Forgiveness (Part 4)

Friends, it’s been a long week.  I don’t know why, but I have had a hard time sleeping or staying asleep.  I’ll wake up in the middle of the night and be wide-awake for almost an hour before I can get back to rest.  What is keeping me up at night?

I’ve tried meditation, stretching, writing in my journal… and nothing is helping.

So, I’ll share a little something off-topic.  Earlier this year, I had my very first mammogram.  The OBGYN warned me that, since it’s my first, they have to determine a “baseline” so they might have me come back for another follow-up.  And that’s what they did.  They called me back and I was prepared.  But as they did the second one, there was discharge and she immediately asked if I normally have discharge.  I thought it was normal!  Minutes after I left the imaging office, I got a call from the OBGYN stating they saw something and want to follow-up for a 3rd time!  I opted to wait 6 months because I rationalized it all in my head that “they’re just trying to get more of my money” “it’s nothing, I don’t feel anything unusual”.  Then COVID happened… and I totally forgot about it.  But a couple weeks ago, I noticed a mole started to develop on the same breast…and my skin started looking funny… among other weird things, so I called my OBGYN.  Friends, the first thing she said when she saw my breast was “oh that doesn’t look good”.  So, I have a appointment in a couple weeks for a 3rd mammogram/ultrasound and possible biopsy.

I am not well.

I want to cry, I want to scream.  I am very good at not sharing my feelings with others until I burst into larger-than-life emotion.  I just don’t know what to do.

Anyway, I wanted to try to finish my “series” on Forgiveness because I needed to finish what I started here, and move on.  The final question from my initial post was

“How do I forgive when I really don’t want to?”

So, COVID really puts things into perspective.  I haven’t been able to visit my parents during my usual summer vacation and probably won’t be able to see them in the fall.  But, I have been able to video-chat with them.  As we talk, I noticed my dad’s mind start to wander.  My dad was once very sharp, he is the smartest man I know.. my personal hero.  And I don’t get to spend his last years with him. Instead I have to video chat with him for minutes and then let him go.

During the last months of my marriage, I gave my then husband a list of reasons why I wanted to move back.  First, being I needed help because I was just diagnosed with Epilepsy.  Secondly, because my parents were getting older and I wanted to spend that time with them.  I asked if he could come with me.  Instead of supporting my decision (even just for a few years until my parents passed), he moved out and served me with divorce papers specifically stating that I couldn’t move out of the state.  In communication he said he liked his (new) job – which he lost or left shortly after.  He said I had several chances to move before I met him.

How would I have known I was going to be in the situation my epilepsy 10 years prior?

In my self-centered mid-twenties, how would I have known how much I’d yearn to spend my parents’ last days close to them?

So, every time I chat with my parents I feel that burning feeling within me…. my mind goes “I will NEVER forgive ______ for not being able to capture my parents’ last moments with them”.

And now, with the situation of my health, it makes my anger more relentless towards my ex.

So now…. how can I forgive someone when I don’t want to? Honestly…. I Do Not Want To.

Right now, my human nature does not want to forgive my ex because if I forgive him, in my mind it would give him a pass, a “good guy card”, for leaving me at the time I needed support the most, THEN (with the MSA) putting the restrictions on allowing my son to even live with me part-time if I chose to move closer to my parents. And if I left, I’d have to leave my son…

Right here, right now… I don’t have an answer.  I was on the right track in my last 2 posts…. but for the nature of this blog, I’m going to leave this here.  I don’t want to.

I’m not giving up on me, nor my journey to forgiveness… but today as it stands, I am not ready.  And, if any of you “divorcees” aren’t either, in my book that’s totally OK..

Loyalty

Thoughts on loyalty….

I came to this realization not too long ago that helped me put relationships into perspective. This may or may not pertain to me, personally, but it’s something to think about. Think about the state of sports fans. Men I know who are die-hard fans of teams who’s players don’t even know them personally. But these men will not miss a game, rain or shine.. Or funeral. They wouldn’t miss one game. If someone (friend, acquaintance, family member)  talked negatively about their team these men are quick to respond.. Even fighting words, curse words.. They defend their team to the end.. That team could be the losing team. They’ll let you down game after game. Loss after loss. No matter what flaws that team has, these fans have so much faith in their team. In the next season, so much loyalty to a team who knows not even his name.

But when you think about this same fan, and look at his family.. Would he defend his wife as quickly as he does his team? With the same emphasis as he does for his team?  Get up and go, at a moments notice for his wife? When she fails or is lacking would he stay loyal as much as he does for his team? Would he embrace her background and honor her beliefs as much as he proudly displays his team colors and logos? Just thoughts…

This can go both ways. Loyalty is not complicated. But I believe it affects Love. I believe loyalty is the most important aspect of love. Others may have different values. But these are my thoughts..

More Thoughts on IVF

The IVF Process is much like planning a wedding..

Instead of the Wedding Coordinator – you have a nurse

Instead of the Premarital Counselor – you have the Financial Counselor

Instead of the Officiant – you have the doctor

Instead of Cake Tastings – you have HSGs, Bloodwork, Sonograms

Exercise/Diet for Wedding – you guessed it… exercise/(change) diet for baby

And much like choosing your wedding party – you choose who you want to be in your circle through this entire process.

