Adventures in Divorce

I always wondered why people who murdered their spouses didn't just get a divorce.... I now understand why

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Location: Nap Town, Indie-anne-ahhhhhh!, United States

No, I'm not a prophetess. Cassandra, according to Greek mythology, spurned the advances of the Greek god Apollo and her gift of prophecy was cursed so that her predictions would never be believed. Such is my life. I tend not to think like most people, which is a gift... but also a curse. So step into my mind, take off your shoes and stay for awhile... you're always welcome, loved ones.

October 31, 2008

Boo!! (Happy Halloween)

From UrbanDictionary.com... The word of the day today is:

Boo

1. Boyfriend or girlfriend
2. Word used to scare people

1. Can you handle me? If you can't you ain't gonna be my boo.

2. Guy: BOO!

Guy 2: Holy sh*t!


And sometimes, it serves both purposes at the same time. ;)

Happy Halloween, loved ones!!

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Radical Acceptance of What Is

Ok, so in my last (very) recent post I mentioned a concept called Radical Acceptance, and I feel the need to expound upon this a little more. People sometimes wonder why I'm so calm about things and mistake it for not caring, or a "fuckit" mentality (which is an entirely different, more nefarious state of mind). No, it's not that, its just that I accept things for what they are, change what I can, and fuck deal with the rest.

I have been through A LOT over the past year and a half..... much more than the average person can process and handle. So instead of trying to fight and control and worry about every little thing (because that's what got me here), this is how I now cope with life. And I have to say, it's actually pretty useful and healthy way to deal with life (350 million Buddhists can't be wrong)..... I can think of a lot worse ways to cope with things.

So, here it goes......

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Radical acceptance is the practice of accepting life on its own terms and finding effective strategies to cope with whatever is happening. It doesn't mean being passive, but accepting "what is" with the understanding that you have the power of choice. Practicing radical acceptance is a choice that can ease stress and depression and enhance your overall quality of life.

1. Love and be gentle with yourself. Understand that real love must come from within. Radical acceptance means treating yourself as you would treat someone that you truly love.
Praise yourself. Tell yourself how well you are doing and stop criticizing yourself. Write down things you have done that make you feel proud and refer to it when you're experiencing feelings of self-doubt.

2. Accept yourself. Don't listen to the little voice in your head that says you aren't good enough. Accept the way you are, right now, without judgment.

3. Find ways to support yourself. Practice radical acceptance by reaching out to friends and loved ones and allowing them to support you.

4. Forgive yourself. Have compassion for yourself and where you are in your life. Acknowledge any real or perceived wrongs that you may have perpetrated in the past. Apologize if you have wronged others, and then let it go.

5. Lend a helping hand to others. Not only will it make a difference in their lives, but you will feel better and more positive about yourself.

6. Take care of your body, and accept it lovingly. Learn about exercise and nutrition and get adequate rest. Nurture yourself and allow yourself to feel good.

(from eHow: "How to Practice Radical Acceptance")

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Emotional Baggage..... Fridays??

It's Halloween, which is my favorite holiday of the year, and I have much tomfoolery planned for later, but I just had to woo-sah this out real quick and get it out the way so I can go on with the mayhem of the day.......

There are people who come into your life for a limited time and a limited purpose, and once that purpose is served it's time to go. Can't hold on to it or it turns nasty and ugly and negative....

("I know if I pick up this phone, write this letter send this two way........I know I'm gonna say some things, I know you gonna say some things.......That we both don't mean to say.......")

Just because it was [seemingly] great then, doesn't mean that it's great now, but you respect and acknowledge what it was (AND what it WASN'T), make peace with it, and move on.

This song popped into my head this morning..... actually the last line of the song popped into my head this morning and I had to go look it up to remember what the rest of it said.... and the rest of it is pretty on point, too, as Jill usually is. Anyway, that last key line made me a little sad, but also gave me a little peace and Radical Acceptance of What Is:

But the reality honestly...you where never good for me, and I was never good for you.
I just remember what we used to do....


I so love Jill.



I was just thinking about you
Wondering if you wear the same cologne
Smelled good
On you
Had the next boyfriend of mine try the same kind
But it stunk on him though.
You know what they say... everything ain't for everybody.
But I tried anyway.
You sure did smell good.

