32B's Blog

…where I write my words

Divorce = Priceless!!!

Well, my vacation has been awesome thus far.  Last week, I had MWF off work and TTh I worked from home so I didn’t have to leave my house unless I honestly wanted to.  The kids were off from school last week as well so it made me realize that being a stay-at-home mom was NOT in my future!  I swear my kids eat around the clock, fight around the clock, play non-stop, and only sleep when their bodies completely shut down.  That was last week.  This week their dad picked them up Christmas day for his week of visitation so mommy had a week to herself to do whatever it is moms do when their kids are away at dad’s.  That first weekend, I cleaned my apartment and literally stayed on the couch.  I watched movies, ate, watched TV, ate, talked through my Mobile Anytime minutes, ate, spent a few mins on the internet, and ate.  Oh, I did some reading but not too much.  Yesterday, I went to Avatar…I heart that movie!  Really pretty movie and very good story.  I kinda wanted to find that land and see if they could transfer me from my body to a new one cause this world I currently live in kinda sucks.  I went running and realized I need to stop doing my 3 mile run so often and up it to 6 miles.  I ran on snow for the first time ever! It slowed my pace down because I didn’t know if I was about to step on ice or what looked like ice so I slowed down just in case my foot slipped from under me but I still finished my 6 mile jog in about 53 minutes.  Not bad but I need to run once a week throughout the winter or my fitness level will be screwed!  I went to my doctor appt which is hard to do since you can’t bring kids to these type of appts and I went downtown to see a movie while walking up Mag Mile because I love Mag Mile and all the people walking about although I had no money to spend.  Well, I had money but nothing I needed that bad to throw my budget into a deficit 🙂

Anywho, in the midst of my doing nothing, my friend/soror calls me to ask if my ex has talked to me.  I reply “no” to which she says “maybe he should tell you” and I say “tell me what?” and then she says “oh, I have your kids while he’s at work” and I say “um, ok” and then she says “he texted me this morning to say his car got repo’d”.  Jaw drops.  My first response was, “how am I gonna get my kids back?!?!”  She laughs and says, “I have no idea”.  Then I say, “I wonder why he hasn’t called to tell me. He a lil punk!” and she says “I wouldn’t call you either cause you’ll snap” and I reply “no I won’t.  That’s on him” cause it is.  You strive to believe the good in people no matter how much it shatters and breaks your heart.  You want to believe so bad and hope that one day they will see the light and change.  Doesn’t even have to be a big change because you’ll settle for a small minute change but a change in any form would be a small step in the direction of progress and a giant leap in telling yourself that all that belief in this person was worth it to some extent. I hate these moments because I can’t depend on him to rescue me if I might end up in financial hell.  I, again, gotta safeguard myself and hoard cash just in case he does something stupid and ends up jobless/homeless/moneyless etc.  It’s like I brace myself for an impact that may never come or I prepare for a disaater when it’s someone else who’s causing it.  My friend/soror told me not to depend on him anyways but, dammit, it’ll be nice to once in a while.  One minute he has a car…another minute he doesn’t.  One minute he has his own apt…another minute he’s on someone’s couch.  I cringe at instability because you never know when that pendelum is gonna swing but you do know it’s gonna swing eventually.

Now, this repo’d occurred Monday.  I’m writing this post Wednesday night.  No phone call from him to tell me his self about his car situation although I’m sure he knows my friend/soror has already briefed me but the courtesy of telling me would help.  But, then again, will it??  If he figures this out without asking for a handout (I really can’t afford to give) then he might be making progress although him not asking me simply means he knows I ain’t about to give him shyt.  Bridge….burned.  School starts Monday.  No idea what he has planned but I’m sure it’s something spectacular.  In the meantime, I’ll enjoy the rest of my vacation and see what happens.  My ex’s money/financial issues?  I don’t think age has the problem to cure all things.  Some people never learned money mgmt skills (I being one of them), some teach themselves or learn from their or others mistakes (I being one of them), and others have no interest in learning while they spend all they ever have & blame it on the economy. The funny thing was that he bought the kids all these Christmas gifts and I knew his child support was still coming like clockwork so excess funds was impossible but I didn’t say anything.  Then he told my friend how he wanted to get the kids a portable DVD player for his car but he also needed new tires so he had to pick one over the other.  Is that really a decision at all?!  One of those things should have never been in consideration.  How about making the car pymt and then adding little extras.  I don’t know.  Just a thought but who am I to talk.  I’m just saying you’d think someone would have learned a lesson after the 4th repo.  Learned that lien holders don’t play with those pymts.  Lesson given but lesson never learned which is why I continue to laugh when someone has the audacity (normally someone from church) to ask when we’re getting back together.  As soon as God takes Satan back.  When Satan gets his halo back then that fool will get my hand in marriage….again!  I should probably be careful what I write….God has a way of “technically” making crap come to pass.

