The Aftermath 

I recently wrote a post about my week on Lake Superior with my ex husband and our children.  I wrote about how awesome it was to vacation with an ex, because it was amazing for our children to experience being a ‘together’ family.  My eight year old is actually self conscious about being a child of divorce.  

I always assure her, that when she gets older, she will have more friends of divorced parents than not.  And then I tell her that since she went through it first, that she will be a great friend to help the newbies when they experience it.  Still, she was so happy to go on that vacation, to have her dad around.  I wrote about the absolute joy it was to actually have an ex husband that I can get along with.  It really was a great week.

What I haven’t written about is the crippling depression that followed our adventures.  I crashed hard after the high of being part of the family that we could have been for a short time.  It was incredibly emotional for me to experience that, only to have my kids go with their dad for two whole weeks right after.  I went from having everything that ever meant anything back for a week to being completely alone, in a day.  My girls have never been gone this long.  It has been a dark time for me.

These emotions are more complex than what I’m used to.  It has nothing to do with wanting my ex back.  I absolutely do not want my ex back.  But at the same time, he remains the only man I’ve ever really loved.  He represents my greatest achievement, being a mother with a family of my own.  He also represents my greatest failure, tearing that family apart and struggling ever since.

It was the nostalgia of the way it used to be.  It was talking with my ex mother-in-law, who I love talking with now.  But also remembering that she used to drive me insane.  And then realizing that I always took her unconditional love for granted, because I didn’t really know what the hell to do with it.  I resented her for being everything my own mother wasn’t. I pushed her away, divorced her son, and she is still the closest thing to a loving mom that I have ever had.

It was listening to the old CD’s and talking about our first date.  It was reminiscing about bringing our little girls home from the hospital.  It was admitting that we had both done wrong, understanding that we went through it all together, and seeing each other as both family and strangers in a vulnerable new blending of the people we had become after hurting each other for ten damn years.  

And while he drove off with our girls in his truck, on his way to see his patient new girlfriend and assure her that his heart is hers now and no longer belongs to me, I was left in the emotional wake of being completely alone.  Just me and the cats, sitting around thinking about how my life has been a series of bad decisions that landed me alone in a trailer and crying over the fact that my kids really are probably better off living with their dad.  He is building a home and a family for them that I will never be able to give.  He cooks beautiful and healthy meals and manages his money like an accountant.  I can barely take care of myself some days and am starting all over again in life because I fell in love with another guy who couldn’t stand me.  

And this is the darkest side of single parenting.  The guilt never really goes away.  The pressure of doing it all never really becomes bearable.  And sometimes you sit and think about how much better it would be for them if you weren’t in the picture.  And then you remember that you love them enough to try harder.  So you get up off your whining ass and get started with rebuilding your damn life again.  Because eventually, if you keep trying, you know you will get it right.  And if you don’t, they will at least know that you tried.  And kept trying.  For them.

Feeding the Monster 


I grew up with extreme parents. They tried, with everything they had, to keep me on a short leash. I have never been one to submit to authority.  

I have tried. I was extremely devoted in my marriage. I tried my best to be domesticated, but there’s a monster inside of me that freaks the fuck out when my life falls into the mundane. I crave excitement. I have to push boundaries. I get restless for adventure.  I need to break rules.

This is precisely why I have always had commitment issues. I’ve tried to settle down with the good guys, I’ve tried to stick with the straight and narrow. But after so long, my inner monster wants to get out and mingle with the dark side.

I spent last weekend with the drug dealer from my previous post. He isn’t a bad guy, in fact he is very sweet and has kind of a nerdy side. He tells me stories of a domesticated past that once held him captive. But to my family, he is forbidden because of his race. And his phone was ringing constantly with disappointed customers looking for a fix while he was out of town visiting me.

This is not a guy who I should be sharing my time with. But my inner monster is completely enthralled with the rebellion of sleeping with a guy who doesn’t fit into my world at all.

My good side, the part of me that always sees the best in people, had a good time too. I enjoyed the excitement on his face, as we drove past a deer grazing on the riverside with the sunset falling behind us. He was like a little kid watching the storms roll in on the wide open farm fields.  His eyes lit up with every stroke of lightning that blasted across the black sky.  And the sex was just as amazing as the last time. 

