Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Only a Fool Thinks That Life Will Wait

My kids watched the good dinosaur. Then they saw johns family. Now they are watching the John movie. The song he wrote says :
"Sometimes life knocks you down, but always it goes on. The only things you can count out- are the dreams that you count on.
Only fools set their hearts on dreams you can't achieve, and only a fool things that life will wait and give him time to grieve."
I think there was a lot of hope in the belief that life just goes on. Everyone is so full of no excuses and goals. What if our goal was just to be present? What if we could let go of our anger for someone that hurt us? Lately I've been overwhelmed by the people who demand "every story has two sides." I don't always love listening to the same song over and over when it's essentially about dying dreams from a singer that committees suicide.  The person who destroyed my dream of a happy family and some of my faith in humanity. He owed me a lot when he died and I'll never get that dream back. For me my body demands  time and I've been able to stop and learn what death of someone that hurt me would mean. For me it's just emphasized my belief that we are all fragile beings stumbling forward. Not everyone wants what's good and not everyone makes it, like our dreams that die,
I hope it goes on. I hope to live a life that recognizes the immediacy of humanity. To be able to love those that have hurt me because their happiness doesn't change my dream.
Give it time. Your dreams will change into something more beautiful than you can know.
I'm convinced that there is enough goodness for those that want goodness for everyone.

I hope my kids see the beauty behind a song telling us that life doesn't care about us.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Never Forget You

Last week I went swimming with Mr M. and spent time with him in the morning. On the way back from the gym we heard the song from Zara Larsson I will never forget you.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTyN-DB_v5M
here is the song

"Mom, I don't know why but every time I hear this song I think of dad."
"So the song reminds you of Dad"
"because I know he died but he is always with me and I know he is in heaven and always with me."

Most of the time when my kiddos bring up dad I practice a little something called reflecting. I say- so it sounds like you are thinking of dad when they say they are. Apparently many therapists make tons of money doing this. Personally if my therapist does it I get super bored and immediately want to be like- yeah I know what I just said. I want to see what the other person thinks. Most people have a fundamental need to be understood and a simple reflection can show them that you are listening. My son knows that I heard what he said.
You can pay millions of dollars to learn in therapy that your kid needs you to spend time listening to them. I got the recommendation to set aside about 10 minutes a day where I ask my kiddos how they are and repeat exactly what they say. Don't try to think- oh that sounds hard- just repeat- it sounds like you are thinking about dad.
WHY IS THIS SO DIFFICULT FOR ME.

My daughter told her friend that her dad died on the way to come visit her. Part of me thinks I should tell her how he really died. I practiced with my therapist.
The memories of everyone change over time. When we tell each other they are altered. I'm tired of being a single mom today.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Mormon Gays and Baptism for Children

The LDS Church announced that children of parents in a same sex marriage wouldn’t be allowed to be baptized this week. It’s mandatory that you take disciplinary action. That seems intense. Did you know clergy doesn’t have to report child abuse? I also learned that this week and it makes me crazy upset. Counselors have to report if you are an active danger. Maybe. Religion is such a sticky area. I saw one post the first day and I didn’t really read the article because I didn’t want to look at it.
Then my Facebook exploded. You will be happy to know that there are gay people on both sides and Mormons and Ex Mormons that care and ones that don’t care. The whole thing makes me feel like a coward. Because if you question anything you aren’t following a prophet and if you sit still you are saying you agree with it. So maybe I should follow my sister and avoid Facebook for a few weeks.
Pretty much no matter what you are an asshole. I haven’t left the church and I openly have some concerns and I don’t agree with this so I’m pretty much in that in between place where no matter what, I’m an asshole. I secretly think most people are in between. Even if you say you are sure of yourself you might just need to feel in control. I think most of us rely on our cognitive inertia to get through life. I heard the news and you know what I did? Nothing I have a head cold. I put the issue aside because there’s not really anything to say. Except wow- I do NOT like conflict. It’s hard for me to to see all the pain here. It’s hard to be in Utah with all the people and the high emotional level I wish it was easier for me to be on one side or the other. It’s like when we ignore things in our lives we can’t solve to be able to function. I get angry at people that have behaviors that hurt me that they choose not to resolve but I’m sure I have my own.
I’ve been working on not getting stuck by things I can’t resolve. LET ME TELL YOU THAT IS NOT MY FAVORITE.
So I’m sorry to all my friends who have posted that ones article that I can’t post the articles that this is love. I’m sorry my gay friends that I didn’t post a helpful link to a phone number. I’m sorry my ex Mormon friends that I’m still here. And I’m sorry my non Mormon friends that I’m posting about it at all.
I don’t really think there is any excuse for personal apologetics. I also don’t think there is any true neutrality. The church isn’t fair. I’ve known men that raped someone and had no repercussions. I think that’s why so many people don’t report. Inaction seems to be my mode of coping.  I think that’s why a lot of us just sit here confused about what is going on.  I just unsubscribe from friends that share things I can’t handle and go on with my kids to the gym for my morning workout. I was like -wow my daughter just got baptized. 

There is no peace here. 
I wish I knew what to say. Or do. Until then please don't forget those of us who feel stuck somewhere floating in the middle.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Baptism

My daughter got baptized yesterday. In the same dress that I got baptized in when I was 8 and my mom got baptized in when she was 8. She became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I was proud of her for when she wanted to wait and also a little heartbroken. When she first turned 8 she said she wanted to wait until her dad could be there. Then she said she wanted him to do it. Then she didn't want to after he died. Then one day she asked me why she wasn't baptized yet.

Sometimes I want to tell my daughter that a lot of men in the church won't treat her like a person. I want to tell her that people are more important than any church. That God is the important one.

Sometimes I want to take it all back and somehow let her dad baptize her. Another boy got baptized that day. The other mom was remarried and the dad still baptized him. I was a little jealous. Every now and then I get jealous when people say they are fighting with their ex. That means their kids have two parents. I understand that some parents do a lot of harm but really it's better for kids to have two parents. I used to worry about taking out the trash and putting your laundry in the bin and now it just seems so stupid to worry about that stuff.

Sometimes I guess some of the guys I have met will lie about how worthy they are and baptize their daughters or go through lip service to pretend they care. I wonder if John would have done that. He told me he lied about how he felt about the church for years to make me happy.

I wonder if it matters.

My friend came to the baptism and asked me how I was doing and I started crying. I don't handle feelings super well. I just wanted a happy family for my kids. I don't care if I was divorced I just wanted my kids to have a good dad. It's weird how when you are younger some of the things you want to give your kids are things you can't actually choose or control. Why didn't I care more about them having a good mom or a happy mom or something I could actually work towards?

I want to give her the hope that I felt when I was 8 that I don't always feel now. I'm tired of people yelling at me to feel it.

