No Response Is a Response

Here’s another one of those drafts I never published. Maybe it will help you on your journey.

No response is a response…and it’s a powerful one.

It’s common for the ex to not answer me.  In fact, I rarely communicate with him unless it’s through lawyers these days and half the time, he doesn’t answer them either.  It’s frustrating, but I know it’s a power thing with him.  I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes it does.  But, I’ll never let him know it if I can help it.

However, he does the same thing with our kids and they’re hurting from it.  They’re trying to make excuses for it.  They try to make sense of it.  They try to understand him.  They’ve initiated conversations, trying to get him to connect with them, that fell flat.  And while one of them has just accepted that this is who their dad is now (even though he wasn’t that way years ago), the other one is still wrestling with the reason their dad doesn’t communicate with them, nor supposedly with his family.

The ex ignores the kids’ texts and phone calls, yet throws a fit if they do it to him.  His cell phone is with him 24/7 and yet, he repeatedly refuses to respond to them.  He’s giving them the silent treatment.  He’s been known to lie outright to them only to have the kids realize that his story doesn’t add up by looking at his social media.  Yet because his wrath can turn ugly, they don’t normally question him.  They just file away the truth.  They’ve learned not to question him because he’ll continue to lie even when they have the facts.  Years ago when they were younger, they would want to believe him, but now they’ve realized too many lies.  But that desire to believe him has never died and that need to excuse his behavior comes and goes depending on what it is.

When you don’t respond, it’s a powerful message and depending on the situation, the people involved and the relationships, the message can be taken in different ways.  One kid is taking it as he’s not enough so his dad refuses to answer him.  He’s trying his best to initiate conversations and connections with his dad, but there’s no response.  He longs for his dad in his life, but the ex doesn’t answer.  I’m watching my kid wrestling with the question that I have had since the ex said he didn’t want to do this anymore…

What changed him?

And while I have plenty of theories, and some facts, they are not mine to share.  But it saddens me that the kids are hurting so I’ve gotten them a therapist who can help them.  They’re making great strides, but one is much like me.  I never wanted to give up on the ex until I had to surrender to his NPD.  And while I don’t discuss that, the kids have been researching and are beginning to see the narcissist in their dad.  It explains so much when they can see behind the mask.

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Is Anxiety From Not Processing Your Feelings?

I am not saying that children nor adults can’t have anxiety to the degree where it’s a disorder because both of mine were diagnosed with it.  Both chose to take medications which they subsequently went off of (with Dr. approval) and one continues with therapy and has been able to make great strides.  The other one refuses any therapy and is floundering.

But the floundering one and I had a chat since we had a discussion earlier that didn’t end well.  What I have been very grateful for throughout the divorce and now years later has been that we are all committed to remain bonded as a family through good times and bad.  Even when someone’s mad as hell, there’s love and that’s the center of our family existence.

I had the opportunity because he opened the door (to listening to me) a crack so I scooted in tentatively.  I minded my words, not wanting to upset him, easing around the reasons for his ‘anxiety’ and staying positive without stepping on his wounds.  It was a tap dance for sure and I’m not really a good tap dancer.  I could see he was getting aggravated and finally he said, “Just say it Mama.  Shoot straight.”

I could see the kid wanted brutal honesty, but could he handle it?

“Are you strong enough for it?  Do you really want me to say what I see because I think it might make you really mad.  I’m not looking for another discussion, but if you’re open and you know that I am saying this with love and not to hurt you, I will.  But if you think you might be enraged by the truths I think I’m seeing and willing to tell you, then I don’t want to go there with you until you feel you are welcoming insight.  It’s up to you.”

To his credit he thought about it.  He knows that I have insight (channeling) at times, but that sometimes it comes out harsher when the point needs to be made and I can’t seem to soften it when I know something needs to be said.  It’s just out there even though I try to preface it with love.

“Ok.  Yes.  Do it.”  He sat on the couch and I began as usual looking in his eyes and telling him that he’s a good person and that I love him (both are truths), but that I see things differently than the story he’s telling himself.

