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I need a dollar, a dollar is what I need.

6 Apr


“Well I don’t know if I’m walking on solid ground, cause everything around me is crumbling down…” 

This week has been easier. Baby still has a cold, he’s still teething, and I still haven’t been getting any sleep, at all. To top that off, I woke up sick as well, sick enough to cancel my day and go see a doctor. But it was still better this week. It was better because I’ve regained knowledge of what I want: A divorce. A fair settlement. A new life with my son, and possibly, at some point, with a man.

“You’re making a mistake.” He told me again. “Just tell me what you need. More time? To think it over?” I try to be assertive in these conversations, but I don’t know how to do that without shouting at him to get out. When I try to talk confidently and calmly about wanting to move on, he discredits everything I say. When I finally get angry he says I’m talking out of anger, and I need to give myself time. It’s so strange how things have changed between us. How only six months ago I cried my eyes out as he packed his suitcase, and thought I was never going to recover. Now I just want the rest of his things out of my house, and more closet space for Baby and me. I want there not to be any hidden agenda when he transfers money into my account or takes Baby for the night. I want him to do those things because they are his duty, and because he is a good father. Not because he’s trying to win me back. Because I know now, and feel now, with a strong certainty, that his window of opportunity has passed, that we are over.

To make a complicated matter just a little more complicated, my financial situation sucks at the moment. I wasn’t planning on working at all this year. I was going to be a stay-at-home-mom for the first year of my baby’s life. When BD left I got a part time job, but I’m spending way more than I’m making. BD’s been transferring money to my account every month, and covering our mortgage. Once we get divorced, I know there will be child support, but it’s not going to be like it is now, when he still has the hope of me taking him back. I don’t want to give up the apartment, I really don’t. It’s a small, modest place, and I love it, I love that it’s a 10 minute walk away from the park and that the neighbors are friendly, and that the vegetable guy always smiles at me and gives me his best strawberries that he keeps behind the counter, and that the supermarket delivery guy knows my son’s name. It’s our home, and it will really break my heart to have to leave it.

I finally sat down with an excel file yesterday and wrote down all our expenses and my income. I’ve already arranged for expanding my position to full time next year, but a teacher’s income is still a teacher’s income. There used to be the possibility of tutoring, but it’s really difficult for me to clear up an afternoon for work when daycare ends at 16:00 and I just want to spend time with my son in the few hours that are left to his day before he goes to sleep. Daycare… It’s so expensive! And then there are all the other expenses of raising a baby. I know I’ve become a little spoiled. I have a sitter that comes in once a week, and then I go out. I have a cleaning guy that I know I will have to part with. I have a mineral water dispenser that is way too expensive for me to keep. And let’s not forget my therapist, jeez, it’s pricey to maintain emotional stability, isn’t it?

I was worried before I began the excel chart, but somehow I found that once it was done, I wasn’t discouraged. Somehow, it was actually a relief to see everything written down, rather than a huge jumble of anxiety in my head. I made a new chart, of what things will look like starting September. I’ll be working more. I’ll be cleaning my own place, at least most of the time. I’ll be going back to filtered water. I’ll be getting more help from my mom, instead of the sitter. Also, hopefully, there will be a good settlement.


The Point of No Return

23 Feb


He picked me up at nine thirty. Well, nine forty, actually. He was a little late. I got into the car and he was checking his emails, but a few seconds later he shut his phone and did not look at it again the entire evening, which isn’t typical. He gave me a peck on the cheek. We chatted a bit. He asked me where I wanted to go. I named a place and we got going.

During the ride we talked about nothing for  a bit. Then we fell silent. I asked how the evening had been with Baby. He said Baby was exhausted and fell asleep immediately after his bath. I said he’d had an exciting day, playing with a friend’s daughter and visiting family, so it figures. We talked about his new tooth, and how much he loves swings.

We reached our destination, a little bar-restaurant, with low lighting, music, and good vibes. We sat in a small corner table and talked about nothing again. We ordered some drinks and tapas. There was a costume party nearby, and people were incredibly drunk so there was one more thing to chat about and lots of people to ridicule.

So what do you want out of life? I finally asked. He had no answer. What about you? I want to keep developing professionally, but to find a good balance of work and home, and have time to spend with Baby. I want to let a man into my life, but not as deeply as I have in the past, I want to maintain my independence and sense of self. I want to travel. I want to enjoy the little things and be happy. Silence. It’s good that you’re defining these things to yourself. I know.

