Every story has a beginning…(Part 1)

If you are to understand why things are the way they are, then we have to go back to the beginning. My boyfriend had a 13 year relationship with his, now, ex-wife. He’s told me the story of how they met and why he stayed with her for as long as he did. From what he’s told me she was never a a nice person. I asked him why he stayed with someone who wasn’t nice to him and he told me it was due to the fact that he had very low self-esteem at the time. He had been bullied a lot as a kid because of his dyslexia and he never thought of himself as good-looking. A bad combination to have when you’re dating someone like her.

They dated/lived together for a little over 10 years before they decided to get married. He admitted to not having thought about it much but after a while the thought that they had been together for such a long time and maybe it was time to take the next step came up. So he proposed, she said yes and they married. A marriage that he also admitted to feeling he was making a mistake in doing the day of the wedding. But he stuck it out.

He bought them a house soon after. He had saved up several thousands of dollars over the years and was able to put down a hefty down payment on the house. It was a bit of a fixer-upper and he did a lot of it himself. Every day after work he did a little bit to the house. They eventually moved in.

Before they moved in she told him she wanted to get pregnant. He hadn’t thought of having kids, at least not with her. She was lazy and only seemed to have an interest in eating and spending his money. Still, she got pregnant.

Now, don’t think for a moment that I didn’t question his decisions to not only marry her but to impregnate her. Having met the woman I don’t understand how anyone would do either but, lo and behold, not only has she remarried she is also currently pregnant. But having once been in a 3-year relationship with a man that did not love me, for whom I foolishly moved to another country for only to have him tell me I needed to go back to Chicago after being there for only 7 months, I understood the “why?” Because sometimes we think that’s as good as it’s going to get for us so we hold on to it when we really shouldn’t.

And that’s what happened to him. He held on much longer than he should have. She was, and still is, an awful person. A person who is, in fact, a narcissist.This is who we’re dealing with.

After the birth of their daughter she claimed to have a “nervous breakdown”and checked herself into the hospital. During that time my boyfriend took over the care of their daughter. He worked as a carpenter for the local village and had to get up very early every morning. While he was at work the grandparents took turns taking care of the baby.  He would come home and take over. While she was in the psych ward she told the doctor she didn’t want to see W. Who knows why she told him that, but he never saw her while she was there. She eventually was let go and she went back to their house. Once home she didn’t do anything other than sleep with the baby. W still had to come home and take care of the baby, sometimes finding her wearing soaked or soiled diapers from several hours.

During this time she put on a lot of weight. W said she ballooned while she was pregnant and she didn’t lose much of it after the baby was born. She became somewhat of a slug after the birth. She slept a lot, ate a lot and hardly looked after the baby. W, it seemed, did all the work.

W’s father passed away from an illness he had been battling for some time a few months after the birth. This hit W hard. 6 months later she filed for divorce. He still hadn’t unpacked all of the boxes from the move.

She became even meaner after she filed. W eventually couldn’t take it any more so he moved out. About a year later they were officially divorced. Since then it’s been more than 8 years of her narcissistic bullshit. And now that she’s married she’s only gotten worse. Worse because she now has a partner in crime, her new husband. I have never hated two people the way I hate them. And I don’t use the word hate often.

The worst part of it all is that the ex has used their daughter as a pawn in the game she has played since their divorce. She uses her to get more money from W even though he has been more than fair with the money he gives her for child support. The ex likes to spend above her means (even though she makes more than W does) and we’re under the impression that she has a lot of credit card debt. Since the new husband came into the picture they have done everything to try to alienate W from his daughter. Her mother has been taking her on week long trips to Disneyworld every year since she was 2. For two years now it’s been the three of them: the mother, step-father and the daughter. They spend a lot of money on her. Something my boyfriend is not able to do. And to top it all off, they told the daughter that she had to call the step-father “daddy”, which she does. And this absolutely kills my boyfriend.

There is a lot more to tell, but for now this is a good introduction in to the despicableness that is my boyfriend’s ex-wife and her new husband. A despicableness that is only getting worse by the day.

Hello, Karma? You need to pay someone a visit.

Imagine the most selfish, narcissistic and heartless person you could possibly meet. That is W’s (my boyfriend’s) ex-wife. I have never met anyone like her. I have also never truly hated anyone the way I hate her. She has made it her life’s mission to not only hurt him by using their daughter to get to him, but she does what she can to get as much money from him as she can even though he has paid her what she is owed in child support, never having missed a payment, since the first day of their divorce 8 years ago.

She is remarried now, a story I’ll write about another time, but still insists on hurting W any chance she gets. She has been trying to erase W from her (and their daughter’s) life by dismissing his existence through her social media connections and by telling their daughter that she has to call the new step-father “daddy”. And she does call him that now, they both do, and has even done it in front of W. And it breaks his heart to know that his own daughter is calling another man that.