Is it really better to settle down with weekend shopping trips to Home Depot and arguing about the household chores? Is this truly how we should be spending the little time we have here…chaining ourselves to the picket fence and a golden retriever?  That’s the American dream, not mine.  I’m quite content to immerse myself into wild little flings with men who understand my monsters, because they have them too.  And now that he’s gone back to the city, I can handle the monotony of my 9 to 5 and running the kids around to dentist appointments and cheerleading tryouts.  I am in love with the contrast of my life.

Sex in the City


If you have read my other posts, you will realize that I have been stuck in a bit of a dry spell. I’m a single mom who works full time and until recently, I spent my Saturdays in school. Even before my breakup last summer, it was three years of really bad, passionless sex that didn’t happen very often. So my love life has been on the back burner. Somewhere along this journey of finding myself, I lost interest in others. I tried to date, but the couple of guys that I had gone out with just couldn’t catch my attention. I sort of lost my mojo, which is a bit of a tragedy for me. My mars is in Scorpio, so sex has always been a really big part of my life.  

This past weekend, I set some time aside to take care of this missing piece in my life. I finally had some time to meet up with a guy that I had met at a concert a couple months ago. He is an adorable biracial man with lots of charm and a big interest in me.  He is ten years older and has the sexiest set of lips I have ever seen.  The night I met him, we chatted quite a bit, and the more I talked with him, the more attracted to him I became. So we made plans.  I drove to his house and he took me around his little neighborhood in the big city. He knew a lot of history about the old buildings we wandered past. He was very sweet, full of compliments, and I kind of got the impression that he is a little bit of a local celebrity because he knew a lot of people at every bar we stopped in.  He introduced me to a very interesting group of characters along the way, and explained that he works in sales with all of these businesses.

He also sat me down to tell me that he liked me a lot and needed to be honest. (This conversation starter always happens to me…the ‘I’m married,’ or ‘I’m a cross dresser’ conversation. Nothing surprises me anymore.) His big secret was that his sales job extended beyond the items that he originally told me about. His side job was moving cocaine and various other controlled substances. Honestly, I know this should have bothered me. I’m a mom, and I have never even done cocaine. But I really didn’t mind. In fact, I thought it was kind of hot. I liked that he has a bit of a dark side. I have one too. I was never nervous or scared around him. We even made a delivery together, along our way. And it was quite pleasant. His customers were very nice and interesting people. One guy even offered me a line, to which I politely declined.  I really enjoyed adventuring around through this guys life, that is so very different from mine.  It was quite the adventure for this small town girl.

I grew up in the country with a dad who I love very much in spite of his right wing political beliefs and extreme racism.  He is stubborn and flawed, but he really does have a lot of good qualities.  I’ve written about him a couple of times.  But I have always been a girl with a mind of my own. I’m a bleeding heart liberal who always follows the beat of my own heart. That being said, if my dad knew what happened after the big city tour with my biracial friend, he would never speak to me again. He doesn’t believe that biracial relationships are acceptable. I disagree with him. And I find my new friend to be incredibly attractive.

After a few drinks, we went to the grocery store, where he stopped to introduce me to a few more friends, and grabbed some items so he could make us dinner. He was very proud of his cooking skills. I always enjoy a man who can cook.

I was sitting at the table, smoking a joint, listening to Marvin Gaye, and watching this sweet and beautiful man cook for me. He walked over to kiss me, in a way that I have not been kissed in a very long time. It was those lips!  Things escalated quite quickly from there. He turned the stove off, with burgers half cooked and lead me to his bedroom where we stripped each other down and he bent me over the bed. He leaned over my prone body, and whispered in my ear, with his hand on the back of my neck, ‘Do you know how lions fuck?’ I was paralyzed with anticipation. ‘They fuck every fifteen minutes for twenty four hours straight. And that’s what I’m going to do with you. I’m a Leo.’ He knows about my thing for astrology.  

And that’s precisely what happened. We had a full on passion fest all night long and well into the next day. He never stopped touching me. He never stopped talking about how beautiful I was, how good I felt to him, how much he liked me. When the thunder storm rolled in, he opened the window and we had very passionate sex to the soundtrack of lightning strikes and the Hall and Oates radio station on Pandora.  I would have never thought of Hall and Oates for the bedroom, but apparently he and I had a conversation about them the night we met and I thought it was sweet of him to think of me.  Oddly enough, it was a very sexy combination.  I have been listening to Hall and Oates for three damn days now.  Also, thunderstorm sex is my favorite.

I lost count of the orgasms he gave me. He was an absolute pussy whisperer. It was the greatest sexual experience of my life. And that is saying a lot, because I have had a lot of experience in that department. But this guy had a very rare and special blend of dominance and submission. He would smack my ass and then kiss my forehead and tell me he loved my eyes and lips. I don’t even know what he was doing to me at certain points, but whatever it was, it had me drowning in ecstasy.  He turned the lights on and stared at me, just laying naked and vulnerable across his bed.  He told me he wanted to see me.  And then he crawled back inside me again and again.  Seriously… I had just won the sexual lottery.  When I told him that I had never been with anyone who had a sex drive higher than mine, he laughed and told me that he could fuck me all night and all day, and then masturbate about me after I left.  This guy is a literal manifestation of exactly what I needed.

I woke up the next morning and checked my Facebook while Mr. Wonderful made us breakfast. The first thing I saw on my phone was a tagged photo shoot from my mom. She and my dad were visiting Tennessee for a reunion with a couple of veterans that served with my dad in Vietnam. I was very proud of him for taking the trip. And there he was, dressed in a white confederate officer uniform, draped in a confederate flag, with a sword in his hand and his buddies dressed up like confederate soldiers by his side. It looked like a fucking klan meeting.  This is my life…  I was humiliated. Just as I have not told my dad about my new biracial friend…I also left the whole racist dad thing out when sharing my life story to Mr. Wonderful. I untagged myself as quickly as possible and prayed that he didn’t see it. He didn’t mention it if he did. He just cooked me an amazing breakfast, told me that I was beautiful, and then proceeded to give me more orgasms all day long. Even after he complained about his hips hurting from the night before, he still managed to spend all of Sunday afternoon servicing my body in ways I didn’t even know existed. I could not have picked a better guy to jump back into the saddle with.  

My whole body is sore and it still hurts when I pee, but that was one of the best weekends I have ever experienced. I know I should worry about what my racist dad would think if he knew I was now completely addicted to the affections a half black cocaine dealer from the city…but I don’t care about any of that. I care that I found someone who excites me and has awakened the beast of desire that had long been sleeping inside me. I care that I spent the weekend with a stranger who made me feel really good about myself. I care that I have finally moved the fuck on with my life.  And nothing else really matters.  

Detachment 


I’ve finally made my way to the road of least resistance. I’ve been spending a lot of time lately, trying to find the balance between detachment and contentment. I’ve been preparing myself for a life of solitude. I’ve been planning my life consciously as a single person.  
This doesn’t seem like such a crazy idea, but I can honestly say that I’m the only woman I know out of my friend group who is capable of this. Every friend I know spends their single time, looking for a husband. They might make plans for the summer, but they carefully schedule their lives around the possibility of a partner.  

I get it. I do. I understand the undercurrent of loneliness in the river of solitude. As humans, we are pulled towards love. And love is the precursor to sharing your life with another person. But I have the complicated chore of wanting love without the sharing of my life.  

So I have been researching the idea of love without commitment. I’ve decided that I don’t want a blended family. I don’t want to deal with a man trying to bond with my fourteen year old daughter or my eight year old who worships her father. She gets mad when I even mention how beautiful Johnny Depp is. She openly tells me regularly that she doesn’t want me to date. I can’t blame her. I don’t want me to date either. I’m not any good at it, and the last time I tried, I ended up living in a situation that was like Rainman meets Little House On The Prairie. It was awful and I promised both of us that I would never live with another guy. I am very well aware of the risk that promise holds with my daughter. I wouldn’t have made that promise if I didn’t intend to keep it. I’m all done with cohabitation in relationships. My family is sacred and I don’t want anyone interfering with it again.

But I do want love. I want someone to talk to about my day. I want to feel the sweet warm light of being loved. I want someone I can share my kidfree weekends with, who won’t try to merge into our lives. I want someone who can accept that my family time is not on the table anymore. I want a deep and transformative connection with someone, but I need that person to know that they will only ever experience the mother side of me through my stories and conversation. I want amazing sex and weekend getaways. I want smoking pot and looking at the stars. I want good morning texts and compliments. I want a genuine interest in each other. But I want these things with someone who is willing to squeeze a really big love into a very small space in my life.  
My options are limited at best. I can be a mistress. I can fall madly in love with a married man. I could be the other woman, who helps to fulfill the empty, mundane life of a forty something married man, going through his midlife crisis.  

I could break up all the love I have to give into passionate little one night stands. It is tempting to enjoy some stringless intimacy with complete strangers.  

Or I could date until I find some equally complex guy who would want to share my very unique boundaries in love.  

But options are expectations. And a life of detachment has no space for expectations. A detached life is more of a choice than anything. It’s not an easy choice either. Detachment requires the ability to live day by day, taking in whatever life hands you, and then just as easily, leaving it behind. Detachment is hope without expectation. Detachment is counting on only yourself, true independence.  

Detachment is planning the summer I want, without compromise. I have planned a marvelous summer for myself and my children. The itinerary consists of moonlight kayaking, weekends in a pink beach house, A Dave Matthews concert with a bunch of beautiful hippies and a motor home, reiki classes, Girls Weekend in Traverse City, an RV adventure with my ex husband, hiking the waterfall trails in the beautiful upper peninsula of Michigan, going to an Amos Lee concert with a complete stranger, and whatever else I feel like doing. Because detachment is making the choice to create your own life, one day at a time.  

I have not had a single summer in over three years. I’m going to enjoy this one.  

Back to Reality 


My ex husband and I have been spending a lot of family time together. We’ve sat down to have dinner as a family every time we meet up to swap kids for the weekend. I absolutely love that my little divorced family still shares a meal together every couple of weeks. A lot of ‘together’ families don’t even do that anymore.  

Lately those dinners have branched out into Sunday afternoons of hiking together and going to the theater. We’ve even discussed taking a vacation together this summer.   It feels like it’s a bit too much.  

I’m not going to lie, it feels good to get out and cover up that single parent shame. It feels good to see other families out together, and not long for that primal feeling of belonging to a tribe. Because I have that belonging feeling when I am with my family, even when we’re just pretending to be complete.  

I felt awkward when the lady at the park asked how old my dog was. I had walked my ex husband’s three-legged American bull dog down to the lake for a drink. I just looked at her, wondering if it was worth the effort to explain that I had no idea how old the dog was, because he belonged to my ex husband.  

‘He’s three.’ I was impressed with my ability not to share my story. To just keep it short and simple.  

The truth is, every one is always complimenting us on how well we coparent our children after the divorce. And we do an amazing job of it, now. But it hasn’t always been this smooth. It hasn’t always felt like a genuine friendship. It does now. But that friendship comes with a price.  

I am sitting here, smoking a hookah, getting my night cap on, thinking about how I will graduate in one week from massage school. A career I was pursuing when I had met my ex husband. I’m thinking about the two hour phone conversation last night that started out about the kids and ended with reminiscing about our first date when we got high on my parents front porch and listened to the frogs in the pond. We joked about how his suitcase was always packed because we fought so much and he was always running away. And I would always call him back. It felt like a conversation we would have had when we were dating. It feels like I’m time traveling through the late nineties. 

And my eight year old daughter cried after he left this past weekend. She has never done that before. She asked me so sweetly through her tears why her dad and I couldn’t get back together. ‘It can’t be so hard to just get married again.’ She demanded. I couldn’t help but laugh, appreciating her innocence and naïveté. I started to realize that all this family time was having an impact on her, that we hadn’t expected. It was having the same impact on me. Nostalgia is a seductive liar.  

Maybe spending so much time together is not as healthy as we had thought. It was like taking your dream car out for a test drive, and then walking home. A thrill for sure, but not realistic. So many obstacles lie between the car and me. The last time I drove it, the car was mine and I walked away. I didn’t want that car after I had it. I hadn’t wanted that car in years. But lately, I’ve been remembering all the things I loved about that car. Maybe the car reminds me of home. Maybe the car is my daughter’s idea of normal.  

There’s an aching inside me right now that wants to give her normal. But normal has never been an option in my life. I could never risk her heart to split our family up again. We have to keep aiming our lives in separate directions, because the pull towards family is very strong. But the pull towards each other is not.  

This retrograde is pulling at heart strings I had tucked away a very long time ago.

Freedom is Just Another Word for Nothing Left to Lose


My therapist and I hashed out some of my commitment issues today. It was my most uncomfortable visit so far. But it was also one of the most enlightening.  

When I was married, I thought that being a wife and mom was it for me.  That was my life. There was no sense of adventure. No dream to work for, because the American dream was already mine. I had a lovely home, a beautiful family, and an adorable rescue dog. My old laptop has about 2000 pictures from that era of my life, and they are all kids and dogs. That was my life, and I feel guilty for admitting that it was killing me. But I was hungry for something more than just repeating the life of my parents.  I had terrible cravings, but I wasn’t sure what for.  