I could see I was losing him quickly.  “I get it Mama.  Just say it.”

“Ok.”  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and began.  With my eyes wide open looking at him, a stream of truths unfolded.  I talked about the repression of feelings he’s keeping that are emerging as anger, sleep deprivation and sadness.  The lack of focus which he’s calling anxiety or the criss-crossing of trains is the fact that he doesn’t want to process the emotions he’s bottling up and so they’re jumping all over, never actually stopping at a station for long because of the fear of what’s behind the emotion which is manifesting as feeling anxious (in my unprofessional opinion).  So the relief he seeks is in numbing out, but the feelings are still there festering underneath and gaining strength with each repression.”

I stopped and looked at him trying to gauge what he was thinking.  He closed his eyes and was quiet for a few minutes.  I sat nearby and waited patiently.

“I can see that,” he replied.  “Perhaps not all of it, but yeah.  Probably.  But I still think I have anxiety.”

I nodded.  “But I don’t want to go back over all those emotions.  I don’t want to feel all the trauma again.  I don’t want to deal with it.  I want to move on.  I want it over.”

“The only way I’ve known to get better is to go through it.  Yes again.  But in a different way than the original experience.  Would you like to try to do it together?”

He shook his head.  I understood because I’m part of the story too.  So I suggested a soul reading with a friend who he knows.  He agreed.  So let’s see how it goes…

This was a draft I never published, but I’m sending it out now…See LA, I’m clearing out my drafts! LOL

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Draft Queen

LA in her post today was talking about how many drafts we have as bloggers. I know I have a lot of drafts in there, but I was surprised that I had almost an equal amount of drafts as I have posted. Oh my!

What about you?

Why do I have so many drafts? And why don’t I just delete the ones that aren’t relevant or that are now passé? Because honestly they tell a story and I am not ready to let them go. So am I holding onto trauma or the past by keeping those drafts? Perhaps, but it suits me for the moment.

Because when I read back on some of those drafts, I can see how far I’ve come. I can see my story and how it’s evolved. I sometimes even get inspired by a draft and rework it to where I am today (from where I’ve been) and it feels good.

Writing is so cathartic to me and many times when I can’t say something, I write it. Sometimes I just need to let it out which is why many of those drafts won’t ever be published because they could hurt someone I love if they were to read it, even though the sentiment and emotion were absolutely true for me at the time I wrote it. But many times it doesn’t serve me to tell too much or to bring up sore subjects or to tell others’ secrets who may read this one day. So I silence myself by not hitting publish.

Do you have a lot of drafts? Do you delete them like LA does? Or do you keep them hanging around like I do? What’s your motivation for what you do? Just wondering…

Thanks LA for a great Monday morning topic…perhaps some decluttering is the way to start my week. One blog draft at a time….

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A Quiet Saturday Night

Well, it all went pretty well although I did keep myself from asking too much because – why trouble trouble – when if the kids need to talk, I know they will. So I decided to take advantage of my Saturday night alone and make it special.

I got take out from my favorite restaurant because I deserve it! I poured a nice glass of wine and ate my dinner while watching Netflix. I lit a jasmine scented candle and relaxed. It really wasn’t a big deal, except it was because I was totally alone! It was really lovely!

Afterwards a friend called and we chatted while having a glass of wine together. We caught up on our week and laughed and reminisced. It was fun!

The kid that had dinner with his dad came home and shortly afterwards, the one who was working came in. My alone time was up, but it was good to have them both home so I could relax again. All was well at Chez Leeds.

Today they are having another meal with their dad together so that will be good since they prefer to see him and his family together and not separate. I have no idea what time they’re going, but I know that my take out meal is calling my name because I didn’t eat it all last night so I’m all set!

Perhaps today I will read, relax and rejuvenate while they’re gone. Or maybe even – dare I? – take an afternoon nap!! How decadent! LOL

Whatever you’re doing today, I hope it’s lovely for you! Happy Sunday!

