Happy (cue catchy song)

I’ve been mulling over the last two emails you’ve sent me, trying to work out my feelings in some sort of logic seeking process. You see, the first one, kind of said you miss me. So, it caught me off guard, and my breath caught in my throat and I wanted to vomit. Calm down, I was told, maybe that’s not what he meant. So I ignored that part of the email and responded to the remainder with only a, “thank you.” You responded, cryptically again, with “I wish you happiness.”
You wish me happiness.
You stole my children.
I am not happy.
You stole my children’s innocence.
Not happy.
My parents have incurred huge debt as a result of your drawing out a custody battle, not to mention not financially supporting the kids for 14 years.
You broke my grandfather’s heart by severing his relationship with the children.
I left my family and friends because you couldn’t stop following me around town.
I no longer volunteer for PTA or coaching because, well, I don’t have kids anymore because you took them.
You took away everything that previously brought me happiness. You broke up with your (married) girlfriend and now you wish me happiness?

Well thanks, because since you took away what originally made me happy, life lessons have taught me how to find my own happiness.
My man? He’s amazing. Super happy. The group of people I’ve met since I left? Could not imagine a better group of people to be around. They don’t judge, they don’t waiver, they’re amazing. So yeah, happy. My job? Love it. I work a lot of hours and some of the customers can be pretty crappy, but working with my best friends makes me pretty happy. I go to a great gym where I’ve made more great friends.
I don’t need your blessings or your wishes for my happiness. I’d be perfectly happy if I never had to speak to you another day in my life. I can be happy on my own terms.
So in closing, I hope YOU find happiness. Keep walking around destroying everything around you and wishing for happiness, let me know how that turns out.

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You Say it’s Your Birthday

I’ve been thinking, I’ve been thinking.. :)
So around a year ago, I decided to start drinking again. I hadn’t stopped for any particular reason, I just kinda outgrew happy hours and people and well, anxiety makes bars super weird anyway (says the career bartender). So I drank, not in any sort of hazardous pattern, but socially. This weekend, for my 35th birthday, I’ve decided I think I’m done again. I can’t think of anything it’s done for me that’s positive. Nothing’s been horrible, I haven’t gotten a DUI or done anything horribly embarrassing, but I can say it’s doing to anything to add to my quality of life. Other random thoughts from this weekend…
I don’t know if people ever really figure out who they are. I’ve spent a lot of time trying, though. It’s taken me 35 years to realize maybe there’s nothing to find. Maybe people really are just constantly changing and aging is really just a new chance to reinvent ourselves. I’ve made great friends, I’ve lost great friends. I’ve lost some really bad friends, too. I’m learning to embrace that I can’t control someone else’s actions, only my reaction. I may never know why every single thing happens, and I’ll never be able to figure out everyone’s thought processes. It’s ok to jettison dead weight when you don’t need it. Not everyone who comes into our lives is meant to stay forever, there wouldn’t be enough space to let new people in.

And the battle continues…

My original issue with my ex came about because he was angry my boyfriend purchased a home for the children and myself in a nice neighborhood. Despite the fact that my kids come from a military family, my ex used the move as a reason to gain custody.. I had uprooted the children from their childhood friends and MY family across the street.. The judge decided those were good arguments and told him he could keep the kids while our divorce played out. 2 years later, I receive an email that my ex and the children have moved. Into a rented house in a particularly crappy neighborhood…

You continue to tell me you want to communicate and make decisions as coparenting regarding the children, when it suits you.
You filed a lawsuit to remove the children from my custody after 14 years of me having physical custody of them because I moved them away from their childhood home into a house that was purchased FOR them in a good school district, with plenty of room to grow. Your complaint was that I was moving a family of military children out of their comfort zone, away from my parents across the street, friendships they had fostered in the neighborhood and schools they were used to. Without discussion, you send me an email that you have done all of these things to move the children to a rented house in the middle of the ghetto. Clearly, I deserve answers as to why your behavior warrants no discussion, why my questions go unanswered and why we are held to different levels of accountability regarding coparenting and responsibility towards the children.
This is the dialogue I get to deal with now:

Me:

