When Anissa asked me to lead the Roundtable about “Boundaries: Not a Four Letter Word” at the Aiming Low Non-Conference I felt like I was finally able to speak about something I feel strongly about. I also got to talk about making Geek Sexy but that is for another time.
Yes, I’m obviously a little out there if you follow my insanity on Instagram, Twitter or read my posts about WTF Did you say or telling people why I don’t put up with bullshit when it comes to my kid’s food allergies. On one hand it seems I have very little boundaries.
On the other hand I’m one of the most professional and hardworking people you will meet. I’m usually extremely modest and often think less of myself on most topics but my business side is something I take damn seriously. I kick ass at that shit.
What I’ve been trying to convey with every fiber of my being is that we are not meant to be clones of one another nor should we expect to live the same life as someone else. There are boundaries that we break free from and others that we embrace. We are all really fucking unique and that is beautiful.
Even our flaws are beautiful in their own ways.
Our screw ups, hardships and moments of WTFuckery are important to developing into the best people we possibly can be.
One thing that I explained at one of my roundtables at the Aiming Low NonCon is that when you are a “single Mom blogger” (or are a blogger who happens to be a Mom who also happens to be single) people expect to read all about your love life or lack thereof. That is one of my boundaries. I don’t have a single post about my personal life which isn’t common for a blogger in my niche. I may have joked about houseboys and mancandy online but I’ve never been comfortable divulging that aspect of my life.
It’s always been quite irrelevant because my life is super charged by my kids, friends, family and ambitions.
Well, that is part of it.
Writing about things that are most personal to me and make me vulnerable suck ass. It’s not easy for me to be emotionally exposed.
Also, some stories are not just mine to tell and that is how I feel when it comes to writing about love life and breakups.
That is a boundary I want to overcome as well as embrace.
Getting Unbound… Once Upon a Time…
I’ve always said “I may not believe in happily ever afters but I do believe in epic adventures…” but sometimes you can have both.
Let’s start at the beginning: Overly defiant, stubborn and independent single Mom of one meets amazingly sexy, super intelligent, knight in shining armor, single Dad of two. The kind of connection that is only written about in movies is created. A blended family is molded and life just seemed to be right. The kids loved each other. The couple found incomparable compatibility in every freaking way. They laughed, talked and enjoyed the bedroom for hours. Everything was a joke, laughter and silly but they also challenged each other creatively, ambitiously and intellectually. That was also sexy. It was just damn right… It wasn’t a honeymoon period. It was just two extreme people meshing together in all ways. Sure, there were annoyances. But, as always to great things…
Has anyone ever noticed that “Happy Ever After” is at the wedding but we never hear when the Fairy Tale gets real?
He became depressed over job loss. She seemed to have no issues with gaining employment which seemed like a positive thing. He became a stay at home Dad resentfully while she embraced how empowering that was. Fighting started over nothing. Everything fell to shit quickly. Neither realized how consuming and horrible depression could be. The kids were either having surgery or dealing with chronic illness. Then… an unexpected baby came to be in the middle of all of it.
When the Fairy Tale Tears Apart and Epic Adventures on What is Right Begin
It was a bad breakup and we were on opposite coasts by the time it was done. Nothing more needs to be said.
I was damaged. I was destroyed. I was really fucking angry. I was confused as to why the knight in shining armor turned into the biggest demon I faced. I felt like an idiot. I did not want to talk about it.
I had an amazing support system during that time and found the magic of online communities who helped me and mine in that time. I’m so thankful for every single moment of it.
But, even when things were really bad we couldn’t stop talking to each other and we continued to helped one another on freelance projects. We both tried to move on and couldn’t but we were standing still. Our family was torn apart and broken… and seemed beyond repair and yet we couldn’t let go.
At first… I didn’t give up. I set aside my anger, pain and stabby feelings to be there for him when he needed someone. He was in a bad place. He didn’t even resemble the man I knew. I couldn’t turn my back on him. That made me feel weak at times but it always felt right.