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , , | 13 Comments

One Dinner Down

I kept myself busy last night while the one kid was out with his dad alone and the other at work. I have to admit to you that having nobody in the house for a few hours was delightful! Oh my gosh, I hadn’t realized how much I’d needed complete alone time and I could totally relax for a bit!

This Covid home all the time and no time alone (even though I didn’t do anything extraordinary) takes a toll on your psyche. I really, honestly, hadn’t realized it until I was totally alone for a few hours! And it was grand! Marvelous! Big huge smile!!!!

I was home alone and not being Mom for a little while. Off the clock shall we say. Not responsible for anyone but me for a bit. I could breathe! It was so weird to not keep one ear listening for someone calling me. There was nobody home but me! I sang loudly in the kitchen by myself. I walked around the house and smiled because we’d made it even when it was awful losing everything and being divorced. I felt a bit empowered. A bit more like Janie the woman and not Janie the divorced mom. And ohhhhh… felt gooooood!!

So last night’s kid visit with his dad went ok. There was a little bit said to me, but not much. Instead he talked with his brother who was home from work and they worked on the issues together. I love that they have each other to talk things through with instead of it always being me. Fingers crossed for tonight’s kid visit with dad. This one should be fine though because he can manage his dad and dad’s family better than my other son. But who knows? We shall see. I’m not planning on worrying about things I can’t control.

And tonight I get it (home alone!) again because it’s vice versa (one kid working while other one with his dad). I think I may even take a bubble bath! And just throw together a small charcuterie board for dinner along with a glass of wine! And of course, something chocolate for dessert! A chick flick on Netflix?! And then a long chat with an old friend…heavenly….

In the meantime, I’m running out to the grocery to get myself something special for tonight! I will raise a glass to all of you for being so kind to me. I hope you’re having a great Saturday!

Posted in Covid-19 Virus, divorce, finding happiness at 50, Untold Stories of Isolation | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Praying For Peace

The ex (my kids’ dad) is coming in this weekend to visit with them. He does this very occasionally so it’s a big deal when he blows into town. He told them to clear their schedules because he’s going to be here, but unfortunately the kids are each working one night of the weekend which now means that each has to visit with dad alone. And the kids do NOT like that at all.

Hence my praying for peace because in the past when they’ve had to deal with their dad, they’re not always happy. How I wish they’d return more often from a dad visit without angry venting because it makes it hard on me. On one hand, I absolutely understand how they feel when they’re complaining about him. On the other, I can sometimes see the ex’s point of view. But the hard part is navigating my own point of view and experiences with the ex and not having them cloud the situation (venting) at hand.

That’s where I pray for peace this weekend since it could be just fine or it could go off the rails and be disastrous. Because the kids don’t talk with their dad about how they feel about things. In the past they’ve tried, but he wouldn’t listen. One time one of the kids poured his heart out to his dad hoping that it would bridge the gap between them. Instead, the ex tattled to his narcissist mommy and she got in the middle of it (where she didn’t belong) and harped on my kid claiming that my kid (her grandson, the child of her son) was being mean to her baby (meaning the ex, the kid’s dad and her son)! And that stopped my kid from ever trusting his dad again. Because what healthy grown man sics his mommy on his own child?

So you can imagine how the kids don’t like to be left alone with their dad without their sibling. Because there’s strength in numbers. I’ve always taught my kids that they are to stay united and always have each other’s backs as they go through this because it is often the case that the ex-MIL plays favorites like their dad does and so it’s a minefield when they have to visit them. Because the favorites change depending on who’s more controllable at the time.

I have made sure I have a nice bottle of wine for myself this weekend in case it’s needed. LOL. In the meantime, I’m just sending out peace in hopes that all goes well. I guess I’ll let you know how it goes.

Do you have these troubles too?