They wrote letters to the kids that day and I was helping her get dressed so I didn't get to write her a letter. I think I would tell her this:

To my daughter on her baptism day;

I'm remember the day I got baptized and how worried I was that I would make a mistake. I remember really wanting to follow God. I remember being so proud and happy and feeling so amazed. I remember all the talks. I am so glad you got to talk to your cousins about their baptisms and it is something you share.
As I've gone through life the sharing has become more important. I realized on my mission how people had basic needs for shelter and friendship that trumped their religious ideals. I realized I just wanted people who were kind to me sometimes not people who were exactly perfect. May you provide kindness to the people you meet.
I still believe in God. When he tells you to do something don't ignore it. Some people say trust your intuition- some call it a still small voice. For others those three things are distinct. There have been times I have followed it and times I've ignored it. I regret the times I chose what I wanted over what God told me. That's different than what other people have told me I should do. I hope you can grow to know the difference and trust him even when you don't know why or it breaks your heart in half. You always ask about why I got divorced and I always say I won't ever tell you but I will tell you this- when it was happening I begged God to let it all work out. I got an answer and it was this.
"is this what you want to live with."
"No."
I couldn't live with it.
I wanted him to change the situation and the people and he only asked me if I really wanted what I was asking for.
I didn't realize what I was asking for.
I think that's how prayer works sometimes- it's not a huge answer it's God just repeating back what we said and then we realize that we didn't exactly want what we asked- we wanted what we had to change into something it's not. One of my friends told me once that I should tell God about all my frustrations "because he can take it." One of the most intriguing things I've ever heard. There are a lot of people I know who I'm sure have needed to yell at God. He can take it. Sometimes what has happened for me was just the realization about what I was asking or angry about. Sometimes things have changed. Sometimes I felt like God was sorry. I hope you never have to understand that feeling. The Shrug. I know you will and you won't understand what I mean until you've experienced it.
All we ever wanted for you was a hope in the world. I used to think I knew everything. Then I knew nothing. Then I realized maybe that's what faith was. A stillness in uncertainty. We won't know what will happen in our future or after this life. That uncertainty has to be enough. In one of the talks they quoted Alice in Wonderland.

“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”

They said that when you are a member of this church you know where you are going. In a way that is true. There are clear goals and a clear picture of  Christ and what we can accomplish. But it is also false, like my prayer to have my family that I wanted. I think when this life is over many of us will look back and want something we didn't really want. Do you really want to be married? Do you really want to respect your partners if it means you have fewer than you want? Do you really want to have as many children as others will want you to have? Do you want to hide from what you are and what you choose?
Listen to the stillness. You will not always want what you are asking for. The path will not always be clear but that is part of it. They are lying when they say you will always have a direction. There will be times when the direction you thought was so clear will be impossible. There will be times when you pick a new direction. There will be times when your choices reveal your directional claims as the falsehood they are.
May you learn to stop walking and let those times be part of your journey. There is nothing wrong with listening to the silence. 
I still remember my prayer as an 8 year old that I wanted to go back to the heaven everyone talked about. I wanted to be back in a perfect place and this whole idea of "enduring to the end" sounded SO  HARD. I'm still here and I've realized that the idea that we chose to be here and every day continue choosing life is beautiful. It's harder than I thought it would be and I've been way less perfect than I thought the Holy Ghost would help me be. People are uglier than I thought was possible. Not everyone wants to do good to other people and I'm glad you do. Your dad didn't want to be here anymore. Sometimes I feel like it is too much but I'm still choosing to be here with you. I hope you always choose to be here.

This is not the hope I chose for you- I wanted a clear picture with happiness and a clear answer about the path of life I wanted. This is not the family I wanted for my kids. 

I never realized how much pain other people would cause and how fiercely I want to give you a better life and how I know you will have more pain than anyone should have because I've had that. There will not always be a shiny hope at the end and there will be times when you will be jealous of the people who seem to say their path is always clear. The beauty is not in knowing where you want to go. 
The beauty is in the silence when God has asked you 
"Is this what you want." 
"No."
 My life has shattered in a million pieces and I'm not put back together again. May you always be enough, even when you are broken. 
I'm scared for you. I'm also so proud of you and happy for what you will see.
The way is more beautiful than I ever hoped for.


love,
mom.

I hope she is able to pass the dress to her daughter if she wants to. I hope she has an easier path than I've had. I hope she can find softness and kindness in her journey. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

September 10

This month turns out to be suicide awareness month.
The tenth is suicide prevention day.

So that gets super emotional for me.
Last week we finally got John's death certificate. A week before I messaged my friend and asked her what she thought the cause of death would be.

"It's going to say suicide."

They called me to come pick it up and I went after my last day of work at that job. I picked it up and they knew who I was when I walked in. They asked if I wanted water or if I wanted to sit for a bit. I said no and took it and walked out to my car.
I probably should have taken that water bottle.
It's surprising to have a cause of death.

Today at school my daughter came to find me and she was crying because she missed her dad. I was so glad to be there with her. She sat with me at lunch then was able to go back. 

The thing is she isn't over him dying. Most people get over you dying because they can't be constantly sad about death. We also can't constantly save each other from suicide. Every now and then I think about how I probably shouldn't have gotten married or some of the mistakes I've made in life. We are all doing our best. John's family worked really hard to help him. My kids wanted their dad all the time. I wish I could have helped him. I'm upset about a lot of the things he did before he died. People who lose all hope hurt a lot of people.
I was super upset he didn't tell me about some stupid doctors bills that he failed to pay a month before he died. I guess he lost his temper and was yelling at them. That's not always something we think about supporting as suicide prevention. Not everyone is reaching out for help sometimes they lash out in anger and hurt people.


http://www.speakingofsuicide.com/2014/05/07/if-only/

I don't know everything about suicide prevention. I've had friends that have helped me through really dark times. One time in college I remember meeting a girl who had a lot of life trauma and she was a cutter. She was in and out of the hospital and one night she came over and we helped her clean up her cuts so they wouldn't get infected. Life was heavy for her. It gets heavy for a lot of people and sometimes it's too much. For some it's too much over and over.  We can lift each other up. We won't always succeed. I don't have a ton of knowledge about suicide prevention. I wish we could all find a way to lift each other and find energy. The people who support you the most will be the people who know what it's like to struggle. I would say I can always be there for you. But I can't. I will try to be there for you. We are not limitless. 
When I think about suicide prevention I think about not telling someone they are strong. We aren't all strong enough. We aren't all able to do it on our own. We aren't all going to have one hard time and then move on. Sometimes we stumble forward through darkness. 

September 10.
Hopefully you can see how important you are to other people.
Hopefully somewhere inside of you strength will appear.
Hopefully you will decide to keep moving through darkness.

Hopefully we can catch each other when we fall.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Salt Lake City Marathon


I love running. It's something that has taught me more about myself than anything else I've tried before. I don't race though. I get medals for working out which I deserve.

Remember that one time I overshared?
yeah me neither. Except yes. I do remember that. That happens in my life. Sometimes it helps people sometimes not. Well this is a sort of personal post. Basically to say I'm an ambassador for the Salt Lake City Marathon. I have a discount code. It's for 5 dollars off any race and it's janaeslc16 so on checkout you pick me as your Lifetime ambassador and use a code to save 5 dollars. http://www.saltlakecitymarathon.com/ is the site to sign up.
Guys this last little while has been really hard. I've missed my kids like crazy and wanted to give up on everything I've worked hard to get in the past few years. So I post happy things on instagram and go to work and make little goals like get up, show up, and don't quit life. I also sign up for races.
Let me  tell you a little about myself. If you haven't known me before here's a picture of me a while ago. When I say a little while ago I mean I weighed over 200 lbs in this picture. I have a bracelet from showing up at the hospital when Danielle was born. 257 lbs. I had pitting edema.  I had been on bedrest for a lot of my pregnancy. My blood pressure was super high.
I was miserable.


