{Divorce} Is a Launching Pad not a Failure

Ten years ago I woke up and made a decision. A decision that was months in the making and one that needed to be made for my own sanity. I chose to leave. To walk away from a marriage that wasn’t worth saving and said goodbye to a child that I will love until my last breath.

Only a handful of people knew about my situation. Most thought I had the perfect storybook marriage. I had the big house in an affluent community, money, travel, and a husband that adored me. In reality my husband only adored me in public, my big house became my prison and the money only flowed one way, his wallet. Day in and day out I was told that I wasn’t good enough, I wasn’t thin enough, smart enough, or pretty enough to be loved. Those words cut into my soul and my mind believed them as truth. After awhile I no longer recognized the woman in the mirror and my laugh disappeared. Smiles rarely showed and my light hearted manner slipped away. He broke me in more ways than I could ever explain.

I never correlated what I experienced with abuse. Until I started therapy. My therapist looked at me point blank and said “Hun, that’s not normal. You went through mental and emotional abuse.” All I could say back to her was “Umm what?” She explained that he used manipulation and gas lighting to break me down. To make me feel like I was less than and that if I ever left him I wouldn’t survive on my own.

His last words to me were “you will never make it on your own.” Those very words have been my fuel. I’ve been fighting to do better and be better because I couldn’t let his last words win. It took awhile but I slowly found myself again. At first tears were plentiful. I felt like a failure and having to start over at 27 was scary. I got my first apartment, learned how to pay bills (no side eyes, the ex had done this for me), and I adopted a muppet like dog. And I never looked back. I was determined to make it on my own.

My adorable apartment in Uptown + the muppet like dog

And when I was ready I dipped my toe into the dating pool. It took awhile for me to realize that his words were false and that I was indeed beautiful. To this day I can remember the first time after my divorce a stranger told me that I was beautiful. It was in the uptown Green Mill parking lot and I cried. I cried because it was the first time in over a year that someone uttered that word in my direction. I left that parking lot with a new found confidence and my grove was back.

Dating as a young divorcee is hard. I kept my guard up and my hope close to my heart. I just wasn’t going to settle for anyone that slid into my DMs. I was picky and there were times where I didn’t even show up to the date. Yes, I AJ ghosted people and that’s ok. Sometimes you just don’t feel like it or maybe you got lost and you didn’t want to be super late. Anyways dating is hard, like real hard.

I didn’t spend a lot of time in the pool, Charlie came in and threw me a life ring. Charlie was able to peel back the layers and heal the years of hurt. In his eyes I was everything and nothing would ever change that. Sure he was 13 years my senior, yet the difference didn’t matter. He’d tell me often “AJ do you know why we work?” I’d tell him no. “You understand the work. You understand that an Attorney doesn’t always work a 9 to 5. You understand that sometimes a case comes before family. You understand that sometimes I have to be away for weeks at a time and because you understand, you are ok with it.” He was right as a paralegal I understood the work and all of the late nights and long weekends that go into a case. I never complained or batted an eye when he stayed in the office till 1AM. He was right, because I understood the work we just fit.

That fit was short lived. And my heart to this day still hurts. Charlie died on February 16, 2012 from injuries sustained in an auto accident on Valentine’s Day. His life was taken by a drunk driver. A driver that I have forgiven. He made a mistake and like me he has to live with the consequences of his mistake for the rest of his life. Charlie was a once in a lifetime love. His soul was vibrant and his personality could fill a room. He knew how to make you smile in the worst moments and roar with laughter. To calm me Charlie would tell me stories in Mohican and with each word whispered I’d forget what I was fretting over. Charlie looked out for everyone and lived life to the fullest. A piece of my heart lies in a little cemetery in Montawk and because of that I strive to live the life Charlie had imagined for me.

After Charlie I took time to let my heart heal and when I was ready I dipped a toe back into the pool. Dates were plentifully, but only a few had long term eligibility. After awhile I just gave up and decided that the single life was the life for me. I had a good job, a cute apartment and a muppet like dog. Life was good and I was happy. But fate, she’s a funny lady, Fate had other plans for me. On Veterans Day 2014 a marine slipped into my DMs and I’ve never looked back.