December 30, 2009 Posted by | Life | , , | Leave a comment

Exit Psychology?

Exit__by_Breaker12Looking at couples, I always wondered about this strange phenomenon…..why do couples remain together for yrs upon yrs but, as soon as they sign on the dotted line, they split up?  I have heard people say that marriage jinx the success of the relationship, that people change once they say “I Do”, and/or that a lot of people simply don’t understand the commitment & hardships that come along with marriage.  Ok, I have a question….what is the difference between being married for 10 yrs and being in a committed monogamous live-in relationship for 10 yrs?  If all things are the same across the board except one union is legally binding and the other is not (unless we count common law marriage), then what really is the difference?  I don’t think there is one.  I have known many couples who “play house” and go through the same things married couples do but I hear twice as often the threat to leave from the married couples.  Just trying to place both scenarios on the same playing field before I make my theory….yep, I’m putting on my thinking cap.  Let’s say that, all things considered, a legally binding union plays more on the psyche than anything else.  Does that make sense?  Hear me out for a sec…

I thought there was an experiment done involving rats and their idea of escape.  I tried to Google it many times but either my keywords were waaaay off or there is no such experiment outside of my dreams but I swear I remember reading about it somewhere.  If you place a rat in a box decorated to resemble it’s normal habitat with one or more doors/exits, when you alter the conditions slightly, the rat will move away from the bothersome condition but never actually leave the box.  These conditions vary from making the box warmer than normal, colder than normal, making the box vibrate to simulate a natural disaster, gradually decreasing or increasing the size of the box overtime without the rat noticing, or anything else that may cause the rat to panic when the norm becomes abnormal.  When these variables changed, the rat would approach the exit(s), even leave momentarily only to return, but often times than not, the rat remained in the box knowing that if need be the exit would allow for a speedy escape.  Now, all things remaining the same in this experiment, remove the exit(s) so the rat is complete closed into the box and allow the different conditions to take place.  Without an exit in sight, as the conditions began to change, panic grew to an alarming rate the rat almost went crazy trying to find an escape.  What was a slight irritation before in the presence of an exit was now unbearable when the rat realized there was no way out if it desired it.  The way the rat handled the same condition change varied drastically to the same condition change with the exit(s)….excessive panic at the notion of not being able to leave.

Now, I’m not scientific in anything, I have a degree in the research of nothing, and I am likely experienced in everything but this….however, this is my uneducated and personal opinion on what I think some people do.  I think people are content when there is an exit such as in the relationship.  You can always break up, call it quits, pack up and leave, take the kids & the dog while you chuck the deuces, and bounce.  Relationships offer that and the beauty of them is that both parties are there because they want to be there not because they promised they’d stay there.  In a marriage, you are legally bound to the other person but, more importantly, you took an oath before God to stay until death.  There’s a legal and spiritual aspect weighing on you and you’d hate to go against either of those (esp the latter) and we all go into a marriage saying in full faith and confidence that “I’d never get a divorce”.  Maybe this is all junk but I see it time and time again.  If not this, then why do they split?  Why do some remain together for decades just to finally get married and can’t make it one tenth of a decade?  The mind is a powerful thing….full of trickery & illusions.  I’m not saying feeling panic or anxiety is wrong because all exit(s) have  been removed as soon as you said “I Do”.  I’m not saying it’s wrong to have an exit(s) just in case the need strikes to escape.  The same conditions….the same environment….the same person who you thought was sooo cute early in the morning looking like a Troll Doll with garbage breathe….nothing has changed.  All I’m saying is that if you need to have an exit available to make you stay than you should re-evaluate your love for that person as well. Or, maybe your love for the person and your psyche’s play on an exit are independent of each other.

