Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Did you start singing when you read the title? Did it remind you of Mr. Rogers? LOL

The first morning after we moved in, the dog needed to go out and nobody was up. So without thinking, without brushing my teeth, I just slipped my feet into my sneakers, tied my hair in a pony and went out. Bleary-eyed because I’d yet to sip any coffee.

In our old rental, we had a yard (being a free standing house – I’m now in a townhouse). The neighbors couldn’t see me in my pjs, so it was no big deal. But here?! Yikes!

I walked outside (in sweats) to be greeted within 5 minutes by 3 neighbors, with 2 other dogs in tow. Talk about not making a good first impression! While they were really nice and very chatty, I have to really remember now that I need to be on my game when I leave the house because they’re everywhere! I’ve never lived in a townhouse development. This is all new to me. I resisted for years because I wanted a stand-alone-house like I’d always had. But the landlords wanted to take advantage of the market and sell the house we were renting, so I had no choice but to find a new place to live…and while this was the top of my budget, I felt like it was ‘the one’ to get. So I did.

Thus far, this is like living on a city block because there are always people walking around! Since the first encounter, I’ve met about 8 other people who are walking their dogs or just walking around. I guess I’ll have to get used to it. But it’s a little daunting. I’m used to my privacy. Quiet. An occasional friendly wave. But not full on chatter from strangers! LOL

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I lived among the relics of my defunct marriage for years. Getting divorced, selling the house and moving the teenagers and me into a new place within the space of a week was overwhelming. I took it all. Whatever he left behind, I picked up the pieces and dragged them with me. Because I had no choice. When you sell a house, it all has to be removed. Every piece of furniture etc. has to go so that they new people have a clean slate.

Unfortunately, I didn’t move with a clean slate. I was bedraggled. When you read my first Janie posts, you’ll see it. I was a mess! Trying to figure out life and not being successful at it. I was lost. Betrayed. And didn’t even know the half of it at the time.

But I’ve recently moved again. And as I sit here at 6am in the quiet, I am reminded that now…this is my life. Not anyone else’s anymore. Mine. I know that sounds silly, but it’s been someone else’s priority in my life for my entire life. I always put myself on the back burner and put everyone else’s needs/wants/comfort ahead of mine. But no more.

This new rental shows it. It’s white and airy with just enough room for the kids, the pets and me. I have large bedroom suite that’s all mine and I love it! It’s a home that beckons friendship. Beckons to old friends, new friends and soon to be friends.

Before moving here I was hell bent on getting a new bedroom furniture set for myself, having been sleeping on the same mattress and with the same marital furniture for years after the divorce. But moving it here, made it a non–entity. It’s just furniture. Plain and simple. No longer does it hold over me the remnants of a failed marriage.

So instead of spending money I don’t have to prove that it means nothing, it just became nothing, rather overnight I must say! It’s like POOF – it’s just furniture. It’s a place to sleep that I can decorate as I wish…

Such a huge difference in my life…such a healing…such a new chapter!

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Moving Along

Hey, it’s Janie! I’m back…after a long time away. A lot has happened over these past few months and I thought I’d share in hopes that it may help someone else. So if you missed me, yay! I’m back. If you didn’t, well then, I guess I understand. Absence doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder. LOL

I’ve just moved, one week ago, into this new place. Which of course, brings me to remind myself to tell you all about the prior narcissist landlord, but since that’s still in play, I can’t tell you the whole story yet. But remind me as I think he’s my way of finally being rid of narcissists in my life. Because the rest of them (ie ex husband and his mother) are pretty much gone. Of course, at some point I’ll have to regale you with the story of how a few days before moving the ex MIL (Marie Barone?) showed up uninvited at my house. LOL That’s a good story too. You see, I’ve been really busy since I last posted. Ha!

And I’m excited to share that it’s been more than 9 months since I quit smoking! TA DA! In a visual – imagine me jumping up and down and smiling big because I’m so happy that I finally did it! No more shameful hiding or feeling badly about myself. Of course, I’ll share that I do miss it occasionally – the relaxation, the routine, the ability to take a few moments and just be, think, destress – but I can’t go back even though I’ve gained 10 lbs. Now I have to release that weight and move on…and as the title infers, I’m Moving Along….

So the new place is faraway from where the kids grew up, but very close to my childhood home which is good for me. And that’s where I am these days. Kids are 23 and almost 25 so I don’t feel like I owe it to them to put them first anymore and I didn’t. I picked this new rental for me. Because it’s almost perfect for me, but not quite. There are a few unchecked boxes here but for the most part, it’s wayyyy better than the rental we had been in for almost 6 years after the divorce. Gosh, time flies!

