I am at the beginning stages of trying to refinance my house, as part of my divorce settlement that was awarded in November of 2013, and I am finding it very hard not to be both positive about the experience as well as nervous and doubtful that this huge personal achievement will come to pass within the next month as I had hoped.  Anxiety about the possibility of my home not being assessed at a high enough value to be able to refinance yet has definitely been creeping in as I reflect on the time I tried to refinance as soon as my divorce was awarded, though I am trying to rationalize the thoughts as trying to keep myself grounded in reality, in case things happened as they did before, and hope that my anxiety is not a form of self-sabotage or the negative version of the Law of Attraction that will garner me the results that I truly hope do not repeat from my last experience.

I have sacrificed a lot to get where I am at and feel proud of my accomplishments, yet there is a part of me that seems to be feeling quite a bit of shame in feeling proud, as if I need to ensure I’m not so confident that I end being arrogant and feel completely defeated if I need more time to unlock the life achievement that I’ve taken great care to try to unlock.  I know failing at this goal, at this time, will not break me completely, though the reality of pushing the goal off to a different time frame, again, will have some ramifications that I’d rather avoid, including pushing off the extra things that I would like to give to my children.

My children have everything they need; a roof over their head, utilities, food, and even clothing, though there is so much more I would like to be able to give them.  I would love to be able to take them traveling and experience places that I was blessed to be able to experience, just for starters, though the luxuries I seem to be denying them that their peers have been afforded are lower on my priority list until I can get past this hurdle of refinancing my house.  That is a concept I have tried to explain to my children after every “…but everyone else…” and “We don’t get anything…” comment is made; we have to sacrifice now so I can get to a point of budgeting in those luxuries and maintain the home we have as well, and it is a promise I made in the dissolution of my marriage to their father.  I have to legally keep this promise before I can focus on giving them any of the things they want that are over and above what they need to survive, which can be a difficult concept to explain without sounding as if I am being selfish, especially when I am at a point in life that I refuse to go into debt to put my children first outside of their immediate needs.

I was heartbroken when, after my 4th attempt at filing for divorce and it finally being granted (doing things pro se 3 times previously just didn’t work out; the judges would not grant our mutually agreed upon settlement – a point I can see both sides of, begrudgingly), I immediately sought to refinance the house as my ex-husband and I agreed upon and was told I needed to pay off about another $10,000 in debt before I could refinance. The mortgage and equity loan were the last items that I needed to remove his name from as far as jointly owned/responsible accounts, and the sooner I could get that accomplished, the better, as there was always tension when it came to finances between us that would lead to closure and less to argue about if it could be done as soon as possible.  It was frustrating to tell the mortgage banker that I already had a loan against my 401K account (which was used to help pay off the extra $6,500 in credit card debt I had agreed to take on), and had no family to lean on for such a loan, and realizing that any personal loan would not get me any closer if I used money from such a loan to pay down the outstanding equity loan balance.

I felt completely devastated at the news, since I could afford the house payments on my own, which unfortunately was part of the problem in our marriage that, I believe, made him feel so emasculated (in addition to the resulting affair I ended up having), and with the way I had evolved my finances over the years and my length of employment with the same company, I had agreed to take on the house mortgage on my own, as well as the home equity loan we had against that, and even his half of some credit card debt that we had obtained over the years, in lieu of him receiving half of my 401K retirement balance.  Needless to say, my ex-husband actually got a pretty good deal, even though I was not giving him half of the equity in the house, or “buying him out”, since our house had fallen into disarray and with the amount of the equity loan, there was no true equity that I could give.

The devastation of hearing that reality, however, pushed me even harder to reach the goal of being able to refinance our house and be able to truly own the house on my own.  I had a goal, which I told my ex-husband about before we even got married, that I wanted to own a house by the time I was 30.  Due to the fact that he wanted to own a home before we had children, which he knew from the start that I wanted early for medical and selfish reasons of the ability to enjoy and be actively involved in being a mother, I was able to sign the mortgage to the house with him just before I turned 20 (in large part because of his VA status which equated to no money down and no private mortgage insurance required on the original loan), and also stepped across the stage to receive my GED in the same month.

December of 1999…talk about a time in my life that I will never forget.  It’s a time in my life I never want to forget in many ways, though in so many I wish I could forget, as I had crawled back from a dark hole that started roughly in May of 1996 (when I should have graduated high school instead of dropping out in January to move from Texas to Nebraska) when I was completely and utterly alone in a state where I had no family and friends and was taken advantage of in so man ways, and hit basically rock bottom at the end of January in 1997, emotionally and financially.  I am sure I could, and most likely will, write more about that time in my life in other posts, though right now, it reminds me that while I had some help emotionally and even a little help financially, I really am the one that got myself out of the pit of despair I was in; I knew what I needed to do and was blessed to receive some  motivation in ways, though what I did was more my determination than anyone seemed to give me credit for (or demanded that I acknowledge that if it weren’t for some help I would never be where I am now; a faulty logic that history can prove the fallacy of).

