Soft Parade and the Staves


Have you ever wondered why recently single people always drop a lot of weight right after the break up? It’s not the reason you think. It’s not because they are so depressed they just can’t eat. It’s not because they are so stressed out they can’t keep the weight on. It’s because when you shed the heaviness of another person’s bullshit, you fucking feel like dancing…all the time.

I just put my kids in bed, smoked a bowl, and turned all the lights off in my living room. I then helped myself to a cold bottle of Soft Parade, from Shorts brewery. And now I am dancing to Spotify’s “Top tracks from 2016,” a playlist they so graciously created just for me. What a great idea. I can’t wait to listen to that playlist in ten years, like a soundtrack of the most difficult year I’ve ever experienced. I’m not going to lie, this soundtrack is like therapy right now. Music, pot, and a bottle of beer that tastes like strawberries making love in my mouth, I am content in every possible way.  I suppose most people would climb above their high horse and shame me for being so irresponsible. Society tends to look down on catching a night cap, especially for a single mom.  I can imagine most people would think of me as a trashy person because I like to get high. I’m probably even spending my child support on drugs. I’m not, really. I just imagine that people would think that about me.  Mom’s are always held to a higher standard than most.  But guess what?  We’re human.  The only women I know who actually try to keep up with that ridiculous image of plastered perfection are the most insane people I’ve ever met.  And I have met some very insane people.

That Mom that you see at the school, with perfect hair and her shit all together, strapping her little soccer stars into the back of her mint condition Escalade… That woman is made of plastic, inside and out.  She only appears to have her shit together, much like a piece of plastic fruit appears to look edible.  I will take a stoner mom friend any day over those perfection Barbie wannabes.  Fuck those bitches.  A friend of the devil is a friend of mine.

Here’s what I think about me…I think I wake up every morning, alone in the dark, cold Michigan winter. I think I throw some clothes together, usually running out the door with a light on or I forgot to take the trash out, so now it’s piled up for another week. I usually brush my teeth at work, because I can’t afford to be late again. I think that I am that girl who is non stop worrying about the bills and the social life that I don’t have, and my homework, and the sex I’m not having, and what’s for dinner, and did I mess up at work, and how are my girls doing with life, emotionally? Because if they aren’t 100% perfect, it’s 100% my fault. Karma, I guess. My life is a hurricane right now. I don’t see that changing any time soon. But I choose to take care of myself through this endless storm. I choose to get high and have a beer and dance by myself in the dark.

Honestly, I think my girls are doing really well. And I think we’re knocking this single parent family thing out of the park. My children are thriving in life. You want to know why? It’s because I fucking tuck my kids in every night, and then I let it all go. I forgive myself for being imperfect and a little irresponsible. And I release all of the tension in my shoulders. And I dance to music that I don’t have to argue with anyone about. And I feel beautiful, because when I am high, everything looks beautiful, even my reflection. Stress falls away and I feel happy. And I feel confident that I can not only survive this lifestyle, but I can thrive on it. And because I allow myself to unwind at night, I’m able to wake up the next morning, feeling calm and content with a smile on my face. I’m a better mom because I get high. I don’t smoke pot every day. I don’t get high around my kids.  And I usually only have a couple beers a week.  But when it’s just me and the moon and a collection of my favorite songs, I wallow in the sweet solitude that has draped over my life.  Instead of feeling smothered by it, I feel swaddled in the comfort of it. And I don’t care what the law says, or what society has to say, or even what you might be thinking. I feel good. And I know that I’m doing better at succeeding in life because of my choices.  

Society has been shaming stoners for a long while, now. And then they gaslight us by saying we self medicate, that we are just catching a buzz in an attempt to relieve our depression symptoms. You know what I think about that? I think, yes! We are self medicating! And it’s fucking working! I have not been this happy to dance alone in my living room since the last time I was single and high. 

 Do you know anyone who has ever quit taking antidepressants? Me neither, because they are designed that way. 

 Tomorrow, however, is going to be another great day. I might get high. I might not. But I will wake up feeling satisfied with my life, and filled with gratitude for these precious moments I have to myself.  
You can enjoy my Spotify soundtrack here:  

Peaks and Valleys 


Yesterday I had the privilege of attending what we call a full moon gathering. It’s a time for women of all ages to gather, meditate, and promote healing.  

