Oh, the insanity

Back in February, STBXAH took a trip to Thailand by himself. I would have to say this is a bit of a trigger for me. He had formerly been to Thailand when he was in the Navy. He visited there again with a friend, maybe the 2nd year we were dating. Prior to him leaving on his trip, I recall finding that he had been searching the term “blowjob bars” in Thailand. Of course, he had some excuse, like he was “just curious.” Gawd, I was naive.

So, fast forward to his latest trip. Last Friday night, I was at home alone because he had the kids. Around 10:45, he posts a photo on Facebook of him and some Thai girl in a bar in Thailand. The worst part is that the bar appears to be a strip club, with a stage with girls and poles. (The girls were clothed and I don’t think it really was a strip club, but still.) And his photo had some bizarre caption that made no sense.

In that moment, my codependency kicked in and I was embarrassed to even be remotely associated with him. This guy is 38 years old with two young kids and he’s posting photos with some foreign girl in what looks to be a strip club. Seriously?

The next day, the kids and I met up with my sister-in-law and my nieces. My younger niece was dancing in a dance competition. My older niece, who is 20, asked me if I had been on Facebook lately. Of course, I knew what she was referring to. I then found out that not long after his return, STBXAH has posted a screenshot of a private conversation with this same girl. She had said “love you” and he was mocking it, saying how he had to close down the conversation asap. Apparently, he deleted it though, because I never saw it. But my niece had taken a screenshot it.

Again, why would he post something like this on Facebook? He’s also just been obnoxious on Facebook…checking in every time he goes to the gym and reciting some type of rap lyrics. I don’t know if he’s lonely or what.

Oh, funny thing is, he also deleted the photo in the strip club, although it took him longer to do so than I thought.

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and so we meet again

So, here I am, back on the blog. I don’t even know where to begin since the last time I wrote.

In December, DS6 and I took a vacation to Mexico with my brother, sister-in-law, their kids, and another family. We had a blast and I can’t tell you how nice it was to be on vacation and not worrying about STBXAH’s drinking. The end of December was a bit of a whirlwind because once we got back, we celebrated Christmas and I was left with the task fo catching up on work.

The new year began and started off with DD2 getting sick, which led to me getting sicker than I have been in years. Honestly, it was probably a good 4 weeks before I actually felt 100% healthy again.

February came. Back in June of last year, when I decided to start taking on some family law cases, I took on a pro bono case. I had always thought the case would settle. After a failed attempt at mediation, it started to look like the case was headed to trial, which was set for March. So, I began furiously working my way through preparing for trial, which was difficult, because I had no idea what I was doing! Luckily, I had a co-counsel and a mentor who were helping me along the way.

February was also the month that STBXAH had decided to take a trip to Thailand for a week. Mind you, he booked this trip in December, without even consulting me on the dates first. So, with prepping for my first trial and having the kids for 11 days straight, I was stressed to the max. February also marked one year since I had told STBXAH that I wanted a divorce.

On March 4, I turned 36 years old, which was pretty uneventful.

So, here I am today. I just finished up my trial yesterday and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for it to be over. It was definitely an amazing experience, and one I am grateful for, but most likely, will be the last time I take on a pro bono trial. It was hours and hours of work!

Sometime in February, I decided I was tired of being stressed out about work because I never seemed to get things done and always felt disorganized and overwhelmed. I took some time to re-read Getting Things Done and started using Remember The Milk and was able to finally implement a system of productivity. (Which I plan to outline in a future post.)

I’ve been re-reading Codependent No More and, even though I’ve read it 2-3 times before, this time it really seems to be sinking in. Maybe it’s because I’ve had time to reflect in the past year…I’m not really sure why.  (Again, I’ll write more about this in a future post.)

STBXAH moved into a larger apartment last week. In a couple of weeks, we will be starting our new schedule for the kids, which will be fabulous.

Overall, life is going well. I’m slowly accepting my divorce. STBXAH has the kids all weekend, so I’m looking forward to being productive. I’m also looking forward to being back in this space regularly.

i hate my mom

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It’s finally time that I discuss my parents on this blog. And there is SO MUCH history, it will have to be broken up into multiple posts. However, the basic point is that both my mother and father are narcissists. What’s interesting is that they show their narcissism in very different ways, which I will get into later.