It’s full of light which is a huge plus after living in an old farmhouse that was dark and drafty. I’m in a townhouse situation which I need to get used to as there are neighbors everywhere. I was used to being out in the country. The kids can’t get over it that people stop and talk with you all the time and that strangers wave to you. I’m having a tough time with feeling like I’m being observed a lot. But then again, I’m finding myself to observe as well. LOL Stop me if I turn into Mrs. Kravitz from Bewitched!

It’s so nice to write again to you my friends. I hope my post finds you all healthy and happy. I’ll get on the reader and try to catch up quickly. Thanks for reading my post and for coming back to hang out with me!

I’ve missed you!!

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Catch the Wave

What is the last thing you learned?

The last thing I learned? I can’t pick one because there’s been an avalanche of learning in the past few weeks. I think it has something to do with the astrological changes as well as the full moon and the fact that I’ve upended my whole life and moved the kids and me back near where I grew up. Gosh, it feels good!

Ok, so in all seriousness, the last thing I learned is this: This is MY LIFE and I need to live it the way I feel is necessary. I can fall asleep every night peacefully with my head on the pillow so I know I’m doing something right. I have a big heart and I’m a survivor so my job is to continue on my journey and to grow, to expand and to learn to love myself no matter what! And I know it sounds cliche because that’s what we hear all the time, but the lesson, this life lesson, kept coming at me until I finally surrendered into choosing to finally, authentically being me.

No excuses. No feeling badly. No worrying about others. Just embracing life’s lessons and the changes that have come about because of them and moving on…moving along on this road…and allowing others to do the same. I am not in charge of anyone else, but myself. Darn, it took me over 50 years to grasp that concept and put it to work for me.

But working on me is what I’m doing! I learned that manifesting is real when we are consistent. When we are serious. When we are centered, we can catch the vibrational wave of knowing, of manifesting, of delightfully making our desires come true. And I’m not stopping here…I’m moving along this path of wonderment and expanding, advancing and dancing with glee!

Look out world because I’m back…Janie Leeds is leading the way! Come follow me!

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When The Narcissist Says Don’t Cheat

The ex began to tell me, “If you’re going to cheat, leave before you cheat, as it’s disrespectful.” In my mind this came out of nowhere as I would never cheat. I couldn’t understand his sudden obsession with saying this line. I was baffled and confused.

Why would he say those things to me when I would never cheat?

Heck, I didn’t have time to cheat. I didn’t do girls night out. I was a Mom/Wife full time. Every once in awhile I met friends for lunch, but they were all married and part of our friend group. Seriously, when was I going to meet someone and start something like cheating? I was still in love with him…

Foolish girl…it was HE who was cheating..setting me up for when he suddenly left. Leaving clues that this clueless girl wasn’t ready to read, look at, nor process without hindsight and a good dose of narc research. But once I did? All the pieces fell into place.

The phone number on a post-it in his wallet that I found when he told me to get a $20 out for the kids to pay for something. When confronted, he said it was work. “See, it’s on a post-it!” as if that validated it. I have wondered if he knew it was in there and set me up to find it for his own amusement…

The sudden late nights at the office. “We have a deadline, due to go out in the morning and everything has to be perfect. There’s a team here and we’ll be working all night on it.” Ok, in his previous jobs these happened very occasionally, but suddenly it was every weekend. When confronted, he got mad.

But idiot me? I was staying up waiting for him because I felt badly that he was “working” and would call around 3am to check in on him. At first he would answer, then after a few of these ‘late nights’ he wouldn’t answer and that’s when I knew…suspected…began to imagine…

I had always thought of him as a man of his word. At least to me. I’d seen him lie to others often, exaggerating big deals, but never lie to me. And now I know, he lied to me the most. Or better said, he lied to himself the most…

I look back now and wonder how I had convinced myself that he was a good man. But remember, I had his narcissist mother and he working together in cahoots! She wanted her baby to be happy at all costs. I do not know if she ever knew about the cheating, but she has twisted so many lies to become like truths over the years that I am sure she would justify it if she knew.

That’s the way narcissists are…the rules they lay out for you don’t apply to them. Far be it for you to remind them of the rules…because they’ll conveniently add a loop hole for themselves. And if you’re blindly in love with them, you won’t see the full scope of what’s happening until it’s too late.