Since November 2013, I have successfully paid off my attorney’s fees (roughly $2,000) and paid off $3,000 of my mortgage principal, as well as just under $9,000 of my equity loan principal.  All I can do at this point is hope that when my house is appraised soon, that the value has not gone down enough to not be able to complete the refinance process this time, especially when I’ve succeeded in doing what I’ve done so far, with very little to almost no help from anyone else in my life.

I am looking forward to, yet very nervous about, finally unlocking the achievements I have, and this one is the 2nd one of the most daunting I have taken on in my life so far…the first was getting through my divorce, which I had never thought I would do, nor had even a thought of it being an achievement…initially.


“It’s too bad that’s the way you see me sometimes…” in addition to a few other statements I noticed, were a way of reaching out to feel better about himself, as in he was reaching for compliments and to feel wanted.  I believe we all tend to do this passive-aggressive move from time to time, though it felt over the years that, as time went on, my attempts at complimenting him and showing him that he was wanted, felt like they became wasted efforts, as his self-confidence dwindled, while insecurities and pain turned into resentments and grew more frequent.  It was a frustrating thing for me, because even I knew deep down, now that I can reflect, I had my own insecurities that swelled to the surface and took on a form that I didn’t acknowledge or handle in a way that was healthy either, and included manipulation of some severe degrees.  I even manipulated his family in attempts to avoid certain conflicts and feelings of failure in regards to being able to have what I wanted in life.

At some point I became someone I didn’t want to be, and I felt like I was a caged animal, so I intentionally set about the wheels of motion that has led me to be where I am now.  I became selfish in many ways, yet in others, I actually was still loyal, and that is where so much of my pain resides, even now, when something triggers the memory or brings the anger I had been trying to release up to the surface again.  The few honest confessions from him the last few weeks, especially, has left me going from controlled rage of indignation, to holding onto a thread of hope that the man I thought was hidden deep within him would finally be able to shine on the world.

The first one that comes to mind is how he described one of his female friend’s ex, which in summary came down to this, “He was kind of a douche.  He couldn’t hold down a job and she was working to support him by working 2 jobs and finally she just couldn’t take it.”

He did notice my facial expression change a bit after I initially heard him say that someone was kind of a douche, since I am not used to hearing that phrase come from him, and then I heard the “why” the guy was a douche, which was the bit of the woman working 2 jobs, and she kept it up for 2 years, but she just couldn’t take it anymore.  I kept my composure and didn’t really say anything, which was a good thing, because I think things would have taken a turn for the worse if I said what was frantically running through my head upon soaking in what he was telling me.

“If you think he is a douche for that, then what do you think you are?  Do you realize I never once called you anything like that and yet you feel it’s something I need to get over and you avoid the reasons I have now been working 5 years holding down 2 jobs?  Oh, you think you get to give her a ‘you should never have to do that’ and emotionally, let alone physically, comfort her about her situation but continually refuse to truly apologize to me for doing the same thing?”

Bitter?  You bet your ass!  However, I chose to not be passive-aggressive or spiteful even though I wanted to very badly lash out at that moment and pass along the pain he just dealt to me back at him.  It was tough, but I did it, and I even confronted the pain a little bit later, trying to communicate that the statement stung, and tried to simply say that her situation, for that specific scenario, is eerily similar to what I went through and stuck through for 4 years before really standing my ground and becoming what was, and may still be, seen as even more reason to claim I was giving up and not trying.

I am not sure if he really understood that even though I feel pain about our situation and hearing about something similar to someone else, I wasn’t trying to bring up or hold onto the past, per se, but looking there to find the underlying reason of why hearing or discussing the facts brings about so much venom between us.  Looking at my initial reactions and how I tried to calmly discuss it a few minutes later, I was able to see that the reason I was hurt so much was the denial of individual and mutual realities, which has brought about resentments between the both of us.

For me, it was a door that was never closed because the core reason(s) we got into so much financial problems were never addressed so we could try to find a solution to the problem, not just cover it up.  I don’t like confrontation, though I knew even years before, that confronting things did not need to be an all out war, and if the perceptions were open enough, it could be seen as an understanding and finding a solution that was more of peace, than victor or loser.