[Chorus:]
You just running cross my mind
[x4]

You had that masculine thing DOWN
Shoulders, back straight... never slumping... never round
It would turn me on just to see you walk
Into a room, across the room, out of the room.
You really impressed me.
Eh yeah

[Chorus:]
You just running cross my mind
[x4]

I know if I pick up this phone, write this letter, send this two way,
I know I'm gonna say some things, I know you gonna say some things
That we both don't mean to say
Like...how amazing...how amazing...
When you would spread my limbs cross continents
Bump our bed way over mountains.
Kiss this and this and this and this and this and this
and this and this and this and this and this and that.
Show each other where the climax is at.

You just running cross my mind
[x3]
I was just thinking about you, wondering what you doing, I mean what you've been up to
I know its wrong feeling this strong
Let me take a second minute I will think this thing through

I was just thinking about you, wondering what you doing I mean what you've been up to
I know its wrong feeling this strong
Let me take a second minute I will think this thing through

Remember all the moments for two, how we used to
Oh yeah
But the reality honestly...you were never good for me and I was never good for you.
I just remember what we used to do....

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October 29, 2008

"As the parties may agree....."

"...as the parties may agree." ~ Page 6, Line 4 of my divorce settlement agreement.

This one little phrase is both a blessing and a curse when it comes to divorce decrees, particularly as it relates to child custody and support arrangements. First, I must say that negotiating a divorce settlement agreement is one of the most stressful, frustrating, and emotionally draining endeavors in life. There's a lot of quibbling just for the sake of quibbling, a lot of leveraging, many threats (both real and totally bogus) and it just wears you out. Even if you feel like you are competent and intelligent, I highly recommend having someone else do the heavy lifting for you (I'm an attorney and it was even a bit much for me, more so from an emotional standpoint than an intellectual one.... it's like writing your own eulogy. Not fun).

There is much debate over whether the State Parenting Guidelines are fair and reasonable, and whether it would just be better to work it out between the two parents and forget all the court involvement. Yea, that SOUNDS like a good idea, until you try and put it into practice. The phrase "as the parties may agree" only works when that last little word actually occurs.... AGREE. I'm sorry to tell you, loved ones, there's not much of this going on when you are newly divorced. I'm not even talking about things that are or are not in the best interests of the child(ren)..... even assuming that both parents do what's best for their kids, there's a whole lot of other room to make things difficult on the parents.

Example: The State Parenting Guidelines state that whichever parent is receiving the child to begin their parenting time is responsible for pick up, and such pick up is to occur at 6:00pm. So that means when The Ex is to have my daughter for the weekend, he is supposed to pick her up at 6pm on Friday, and I pick her up from him at 6pm on Sunday. Now throw "as the parties may agree" into the mix. Now it becomes "Can you drop Daughter off to me at 7:36 pm over in the Target parking lot? I can't come pick her up" or "I'm not sure what time I'm going to be there, probably around 6:45" and he shows up at 7:45 because I told him I have to be somewhere at 7:00 and he assumes that it's for a date (when that wasn't even the case at all.... not that it should have even mattered). So then I'm less inclined to stick to the 6pm guideline and make him work around whatever I've got going on..... you see what a mess this becomes? And I go through this every single weekend on both Friday AND Sunday (because my son stays with him and my daughter stays with me, we each get both kids every other weekend). And I don't even want to THINK about how we are going to divvy up the holidays, though I need to start having that convo with The Ex ASAP.......

Contrast this with my friend who gets his son every other weekend. He and his son's mother meet at the same place at the same time every other Friday and Sunday. He knows which holidays are his and which holidays are hers. I'm quite sure it has it's drawbacks, but the key appealing factor from my perspective is PREDICTABILITY. When you know what is to occur when, you can plan around it.... you're not constantly trying to hit a moving target suspended from the emotional whims of the other person. If he or she gets mad at you, the rules and guidelines don't change. They're all there in black and white, no debate over interpretation, follow the court order and go on with life.

In hindsight, I wish I would have been more specific in my divorce settlement agreement and left that troublesome little phrase out. I think I took off my contract attorney hat and pushed it a little too far away (plus I was just trying to get things over with). Contracts aren't for when things are going well, they are for when things go WRONG, and there is SO much that can go wrong when dealing with co-parenting arrangements and divorce. The less gray area you leave, the better. Even if you don't like the State Parenting Guidelines, it's best to go ahead and spell out your own just as specifically and detailed as the State Guidelines are..... pick up and drop off dates, holiday schedules, school break schedules, etc. Because just leaving it to "as the parties may agree" leaves you stuck with no recourse when you aren't able to agree.