Eyes wide open…if it looks or smells like cheating, it probably is…

Narcissists don’t change.

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When All Signs Point To Cheating

I have no doubt the ex cheated on me. There I said it. Or wrote it. There it is – in black and white. And I feel non-plussed by it. There’s no emotion behind it. Except that he’s a lying dastard. But back then, I didn’t know what a narcissist was or how they worked. I was clueless and in love. When things didn’t feel right, and I would question him, he was so smooth with his answers or he ‘gaslit’ me (made me think I was crazy to even had put 2 and 2 together to make 4 or 5??).

Oh the conversations we had that went round and round. He would expertly manipulate me and suddenly, we’d be on a whole different subject (one where I was the bad guy) and I’d be defending myself for some BS that had nothing to do with the subject at hand, which was me asking him something that, if he had told the truth, would have been that he’d been cheating.

He’d use the word salad tactic too – example – just talking was unrecognizable through his increasing circular conversations and repetition. He used a lack of logic, sweeping generalizations, and words that were disjointed or unrelated to context and even contradictions to leap into other subjects that would toss me onto another lane of thought. The slight of hand was extraordinary and I was utterly unprepared and gobsmacked.

I know you wonder how the heck I could have been so clueless, but I loved him. I wanted to believe him. I wanted to see the good. I had a lot to lose if we broke up and I thought we could make it work. God, I was so innocent and naive back then. I wouldn’t let myself think that it could be true that he was cheating. I mean, I’d question things. I remember talking with girlfriends and them agreeing that he was probably cheating, but then he’d do something nice and I’d try to forget about what was staring me right in the face.

As my mom would say, I didn’t read the handwriting on the wall. It was all there, in black and white. I chose not to look or to read it. By the way, these happened over the years…not all at once…and they’re not in order.

Because I thought the blue pills in his suitcase from business trips were Advil. They were in a plastic baggie and the ex-MIL popped them like tic tacs so I thought they were from her. I didn’t buy Advil, but she had gobs of it and was always giving him a baggie with some. (FYI: they were VIAGRA!)

How did I find out about the Viagra? It was on his credit card statement. He bought it from some company in Canada. I actually sleuthed and called them to ask where the shipment had been delivered as it hadn’t been mailed to our home, but they refused to tell me. I did find out how he got it though – fill out a form online and pay with a credit card. No questions asked..lovely. When confronted, he told me that he was getting them for us. Red flag…He NEVER used them with me.

Porn addiction – enough said. Although he started to watch it during the middle of the day and the kids almost caught him before he left our home as he was ‘engaged’ watching it in his unlocked office and I walked in on him. Whoops. I did it on purpose to ask him what he wanted for lunch. I had a feeling and I was right. But by then, he had already told me he wanted out of the marriage.

Telling me that wearing a wedding ring on business trips was like catnip to women. At hotels, they all wanted to have affairs with married men. (WHAT??)

Suddenly brushing his teeth for long periods of time. Caring about his appearance in ways he’d never cared before, buying expensive eye creams at high end stores, having his teeth whitened, wearing his clothes even tighter than normal. Taking propecia to keep his thinning hair. Convincing me to let him use his work bonus for hair replant surgery and taking him to do it. Yup. By the way, he’s still balding in the back. It didn’t take…except for the $$$ that it cost.

Being invited to a wedding without his wife. Because the couple didn’t know he was married. And he wouldn’t tell them. Obviously, I didn’t know them.

After coming home from a business trip, we went directly to a soccer game for one of the kids. After the game, we got in the car and suddenly he realizes his wedding ring is gone! Oh no! He must have lost it on the field, as he’s been losing weight. But the field is too big and the kids are hungry, so let’s forget about going to look for it. He’ll just buy another one.

His incredible anger.all.the.time. I walked on eggshells so as not to upset him because that was worse in my mind. It happened over time, little by little, he seized control and I relinquished it. Too tired to fight him all the time. I needed and wanted peace in my life.

Coming home late at night after hanging with friends – part of the same group from the no wife wedding invitation – inebriated – he’d been at a gay bar for one of the guys birthdays – Did you know it was a gay bar? I didn’t at first. But don’t worry, we sat in the back. Did you have fun? Oh yesssss….and then he promptly fell asleep.

These are just a few examples of my turning a blind eye. Don’t misunderstand, I was angry and hurt and when I did confront him, he had excuses that sounded ridiculously plausible at the time, but I wanted to believe him. The gay bar happened 2 weeks before he left which is why I never asked him to stay. I figured he’d gone off in a different direction.