You probably haven't ever seen a picture of me at this weight. There weren't many. One day my sister was like- yeah but when did you become one of those people that never has pictures of themselves? Everything on your facebook is of your kids, it would be nice to see you sometimes.
I took some pictures. I hated them. I became one of those people over 200 lbs. I hated almost everything about my body. I've always worked out. Didn't lose a lot of weight.
My friend Linda asked me to sign up for the Salt Lake City Half Marathon. I was like- yeah I'm a terrible runner. I am. I started running because I had no natural talent at running but there was a girl name Karen in my church group and she was a runner and she was beautiful. So I would count to 100 then stop and walk. Then count to 100. My feet would go numb. I legs hurt. I was stepping wrong. I pounded the ground. I held my neck wrong. I was breathing wrong. I signed up. I tried to train in the morning before work with a Hal Higdon marathon training plan that I copied from online.

I had IT band pain. My sister who was a massage therapist would give me a massage after every run. I missed a lot of long runs. My longest run was actually 7 miles before the race. It was miserable. I was still counting to 100. This was the first major marathon after the Boston bombings and it was a great experience. Actually it was cold and raining and I coudn't get the right playlist going on my phone so it kept re-starting. I thought I was going to die for like 60% of it. I walked.
It took me over 3 hours to finish. I went to my mom's house and slept for hours. My friend went to hike zions that day. I couldn't walk the next day.


Then I decided that I was going to finally run a marathon like I had on my bucket list. I hated running. Every minute of it was pure hell. I met with an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in running. I got a controversial shot of cortisone in my knee. I met with a trainer to help me build my strength so I wouldn't have IT band problems.

I lost some weight. Like sort of a lot of weight. Most of my marathon training was also on a treadmill while my kids were in daycare. I'm a single mom I missed some of my long runs since I didn't organize myself enough to have childcare. My sister gave me a massage after long runs. I ran the marathon. I think at some point I was passed by a 79 year old wearing an inspirational shirt about having done one billion million marathons.

I had a terrible time. I actually had missed enough training that I considered just doing the half then at the turnoff I felt OK. So I made a horrible mistake. I went on the marathon course. It was beautiful. The weather was nice. I didn't run a step after mile 21. I thought I broke my foot. I kept saying- this is the most painful thing I've ever done. Then I said- well having a baby with no drugs was worse. - then I was like- yeah but it was WAY faster. I hated it. Then I signed up for another race that day. I could walk the next day.
I did the 5K with my daughter. She likes to say "I'm faster than you are" but she sometimes walks too.

Running saved my life in so many ways. The adjustment of being a single mom from being so miserable and hating myself and where I was- that was hard for me. I remember the first time I actually like- wait this is what a runners high is- this is what they are describing. This one one year after my marathon- on mile 9 of a half marathon.

I've lost a lot of weight with working out and running and eating healthy. People ask me how I do it. I tell them I do it slowly. I lose a 10-20 lbs a year. Sometimes I don't lose any weight. I have to focus on it. Running taught me two things.
First- I'm slow at these things. I'm not a fast runner. I've improved a lot. It's Ok to be slow.
Second- I'm not very positive. I hated being chubby. I wished my body could do more. and I'm still not where I want to be. It's OK to be where you are. I was never one of the people who suddenly saw the light and never doubted myself.
You don't have to be fast. You don't have to be positive. You just sign up and get up.
I don't usually celebrate the journey. I'm not always happy with where I'm at because I'm not at goal weight. I like to challenge myself. I always thought- if I can run a marathon I can do anything. I could be faster. I could be thinner. I could have polished this blog post more.

It is enough. I wish I could share the confidence I've gained through running. I wish I could share the knowledge that you can go from being a stay at home mom to being a marathon runner who earns enough to pay for her kiddos. If you can run. you can do anything. I can't do everything, but I would love to do this run with you. You can save 5 dollars with my code too.

Here's to your journey.





Saturday, July 18, 2015

Social Security

Today I took my daughter to a triathlon and someone asked me if my husband was racing that day and I said I was divorced but then I was like- yeah it's still appropriate for me to say divorced not that he's dead right? because I'm not a widow.. Weird. Either way we quickly changed the subject since she probably didn't actually care about the absent racing husband she was just being friendly.

When I went to social security it turns out john was working since our divorce and earning money.
so he wasn't paying for other reasons and I'm just so tired of drama.
No one is doing probate for him or they just aren't telling me anything and I want to scream about it. I don't want to have to get an attorney to find answers. When John died I was suing him for contempt because he would never turn over his earnings which makes sense because he was lying to ORS and me based on the information the IRS had.

I want to punch people that I worked so hard and someone could just lie so much. Then my friend says to walk away. I want to be one of those people who just has that walk away attitude and doesn't ruminate on things.
Except I'm not good at pretending things don't exist or pretending I didn't do something. I want to have some glorious release and leave it up to Karma which I KNOW catches up to people. The only person you are hurting when you hold on to hurt is yourself. except when people are actually doing things that you can get a court order against like when John wouldn't pay and almost went to jail. Then he started paying through voluntary garnishment. I mean in some cases people can't just ignore their problems and hide like cowards. In other cases you should just let it go and not beat something to death. Or try to get sympathy from strangers on the internet since even if they don't know what happened to you- in the end they don't actually care a ton because they have their own problems to worry about.

I've always sort of thought if you care enough to whine about something you should care enough to do something about it. At the same time I don't like fighting with people or talking about my feelings.  being surprised that someone who was super mentally ill wasn't able to manage paying for his kids is illogical. He had huge issues but I'm over here still upset that I've had to fight so hard and don't feel like people saw that. Like when people posted that he loved his kids and I wanted to punch them. It's not about whether he loved them it's about me feeling like things weren't fair.

so over I went to the social security office. I didn't feel well since I had a car accident the day before. The guy kept talking to me because he was super friendly but I was a little emotional overwhelmed I didn't want to get to know someone while we were talking about if my ex husband had any other children. uhhh I don't think so. yeah let's talk about other stuff and all the people who come in and their estate planner tells them how much they will get. Also ex wife survivor benefits seem pretty intense. Like this is all a little intense for me I didn't want my life to be turned upside down. I've lost faith in humanity a little this year and also seen some awesome people. They showed me his SS earnings of the past little while and told me what I would get.
and i will really get it. like reliably. for the first time since John moved out I know what to expect. Less than what he would have paid but it's so strange to just know. I like closure and I like knowing. It would be nice to know if john had any money in his bank or where the hell he was working the last few years. We didn't talk though.

Pick your battles wisely, like you decide if you say the children's dad is dead or just leave it at divorced.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Strava Cookie Sunday

So this week I have written like 5 posts and deleted them. Mostly thinking about the perfect candidate for a newlywed Blog. I would KILL at writing newlywed blog posts. Like my advice would save the freaking world. Maybe I'll have rotating new husbands. This is the best thing ever. So many marriage pinterest boards.
As it is I decided it was finally time to learn how to do royal icing and made Strava cookies this week.