It hasn’t been easy. We’ve had our trials and our triumphs. We’ve gone through more than most couples do and we’ve come out on the other side stronger than before. He gets me and I get him back. Jay believes in my crazy dream of motherhood. Jay doesn’t like the limelight, he prefers to be in my corner where he can cheer me on from the cheap seats. He answers to every whim of my wanderlust heart. Jay gets my Tasty Taco addiction and my need for adventure. If it’s out there and if it won’t kill me, I want to do it. But mostly Jay is what my heart always needed, he can make me laugh until I can’t breathe, he can calm me when I’m out of sorts, he knows that the simplest things make me happy, and he always makes sure the bed is made. (Having a made bed is everything to me) He is a good egg and I am never letting go. Well that is unless he declares that he hates dinosaurs and fluffy white dogs, then I’ll let his ass go. I can’t have that negativity in my life 🙃.

Looking back now I realize that my divorce wasn’t a failure, it was my launching pad. I’ve done a lot of amazing shit in the past ten years and none of it would have happened if I stayed in that marriage. I wouldn’t have worked as a contract paralegal hopping from case to case. That job eventually led me to my niche, I’m a Risk Consultant and it perfectly fits me. It’s a mix of law/regulation review and procedure/policy analysis, which is my jam. I never would have done the best thing ever…….. duh adopted a muppet like dog! Cullen has been my side kick for almost ten years, he is my joy in four legged form. In the end I am the one who got rescued on adoption day. Nor would I have a shit ton of travel stories to share. My life would have been boring and sad. And ya all know me, I may be a lot of things but boring and sad isn’t one of them. This life I’ve built and rebuilt and rebuilt again, is fucking amazing and I wouldn’t change any of it. Life is a beautiful disaster and this disaster is all mine.

What a difference 10 years makes!

From time to time people ask me for advice. Like relationship advice, yes you read that right, relationship advice. And when I respond I think back to what Charlie said “you need to find someone that understands the work.” He was right, at the end of the day you need to find someone who understands the work and understands you as a person (<—- last part is my two cents). Otherwise your relationship isn’t going to work. Things will happen in your relationship that neither of you signed up for, it’s what you do with those things that matter. If those things break you apart and that break is not repairable, it’s ok to walk away. You did your best, you gave it everything you had and now it’s time to call it. A wise attorney once told me “there are no winners or losers in a breakup or divorce, someone has to call it. That’s the hardest part, making the judgment call.” <—- I heard this advice on a Friday and walked out of my marriage that Sunday and then never looked back. Best advice I was ever given. So if you are where I was ten years ago, just call it and never look back. Your launching pad is waiting for you.

{Divorced Life} Standing On The Other Side 

I watched the days tick closer and closer to June 27, to most it’s a regular day, but for me it signifies the beginning. Six years ago today I walked out of my lovely home nestled on a quiet street in Woodbury with my best friend at my side and I never looked back. 

The last words Scott spoke to me were “you’ll never make it on your own. No one will want you.” Those words sunk in deep like a knife cutting through my flesh, those words became a challenge. A challenge to become the woman he never deserved to call his wife. I was broken, yet I dug deep and put one foot in front of the other and walked out with my clothes and kitchen things. Cause ya know a girl has to be able to cook and needs clothes, nothing else in that house mattered to me. 

I will say this, the hardest part of leaving was walking away from Nylan. I helped raise that little boy for 5 years and he was my heart and soul. Nylan will always be apart of me, he will always be my step son. No matter where life takes me, Nylan will always be in my heart. Step parents have no rights, when you divorce you are expected to walk away from a child that you saw as your own flesh and blood. Nylan is a bright funny kid that I miss with all of my heart. I have to believe that one day he will stumble upon this here blog and he will see that I never stopped loving him. 

Not many 27 year old women find themselves sitting across form a divorce lawyer talking about property and bank accounts. Or talking about “um our baby died and he doesn’t want to be financially responsible for any of the bills…….” She asked me like all lawyers do “why are you getting a divorce? Have you tried counseling?” I looked at her and said ” I do not want to be married to a man who rather lie comfortably in the bed of a whore than with his wife. I do not want to be married to a man who chose to stay in Vegas after his wife uttered the words “our baby died.” He never put me first, I was always third best. So no counseling is not an option, divorce is my only way out.” An I did just that, I freed myself from someone who never wanted me. 

