February 28

I just met with G at Starbucks. It was so awkward! LOL. I was so nervous but also very certain going into the meeting. I started off asking if there was any overlap with him having sex with her and I. He said, “No. We didn’t have sex until sometime in January.” So that’s a HUGE relief! I mean, I guess I’m just going to trust him there? Ugh.

Then I told him, “Moving forward, I think it will be best if we don’t hang out at each other’s houses anymore. So when you want to hang with the kids, we can just go do something with them.”

He said, “Ok, sure… Can I ask what led you to that conclusion?”

I said, “It’s just too ‘famliy-ee’. I need the kids to have a clear picture of who you are in our lives without any confusion or hope for a family dynamic.” 

He said he understood. Then I told him that since we probably won’t see him as consistently, it’s very important to me that he resolves any conflict or hurt feelings with the kids before he leaves us that day. 

He said, “Ok, can you give me an example of what you mean?” 

I brought up the rodeo (G was upset with Peter and didn’t address it until the next day when he sent a video saying he “forgave” Peter for accidentally head-butting him in the nose. Eye roll.)

Then G said, “Oh, Ok… I see.” 

God, I really gave him too much credit before. The man has very little emotional awareness, if any. And he can be dense af when it comes to seeing himself clearly. We sat in awkward silence for a bit then he asked how I was. 

I said, “Really good,” and asked how he was. 

He said, “Good. My sister is pregnant! I’m going to be an uncle!” 

Anyways, it was real awkward (which I secretly loved because it’s so obvious I’m not trying to be mechanically agreeable). Then he kept sitting there so I told him, “I can say more things,” and he said, “OK!” So here’s what I said:

  • “I always said it takes me a while to trust that people are who they say they are – and I know you pretty well. I know your tests and plays within relationships, and it kind of feels like you’re using me and the kids as pawns in your power struggle with S to see if she will really give you the freedom you want.
  • “You know I’m not upset about you dating, S, right? You know I’m upset because you overstepped my ability to parent the way I deem appropriate by deciding what was best for all of us. That’s just NOT OK.
  • “And my greatest challenge in all of this is coping with the plummet of respect I once had for you. So very much to… none. You sacrificed our friendship and that’s been difficult to swallow.
  • “Lastly, if you truly want to be in the kids’ lives and mine, you’re really going to have to practice honesty – as in as much truth as possible as soon as it becomes true. Without it, there’s no chance of anything lasting with us.”

He nodded and dipped his head and listened and agreed. 

Then he said, “I’m truly sorry for the decision I made, I know it was wrong.” 

I told him, “It’s forgivable, it’ll just take some time.”

He said, “I understand and you can take as much time as you want and can feel however you need to about it.” 

Gee, thanks, G. 

Then he added, “I am certain I can differentiate manipulation (aka games) within a relationship, and I assure you that is not what I am doing regarding you and the kids in my relationship with S.”

I nodded politely, aware of his lack of conscious understanding of himself and his motivating factors in life. Because THAT is not my job – to convince him of what is so blatantly obvious. 

I said, “It’s probably time for me to move my storage stuff,” to which he replied, “There’s no rush.”

It was a good meeting. I feel empowered and resolved. Now we just have to see how it goes. Basically, he and the kids will determine how often and when we hang out because I have no desire to make that happen. It’ll be interesting, but more than that, I feel like I took a giant step forward into my future!

OH. MY. GOSH! I LOVE MYSELF! I am so proud of myself for what I did today! I want to do it more!!!

I feel so loved and whole and safe… and I did it for myself this time! It’s a beautiful day and I am so ready for March, Spring, Summer… the rest of my life!

March 3

Since G and I talked, I have felt like the cord has been cut! Feeling grounded, solid, thankful, and hopeful. I am so proud of myself, it’s making me smile all the time. I truly love paying attention to my own needs!

Well. Today was another one of those super annoying days – my least favorite kind of day – I just wanted to relax and rest in bed and I asked the kids to tidy their rooms, get along and pick up the living room. They had two hours (unsupervised) to get it done. They did NOTHING. Then we had to scramble to get to Tatum’s birthday party and I lectured them, grounded them from ALL electronics until they could show me they know how to be more responsible. When they came home, they did pretty much the exact same thing which sent me from super irritated to angry and explosive. I yelled, I threatened to take all their stuff away while they’re at school and Jane said, “You’ll never see my face again because I’m so ugly!” Then Peter said, “Mommy, you’re making me feel like an idiot.”