I had a shortbread recipe I just didn't do any sort of topping. I put them in the pan and dusted them with flour and used my silicone rolling pin to make sure they were even on the pan. used a spatula to even out the edges as well. I've tried a few shortbread recipes and my friend Laura has the best one. shortbread is dangerous- we've all had those stupid Christmas cookies with the giant sanding sugar that sort of taste good and then BAAM I've eaten an entire tin of cookies.

the only thing is- I'm not really great at making royal icing. I want a pastry bag I think. I googled the recipe for royal icing and picked one to mess with. Here's how I made it
2 medium egg whites
2.5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp water
1/4 tsp vanilla

mix well. it seemed pretty fluid. I put my frosting in a plastic bag with a tiny hole cut in the corner. my first hole was too big. I learned a lot since this was my first project- like i should have had a tiny bit more water an traced the pattern I wanted then used a thinner filler.  

I'm pretty sure I'll be working on this more. These cookies are about the size of a post it note deck. You should always cut the shortbread as soon as it comes out of the oven so it's easy to cut and nice. I think if you use a hot knife you can still have a crisp edge. I used my Shun knives.

In other news I've really felt lucky lately. I have great friends and it's great to meet people who are respectful and value each other. I'm shocked at how some people act and I just don't think I could live with that kind of Karma on my back. Probably just naive of me.
If I'm not careful I'll turn into one of the everything happens for a reason people.

Monday, July 6, 2015

I will give away all my sins to know thee

So I used to write a post every Sunday about church and stuff.  You should look at them they are great. Then I sort of started writing about Cookies. Because I'm not ultra creative at thinking of new ideas for active religion for children ages 8 and under I'll just stick with baking cookies every week. It was a rare case of me starting something that wasn't part of my extensive New Years Resolution plan.

Which I decided to revisit this Sunday by looking around my house and noticing that I had not gotten rid of things I wasn't using like I meant to. So I started that process. My friend said just to get rid of anything that I hadn't used in a year. Well THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE WHO CAN DO THAT? certainly no one who has ever quilted in their lives. Or anyone that has a deep and abiding love of power tools and paper products.



Today I was out hiking again because I was having a hard day. I think when things get hard I go to the mountains and keep going until everything sort of washes out of me. I think about religion when I'm in the mountains.  I have conversations I'm never going to have in person. Today I thought about talking to John and our last phone conversation.  He kept saying he was sorry and I asked him to stop. Then he got mad because his speech was slurred and I didn't know if it was one of the times he acted to to freak me out or if it was from him having a stroke. John and I used to hike a lot. I told the kids that- we went on most of the paths in Utah Valley and talked about everything.

Then I thought about my bishop saying he didn't understand why this hit me so hard.  I wonder the same thing. I wonder why a month after John died when everyone was over it I sort of felt it roll over me again when Mark told someone that he was glad his dad had a grave and he could go see it. My friend whose brother committed suicide messaged me that day and said she expected me to be struggling. This has been the most confusing year of my life and also the most clear.  I feel sort of bad for people who met me after October.  In like a year they will be like- man you are nothing like when I met you and I'll be like- I know. I can swim now. In the mountains I thought about how beautiful it was to see the ones who continue on broken. I used to really respect people who said they were unbreakable.
I'm not one of those people. 

My bishop asked me about Alma 22 and if I remembered it. Which was interesting because of course I know it. I was always fascinated by the thoughts there. In it a king hears about Christ and the promise of salvation. He prays and says "I will give away all my sins to know thee."
If you've read some of my earlier posts that I deleted a while ago since they talked about John who passed away you would know that some things about church are confusing for me. At first I wasn't going to talk about them because it's really hard for people you love to see you change and then not be in a certain direction. Or to right a really emotional blog entry then people are all up in arms worrying about you but as soon as you wrote it all the worry sort of floated away.
 Friends need to know where you stand. Then someone messages me that they are also in a different place. That they don't know where things are. We are safe together and it's OK not to know everything. I don't know if we can let go of all of our doubts like this guy who would give away everything to know God. It's even harder than getting rid of the stuff I don't use.

 I'm fascinated by the idea of people who would give away anything for God. I wonder what that God looks like. Maybe it's the God of the people who come together and help each other and remember the people who didn't make it. Maybe it's that God that gets things together for the homeless. I think it's that God that tells us making the world more beautiful for someone else is the best thing. That God made the mountains. 

A lot of religious blogs have such a definite feel- hi I decided with finality that I'm not Mormon- or Hi I've decided no matter what Jesus forever.  Like my old mission president who said he was at peace that John wouldn't be sick anymore and he was in a better place.  I'm kind of more like- Hi... still in a strange place. Not really inspiring anyone over here or getting rid of all the crap in my garage. Maybe if I did it as a Sunday thoughts blog post we would all come together and have one giant religious yard sale.
This will be the best Sunday Thoughts post ever.
Dear God-
I would give away all the crap in my garage just to know you. Except the fabric I really like. You can't have that it's mine. Except on the days when the kids knock it over and I ask myself why I even bother.

Who we are is a fluid and breaking thing.  I felt better after I went to the same place I went when I found out John was dead. The water is lower now but everything is greener.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Happy Father's Day

A few years ago I blogged about Father's day. http://janaeandjohnskids.blogspot.com/search?q=father%27s+day it was so happy. This year was so different. We visited John's grave on Father's Day. So you can imagine that this post is going to be a little emotional...

John's mom met us at the grave.  I posted this picture about the kids being sad. I didn't mention that it was hot as blazes that day and that grandma Janet brought strawberries. I didn't mention that my littlest one tried to steal the pinwheels from the kids' graves like HE ALWAYS DOES. Or that stuffed animals were climbing all over the Jesus statue at one point and Grandma Janet got sprayed with water. Seconds after someone was told not to spray said water.

So that went well. We dropped off flowers that my friend Charla brought over. I even cooked breakfast that morning that my kids didn't eat. We skipped church because I just can't handle father worship day one month after my ex husband died. If my kids started crying just for a second I would have probably lost my marbles.

Two days before I had a slight disagreement with God- because having fights with someone who is never wrong is always a good idea. I told him if he was really a God that inspired people wouldn't someone be talking to me? Sort of like asking for a sign if you will. I mean... uhh. oops.  Then my friend Dana messaged me. Then my friend Charla showed up at my house. Weird. Maybe it was just coincidence that they just told me they felt impressed to say God loves me.
Point God I guess. Every time. I still will most likely start another fight I'm awesome like that. Never give up. I always loved the idea of a loving father that you could always talk to. A perfect father that knew us. Being known and understood and taken care of is such a strong human need. It seems so beautiful to have a Heavenly Father.

That's not really part of the story though that I want to talk about because things with God are complicated and not everyone I loves believes in God and the point is that you need a place for hope when you don't know where else to find hope. The story is about how my ex sister in law posted online that my ex husband loved his kids and I felt like I got kicked in the stomach. She said that John lost a battle with Depression. I asked her to please block me on these posts.

I've been there with the kids taking care of them. It's been a nightmare. I know I've let people down. I've been scrappy and people have helped me over and over. I've learned that I'm not too proud to ask for help. It's been almost everything I was ever afraid of happening with children. My sister is living through the only fear I had that didn't come true.  My sister loves her son and it's been one of the hardest things on earth seeing her struggle with him having ongoing health issues. It just gets tiring sometimes to not see a brighter future. To be so overwhelmed and working so hard for so long that you wonder how much longer the fight will continue. Her husband and her know a different Father's day than most people do. They know the hopeless fight.
John wanting to be in his children's life was one of the top two reasons I married him. I have a pretty narrow view of what parents who love their children do. Like extremely narrow. None of this fits in my parameters. I guess I also have in the past told God what I think a perfect deity would do.