In ways I felt ashamed, it was hard for me to admit that I walked out of a mentally/emotionally abusive controlling relationship. I didn’t want people to think I was stupid, all women even the smarties can fall into controlling relationships. I had to work through a lot of shit, his voice on quiet nights seeped in reminding me that I wasn’t pretty and that I was to fat for someone to love. Little by little I was able to push his voice to the side. In the quiet moments I reminded myself that he no longer had power over me, I was free and I owed it to myself to do better. 

The best decision I have ever made is to trade my exhusband in for a muppet like dog. My IKEA filled apartment was lonely, I missed having someone to come home to and mostly a little four legged beast to cuddle. I called in sick to work (cough cough) and drove to Whipstaff Ranch to pick up what I hoped would be my trusty sidekick. Cullen, cullen rescued me that day. A mighty little muppet like dog rescued me, he was exactly what I needed. 

Slowly I began to move and grow in my new normal. Cullen was my constant, he was with me every step of the way and with one sniff he judged all of my dates. Dating was strange, my the game had changed since I last played. I adapted, signed up for dating sites and had fun going out for drinks and then coming home and watching lifetime movies with the dog. Don’t judge you know you get sucked into lifetime movies too! 

Life, it hasn’t been easy. I’ve hit more road blocks than smooth passages. Each one has taught me a lesson, a lesson that has made me stronger than I could ever imagine. Mostly it has taught me to be patient and to trust the journey.  That as long as I keep the wind at my back I will sail into safe harbor. I’ve stopped caring about other people’s opinions and stare down their judgy eyes, divorce means knowing when to get the fuck out and having the strength to leave. The decision to leave is the easy part, physically leaving is the hard part. 

“You will never make it on your own,” still cuts through me like a knife. Thou his opinion no longer matters I still feel like I need to prove him wrong. Six years, I have survived on my own for six fucking years! Like that is a feat in itself, knowing that my bills are paid and I get on the bus to a job that I love in my mind is wining. At the end of the month I have money left over to do things, fun things and I have become very thrifty.  In my eyes I’ve made it and that’s all that matters. 

“No one will want you.” He saw me as damaged goods. Sure a blood clot and stroke mess a girl up, but it doesn’t mean I am down and out for the count. Sure losing a child can scare men away, but it can bring me to someone who wants a family too. This girl isn’t damaged, he was wrong about that, I’m filled with awesome sauce! Whether I was ready or not, love crept in when I wasn’t looking, fate brought me two men that I adored. Charlie left  in the middle of our story. I can die knowing he loved me until his last breath. His leaving gave fate the chance to bring me Jay and his bitchy cat Dexter.  

An that is when the love came in. Jay just looks into my eyes and knows that my soul has seen to much and that I for some reason love him without question. He has my heart for his whole life and I have his. Together we have a baby in heaven. If you are counting, yes I have been pregnant twice and have two babies in heaven, I guess I am special. Anyways back to the mushy love story stuff. In Jay’s eyes I see the soul of a weary marine, he paid the price for my freedom and for that I am thankful, his eye tell a story of things I could never imagine, yet he is determined and never gives up, because he knows I will never give up on him. For now our children have four legs and fuzzy tails, he and I have faith that our rainbow will come and we will add another chapter to our love story. 

The exhusband was wrong, I made it and I found someone who loves me without question. Maybe he uttered those words because he knew deep deep down that without me, he would never make it. As far as I know he is still alive and has remarried, so I think that’s a sign that it’s time for me to stop living in the shadow of his words and to step into the sun where they will never again touch me. 

{Divorced Life} April 3, 2005

Ten years ago a bright eyed college junior walked across the Ross Hall Parking lot to hug her date. He had brown eyes and he was her cup of hansom. That day took them to canal park in Duluth, the ice was just letting out on the lake, the cool breeze landed her in his arms, and they had conversation over burgers at Grandma’s. She felt a tug like she never had before, with each word she fell for him. That night was the beginning of a beautiful disaster.

The Monday after our first date Scott called me and told me he had something to say. That if I wanted to walk away, he understood and that was ok. I waited, he took a deep breath and said “I have a son.” I excitedly asked “what’s his name, how old is he.” At 22 I stepped up to the plate and took on the role of stepmom. It’s a role that I cherished and I loved Nylan as he was my own.