Crossroads..

You might have noticed my blog title states “Tearing off the Mom Cape and Shopping for Stilettos”. I started this blog at the funkiest of funkiest crossroads I’ve ever encountered in my life:

Hubby and I were going through the “terrible twos” in our marriage, if there ever was one.  The boys, just getting back from a whirlwind 1-month vacation in Seattle, wanted to move there. And all the while, with the increasing stages of fertility treatments, my hormone levels were something like the Space Mountain ride at Disney World.  So, who can blame me?? All I wanted to do was “Tear Off my Mom Cape and Go Shopping for Stilettos”!  There IS such thing as retail therapy, right?

Here’s a news update for you: I have not purchased 1 pair of stilettos since I’ve started this blog.

And I’m still here in the trenches; working on our marriage (year 4 coming up!), dealing with 2 teenagers (and I thought my hormone levels were bad), and thanking God that we are now on the path to our first round of IVF.

I knew my blog would be messy when I started it – I’ve never been a very organized person. But, one day…. and hopefully one day SOON, I’ll have accomplished at least one of the goals in my blog. And I’ll have the written history to read back and hopefully laugh on.

So, here’s to ROUND 1 of IVF **Ding**

Have my boxing gloves on and we’re ready to knock out this infertility once and for all!

P.S. PRAYERS WELCOME!

Slacker

I’ve been neglecting my blog…  In my head, not so much. I’ve had things I’ve wanted to write about almost every day.  But, time flies so fast and now it’s been 4 months since my last post and I have so much to say!  In 4 months:

Infertility: We have tried.  I took the last round of fertility meds I stored in my closet from before our hiatus in September.  Needless to say, no news to report.  We are still trying, naturally.

Empty Nest Bucket List:  I’d like to report some progress in this area! I have a lot of updates to my bucket list… and a family road trip coming up.  More to write!

Newlywed/Marriage:  Yesterday, June 23rd, was our 2-Year Wedding Anniversary!  I give all long-term married couples HUGE kudos and welcome ANY marriage advice you can give.  Year 1 was very difficult… and Year 2 was hard work!  I can say that our love for each other is stronger.  But I am gearing myself up for Year 3… let the battle (for a love-filled lasting marriage) begin!

I promise myself I will write more this week, lots to say and lots to read… can’t wait to catch up on with my fellow bloggers.

When It’s Not You…. He’s Still Your Better Half

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time… since December, actually. I’ve thought about how to word it, because I am sensitive to my audience. A lot of US are dealing with different stages and issues of infertility. Now (in February), I’m a little past “numb”, stepping into “giving up” and ready to “move on”.

But first, I want to talk seriously about dealing with your spouse’s infertility.  From conversation, I hear a lot about the 1st person point of view towards infertility.  As a spouse who is married to someone dealing with infertility, I felt I should write a little from my point of view.

Going into a marriage some (especially the young at heart) might have expectations right off the bat: double-income, buy a house, have a child or two.  Often there’s a timeline.. like a 5-year-plan of some sort.  In reality, it might be a 10 to 15-year plan with some bumps and forks in the road.

In the past year, I was seeing the fertility specialist several times a month! I would go in for procedures and, every 3 months, there was a ‘next level up’ in the plan. Though chances should have been better with each level, the only thing that increased was the medical bill. I sat down and talked with the specialist. What could it be? I’ve had prior pregnancies, no complications. Then she discussed my spouse’s ‘levels and counts’. When I found out about his infertility, I deliberated on how to tell him. I didn’t want him to read into any unintended tone in my voice. I never want to be degrading or insensitive. I suggested alternative medicine and used subtle hints instead.

I once read a funny Facebook Post listing points about how men think: “Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!” ~M.R.

It is true, he didn’t get the hint. By the time I finally got it out, it was in frustration. The tone came out, it was not how I intended to say it! “You’re not even trying,” I complained! “Do you even want a baby,” I pleaded. Because of what he’s already been through, I set myself to protect him. In turn, I lashed out in frustration.  ‘Perhaps it’s something that will fix itself in time,’ I thought to myself.

If I could say one thing about the situation: I don’t blame him, I don’t blame anyone.. but I’m still disappointed. I’m sad.  I’m hurt.  And if I didn’t allow myself to feel this way, separately from my husband – I believe it would have affected my marriage.

When I met my (now) husband, I was drawn to his character.  I thought about the fun we would have, our experiences together.  For a mere blip (a year or so, out of a lifetime) I dreamed of a child we could share.  But, there is more out there I look forward to.  I love him to pieces, then I’d put him back together and love him to pieces again 😉

Bathroom Dilemmas

Excuse the hair, my hair gets everywhere

Ahhh, the age-old conflict between man and woman…. he squeezes, you slide. He likes it under, you like it on top.   What do you think I’m talking about? Toothpaste and toilet paper of course!