One of the most beautiful things I've ever seen was someone posting happy mother's day to his ex wife that cheated on him. It was really simple and included other mother's in his life and I thought it was one of the bravest things I had ever seen. That is someone who really loved his wife. I wondered if I could post that. Where I could just thank them without holding on to things that happened. Or replacing them with a shiny new dad pretending that the old one never existed.

My little old man drew a picture for his dad full of hearts and an ocean of tears. He interrupted the funeral when someone said John called his kids and said- but dad never called us back. I told him dad used to before dad was sick. It gets hard to remember the dad I posted about a few years ago over the noise of life. One of the last conversations with John was full of him saying everyone would know how bad I was.  It wasn't the back and forth that I was jealous of other people having. Not my Instagram post dream. They know their father was sick. One father's day they will know that he took his own life. Maybe we won't be able to save their happiness like I wasn't able to save my marriage or all his family and friends couldn't save John.  In the graveyard we put the flowers on the grave and went wandering around looking at other pinwheels and balloons. I love the flowers. The thing I loved most about John as a father stopped existing through divorce and depression and his death.

Some people remember it though. I remember it. When I forget and it's too painful my friends remind me. Family reminds me. I remind my son that he had a dad that loved him more than anything and told him stories all day with mega man and every single superhero that he could think of doing anything the children imagined. My ex sister in law reminded me when I couldn't see it over my own exhaustion.

We will visit the memories even if they are imagined and a reflection of the hope that love like that exists. That hope is why we have God and why we have each other.


Happy Father's Day John.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Boise 70.3 Race Report

Last Saturday I didn't finish Boise 70.3.

I've read some amazing Race reports. Like Skye who I met at a transition clinic in SugarHouse Park with BAM. You know what I liked about her report? She was describing the pace of the miles she expected to have and it was amazing to think of someone who plans their pace and is that FREAKING FAST. Plus she won. You should read it HERE.  I don't always give my coach as much feedback as I should and I think her race report also showed me a sort of different mindset. A lot of the time I'm out there like- you know- not thinking about pace. and when I'm training I'm like- yeah but if my friends want to do a 3 hour bike ride on a different day then I'M GOING BIKING RIGHT?! I'm so impressed with their race reports. Really great athletes who WIN IRONMAN RACES NO BIG DEAL.
Let me start with why I started doing triathlons. I never wanted to do triathlon. I hate swimming. like hate. I dated a guy who did triathlon and I was like- yeah not happening. Then I started to think well maybe I could learn to swim and maybe I could do one ever. Then someone questioned my ability to do one and it was sort of like- oh yeah? well fine. I'm going to be better at them then you are.
this plan to be better quickly became- I am going to finish one without dying. then- I am going to get out of bed and do some training for this. I swam a lot. I got eczema. I got steroid cream but it didn't do a ton. I had a swim coach. I joined a triathlon team. I made myself talk to people. I got a triathlon coach. I signed up for Boise 70.3 before I really knew how to swim. I tweeted ironman and they recommended Tennessee but that was too soon and I wanted a certain date.
But the date was important to me so I wanted to do this ironman thing. Because I had a miscarriage once and it was close to my due date (OK a bit after) and I like to memorialize things. I think it's important to ritualize things in your life and events. I used to take rocks from the place where something significant happened in my life. I had a rock from when I got engaged and married and mission stuff and my divorce. I just carry rocks. It almost killed me one day when my kids took my rocks. Oh I'm sorry kids your crazy rock collecting mom needs you to step away from her divorce rock thank you very much.!!!!! I used all my mom zen to let the kids take the rocks. They lost the smooth pink one with the streak of white.

In other obsessive behavior news I was sort of working towards this ironman thing as well as I could. As a memorial. I took swimming lessons. I posted on Facebook about how hard it was. I cried a LOT. turns out some of us cry after we swim that's normal. I mean every time you could DROWN. someone once asked me what I was afraid about with swimming. THE DROWNING. Then they joked that you can't die in a wetsuit. Know what? that's incorrect. I don't want to call them liars but I mean- that's a lie. I heard once you could drown in a teaspoon of water and that one Playboy girl Holly wanted to drown herself in a bathtub so you tell me I can't drown in a lake with real living things? I don't want to hear that.
Do love the buoyancy of the wetsuit though.

Then John died.
I think I took it harder than I meant to. Or thought I would. Not that I ever expected it. I know no one really gets it because he was my ex husband so all the feelings are super complicated and mostly I distract myself by being incredibly stressed about money and learning stuff like he didn't have life insurance at work that you get when you commit suicide and blah blah I have a meeting with social security next month and a ton of people have supported my Gofundme which let me be home with my kids this month while I was a MESS that might have lost my job if I was at work. They don't like the not functioning at work- weird. Being home with my kids was actually one of the best things ever I miss them every day.
Getting the death certificate is like getting punched. Even though John was struggling and not always reliable with paying he was there. Them being gone changes everything. It's a hollow place. Also it's a nightmare when you sort of break and a financial nightmare. Still in the middle of the mental adjustment to that. His funeral was nice and the kids are devastated and so am I but sometimes I'm also nostalgic and sometimes I'm angry.

This did not go well with training for a half ironman. I got SLOW. like a ton slower. Felt like I was moving through mud most of the time. Lay in bed. Do workout. Post picture. Go back to bed. Eat too much. Take kids to the pool. Post a picture. Go to bed. Wake up in the middle of the night with kids. Repeat. I sort of mentally checked out of life for a bit and let myself get distracted. I (mostly) woke up and did my training plan. Still too many feelings to move normally.
My deep and abiding hatred of swimming did not lessen. I panicked in the open water. Like A LOT. The first time I tried I panicked then Kim helped me back to the shore and didn't go back in. I didn't want to ever go back in.
Then I knew if I was going to finish this race and I WAS I would have to really work at it.  I practiced only 3 times in the open water after that and my coach gave me tools to help for when I panicked. I never wanted to be away from people when I was swimming. Like EVER. I thought with the time I would just make it in under the amount of time you have to finish the swim for a half ironman. DON'T TELL ME THAT'S SLOW I KNOW THAT.  rode up to Boise with Suz. I had all my food planned and my stuff laid out and I got to see my adorable nephew and my sister. I found a mantra from Danielle telling me "I'm good at all of those things." I pictured myself finishing.
On the day of the race I woke up with super bad stomach pain. Like I was like- whoa I'm dying. Texted my friend Jeanie and she said it's nerves and I'm OK. Forced myself to eat in the morning. Bagel with peanut butter and a banana from Claire.
Forced myself to drink and I was glad my coach told me to make a food plan or I would have shown up to a half ironman on an empty stomach.
Took a fantastic looking selfie with my wristband that's part of it. Next time featuring makeup.