When I got divorced, my life got washed away. I moved into a shitty old house. I had to rehome my beloved rescue dog. Not one landlord in my county would let me keep a 140 pound French mastiff. But something magical happened, when my life was stripped down to the bare bones. I had the realization that I could build my life in any way that I wanted. My life was a blank canvas, washed clean. I had found a new sense of freedom that hadn’t been experienced since the day I got my drivers license. I found adventure in my life again. 

 My first weekend out as a single mom, I ended up stoned out of my mind in a soybean field, surrounded by friends that I hadn’t seen in years. I will never forget the feeling I felt when I looked up at the warm July sky that night. I could see so much space. I could feel so much space. It was the first moment of absolute contentment that I had felt in a long while.
And my life became an adventure.  

My kidless weekends were intimidating at first.  I didn’t know what to do with myself, the quiet, the freedom.  Then I began to embrace my me-time.  I started to date myself.  I would take day long road trips by myself.  I would go to restaurants by myself.  One time I even went to the movies by myself.  And I reconnected with friends.  I danced.  I had a crazy night in Detroit, where my best friend and I crashed three bachelor parties, triple kissed a stranger, and ate fried alligator that we didn’t pay for.  I went to concerts.  I had sex with a twenty-something guy in a Walmart parking lot.  I made out with a hot doctor on the hood of his sports car.  These are all things that my married self would have never dreamed possible.  These are all the things that helped to revive the old me, that wild girl who died when I had to be someone for somebody else.  These adventures saved me.

But eventually, I had convinced myself that I needed to share my life with someone. And we all know how that went. But what’s important is that I realized that the old feelings of hopelessness came back to me when I was living with my ex boyfriend. That smothering feeling like I’m heading into the last chapter of my book because the adventures have all been had and it’s got to end soon. And that quiet whisper in the back of my mind starts getting louder and louder. ‘This is not how your story ends!’ She screams from my soul. And then I walk away. And with every step, I feel myself come back to life.  

I love the idea of sharing my life with another person. But I don’t like the reality of it. I am madly in love with not knowing where my life will be tomorrow, or next year, or in ten years.  It’s the curiosity that keeps me entertained.  And my shrink thinks that is okay, for now. So I guess I will too.  

YOLO SOLO


I keep repeating myself, that I will not fall in love again. My friends keep rolling their eyes, telling me that I just need to heal and then I will change my mind.  

Nope. Not happening. 

It’s not that I’m afraid of being hurt again. I have always been an optimist about love. I am down right gifted at getting over a heartache. Getting hurt doesn’t scare me at all.  

There are two reasons why I won’t allow myself to love again.  

The first is my daughters. I still feel guilty for letting them down with the last guy. I fucked up. I made a huge mistake. I changed their lives by moving them out to the prairie. And then deciding to stay here so we don’t have to change schools again. And I will admit that we are doing just fine right now. I came out of a shitty situation, smelling like a rose. I got lucky. We found a cute little place to live. My girls are in an excellent school district. We’ve all made some really amazing new friends.  I’m 8 weeks out from being a certified massage therapist.  That old dream wouldn’t be in my grasp had I not moved here.  Good things came from this big mistake.
But those positives don’t cancel out the big fat negatives. My kids had to move….again. They had to live with some guy their mom fell in love with. They had to deal with his tantrums. They had to deal with my depression about it. They have to finish up childhood with the stigma of a single parent household, along with the financial hardship.  They didn’t ask for any of this. They were just born into a broken home, with a mom who throws her heart at people who don’t deserve it. I won’t do this to them again. I can’t.  It’s not even a possibility.

The second reason is that I don’t trust myself anymore. I have a really hard time holding on to myself when I’m in love. There’s some sort of instinct in me, I can’t help it. When I’m in love, I wrap my entire life around the person of my affection. I feel that real love is accepting the other person exactly as they are. So I accept the good, the bad, and the bull shit until I can’t take it anymore.  I have accepted rage.  I have accepted constant criticism.  I have accepted being bullied and belittled.  I have accepted so much more than any one person should.
My skin has grown very thin. I don’t have it in me to be anyone’s emotional punching bag anymore. I have never experienced love that didn’t feel that way to me.  And I don’t trust myself to maintain my boundaries once my heart is set on love.  So, it’s best for me to just leave that part of my life behind.  

Does it hurt a little to know that I won’t get to share my life with anyone? Absolutely. I’m currently grieving that idea as I type this out in an attempt to somehow find some peace about it. But this is the way my life is unfolding. And I’m trying really hard to accept it. Now if I could just get my friends to understand…. If I could just get my heart to understand.