Young love is full of passion with a dash of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of what would happen if you veered from the vision you created and the path you dreamed of. Somewhere between 2005 and 2006 I threw caution to the wind and went all in. I graduated in May 2006, moved in with him in July and was engaged by thanksgiving.

Law school was put on the back burner and I started forming a new dream. I found a career in the pharmacy benefit management field and started planning our wedding. May 2008 seemed like a lifetime away, but in the wedding planning word it was just a day away. I planned every detail right down to our orange wedding cake.

Scott and I traveled the globe together. Cruises became our thing, we saw the Texaribian, Alaska, Africa and Europe. Money it wasn’t an object, we did what we wanted to. Scrapbooks were filled with photos of a happy couple and photos of the little family surrounded the home.

I just wasn’t marrying Scott I was marrying Nylan too. I raised Nylan like he was my own, we played together, baked together, and I showed him more love than one soul can handle. He was mine and that’s all that mattered. In the heat of wedding planning I decided to go back to school, we bought a house and continued to build a storybook life.
Married Life
A life that was built on unstable ground. Scott cheated before we even said I do. I brushed it off and thought he would change as soon as we said I do. His ring was more of an anchor than a symbol. He didn’t want to be with just me. Overtime the words unraveled and our story fell apart. He took comfort in the arms of someone else, blamed me for our “bad marriage” and repeatedly told me that I was no longer attractive.

We saw our first wedding anniversary, we spent it apart. He was in Seattle and I stayed home with Nylan. Five months later on one fateful October day I almost died. Scott was to busy being Scott to care. He didn’t realize that my life had changed. I was no longer the woman he married, I had changed, my life was almost pulled away from me and I would never be the same.

He couldn’t handle the new me, he chose to leave me alone most nights and between WOW and the women we hardly spoke to each other. Well we must have found time to hang out because the joke was on me. On April 1, 2010 I found out I was pregnant with our son.Scott seemed genuinely excited to have a baby with me.

Yet the seat in my prius was moved each morning. I knew he didn’t give up his flings and I started looking at my options. My marriage was going nowhere fast and I would raise the child on my own if I had to. God stepped in and on May 11, 2010 I found out our son was gone. Scott was in Vegas, he didn’t even bother coming home, Sherri took me to the hospital and friends took care of me. No one should have to go trough the death of a child alone. When he came back, he expected me to be the same.

I would never be the same! I survived a PE and stroke, to only turn around and have my child die. I was broken and there was only one option, leave. On June 27, I walked away from my loveless marriage and started searching for myself. It will be five years this June, five beautiful years and I can truly say that I found myself.

To be honest I wouldn’t trade the five years I had with Scott, for those are the years that taught me to fight for myself. I know that I never want a marriage like that again and that no woman should settle for being kept. I do not hate him, I actually just don’t feel anything towards him, he is my son’s father and because of that Scott will always be a part of me.

Just like how my life would be different if I had never gone out on that date 10 years ago. Who knows I may be a lawyer, I might not of had a stroke, and I would probably be married with children. I chose to dance that day, I chose to throw caution to the wind and let fate ride. Fate she has brought me to a lot of beautiful places and put me through experiences that have given me a lifetime of lessons. I have no regret, because that one choice lead me through a beautiful disaster that I get to call life.
Post Marriage

{Hurt} Whiskey with a twist of lime

A Colorado number flashed across the screen, having no idea who it was I hit decline call. The number it kept calling and a voicemail was left. It was Steve, he was in town on business and wanted to catch up. Steve was Charlie’s associate, together they wore their white hats and fought for justice. I haven’t seen Steve since 2012, he met me at The Butcher and the Boar, being a partner has aged him, yet his smile was still the same.

He spotted me and came running over, the man gives good hugs. He asked “do you still drink the same?” Yes I said, my whiskey on the rocks with a twist of lime was ordered and our waitress lead us to our table. Steve talked about his new cases, life as a partner, and mostly how he realized that he could never fill Charlie’s shoes. Agriculture Business Law is a tough game, but the payoff and recognition are worth the long hours. We talked about the big three, GMOs, and seed copyrights. Boring to some but highly entertaining to me.