I got to the race and finished setting up my transition and met some AWESOME people.  Many of whom had helped me with swimming. My age group was pretty much last so that wasn't my favorite. Put my wetsuit on over my bathing suit top and tri bottoms and three minutes before our time to get in the water I put on my silver swim cap and thought about how awesome this was going to be.  I drank the water I was supposed to and I took a salted caramel gu before I got in. Like clockwork.  Not too panicky. Less Stomach pain. My friend Robyn was there and she was super nice and Kristi whom I just met.  Said hi to a bunch of swimmers in the water before we started.
Go. So many fast swimmers but that never really bothers me. I sort of like the rush because it carries you for a bit. I was doing the 20 strokes and then 5 seconds to calm down thing I practiced. Pushing the water like my friend Heather told me. I was rotating. My left eye goggle was leaking dammit I brought the wrong goggles. 
Holy shit there is no hell like swimming over a mile. I mean I get it you sight you swim you sight you swim you get off track you swim back you keep swimming some girl is faster than you and she's doing backstroke you sight you swim. I was glad that my friend told me the number of buoys. That kept me from quitting after two. five yellow four orange five yellow. The water was the perfect temperature. I couldn't use my left eye but that also meant that I only had to panic a little bit about seeing mysterious sea creatures. You know what else? my calves didn't cramp and sometimes they do that when I swim. BAAM nutrition (that's the triathlon word for food) covered.
There was a guy that kept telling me I was getting off track. Apparently swimming away into the middle of nowhere isn't the goal of a race. We are triathletes and I was trying to be a mermaid for a bit- just going back to my home under the sea in the middle of the lake way away from the course no big deal. Thanks Kayak man. He wasn't as cute as the beautiful swimmer that told me I was off track in my first triathlon.  Just saying.
When I finally got down to the five remaining yellow buoys I wanted to cry I was so freaking happy. ok I did cry but there was so much water Kayak man didn't notice. If he could have pretended it was hard to kayak as fast as I was swimming that would have been nice. I felt like I was swimming against a current and it would never end. I kept getting closer. I thought people were cheering me on. Then I finished.
There was a blonde woman wearing a jacket in 90 degree weather waiting for me. She was sorry I was 36 seconds too slow and they pulled my chip.  I guess those people were telling me to stand the hell up and run. It had felt MUCH slower than any of my other open water swims. I didn't know if I should just keep going and finish the freaking race so I could get a medal. She told me I shouldn't continue I could get on the bus and it would take me back and she was sorry.
I started crying. I mean I don't know about you but when I swim a mile I cry at the end. Transition was pretty much broken down. There was a girl after me that was crying more and a guy who looked super fit. I got on the bus. I was grateful for my awesome sunglasses so the volunteers wouldn't see how sad I was. I decided not to get on the bike course since they told me not to twice but I sort of still felt like a quitter.

That was my first half ironman. I told my coach. I texted my sister even though I had no idea where I was and I just wanted to cry a lot- and eat ice cream. 
I failed to finish. With all the things going on in my life I thought hey this will be a great memorial and it will show that I can still do hard things even with John dead.

That's not really what happened though. 
I sort of wanted a do over so I could swim harder those last 5 buoys. I wanted a boyfriend so I could cuddle. I mean let's face it that's pretty fun when you feel bad. Not really thought because my ex husband just died and I never want to date right now. I wanted to hide and not see all my happy friends that made it and I didn't want them to hug me and I cry and really it's OK.

I finished the swim. which means I can swim 1.2 miles. I want to do another race. I never thought I would ever do a single race and I don't really enjoy swimming ever and I hate doing things that I'm bad at and having people see me doing them poorly but still I'm sort of in the group of people doing them I just don't always feel like I belong.

 Oh look here's a selfie of me driving back with my cute Boise shirt with my name on the back!
It was like huge closure when the race was over. Not the kind of closure where you are like- and then I conquered everything. More like the underwhelming kind of closure where it just moves on and you don't talk about it much. I still can't believe that I swam that far. I didn't get to bike or run and those were the things I was less worried about. I went over everything I did wrong and felt like I still needed to work out more that day. I did a lot of things wrong with training. I didn't track all my distances or enter my data. I signed up for a race too soon before I was ready with swimming. I wanted a date to happen even though I didn't know if it would work. I had the tools to finish but I didn't push as hard as I could have. I kept going when my life sort of told me to stop.

I don't regret any of those things. My race report is that I'm pretty sure I can do the SWIM part of one of these things within the allotted time next time. I think there will be a next time as well. I'm not a shiny professional triathlete I didn't even finish this race. I started though. My coach told me that a DNF is better than a did not start. I've never not finished a race before. I didn't want everyone to know I was even there.

The triumph over probability almost happened. I missed it by 36 seconds.
So I finished a half ironman swim almost on my due date. Maybe that's a fitting almostiversary.

I didn't pick up a rock.





Monday, June 8, 2015

Funeral Day

Today they buried John.
I was distracted about writing about it since someone told me how I was a terrible person and showed me a screenshot of a discussion with even another person about how my kids were going to suffer because I exercise and I'm not at work right now.
I don't know who that other person is but I'm 100% sure they haven't had a spouse or an ex spouse die. I'm 100% sure they've probably never had anyone die and I'm 100% sure they aren't my friends and haven't reached out to me.

That friend said they wanted the old me back.

It reminds me of the funeral. Mark really wanted to see his dad's body. He talked to me over and over about opening the casket to see his dad's body. He told everyone that he knew were the grave was so they could find it. He told me the story of praying that he wouldn't have bad dreams anymore and maybe that was his dad coming to comfort him about his bad dreams. Everyone seemed so overwhelmed. John's old best friend was super nice about the kids like I don't even know how people can act that way. There were people there I really don't like. Mostly I didn't see them because I only saw my kids. My daughter still has a hard time being around any sort of dad that other kids have. I was surprised how awful it was to realize that the only person I've ever really loved killed himself. After he said I was the reason he was so unhappy and wanted a divorce. I mean lots of relationships fail and I'm for sure not perfect. John even told me before he died that everyone would know what an asshole I was and how I tried to kill him. I told him he had to stop because I was just trying to imagine a life long of someone saying that to me every time I sent them a bill for the kids getting a new filling. The emotional fighting had to stop for me.

The hardest thing about your kids burying their dad is when people say dad is in a better place. They say his body is perfect. But my kids just have a closed casket and remains they aren't allowed to see. You can tell them about a fantasy world with a happy dad but if you push it too hard why would they want to stay here? It's like when you get divorced and everyone says you will end up with someone better and faster and richer and nicer. I don't know about you but I'm still waiting for unicorn knight rescuer second billionaire husband to come around and really I just want to figure out how to be great at the job I have and know what I want in a career and be able to give my kids the life I want for them without a guy. The thing about being alone is- it's very peaceful. I like peaceful.  I hope my kids see that. This life can be really wonderful. Even if we are broken. I would like to have the same calm assurance Elder Kopischke had talking about John's death. I don't know if he's in a better place. I just know that I didn't at any point think I would be raising three kids alone. People said I was but I don't think I was. I was always picturing trying to figure out how to get along with John later. Practicing mentally so things would go well at family events that never happened. His brother talked about John telling stories to the kids when he used to do before he got really sick. Mark interrupted to say "but we couldn't find him" and I had to remind him that dad did call- before he got sick. Dad could tell stories with any given characters for almost any length of time. Mega Man and Spiderman and Batman all in one doing whatever you could imagine. Then he disappeared and I got angry and Mark missed his dad.

