In December 2009, my husband (the kids’ dad) and I separated. I moved to North Carolina – for a few reasons – one, to escape the drama, and two, to hold onto my kids a little longer, as my son was only four (4) months old at the time.
After an extensive (and expensive) custody battle, the Judge basically ordered me back to Louisiana, with Lexi and Jameson, in 2012. I obliged. In July of that year, I moved from my lovely home in North Carolina into a rundown piece of crap mobile home in Louisiana. I was not happy about it. I lost my kids 50% of the time (my ex-husband and I have a split custody arrangement), I lost my great job in North Carolina, I lost my pretty little house. I lost my Aunt Sharon, my church family and my friends. And my kids lost their home and daycare, family and friends.
I was not in a good place when I moved back to Louisiana, and by the end of that year, I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt like my family and my kids were much better off without me, and I turned up a bottle of Xanax.
Obviously I am still here. My stepdad discovered me, confiscated the pills and allowed me to move in with him, my mom and baby my sisters, to allow me to find a better job, save some money for a nicer house, and basically get well. It was a temporary thing.
But as is most often the case, two (2) weeks turned into two (2) months, and I was still staying with my parents. I didn’t MEAN to be immature, irresponsible, or a mooch, but I struggled to “get my shit together,” as some say.
So one afternoon, I was at my parents’ house, with my kids, while my parents were out of town. My two younger sisters called my ex-husband to come pick up the kids (mind you, it was MY custody), and they came over to “talk” to me.
During that visit, my sisters (one 16 months younger, and the other a little over 4 years younger) called me every name in the book. They both told me I was not acting responsibly, that I was a deadbeat, a horrible mother, and that I needed to grow up and get my own home and stop ruining everybody’s life by taking handouts.
The above synopsis of the coversation that took place is very conservative and censored in relation to what was actually said and done. They were so ugly to me. There I was, already at the end of my rope, ready to end my life because I just couldn’t deal, and then I was bombarded by name-calling and threats. I will never forget the conversation. I’ll never forget the “tough” part in whatever “tough love” they thought they were giving me. I am still so hurt and heartbroken by the way I was criticized, scrutinized and antagonized.
The funny thing about me, though – I only hated myself for it. And it was less than a month later that I moved out of my parents’ house, into another not-so-great place, which I somehow turned into a home for my children and me. I got my own car. I got a good job, which I still have, four (4) years later. Things were tight financially, and lonely when it wasn’t my custody with Lou and J.D., but I made it work. I started at the bottom – and I mean the WAY bottom. And the best part is…I did it ALL BY MYSELF. I paid and made my own ways. I pulled myself together, I started making good decisions, and I kept my ducks in a row.
And a year later (2014), I moved into a nicer home – a condo. I was working three (3) jobs. I found a routine that worked for me and stuck to it.
And now, four and a half (4 1/2) years since I was forced to move back to this awful state, I live in a nice house, even if it is tiny (less to clean, right?). I am engaged to someone who loves my children and me very much. I was able to quit working two (2) of my jobs, so I have more free time. I am able to pay for half of my kids’ private school tuition. I have a vehicle to drive, I always have a hot meal on the table at night, and I have a smartphone, for God’s sake. I am doing very, very well.
Now, let’s go back to this lovely lecture by my sisters in 2012. I was 25, which means my two (2) sisters were 24 and 21, respectively. They were both living in their own homes, with their own kids and significant others. I guess, at the time, they felt entitled to say the things to me that they said.
But now, the middle sister, now 28, is separated. She did the very same things that I did when I was going through my divorce, and now she and her husband have split. It is what it is – divorce happens, marriages fail, and I certainly do not blame her if she is doing what she thinks is best.
This middle sister has always been a stay-at-home mom. She was working part-time, but I believe this is her last week at that job. Additionally, the house she lives in, the car she drives and the bills that need to be paid are all in her husband’s name. Understand? That means she is in THE SAME position that I was in four (4) years ago – no job, no car, her kids only half of the time, all for a guy she met online, who lives over ten (10) hours away.
Last weekend, I learned that she will be living in my parents’ rental home, rent free, as my mom is going to allow her some time to secure a job and find her own place to live.
As it turns out, I’ve caught wind that she is going, this weekend, to visit her boyfriend. A ten (10) hour drive requires a few things – a rental car and a credit card or cash for gas and food – certainly expenses she cannot afford if she is trying to find a full-time job and secure her own place to live and get another vehicle, one that is in her name. But of course, she is thinking and acting impulsively, doing what feels good in the moment, with no sense of conviction or fear of consequence, as in, how it will affect her financial status, her custody situation, or her ability to get her own house and car.
How is this situation not the very SAME situation that I went through four (4) years ago? Why is the person who cursed me out, called me names and trash-talked me behind my back now going through the same things? And how is she somehow able to justify what she is doing now, based on how I was treated all those years ago? How does a person treat me so poorly, and then, when ending up in the same position, not, at the very least, apologize to me for those things she said?
In fact, I have heard opposite dialogue – that our situations are not the same, and that she does not want to hear my opinion or advice. Basically, I was ordered to stay out of it. And I have.
To say that I am still bitter about that four (4) year old conversation is an understatement. To say that she is the pot calling the kettle black is an understatement. To say that our situations are different is completely inaccurate – they are 100% identical, with very few exceptions. At least her soon-to-be ex-husband is allowing her to stay in his house right now, using his electricity and water, and eat his food, while she continues to text, Snapchat and call other men (yes, men, as in, more than one). At least he is still paying her car note and for her cell phone (which is used to text and call these other men). At least her husband hasn’t yet sued her for full custody of the kids they have together. I was not lucky enough to enjoy those luxuries.
And now she will be living off of her soon-to-be ex-husband’s kindness, and my parents’ kindness, as well as the kindness of those who often offer to babysit the boys on which she really needs to focus right now. Her priorities are skewed, and her agenda is completely narcissistic.
Not only do I not appreciate the hypocrisy that is currently being displayed, based on a four (4) year strained relationship, because of the things she said to me back then, but I also do not appreciate the way she is acting toward my parents and me, NOW. Her actions have certainly spoken louder than the words she spoke four (4) years ago. Karma is about to bite her ass so hard – she has no idea. And when it happens, I can only hope she learns the same lesson I had to learn.
I am so tired of paying for four (4) year old mistakes, especially when someone who chewed me out, who says she doesn’t trust me, who called me a trashy deadbeat no-good mother and person, is doing THE SAME THINGS, only with much more help. I wonder how long she will be paying for her mistakes?
I am not the type of person who puts someone on blast, points out hypocrisies or openly criticizes someone’s decisions, because, at the end of a long day, what she chooses to do is none of my business. And I have stayed out of it, like she asked. What I will never understand or forget is how someone can be so ugly to me, turn around and make the same bad choices, and not offer a fringe of remorse for her ugliness, or her current decisions.
The good news – I am completely straight, 100% content, and totally happy with the way I am living my life. The decisions I make are centered around what is best for my two (2) little angels. And I know I am going to be okay, because that is my CHOICE. I just wish others’ choices were not so irresponsible, immature and sanctimonious. As the rednecks is the stupid town say, it really CREAMS MY CORN.
Meg / cC