It is also so much more than that. These women are my lifeline, my heroes, and my healers.

Yesterday, I was moved to tears. I heard one of our ‘sisters’ tell the story about how she became an addict and how she had healed herself. Her story was so incredible. It was powerful. It was not my story to tell, so I won’t even try. But if you heard what this woman has been through in her life, it would tear your heart out.  It also reminded me of my brother, who had a very serious opiate addiction in his late twenties.

 It was such a dark time for our family. For a span of about five years, my life was haunted with loss and tragedy. I had a miscarriage. I got a puppy. The puppy died. I had another miscarriage. Adopted a dog. The dog died. My husband’s best friend died. His grandma died. We lost our jobs because America was dying too. And throughout all of this turmoil in my life, I was in a constant state of worry about my brother.  I was always waiting for the call that they had found him in a ditch or in a crack house somewhere. He had a very serious drug problem. It was agonizing to watch. He just kept slipping away from us.  There was a strange vacancy in his eyes. His addiction carved us all hollow. His wife was exhausted, raising two children while the man of her dreams was eclipsed out by a monster.  His young daughter was grieving her hero. Her dad was as big as a tree and had always been as solid as oak. Now he was vanishing before her eyes. His son, too small to know what he was born into, began his life in a world of stress.

Every time my phone rang, my heart stopped in anticipation of the news. I thought for sure he would kill himself. I hate to admit this now, but there were times I wished for it. I couldn’t take the pain of watching his family fight the endless forfeiting battle of his sobriety. I just wanted it all to be over. Watching him hurt himself was hard enough. Watching him lie over and over was even harder. But the most difficult part was understanding that the lies were part of his disease. They weren’t him. His brain had been hijacked by a craving so strong, I could never understand.  He was like a zombie.  I hated him for what he had become.  But it was not him, it was his disease.  That was a hard concept to grasp.  And I feel guilty for the anger I felt back then.

His addiction shredded our family to pieces. I remember watching my mom break down crying in the hardware store when she and my dad had to buy new locks because they couldn’t trust their own son. We argued often about the best way to deal with his issues. I am a fixer. If something is broken, my brain will automatically explore every opportunity in search of a solution. But he couldn’t be fixed. I know, because I had tried everything. I called the doctor who was giving him pills and threatened him into hiding. I gave him healing crystals. I called his therapist. I tried getting him to switch to pot. I was at a loss for hope. His addiction was so strong, it stripped away his ability to feel. He numbed himself right out of our family. He couch surfed or slept in his truck and bounced from house to house.  I have no idea what he did or where he slept during most of this time.  Sometimes he landed in my home. I liked when he was there, because that’s when I knew he was safe. Dropping him off at rehab was always a relief as well. We were always able to grab onto some hope after he walked through those doors at Sacred Heart.  

I believe it took him five or six stays in rehab before a light finally went off. Something clicked. He claims it was Jesus. He got clean. And this time he kept up with it.  

Our luck had begun to change. It was at this time that I also carried my fourth pregnancy into the very hopeful second trimester. A pregnancy filled with terror, as I spotted in the beginning. I had to have surgery halfway through. And I slid into home base with a bad case of preclampsia. But in November of 2008, I gave live birth to a very healthy baby girl.

My brother has now been clean for a little over seven years. His entire life has shifted to help others who suffer from the disease of addiction. He works diligently in the trenches of society, serving his lord and savior. He is doing good things. He is doing the dirtiest work of today’s society. I could not be more proud of his ability to mold his own personal tragedy into a healing force that can not be compared. 
My eight year old daughter thinks he is the funniest guy in the world. I’m not really close with him. In fact, I usually only see him at holidays and birthday parties. His lifestyle is much different than mine. He disagrees with almost everything I believe in. And that’s okay with me. Because every time I see my daughter and him pick on each other, I am reminded of a time when I didn’t think either one of them would be around.  It’s amazing to see a happy ending unfold in a real life.  I feel blessed beyond words.  

Matrilineal 

I am a girl with relationship problems.  I’ve been doing some pretty deep soul searching lately, trying to figure out why I can’t seem to figure out this part of my life.  What I’ve found is that in order to go forward, I first needed to go back, to my very first relationship, the one with my mom.  