I tried, I really did, though at a certain point, I stopped trying because I was trying to carry him along on moving forward and he was slowly losing the momentum to move forward, and he drug me back.

Ironically, he did that literally, as well as figuratively, when it came to me trying to help him sleep in bed as his sleep apnea was worsening as he continued to gain weight.  He would get upset with me for tying to wake him from sleeping in the living room on a chair, and it would sometimes take me an hour or more to roust him so he could lay down in bed instead of rocking forward and backward and his head fall back and forth almost in a whiplash like fashion.  I worried so much about his health, that his apnea would wake me up in the middle of the night, which became so frequent that I had to face reality for what it was, and we had no life insurance, one thing we cut back on prior to me getting a 2nd job and, the fact of the matter is, we kept the full load of cable and spent in a way we never should have.

I felt guilty for allowing the life insurance to be dropped, because his health was spiraling out of control, and it was a subject that he didn’t like about himself, which therefore was a land mine field if you dared to even tiptoe near it.  Talk of his weight, not even to ridicule, but to genuinely express concern, was met with disdain and anger.  Talk of his sleep and my manipulative tactics as well as directly confronting it was met with resentment for trying to control him.

I admit, I was trying to control him, though I thought it was what was best at the time, because I was concerned and didn’t want to see him suffer as it seemed like he was.  I manipulated him in many ways, tying every known method I could find, to try to take care of him and keep him from a fate I feared he was nearing every day.  It does not matter what my intentions were, because no matter the intention, it was not right of me to try to control him like that.

Even though I can look at it like that, it still brings me pain to know that he views me so negatively and feels I gave up or did not try hard enough, especially within the time frame he gave me, of at least the last 4 years.  I saw the last 6 years, especially, as trying harder than I ever did before, even though I did have my times of yes, giving up because I needed the break from sheer mental, physical and emotional exhaustion from trying to hold it all together and control things I couldn’t and shouldn’t have controlled.

At some point, yes, I said that if he was not willing to do the one thing I asked him to do to help us find solutions to problems that had been and continue to be the exact same problems wrapped up in different topics at times, but always the same core issues at the heart of it, by going to marriage/couple’s counseling with me to have someone unbiased helping us mediate and learn to communicate the difficult things instead of being so abusive to each other, then there really was no marriage and I wanted a divorce.

My asking and stating what my deal breaker was has never been done by manipulation and stated multiple times before I filed for divorce, even documented and saved electronically.  I tried…yet the fear and guilt of losing the one true thing I always wanted, a real family that stuck together, is what kept me in the habit for so long.  No matter how bad it got and how I didn’t want to be married to my husband any longer, I wanted the family unit together as much as I wanted to breathe, though as I let certain distractions in life to over take me, I began to realize that, in the silence, the reality was that I focused so much on saving my marriage and trying to cling to a family, that I didn’t pay attention to the fact that I was on a path of destroying it in some very unseen ways.

It was then that I knew I needed to change directions and focus on what the reality was, which all seemed to have really come to a head when our daughter was in the hospital for 5 days being evaluated for failure to thrive.  Those 5 days put my whole world on it’s side, and I knew, without any shred of doubt, that it was time for me to do some serious soul searching if I was going to give our children a healthier life than what I had.  I began my journey there, and it is hardly over yet, with even more to be learned as I continue to move forward from the past I let get out of control by trying to avoid it instead of dealing with it in a healthy way.

 

This Journey

January 23, 2012


I look at you now

You’ve traveled so far

No hiding in fear

Come closer to me

Take my hand firmly

And gaze in my eyes

To see my bare soul

No fighting the truth

I come to you now

Follow this dream-scape

Forever to find

I am here for you

I’d give you my heart

I’d give you my soul

You are here for me

You give me your heart

You give me your soul

With you I find peace

Lovingly embraced

No longer fighting

The flow of what is

Finally letting go

Able to accept

All that we do have

And all that we want

Say you hear me

Say what you’ve hidden

In deep far too long

Take the next leap and

We’ll take this journey

And never hold back

The tidal waves of

Love, true and profound

I’m here for you now

I give you my heart

I give you my soul

I love you my dear.

©Ami May 2012

The Embrace

October 27, 2011


The Embrace

We see each other

Then we embrace

I fight back tears

As my body shakes

Your arms surround me

My feet lift off the ground

Sending me into the clouds

And I make a wonderful sound

Guided by the powers of nature

A bird soaring above the Earth

Wonderful feelings of peace

Love, forgiveness and rebirth

My heart blooms again

In a display of wondrous and vivid color

The petals of hope and passion

Open completely to make me taller

I stare into your eyes

As I come back to reality

Knowing the truth was always there

Within my own mentality

I was lost until I found your love

If you hold my hand while we roam

There will always be my devotion and love for you

As we search for that place we together will call home.