I’ve heard of major arguments stemming from these two innocent bathroom fixtures. They can’t help but cause confusion, after all, there are no instructions on how to consume them.  And at times it can be so confusing! I will share something embarrassing: one day, I was reloading the toilet paper.  For some reason I could not figure out how to get it to get the paper to roll over.  Rotating and rotating the stupid little tube.  I had to sit and look at it for a second thinking, why is this so difficult?? When it suddenly came to me, flip it over! DUH.  Now, I can say we both agree on the toilet paper roll issue.

But the one thing we do NOT agree on is toothpaste.  Can you guess which one is mine?  Well I can tell you a little about our personalities.. he’s a laid back, ‘it’s all going to work itself’ out type of guy.  And I’m an orderly, ‘have processes and post-its for everything’ type of gal.  Our solution: Get Two.

Can’t agree on toothpaste? We have 2.  Don’t watch the same shows on TV? His DVR is in the Living Room, mine is in the bedroom.  Other issues work themselves out.  I love chocolate, he doesn’t care for it.  He loves strawberries, me not so much.  Our method of resolving the little things in life seems pretty easy right?  Are we avoiding some type of toothpaste and TV blow up in the future?  Probably.  But one can only hope either one of us never runs out of toothpaste!

Ikea and the Cheap Date

Well, I have to say that this past weekend was what I truly needed: A Break!  Well, sort of.  We lived and breathed football, as usual.  But we managed to sneak in a few other things.  For one, I’ve been continuing my Fall Cleaning Project, and in my determination to make our little place look bigger, I set out to Ikea to pick up some mirrors!  I find it interesting how my children HATE going shopping with me. In fact, I have to bribe them to go to the grocery store with me, using a $5 spending limit on whatever their snacking hearts desire.  But….. when I mention IKEA, their faces light up and they are always willing and ready to go! Perhaps it’s the vibrant colors or the luring smell of Swedish meatballs but I dare not jinx it with my questioning!  For me, Ikea is like the Target of home decor stores.  I always go for one thing and come out spending $200 which somehow includes a piece of furniture.  But that day we bought exactly what we needed… Mirrors (pictures soon).

Later that evening, we planned to go on a date.  Since we are taking a break from the baby-making, we decided to go to a place called the Wine Room.  A small spot off of Park Ave about 15 min from our place.  This place has wine bottles racked as far and as wide as you can see.  Couches for relaxation, light music in the background (that evening was oldies R&B music), and a Cheese & Tapa bar in the middle.  As you walk in, you can purchase or reload a money card (sort of like a game card at Dave & Busters), they give you wine glasses, and set you free to taste away.  Along the walls are, for lack of better words, “vending machines” of wine bottles where you can choose to purchase 1, 2, or 3 ounces of your selection for a price per ounce.  Some as low as $1/oz. and others $15/oz. or more!  Let me just tell you, having Not a sip of alcohol for at least 6 months, I was a Cheap Date.. Yes, ladies and gents, after 6 oz. of the $1.50/oz Chocolate Raspberry wine, I was feeling happy.  Hubby was happy, we had a good evening 😉  NOTE: For those of you with a Sweet Tooth, I highly recommend Chocolate Cellar California Wine, it tastes like a Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

“Screen Shot” taken from Google Maps, see the arrow on the floor? Courtesy of Google Maps

Finally, drum roll please……. we have decided that we found a ‘Home Church’! (A “Home Church” is one that we can finally settle down, get involved, go to regularly..etc. )  I must say, we have visited over 10 churches over the past 3 years.  And if you have had this experience, you can relate to how tiring it can be.  Sort of like dating, you want to give the new relationships a try, but if there is no chemistry you must search again.  but after 4 visits, I believe I can say we have found a church we love.

Though they are little tidbits from a great weekend, I can honestly say I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready for a great week!

And, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well 🙂

Why My Husband Shouldn’t Send Me Furniture Shopping

Here’s the 4-1-1: I bought a condo in 2005, JUST RIGHT before the real estate market started going downhill.  At that time, my boys were smaller, we had small furniture, small toys, small everything.  It was just right…

Since then, they’ve grown, I met my loving, patient hubby (more on that later) and everything is now king-sized in the still tiny 2 bedroom condo.  Well, since we are unable to sell this hole-in-the-wall, we are stuck here trying to maintain a decent looking household and not look too crammed in.

Sooo… my hubby sent me out on an errand.. “Let’s get a Sectional Couch,” he says. Woo hoo, I’m excited and I find a great deal through Craigslist.  While he takes the younger son to football practice, he sends me on my way to check out the couch… here’s where it all goes wrong.

We do the right thing and measure the wall by the window (the one closest to the door): 6 feet.  Fabulous! In lady-terms, that’s one foot taller than me.  Shouldn’t be hard to measure when I get there….

So, I get there, and use my awesome measurement technique, and I buy it on the spot!  (He said if it looks good, go ahead and buy it).. see how I’m transferring the blame here?

Well, on Tuesday he went to pick it up, brought it in the house, and sent me this picture… See the black shelf to the right of the picture?  Well that is the Entertainment Center that already sticks out because we moved it to fit in the sectional.  And now both the couch and entertainment center do not fit entirely in the living room!  However, there is just enough space to walk in.  Hey… once you get in, the couch is pretty comfy!