Oh there were fights during those times. My friends thought I was crazy. I stopped talking about him because they didn’t want to hear it and I respected that.
How could I turn my back on the father of my son? Or the father of my step-kids who I missed each day. No matter how shitty things get we needed to put our issues aside and be there for all of our kids. It wasn’t easy… but it was right and… I wanted to be there for him even if I knew at times he didn’t deserve it.
I didn’t think he would ever appreciate it but I wasn’t seeking validation. I just wanted everyone to be okay.
I never stopped loving him and most days that made me angry.
I was also doing all I could to keep things civil and healthy so that our kids didn’t lose each other and that we could at the very least be amazing parents together… someday.
Things got insanely bad before they started to get good again. When things reach such a low you wonder if this person will ever crawl out of that hole that is created.
I’ve always wanted to believe that a good person can do really bad things and still be a good person.
He started to fight for us and show me how much he appreciated me being there during his darkest hour. He wanted to get himself right again. He wanted to get his shit together. He started to rebuild that trust and undo the damage that was done. He wanted me to know that none of this was my fault.
I didn’t believe him but he would tell me he would spend the rest of his life proving it to me.
I thought he was full of shit.
He would visit the kids and I… and our blended family would temporarily get right back on track. Oh we would try to keep it platonic but that connection would fire up again and we would find ourselves feeling like a family again. We would laugh, connect, build memories and cry. Then the visit would end and our fears and residual anger would resurface.
When we were together the past would fade but my fear that it would come back prevented us from moving forward.
This went on for years. It was complicated and so much had pulled us apart… but neither of us forgot what made us amazing.
He still continued trying to be my knight in shining armor. I, naturally, thought it was completely obnoxious.
I didn’t get depression until I experienced it with my postpartum depression. While it was mild, compared to most, it gave me a deeper understanding of it. When I battled different levels of depression over the last several years I understood more. I said, did and felt things that were not me.
It made me less angry with him. I started to seek help with my depression and that helped heal him… and “us”. We grew together. It was beautiful but still letting go of anger isn’t easy to do.
The kids were happiest when we were together and so was I. The one period of time we didn’t speak in eight years was the most miserable for us both.
Fear is consuming.
That fear was a bitch.
That lingering anger bubbled.
That worry of the unknown of what ifs and shoulda, coulda, wouldas was an unwelcome guest in our minds.
We realized we needed to mute all the external noise. We had to squash the nonexistent current problems we were foolishly anticipating. We had to look at the big picture and realize that if two people can go through the long, winding and treacherous mountain of jackassery and battle what seemed like satan’s child herself and come out laughing then we have something fucking beautiful.
Or something completely insane.
Either way… it’s us.
Creating Our Own Happily Ever After
For the first time I can say that I am happier than I’ve ever been. I have my family back together the way it should have always been. That is frightening to say. That makes me feel vulnerable. That makes me feel like I should knock on wood because SURELY as soon as I say something positive it will all fall to shit again.
And if it does… I know this time we are prepared for it, ready to take it on and ninja kick those obstacles out of the way because that is what we have been doing.
Not all situations are worth fighting for. Sometimes walking away from a battle is what is best.
Giving up is often easier.
This has been the hardest battle for the both of us and it’s fortunately the most rewarding. Most of the time I didn’t think we’d get where we are now.
I’m sure as hell glad we made it despite the odds.
Neither of us would be the people we are today or the couple we are had we not overcome those obstacles… though, we both wish we didn’t have to. But, his remorse and efforts to undo the damage from all of it has healed those wounds and that counts for a lot.
He also does the dishes, cooks, gardens and cleans. I basically got my houseboy with all the dreamy romantic benefits who also happens to be an amazing father.
I’m thinking he will get a houseboy apron this xmas.
About Leila DontSpeakWhinese
Leila, aka The Ninja, is the advocate for all things not whining. Parenting is fun when everyone stops b*tching! She is the Mom of a big blended family of five awesome kids. They ninja kick through life together. Oh and she is a total jackass.