I remember in college, a couple of my best girlfriends and I would go to my best friend’s parents’ home to visit for the weekend, as her parents only lived about 20 minutes from our sorority. When we were there, we’d all drink wine and my friends and I would tell my friend’s mother hilarious stories about our crazy drunken nights in the bars. And my friend’s mother would just laugh. I remember thinking, “wow, how amazing would it be to have a mother that I could actually talk to and share my experiences with?” My relationship with my mother (both parents, actually) is the complete opposite of this.

As some background, I was adopted from an asian country when I was 2 years old. My mom and dad already had two boys and wanted to a little girl. I grew up in a small town. My dad is a farmer (a very successful one) and my mom has always been a stay-at-home mom. My grandfathers on both sides were alcoholics, so when my mom and dad got married, they decided they would not drink.

I remember growing up I felt very self-conscious because I was one of very few asian kids in my town. I remember kids would make fun of me, by pulling their eyes back so they looked “slanted.” I also remember feeling very self-conscious because my mother and I looked so different.

My parents were SUPER paranoid, protective and controlling. An example, my mom would mention to me that she didn’t want me to walk to the store with a friend when I was 12 years old because I could get kidnapped and held for ransom. So early on, I learned I had to be careful about what I said to my mom because she was so paranoid.

What I now realize is that my parents both suffer from codependency, which is a result of growing up in alcoholic households. They have a need to control and even though I am now 35, they still try to control me.

I don’t want to make this post extremely long, so over the next few weeks, I’ll release different painful moments from my childhood. But what prompted this post was an incident that occurred tonight.

Back in 2000, near the end of my freshman year in college, the right side of my jaw locked up. My parents took me to see a dentist who specialized in TMJ issues and he made me a night guard to wear at night, to help my jaw. I wore it pretty religiously throughout college, but over time, I stopped wearing it. Then, 3 years ago I got veneers, so the old night guard no longer fit. I’ve been meaning to get a new one made, but you know how that goes…

A few days ago, I started having some throbbing pain near my joint, which was then shooting to the top and bottom teeth at times. I called my old doctor, and he referred me to someone new in my area. I went in today and the doctor ran a bunch of tests and determined that the pain was not necessarily from my jaw joint, but rather from extremely tight muscles in my face, which are probably a result of clenching. He said my face muscles on both sides, as well as my neck and shoulder muscles were extremely tight.

I called my mom to tell her about this. I said, “I’ve been having bad jaw pain.” A normal mother would probably respond with “Oh no, that’s too bad” or maybe even “Oh, what’s going on?” But not my mother. The first words out of her mouth are: “Well, that’s no surprise since you never wore your mouth guard.” First of all, my mother constantly says things that are untrue, such as this statement. Secondly, she always finds a way to point out something I did wrong or make everything my fault.

Like I said, there is sooo much more to this story, but I don’t want this post to drag on forever. But a big part of my recovery is grieving the relationship I never had and will never have with supportive, loving parents. And sometimes it makes me feel like I really hate them.

 

moving on

It’s obviously been awhile since I last posted. I’ve gone back and forth as to whether I wanted to keep blogging here, but I’m going to try to stick with it. I think it will be a great place for me to look back on as I continue on my journey of recovery.

AH officially moved out about a week ago. Even though I have been ready for him to leave for awhile, when he actually shut the door behind him, tears started streaming down my face. I guess this is just the next step and him moving out seemed to make this all more real.

Things really haven’t been that much different since he moved out. The 2 months prior to him moving, we had kind of come up with a schedule where he would pick the kids up on specific days and I on others. We’re basically trying to keep with that now. Since he just got a small one-bedroom apartment, he’s been bringing the kids back to the house on the days he picks them up from school, and hanging out with them there. For now, that works for me, as I’d rather the kids lives not be disrupted too much.

I realize that now that even when we were living together, it’s not like we were always doing things as a family or anything. The thing I notice now is that I am doing 100% of the chores, but it almost doesn’t seem to be that big of a deal because now I actually have more energy, so when I get home, it’s not a problem for me to make the kids dinner, wash dishes, do laundry, etc. There have been a couple times this week when I have felt resentment towards AH, however, because I feel like it’s not fair that I have to be doing all of this on my own. However, I know it was my choice to keep the house, so I can’t really blame him.