Do it by the book, loved ones...... do it by the book.



**NOTE** After I wrote this, I went to go pick up Son from The Ex, 2 days early because he's on fall break (which he didn't tell me about until, um, yesterday afternoon.... luckily I hadn't taken an assignment that would have had me working through the weekend). The Ex told me he'd be ready at 9:00pm. Ex calls around 8 and asks me if I've made dinner because he hasn't fed Son yet (????) and was debating on whether to start dinner.... I tell him I already have dinner ready and waiting. I get out to The Ex's girlfriend's house (again, where he lives) at the appointed time (9pm) and send my daughter up to the door.... she comes back and says "[Son] is eating." DAMMIT IF YOU SAY YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE HIM READY AT 9, HAVE HIM READY AT 9!!! Needless to say, I was a little PO'd for having to sit out in front of this woman's house waiting for this child to finish dinner when I'd already discussed the issue an hour before. And I was hungry, which makes me cranky. But this is EXACTLY the mess I'm talking about......

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October 18, 2008

Playboys vs. Playstations

I've previously mentioned the Dating Persona Test at OKCupid.com (and that I think is one of the BEST personality tests out there on the web). There's a link on the right.... go take it if you haven't. I guarantee enlightenment.

As I explained before, my "dating persona" is The Playstation. In case you forgot (or didn't read.... shame on you) here's the description again:

The Playstation
Random Gentle Sex Master (RGSM)

Easy to turn on. Hard to beat. You are The Playstation.

You're a nice girl, and you have lots of sex. It's therefore highly likely that you're attractive, and you're certainly outgoing & friendly. Plus, this healthy physical attitude of yours indicates deeper emotional well-being and stability. Unheard of. When guys dare to dream, they dream of you.

You don't get attached too easily, and, to wit, you're not necessarily looking for something long-term right now. That's a bigger asset than you know. Though, physically speaking, you're open to anything, you're keeping your emotional side well-protected. This means there won't be a lot of wreckage to clean up whenever you decide to settle down.

In the meantime, the men you share yourself with actually respect you. Like them, you enjoy sex for its own sake and don't need any other validation for pleasure than pleasure itself. Hopefully, you have the good sense to blow off anyone who thinks less of you for that. Usually, this is the part of the description where we offer some life-correcting advice, but honestly, we can't think of anything about you we'd change. Keep on fucking, partner.

Always avoid: The Mixed Messenger (DBLD)
Consider: Anyone else

As you may not recall, there are 16 personality types, and each has a male/female counterpart (for a total of 32 types). The male counterpart to my dating persona (RGSM) is The Playboy:

The Playboy
Random Gentle Sex Master (RGSM)

Clean. Smooth. Successful. You're The Playboy.

You're spontaneous, and your energy is highly contagious. Guys therefore find you fun to be around, and girls find you compelling. You have lots of sex, and you manage it all without seeming cheap or being hurtful. Well done. You probably know karate, too.

It's obvious to us, and probably everyone else, that you're after physical rather than emotional relationships, but you're straight up with potential partners. And if a girl you want isn't into something casual, it's no big deal. You move on. BEFORE sleeping with her. Usually. At least you try to. Such control is rare.

If you're feeling unfulfilled, maybe you should raise your standards. New conquests will only be satisfying if there's a possibility of rejection.

Always avoid: The Playstation (RGSM)
Consider: The Dirty Little Secret (DGSM), The Nurse (RGSD)

Hmmm..... "Always avoid The Playstation". This is particularly troubling to me because the last 2 guys I've dated (or attempted to date? Were we dating?? That's the problem with Playboys/Playstations.... the whole label thing) have been Playboys. At first Playboys/Playstations seem like a pretty good match up.... we're both cool, laid back, casual, non-demanding. Seems like we could peacefully co-exist and just have fun. Right? Well, it's not that simple.

The problem with two cool ass people is that that's just too much cool assedness in one place. The pervading attitude is "whatever". We kind of just go with the flow.... which is fine and dandy, but in reality at some point some decisions must be made. Namely, "what the fugg is this???" Most of the time, Playboys and Playstations are content with just ignoring this question.... I've termed it as peacefully co-existing with the elephant in the room. *feeds elephant a peanut, climbs over it's trunk to get to the kitchen* Nobody gets up in arms over anything, nobody demands any sort of commitment, it's just...... whatever. Nonetheless, even in all of our ice coldness (Andre 3000 style), we're still humans with feelings. So even though we say "Sure, go ahead and do you.... I'm fine" deep down we still get kinda irked. But our steadfast Playstationness and Playboyality, we will never ever admit this.... not to the other person, and not to ourselves.

