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.


I talked to her last night for about an hour and a half, quite peacefully, and intimately as well, which opened my eyes and heart to keep things moving towards peace as far as my efforts were concerned.  She was the one that reminded me that at some point we have to stop being enablers.  I do not think she knows just how ironic that statement is in my life now as I have woken up enough to see my enabling behaviors that I need to keep under control, for many reasons, though most important was for the sake of my soul.

The irony, for me at least, is that as I have begun to put my foot down with enabling in many ways, she gives me ideas of what I can do to stop it while she is enabling in ways I just can no longer do and will only continue to impede on his growth and health if she cannot do what I had the courage to do, so to speak.  She, who could not do what I did while she was married, out of fear and such dependence, is oblivious to the mirror she should be looking at, instead of his or mine.

I love her as if she is true family, and we have had some wonderful times along with some painful ones, so I do not intend to sound as if she is awful, because she is not.  She, though, is definitely one I learn a lot from in some of the most unexpected ways, regardless of whether she intends a lesson or not.  However, that does have its disadvantages, as they may not always be the best things for the type of person I really am, whether positive or negative.

One thing she said that hit me hard last night during that time, other than the statement about stopping the enabling, was the fact I seemed so much more calm and relaxed than I had been frequently within the last, oh, I don’t even know how long anymore, and she didn’t specify a time length either.  She also said how nice it was that we weren’t snapping at each other every single time we spoke.  The final confirmation as to how I should be acting, came when she confessed that, when I picked the kids up from her house her initial statement that it had been a pretty good weekend wasn’t totally the truth, which I had wondered by the way she looked, sounded, and even acted that night when I spoke to her then.

Little does she know just how difficult it can be to not lash out in some way to the comments and interactions that happen, not only between him and I, but between her and I as well, because some of my thoughts can be so sharp and brutal, that I would be seen as, and teeter on being, a truly vengeful woman.  If I give in to the thoughts, I would be giving further validation of what was, and is not, reality, and for the sanity and serenity of my life, that is something I just cannot do. 

The fact that our children have already picked up our habits in a way I would have never wished on anyone, is what helped me realize that I must take a really steep high road throughout the “bad guy” reputation I have to accept as part of placing healthy boundaries, was what took the proverbial cake, in a way, for I knew before I even had children, I would not let them repeat the same misery I had known, whether it is the abusive ways I had lived through as a child, or the abusive ways I lived as an adult. I do carry guilt for not realizing sooner that I already had let them live that life and was grooming them to live it as either the abuser or victim as an adult until it invaded not only my dreams, but even during my most lucid states.

I now have to enable in one way, giving of myself that I may not truly want to, because I know I’m strong enough to stand my ground when it needs to be.  My boundaries are more firm than they have been before, especially once I was able to look at the entire 35 years of my life on a large scale to analyze and find something that made sense.  The pieces started to come to into focus while I was in the hospital with my daughter for those 5 days years ago, and I began truly looking for my soul, because I knew I was feeling the same as I had in my relationship with my mother when I was younger, though I was a capable adult that did not need someone else to survive.  I wanted to know why I felt like I was a child again that was beginning to believe she really was not able to live up to the expectations and questioned her own abilities that were being pushed to the side, even though she didn’t know what she could do differently because everything was so vague.

I felt so scared during the time our daughter was struggling with her health, and emotional waves just over took me to the point of a deep enough hole that I had an overwhelming urge to truly connect with the ones I loved in case someone’s time ended sooner than I would like.  When I reached out for the one that swore, and still swears to this day, that he’d be there for me if I really needed something, he turned me away and made excuses for his rejection, minimizing the reality that I was at an emotional breaking point and needed help of some sort.  I thought I needed my husband, but what I have learned is that I needed a life partner as much as a friend, something I had tried to make what our marriage was based on.  I had assumed his view of a marriage was the same as mine, though as I was reminded many times to never assume, as it makes an ass out of you and me, here I am deciding it is time to stop being an ass, because I am tired of him hiding behind me like that. 

I have taken the brunt for long enough and am determined to put the things I have learned since then into practice, because I will not take blame for doing enabling things that divert the attention from where it is truly needed and help him project things on me.  I was and am tired of being a dartboard for him and simply done with being an easier target to avoid things he does not like within his own mind. In essence, I am done being a victim of a bully that I love unconditionally by trying to control things I couldn’t, which was done because of his inability to handle uncomfortable and painful things.