And yes, he’s dating women in public, ridiculously mauling girlfriends in front of family (ie affection overload in front of his kids – making out with tongue at the dinner table in front of his family, always having his hands all over her body etc) – the kids were disgusted by it, so that’s how I heard about it. But I believe perhaps thou dost protest too much because on the down low, I’ve been told he was with an acquaintance’s ex-husband. Actually the acquaintance told me that our now ex-husbands were ‘together’ for a time. And guess what? It doesn’t really surprise me now. But that’s a story for another day.

I’m sure there are more examples, but I’m feeling a bit sick now after sharing these. However, my point is: If you think it could be cheating, it probably is….

Your intuition is smarter than you are.

Don’t waste your good years like I did.

Let me be a good lesson for you.

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Mark My Words

Oh geez, I guess I’ve not heard it all. The ex told the kid that he got a concealed carry. Well, he has to take a class, but he’s got it. WHAT??? Does nobody but me think this is odd? I told the kid it was ludicrous as he doesn’t live in a high crime area and has no need to have this license. The kid laughed and said that it was because his dad wanted it. By the way, his dad also wants an AK 47. You know, that automatic rifle?

But there’s more to it. I know it. Deep in my bones. I know it. So I said to the kid, “Your dad has a whole other secret life” to which the kid looked shocked at first and then laughed. “Mom, you have such an imagination!”

But I don’t. I know things. He’s been threatened before and we had scary dudes come to the house back when we were married. Strange calls back then too. But the kids don’t remember. I do. I remember he told me that he was being threatened and had to go on a ‘business trip’ so he gave me the key to the gun box and loaded them. The kids didn’t know he had them. I kept them by my bed for a week, ready to defend my family. I slept during the day when the kids were at school so I could be awake at night. It was a long week. Luckily, nothing happened. But I don’t forget the fear, nor the fact that he kept a lot of secrets from me.

Oh, I’m so glad I’m not married to him anymore.

But this is concerning. An angry narcissist with a concealed weapon? Never a good thing. And why now? Why does he suddenly need these things? I mean, really????

There’s something going on…mark my words.

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Part Deux As Promised

My kid walked away for a few minutes and I settled down after I got my heart and mouth under control after our last conversation. Allowed…that word just did it for me as it did for many of you who commented on it. Yup…allowed….as if I were under her spell. Uh…big fat NO!!!

So the reason this is coming up is because apparently the ex’s girlfriend (with whom I have no problems) was excited because he and I are supposedly “friends” – you know that saying, keep your friends close and the narcissists closer? LOL Anyway, she has been waxing poetic to the ex-MIL about how during the holidays she and her ex and his family get together still and are friendly. So that’s why the ex-MIL has the idea that I’m now ‘allowed’ to attend if I “ask” to be invited. BUT…Ask to be invited? LOL Not on her life….ever…

But the kid has it in his head that we’re all going to be a happy family. Ugh. No thank you…there was a time, long, long ago when I would have loved to have been invited, to have had us all be comfortable enough to sit down together nicely. But too much has passed, too many lies, manipulations and the deadbeat ex has happened along with having to take him back to court to pay what he owed for the kids.

Sorry I got off track. You wanted to know Part Deux…

Out of the blue, the kid comes back in for dinner and declares that he’s going to get his wife to sign a prenup when he gets married because when she cheats, he won’t have to give her half of his stuff.

My jaw dropped again. I looked at him startled because a) where did that come from? and b) was that about me???

What are you talking about?

Well Mom, I’m going to get her to sign a prenup because if she cheats, then I don’t have to give her half of everything.

Where did this come from? Why are you saying this out of the blue?

Because mostly it’s women who cheat and I’m not giving up half of my stuff to a cheating wife.

You’re not even dating anyone. Why are you thinking this? And besides, who said it’s only women who cheat?

(I know full well that this is from ex-MIL’s mouth as he wouldn’t be thinking this way) AND while I never said their dad cheated, they know I didn’t because the kids remember how devastated I was when he left. And let’s face it, they know me. And they know their dad and who he is. They saw the condoms the first weekend he moved out.

But the kid and I went toe to toe about who cheats in a marriage and who does it more. And I made sure to remind him that it wasn’t me who came home from a business trip and suddenly realized he lost his wedding ring. (true story) Can you say I wore rose-colored glasses and was blindly in love because I didn’t want my kids growing up in a divorced house? Yes, and I’m not proud of it either….the writing was on the wall…I just didn’t read it.