Mom and I have had a pretty rough relationship from the start. I was her second child, weighing in at eleven pounds six ounces. The delivery was completely natural. I can not fathom the damage that my fat little body did to her, on my way into this world.  My baby pictures look like a Michelin Tire ad.
I found out later on in life that I was supposed to be a twin, but I fucking ate it or something. I had to have little pieces of bone fragments, from my twin, removed from my tailbone. So I basically cannibalized my sister.  I also completely rejected my mom. I was actually allergic to my own mother’s breast milk. It’s no wonder that our relationship has always been in despair.  

My mom is somewhat robotic in nature. She operates like a machine, navigating life with more logic than emotion. I am more of a dreamer, but growing up with her, I was taught to bury my emotions and then punished for not having the correct ones.  I’ve spent the past few years trying to get back in touch with my emotional self, but I’ve been branded with a crippling fear of vulnerability about them.

The contrast between my mother and I grew deeper during my late teens. She was very traditional, always trying to project the image of perfection. I have always been much too rebellious to sit quietly inside of her box of expectations. The harder she pulled on the reins, the harder I pushed back against them.  I pushed myself into some pretty dangerous situations.  Places that would break my heart if my own daughter strayed there.

When I was twenty years old, I found out that I was going to be a mother myself. I was terrified. I had poly cystic ovaries, so I didn’t think I could get pregnant. It was quite a shock to me. The second blue line on the test nearly stopped my heart. I didn’t think that I was capable of being a mother, because I never had a good example. I could barely take care of myself back then. I was living in a small apartment above a bar with some college friends and a few cats. I didn’t know how I was going to pull it off. But I knew that I had already fallen in love with the little creature growing inside me, so I knew I would figure it all out.
When my mother found out about my unplanned pregnancy, she begged me to have an abortion, citing her embarrassment of me as her number one reason. When I refused to abort my baby, she demanded that I get married. I really wasn’t ready for that either. I had only been dating the father for about six months. Finally, her last attempt at bullying me into an abortion, she told me that my bastard child would not be welcome in her home. She told me that I would be doing the child a favor by not having it, because I was incapable of being a good mom.
Her words, as they have always done, cut me open and bled me out. I was different after that one though. It was a time in my life when I was terrified, I was going through the most significant experience of my life. I needed her to do her job…to be my mom, to hold my hand, to support me. But she was more concerned with what the neighbors would think when they found out her daughter was a whore, as she put it.

Looking back, the saddest part about this story is the fact that I believed her. I was haunted with doubt in myself about raising my daughter. I remember holding her in the middle of the night, after her father had lost his temper and punched a hole in the wall because I had the audacity to ask for help. I was exhausted from the night feedings every two hours. I remember crying while I fed her, wishing so desperately to turn back time and pick out a different dad for her. He told me that if I didn’t want to get up and feed her, I should have had the abortion. It killed me to hear him say such hurtful things about my baby, this tiny person who had completely engulfed my heart with her first breath. I remember holding her tiny sweet body in my arms, making a promise to her that I would try harder to make sure she had a family. And I did try harder. I gave everything I had, everything I was, to creating a family out of the remnants of my bad decisions.  I remember feeling like I needed to stay with the father of my child as a punishment for getting pregnant.

The combination of shame from my parents and doubt in myself led me to the failed marriage that I walked away from eight years later. I knew we were a horrible match, but he was the father of my child and I did learn to love him.  It felt like the right thing to do. However, it was definitely not the right thing to do.  Sometimes I wonder if things would have been different, had I grown up with a supportive mother.  
Over the years, things did get better, though it was at the cost of my own sanity. I gave up my rebellious heart for submission. I stopped trying to swim against the current that was pulling me down. I surrendered to my circumstances.  

We both grew up a lot. He wasn’t a great husband all the time, but I do believe that he really did try. He actually turned into a really good dad. For a few years in the middle, I would even say that our marriage was good. We had a second daughter and for a brief moment in time, we were a perfect little family. My mom came around too, and has always been a pretty good grandmother. She still criticized me constantly, but was always respectful to my girls.  I learned to just keep my head down and take it. 
I spent my twenties morphing into everyone else’s expectations. It wasn’t until I went through therapy during my divorce that I finally took back a little bit of the self esteem I had lost. It came back in subtle waves. It’s still rolling in. Being a single mother has been a surprising source of strength for me. I am raising two girls all by myself and I’m handling it just fine, most days.
I have been haunted by the fear that my relationship with my daughters would turn out like the one I shared with my mom.  But I realized through everything that I had been through, that I don’t have to be chained to those fears. I have taken back my rebellious heart and decided that I can do motherhood in my own unique way.  