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This word popped into my head this morning so I’m just going for it and writing a post. I think it came into my head because of how I’m feeling after reading some of the comments on my blog. I feel very grateful for the serendipitous friendships I’ve made since I began the blog.

Serendipitous: occurring or discovered by chance in a happy or beneficial way

You’ve all helped me so much and I am so appreciative of your support, your kindness, your advice and the way in which you helped me to grow. I hope that I can do the same for you and for others who find themselves needing kindness and generosity of spirit.

I was telling a friend the other day about how much I love blogging and the friendships I’ve made here. What she had a hard time fathoming was how even though we haven’t met in real life and we are friends. And how the culture (for lack of a better word – please give me the right one if you can) here is of helpfulness, banter, support and kindness. At least that’s who I’ve encountered.

Additionally, during this pandemic with many of us being housebound, blogging was a way to reach out into the world and share and connect. Don’t you think?

Do you feel that way about your blogging followers/friends too?

Posted in Covid-19 Virus, finding happiness at 50, inspiration | Tagged | 11 Comments

The Contract Was Completed

I’ve been getting more spiritual lately and one of the other reasons I’ve found that happens in a divorce situation is this: The contract was completed and it was time to move on.

I believe that the people we encounter are for a reason. Some are here to teach us something. Others are for a reason that we may not understand at the time. Others (like the ex) were here for our union and subsequent children’s births. You might think I’ve lost my mind, but read on if you are interested in my theory. And if it resonates with you, let me know.

I think that my kids were to be born from the ex and my union. He was to be there with us for a time and when the ‘contract’ was up, he was freed to leave (and he did). His leaving, even though I didn’t understand it at the time, was for me to be able to grow and to find who I am without being tied to the roles I had taken on by being wife/mom etc. While I am still mom, a role which I adore, and would love to someday be a wife again, I am learning so much about myself without the constraints of marriage.

In other words, he did me a favor by leaving…even though it took me a long time to see it that way. And maybe I’m being delusional to myself in this train of thought that ‘our contract ended’ but it soothes me in a way which is why I’m sharing it with you.

There’s more to my theory, but I’m not sure if this is a good venue to proceed writing about it so I’ll stop now. I read a book called Little Soul and The Sun and that’s how this theory was born.

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What Happened To You?

I often wonder, “What happened to you?” when I see some people. I want to reach out and hug them, even total strangers. Because when I see a heart hurting, I want them to heal, to smile again and to be whole again and not the broken I am seeing. But I don’t have all the answers and I hesitate to even bring up the subject unless they’re talking about it and act as if they want to talk about it.

I look at my own ex and think, “What happened to you?” Many divorced friends and I have talked about that subject over the years. Some of us know each other’s exes and we still try to figure out what changed for them. Because many of the exes’ personalities, their relationships with their kids and their overall beings have changed. And it makes me sad.

We’ve discussed many possibilities as to why they may have changed when we believed we knew them for decades. We would have never foreseen the present day persona that exists. Mid-life crisis, even thought it sounds so cliché, many of us have actually read up on it in order to help ourselves to understand the changes we’ve seen in our exes. Some of it makes sense. Some of it doesn’t. Our wake up call that they had narcissistic tendencies and we realized we didn’t like the dynamic. Or better said, the ex found better fuel.

Even WE changed which perhaps was the catalyst to their changes. Or vice versa. Interestingly enough though, the women, after a time, seem to thrive and pick up the pieces and become stronger.

I’m not saying that men don’t do that either, but the ones I’m familiar with seem to be more determined to leave the past behind and not stay in the lives of their kids. Not all men are this way. Let me make that completely clear as I am NOT man-bashing. I know of exes who do stay in contact with their kids and are amazing fathers and men. These have a detente with the ex-wives and for the most part, the ex-spouses act decently and somewhat friendly to each other. That would be my dream, but it hasn’t happened for me.

Do you ever think of you ex and wonder, “What happened to you?”

Or “What happened to me? What happened to us?”

Posted in divorce, finding happiness at 50, love | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments