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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Like a breath of fresh air



So I'm not going to lie, writing the entire story down from start to finish was a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. 

But I'm SO glad that I did. 

It was like closing a chapter. As I wrote that last paragraph I felt a weight lifted from me. It was all bottled up inside me for so long, but now.. its gone, & I can breathe again.

*sigh*

It feels nice.

Thank you to those who stuck with me through that, I know it was long and irritating. Trust me, it was the same for me.

I wasn't even posting links to my blog on the blog Facebook page because I have so many friends & family who would see it and at this point, I don't need it fresh on any of their minds for the holidays. 

That said, I'm not hiding anything. It's there if anyone wants to read it. 

I'm just not going to start a conversation with it.

My life is finally going back to normal.
I'm happy.
I'm at peace.

This was good for my soul.


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Thursday, November 27, 2014

Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Did any of you watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade this year?

We did. It was Kai's first time.. Man did he love it!
What I wouldn't give to be able to take him someday..

Here are some of our favorites from the Snapchat Feed:


 


 







Happy Thanksgiving!


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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A means to a bitter end, & a happier beginning...



Need a recap of what I'm talking about? read HERE.

Pt.10
A means to a bitter end, & a happier beginning...


Things were pretty quiet for months following. And I do mean months. 
Tori pretty much kept her & her husband to her side of the apartment, & we kept to ours.

There was a few awkward exchanges here and there. 
Even few times that things would seem almost normal, 
but those were few and far between.

A few times I would hit my wits end with Tori. Her husband would come to me and explain that Tori was keeping him posted on things between Ryan & I and he was disappointed and frustrated with me for my patience. A few times I would mention my distaste for her attitude and lack of respect for me around the house. Her husbands response floored me:

"Well she is just really upset with the on goings of you two. She feels like you two have allowed your personal strife to leak into the household life, and its affecting her now as well. She just really feels uncomfortable with it all."

o_0

She's uncomfortable?

I'VE let it in to the household life?!

IT'S HALF BECAUSE OF HER I'M GOING THROUGH THIS!!

But I can't say that, because he still doesn't know. As much as I WANT to tell him. As much as I HATE that I have to lie by omission. As much as it KILLS me to watch Tori allow her husband to wander aimlessly through his life unaware of the betrayal right under his nose.. in his OWN HOUSE. 

Disgusting. I hated myself for being even a part of it.

Which is why a few different times I almost told him. I would breakdown and subconsciously BEG him to ask me about it so that I could tell him. Would drop little hints and cues to cause a conversational reaction between the two of us, but it never happened.

That was part of my agreement with Tori. I would not say anything, because it was not my place to ruin her family for my personal revenge. I cared about Linnie way to much for that. It was on HER to own up to her mistake. But if her husband ever ASKED me.. I would not lie. I would tell the truth. And if Tori waited too long to own up, eventually I would give. If we got to a year later (Which at this point was when Ryan & I would hopefully be moved out) and she still hadn't told him, I wouldn't be able to stay quiet.

Which is basically what happened. After at least 3 separate times almost telling him, & him never actually asking me I broke. ( I found out later that EACH time I would almost tell him, instead of asking me, he would ask TORI. He would straight ASK her, "Are you the one Ryan had an affair with?" & she would lie to his face and say no. THREE TIMES.)

So when Tori went to a bachelorette party for her sister, leaving her husband home with me alone with me for the first time in forever, I took my chance. Now I will note, it didn't start as a "I'm going to tell him" kind of conversation.. but it definitely ended up that way. I still had moments of guilt for being the one to tell him, and in that fear I told him my whole story.. no holds barred.. incriminating myself along with Ryan and.. an un-named female. I just couldn't do it. I did everything I could to tell him the important parts without actually naming names.

 I told him exactly how I felt, my pain, my guilt, my sadness... everything. And in the moment, that very close friend for the last SIXTEEN years was there for me. 
He was patient. He was sincere. He was understanding. 
He told me that in the end, I was in between a rock and a hard place with no good choice to make. He assured me that I'm only human and will make mistakes just like anyone else. That this situation was extremely difficult and severely out of my hands and he understood my lack of confidence and unsureness of what to do. He was on my side...
for the moment.

