Dig Deep

I started this blog to work on putting myself out there and to stop living like I needed to appease everyone. With that came the unfortunate truth that I didn’t reveal much about myself and most of my friends were really acquaintances who didn’t know much about me. In retrospect I had so much to hide anyway.

This post is going to be hard to write because this level of vulnerability is unfamiliar to me. It’s easiest to just keep the worst to myself and not share the things that make me seem weak or incompetent. I know everyone around me in the Air Force thought I was some kind of super parent who managed four kids easily. I did not. I was really struggling.

What’s going on right now is that the ex’s parents are currently staying with him in Florida. They are from NJ but want to start spending winters in FL. They were willing to help the ex and Boy #1 clean things up so they can all stay there happily together. When I say that the ex doesn’t clean up after himself, I mean it. Think hoarders with used plates, cups, and food packaging everywhere. For years I chased him around, picking up after him or screaming at him to just take his shit to sink/trash. He never got better about it, telling me he’d get it later, which meant he wouldn’t. When the kids got big enough, he made them clean up after him despite me telling him to pick up after himself. Being kids, they didn’t do it very well and instead of helping them learn, he screamed at them. He made them feel bad about themselves, especially Boy #1.

He always wanted pets. We had birds, small animals, cats, dogs, lizards, and fish. At first he was great about taking care of these pets and some he was great about the whole time. But eventually it was too much and he just didn’t take care of them like they needed. We’ve only had two cats. One died about 7.5 years ago and the other will be put down today. She’s older and has a lot of health struggles. His parents told me she is sick, has sores, and a lot of trouble walking. I am heartbroken. I couldn’t bring her with me when I moved out and I feel horribly guilty about that. This cat has also been peeing all over the carpet on the second floor because Boy #1 adopted a cat that she hates. His cat lives in his room and the attached bathroom upstairs. But it made her mad so she sprayed all around the outside of his room. It’s so sad.

There’s something about losing a pet that brings back all the sad memories about the pets you’ve lost before. I feel like I cry more and more each time I lose a pet, like it’s all gathering up into this huge river behind a dam. And every time I lose a pet, the dam breaks and I am flooded with sadness. I can’t really take it anymore. I don’t ever say things like “no more pets” because I know it’s worth it to have wonderful, sweet animals in your life. But it hurts so much to lose them. I cried some last night and more this morning. I feel like I might be over the crying now but I still have some sadness. I know life will go on and I am not the one right there having to carry out this sad thing.

I deployed so many times and every time I returned, I would have to recover the kids, the house, the pets. It was like nothing was done the entire time I was gone. I will never understand how an adult cannot function like an adult with children, pets, and a house to manage. I understand that it is hard to do everything alone because I did do it all along with him right there, but refusing to help and sometimes arguing with me about decisions I made. But to let the house look like it would get and neglecting the pets and the kids? It was always so much for me and it pretty much destroyed me. I think back now to how awful it would feel coming home. All you want is to see your family again but at the same time, I knew that a huge mess was waiting for me.

It’s easy to understand why I wanted to die so much of the time. Some days when I think about it, I don’t know how I made it. It was years of torture. But here I am, outside of it all. I made it out alive. I know that I will be ok.

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