If that doesn’t make sense, how about an island?  How much fear, anxiety, panic, or worry sets in if you realize you’re on an island with nothing but water as far as the eye can see around you?  How much of that subsides if you see a paddle boat on shore not too far from where you stand?  No matter what amenities are available to you on this island by way of food, entertainment, drinks, clothing, luxury whatever, and anything else your heart desires….the thought of no escape can be more troublesome than the thought of a possibility.  My theory, a penny with a hole in it, so take it for what it’s worth.

August 30, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fireproof

fireproof-poster-kirk-camerI’d heard of the movie but hadn’t watched it until Saturday evening when one of my Prayer Warriors heard about it from our First Lady of the church.  So, while running errands, we stop to buy it and I sat down to watch it not sure what it was about but knew it was Christian related.  As the movie started I thought, “this is soooo corny and bad acting” but I kept watching it since it did have some good parts.  What was the best was how they captured the emotions of a marriage when it’s rocky.  How they presented good examples of how you think things will be better if you go left but you are actually facing the wrong direction.  What I found to be so true and the heart of the overall message was how we get married not completely understanding what it means to love someone unconditionally.  Yes, you love them but will that love still exists when the times get bad?  When he is riding the last strand of your last nerve?  When peace is all you want even if it means divorce?  When you recall hate when you see him but no ounce of the love you once knew.  The leading actress said it best when she said (paraphrasing), “when a woman has been wounded repeatedly she no longer allows the hurt to occur so in its place is anger.”  I had gotten to the point in my previous marriage where I was more so angry at him instead of hurt because I had been hurt for so long I realized it was not getting me anywhere. 

The moment when I cried was when the lead actor cried.  I cried as if he was kneeling beside me apologizing for his behavior.  A man crying is often seen as a sign of weakness instead of a deep feeling of remorse and regret.  There were so many ways he could have said he was sorry but, like women, he showed his emotions and that is how I best related to that scene.  All the time I hear (and experience) how difficult it is to communicate with the opposite sex but when we stop being selfish and expecting the other to communicate as we can comprehend then we can get somewhere.  It took humility for him to even do the Dare.  It took a lot of love and patience after constant rejection.  It took him allowing God in to change him from within.  After the movie was over I found myself wondering if I could have or still could apply at least some of those suggestions to revive what was my marriage.  I still feel the same as I did before the movie…I made the right decision. 

I always wanted him to change for me and that never happened.  I even tried to force him to change for me and you can imagine what a headache that was.  I left and decided to leave it in God’s hands and I saw, and don’t see, any hint of God anywhere in his life.  When we got married I called myself a Christian because I was raised Christian and that was all I knew.  I stuck with the faith because I wanted to pick a side between the other religions out there.  It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized I was playing the role instead of embodying it.  I wish I had married a Christian man but I didn’t.  My cry was that God was never present so how could this work out and I have heard that scripture about one Christian spouse covering the non-believing spouse (paraphrasing again) but….but I was on a different path from the time before and I couldn’t see him as my spouse anymore.

In addition to this movie, I was told about a book for married couples or singles in hopes of getting married one day.  I can’t remember the title but it’s something along the lines of his and her needs.  There is a list of ten Needs from which each spouse, or single person, ranks as their top five to gauge what needs they must have met in a marriage. 

The ten Needs are:

  • Admiration
  • Affection
  • Sexual Fulfillment
  • Conversation
  • Recreational Companionship
  • Attractive Spouse
  • Financial Support
  • Honesty & Openness
  • Family Commitment
  • Domestic Support

It does not include religious background but I guess that is something you should be aware of from day one.  Unselfishly meeting the needs of your spouse is something that requires a commitment and diligence. 