So what does the life cycle of a Playstation/Playboy relationship end up looking like?? Well, I'm really not sure. From what I've ascertained so far, it just keeps going on and on indefinitely, something a lot more than friends, but just shy of a real Relationship. We're gun shy.... nobody wants to call anyone to the mat on the issue of whether it is or is not a Relationship.... or whether anyone even WANTS a Relationship. Or even what a Relationship consists of. So eventually we hit an impasse. The elephant continues to be a squatter in our apartments. Eventually you just start avoiding going through the room altogether and find a different way to the kitchen.

The nice thing, though, is that even if it doesn't go any further and that option falls by the wayside, we still manage to remain cool with each other. No hard feelings..... well, not on the surface anyway. I'm working on trying to not be such a hardcore Playstation and get more in touch with my primitive girl side. But it's hard to let that guard down, especially when you're trying to deal with someone who's just as cool and laid back as you.

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October 15, 2008

Incognegress

I realize that I've been rather incognegro out here on the blogosphere lately.... in addition to actually having to go to a physical job location outside of my apartment everyday where I don't have regular access to a computer, I've also just had a lot of my mind lately, which tends to clog the pathway between my brain and my fingertips.

So I think to get caught up, I'm just going to do one of my old school "lists" (with a lil extra):
  • The minor emotional skirmish of last week with New Boo has been resolved satisfactorily. It was just a result of some really dumb ish I said (under the influence.... when most dumb ish gets said), plus some outside unrelated circumstances that I took personally (as I have a tendency to do), and some miscommunications and assumptions and misinterpretations of the term "space", I'm not going to get into what "space" may or may not mean generally, but all that matters is that now I/we understand what was meant by the term. It's all about those defined terms, folks......
  • My current temp job isn't too bad actually.... I'm working for the election board testing the machines and ballots for the upcoming election. At least it feels like something worthwhile, not just making someone else a buttload of more money that they are NOT giving to me. At least I get to wear whatever I want, and most of the people are pretty cool regular folks. I like regular folks. And they must also have an ironclad sexual harassment policy, cuz I see the looks but never hear a word (except for today overhearing a very audible "DAMN" when I took off my hoodie and had on a v-neck white undershirt material baby-t.... but he was talking to the folks he was sitting next to, not directly to me).
  • I had a mini-breakdown yesterday morning at work..... I ran a rather simple test deck for the second time and fugged it up again, and it just triggered all my frustrations about my career and job search..... it took me a good 30 minutes to calm down and get to the point where every other thought didn't trigger another crying jag. I looked like decroded crap yesterday tho, and felt even worse. Though I spoke with a legal recruiter/placement specialist and she said that there are a lot of attorneys out of work right now. That made me feel better knowing it's not just me, but made me feel worse because that means that there are truly no jobs out there right now. To top it off I got a call from my "little" brother (he's 27.... gotta stop calling him little) and he told me that he got TWO job offers at other special effects studios out in California.... I just felt like a real loser.... not very big sisterly, tho I think I gave him some sound advice about choosing which one to take, and he used it.... so that makes me feel a wee bitty bit better. Hope I wasn't wrong.
  • How can people NOT love Napoleon Dynamite???
  • Why have so many "hares" been coming out of the woodwork lately?? It's like, dude, you've had over a YEAR to say something, and you just choosing now?? GTFOHWTBS! Perhaps the color of my aura has changed or something.... I don't know. And people seriously overestimate the effectiveness of their swag. No thanks, I'm good.
  • I'm teaching a workshop on business entities (LLCs, corporations, etc.) this weekend..... it's something I need to do, but the timing is just not good. My confidence level is at an all time low. Let's just hope I get through the hour without sounding like too much of a dumb ass or committing malpractice or something. Maybe I'll get some referrals out of it. Positive, positive.......
  • The toes on my right foot have been numb for going on 2 weeks now, as a result of walking around downtown and dancing to the sounds of DJ Limelight for 3 hours in these shoes:This CANNOT be good. I've never had sustained nerve damage as a result of shoes. Oh well, guess I just gotta wait for my piggies to get better. Ah the toils of being a woman......
  • I've been fighting off this depression something fierce. It makes me tired. Which makes me depressed. But I'm still fighting.
Ok, so there's a lot more going on in this cranium of mine. Still working on sorting it all out and I'll be back to my regular TMI sharing self soon.