Let me tell you a little about my experience with suicide of an ex spouse. There isn't a lot information out there.  It's been a little over two weeks and I still don't have a death certificate. He didn't have a will or insurance so there aren't things really coming to the kids from dad like his soccer trophy from high school or his yearbook. His brother is taking care of personal possessions but I don't know if the kids will ever get the stuff dad wrote- probably when they are adults.  They called me the day they found out and I was in the obituary. I got my last child support check a week after he died. It's harder than I thought. It's like re-living the person's life just like when someone dies but I've got an almost 8 year marriage (9 months of that was separated) and a divorce in there.
All the feelings.
I've also got some pretty mean people who feel free to tell me I'm doing things wrong. I have no doubt that I'm screwing things up. I also know that I'm distracted by the practical things like the huge drop in my budget and getting my kids to counseling and wearing clean clothes every day.
I'm mad that I am so emotional about it. I'm mad that I feel guilty for not calling the police when I asked John if he was safe a few weeks before he died and he said he was but I didn't believe him because he only ever got really emotional before he tried something. I'm mad at his family. I'm mad a lot of things and I know I'm not really mad at them it's just displaced anger since I can't really change that he's dead and I have all these feelings and nowhere to put them.
My doctor says it's normal to experience what I am going through. So does my counselor. So do the people who have lived it. I rode in the limo and sat with the kids and no one was mean to me. In a way I felt more entitled to sit there than anyone else because the kids are there.  I'm the one who has been telling stories about someone who hurt me a lot nonstop for two weeks. They don't tell you how much damage people do to the people around you before they complete suicide. You don't hear about the months of not getting a call back for the kids because dad was in a bad place and couldn't call. They don't tell you how it will be hard to see the pain they were in through the pain they caused. I used to just imagine all the bad things never happened when I told the kids stories about dad. Dad used to go do tough mudder races while you guys were babies and he was always really fast so they will probably be really good at running. Dad was really good at math. Dad and I went to Italy on our honeymoon and rode in the boats and got glass in Venice.
 It was amazing to see so many other people step in and tell my kids happy stories.

When my ex spouse died I took it harder than I thought. I didn't know what to do and I'm pretty sure I didn't do everything right.  I had nightmares and threw up at night and the kids didn't sleep and I think I gained 5 lbs in a week. I try to work out but I feel like my body has some kind of flu. Then sometimes I feel fine. Every day I feel more fine and less like staying in my bed forever. I care about the people who are disappointed I'm not doing well. They see something I don't see every day.
I hope that they are right and that I can do the things they think I can do.  They think I can do this kid thing alone and that I'll have the best career ever. I love the capable me that they see just as much as it hurts me that they aren't helping me and that they were so nasty to me.

I miss the old me. I also miss the old John. the one that everyone has been messaging me about. I miss the naive belief that we would make it through all the hard times and be happy together. Maybe John is in a better place and I will get to a better place.
I know Mark doesn't have nightmares anymore and I know other people have made it through worse things. I also know seeing my daughter cry made me feel so lost and helpless.

My kids know where their dad is. Today that will be enough.



Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Laundry

Well today was a hard day. and Yesterday was harder. I found out the kids had like over 1000 dollars in medical bills from last year. John said he paid them in March but I guess it didn't happen.

Which reminds me of something that happened in my divorce. Oddly enough I know. The thing is if you have kids and want to get divorced in Pennsylvania you are required to go to at least three sessions of counseling. This is something like punishing you for marrying that person all over again. I know at least one of the sessions I spend half the time feeding my baby since I was breastfeeding and had a new baby.  but this is about how they went.
counselor- you will need to think about provisions for your children and custody and do some paperwork and the divorce can be quite cheap if you write down what you want then just file it yourself or get an attorney together
John- I've been unhappy the whole time I just pretended after the first year and we aren't on the same educational level and she's fat. The cheating isn't really a big deal.
me- WHY THE FUCK DON'T YOU EVER PUT YOUR LAUNDRY IN THE LAUNDRY BIN? We had one in the hall which was too complicated for you so I got you a separate laundry bin. next to your bed. Somehow your socks would make it to one foot  away from the laundry bin. BUT NEVER IN THE BIN. Was that one foot just too much for you? Do you think your laundry just does itself and climbs back into your drawers? Did you not notice when I started hiding your ties after you wouldn't put them away on Sunday and I had about 30 ties before you asked for a specific art tie with the scream on it which I don't even like? Why do you have so many ties?

You can imagine how well this went. I was like 100% accepting of what was happening. Also my number one marital advice to couples- hire someone else to do your laundry. I think my husband almost had a heart attack that I was so upset about laundry when he was cheating. Maybe I never really got that memo.

So when John passed away I handled it with similar excellence. On the bright side someone else came and did my laundry. They put my laundry away. They talked to me even though I am pretty sure I was non-responsive. I'm still really struggling. The other day someone said- it will get harder and when everyone is done talking about it you can still talk to me. I knew what she was talking about. I know things will get worse before they get better. Nothing made me more angry than how my ex husband didn't call the kids. hearing your kids cry makes a parent crazy. But this time it's different. I find myself still getting frustrated like when I got the medical bills. But there is no one to call or text. No one is ever taking care of that. Dad is never calling the kids back. He's never going to eventually live close.
Just like he was never going to pick up his laundry while we were married. I was getting divorced and I was upset that my husband would never have finally started to pick up his laundry. and now their dad is dead and I'm upset he didn't finally start paying the medical bills. I thought it would get better.
Sometimes when people ask me about religion and eternity they ask how you can understand eternity. I tell them they have things in their lives that will teach them about eternity- it won't be your children or your good times. It will be the laundry. Laundry is an eternal principle. You invest into clothing and you have to wash it. Over and Over and Over again. There is never really no dirty laundry. Never. It's an endless round. Sometimes you ruin your clothes and sometimes you get good smelling detergent and it makes your life and warm out of the dryer towel heaven. But sometimes you leave it in too long and ruin your favorite pants.
I'm still distracted by survival. Experiencing significant changes in my life plan are NOT my favorite thing in the world. I wake up in the middle of the night and throw up. I try to go running or biking and it feels like my body is shaking the whole time then I can't make it work. I start crying while I'm swimming with my friends because I don't even remember the memory I had. We aren't all good at endings. I usually let my feelings catch up with reality about a month later than the time when you were supposed to say your feelings about something happening.
Which makes sense, because that's how long it takes for me to do laundry as well.
I don't know if there will be some kind of memorial fund for the kids. I don't know how anything is going to work right now. I don't really know who put my laundry away in my closet that I didn't wash or put away. I'm overwhelmed by the change. My friends are collecting memories for the kids. I wanted the kids to have something they could watch or look through when they want to think of dad. I don't know how to be both parents even though John was pretty sick and didn't get to see the kids much it still feels too final. I'm still mad that he didn't help pay for the kids more or didn't pay me the back owed child support.

Just like sitting in counseling while I was getting divorced and talking about how I did all the laundry. and he never cleaned bathrooms. I don't even mind doing that usually. I like paying bills as well. I am still in shock. Please stop messaging me about how awesome my ex was. I'm not even to the point when I realize what happened so I can hear that right now.

Plus I have a lot of laundry to do.


Hey- here's a link to the gofundme since I'm taking some time off work to be with the kids. and I guess to pay these medical bills...
gofund.me/madsenkids


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What to say to an ex spouse.