My oldest daughter is now fourteen years old. We do argue occasionally, but we have a very close relationship. She told me that her friends don’t talk to their moms like she does with me. And I believe we are both really proud of that. I was so afraid that she would hate me, especially after I dragged her out to the little house in the middle of nowhere. I thought she would never forgive me for failing her when I made some big mistakes. But I have somehow managed to pull off that delicate balance of being her mom and her friend. And what she doesn’t realize, is that her precious relationship with me is actually helping to heal the rocky relationship I have with my mom.  Knowing that my daughter and I are so close has brought so much contentment to my soul.  I have sort of risen above the need to be right, allowing me to have conversations with my mother.  And when she criticizes me, I just smile, knowing that she will never understand the depth of my love for her, darkness and all.

I know that my mother will never be my best friend. But I also know that if she had been a better mom to me, I would not have focused all of my energy on being a better mom to my children. I’ve learned to love her, in the same way that I’ve learned to love myself, wholeheartedly. I understand now that my mom can’t show her emotions. I understand that this pattern has been ingrained throughout our entire family history. And I understand that I am kind of a hero for breaking that pattern. Moving forward, the women in my family will be loved and cherished. Every step I take in these new independent shoes of mine, is being watched by two little girls who will know what feminism looks like. They will have watched me make my big mistakes and then treat myself with kindness and acceptance after. They have watched me fall, but they have also watched me fight vigorously to stand tall again. They have also watched me forgive my mother and offer her the unconditional love that she really does deserve. My girls might not have a perfect little family, but they have a perfect example of how to be comfortable with imperfection. The matrilineal line is strong here.

Bat Shit Crazy

Thoughts on my own individuality…

People refer to me as “eccentric” all the time. I think it’s their kind way of letting me know that I’m weird and different. I am weird and different. To start with, I’m a gigantic woman. I am almost six feet tall. I stand out in a crowd, because I tower over it. I don’t wear heels when I go out with my friends, because I already look like fucking Willie Wonka, with a squad of Oompa Loompas trailing behind me.
I live an eccentric life. I meditate by the river, I howl at the moon, I’m kind of prudish and perverted at the same time. I love very intensely, but I almost never show it. I’m the girl who blurts out what everyone else was thinking, but they had the decency to keep it to themselves. I’m not decent. I am spiritual as fuck, but I also say “fuck,” a lot more than I should. I’m a really good mom, but I credit my patience to the massive amounts of wine that I consume when my kids are with their dad. And as if that wasn’t enough, I’m also completely obsessed with astrology.
 I possess one of the rarest Astrology charts that there is, a wedge chart. According to the sky, in the moment that I was born, all of the planets, the sun, and the moon were clustered into one corner of the zodiac. Supposedly, this makes me a very special person. I have read that this means I am here to change the world. However, I have never felt special and I am much too lazy to change the world.  
But here’s what I’ve recently figured out: The world doesn’t change all at once, like we see in the movies. The change comes quietly, in a million different pieces. It’s subtle. It’s like a molting bird, compared to a snake which sheds it’s entire skin all at once. I am one of those million different pieces. And I am changing the world. I’m plucking feathers out of this old bird, by having the courage to be myself, somewhat a rarity in today’s society.
When I was in my twenties, I hid my passion for astrology, because I was afraid that people would think I was crazy. When I started my astrology blog last year, I panicked every time I hit the ‘publish’ button. What would people think about me after publishing a post about how the planet Uranus is affecting my love life? Even I can admit that it sounds ridiculous. I know that my friends and family think I’ve lost my damn mind. Ironically, with Saturn transiting my third house right now, they are exactly right. I have lost my damn mind. And it has been one of the best things to ever happen to me. Because without my mind getting in the way, I have been able to spend some much needed time with my heart. And that’s where the good stuff happens. That’s where I have stumbled upon the road that lead me back to myself, a girl that I am still and always learning about.
I have spent the last six months nursing myself through a major life crisis. I should be depressed and guilt ridden, but I feel amazing. I have been pulling my guts out and making stories out of this mess, and it feels amazing. I’ve had complete strangers message me, thanking me for my honesty, my guidance, my astrology. And that is very fucking amazing. My point is, even if one person sees that I love myself not inspite of my eccentricities, but BECAUSE of them…than I have successfully changed the world. Because now that one person has access to a self worth they once might have thought impossible.
So I have given myself permission to fall madly in love with me. I’m not talking about just my good parts. I’m talking about the weird stuff, my shadow side, the parts of me that I have always tried to hide before. And by doing so, I am changing the world. I am telling anyone who reads this post that it is absolutely fucking acceptable to be passionate about yourself. Wear ‘eccentric’ like a badge of honor. Don’t just accept your oddities, parade them through the fucking street. Because little by little, when we all have the courage to step outside of society and into ourselves, the world will finally be a place of true love and acceptance. It will be a wild and spectacular sight to see.
So if you are reading this, please embrace your inner-weirdo. Shine on, you batshit crazy diamond. The world needs you now more than ever before.