Are you depressed? I looked straight at him. Yes. But I’m better than I was. Are you going to get over this? Yes. With or without me? Yes. Listen, you don’t have to go out with me because you think I’m depressed. I’m not. I’m going out with you because I need to see if I can feel something toward you again, something other than anger and disappointment. Silence.

Promise me one thing. Yes. Don’t listen to anyone, not to our parents, not to friends or family. Do what you know is right, not what people tell you is right. I will.

He paid. We walked to the car hand in hand. He drove me home. We kissed, awkward, dry, mechanical. I went upstairs and collapsed with fatigue and slept for ten hours, Baby being with his grandparents. When I woke up things became clearer than they’d been.

1. I’m not going back to BD.

2. I need to find a way to tell him that.

3. There is potential for a good relationship with him, and that’s what I really want, more than getting a generous settlement.

DB and I have reached the point of no return. It’s been five long months since the separation, and for me, there’s no going back now. I doubt that anything can be done to rekindle the love I used to feel toward him. I still care about him, and I genuinely want him to be happy. But I also want me to be happy, and it’s not going to be with him.

Candy in Bed

25 Dec


I’ve decided to start a detox diet and give up sweets, which is why I’m sitting in bed eating gummy worms. I know it sounds illogical, but there are several reasonable explanations for my recklessness. 1. I need one last binge before I give this stuff up for good (again). 2. I have no backbone. 3. I’m a single mom with a teething baby who’s not letting me sleep, trying to get over my husband leaving and pull my life back together so give me a freakin break.

This is not turning out to be an easy week. And it’s only Tuesday. I wish I was Christian; at least there would be Christmas to be merry about. Instead I’m sad, I’m irritable, I’m very very tired. I think it’s just now beginning to sink in that my marriage is over, and that feels rotten on so many levels. I feel like I’ve failed, but also like I’ve been let down, I’m disappointed, I’m angry, but I’m also still in love, and the last time I was into a guy who didn’t like me back I was in high school, so I kind of feel like I’m in high school again, only with a job, a baby, slightly higher self-esteem, and a few extra pounds.

January is right around the corner, and in February I have to reserve a spot for my boy in day care for September. So I’ve been looking around and checking some places out. Day care, as it turns out is ridiculously expensive. Seriously, you could go to college for what private day care costs.

I’m also trying to figure out work for next year. How I’m going to juggle making money, having a kid and not feeling like I’m not spending any time with him, and being newly single, dealing with the repercussions of the breakup, healing and getting back out there.

It feels like a lot, like too much. And even when I manage to get some sleep, I just feel exhausted and worn out. Honestly, the only thing I know for sure right now, is that I’ve eaten too much candy and I’m nauseous. And oh my god, I’m so exhausted, that I absolutely cannot even finish writing this post. I’m hitting the sack.


19 Dec

toysWe’re growing teeth. We want to be able to take a bite out of this big strange world, so we’re growing teeth. And it’s keeping us up nights.

Last night was especially difficult. 45 minute intervals – basically a night full of little naps, and non-stop awakenings, shushing, and holding, and patting, and trying to calm the little one down as he cried, confused at what was happening to him, why his mouth was so terribly  irritated, what he had done to deserve it. At one point, when I realized the night was lost, I’d just put my head down to rest for a few minutes, not even removing my glasses, until Baby would call me into his room again.

I know it hurts, my love, I told him as I held him in my arms and shushed him to sleep, kissing his head. It hurts to grow, my love. It hurts but it’s going to get better. I put my arms around him, and he buried his head in my shoulder, whimpering. I said, sweetness, just wait and see. Soon your mouth will be full of beautiful pearly white teeth, and you’ll be glad to have them. You’ll see my darling, it hurts a little but it’s worth it. It’s worthwhile to grow. I wasn’t sure if I was talking to Baby or to myself. I think I was talking to both of us.

When morning finally came, we both closed our eyes, exhausted, and slept soundly for three hours. And when we woke up, I rushed to Baby and peered into his mouth, checking his gums, because after all this hard work, a tooth must have come out. But his gums were as pink and bare as always.

Of course, I told him. Things like that don’t just happen overnight. Be patient, my love, it’ll come.