And that helped. 

But again he never asked me. I came to the conclusion that aside from coming straight out with "Your wife had an affair with my husband." he was never going to know. I was extremely discouraged.

Oh was I wrong.

The next day I awoke to loud banging sounds and yelling. Still groggy from sleep I struggled out of bed just as the front door slammed shut. Confused I stumbled into the quiet, dark living room. It took a few minutes of standing there to realize there was a small sobbing coming from Tori's bedroom. I walked in to find her sitting on the edge of her bed.

"Tori?"
 
"He's gone."

"What's going on?"

"He took Linnie, & left. He's so mad. He's leaving Me. He knows!"

I didn't know how to react. I'm not going to lie and say I didn't have a large sigh of relief escape from me, but seeing Tori that destroyed broke my heart. 

So I did what any normal, compassionate person would do. I sat with her. I held her. I calmed her as much as could and helped her breathe. I held her hand while she called her husband & listened patiently while he yelled and berated her. Then I wiped her tears and helped her make a plan. I was there for her, cause that is what friends do. 

I may not make the best of choices all the time, but in the end I am a great friend.

After a few hours her husband finally sent me a text. It started out calm, escalating quickly to insults from him, chastising me. In the moment I was hurt, & I wanted very strongly to retaliate. But in the end I understood. He was dealing with alot of betrayal all at once and expressing his feelings as any normal person would in this situation. He was doing the one thing I wished for months and months that I had done and never did. 

He was being ANGRY, as he was allowed.

I had never once got to be really angry. Or upset. Or really even hurt.

Things happened so rapidly for me that I felt I was under scrutiny to act appropriately or my world would tumble down. I had just had a baby. All I could think about was that little boy and not doing anything rash to screw up his future life. I grew up the oldest child of three, all from separate dads. We all had to shuttle around and live the split-family life. I did not want that for Kai. So I held on, fought my ass off, and did whatever was necessary to fix my marriage. 

For a split moment I was jealous of him. For holding enough power in the relationship that he had with Tori that the thought of not having him brought her to her knees. That wasn't there for me. I was very torn... I was also very worried about my friend. 

We had found out through a mutual acquaintance that after dropping Linnie of with family he had made his way to a local bar. Knowing he was going to be trashed very soon, I left Tori & Ryan at the apartment with Kai & went looking for him. I followed some hints around and found out eventually he had called another close friend and had been picked up and taken back to the friends house. He was safe, so I went home.

But then I received a text from him that would throw all of those feelings out the window.
What happened next I never saw coming.

I expected him to say Ryan couldn't stay there. That was a given. Which Ryan & I had discussed at length, to which we had decided he would sleep in his car if the situation ever arose. Ryan was fine with that, understood that it just made sense. We had already gotten a new apartment at this point and was waiting the 30 days for it to be available to move in. But what was demanded of us was not for Ryan's departure.. but myself & Kai's as well.

"I want you out Jaimie. Tonight."

"I'm sorry. I really don't care what you want, we don't have that ability."

"I don't give a shit. Gone. By tonight."

"Well you better give a shit. Cause I'm NOT leaving. I pay rent here and I will not be taking my 1 year old to live in my car for a month. I understand I've had a whole year longer to come to terms with what has happened, but you need to calm down."

"I don't have to do a damn thing I don't want to. This is on MY terms now. What I say GOES, OR ELSE. I get whatever I want now, MY rules."

"I'm sorry, but again. You need to calm down. I have no way to get out right away, but we get  the keys to the apartment in less than 30 days. Pull up your big-boy britches and deal. You can threaten all you want, but I'm not afraid of you."

But the truth was, I think actually might have been scared. Even if it was just a little
I didn't feel safe there. & I definitely didn't want my son anywhere near Tori's husband when he finally came home.

I was once again lost. confused. unsure. 
I had no idea what my next move was.