Steve loves to tell me stories about Charlie. Stories of how Charlie had to search every town and airport for a candy shop to bring me strangely shaped gummy candies. Steve quickly caught on to the silly tradition and helped Charlie in his search. Eye balls, that was the strangest thing they ever found for me and the eye balls were so life like I refused to eat them. They are still in my freezer to this day.

With our bellies full of animals and other deliciousness we set out for a walk on the chilly Minneapolis streets. The Spoon bridge glistened under the lights, I paused for a moment, and allowed myself to remember how much Charlie liked the sculpture. Steve noticed that I paused and asked “what’s going through that head of yours.” Nothing I said. He looked at me grabbed my shoulders and put his forehead to mine and said “I’ve read your blog I know, I know you are hurting.” Full on in public ugly cry, yup I am a cryer and it just all came out. Steve smiled and said “a wise man once told me that board games and whiskey can solve all of life’s problems.”

I’ve heard those words numerous times and they brought me comfort. I walked Steve back to the W and was going to head home, He stopped me and said come up to my room for a second. I laughed and said no I am good, the dog he needs me. Steve wasn’t taking no for an answer, so I amused him and followed. Up in the room he repeated “a wise man once told me that board games and whiskey can solve all of life’s problems.” He pulled Checkers out of his suitcase, a bottle of whiskey from a brown bag and two Dixie cups.

I took of my coat and proclaimed, “I get to be red and I get to go first.” Deal! With each checker moved my BFF breakup and crappy October melted into the board. Steve listened carefully and interjected when necessary. Through others I was able to see that Gopher Guy was my bottom and I, I can do better. Steve said to me “you deserve someone who is going to stand up and change the status quo and not please the masses.” Those words made me smile. Steve was right, I deserve someone who is going to vouch for me and protect me. Not someone who tucks me in their pocket and keeps me a secret from their friends. I don’t want to be someone’s secret pocket friend or girlfriend for that matter. I am never going to be someone’s pocket friend or pocket crush again. If you like me own it and who gives a fuck what people think. Just remember no one ever erected a statute to a critic.

Charlie was somewhat right, board games and whiskey can’t create world peace, however they do provide a much needed distraction from life. A couple games of Checkers and Steve’s perspective were exactly what I needed.

{Divorced Life} Emotions In My Pocket

The above quote has kept me going on my toughest days. At the end of the day we are all just little nuts trying to hold our ground. What we do with that ground is what matters. What matters is that we hold steady in the winds of change and stay true to who we are when the storms end.

My life has been anything but easy and there are moments where I look up and say “why me?” I didn’t choose this life, it chose me. I am the human Bermuda Triangle and I always brace myself for hurricanes. I have built up walls to hide the hurt and to keep people out. My heart it’s been broken and patched a time or two. I am afraid that if I put it out there it will get sucked right back into the triangle.

Survivor, that’s a term I hear over and over again. I want to be more than a survivor. I want to be more than a grieving mother, friend and fiancé. I want to be more than broken. Broken is what people see when they look at me. I am strong and mighty on the outside, but on the inside its a different story. I live with one foot in the now and one in the past. Emotions, I am not good at dealing with them. I tuck them in my back pocket and march on.

I cannot out run my emotions, or the heart ache, or the fact that I survived, and definitely not my past. In order to move on I need to face the very things that made me who I am. I need to embrace the very things that terrify me and to realize that I too am human. I, I need to face my shit and deal with my neatly pocketed emotions.

When I deal with the past, face the ugly, and own my shit I will be able to face myself. I want to have healthy long lasting relationships. I want to actually connect with a man on a deep you know all my secrets kind of level, and to stop pushing my dearest friends away when I feel they are to close.

Year 32 is going to be the year of been there, done that, and I owned my shit. It’s not going to be easy, yet I am not scared. My family and friends are cheering me on and all of them think owning my shit is a good idea.

After all in five short years I had a stroke, lost a child, got a divorce, lost friends, fell in love, lost my fiancé, got sick, and yea the list goes on………. It’s time to face all of those things and to deal with the emotions of the past. I am finally ready to face what’s in my back pocket and mostly I am ready to face myself.