W has been there for his daughter since day one. I’ve seen how he is with her. He loves her the way a good father should. He took care of her when her own mother was too involved in her own affairs to bother to. And this new husband of hers just showed up and expected to be called “daddy” knowing full well he doesn’t deserve the title, not from her. But he accepted it and flaunts it knowing full well how W feels about it all. He doesn’t care that it bothers/hurts W. But then neither does his ex-wife.

They’re both awful people and there isn’t anything we can do about it.

It breaks my heart to see W be hurt by the actions of his ex-wife. Actions that aren’t the slightest bit warranted or deserved. He was good to her and he is wonderful to their daughter.

The ex-wife is pregnant now with the new husband’s child. A girl. She is due at the end of March. W and I hope that with the birth of this child they’ll stop bothering him and focus on the new baby instead. But who knows? She seems hell-bent on making W’s life difficult. And I hate her for that.

Does Karma really exist? I hope it does because she deserves a serious dose of it to come back to her.

And it’s out.

Allow me to give you a guided tour of my cervix.

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There’s this view.

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And there’s this one.

I’m not sure which parts any of these are, but I was told that it’s my cervix and that it’s all good. So there you have it. This,of course, was after the doctor removed the polyp that put me on the operating table in the first place. From the photo she took it looked rather small-ish. But I didn’t have anything to compare it to so for all I know it could have been big. But I’m thinking it wasn’t.

It went smoothly. My boyfriend drove me to the hospital, stayed the entire time  and then drove me home. We got there at 7 a.m. to check in and after all of the paperwork and checking-in was done I was left to wait patiently in a hospital gown, hair net and socks while lying on a gurney. My boyfriend was allowed to sit with me until they rolled me away. Right before they took me away the anesthesiologist gave me the sedative in the I.V. tube. It hit me pretty quickly. I remember very little after it began to take effect. I remember being rolled into the operating room and everything that I was seeing feeling 10 times as intense as it normally would have. The trip to and once inside the room felt like it was moving slower then my eyes were moving. By only a second, but it was enough to make my head feel like it was all wavy. They put the oxygen mask over my nose and mouth, the nurse put the patches that would keep track of my vitals and that was all I saw before I blacked out.

And then I woke up in the recovery room.

There was no pain. I only felt incredibly sleepy. I went in to the OR at 9:30 a.m. and woke up around 11 a.m. The procedure itself took only about 20-30 minutes so I must have stayed asleep for close to an hour. They eventually rolled me back to the room where I had been before the procedure but this time they had me sit in a big chair. I was told I had to go to the bathroom, eat and drink some food without throwing up before I could be discharged. My boyfriend was let back in and he sat with me while I ate a muffin and drank some apple juice. By noon I was ready to go home.

My throat is still a bit sore and my right nostril has been drippy since after the procedure. My abdomen is a bit bloated, too. Though I suppose that part was to be expected. Oh and I’ll be bleeding as though I were having a period for the next couple of days. That’s not the lousy part. The lousy part is that I can’t have anything inside for two weeks. So no sex and no tampons. So pads it is. I haven’t used a pad in years. It kind of feels like a diaper. A bit.

So now it’s the cyst that we’ll be keeping an eye on. I have another ultrasound in about two weeks to see if it’s gotten bigger since the last one. I’m hoping it hasn’t, but I can’t help feeling it will.

Guess we’ll see.

Tug of war.

I’m finding myself feeling rather sad today. Not for myself, but for my boyfriend’s daughter. I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before but W has a daughter from his previous marriage. Her name is M and she’s 9 and a sweetheart. For those of you who have followed me over from my previous blog you’ll remember that my last experience with the daughter of a boyfriend was less than stellar. In fact, it was horrible. So much so that I wasn’t sure I could date a man who had a daughter. But I thought that would be a selfish thing to do to myself because by dismissing the idea of dating a man that had a daughter already it could mean that I might miss meeting someone amazing. And I did just that. I met someone amazing who just happened to have a daughter as part of the package.

Things were instantly different this time around. I never really felt nervous about meeting his daughter. We talked about it at length because we both wanted to make sure we did things the right way. Something that never happened with my ex. And on the day that I met her for the first time I felt completely calm and the visit with her turned out to be great. Since that first meeting I’ve spent every other weekend with her and W. She’s written “I love you” to me on pieces of paper and even on a chalkboard at a museum the three of us visited one afternoon.

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She wrote my name alongside her papa’s but for the sake of anonymity I only left the “L”.