Chao.

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October 7, 2008

After these messages......

I've been a little incognegro lately on the blogs. I've just had WAY too much emotional and mental hullabaloo going on lately to process. When things get to be too much I just avoid speaking on it for awhile. I have a lot of sorting and decisions and mental repositioning of situations and people to do right now.

I'll be back soon, loved ones......

October 2, 2008

Brady Bunch Dating

Thursday morning on the Russ Parr Morning Show there was a discussion about women who refuse to date men with kids. These women stated that having kids would be a deal breaker and that they consciously kept these individuals out of their dating pool. Surprisingly, many of the callers who commented on the topic had children themselves. The reason I heard over and over was the women's desire to avoid "baby momma drama" and not have to deal with the mother of their man's children. But generally, it was just to avoid the extra issues that come along with having kids.

I personally think this is bollocks, first of all from a logical and fairness perspective (having kids and not wanting to date someone else with kids), but also because I don't believe in arbitrary checklists without looking at the underlying factors. As adults, we all have history, we all have baggage, we've all made mistakes, and we've all had changes in life circumstances. It's how we handle these things that should be looked at in order to determine whether or not someone is "datable". If a man has 7 kids by 5 different women at the age of 27, or is absent from his child(ren)'s life and/or avoids caring for his children financially, then that's something that may give you pause because it's indicative of what type of person he is and his level of responsibility and maturity. As far as "baby momma drama" is concerned..... well, I know there are psycho women out there, but I think you also have to look at WHY he has baby momma drama and what that "drama" actually is, and also how he handles it. If he's an uncooperative jerk toward her, then yes, she's going to be a tad cantankerous. She can only interfere in your life as much as he allows her to interfere, and also as much as you allow her antics to get to you. That's true for ANYONE in your life, not just individuals in these situations.

At this point, I think I would actually prefer a man who has a child/children. There's a certain commonality there that is not going to be present with someone who has never been a parent. Parenting changes who you are radically and permanently. As a mother, it's nice to have someone who understands what I go through as a single parent..... the demands on my time, my priorities, the things that I have to go through and the struggles I have dealing with two household parenting. I need someone around that understands that you will only get large chunks of my time every other weekend. Sometimes it's good to be able to trade baby daddy/momma drama stories, laugh and woo-sah it out together.

A man having a child also makes it more likely that he's going to be more understanding of a few of my kid-related quirks. I've been watching Nick and Disney for the past 14 years (and really never STOPPED watching from earlier in my life, if we want to keep it all the way real..... maybe a 5 year gap at most..... teenage parenthood, you know....) so yes, I will subconsciously stop on Hannah Montana and maybe even laugh. I went and saw Kung Fu Panda by myself (yes, sans children), I have an unhealthy obsession with Harry Potter (a "Potterphile") and I'm just an all around silly person. It's nice to have someone around who doesn't give you a blank www.WTF.com stare when you make references from children's entertainment or state that The Lion King is one of the greatest movies of all time.

Another plus to men with kids..... they are less likely to expect me to pop one out for them. I've had child-free men actually come out and ask me fairly early on "So are you willing to have more kids?" (which often evokes a fight or flight reaction in me). I haven't 100% decided whether I'm willing to have more kids..... I'm only 30, but on the flip side I have a high schooler and a damn-near middle schooler. I like sleep and not having to look at anyone else's poop. I know that blended families have their own set of problems and issues, but so do new babies. My relationship with The Ex was centered around parenting..... it would be nice for once to have a relationship centered around enjoyment of each other's company, even if that's just for a little while.

So to the women (or men) out there who refuse to date someone with kids..... you may just be missing out on someone great. I won't totally knock a person's individual choice on this matter because I know it's a challenge.... particularly for someone who does not have kids themselves (I have a friend with no kids struggling to play the "instant mom" role in a relationship with a widower, and I feel for her). But for me, I've decided that this isn't going to be a deal breaker.... if anything, I think it helps me connect with a person in an area that is a major part of my life and who I am.

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Adventures in Divorce: 10/2008 - 11/2008

Adventures in Divorce