Love is not


Soulmates are stupid.  Wine is not.

I’m at the point in my life where I get more butterflies in my stomach from walking through the wine isle at my local grocery store than I do when I see a hot guy.  

I don’t believe in Soulmates. In fact, I find myself wanting to throat punch my friends when ever one of them suddenly “finds” their soulmate. Believing that someone is your soulmate is absolutely an indicator of that relationship blowing up in your fucking face, usually within a three month period.  

Expectations are the birthplace of heartache. And hanging soulmate expectations on anyone is a quick road to disappointment.  I believe that the belief in soulmates is the number one cause of divorce. 
And every little girl who has watched a princess movie, along with every grown-assed woman who disappears into romantic comedies can tell you that at one point or another, they truly believed in soulmates. I never have. I am thirty-six years old and I have yet to know any.

But I do believe in love. That belief left me for a while, but is starting to come back into focus for me now. I believe that love is as simple as caring about someone and accepting them for everything that they are, exactly where they are at, in any given moment. I have given this type of love to many. I have received it from few. But I have hope that one day this will change. I also have the confidence to know that I will be perfectly okay if it doesn’t.  

Love is not the same as commitment. I love my ex-husband, but I don’t want to be married to him. I really, truly enjoy spending time with him, but only in small doses. I understand that my love for him is non possessive and true.  

I still love the guy who broke my heart and moved to Georgia when I was nineteen. He is now married with two adorable boys. I slept with him a couple years ago. He cheated on his wife. I cheated on my boyfriend at the time. It wasn’t about hurting anyone or being selfish. I ran into him, and I loved him. It was as simple and as complicated as that.  I would never dream of breaking up his marriage, but I am thankful for the opportunity to know his heart.

People intertwine these two ideas, love and commitment. I think most people would agree that when you love someone, it is natural to want to share your life with that person, exclusively. But I believe that love lives longer when it’s allowed to roam free. My feelings in my past relationships have fallen like the dorsal fin of a whale in captivity. When I myself am in captivity, I feel doomed. I feel like my story is over and the adventure has died. And when I finally break free from my commitments, I am catapulted into happiness and contentment. Love comes easy for me. Commitment is a tall mountain that I am too tired to climb.

I am an expert on breakups. I know exactly how to nurture myself into the sweet space of healing and self love. I have even taught others how to thrive on solitude.  I think that is what scares me the most. I am too comfortable being alone. I feel like a freak. Like I don’t fit in with society because I have no interest in sharing my life with another person. I also feel like a coward. Underneath all these opinions is a girl who has had her heart ripped out, several times. I am absolutely terrified to try it again.   

I have always lived better on my own. When I do wander off into relationships, I have the uncanny ability to give myself away in pieces until I have no pieces left. And when I’m on my own, I take those pieces back and take care of them like no one else can. And yet, there’s a part of me who truly wants to believe that someone out there is capable of loving and accepting the many versions of me that I have worked so vigorously to love and accept myself.  I want to believe that someone out there is capable of giving me the type of love that I give out. I want to believe, but at this moment, I don’t. 