My top 5 needs:

  • Conversation
  • Honesty & Openness
  • Family Commitment
  • Financial Support
  • Sexual Fulfillment

I didn’t have any of this before I got married.  I didn’t even belong to a church or knew any real Christians who could give advice, tell me about their experiences, or usher me in the right direction.  All my friends who were married were too busy going through their own issues to spend time helping me through mine and I don’t think they belonged in my marriage anyways.  God should have been the third strand (Not Easily Broken – T.D. Jakes) but I didn’t know Him then and had only heard of Him.  I pray there is a next time around and that I do this right then.  I don’t know why I keep reading and watching this marriage stuff when I don’t have one.  Some say it’s best to be prepared than to be unprepared.  I guess. 

This thing takes time, effort, diligence, and faith to preservere.  That leads me to the next point I loved from the Fireproof movie….the husband had stopped learning his wife.  In the beginning, we want to court/date and get to know the other person, their likes and dislikes, their future aspirations and dreams, their stand on different key areas of life and/or parenting, and how that fits into our lives.  It’s fun and frustrating learning someone but it shows diligence when you don’t give up.  In the movie, he made the effort.  A lot of guys don’t do that now and I am at the dating /courting stage.  That must mean I am wasting time on the wrong ones.  Add on personal baggage, past hurts, guards up, and cynicism then you truly have a fight on your hands.  As the movie said, “love is not a fight but it’s something worth fighting for”.   We shall see.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | God, Love, Me | , , , | 2 Comments

Self-Reflection in Progress

self-evaluationI guess lately has been a time of self-reflection because I keep saying, “I am working on me” but when I think about what I am saying I realize I am not working anything but my mouth.  It is hard to look at yourself in the mirror and evalute what and who you see standing before you in order to prevent some things you have done in the past from making it’s way to your future.  This blog came about because my married friends are having issues as all married couples do from time to time.  She calls me to complain about him, about something he did or didn’t do, how he doesn’t help her out around the house, how he is selfish, and (this is the kicker) how he cries too much.  Often times than not, she calls me when he is in the same room and I hear her yelling at him and he knows she is talking to me and all I can do is calm her down because I know she is talking crazy simply because she is pissed.  As her friend, as most men fear, I don’t get in her marriage and tell her to leave him.  I remind her of how much she loves him, how she didn’t marry him because she had nothing else to do that day, and how he is a good man.  So he doesn’t cook all the time, he leaves his dirty drawers on the floor right next to the hamper, he messes up more than he cleans up, and he cries when he is emotional about something.

I half expect her to tell me I don’t know what the hell I am talking about or to throw my own failed marriage in my face when it seems I am taking his side but, thank God, she knows me and she knew my marriage as I know hers.  She eventually calms down and she gets back to being in love with him all over again.  This past weekend, she told me that he is making some changes since he became apart of this Christian men group where they can go to vent about stuff men vent about but not barbershop type stuff…..churchy type stuff of “What Would Jesus Do?” or “What does God want to teach me?”  I value marriage.  At times I still feel like a failure that my own didn’t work.  I know the divorce rates.  It doesn’t sound good to tell people that I am actually a divorcee instead of just single.  My guy friends have tried to encourage me by saying that it shows I am wifey material.  Yeah, sometimes I am a the-glass-is-half-empty type chick.

I see the beauty in marriage and I don’t want her to lose her’s over something stupid.  At times I wonder why I want to get married again when so many men have an open fear of it then what are my odds?!  I don’t worry about that.  I am taking care of me by getting to know me again and figuring out what I did wrong.  The funny part is that not a single friend of mine or his (my ex) would say I was to blame but the reality of it is that I am accountable for something.  But what is that what?  That is another blog coming soon but, for now, I am glad I have real and honest friends who don’t sugar coat or act like they like a sitcom life behind closed doors.  I guess her husband doesn’t dislike me because he is still quite cordial to me when I see him or call for her.  He could think I am an angry black woman who ain’t got a man and want her friends to be single as well….clearly, I am not.

