we watched that movie at dad's house".

      I am curious to hear how the week of vacation went. Off to check your blog :)

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  15. Hey Jenny -- As usual, I think you're being a little too hard on yourself. Your feelings and your expression of them strike me as 100% normal and human! Maybe that's easy for me to say because (a) feeling left out or not included is still kind of an issue for me at times, so I totally empathize with you (and Molly, Henry and William in case they really do care about not being asked to Spawn's party); (b) when you or your kids get effed over I get way pissed off on your behalf; and (c) in a similar situation I imagine I'd have reacted JUST LIKE YOU DID. I even get your feeling weirded out that Charlie's lady has been to THEIR house, when his own siblings don't even go there. That is weird. Look, the whole divorce thing was so traumatic for all of you that it's not realistic to expect all your bad feelings would be gone forever, no matter what. You -- and the kids -- have done so much healing just in the last couple of years that someday, those feelings may very well be gone for good. But it's too soon, especially when you get taken totally by surprise like that. So please forgive yourself, if you haven't already! And, why am I not surprised that once again, your asshat ex proves he is a great big chickenshit that isn't even fit to scoop Walter's poop? Not even having the cojones to do the right thing and invite ALL your kids to your party...really?? SMH, indeed...Henry hit the nail on the head.
    Glad to hear the evening ended so well though...and one small request: may I please have your rib recipe? Thanks in advance!! Rock on!

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    1. Thanks Jenzi! Yeah, it's weird things like this, like not picking up the phone to call the kids, or send a TEXT, about the party. I wonder how much of it is him, and how much of it is influence from Wifey.

      I will message the recipe to you on FB. It's so easy.

      Thanks for reading, friend.

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  16. You might find this weird coming from a twenty-five year old someone who has never been married, let alone had children, but your blog has helped me in a couple of ways:

    1) You're funny. Humour always helps.

    2) I'm getting a little old to believe the whole "Oh sure, things are shitty now, but soon I'll have a fairytale waiting around the corner!" Life just doesn't turn out that peachy for everyone. Some get bruised up more than others. Hurt lingers. Sometimes, I need some kind of hope to make it through with the awareness of this less-than-palatable fact; and time and again, you have given me that hope.

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    1. Oh Anwesha, I wanted to let you know that this comment brought tears to my eyes when I first read it.

      Thank you. I'm glad you are here.

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  17. I just stumbled upon your blog today. I may or may not have Googled "totes cray cray" to get a sense of who uses phrases like that, which pointed me to your "7 things" post.

    I really enjoy your style of writing and this post about the "vapor trails of divorce" hit home. Those feelings come out of nowhere, but they are totally justified. My ex never seizes to amaze me, and not in a good way, even 10 years later. The worst thing for a mom to deal with is the hurt that the children feel by those kind of actions, in this case, not inviting all of his children to the party. Sounds like your kids are handling it pretty well though, so kudos to you.

    I'm off to add your blog to my Feedly feed.

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    1. Ha!! I'm totes glad you're here ;)

      I'm so glad to hear that this happens to others who have been divorced longer than me...well, not GLAD but you know what I mean. Feeling normal is good. And sounds like we're all pretty normal.

      I'm so glad you're here! Thanks a bunch for reading.

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  18. Oh ... the upside down and turmoil, the heartbreak, the anger, the sadness ... the ambivalence ... all in a day. You write this so well, this story so similar, this pain so a part of me forever more.

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    1. Thank you, Nicole. And I'm sorry you know what I'm talking about. I hope it's not forever :(

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  19. A different perspective - I am a grown woman (late fifties). My dad left my mom when I was still a baby. Just this summer I met my half brother (12 years younger than me, from my dad's second marriage). My dad's fourth wife tries to make me feel guilty for not coming to visit them. I don't want to dredge the past up, but my dad was never there. He didn't visit me, pay child support, write me birthday cards, etc. NOW, now that he is old, he says he would like to get to know me. I don't want to hurt him, I just don't have any of those feelings for him. If I have free time, I want to spend it with the family who was there while I was growing up, not someone who forgot about me because he had a new family. I've never understood men who walked out AND abandoned their children (or didn't have time for them). I have no respect for them, none.

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    1. Thank you so much for this comment! I often wonder how my kids will feel about this as they get older. I do see him making efforts to be there for my oldest, now, and that's great. But...where was he for the past 7 years? I'd have massive guilt, but that's me.

      Thank you, so much, for offering this point of view :)

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  20. What do you do when he leaves you for someone much older, much heavier, and with two kids of her own? How do you get through that pain? I did all I could. I fought for him. And he left for her. How do you get through that?

