Right now I feel like buying a billboard along the freeway that says, "if you're dating someone who has children with a crazy ex- RUN!"
Hmmm....I guess that seems harsh. But honestly, it's less than 20 hours until Jacob is supposed to fly here and the X is saying she won't put him on the flight. It boggles my mind that Craig was ever with her. And it ticks me off that I'm 25 1/2 weeks pregnant having to deal with this crap! I honestly feel like I have to take care of everyone and everything else, but who takes care of me?
I know the 'big' answer to that is God. But in all the little details of life (which I know God also cares about), sometimes I feel forgotten. My belly is huge, my back hurts, there's too much going on for me to remember to eat or drink, I have lot going on in my own life and mind that have nothing to do with 'spawn of satan', aka the X. But yet here I am having to deal with this junk simply because I'm here. What did I ever do to deserve this constant nightmare?
I guess as a woman, or maybe it's just me, I imagine being pregnant as enjoying the new life growing in me and having someone to say, can I get you some water? do you want to put your feet up? do you need a back rub? how are you feeling about labor coming up? anything you want to talk about? Basically, care. Be there. Support me.
Craig works so much and then is busy with yardwork and crap with the X that I haven't been feeling like there's anything left for me. And then I get cranky and irritable and he wonders why. Women want to feel important. Women need to feel important. Especially when said woman has a growing belly, lovely pregnancy acne and greasy hair, an achy back, and is busy with an almost 2 year old all day. Lost in the mix is the last way I want to feel. I guess I'm supposed to be learning something in all this, but I just want to scream IT'S NOT FAIR and take off to Hawaii with Eliana.
This wasn't how I pictured things as a child. As thrilled and blessed as I am to even be pregnant- it's really a buzzkill that I get to experience it with all this garbage surrounding me. I'd be lying if I said I'm not jealous of my many friends with kids that get to enjoy their life as just them- no exes to deal with, no child support to pay etc. I feel kind of sad (well, happy for them, sad for me) when I see the joy of them living their life together without the past being dragged along with it. My friends get to have babies with their husbands and plan and be excited for their future together. THEIR FUTURE TOGETHER. Not how they will pay for and plan for their future when one spouse's ex is costing them a ton of money and time and stress. I get to pay for, stress about, deal with, and live with Craig's past. How delightful for me. It's maddening. And I just have to say, unless you have been in my shoes....don't judge. Don't sit on your little soapbox and think, 'well that's not very Christian of you', or 'it's only a bad situation since you're letting it feel that way.' Unless you've been in these shoes, you have no idea what it's like. I'm only 27 and I've already been dealing with this for 6 YEARS. How did you spend your twenties? Probably not like this.
Many people don't like their exes, I get that. But this is a whole different ball game. This is a vindictive, bitter, person that does everything she can to try and keep Craig from his son and make life difficult for us. She constantly complains about having no money. That irritates me to no end. We have a toddler and another baby on the way- nobody sends us money every week! She gets money from two different fathers for her children every single week. She has no idea how easy she has it. We pay taxes on that money although we never see it. She conversely doesn't even have to claim it on her taxes- free money! And Jacob says he's on the free lunch program at his school, but I wonder how they qualify with her income (whatever it is) and her husband's 70k....unless she's lied on the paperwork.
It's extremely frustrating because as much as I want to get away from this mess- there literally is no way to get away from it. I can leave Craig- but I love him and want to stay married forever and of course if I leave him then my 2 children will have to go through the mess that Jacob has. [I feel this goes without saying but I'll say it anyway, I'm speaking in a satirical kind of way. I absolutely don't want a divorce.] I can stay- which is what I will always do and thus I will always be right in the middle of this mess. Lord help us.
The bright spot in all this is that our neighbors finally got rid of their dog. It was a long 3 years of 6am wakeups, 10pm wakeups, all day barking and their rudeness, but they finally decided to get rid of the dog. The woman owner was never really rude and told me many times 'the dog will be gone in 10 days'. Of course it never happened. She loves animals, which is great, so her plan was always to take it to Paws or the Humane Society for adoption. Her husband was the one to be rude and say the dog wouldn't be leaving. It's kind of ironic that the day before they got rid of the dog I sent a long letter, another copy of the letter sent in January 2009, and ANOTHER barking ledger to the county. Craig and I have always been dog people. We like dogs and we loved our dog. But it's been disheartening living here and having to suffer the worst case scenario of an undisciplined out-of-control dog. My love for dogs has been dampened because of our awful experience. Then the house down the street lets their dog out to run around the neighborhood and it's been pooping in our yard. Fabulous. I have no idea how people can be so inconsiderate.
I don't know, all this stuff going on makes me want to just stay home, not go anywhere, not reach out to anyone, ignore my phone, and keep to myself. In this particular moment, I feel like people suck. I will probably simmer down and feel fine in about 10 minutes and then think I should delete this blog. But here's the deal, I'm real. Like it or hate it I'm not fake. I don't have the energy to be fake. I can hold my tongue and pretend life is perfect just as well as the next Duggar ( I actually like them a lot but notice they never say anything negative, at all???) but I have to say with everything I've been through in my life I happen to appreciate honesty, from myself and from others. Life is not always pretty (and if yours has been, well, lucky you), life is hard a lot of the time. Writing a blog about daisies and puppies and making millions of dollars just isn't in my blood right now. Being real about the mess and that I'm conflicted and flawed- that's all I can do right now. Where does God fit into all this? That's what I'm feeling out. I feel like He fits somewhere right in the middle of it or at least that's where He wants to be. Where am I allowing Him to be is probably the real question.
A couple months ago my pastor and his wife were speaking together and she shared that growing up her father was so loving, always supportive, gentle, kind, there for her, etc.....that she had no problem picturing God being that way for her, too. I couldn't help sitting there with tears and noticed I wasn't the only woman sitting there looking like a little girl that just wanted her daddy's love. You see, I didn't grow up with a dad to give me unconditional and present love. I've tried and worked to see God that way, but the natural connection between our earthly father and heavenly Father does make it a little difficult. I never had that safe place in a dad where I could hide and find security and solace. I fended for myself and I find myself in that pattern a lot- thinking I have to fend for myself. Then when I stop and let Him in I find myself in tears again realizing that when I allow God where He wants to be, I always become that little girl that needs her daddy's love. And unlike earthly fathers that weren't physically or emotionally present- God always is. Sunday at church I realized I held back during worship. I held back from singing the words like I wrote them, even though I agreed with everything I was singing. Why? Because I knew I would cry like a baby and I just couldn't let myself go there. Once again, trying to fend for myself. Why does life have to be so messy?
I guess I'm grateful that God always reaches out to me and is patient with me. He's teaching me, although I'm apparently a slow learner, that I don't always have to fend for myself. As an adult when I see the patterns of dealing with things I've created for myself it's sort of incredible to look at my childhood and things later even that have impacted who I am and how I deal. For me as a little girl, not having a father taught me that I can't trust men (at least not all the way). God got dragged into that by default. Craig and I have had many conversations about what we want his relationship with our girls to be like. He knows how much I've suffered because of what I didn't have and he doesn't want our girls to suffer. He knows he has to tell them they're beautiful and hug them and kiss them and spend time with him. I was a bit taken back a couple days ago when I realized that by the time I was Eliana's age I'd already been without a dad for 15 months. SAD. I want so much different for my children. My prayer is that they will have a close, loving relationship with their daddy and that that relationship will enable them to see God as their close and loving daddy, too.
Ok, see, I'm already feeling much better. People don't suck, I retract that. Only some.