People have been super nice including family and friends. so I thought of a list of things not to say. because that makes sense.

Things not to say to someone after their ex spouse commits suicide:

1. Everything happens for a reason.
yeah first of all that's a fucking lie. second of all that's a lie. Except I wonder about the person who says I couldn't have made it through this without making it through the divorce. I really believe I'm tough as shit and can take just about anything. When they said that I maybe for one second believed the everything happens for a reason thing.  Then I got angry because I don't believe that. Everything that happens has happened and is. You don't always have to look for a reason- just look at what is.

2. Don't forget your kids
I'm sorry I was busy have an utter meltdown what did you say? I never forget my kids. If you want to do something for them go ahead. They will let you know what they like they rock like that. my daughter wants to take gymnastics and karate and not soccer. Mark wants another iPad. Little Mr. is the happiest human ever made.

3. Just go back to work and then things will be better for your kids because things will be normal.
Did you miss the fiery auto part with the dead human inside? yeah I had three children with that human. Also to some of the people who told me this- your ability to pretend you don't feel things is alarming. Like truly disturbing. Maybe I'm just a little sensitive since my ex husband ignored everything until he exploded from the inside out. That will catch up to you.  I hope it doesn't though.

4. Unbelievable.
to the person who said that- you are not a good person.  I hope that life preserves your naive ignorance that allows you to be cruel to people. Usually. Usually I hope you get to keep being naive.

5. Your ex was such a great guy.
Yeah the mental illness and our divorce never happened. Please send me more stories about how nice he was I really noticed that not at all for the last many years. Then make me feel guilty since he's dead and you need your place for good memories and I want to respect that space. Can we not remember the times that were really good right now?  Like not to the ex wife maybe? I've been talking about good memories with my kids for a long time every day. It's like a mental gymnastics session. I'm pretty sure I would withstand any torture- I'm ready to be a spy like Jennifer Garner now. Life goals.

6. He really loved his kids.
OK maybe just tell the kids that not me. Like all these good things tell the kids. Maybe send them a letter they need that. They hadn't heard from their dad in a long time. When someone is mentally ill they aren't really a loving parent. They don't see people outside themselves.

7. Do you need anything
yeah like just to keep functioning if you can help with that. Maybe drag me out of bed. Or actually think of what I might need and then do that.

8. Nothing
I mean it's hard - there isn't anything right you can say to someone turns out. So I mean I guess nothing is OK.

9. Your kids had a tragedy.
ummm. I don't want to sound selfish but this has a huge impact on my life

10. Jesus will take care of you.
Dear Jesus....uhh are you a swiss bank account and a long vacation?

11. Are you OK?
yeah that's a no. Like a solid no.

12. That's crazy.
got that memo

13. You shouldn't stay in bed.
Gosh I didn't realize that when I was almost unable to get out of bed.

14.  You are strong you've got this.
I noticed that at no point.

15. You shouldn't take your kids to Disney it's expensive.
OH I HADN'T NOTICED THINGS COST MONEY.

16. The funeral might be on your miscarriage would be due date
Perfect because that's a perfect shit storm for everyone! OH wait mainly me. Yeah. only me.

Things to say:
1. I love to mate socks can I come over?
uhh yeah you can. also my car is messy.

2. Want to go on a hike or a bike ride or a run?
yes I do. I always do. THIS IS THE BEST.

3. I got the kids something what's your address?
uhh this ones' awesome

4. Can I come give the kids something and say hi?
my daughter's teacher did this and it was so nice I wanted to cry. Also Carolann (the nanny) has taken them on walks and talked about feelings. Incredible. I have taken two naps a day and talked a lot about memories that I selected for the kids to have. It's exhausting to talk about your dead ex husband and write down happy memories.

5. I can help make something for the kids for you and ask them to write happy memories.
Maybe bring some old friends of my ex spouse and I will not be involved.

6. What type of pizza do you like.
I mean we all know I am going to marry Pizza someday. They told me what time they were bringing dinner and I was like- WHAAA? Best ever. Who plans that? mormons- that's who. WANT TO BE MORMON NOW? I THOUGHT SO.

7. Don't make any big life decisions or think about dating.
Yeah because most people don't like random outbursts about you ex dying. it's too much. But you might have displaced anger for other people who were crappy. It's easier to be angry at the living.

8. Here's a distracting meme/photo/quote
oh my goodness I have the funniest friends ever. GOAT FIT. Also stop having so much fun for a minute.

9. I am surprised how much you've been through.
I mean I never wanted to be one of those strong untouchable people. I wanted to be one of the weak ones with very little adversity and a strong support system to keep them going. I would be so good at that. I WOULD ROCK AT AN EASY LIFE. where I get to pick out rugs again. I owned that. The baby showers I throw always have matching food. FOOD SHOULD MATCH.

10. I'm surprised how easy it is to think of suicide as an illness until it's affecting someone close to you.
yeah the survivors- children and ex spouse are affected by that. My kids are super sad. I've heard them cry about dad for years now so sometimes I feel a bit numb about it but now it's so final- I'm not going to angry text message him call your kids ever maybe. because he won't. I've already had people fake call them like my friend who I put in my phone as Santa Claus to bribe my kids to be good one year.

11. It's not your fault.
Usually people who kill themselves reach out to people before they do it. John reached out to me about three weeks before and was acting unstable and I asked if he was safe and he said yes. I never knew if he was safe and I guess he wasn't. It's like your divorce all over again. So that sucks. Today my friend who has a loved one with a serious mental illness talked to me and I felt like- she gets it.

12. I will talk to the family/our group of friends for you. Nothing is more overwhelming than the roller coaster between wanting to talk or being left alone. I can't imagine how it must be for my ex mother in law losing her son. My cousin wrote her a note because I can't.

13. You will feel all the feels.
I don't even like that. It's like I'm re-living my marriage and my divorce and struggling to be a sole provider all over again all in one day. All those feelings don't go in one person they sort of spill out. So I'm walking around sort of starting to function normally with feelings that sort of fall out on the sides when I'm not expecting.
14. I started a Gofundme. gofund.me/madsenkids
what?!? I just had to put that because I'm been SHOCKED at how many people have helped. at the same time I was like- dude I need help I'm not doing great. Probably I should be doing better let me put that on the list of things to do for today with wear clean clothes. I have totally checked that off. I think. Goal- Keep my job. yeah that's a good goal.

15. I'll help you write people thank you cards for helping.
I mean thank you cards are very important. I can never thank people for all the stuff they've done for me.

16. I brought you ice cream and my mom flips everyone off and calls everyone betch.
This is what life is all about. umm a lot of people have come over to say hi. I think I've been at points distracted and at points overly loud. sorry.

My friend was talking about that about two weeks ago because her husband died and she said sometimes you are mad and sometimes you are ok. I feel like I am not being normal. I keep worrying about stuff that's dumb that I said and how I didn't thank everyone and when some people came over I didn't even realize they were there and then I was like- dude what's wrong with me? I feel awful that I'm not back at work yet and also I don't like going to counseling with the kids I have to pretend everything is OK and was Ok and keep my professionalism level high. Also I'm fairly sure that I've said things to people I shouldn't have and didn't really mean.
Probably this post is a mistake. I'm into making mistakes right now.
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