A Story of Divorce, Custody and New Life

I’ve been thinking about things a lot recently with the new year coming up and have decided it’s time to talk. I had hinted and implied before that I would someday tell the story of the hell I went through around 3.5 years ago, why I went away and why I avoided getting personal when I came back. You always love my personal posts, to my surprise, so I figure it’s time.

I’m going to tell this in a sort of way that does not publicly shame anyone (except maybe myself) or create monsters out of humans. First and foremost I am a mother to my dream come true, fairytale daughter and I share her with her father who was my high school sweetheart and who is now my ex-husband and with her stepdad who is the other love of my life. She is truly magical and you can only understand if you’ve met her and spent time with her… everyone she meets feels her light and says so. She is really a beautiful and special girl. An old soul. She is of the utmost importance always.

pregnant woman rainbow deer

Around 5 years ago my first marriage started taking a turn for the worst. I remember watching an episode of Intervention that explained why these adult children’s older parents were so bad for each other, why they shouldn’t be together because they enabled each other and it really startled me. How could they enable each other so much that they could never be out of that rut or get healthy together? How sad would it be to be married to your best friend and you realize you’re bad for each other? And you have children already?

We had our issues as everyone does and we shouldn’t have gotten married at such a young age after only dating each other and never living on our own. It’s all true. I think we were naive as most 20-year-olds are. But I thought I had what everyone wanted. I didn’t have to “date” and I didn’t have to be broken-hearted and go through meaningless relationships. I was always with my best friend and even though we fought and had so many problems we were able to ignore a lot of them and just get through together.

Until around four years ago when we didn’t and couldn’t. I didn’t know why but I was severely depressed and couldn’t find the light. I had this beautiful one-year-old baby I was spending my days with and a nice home and I could not get out of it and I felt like it was all my fault. I would pretend, I would make her fancy toddler meals, have tea parties and art class with her, take her to the park, I would sing with her and cuddle her. I still felt a hurt deep in my heart and I felt alone. I felt my husband didn’t love me or even like me. I felt like he never did and I just always pretended he did. And I was sick. Very sick. We tried a few couple’s counseling sessions, therapy, medicine, we tried it all and we would be ok together for a bit but then we would have an explosive falling out.

We couldn’t do that with a baby. We had our baby, the light of our life and we could not exist like we had for so long anymore. So in desperation I checked myself into a hospital (still feeling like everything was my fault and if I could just be better he would be happy with me and I would feel happy) and when I was released the castle shattered. I guess it was too late. It was horrible for everyone. He left with my baby, I lost my mind. I couldn’t get her because it was illegal for me to go to the home he stayed in when the owner did not want me there and the police said it had to be done through court. I had only been apart from her overnight once before this. It all seemed insane and I was so lost. I went to find a custody lawyer and all the depressed moments in therapy and hopelessness in my years of words were recorded in black and white. All of my medicines, any drug I ever used. I was always honest about my inner most flaws in therapy. I was depressed. I thought it was all me. I thought I would never be right again. I lost everything I’d ever loved and fell into a rabbit hole of despair.

Next came a three year divorce and custody battle. Feet were dragged, dates were moved, forms were lost. I was so ready to be done with this and it seemed every step we made we took fifteen steps back. Something else would come up or happen. Another delay. And another. Once the judge decided to leave town so all dates were moved. I’m not kidding, the court system is this flawed. Meanwhile I don’t see my daughter but every other weekend and the hope is getting smaller and smaller that it would change. I was such a trusting person that I never gathered any evidence to prove my innocence or the guilt of another. The only way I can explain it is I believed everything he had ever said and I knew he would never lie to me. I had years of therapy evidence against me about my own hopelessness and despair. The photos I took when I lost my mind after they left, the words I wrote when I felt violated. My tweets, status updates, videos. It’s so easy to blab things online that are inappropriate and think it will never haunt you, DON’T do it. It will never go away and it will always haunt you if ever your integrity is up for question. My phone was stolen and my private conversations with my best friend were used. I had years of evidence of using bandaids to cover the deepest wounds and those two months of nothingness enticed me to fall apart in the public eye. I had nothing to prove what was happening behind closed doors for all those years and so I could only take the weight all onto myself. I had no family. I had no strength, no self-love or confidence. It had been destroyed over a long period of time.

In the following years I got completely sober of alcohol, smoking and depression/anxiety medication. In those three court-riddled years I built a relationship with a man who had always been a trustworthy friend and someone I looked up to. In this relationship horrible pains were also experienced. I’m not sure anyone knows what it’s like to be in a relationship with a married woman who is grieving the loss of her family and a marriage to someone else. I’m sure it’s tough and I’m sure it almost magnifies the atmosphere for attacks from fears, lies and the darkness. We faced obstacles through this choice we made to be together during the divorce and other obstacles for simply living (such as when he got a concussion and severe amnesia you can read about here, my 17-year-old soul mate Hobbes passing, my emergency surgery, etc).

As I got stronger and had more bonding time with my child I found I had an opportunity to build something I had always dreamed of, something better and more beautiful than I knew I could have before. My partner had three young children who took to Colette instantly. They were all like long lost siblings within a year. Colette was a baby and because they loved me and always wanted a complete family and a little sister they felt the universe had also answered their prayers. We became the family we never had. I hear it takes around 3-5 years to fully blend a family. With young children I believe it can be much easier, especially when you have those children every other week together. We made sure we were blended before we talked of marriage.. and that the hurts of the past were healed.. and on October 25, 2015 we got married. My maid of honor was Mary (11, my new daughter), my flower girl was Colette (5, my biological, magical daughter), my best man was William (9, my new son) and my ring bearer was Samson (6, my other new son). Suddenly the right things looked like a puzzle that snapped together perfectly.

mylove

How could we have been so blind all those years? I don’t know. I just think my ex and I deep down knew we were bad for each other but we wanted to stay together because we had only dated each other and the history was enormous. In doing that we only hurt ourselves and each other in different ways. We had planned our whole lives, had a beautiful child, had so many opportunities. We were best friends and we had a lot of good times through those years. His mom was like my mom; I really grew up with him. We just were toxic together. We were changing a lot and having growing pains and wanting different things. I see that now so obviously.. apart we do the things we need to do, we do the right things, we put ourselves last. Together we couldn’t do the right things, we couldn’t find the right path, we could only find paths to destruction and hurt in our own unique ways and our daughter didn’t deserve that. She deserved us to be happy apart rather than sick together.

Today we are, she has two families that love her more than anything in the world who would do anything for her. I don’t know a lot about his life these days but I know Colette loves her mother and father and feels loved by us. I still sometimes feel like I failed by not doing things differently, by not waiting to get married, not waiting to have a child.. however then the child wouldn’t have been her and that would have been it’s own tragedy. I wish things could have been easier for her sake because I know divorce is very hard on children even when they don’t remember it.. but I’m so grateful our mistakes could be turned into beautiful stories after all. My bond with her is so strong and special to me. We have a special connection that no one can touch whether she’s with me or with her dad, she’s the unbroken version of me as a child. I’m so grateful for her health and for this fact most of all.

So there you go. Although I was a little evasive.. you know more about what was going on and why you saw me 1. do a 180 with my health, appearance and heart; and 2. disappear for so long.

back and white girl

Thanks for listening.. I adore you.

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