©Ami May 2011

More Emotional Waves

August 9, 2011


Finding something I wasn’t really even looking for still amazes me today.  While I connect with some people, I didn’t know or couldn’t even imagine just how well, and deeply, I would connect with others.  It is because of these connections that give me serenity during the tough times.  It is the deep feelings that overwhelm me with joy and love manifested through those that accept me and find joy in being around me.  Strangely enough, I still find myself unable to speak at times and guard what I say, choosing my words carefully, trying to bring sense to what seems like chaos falling from my lips.

Part of me is not sure whether what is happening is real or fantasy, and while  I don’t want to read too much into things that are quite simple, I cannot deny what it is I really long to be reality, not just the perception of a fantasy never to materialize.

Sometimes…okay, well, a lot of times…it is hard for me to hear the words from those in my past that are, after time apart, now a current part of my life, and whom I hope to always have in my life.  Why does their hindsight almost make me cringe?  Why did they guard themselves so much that it ended up pushing me away for so long?

Ironic, isn’t it, that here I guard my words at times, and I seem to be chastising those that have done the same thing as me.  I don’t always intentionally guard what it is I truly think and feel, and I know without a doubt that some of it is conditioning from the sickness I have called marriage for a while.  Then again, I feel I let my actions speak the words I have had a hard time saying out loud.  So many times my mind thinks faster than my mouth allows, so words jumble, and it has, finally, become something I am comfortable with.

Of course, maybe it’s because I’ve been told for so long that actions speak louder than words.

I do believe that actions speak louder than words to an extent, and while I try to outwardly express what I feel deep inside by my actions, I still feel the words in conjunction with actions are the most genuine and true.

Why tell me now, years later, that I “was the one that got away” and that nobody has compared to me; that everyone else comes in 2nd place to me, yet never really saying that, let alone actually acting on it before?  Why let something like that slip away if it is what you truly believe?  Why does it feel as if those statements are only lip service after the fact?

It leaves me dumbfounded as a few have sworn these statements to me, yet all of them (with one exception) discarded me so easily and seemingly used me when I invited them back into my life.  Granted, I feel that only 1 honestly, and with deliberation, used me in this fashion, though the feelings of being taken advantage of, or even feelings of being taken for granted, have peppered the renewed and changed relationships.

Yes, they all swore they wanted to marry me, and some still swear they do, but I do not see what it is they want from me, especially in regards to a marriage.  Why would I marry anyone without a clear understanding of what a marriage means to them?  I made the mistake of not insisting on clear definitions and expectations of marriage once…which was a very hard lesson learned, indeed.

I can’t even begin to fully describe my thoughts on marriage now, other than to say a few poignant notions, whether some view them as silly or not, they are for me to believe and compromise on as each situation dictates…and when true honest communication allows for my pragmatic nature to flow freely.

I feel that hand written vows or promises are more important and meaningful, to me at least, than the “traditional” ones I spoke almost 14 years ago.  Then again, maybe it’s a bit of bitterness shining through as I reflect upon how certain traditional vows are used as a dogmatic form of manipulation and stipulation in an effort to exact control.  This, of course is without even including the possibility of the definitions and expectations being absolutely and honestly unrealistic to one, or both partners, especially if no true definition or explanation of what those words truly meant to each other was spoken prior to uttering the words of the promises in front of witnesses on the wedding day.  I truly feel that I am not the only person who has come to realize that so very often, and normally only after a breaking point is reached, that clarification from the partners of the marriage contract regarding what those words will lead to as far as expectations, and what, if any, “deal-breakers” would be included with each of those vows, should have been thoroughly discussed before that fate-filled, and quite often fairy-tale, day.

Unfortunately, my eyes are drooping at this moment, even though I have so much more to write, and I must continue riding this emotional wave on another day.

Emotional Waves

August 8, 2011


I can’t seem to write out my thoughts, which has been the easiest way for me to express my life, and now it makes me wonder just what the Hell is going on with me.

How do I say that I am in pain…feeling such sorrow and loneliness…yet feel hope and love?

How do I say that I am scared…yet feel so confident?

I am so very nervous about being vulnerable, yet I ache for the comfort in knowing that I can be totally and utterly vulnerable.