Men cheat. Women cheat. Cheaters and liars cheat. If you’re insinuating in some way, shape or form that I cheated, you are dead wrong and can leave this house, young man.

I’m not saying you Mom, but let’s face it. Women cheat while the guy’s at work and then all the hard work, all that he’s worked for, he has to split with her and it’s unfair.

I froze in my tracks. Not much has me speechless, but this did. This was from the mouth of the ex-MIL spouting off what she knows nothing about except from maybe Dynasty or some soap opera or her own poisoned mind.

I think you’re wrong. For the record, I wasn’t the one who cheated in our marriage And I take offense to your false accusations about your maybe to be wife. Where is this coming from?

Well, Grammie and I were talking…

I wheeled around to face him so fast as I had been putting the finishing touches on dinner.

Grammie…I purposefully let out the biggest disgusted sigh I could manage. I should have known…I threw up my hands in disgust. He was clueless to my response.

Yeah, she said…(and as he continued to drone on about the almighty Grammie and her proclamations about women, I wasn’t listening anymore. I had already tuned out fearing a heart attack from my blood pressure spiking over that (b)itch’s conversation with my son). He finally stopped and took a breath. There was silence. I wondered if he had asked me a question for I hadn’t been listening at all, so caught up in what I was going to say to him.

Well, for the record, as you well know, your dad left. I didn’t cheat. We were married for more than 20 years and your biased notions of marriage, cheating and splitting the assets upon divorce are incorrect. They are based on someone else’s erroneous thinking. I will advise you to think for yourself when you are in a relationship. And for the record, you need to have assets to protect in order to even begin to think of a prenup so you’d better start working and making some money if she has to sign a prenup and additionally, you need a girlfriend to marry.

Startled, he stood there looking at me as I had delivered my soliloquy quickly, firmly and without fanfare.

Uh, ok Mom. I was just sayin’ He was knocked off his game of spouting what Grammie had said about marriage, divorce and cheating.

We went on to have an ok dinner, but I couldn’t rest until I figured out the prenup business. Why would this be coming up? And that (b)itch knew I didn’t cheat, so what was all that about? Was the ex thinking of getting married to the new girlfriend and that’s where the prenup comes in? Because upon his parents’ death, he gets millions…but they’re not dead…

I struggled for a bit trying to figure it out and then I threw in the towel. Who the heck cares? Why waste time on the narcissist ex family? I mean really? I had to reign myself in because she was gaslighting me and taking up excess space in my brain. What’s that line – renting space in your head?

Anyway, that was Part Deux for those who were interested…the ex-MIL is a piece of work, isn’t she?

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Narcissists, Butt Dialers and Manipulations, Oh My!

That’s a mouthful of a title, isn’t it? Would you like to guess to whom I’m referring? Yup, you guessed it. The ex-MIL. The one I used to refer to as Marie Barone (from Everybody Loves Raymond). The ex’s mother. I couldn’t write about this until now because I was so incredulously struck by her audacity and yet, I know she has no boundaries as a narcissist and I remember her dark side. Oh yes, I know it well – having been on the receiving end of her cruelty.

Last night she ‘butt dialed’ me at 7:30pm. I don’t know who or how you can accidentally call a number you haven’t spoken to since 2018 so often, but she does. I never answer, but the older kid saw that her name was blinking on my ringing phone. Because of the story below, he was smiling from ear to ear upon seeing it. I told him to do what he wanted as it was probably a butt dial and when he answered he would either hear her feet shuffling across a floor or she would suddenly hang up because she realized she called me. You may have intuitively heard the sarcasm in my writing voice there with realized because I think she purposefully calls me. Personally, I don’t believe it’s an accident. But that’s another story for another day. Anyhoooo….back to the story at hand…(and no, she didn’t leave a message and neither of us answered the phone).

So the older kid comes home from Grammie’s house a few days ago with a message from Grammie for me. He’s all puffed up with importance, as if it’s a message from the Queen herself.

Mom, sit down. I have something shocking to tell you. I’ve been asked to deliver this message to you.

Intrigued, I sit. One eyebrow arched in disbelief as the kid begins pacing in the kitchen in front of me, doing his best to present the message well because, clearly, this is very important to him. Ahem…he clears his throat, gearing up for the big reveal.