{Hurt} Collateral Damage


My past is lined with burned bridges and collateral damage. I am not an easy person to get to know or to even love. Damaged, yea you could say that. My life its a beautiful disaster and those closest to me end up being the ones I hurt the most.

Never in a million years did I think Gopher Guy would become my collateral damage. I have no idea what made Gopher Guy fall for me, I am far from perfect and the complete opposite of him. It became clear that he wasn’t going to see the light and that his new found love is faker than imitation perfume. Old habits die hard, he still acted like there was a chance and he made me feel like he was still interested. Our friendship was built on witty banter and flirting. Deep down I knew I couldn’t be stuck in some weird emotional love triangle and for him to be fully with her I had to let go.

I only know how to let go one way and that is by burning a bridge. He met me by the now dry government center fountains. Part of me was hoping that he wouldn’t show, but he did. In that moment I wanted him to hurt as much as he hurt me. As my words flowed into his mind, his kind eyes faded, his expression went from nice to nothing, and he was shaking. I did exactly what I set out to do and in that moment he let me go.

I’ve burned more bridges than I can count, this time it was different and instead of feeling nothing, I feel a tiny bit of regret. Yet, on the same coin I know that his feelings for me were not real. Gopher Guy never got into the deep with me and he only knows a piece of me. He met me when I was broken and saw me at my worst, but he never got to enjoy my best. He spent the past 3 years chasing me and I ran like hell. I told him I loved him, it was on April Fools day and 19 days later I said I can’t deal. His friends, they hate me because they had to deal with the aftermath of that burning.

But did they really deal? No they didn’t they just kept on checking his pulse to make sure he was alive as he drowned his sorrows in a bottle of liquor. Real friends, take the bottle out of your hand and make you face your shit. Your friends just let you hang on to that bottle and stood by and watched you fall. You cannot blame me for that night because I didn’t put the bottle in your hand, I didn’t tell you to drink your pain away. I’ve heard your recollection of April 20, 2012 more times than I can count. Did it ever cross your mind that someone did exactly that, except they got into a car, and took charlie away from me. It wasn’t you that did it, but someone just like you did. Life is hard liquor does nothing to cure the pain it only numbs it until the morning comes.

Your friends they still hate me. You had three years to clear my name and never made that attempt. You never told them that my fiance had died the day before your birthday party. That I only came because I made a promise. I am a woman of my word, even thou I was dying inside I put on a smile and tried to deal. Being in a bar that night was not the place for me and meeting your slightly intoxicated friends was a bad idea. I knew the moment they met me that they didn’t like me, I nursed a glass of water the whole night instead of throwing back beer and shots. I was physically there at your table, yet my mind was trying to remember if I grabbed everything I wanted for Charlie’s casket. Dinner was over, you went to the strippers and I went my separate way. That was the one and only time I have seen your friends. I got one shot and if I had known that they would be petty bastards, I never would have come to your party. Tell your friends to grow the fuck up and not to be so judgmental.

You failed me. As my friend it was your job to vouch for me and to defend me. You never did that. For three years you let your friends hate the ground I walk on. Hell, even today they probably still hate me. My Daddy tells me that “hate” is a disease and that only a tormented soul has room for hate. So your friends must be broken. Yup, they are broken. They hide behind their mental health, sex therapy, and who knows what else degrees they have to make themselves feel all right. I am human, I am not perfect and I cannot be fake. What you see is what you get. My opinion is never quiet. I may be small but I will use the voice God gave me and I will defend myself.

They say it takes a broken soul to know one. When I look into your eyes I see someone who has been discounted and passed up their entire life. Someone who was judged by the size of his waist line and not his wit. Girls, they never gave you a thought and you were always the friend never the leading man. When I first met you I shook your hand, you looked me up and down with a smile. I knew right then and there that you had fallen. I don’t know why but you did and I was ok with that. When I looked at you I didn’t see a large man, I saw your heart.

Gopher Guy I never paid attention to your outside, your kindness, dedication, unwavering work ethic and wit is what attracted me to you. Your heart is what won me over. You are someone I could trust, you dared to put me in my place, only to apologize minutes later for doing so. You constantly challenged me, made me laugh until I cried, kept me from face planting into mud puddles and you believed in me. For some unknown reason you believed in me with all of your heart and I didn’t know how to deal.