I am still paying on a mortgage for a beautiful house that I can’t live in because I can’t get an injunction for protection keeping you off my property, the property you’ve been trespassed from.
You’ve had my vehicle repossessed and I can’t purchase another one because we are still legally married and that would be a joint liability. I’m afraid to sign leases because THAT would be a joint liability. However, you are free to move about and do what you would like. You moved the children away from the general vicinity of my parents, you threw a fit about that, and you somehow, feel like I don’t get to be included In discussions regarding the childrens’ home life and education. Your life goes on, and mine is on legal hold due to a fear of legal repercussions.
Your lawyer has yet to respond to mine regarding summer visitation, something that has set the tone for this awful divorce case. Everything continues to be completed on your time line, and you continue to bully me into not having a say over anything.
As it stands, my request was to have the children on my birthday for the summer. Since we haven’t heard from your lawyer, I’ve picked up shifts for the weekend and will not be In town. Have a great day.

His response:
Denise,
I have tried to discuss you getting the girls. You have continued to try and work through the lawyers. As you see the lawyers are busy and I have been advised to try and arrange among eachother. Why you would not want to with it between the two of us and continue to act like it’s a violent relationship is beyond me. I have suggested in other emails a visitation but you keep referring to your lawyer, eventually we as parents need to discuss without turning to lawyers for every decision.
Sincerely,
Eric

I probably should have just let it go… But I responded;

we have tried to arrange visitation without lawyers before, then you tried to have me arrested for having the children. I act like this is a violent relationship, because it is. You have been jailed and adjucated for your past acts of violence. As you have been advised to try to work something out without lawyers, I have been advised to not negotiate with you without representation, again, due to precedence. I’m sorry that your lawyer is too busy to handle his responsibilities, however, I have done my due diligence in trying to arrange legal visitation with no response.
You like to throw the term around, “we as parents,” when it suits you, but when I have legitimate parenting concerns, there is absolutely no discussion and you continue to mandate life for those around you.
I am still awaiting a response as to why it was ok for you to uproot the children, when you fought so hard to maintain their residence in your neighborhood?

And the response I get is, “they’ll stay in their old schools.”

Well yeah, if I was unemployed living on a GI bill, I’d have unlimited resources and time to shuttle the kids all over the place too… But that’s not even what I was asking? Maybe my words are too big? I constantly feel like I’m beating my head against a brick wall.. I’m supposed to be open and communicative, he gets to dictate when we have conversations. Nothing in my life has changed in regards to him continuing to control, or attempt to control my movements…

Girls Night Out, Scared night out

Last night, a group of my new friends wanted to have a Girls night out. They planned it without me and came up with a list of things they know I like to do… One girl brought coloring books, someone else brought wine and yet another had gluten free cookie dough.
It sounds like a great time to be surrounded by people who like you enough to take your likes and dislikes into consideration…
I went to the gym and spent an hour convincing myself I would go. I dragged myself out of the apartment, and less than a mile away to M’s house and found myself surrounded by people who like me… And it was overwhelming.
At some point, after wine and conversations led to a partial listing of my anxieties, someone asked if I had always been anxious and scared. I would have said yes, but I thought and thought…
I’m a planner. I’ve always planned for worst case scenarios, but the worst case has never stopped me from doing anything before. I can trace my anxiety at this level to the day I lost the kids… Everything I had been doing up until Nov 28, 2012 was to survive. I didn’t have time to decide not to do something, because inaction would have destroyed us… I had to keep moving. When the kids were gone, I lost my purpose. I had nothing but time to think of all the awful things that had happened, that could happen… I didn’t have an army of small children to protect. I didn’t have instant connections with other people in the form of being a mom. I could relate to others because life was as normal as it could be, prior to losing the kids. Now I find it hard… The priorities other people have, conversations about children, what other people stress about. You mean, you don’t worry about someone breaking into your house and killing you as you sleep? Hmm… What’s that like? Lately, I want to be normal. I want to have friends. I want to go out and not freak out when I see people with cameras… But I still have all this time to be anxious. All this time my life is still in hold. All these court dates that never really happen. All this anger that my ex still gets to express to me without consequence…