Wow.

I am literally creating abandonment wounds in my precious babies’ hearts. I’m making them feel inadequate, unloved, and detestable. I am ashamed. I feel small and powerless. This is one of those days/nights I would KILL to have a partner’s support. If I had been able to take my “Mom Hat” off for a couple of hours today, I could have unwound and reset. But I don’t get that space because food has to be made, chores have to be done, and kids have to be cared for – so my own care goes on the chopping block.

As I desperately uncovered my wrongs and mistakes to the kids at bedtime and asked for forgiveness (I guess they’re learning real well how to fess up when they screw up!). Jane said, “Mommy, why don’t me and Peter just tell you when your voice is getting too loud and then you can go to your room and take a break then come out and be calmer?” I said, “Great idea. It’s a deal.” And we shook on it. Then after talking to Peter, he said, “You need a consequence if you yell at us.” I said, “You’re right! How about I clean your room if I get out of control and yell at you?” He lit up! We shook on it.

I sure do feel like a failure tonight. I’m pretty sure I’m damaging their souls in some irreparable ways with my juvenile behavior. I wish I was better at this. But tonight was a wake up call. I need better systems that lend more support for myself. I need to be able to take care of myself when I am boiling so I don’t take it out on them. Here lies an opportunity to grow and allow my children to watch me learn from my mistakes and practice a new way.

God I hope I don’t fail them.

March 4

Busy day. Kind of stressful. Lots of work for C. Kids therapy, took Peter to the dentist, just so much. Big Mom day. Couldn’t stop smiling when my thoughts drifted… Thankful for these recent opportunities to grow. Excited and dreaming about a future partnership – the kind I’ve never experienced before. I’m proud of myself. I’m grateful for my journey that’s brought me here today.

E was encouraging today. She said I’m showing my kids how to be human, imperfect and all. She said the way they’re talking openly about how I made them feel is a result of what I’ve modeled. She also said next time I date someone, they can meet the kids, but spending time with them should only happen when he and I have decided we are building a future together (“marriage” track… or, in my case, “commitment” track). That was encouraging because it gives me freedom to take as much time as I want to date, get to know, and learn who a man is before I integrate the kids into it. FREEDOM.

However, that will mean I need to expand my ideas of dating/partnership. There will be a substantial period where he won’t see me as “mom” and potentially only get time with me “after hours” (after the kids bedtime). I’ll definitely want him to show his commitment to me through pursuing me, paying for sitters, working with my restricted schedule with the kids with great patience and kindness and generosity (HA!). I (we, me and the kids) deserve patience, graciousness, and lavish love.

I look forward to embracing someone who can appreciate, respect, and make room for me – all of me. I know now that I can have this because I’m worth it and my babies are worth it. We’re worth waiting for, fighting for, and choosing.

M: Me

Tyrel: My first love, husband and my abuser 2005-2015, father of my children, died by suicide September 2016

Children: Jane (9 years old) and Peter (7 years old)

G Frank: Ex-boyfriend and best friend

S Sara: G’s ex- girlfriend

A: Widow and close friend (one of the “hos”)

L Kate: Younger sister (12 years younger) and close friend. Technically, my half-sister (her father is my stepdad, R)

R: Stepdad, father figure from age 11 on, and Opa to my kids

Z Liz: Widow and close friend (one of the “hos”)

H: Older sister (two years older) and close friend

W: Kindred spirit, beloved friend, licensed therapist

D: Dear friend since 8th grade

C: Married to D, hired me to as a freelance writer/editor for awhile

B: Dear friend of 20 years who I shaved my head with when she got breast cancer in 2018 and lost her hair

O Chad: A guy I “talked” to in another state and went and visited after G and I broke up in summer 2018

E Esther: Kids (bomb ass) therapist

Brother: My older brother

K: My sister-in-law (brother’s wife) and friend

In 2019, I began my self-study by documenting myself in my everyday life in hopes that after a few months, I could see patterns and understand some of my own rhythms. I kept 3 journals (the — symbol represents distinction between journals 1 and 3): 

  1. An emotional/mental well-being journal where I daily jotted 1-3 sentences about my overall internal stability.
  2. My mind-body-spirit (aka moon phase) journal, which was a calendar where I noted my hormones, diet, activity, and overall feelings about myself each day.
  3. The mamma-jamma journal (the main chunk of this memoir) where I painstakingly detailed out my experiences and my every thought about those experiences.
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