I thought you would always be there. It’s partly my fault I encouraged you to date and to put yourself out there. Orchestra hall, that night I felt the pull and I knew at that moment I had to go for it. Yet I didn’t. I was going to but over dinner you told me about Goodwill and preacher girl. (2 girls at once?! Whoa I created a monster!) Always know that Orchestra hall is the night I fell in love with you all over again. That was the night that sealed the deal. That was the night I realized that I still loved you.

Fate kept the manhuman in Minnesota. He was suppose to leave in July. The job it fell through and he moved in. (Bad idea I know) Someone was looking out for me as it didn’t work and I asked him to leave. I didn’t want to be that girl who leaped into another mans arms right after she left the arms of another. I had to let the socially acceptable time period expire. You, you put on the full court press the moment you found out the Manhuman was gone. You invited me to dinner more times than I can count, told me that I meant the world to you, and that I was the one you wanted. I eluded you and gave you half answers. I was afraid of letting you down and mostly I was afraid that I wouldn’t live up to the woman you saw in me. In my mind you deserved more than a broken surviving heart and I, I sold myself short. While I was waiting for the expiration date Goodwill girl stepped up her game. She grabbed you the day I was going to lay my cards down.

My steal, went down in flames. I fought hard for you and you didn’t want anything to do with me. 3.5 years of history meant nothing to you. I wasn’t shiny and new. I didn’t desperately chase you like she did. Goodwill girl loves beer, going to games and music. That is what you are building a relationship on. Take it from someone whose been divorced, that’s not enough. The shiny will fade, the beer you can only drink so much before you bank account dips, and when that runs out she will be moving on. Fairy tales tell us that you go for the one who fights for you and not the one who loses her shoe.

I fought hard for you and you didn’t care. You said things, did things, and crossed lines that should never have been crossed. You never once apologized for your actions and words. In your mind what you were doing was all right and you said a prayer to make it all better. Yet, you hurt the one girl you never thought you would hurt. I needed you to feel what I was feeling. I needed you to feel deceived, mislead, and used. Then and only then would you understand what you put me through. The difference between you and I is that I own my shit. Only apart of what I told you was true. Play you I did. The bridge I burned it and the answers are on my side of the river. You can fester and pray all you want for the answers, they won’t come to you because only I know what the two lies and one truth are.

Hurt? Yes I am and you, you are hurt too. Neither of us are clean in this. I did what I had to do to protect myself. I don’t do well with weird love triangles and attachments. The pin I pulled it and the bridge that lead me to you went down in flames. I didn’t completely close you out. It takes a beautifully broken heart to understand a fellow broken soul. I have been through more than you could ever imagine and I know that life hasn’t always been kind to you. Just know that you are worth more than you will ever begin to understand and that you, you made a difference in one small town girl’s life.

{Divorced Life} I Always Thought I would Remarry First

The end of a marriage is like a death, you mourn what was and try to quiet the memories. Its hard to believe that June 27th, 2014 will mark four years since I walked out of the red house on the quiet Woodbury cul-de-sac and never looked back. You just put your big kid pants on and walk boldly into the unknown. Each half has a chance to make a new start, to rebuild their life, and mostly a chance to find the correct better half.

My ex-husband jumped into a relationship the week after I left, he had her knocked up and moved in by September. Classy I know, yet I knew he would do it, the man is afraid to be alone with his on thoughts. So it was only fitting that he found someone to fill the quiet space that I left behind. Scott needed to drain the sea of regret, to plug the wholes of what if, and mainly he needed someone to warm his bed at night. Scott and his girlfriend have been together for almost four years and are now ready to say “I do.”

Scott sent me an out of the blue text asking questions about our divorce and said that he needed the information to fill out his marriage certificate. Those words stung a little. Hell since I was the better half, I always thought I would remarry first. I came close but unfortunately a drunk driver intervened and took that equation off the table. As I stared at that text for a few minutes, it took everything in me to not tell his girlfriend to run. A leopard doesn’t change his spots. Then I realized its not my place and I went on about my evening.