I ended up calling my dad & begging him to let us stay in his new RV for the month. When he heard that I felt Kai was unsafe, there was no question. I called a few close girlfriends who dropped what they were doing and came over that night to help Tori and I pack my entire life up into boxes. During this Ryan had to leave to work, and felt horrible leaving us to take care of everything. I definitely cried a few times. But after a few hours everything was packed. Ryan's boss let him come home early and a work buddy let him borrow their truck so things could get done faster. Sooner than I thought I was sitting in my dad's house with half my things, the other half still sitting in the apartment with Tori, bawling my eyes out while rocking Kai to sleep. 
I couldn't believe where my life had ended up.

Before I left, Tori had given me a hug.

"Thank you so much for being there for me and understanding through all of this."

"Ofcourse, I still love you."

"And I love you too. No matter what, please don't let this come between us.. 
Please can we stay friends?"

"Tori, if I haven't stopped talking to you yet what makes you think I'm going to start now?"

I meant every word. 
So when the next few weeks went by with no contact, no communication, I started to wonder. When we received the keys to the apartment, I set a time to go retrieve the rest of my things. I was told that I was not allowed if her husband was there. I was not allowed to see Linnie either. I was NOT ALLOWED. I was shocked, but went about my way gathering my things, cleaning the room the best I could, and leaving on a good note.

A week or so later when I went to pick up mail that had made it there before our address change, I was appalled at the way Tori acted towards me. Cold. Distant. She informed me that she would lose her husband if he stayed friends with me, and that was that. No conversation, no I'm sorry. Just a shoulder shrug with her hands in her pockets. I began to cry and she laughed it off, Telling me how she was sorry I missed her but this was how it was going to be, then practically closing the door on me. After all the patience I had for her. All the ways I was there for her after what her poor choices put me through. All the ways that even after it all I still supported her.

Are you KIDDING me?!

I was heartbroken.

It took me days to bounce back from that emotional slap in the face. But when I did, it was like a whole new me. I decided to stop living my life sad about people who obviously aren't sad about losing me. I removed all pictures of Tori from my picture frames, 
(which was a lot harder than it sounds. I have ALOT of them, 
and am very attached to the photos I see everyday.) 
I changed my daily routine. I worked day & night to get the house up to par by my standards. I went shopping and stocked up on all the things that Tori & I shared that I had chose to leave behind.

 I made us a home of our OWN..

& since then I can't even explain to you the lightness I feel. That Ryan & I BOTH feel. Things are so much better now. Happier. We never realized how much the living situation was bringing us down! Even our relationship has flourished beyond compare. 
We laugh, we love, we TALK. Communication is so much better now. 
We can actually sit on the couch night after night, or go out on a date and actually enjoy time together.

It's so nice!

As much as I hate how we got here, I wouldn't change how things happened for anything. Ryan & I are better, stronger, and more in love than we ever were. 

I wouldn't change that for the world.


Don't forget to check out
my photo blog Pocket Memories



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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Going down in Flames




After re-living the last part to this story I had to step away for a bit. It affected me a lot more than I had expected, and when I had sat down to start part 9 I found a mental roadblock. It took a subtle yet well needed scolding from my good friend Mallori to realize I need to get my butt in gear and get this series done. Time to move on with my life. Thanks girlie..


Need a recap of what I'm talking about? read HERE.

Pt.9
Going down in Flames 


I honestly don't remember a lot of details after that moment.

All I remember is hearing a memory of my little sister Danielle's 
voice from when I was in labor with Kai reminding me to breathe...

...Breathe Jaimie...

 What is happening?

...in...

Why are my ears ringing?

...out...

I feel dizzy.

...in...

Maybe I should sit down.

...out...

"What are you saying Ryan? Do you want a divorce?"

I looked up at him in disbelief of the question I was having to ask.

"Yes? No.. Shit.. No! I don't know! It's just, I'm just... I'm not happy Jaimie!"

As I watched this man, who had promised to love and care for me for the rest of our lives, to have and to hold through better or worse till death do us part, struggle with the confusion of emotions he was experiencing all I felt was a wave of hurt. 

But not just for myself, for Ryan as well. I could see he was lost. 

I love this man, with every fiber of my being. He had been my better half for over a decade. So though it may be hard for many others to understand, in that moment I felt compassion. I felt understanding. I felt LOVE.