My thing is that I never saw a marriage that worked growing up.  I never saw a couple who struggled and stayed together because they simply love each other no matter what bill was due, how the groceries were low, and things just weren’t going all fairy taley like they thought.  I never saw a man cry because he missed his wife when she left in the middle of an argument.  I never saw a woman set aside her pride to tend to her husband because he deserved it.  I never saw a man cry in front of his wife and she comforted him like he has comforted her on several occasions.  I never saw communication…I always saw broken communication though.  If you never see the sun do you even know it exists?  My father left us when my parents divorced and later said we weren’t his kids.  Every man in my life has left me or claimed to never have wanted me but later, when I walked away instead of begging him stay, they came back asking for my forgiveness.  That is when I finally understood what it means to harden your heart….didn’t know I had done it until it was time to actually forgive them face-to-face instead of spitting in their face.

I was up against all odds when I got married…destined to fail because I never saw a positive example….and fail I did.  I fell flat on my face but I wasn’t angry about it.  I did, said, acted in a way that was not conducive to a happy marriage sometimes but I stayed and wanted to stay but he didn’t want me anymore.  The college life and the college girls were more exciting than me and my stable home with the kids.  How it stings to hear that again.  What really is a strong black woman?  A woman who has weathered the storms of life and never lost the goodness of her character and integrity.  That was the answer I heard on this movie recently.  Strong not because I haven’t cried, battled low self-esteem, fought off depression, or pleaded with God many lonely nights. Strong because I knew when to leave and when to stay knowing that I was still not alone.  They always come back but it’s always too late.  That is what I have learned and grasped thus far as I continue to “work on me”.

February 18, 2009 Posted by | Me | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Me Tranquil

drowning3It has been a year and a half since I left Indianapolis and moved on my own with my kids to start my life anew.  I had never lived on my own unless you want to count college dorm living.  I was afraid to move.  Afraid I would fail.  Afraid I would take on too much and drown while trying to swim up stream.  But, I was more so afraid of not knowing if I could have succeeded.  If I could have survived.  If I could have made it.  Now I know.  It has been six months since my divorce was finalized.   At the time I couldn’t wait until I had the confirmation.  Now, I am glad I could wait.  Rarely do I fail in life or anything I attempt.  I fall but I never walk away from something completely giving up.  This is a first for me and, I pray, a last.  I found the picture in this blog online and I just stared at it.  I couldn’t figure out why I couldn’t take my eyes from it.  Is she drowning?  Is she committing suicide?  Is she asleep in a bath of water?  Is she already dead?  My first reaction when I saw it was of peace.  Peace.  I wanted what I saw in this picture but I wasn’t sure how to get it.  I looked envious at this picture and at her thinking, “where can I go and find that?”

All my life I have been in the middle of chaos that I never really knew peace until I got away from it all.  I never got used to chaos but I stayed in it hoping it would blow over eventually.  It never did until I left it.  Now, I feel different.  I feel content.  I feel centered.  I feel peace.  I never knew who I was before….I was just existing to say I had.  My life was not my own and I had no idea where I was.  I was screaming to get out but I was afraid to meet me because I had never spent time with me.  It had been years.  Two years ago I started to write again and two years ago I began the journey of self-discovery.  I have cried, yelled at God, had a few tantrums, and wanted to throw in the towel but I am glad I didn’t.  Thanks to God I can pay my own rent and my own bills.  Thanks to God I can take care of my kids with or without the child support check I get.  Thanks to God I have a savings and a retirement account.  Thanks to God I buy my own jewelry that I wear.  Thanks to God I buy myself flowers.  Thanks to God I decide how I wear me everyday.  Thanks to God I have me back.  

I like this feeling.  I love this feeling.  This is how life should feel all the time.  This is how I should feel about life all the time.  I know I am babbling and going on and on but this is me happy with where I am and with who I am.  My happiness is not dependent on someone else and I look forward to each and everyday.  You know what is funny?  When I am not looking, I find people or people find me.  I guess a blog is an attractive trait because it has opened a door to me that people couldn’t seem to find before.   I am at peace.  I am tranquil.  I am content.  I am loving my existence for the first time in a long time.  I think about this because, for the first time in years, I look forward to Valentine’s Day instead of being upset about it.  I am single without a “sweetheart” and I love it.  Never thought I would feel this way but I do. 