Mom, I’m going right to the point and then you can ask anything you want because I can’t hold back. (he’s clearly excited) Grammie was crying and saying that she missed you so much when I got to her house. (cue my inner eye roll) and she even said she had dreamed about you! (He anticipates me being elated, but he’s sorely disappointed as there’s no softening on my part, so he continues) For the last few nights! as if it made it more important. Immediately, I feel snarky inside.

Grammie said (I have to interrupt because as soon as he said that, I immediately felt a revulsion inside that was visceral – as what she says, what she demands, no longer applies to my life and it was as if the Queen had made a proclamation and my kid was delivering it to the serfs (me). He stumbles on…

Grammie said I should tell you that you are allowed to come to dinner with us at her house. (There was an explosion inside of my head that I barely was able to contain) You only need to ask to be invited. And you’re allowed to see my cousins now! (Clearly he’s now on a roll as I am desperately trying to keep my butt in the chair and not fall off, nor interrupt him) And wouldn’t it be nice to have dinner with us on the holidays and with Dad and Grammie and I asked if she’d allow your family to come…She even said that she’d be ok with Uncle and family coming too. We could be a family again! He’s practically panting with delight having delivered the message in one breath since he’s so excited.

Clearly the kid has drunk the Kool-Aid. I have to hand it to the narcissist, she’s done a whopper of a good job in snowing him because he’s ecstatic to be the messenger and his emotional enthusiasm for we can be a family again because you’re allowed to come to her house for holidays has hit a mark inside of him that obviously she was aiming for and boom – she hit spot on! He was looking at me with those puppy dog eyes expectantly thinking I would be as happy as he was. He was practically jumping for joy with anticipation! Like a kid on Christmas morning after Santa’s brought everything desired.

I picked my jaw up off of the floor and tried to keep myself calm for his sake, but there was no chance. While I didn’t want to squash the poor kid as he’s only the messenger and you don’t kill the messenger…I uttered one word.


Yes, Mom!! She said you’re allowed because now you and Dad are friends!

Expletives exploded in my head like the Macy’s fireworks on 4th of July. I think my eyes glazed over for a few moments until I got myself under control. I had to think for a moment before responding.

Oh my. Well, isn’t that a surprise. Bless her heart.

He’s grinning from ear to ear, thrilled that I haven’t gone full Exorcist with my head spinning ’round and ’round. Clearly unaware what the Southerners’ hidden meaning behind Bless Her Heart really is. How can she have turned my 24 year old smart son into an excited little kid who’s in full Grammie belief mode? Because she’s an incredibly powerful manipulative narcissist. He’s waiting for more of a response. I take a deep breath and try to speak gingerly.

Well, why didn’t she tell me herself?

Uh, well, she said that she could call you and tell you so that it wasn’t just me delivering the message. But she said she wasn’t sure how you’d receive the message. Why, do you want her to call you?

In my head I responded with a resounding NO, but to my kid, I couldn’t boom my voice so negatively in his direction.

Hmm…she wasn’t sure how I’d receive the message…(I let that hang in the air)…from her…(again silence). Since we haven’t talked in years...not once. Even when my Mom died. Even when I had to have open heart surgery. Even when.…I let the sentence trail off…

He’s anxious to defend her and is growing uncomfortable. This is a fight between her and me and not for him to be in the middle. I know that whatever I say, he’s going to repeat to her because she’s incredibly talented in getting people to open up to her so she can later use that to hurt them.

She can call me. If she wants to talk with me about this, I hesitate and then I can’t help myself. She can have the balls to call me herself and not send my son to deliver her message.

He looks a bit deflated. But Mom wouldn’t it be great for all of us to be together on holidays instead of you being alone? You could be with us and them!

Oh my sweet son, you are so innocent. There is so much that I feel I must leave unsaid for his sake. I have been alone for years. On the first Christmas morning after my parents died, that ex-MIL insisted my kids go there to get their presents otherwise they couldn’t have them. Just to be mean to me. So I cried by myself for hours and put up a courageous front as they left that morning because they really wanted their gifts and she was holding them for ransom.

But seriously, uh NO, I’d rather not eat with the den of snakes, thank you very much. Imagine me sitting there after YEARS of his family not even checking on me, ignoring when I had asked something important and her telling lies to my kids about me. You think I’d break bread with them? And the ex has a new girlfriend so how comfortable would that be? Seriously? Bless their fucking hearts.

I walk over to my son and hug him. Thanks for delivering the message honey. I released him and said, I’m going to take a walk…End of story.

Stay tuned for part deux.

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