Mother’s Day started out a bit sad for me and I’m not really sure why. In the past, AH has never been one for surprises or planning anything special. He would usually just pick up some flowers, so it’s not like this year’s Mother’s Day was really that much different. AH picked the kids up and took them over to his apartment for the day, which was nice. I was able to get some things done around the house. Then he picked up food from our favorite chinese place on the way back and we all ate together as a family, so it ended up being a pretty good day.

I have no idea if AH is drinking or not. He got the ignition interlock device on his car, which he has to have for a year because of his refusing the breathalyzer when he got arrested for DUI. He got the results from his blood draw back and his BAC was .15. His blood was drawn probably 3-4 hours after he had his last drink and he was still almost double the legal limit. I can’t even imagine what his BAC was when he was driving. Because of the high level, he is going to have to accept the DUI charge (no pleading it down to reckless driving.) I would think now that he has one on his record, he will be extra careful about not driving drunk again.

Even though he’s probably not drinking, I do still have concerns about how he is around the kids. For one, I think he’s addicted to his phone. Literally, he can’t just be sitting on the couch being…he has to be looking at something on his phone. My therapist said it’s just another way for him to escape reality. It bothers me that he’s on his phone when he should be paying attention to the kids. Secondly, he lacks patience and gets irritated easily, which isn’t ideal when you’re dealing with a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. I know there’s not much I can do except make sure that I am conscious of how I treat the kids.

Anyways, that’s just a little update. I’ll be updating a bit more regularly from now on!

a little bit of peace

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I hope you all had a great Easter weekend. I took the kids to visit my family (who live around 3 hours away.) Traveling with the kids by myself used to seem like a daunting task, but I realize how much more enjoyable it is to go on these little trips when AH isn’t there having a bad attitude or pouting because he’d rather be at home. Another thing AH would do that would always annoy me is that he’d always need to be out and about. I come from a small town and there’s not much to do there, so when we go home to visit my parents and other family, we mostly just sit around the house chatting. AH would always say he needed to go wash his car or find excuses to run out to the store, which is annoying.

Anyways, last week I finally found some time to work through the child support worksheet to come up with a number that AH is going to be paying. Once I showed him the amount, his response was “I’m hardly to going to have any money leftover!” I find it comical that he somehow assumed we were going to add a whole other household to our budget and it the change financially would be negligible. LOL.

We made a decision that he would move out at the beginning of May. But honestly, I think I’ve come to a point where I accept the divorce and am ready to just get on with my new life and routine already. There’s still little things he does that get on my nerves. Over the weekend, before the kids and I left to visit my family, I was trying to get packed and everything. Typical AH was being stressed out (I have no idea why.) He should have been happy…he was just beginning his 2 days of freedom. Anyways, it’s just not healthy for me to be around his anxiety and passive aggressiveness. It seems like this month is going to drag on!

I’m really trying to focus at work. My procrastination has been killing me. And now more than ever, I need to start making more money and be productive. I think I’ll pray on that one tonight.

the path to acceptance

I haven’t written for a couple of days. Anyways, Friday morning, AH came into the bedroom asking if I had his keys. Of course, I didn’t. He couldn’t find them anywhere. And then he also couldn’t find the spare or valet key. My thinking is that he hid the spare and valet key from me so I couldn’t get into his car. Anyways, after paying locksmith $200 to come unlock his car and then finding that they weren’t in there, he finally found them. He had put them in his backpack. He exclaimed that with all the lack of sleep and stress, he was losing his mind.

We then had a long talk. He had heard me talking on the phone to my brother and I was telling my brother that it was a bit hurtful because AH was acting like he wasn’t upset about us separating…that he was only upset about not being with the kids all the time. AH told me that wasn’t true and to please not tell people that. We then discussed how we are still having the same relationship issues that we had early on, years ago. And even when we got married, he knew deep down it probably wasn’t the right thing to do, but he had hoped we would grow closer. I told him that I was just heartbroken to be losing my best friend. We talked more about how it will be after we separate and he explained that he will still be here for me. In fact, he still plans to come over and mow the lawn, etc.

Of course, I cried and cried. Even though it was overall a good conversation that made me feel a lot better, it’s just a mix of emotions. Sadness for ending our relationship, relief for not having to live with this constant stress and unhappiness, and fear of the unknown. I also told AH that we agree to disagree regarding his drinking issues and we agreed not to bring it up anymore. I had to remind AH about this when he said “I’ve always accepted you as you are.”