So I sit back in my pajamas with a good book, a glass of wine, and a bowl of fine greens.   I have nothing but gratitude for the relationship I have with myself.  And then I think maybe a little attention wouldn’t kill me.

Logic Without Reason


Some days I wake up, and I don’t believe in God.  On these days, I can’t see past the science.  Logic shines too big and bright for emotions to get through.  Life without emotion seems so empty to me.  I just breathe and survive. My life assumes the relevance of a vegetable. I am living, but there’s no electricity inside me.  My organs are simply soaking up power from an outside source.  
Without a creator, miracles can not exist. Magic can not happen. Love can not be real. On these days, I am miserable with the realization that my life is meaningless. Everything I’ve been through, everything I have yet to experience, is all just a matter of happenstance.
I have learned that my spiritual beliefs are a conscious decision. I have to wake up on those days and search, sometimes for hours, sometimes for weeks, sometimes for months, to find my rose colored glasses. 
This is my religion. My relationship with spirituality is a lifeline to happiness. I need to believe in something outside of reality, because my sanity can not bare a life without meaning. And so I pour meaning into every molecule of my life. This is my bliss.

I am a girl who often sits quietly by the river as I watch butterflies, lady bugs, and dragonflies zip through the tall, sunkissed grass. I close my eyes and my imagination pours out and all around me. I am surrounded by beauty so carefully designed that it proves the existence of a designer.  Tiny colorful creatures are so miraculous to me. In nature, I find my rose colored glasses quite easily.
I didn’t even need those glasses to feel the presence of God when I gave birth to my daughters. The exquisite process of pushing a tiny person into the world, one agonizing contraction at a time and having her sweet wet body laid across my heart while she sucks in her first breath. That is the closest to God that I have ever been. My heart still longs to relive those moments, for they were the sweetest, most miraculous moments of my life.  
I remember watching a young widow howl with grief as her husband was carried away in a shining black coffin. It made me wonder what type of God could allow such sorrow. Anyone who saw her fragile shell of a body trembling with terror would have wondered the same. I ached for her shattered heart. But in that moment, I also wondered how a love so deep could possibly exist without the presence of a God? This young widow was being torn away from a spiritual connection that she shared with her husband. Her grief was a lense into the love she shared with him. That was real. That was the type of love that could never exist without meaning inside of it.
Science can be blended into these miracles to try and explain away the truth. We experience hormonal responses in our bodies that push us into emotions and love. Massive amounts of oxytocin and dopamine flood a mother’s brain when she gives birth. This basically explains love as a chemical reaction. The emotions I felt when my daughters were born were a chemically induced high.   
Love is just a consequence to our endocrine system. This consequence is found throughout nature and is designed to create and protect life. But I wonder how this immaculate design could exist without a devine designer?

Look into any ecosystem, any food chain, any pattern in nature, and you will find a flawless design of balance and beauty. This can’t just be happenstance.  

I’m not saying that life always feels like a miracle. As I have said before, some days I don’t even believe in God. But those days are so dark for me.  
Those days, I wake up in this cruel and savage world, and I search frantically for the rose lenses that help me to put a reason behind all this pain. And I see that every tiny detail is designed by something bigger than reality. And it’s purpose is to cut and mold me into a fucking champion who will one day be worthy of seeing the other side. It could all be rubbish. Maybe I am a lunatic for wearing the glasses. 

 I could easily be an atheist. But why the fuck would I want to? Ignorance is bliss and life is too fleeting to be wasted in reality.  

Old Friends 


Last night, for Christmas Eve, my ex husband stayed overnight. I had invited him to stay on the couch so we could share the experience of Christmas morning with the kids. We have had a pretty amicable divorce, going on six years now. We often have dinner together while swapping kids. We go sledding together as a family. He even bought my grandmother an 80th birthday card last week and showed up to her party.

Since we split up in 2010, I have been very proud of the friendship that we have cultivated for the purpose of coparenting. I have not thought of him romantically since we stopped sleeping together shortly after the separation.

 The past several years have been a bit of a roller coaster. There have been times of grace and friendship, and brief moments of bonding over our common experience. There have also been times of screaming at each other and massive amounts of doubt and mistrust. He has held and comforted me while I cried. He has also been the one to make me cry.  He has looked down on me and up at me and every other way to try and assign his opinions to me.  I have done the same to him.  