She likes it when I visit with her and her dad and I like spending time with the both of them. It’s all been really great and I’m hoping that it will continue to be that way for as long as I’m a part of their lives.

So you must be wondering why I said I was feeling sad for her. The reason is her mother, W’s ex, and the bullshit that she’s been pulling for years. It’s a long story. One that would take me days to write so I’ll give you a quick run down of what’s happened since I met W.

Things between W and his ex-wife went from bad to worse after the divorce. She’s done many, many things to make his life unpleasant, and often times even difficult. The only reason why she is even a factor in his life now is because of his daughter. He loves his daughter so much that he will put up with just about anything the ex throws his way if it means that his daughter might come out of it unscathed. Personally, I think he’s done an amazing job of it. Given the circumstances up to this point M is really quite well adjusted to the situation. And when compared to the way my ex’s daughter was because of that divorce, M is a complete 180˚. And it’s really nice.

The ex recently remarried. She married a real turd of a guy. I have now met them twice and the word that comes to mind when I think of him is “asshole”. Because that’s pretty much what he is. An asshole. The ex isn’t far behind either. She is truly a piece of work and I have now witnessed first hand a taste of what W has had to put of with. Granted my taste was a small one but it was a taste none-the-less.

The thing that has been irritating W the most with regards to his ex wife and her new husband is the speed at which that relationship happened and how it’s affecting his daughter. Apparently they had gone to grade school together and reconnected through Facebook early last year and not long after that he moved in with her and M. Not long after that they got engaged and were married this past New Year’s Eve. All of this happened in the span of less than a year. Now, I’m not an expert at child rearing but I can’t help but think that was not the best way to bring him into the daughter’s life. Talk about a HUGE life change for her! With me we took it slow. Even now, almost five months in I still only see her every other weekend. But this guy, he moved in weeks after meeting up with the mother. Moved in! I can’t tell you how incredibly stupid and irresponsible I think that was of her mother to do. Did she even think of her daughter at all when she made that decision? No, she didn’t. And that’s how it’s been ever since this guy came into the picture.

Then there is the “daddy” issue. What I mean by this is that the ex and the new husband have decided that the daughter should call him daddy, even though she has one already. One that is very much involved in her life. When this first started, which was soon after he moved in with them, it pissed off W. And rightfully so. He asked them to not have her do that because it would be confusing for her. The ex argued, saying it had been the daughter’s idea to do it, something I find very hard to believe. Now, a rational and responsible adult would have known better than to go along with it if, in fact, the daughter had been the one to start it, but instead they went along with it.  Which tells me that they love the idea and the fact that it pisses off W. That, to me, is very messed up. On top of that, she hashtags every single picture of the daughter and new husband together on her Instagram page with “#daddysgirl”. And she comments on the photos referring to him as her “daddy”. A move that W feels is her way of trying to erase him from the picture, a picture that she has carefully been painting ever since their divorce. One that makes it look as thought W is not a part of M’s life. Which is total bullshit and an incredibly shitty thing to do to someone. If W were a deadbeat dad and truly wasn’t involved in M’s life, I could understand why the ex would be doing it, hell I might even agree with it, but that’s not the case. He is very much involved in M’s life. He has her for a few hours every Monday and Wednesday after school and every other weekend. She has her own room at his house. He pays child support every month. He is very involved in her life and yet the ex is doing everything in her power to make it look like he isn’t. It is infuriating and, quite frankly, psychotic. Or something to that degree.

This is why I feel sad for M and what she is caught in the middle of. Especially because her mother, someone who should be looking out for her best interests, is primarily responsible for screwing things up. She doesn’t care about how this could all be affecting her daughter, she only cares about what she can do to piss off W. And she married a man that’s more than happy to not only go along with it, but to encourage the behavior. M is also a people-pleaser from what I’ve noticed so far which leads me to believe that she will go along with whatever craziness her mother forces on her if it means she can keep the peace between her mother and W. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a kid that age. Why can’t her mother see that?

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It’s a mess. And I feel for W. There isn’t much I can do to help except be there for him and be a friend to M. I tell him I think the normalcy she sees when she’s with him and us, when I visit, can only serve as a positive in her life. I hope I’m right. I’ve seen what divorce and irresponsible parenting can do to a kid. I would hate for that to happen to M. She’s a sweet kid already. I really hope she stays that way.

Sticker Shock.

$111.97.

At first I thought it read $11.97 but, oh no, there was an extra 1 at the end. I asked the pharmacist if this was more than a one month supply. He said, no, it was just for one month. I couldn’t believe that the new birth control I had been prescribed was going to cost me this much each month. I can’t afford it to.