MY love.

In that moment, when Ryan sank to his knees in front of me placing his head on my lap I could feel his pain as he began to cry. 

"I don't know... Jaimie. I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have told you like that. I don't want to lose you baby, ofcourse not. I'm so sorry, I was just mad. But I AM unhappy Jaimie. I don't know why, but I am. I have been for awhile now, I just didn't know how to tell you... Please forgive me baby, please... I'm so sorry. I don't want to hurt you."

He still loved me. 


I knew it right then. In 11 years Ryan had never had anything anywhere close to a moment of weakness like this. 11 years Ryan had never slipped up in this way. 11 years...


My decision was made.


I was not going to let whatever this was take away the last decade of happiness. I was not going to let a moment of weakness destroy the life we had built together. 


I was going to fight.


& I was going to save us.


Or at least go down in flames trying.
  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The next few days were shaky, and awkward.

Ryan & I were so cautious around each other it was almost painful. What made it worse was the fact that we were still living with Tori & her husband. We had to sit by quietly watching Tori go on in her relationship unscathed. Meanwhile Ryan & I are fighting for our lives to keep our marriage hanging on by the few threads it had left. We had good days, and we had bad. But the bad often would lean more toward horrible, & being that Tori's husband was a long time friend of mine he would notice the ongoing, knew something big had happened, and was concerned. But for the first time in 16 years, I wouldn't talk to him. I couldn't confide in him, and that set him on unease. So he would ask Tori, trying to get some answers from her. Not knowing quite what to do she began to tell him half-truths. Painting Ryan as this horrid guy, and pushing her husband to believe that maybe I need to move on with my life.

Because if he was focusing on how horrible my marriage was,
 he would never think twice about his own.


Then Ryan tried leaving, twice. As in packing an overnight, kissing Kai goodbye. The first time I was able to calm him down and see reason. To talk to me instead of yelling. The second time wasn't so simple. The second time he actually made it out the door, while I'm crying on our bedroom floor feeling that this might actually be it. 

What stopped him?

Was it my tears heard through our window? Was it the thought of his baby boy waking up and not having his daddy to cuddle? No. I will give you one guess.

Running out the door and begging him to talk to her, Tori was the only thing that calmed him. The only thing that brought him back inside. And with a kiss and a plea to 
stay for her is the only reason my husband slept in our bed that night.

I love and hate her for that moment.

On one of our better moments I noticed Tori & Ryan really not getting along again. Wondering if I did something to provoke the mood swing I asked Tori what was wrong. Her answer could not have shocked me more...

"I'm kinda over it Jaimie. Seriously. When we started this it was an escape, a release. Something forbidden, exciting, & fun. But since you found out it has been nothing but turmoil and strife and I just don't need that in my life!"

0_o

"Well I'm so sorry that telling me the truth has caused you so much stress Tori."

"Don't even be like that Jaimie. Besides, I was attracted to Ryan because of how he has always treated you. Watching how he has been the past few weeks towards you is kind of a turn off, to be honest."

This was the point where I was mentally struggling with the urge to laugh out loud at her absolute lack of tact, and the need to scratch out her eyeballs for thinking I give a damn that she is stressed out by this. 

But it was in that moment that I saw my solution.

Over the next few days I made a request of both Tori & Ryan.

It was the start of December, my favorite time of the year. This is the time when I'm constantly cooking & baking & party planning. I wanted nothing more than to have a stress free holiday. So I asked that they take a complete break from each other for the month. Ending after my birthday on the 1st of January. 
All I wanted for Christmas & my birthday was my normal life.
 That was it.

 They both understood and things were peaceful for two whole weeks. Ryan & I even seemed happier, better. We took a trip to Spokane for 4 days and had a blast, 
laughing and loving like we hadn't in months.

When we got back home I told Ryan I felt great, and felt like we were doing so much better. I understood it was the holidays and that Tori was, first and foremost his friend as well. So I was okay with them at least being able to talk to each other. This made Ryan so happy, and made him even better and more open towards me. But Tori could feel the difference in us. I'm not sure she liked it, but I'm not sure she didn't either. I could tell she wasn't entirely comfortable with how comfortable we were with each other. 