Last night, I could tell he was getting agitated by the kids. He decided to go to a meeting. It was a gentle reminder to me of why I can’t be married to him anymore, although he does have many great qualities and I do believe he does truly care for me. As far as his drinking goes, he told me that he’s not drinking now and he will not be drinking around the kids or if he has to drive anywhere.

This morning I woke up feeling TIRED, even though I got a pretty good night’s sleep. I’m trying to remember that my body is using up tons of energy to heal from this trauma and to be gentle with myself. I went to get a haircut then came home and took a little nap. I’m thankful for AH that I could do that. He just left to get groceries and took DD1 with him.

I still haven’t sat down and gone over our finances. I’m hoping to rest up the rest of the day and then hit work tomorrow hard to have a productive week.

update

So, after my last post, I was texting with AH and he told me the credit card charges were not what I was thinking. He said it was an accumulation of purchases. He told me he would email me his bank statement. Then he called and was very matter-of-fact saying that he didn’t have anything to hide and that he was hoping we could handle this all amicably like adults, but now he’s not so sure. I told him I have a right to know what he’s been doing if he expects to be spending time with the kids. I think he also made some mention of this incident is exactly an example of why this marriage can’t work…that he’s a grown man and he can spend his money on what he wants. Me (thinking): “Ah, yes. Thanks for reminding me that you can do what you want without regard for anyone else.” In fact, I was quite aware he felt that way since that’s how he’s been acting our entire relationship. His voice started to tremble and he said how I was trying to take his kids away from him. I just love how the A’s are always the victims. They play that card so well, don’t they?

Anyways, once I saw the yearly statement, I saw that almost all of the charges were from gas stations. Many of them being the exact same price…$4.38, I believe, which is probably the price of a 24 oz. beer. So, while he wasn’t doing what I thought he was with this credit card, instead he was using it to purchase beer behind my back.

I was feeling pretty frustrated because he was playing me out like I was the villain for going through his stuff. And I do know this was super codie behavior, but as we go into the divorce proceedings, I feel I need to protect myself and know exactly what he’s been up to. And lo and behold, I find more evidence of him lying and drinking behind my back. I did text him later to apologize for accusing him (trying to admit my wrongs and make amends, a la Al-Anon.) He said he had a late meeting after work, so he didn’t get home until pretty late. Of course, his demeanor was very cold.

As for me, I had a pretty relaxing evening with the kids. I was happy again because DS5 seemed to be happy and didn’t have any emotional moments. I”m most concerned for him with all of this stuff happening.

I’m going to try to start blogging at night, at the end of the day. I think it’s a good way to unwind and get all of my feelings out. And I’m also going to try to document one thing that I do for just myself each day.

What I did for me today: I washed my face before bed! Seriously, I know this probably sounds horrible, but I have the worst habit of wearing my makeup to bed. It may sound crazy, but something as simple as this is the type of stuff I would neglect due to all the stress of my alcoholic marriage.

 

devastated…again

Not sure why I decided to do it, but I had a sudden feeling of wanting to check AH’s credit report. AH has had a separate credit card for years. Originally, he was supposed to cancel it after I found out about him visiting the massage parlors, but I guess he conveniently forgot.

Anyways, so I log on and pull up his credit report and check the credit card. It pulls up a monthly history of the balance on the card dating back to September 2014. As I look at the balances, I notice that there is a zero balance until February 2015, where there is a $40 balance. That gets paid off and then in May 2015, a $65 balance appears and then the balance goes up slightly each month (as if he didn’t make a payment?) Then in August 2015, the balance is $56, then $104 the next month. Interestingly enough, $65 is the amount that I know one of the prostitutes he has gone to charges for a quick session of oral sex.

I text him about this and he tells me he just used it for snacks, etc. Hmm…what amount of snacks and chew ends up being exactly $65? And if that’s the case, why didn’t he just pay it off?

I’m not sure why I’m surprised. He’s a liar. And an addict – sex addict that is. I guess I just truly wanted to believe him when he said he hadn’t done any of this stuff since I found out about is 3 years ago. I’m just a bit upset now because I felt like I was doing so good and now this feels like a punch to the gut.