I refuse to feel like that ever again, and while I feel guilt and shame for not being strong enough sooner, it truly is motivating me more than anything else, because I refuse to let our children live the life and feel the way I allowed and perpetuated any longer, simply because I had guilt for abandoning my own family before and swore to not do it again, and the fear of what might happen if I just did it again.  I cannot and will not, even if I am not perfect, I am striving for progress, not perfection, at keeping myself and my children healthy, including communicating of boundaries and respect…of that, you can take to the grave with me.


I cannot seem to get his words out of my head for very long, before some new circumstance or discussion drags the bones from the grave and I repeat the process all over again; optimism, criticism, avoidance, pain, anger, sorrow, apologetic, guilt, and forgiveness, as well as denial thrown in to cause more confusion.

The first thing that hit me very hard was an emotional night around each other, discussing things that were painful, and I asked about his potential new love interest that had been a topic of discussion off and on for the previous year or so.  I thought his facial expression belied a profession of nothing had gone on other than “hanging out”, though the possibility of an intimate encounter had been offered, yet I let it pass without pressing further.  I just had a feeling that he wasn’t being totally honest with me, which is something I have emphatically stated as something I needed in my life multiple times over the years, but especially within the last 2 or 3, certainly.

Then there wasn’t much said until I sent a joke to lighten the mood that had been brewing horribly for a while, and it ended up actually being a reality, when it wasn’t intended to be. That might have been my manipulative tactic back due to some statements I had felt were guilt inducing and manipulative he stated previously within the previous weeks that I did not deal with at the time, including asking about me taking our children on his custody time in a way that, if I said no, would possibly come across or used in a way to state that I was saying no because I didn’t care about our children or some other form of twisting reality, and I wasn’t going to continue that game. I’m not sure if that was really the reason, though due to the emotions I had openly shared to him in one way or another, I can see how it was, even though it was not meant to be anything other than sharing my honest thoughts about the current situation.

Then there was the next day where my brain had seemed to soften it’s bitterly cold grip of my heart, feeling that maybe some of his resentment towards me had begun to melt just a little bit and just a bit safer to be who I really am as a person towards him.  Another joke to lighten an emotional statement of appreciation for something other than his icy demeanor, as of late, and the door seemed to open just a little bit more, even if only a centimeter or two.  I made the mistake of grabbing onto that just enough to let other things affect me just a bit too much.

I then received an unexpected message when he knew I was finally out socializing for the first time in weeks, taking a break from working non-stop on things around me that seemed to be reminders of the ghost I seemed to be surrounded by, even though the presence wasn’t of someone dead.  I did not do it to hurt him, as far as changing things and cleaning things that had been neglected for many years, though it was for other reasons, one of which included purging some resentment I had that was originally brought about by the guilt he laid on me for so long.  His message was one that seemed sincere and he genuinely was reaching out to me.  Then his jealousy came through, yet again, and I received another manipulative message that he wished he had such a large social circle to engage with and flirted suggestively that I could return home to get attention from him.  I should have ignored it, though I didn’t, and commented that having a large social circle really wasn’t what it seemed like it would be cracked up to be.  I used an analogy that I’d rather run around with 4 quarters in my pocket, rather than 100 pennies, as if these represented the number of friends that give me, metaphorically speaking, the same amount of attention in the end.

The next day he contacted me again, asking a question that baited me into answering whether or not I made it home at all the night before, or whether I had stayed somewhere else and couldn’t answer his question honestly.  I admitted that I had not gotten home yet when I answered him, and he sounded dejected and said he didn’t figure on the fact that I might not be back home the previous night. I know his reactions of disappointment hit me when, a few hours later, I found myself sending him a picture of a neat picture of a flaming skull, the background was red, the skull faded with the background so all you really see are the black voids of a skull, and yellow hued flames dancing on it.  His statement, after an admission of the picture being very cool, was one which he would consider, if I said it now as he did, as manipulative and guilt inducing.

“It’s too bad that’s how you see me sometimes…”

I knew it was manipulation, though I thought I would play along in a way, just to keep some peace even though I knew I was enabling and playing the codependent part again. He fails to remember, or doesn’t accept as the case may be, the reality that he is just as manipulative as me, and we have this abusive habit that I am desperately trying to break free from.  I’m tired of the habit…

I am ready to change this part of me, because it is too unhealthy for not only me, but our children as well, and I cannot teach them how to be healthy if I continue down a path of holding onto such unhealthy habits, which will be passed down to them.  I choose to learn how to do things differently, because I will not be a slave to any label, when I know that I don’t like how I am as a person because of that label.  I do not have to be “too independent” or “too set in my ways” or “too codependent” or “too emotional” or “too serious” or “too anything” if I choose to not be one extreme or the other and strive for balance and maintaining health, instead of throwing it away because I would rather live in the comfort of not trying, because of the fear of failure or not doing something perfectly.

