Re: How Do you survive Divorce, Empty Nest and Dog Dieing all at once?
It's been quite a while since I've been on here, and it feels like I've been through hell and back several times.
We did lose our dog. That was extremely hard, but both girls were home and we went together. That was probably one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. But life goes on… until it doesn't, but then new life falls into place. Spring was very welcome but also very busy, with my youngest daughter graduating high school, which meant in-laws for a month visiting. They actually are very good to have around. I swear I'm more their family than my STBX is now. My MIL talks about that a lot and really goes out of her way to make sure I"m doing ok, and that I'm keeping contact with their family. They live a LONG way away, so it does take an effort to not let that slip.
Against some people's advice, we did get a puppy in spring too. And not only one puppy, but a month later, a second puppy sort of fell into our laps! I have to say to all the Nay-Sayers… It was the BEST thing I've done this year!!!! They are a new focus for me, happy, healthy, and FULL of energy. I go jogging with them and we will be starting a new training class soon. I am most definitely a dog person, and I just can't be without a dog. I'm home alone most of the time and as a part time writer (hoping to get back into full-time now that youngest is in college)… I need that companionship that only a dog can offer.
My new challenge is to figure out how to balance empty nest, and splitting holidays or vacations with the girls' father. When the girls were at home, it wasn't a big deal if and when they went off with their dad for a weekend or on a trip, since he doesn't see them a whole lot. It's been only a month since my youngest has been in college too, and already I'm not happy with the new division of visits. I assumed that kids would come home for breaks, and like always, their father would take the effort to come up and see them. BUT… first break approaching fast and I find out that my oldest was asked to go hiking with her dad… AND the POSOW. All this time when she was talking about her long weekend, I still was thinking she was coming home and going off for a day and night with him. No mention of the tart until tonight. It upset me since we've been discussing what we are going to do, how and when to drive her sister to and from school (that one doesn't have a car). All this time and the only thing said has been, "Dad might come up to go hiking". Never said anything about that means she will NOT be coming home and meeting him here. Never mentioned the OW either. So I was taken aback, which of course came out wrong to DD too. She thinks I'm mad now only because the tart is involved. I tried to explain that no, I'm upset because I made the assumption that she would be home, and we even talked about driving together to pick up her sister. She said that all depended on whether her father could go hiking or not. Now THAT pissed me off. So I"m second fiddle now to when he's available or not.
How do I set boundaries and expectations without coming off like a shrew who is just bitter and angry. I kind of am bitter and angry, but not with the girls. However, I DO want to be clear that I'm not going to just be sitting around for when it's either convenient for them to drop in, or for when they have a dire crisis that I have to deal with, while he's breezing in and out of their lives, doing only fun stuff and trips, etc. Humpf. I think I'm also ticked off because for years we would go hiking and to our camp…. but either without their dad, or with him grudgingly going along… and yet NOW he is making a plan to bring the tart to my home state (they live in another state), and do just that… GO HIKING. He hated hiking for years and years, also hated the beach (can't stand sand), hated camping, hates, rain. Yet since he's met his "love of his life", he's been to exotic beach resorts with her, and now going to come into MY turf and take one of my kids hiking????
I think I am very bitter to the fact that I always have done this stuff… just grew up with it… x-c skiing, hiking, camping, fishing… basically just living outdoors as much as possible. He never really liked doing any of that with me or us. So now when he DOES do that stuff trying to keep up with his younger love interest, it makes me mad. And I'm also very disappointed in myself and how much I sacrificed for him, only to have him turn around and do all the things that I have loved and wanted him to do too yet he resisted… only to watch him be the newly hatched outdoorsy wanna-be. So fine… he's a poser and trying to live like he's 20 years younger… go for it…. BUT when it takes my kids away from ME… I'm Pi$$ED.
So now my dilemma of sorting through how we deal with what little time the kids have to go either here or somewhere with him. I do know my youngest will not be an issue for a long time. She has no interest in meeting the OW still, and it's been 3 years. I don't say anything one way or the other, only that she's her own person and she decides what kind of relationship she has with her father, but to keep an open mind. Secretly I LOVE the fact that she wants nothing to do with OW. I can't believe how much mental energy this whole ordeal has taken. My health is starting to suffer too, and I'm not sure how to sort that out. If I had a ton of money, it would be one thing, but being stuck where I am with very limited resources, it's a challenge. I'm hoping once we are finally divorced and get the house (and my own housing) sorted out, that I will finally start to heal. I hope. But then I don't know if you ever really heal. Lord, there are days when I absolutely hate him for what he's done and still doing to my family. I'm tired of trying to be the bigger person too. I always feel like I'm not doing something right.