Maybe my goals and aspirations are too lofty, but carrying the burden of all-too-real responsibilities is taking its toll on me.  I was too lost at one point to even realize I had such dreams, and in those dreams were pieces of me…my heart and soul were scattered there…and while I tried to conform, I gradually lost my passions until it seemed as if I was only a shell of who I once was.  Then again, I’ve grown older since then as well, so some feelings of losing myself may be that I actually became a bit more mature and wiser.  At least that’s the way I chose to think of it during the darkest moments to keep the morose thoughts at bay.

Dark thoughts and feelings, including resentment, replaced a bit of the shreds of my being that were drifting away in the breeze.  I’m amazed and disgusted, looking back on it now, that I was barely much more than just a shell of what could even remotely be considered a human being.  I was hurt enough that my soul seemed to be drawn out of my body excruciatingly slow…a torture I wish on no other.

I was an inanimate object, the easy target of ridicule and shame for a time, then came the insidious rejection without so much as a word.  I felt so completely used and violated.

I often question which one hurts the most – the slaps, punches, chokes, pushes, screams, sarcasm, rage, and belittling remarks, or the avoidance and denial of what brought the psychosis to a head.  I am still ashamed that I gave in to going down the road of playing an abuser and a martyr to match the intensity and, in a sense, passion of the relationship, and only for a small moment in time, just to try to keep the peace, did I give in to the avoidance and denial.

None of it really makes any sense; it doesn’t seem logical or genius.  Some genius may truly be madness, but really, just how far mad does it have to get for it be considered utterly logical and bright?

Why did I venture out and see the world I had been missing?  Why, of all the times in my life, did I let his words push me over the edge?  Why did I find so much around me tempting, all while hearing the often said cliché, over and over, of “the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, until you make the jump and realize it is nothing but the same as the side you left, including the work it takes to keep it going”?

Unfortunately, the people who seem to say that the most are the ones that were discarded and still bitter, or simply believing in the fairy tale that they were so much better than the other person and of some better moral or ethical fabric.  What’s even more sad is the holier-than-thou statement is what ends up leaving battered spouses (whether physically or mentally) staying right where they are and they resign themselves to constant toxicity to pray that they never hear those guilt inducing words.  Oh, there are plenty of other disgusting comments said in reply to ending relationships specifically (especially marriage), and I could spend hours simply dissecting the manipulative tactics and bullying remarks that are most often more damaging than helpful, but that, my friends, is for another time.

I am absolutely not a saint, in fact, far from it, however, I cannot, and will not, take full blame as it was a partnership, no matter how toxic it was in all reality and what I brought as detrimental to the table.

Now my mind shifts to hearing the pain and shame in her voice that left me quietly sobbing.  No matter her downfalls, she does not deserve the troubling times she is facing, and I wish I could take the pain and stress away from her.  She is, after all, only my mother, yet I can’t simply snap my fingers and have it go away for her, no matter how much I wish I could.  Through all the pain we dealt to each other in the turbulence of our relationship, we grew closer and finally learned respect and how to love each other more deeply than I ever thought we could.

From her unrelenting anger and hurt that left me wondering how to even think I could be more than simply the devil incarnate, came me, as a woman, who has a hard time doing many things, but who has always ended up surviving, and in some cases actually thriving.  In hindsight, as I look at her through the eyes of someone walking in some eerily similar footsteps, including motherhood, her actions truly were understandable.  From her constant cries of betrayal and lies, came me, a woman, who tends to trust quite blindly and tends to believe in the possibility of forgiveness and change.  It’s astonishing to me that in the process of trying to be the complete opposite of her, I find so much in common with her.  I see myself purposely trying to find, and ride, that fine line between extremes, as I know in my heart and soul that there is so much of her that is worthy of praise, and so much of her that is worthy of forgiveness, as she did what she did for the sake of survival, not to be someone worth hating.

My true nature is very giving, yet I find myself at times, wondering if I am that way only to receive something in return.  I question my own motives occasionally, after all, most people question whether I am genuine at all in regards to my incentive for doing certain things.

Even though I am not a glorified soul, I am most certainly not a monster, so why do I feel like I am, especially when I actually speak from my heart and soul about my wants and needs?  Why, when I actually stand my ground, am i seen as something hideous and worthy of contempt?  Why, when I was opening myself like a book, were things so hard for others to take that I was left standing alone?

Does any of that really matter anyway?  I really don’t know if it really matters, but having so many unanswered questions haunts me at times…such as now.

Sitting here in almost absolute silence make my thoughts seem so loud, and they keep me from slumber this night.  The words born from these almost psychotic thoughts are racing and non-coherent; partial sentences that probably only make sense to me.

And now, I decide, that another time may be best for finishing these thoughts…