Its not my place to say anything because I left him in the past and have never looked back. Scott was one big giant life lesson, I gave up law school for him, and in the end I wound up with a pile of broken dreams. He told me once “when one dream ends, you make a new one.” He was right, when my marriage ended I set out to take on the world, but first I needed to find myself. I needed to look into the mirror and figure out who the fuck AmandaJean was. I knew two things: that 1. I was a survivor and 2. a mother to a baby in heaven. Those are two things Scott could not take away from me. I set out to live a life that Lucia would be proud of and one meaningful enough to prove that I was worthy to survive a pulmonary embolism.

Scott never made me feel like I was a priority in his life, I was always last on his list and never first. He never stood beside me and only criticized my every move. In Scott’s mind I was never pretty enough or thin enough, or good enough for him. The thoughts in his head caused him to stray, I figured it out when the seat was moved in my Prius, he told me he needed it and that if I didn’t let him continue, then I didn’t love him. So I turned a blind eye and rang up the Discover card, I buried my emotions for the sake of my marriage. On nights where I couldn’t take the whores, I spoke up, only to have my words thrown on the floor. The man never understood that normal husbands do not look for “friends” on craigslist, they come home to their wives, and love them for who they are.

That normal husbands answer the phone at 8AM when it shows up as “Woodwinds Hospital,” they don’t roll over and go back to sleep. The poor receptionist kept on calling him and he just let it go to voicemail. I faced death alone and when it was convenient to him he finally picked up the phone. He actually had the audacity to ask “do you really need me to come to the ER? I have to go to work.” A woman who is literally dying should not have to beg her husband to rush to her side. He came, and he was shocked at what he saw. He truly didn’t care about me, he kept on muttering about how big the bill was going to be. Yup, you got it he cared more about money than my survival. That was only the tip of the iceberg.

As you can tell I survived. Scott probably does not tell people “I have 3 kids, one died and two are alive.” In my eyes he has not earned the right to claim our son. The morning I found out Lucia was gone, I called him and begged him to come home from Vegas. Most men would have gotten on the next flight and rushed home to their mourning wife. He chose to stay in Vegas and partied the day away. I was alone when I got the news and thankfully my BFF Sherri refused to let me be alone on surgery day. Scott missed it all and came home to find me sleeping, he had no idea the hell I went through. He acted like nothing really happened and again he worried about the bill. Scott does not deserve to be Lucia’s father, because a father never turns their back on their child, no matter if they are dead or alive.

Scott and I were a beautiful disaster. Our lives were meant to collide, because without him, without the heart ache and pain I would not be the woman I am today. I will admit, it took a lot of therapy to get the man out of my head, his words cut like a knife and the wounds they bled for a while. Until one day I faced the sun and realized that I had something to offer this world. I found my space, got my head right and took on the day. The last thing Scott gave to me was a bracelet with little hearts on it, I wear it each day. Not for memory sake, but as a reminder to never give up my dreams for a man. I did that once and in the end I got a bowl full of broken.

I just hope that Scott learned something from our five year relationship and that his craigslist shoes are in the trash. Otherwise his marriage is not going to work. I want to believe that every now and then he thinks about Lucia and feels regret for putting Vegas before me. Yet, on the same coin, I know that in his mind I did everything wrong and that he is innocent. Because I am the one who walked out, in truth I wasn’t going to give him the pleasure of calling it quits. That is why I said it first and walked out the door and never regretted every step that followed.

The last words Scott said to me were “You will never make it on your own!” Fuck you, I fucking did it! And I did it without you! That’s the best revenge a girl could ever dish out, is to prove that she doesn’t need a man to make it in this world. I love my post divorced life, I have a career that fulfills me, a dog that makes me laugh, friends that keep me humble, and love?, I’ve got that too! But, mostly I didn’t have to face a health crisis alone this time and no one uttered “I wonder how big the bill is going to be.” Because I am the one in control and I learned that your health is more important than money. Without your health money is worthless.

If you do not have your health you cannot fall in love with someone or adopt a child. Unlike you I had to fall in love with myself before I could love someone else. I have been in an off and on relationship with myself for four years and it has been nothing but bliss. Your words no longer seep into my mind on quiet nights and I no longer shudder at the image in the mirror. I truly love the woman looking back at me and she is one incredibly beautiful lady. I may not be a model, but survival sure does looks good on me. You told me once that I would never find someone else, again you were wrong sir. When it comes to me, you will always be wrong.