How did I get here? My gynecologist of many, many years retired late last year so I had to find myself a new one. The new one is the one that changed my prescription. I thought it was somehow going to be better than the other one I had been on for the last year, but after taking it for three months I didn’t notice much of a difference. But she wanted me try it anyway. It seemed fine to me so she wrote me a new ‘script for it. I went after work today to pick it up. I was not at all prepared for the sticker shock that awaited me. I was dumbfounded, pissed and upset all at the same time. Stupid ovary! I thought to myself. This is all your fault! I’m only taking this stupid pill because of your stupid cyst! I paid for the damn pills and left.

I’m going to have to talk to the insurance people and see what the deal is. If they can’t help me out then I’m going to have to tell the doctor to switch me back because I simply cannot afford to pay that much on a monthly basis. No fucking way! If only out of principle.

There is another thing that is about to give me sticker shock – It’s been suggested by a doctor that I do some physical therapy. I somehow managed to hurt myself after doing some exercises the other week and went to get it checked out. It turns out my hips have weakened some over the course of the last 7 months. If one were to do the math, then you would realize that 7 months ago I started the new job. The new job that now has me sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day. I had no idea it could cause damage so quickly. My hips went from being strong enough to sustain me through a marathon to barely getting me through a 5 mile run, only to have it hurt later. And in order to continue to run, and to do it without pain, I’ll need physical therapy to help strengthen my hips and get me back on track.

I don’t even know when I can start running again which has me feeling anxious. I asked the PT today if I would be able to run The Shamrock Shuffle at the beginning of April and she didn’t give me a definite yes or no. For now she wants to see where I’m at in a few weeks. The worse thing you can tell a runner is that they can’t run. It’s the equivalent of telling a smoker that they can’t have a cigarette. All I want to do is run but I can’t. I’ve been feeling stressed about a few things lately and running helps me to handle the stress so not being able to is only adding to my stress. I can do other cardio-related exercises but it’s not the same as running. Running is what helps me get through things. I need to run.

The other thing that’s causing me stress right now is the fact that work has slowed down for me. The place where I work has a design department which I am a part of. There are 4 designers in all, myself included. Two of them have been there for over 8 years now and the third is really good friend with one of them but has only been there about 2. This makes me the newbie. I am low (wo)man on the totem pole. Which means that if someone were to be let go, it would be me. I don’t feel like I have real job security there. The two senior designers do because, well, they have seniority. The third designer is protected because of his friendship with one of the other designers. Their workloads are all significantly larger than mine so I’ve been finding myself with LOTS of free time lately. I don’t know if it’s because the projects I’m given are easy or because I’m quick at doing them. But even if that’s the case, it doesn’t change the fact that the number of projects I’ve been given pales in comparison to the other three. Whatever the case may be, it makes me nervous. I find myself worrying about whether or not the lack of projects means something. Something like they’re going to realize they don’t need me and let me go. I don’t want to lose this job. I can’t afford to. I would lose everything. My health insurance, a steady income and the peace of mind that comes with having a full time job. Although, what with the way things have been lately I feel I’ve already begun to lose the peace of mind part of the equation. Fuck.

My body feels broken right now and my anxiety over that and the job is making me feel worse. I’m making okay money, but it’s nothing to not worry over. Especially not with all of the medical bills I will be accumulating in the next few weeks with the PT and all.

Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, FUUUUUUUUCK!

Fuck.

 

Catharsis in a dress.

A funny thing happened yesterday. My younger brother is on this “cleaning out the basement” kick so he has my mother and I digging through boxes that have old clothes inside of them. Well, last night I went through a box that had dresses I’ve had for a very long time. So long that I had forgotten about them. It’s what happens when something’s been tucked away, out of site, isn’t it? So there I was digging through this box and when I got to the bottom of it what do I see? My high school prom dress. I had no idea my mother had kept it. Although I suppose if she had gotten rid of it, she would have told me she was going to.

I took it out of the box and held it up and wondered if it might still fit. Well, at least fit me now. Now that I was in better shape. And you know what? It did.

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I was thrilled, of course, at first. And then I couldn’t stop myself from wondering if it fit me because I had been a chubby high school kid or because I was simply thinner now. Mostly I was thrilled because how many women can say they still fit in their prom dresses? But I couldn’t help but wonder. Because I wasn’t happy with the way I looked back then. I thought I was fat. I felt fat. So wearing a prom dress felt like an uncomfortable thing to do. But I did it because I wanted to have that fairy tale prom experience. Which didn’t happen, of course. No, my prom night ended in tears. Tears because it was so not how I had imaged it would  be.

So the fact that 23 years later that same dress would fit me was kind of cathartic. Because I’m certainly happier now than I was then. And I guess it was nice to see that same dress on and not feel that I looked bad in it.