The friendship that we have is rare. It is born from a mutual love for our kids.  It is one of the most interesting relationships that I have ever experienced, a post-divorce friendship.  I think of him now, as a brotherly type figure. He is my family. This man created children with me and watched them hatch out of my body. We grew up together and then watched our babies grow up together. We went through miscarriages and funerals together. We shared nieces and nephews, holidays, our home. We shared our bodies exclusively for a decade. But that sexual attraction died immediately for me when he gave his heart to my replacement before we had even filed for divorce. Watching this woman swoon over my family, just months after I tore it apart, was really hard to do. The very mention of her name felt like a punch in my guts. I felt so betrayed by him, that I lost all romantic interest. Even after they split up a year later, my feelings for him remained platonic.  He had skipped right over the friend zone and landed directly into the bro zone.  Last night was different.  Last night a peculiar remembrance of the way we used to be came rushing back out of nowhere.  

All of a sudden, I had begun to remember all of the good stuff that I had buried in my grief after we had divorced. I had been so busy villianizing him in an attempt to grieve him, I had forgotten about the parts that kept me holding on for ten years.

When things were bad, they were absolutely horrible. But when things were good, they were fucking beautiful. That’s when it felt like nothing else mattered. Last night kind of felt like nothing else mattered. The heartache, the divorce, the fights, the two hundred miles between us, none of it mattered.  All those harsh memories took a back seat to the good stuff.  Steamy nights making love in front of our fireplace. The excitement of watching our daughter ride a two wheeler for the first time. Rushing through the courthouse in Toledo because we only had fifteen minutes to get married before they closed.  Last night, we were those two beaten up old souls who remembered a comfort in each other. Well, I remembered anyway. Who knows what he was thinking.

Last night I watched him cuddling with our daughter on the couch while we all enjoyed a couple movies and the nostalgia of Christmas Eve together. I couldn’t help but to be attracted to him. I sat there staring at him and having flashbacks of the night we conceived that child in his arms. It could have been the Mercury retrograde. It could have been the urge to rebound after a recent break up from an asexual man. It could have been my hormones raging nine months into a celibacy bender. But I wanted to invite him into my bed for the first time in five years. And I could not get those thoughts out of my head.  

I am certain that after watching my ex boyfriend fall lightyears behind in being a father figure to my children, it was a sight sweeter than sugar to see my children so loved and cared for by their very own dad. It was the sexiest thing to me anyway, watching him fall so naturally into our world. He is so natural at fitting in with us, because he is a part of us. He is our family. This is something I could not see until after I had failed at trying to replace him.

We put the kids to bed and he offered to pour me a drink. Drinks lead to smoking a couple of bowls and some awkward conversation. We hadn’t hung out like this, just the two of us in years. We had a pretty good buzz going on, and our conversations tilted from the kids to the past.  It was a bittersweet moment.  That’s all we really have in common anymore…the kids and our past.   

We had been free to go our separate ways, and we went as separately as we could. He moved south, I moved north. He lives in a very dense suburb of Detroit, I live miles away from civilization. He works out every day, I’ve gained forty pounds. He still listens to that god awful techno music. I still listen to my old acoustic folk jams. But we are deeply connected through our past and the shared experience of growing up together. There’s an unspoken bond that has not gone away.

It felt really good to feel a connection with someone again, after the passionless relationship I had just escaped.  I’ve compared my feelings about love lately to the feelings an atheist has about God.  I walked away from the last guy feeling incapable of forming a connection.  So it felt really amazing to feel something again.  Even if it was just a quick remembrance of a connection that must stay buried in the past.  I am so very thankful for the brief night we spent together as a family. I remember how it felt now, and I remember it was real. I remember that even though it wasn’t perfect, I once loved someone so much that I called him my husband. And that crazy little moment of seeing what could have been if maybe things were different, had given me more hope than I had felt in a very long while. Not hope for a reunion with him, ultimately we had been through irreparable damage.  But hope that one day I could feel connected to another person like that again. I wonder if he felt that too.  I wonder if he has ever felt like that before.

I have so much gratitude for my broken little family and the guy whom I still call, “friend.” I  know that this strange little relationship is one that I sometimes take for granted on the outside.  But deep down on the inside, I treasure it more than gold.