You see, Ryan & I, we are a weird set of human beings. We don't function the way normal people do under society rules. We understand mistakes are mistakes, and as human beings we are bound to make them. We also understand that in each other we find the solace and respect of not only a lover, but a best friend. Because of that we have realized over the years that if we can get to a point where we can joke about a situation that has previously brought us down we can control it more. If we can laugh and poke fun at it then it no longer holds power over us. 

Not everybody likes this about us.
(oh well.)

One particular example is while we were decorating the tree, I made an off-hand comment to Ryan that we should look into a couples swinger cruises. Why not? 
Meet some new people, have some fun, let our freak flag fly! 

Now not that I'm completely against this idea since, as I have said before it was never the sex that upset me, but the disloyalty.. but in that moment I was joking, and it was VERY obvious. Ryan & I were laughing at the notion when I noticed Tori become standoffish. Very shortly afterward she locked herself in her room in a hissyfit of frustration. 

Ryan later got her to fess up that she was mad that he was talking about going on a cruise with me. Meeting other people with me. Possibly sleeping with someone other than her.

Seriously?!

But I left it alone. I didn't get mad. I didn't even mention it. 

And then my Christmas party happened.

Every year I throw a Christmas party for all of our close friends. I make a full dinner, with ham, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and a few sides and everyone brings a side or dessert to share. We drink wine, play games, exchange white elephant gifts, generally just enjoy each others company.

But this time was different.

There was a tension in the air that EVERYONE could feel. And as much as I was trying to busy myself in the kitchen and focus on my guests, I couldn't help but notice the frustration radiating off Ryan. The upset look Tori had glued to her face. The fact that a few different times they would disappear into our room only to emerge even more irritated. 

I was pretty sure I knew what was happening. A few days before I had noticed a post from Tori on her Tumblr that had caught my attention. 

(Trust me, I'm aware of the immature nature of that situation, just roll with it.)

She had posted a picture that she had obviously made that rang a little to slap-in-the-face. Just words on a background, but enough to leave a mark.


To the guy who said 
"I don't sleep around. 
I don't have sex with just anyone." 

Yeah your full of shit.


That might not be exact (It was almost a year ago) but it's the same idea.

I had pointed this out to Ryan as I was pretty sure he had told me he had said those exact words to Tori during one of there many times together. This was obviously directed at him because of the "swingers cruise" ordeal. I understood when this upset him, but I asked him to wait till after the party to talk to her about it... 
Something told me he hadn't waited.

When it got to the point where some of my closest girlfriends where noticing as well, I slapped on a smile & silently excused myself to the room where they where shouting at each other. 

"What. In the world. Are you two THINKING?!"

The both looked at me like I was insane.

"I had to talk to her about the picture Jaimie, I had to."

"We have GUESTS. Close friends who are NOT oblivious to your two's ridiculous displays of frustration towards each other and false sense of assumption that nooooo one is noticing you slinking off to our room and yelling so loud we can all hear you through the walls! I don't give a shit WHAT your doing just KNOCK. IT. OFF. One day. I asked for ONE DAY. 
You two can be so utterly selfish I SWEAR to GOD."

And with that I turned and walked back out the door without another glance at their stunned faces. Of course I noticed the sudden flurry of conversation our friends started the second I was back in the living area, but I was to upset to care. And embarrassed beyond belief. And sad... very sad.

So I shut off. My smile became that of a Stepford wife. I rolled on with the rest of the night and the next few weeks to come like nothing in the world could dent my day.

I had to. Because I knew what was coming. I knew I was on the verge of a breakdown. 
I knew I was reaching the end of my patience. And with the end of my patience, would come the end to this hell on earth I was living. 

I was done. Done being sad. Done walking on eggshells. Done feeling like I WAS THE ONE who had done something wrong. Done watching my life catch fire every few days while hers was still calm and content. Done with having to lie everyday about what was going on in my life.

I. Was. DONE.

When everything finally came to fruition, everyone would know the truth.
One way or another, I would be done with this situation. 

(To be continued...)

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