 


I have been asked so many times about why I don’t leave the ones that hurt me long before I do. My level of patience, or need for martyrdom as some may see it, has left people amazed in a concerned way, as well as appreciative when that patience is bestowed upon them. I’ve had to try to explain why I don’t cut ties when others would and suggest, though none of the answers I have given just fit quite right. I’ve been considered, at a minimum, co-dependent or needy, and at worst, a close to psychotic drama queen. Either way you look at it, people don’t understand, plain and simple, and I’ve been nervous to ever really tell the entire truth of it all, though most that know me well had long ago read between the lines.

I hadn’t been able to fully be able to put it to words within the last year or so, but I ran across a blog I wrote just over 6 years ago about recently reconnecting with a very old friend…the first friend I looked for when I started on a social networking site. Within a short statement written about my friend, I made a promise to him, and even to those others that could fit the descriptions. With that said, I hope I can finally clear the air about the “why” and let others find this instead of me needing to say it again out loud, because I wouldn’t be able to stop the emotions from completely overwhelming me.

From November 13, 2006:

“…The memories are bittersweet, as the time was very tough for both of us, but somehow, our friendship kept us both alive.  He was the one that I was closest to, and I don’t think I have ever had a friend since then that has even come close to him.

Life works in strange ways, and I will always regret those words I never said that were in my heart and I will regret that we ever drifted apart.  I hope to keep his friendship this time and never let it go, for he meant more to me than some will ever realize.

He was my rock and shoulder to cry on when there was absolutely nobody else.  He was a gentleman and always was kind to me, even when he was being brutally honest.  He made me laugh at some of the most critical times in my life, keeping me from literally going insane.  Our times together in the past will never be forgotten, and hopefully more memories will be made from this point forward.

I am so glad we are able to start again!  You know I care about you, and always have, no matter how life stood in the middle of us!  Even leaving things in the past, I still apologize that I was not the friend that I should have been in the end.  I have grown enough to know that the nearest and dearest should always be that way, and I refuse to let that happen again.”

I really loved him, and do to this day, yet denied it for a long time, fearful of the depths and raw power I felt about him while feeling regret and shame when I realized I had mistaken feelings instead of communicating after the damage had already been done. Our friendship drifted apart in small ways at first, and it hurt me more than he ever knew, or could even probably understand, and again, I sought to put the pain behind me and deny it was even there, so I pushed away further to try to get over him.

We never really officially dated and we were not actually a couple, though I know how much I wanted to be. We needed each other in so many ways, yet we always seemed to focus on how we wanted each other in so many innocent ways, and always knew that it was okay to actually need the other person from time to time. It was mutual respect and faith that we wanted to be there for each other, including the worst of times, to hopefully bring about some light when looking back in the dark.

I would have married him in a heartbeat, and I had no doubt mother wouldn’t find fault in him in a way that she would not give her blessing, which she has withheld that blessing for anyone even as of today. There was something about him that I could not, and still cannot, describe as to why I loved him so much and wanted more than just a friendship, but it’s something I just can’t deny.

I apologized for mistakes I made in the demise of our friendship that lasted roughly 6 or 7 years, though with his confessions over the last 6 years of rebuilding our friendship, I felt what I wrote that night says it in the most profound and naked way.

I promised the very best friend I ever had, that I would not leave his side, ever again, because I do not think I could ever go through that kind of pain again and survive emotionally. I will not let anyone that touches me deeply like he did leave my life where both of us have that type of pain that can be heavy burden to bear when you truly love someone.

Thank you, Doctor or whoever decides what is healthy or how it should be done, but at least for me, when it comes to those I honestly love, I would rather take the small doses of sharp but short pain during those lost 6 or 7 years, than take the large doses of soul aching pain tortuously drawn out in that same time frame.

I made a promise, and I intend to keep it, regardless of whether I end up where I always wanted to be with them or not…

I had absolutely nobody in my life and tried to do it on my own, until I met someone that became not only what I needed, but also wanted, in my life. I had nothing, but felt I had everything, and I gave that up too easily, and realized too late, that for so many years, I never had the one thing I always truly wanted, and honestly needed…my best friend. I do not want to ever leave others to feel the same way I did…