My soror and I are going out for a single ladies night (minus the Beyonce glove).  We both have kids, we are both single, we are both about a size 3 soaking wet, we are both a 32B (actually, she is a little smaller…I got big jugs compared to her), and we both can walk the hell out of some stilettos!  She hasn’t been here in years so we are going to drop the kids off and RUN!  See a movie, sit in a cafe and talk, get a tattoo, get a pedicure, discuss life, talk about sex, stuff our faces, drink up a bar somewhere, dance til our feet hurt, sweat out our hair, laugh til our stomach hurts, scream until we go hoarse, and enjoy Valentine’s Day like God is taking us home the next day.  My coach always told me to leave it all on the track….run until I fell over from exhaustion at the finish line….no oxygen or energy left in my body….give the race my all.  We are leaving it all out there!  Two single Christian ladies in the city….we need to pray we make it to church the next day!

February 13, 2009 Posted by | Me | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Ex-Factor

becca20raynes1I was so gonna write about something different today but my focus was changed when I checked my email.  My ex-husband and I claim one of our kids on our taxes each every year so I emailed him today to make sure he was claiming the one he had claimed last year.  A simple email one full sentence at the most …

Hey, just checking to see if you were still claiming blah blah blah on your taxes this year so we don’t claim the same SS# by accident.  Let me know what you decide.”

So, he replies back within an hour or so with a brief response of …

I think it may be best for you to claim the kids since I may end up owing and not reaping any benefits from it.  I will let you know next week though.  How are the kids?  How are you?”

Ok, so the question concerning the kids was normal but my eyes lingered on the … “How are you?”  He has never in recent history asked about me.  We have kept things about the kids and this has been pretty civil and I thank God for that since it could be much worse.  I replied with a response to the tax issue and said I would wait for his email or phone call next week.  Then I spent the “How are you?”  portion of my email talking about the kids, their doctor appts, school, grades, and my work-from-home days recently.  Then, trying to be courteous, I added a “How are you?”  at the end to close out the email.  What he replied back had me speechless. 

I miss being able to help you out with things instead of you having to do it all yourself.  I miss you very much.  I dream of you from time to time. I know I may not be what you are looking for but I have realized my mistakes and feel that I am a different man.  I am sure you have found someone by now that treats you better than I had.  I have no shame in saying that I am sorry and wish that I could have you back again.

He ends the email by stating that he will stop being mushy and will see me and the kids soon.  My thoughts?  I have none.  You know how you can go so long without seeing a face you used to love that, when they return, you recognize them but are they the same person you used to love?  That is me right now.  When I see him that is just it … I see him.  I feel nothing.  Not that I am trying not to but because there is nothing there.  Apart of me notices a pattern of behavior where he messes up, loses something of value, realizes it later, and makes an attempt to have it back again.  Only … this time it is his umpteenth mistake and his umpteenth time trying to come back. 

I will never say he has not changed because I don’t spend enough time with him to determine that.  I will never bad-mouth him (anymore).  I will never laugh at his efforts.  I will continue to support him and encourage him but a man must be a man whether he has a woman on his arms or not.  I have yet to see that man … that does not mean I never will … but regret is a b*tch.  I can only imagine what he may be feeling right now.  I commend him for his honesty.  I applaud him for getting his life together.  Who is he getting his life together for?  Me?  To win me back?  The one thing he does not see is that if he would just focus on God and take his eyes off me, when he turns around, I will be there waiting. 

I prayed to God a month ago concerning my ex-husband.  I was sitting at home thinking while he had the kids for Christmas and something came over me making me miss our family.  I talked to God and said that if He brings him back to me in all seriousness then I promise to give “us” a real consideration.  I see him coming back but I don’t see God anywhere in the vicinity.  I need confirmation….

January 17, 2009 Posted by | Love | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments