Not replaced…but replaced

My daughter is going to “dad’s” tonight.  That includes dad, girlfriend, and her three kids.  To my knowledge this is the first time.  She has resisted doing it in the past, and has made it very clear she does not wish to meet my bf.

I get it.

I respect it.

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I wonder if she feels like I do, that she’s validating her dad’s choices by going to his “home” (it’s his girlfriend’s home), and making nice with the woman and children he’s chosen to replace us with.  The woman whose children she used to babysit.

Yeah.

I know, I know…We’re not replaced.

But, we’re replaced.

That’s just how it feels.

Sometimes my daughter says hurtful things to me, like, people ask me if I’m upset that my parents are getting divorced.  I say, no, financial aid for college might get better.  She also talks about how much more guilt money she’s offered by both parents.

She did say, in her defense, that she tells people she’s not sad her parents are getting divorced because no one yells in the house anymore and her mother is happy now.

I clung onto that tossed-off sentence last night like it was a canteen of water in the desert.  Does that mean she clings to things I say and then forget I said?

I try HARD not to imagine some kind of hybrid family Christmas scene at their house.  But, I spent more money on Christmas this year, as a single income woman, than I did any year I was married with two incomes.  I wanted to ensure, and therefore “buy” the fact, that MY home is my kids’ home.  MY address has not changed.  Christmas HAS NOT CHANGED because their dad is living out his affair.

Of course, it just makes me anxious to think about paying all that money back, and I realize it was, and is, for me, not my children.  I want Christmas to stay the same.  I want traditions to stay the same.  I don’t want my daughter to have some fake, uncomfortable Christmas tonight without me, and with her dad’s new cast of characters.

Makes my face is hot and my eyes extra wet to contemplate, but you know what?  That doesn’t prevent me from

Moving on

 

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Paring down the seasonal list to one thing

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You know, the seasonal list:

  1. Set a budget for Christmas
  2. Think of meaningful gifts (there are fewer this year)
  3. Make a grocery list for when college-aged kids come home
  4. Purchase a fake tree – love real ones, hate maintenance and clean up, especially on my own
  5. Get sucked into email exchange with “-“
  6. Get told by my lawyer he only wants to give me advice, not talk directly to “-“
  7. Realize I can’t do that
  8. Stay awake for 20 or so hours
  9. Look up lawyers in my area familiar with narcissism
  10. Find one!  Make an appointment
  11. Order carefully selected Christmas gifts
  12. Purchase a mobile hot spot and Direct TV
  13. Hurriedly ditch cable because “-” wants to move his email account.  Not that I want it, but I want to make it hard for him to get
  14. Despite assurances, realize a mobile hot spot will not work for streaming Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc.
  15. Direct TV guy says the only place he can put the dish is the middle of my front lawn – next to the hydrangea
  16. Get a call from my sister – I better come and see my mother
  17. Book several hundred dollars worth of flights and car rental I didn’t expect
  18. Fight with “-” some more about the budget – who pays what.  He plays hard ball despite being asked to resign in January.
  19. Stay awake for 20 or so hours
  20. Think there are not enough gifts – order more online
  21. Talk to my friend about how overwhelmed I am and how I am on the verge of tears all the time
  22. She suggests I put one thing on the list – get through the first holiday season as a separated woman with empty nest syndrome
  23. Return the mobile hot spot
  24. Cancel Direct TV
  25. Reinstate cable and somehow pay less for the same package
  26. Postpone meeting with the new lawyer until after the holidays and I visit my mom
  27. Tell “-” to give me some breathing room until after I visit my mom in January
  28. Buy rum (with me it always involves alcohol)
  29. Mix up an eggnog
  30. Look at my pretty tree
  31. Pet my pretty cat
  32. Pat myself on the back for occasionally heeding advice
  33. Look forward to 2016

Moving on