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    1. You say FUCK. HIM. Seriously. You will get through it and you will be all the better for seeing the tail end of him walking out of your life. Someone once told me that you can't make someone be something they're not. Or maybe she said you can't make someone stay in your life if they don't want to be. Or maybe she said both. I was probably told that when I was bemoaning that I was left for a whore. Be grateful he's gone because he's a jackass. Wade through the pain, move one step at a time. It gets better. Tell yourself that. IT. GETS. BETTER. And believe it, because it's true.

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    2. What Kay said :) You did the right thing, your hands are clean. Now you just have to heal, and the rest will fall into place. It's not fun, and yes, it hurts so bad. But time goes by and there will come a day when you realize you have almost run out of shits to give about the two of them. AND THAT DAY WILL BE AWESOME ♥

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  21. Dear Jennifer,
    Please hear me in the spirit of caring I speak from. I read your Momastery post and enjoyed your writing style, so I came to your blog. I've read some of your posts and comments and what I got was that your entire "identity" is "I'm divorced & he is an asshole." You appear to be so much more than that, which makes me implore you to rethink what comes out of your mouth when your children are around. I'm 62 yrs. old and the most impactful thing in my life is still my parents divorce.
    When your children are left out they know you hurt for them, but I can promise you verbalizing it doubles the hurt. Derogatory terms like "whore" and "bitch" referring to "her" don't help your children even if they make you feel better.
    My father left my mother for his much younger secretary and my mother reacted in a similar manner to you. How I wish she had let her identity be "mother of 5 great children" not "victim of an asshole who married a whore." Remember when the divorce is still the center of your life there is less room for something else to bloom. I only write because I wish someone had said these things to my parents.

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    1. Hi, Kathy: I know that you are addressing your post to Jenny and not me, but I felt compelled to respond to your comment -- and hope that, as you asked Jenny to do, you will please take my words in the spirit I intend them. I can see that you mean the best, and don't want her kids to suffer from the aftermath of the divorce any more than they already have. That said, though, I must respectfully disagree with you that her "entire identity is 'I am divorced and he is an asshole." Nothing could be further from the truth. Jenny is, indeed, so very much more than that...and I believe that if you had read ALL or MOST of her posts, that would be very clear. Many have nothing to do with negative feelings toward her ex. And, I assure you -- having renewed a friendship with Jenny that began in the eighth grade, over the past two years (we just fell out of touch because life happens, and then reconnected on Facebook in 2012), I have gotten to know her and her kids pretty well, and I know for a fact that she has gone out of her way NOT to badmouth her ex or his current wife to them. She might have occasionally slipped up -- but like all of us she is human, and after all, what he did was really unconscionable. But truly, Jenny has done a remarkable job of NOT becoming bitter or negatively influencing her kids about their father. And again, please forgive me for butting in here, but as well-intentioned as your comment is, I don't think it is fair or accurate. Read more of Jenny's posts and I hope you will come to agree.

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  22. My sons are grown men - one is married with 3 kids - and it still kills me when I hear all about the fabulous trips that my ex and his young wife take them on. I hate that I cannot provide these types of things. I try to stop and remind myself that although I live moderately and do not enjoy the lavish lifestyle my ex and his hoe (sorry, wife) live, I am truly at a place of contentment. I am happier than I've EVER been in my life. Sometimes it helps, but sometimes I just feel like crap.

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  23. You ask if the feelings will ever go away, the pain and rage that bubbles up suddenly. My experience is no.... But also, speaking as a child-of-divorce, my mom felt a lot of hurt on my behalf and it made it difficult for me and my siblings to feel and process our hurt. Even now, 25 years after my parents' divorce (in this case the "her" was my mother's best friend), 10 years after my mother passed away in an accident, my siblings and I struggle to find peace with my father's continued abandonment and neglect.

    But I think the greatest pain for me has been reconciling that I am like both of my parents. The greatest burden is that they were/are divided, but I have to reconcile that same divide within myself: My Dad abandoning my mom, thus abandoning the part of me that is like my mom. My mom ripped apart by my Dad, and thus ripped apart by the ways I am like my Dad. It's a big mess.

    Any healing helps.

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  24. I aim so happy that my sister sent me a link to your article on monary. You really get it and are amazingly talented at explaining the pain. I am so sorry you have been through the hell you have, but want to thank you for writing about it. Knowing that I'm not alone in what I'm feeling (or crazy) is a good feeling. I keep waiting to just get over it, but with kids involved I don't think it will ever happen. Thank you for your honest, heartfelt writing. You have no idea how much it helps.

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