I was always a pretty secure and confident woman. I never thought of myself as jealous or vindictive – I even fancied myself a kind and open person.
But when my ex-husband took on a new partner something snapped inside of me! I refer to this madness as “the crazies”.
Some of you may know it as the sick feeling inside your stomach that makes you want to go postal. That feeling of injustice where being hurt is so deep that you rage with hot tempered emotion – and become a crazy person that does not resemble the person you know yourself to be.
When my husband and I divorced four years ago I was pretty calm about it. It was a long time coming. After meeting in high school, having three kids, countless career changes, new friends we just weren’t connected anymore. We tried therapy for about a year and despite the college try we just did not seem “to work” any longer.
So when we told the kids we were both strong. And when he left the house and moved into his new apartment I did not crumble. I had a good job, three kids and a fairly active social life to focus on. And even though my weekends were strange without him I felt busy enough to overcome the “alone” pain.
When it came to our kids we were still aligned and co-parenting the way we always had – Mutual decisions and connecting for the bigger events.
Then one day – on HIS weekend – I called my kids to say good night and could hear a female voice in the background. I tried not to ask my daughter too many questions but the curiosity just about killed me. When she told me to “hold on” because “Becky wanted to know what she preferred for dinner” I lost my cool.
“Put daddy on the phone immediately” … and then I demanded to understand who she was and what right she had being around my children.
And when one weekend turned into countless weekends I started to freak out. When SHE showed up in my driveway to pick up the kids I think I went insane. It was not my finest moment – trying to build a case for how her presence was harmful to our children.
I couldn’t sleep at night thinking of her tucking in my babies. Taking them to movies, shopping, amusement parks and being the fun girlfriend that I didn’t have time to be as the real mom. I said a lot of things I shouldn’t have to my ex. And could barely keep it together when the kids shared those stories about her- I just couldn’t understand how they weren’t aware that hearing about it was like stabbing knives in my heart.
When he took the kids on a Christmas trip with her I cried for a week straight. I hated every minute of knowing she was vacationing in my pre divorce world.
I tried everything to decompress. Yoga and meditation, serial dating, herbal tea, movies, you name it… but I couldn’t stop the crazies. I got more distraught and focused on THEM. I stopped building my own life and spent my time overwrought with angst about them!
After four months of this behavior, my best friend (and divorce angel) sat me down…. told me to get my S—T together, – stop being a victim! She made me really aware that I was consumed. She pointed out that there were actually some positives. She tried to reassure me this woman was never going to replace the kids’ mother. She tried to show me I could co-exist with her.
Today my new normal includes HER as my children’s step mom.
I still get bits of the crazies from time to time but I am learning to be calm – especially when I see my boyfriend spend some quality time with my kids and I witness the positive effects it has on them.
The reality is my kids enjoy all of us.
They have found places to keep each of us close to them.
For those of you who have these crazies I hope this post assures you that one day they will pass. Try to let it go – I promise you your children will never forget you are their parent no matter who enters into the mix!