adultery, affair, Betrayal, Christianity, divorce, Healing, melanoma, separation, unfaithfulness

Physically Challenged Summer

I moved yet again on August 1, 2017.  Three moves in two years–exhausting, stressful and expensive.  My landlord wanted to do some renovations to the place I had been living in order to add an extra suite to his home and he was also considering selling.  He informed me as well that he would need to raise my rent from $1750 to a yet undetermined amount for what was really a 2-bedroom basement suite and  a tiny extra room with no window that housed my older daughter’s single bed and a desk and computer.

I had met a male friend in February who was not enjoying condo living and sharing walls.  The only way both of us could get more space for less money was to rent a home together.  We researched what was available, included my kids in the process, included God and prayer in the process and feel like the perfect place for us was provided.

Just prior to our move I had to have my melanoma surgery on the left side of my back.  My new friend is a trauma paramedic so they allowed him to come into the surgery room and be with me for the procedure.  He said he was shocked at how much they had to cut.  One centimeter around the cancer site and one centimeter deep.  This melanoma had a deeper root than my last one so it required an additional 5 mm cut than around the cancer site than what was required for the one on my right arm last year.  It doesn’t seem like a lot until they draw it out on your back and you realize it isn’t a cm straight line but a circle.  My friend said the chunk they took was large enough to BBQ.

The requirement after that was no lifting or carrying for 2 weeks.   Because my new roommate saw how serious the surgery was he was very protective and strict with me that obey orders and not pull stitches or cause damage or impede healing. Not at all ideal when you are trying to move.  My kids and my older daughter’s boyfriend along with 3 of his friends were invaluable to me during this time.  My new roommate and his son and girlfriend also made sure we got moved in.  Although, we are still in the process of actually emptying our moving boxes.  My roommate ended up having his own health issues.  It became a stark realization that if anything happened to either of us, the other would not be able to afford to continue to live in our new place.  One day at time living without ruminating about the past or projecting worry and doubt about the future is how I am learning to live. Trusting God will provide and direct is all I can do.

Just when my 2 weeks were up and I was able to start to use both arms again to lift and carry, the very next day I was bit by a Bull Mastiff.  This 200 lb animal fractured my left hand.  My dog was being attacked and if I had not intervened I am convinced my dog would be dead.  I had to have emergency surgery with pins as my 5th metacarpal was displaced and it was an opened wound.  All of the puncture wounds were opened up further and irrigated. I had stitches and was prescribed antibiotics and painkillers.

I just had the pins taken out yesterday and started at the Hand Therapy Clinic today.  It will still be another 2 to 3 weeks before I can lift and carry with my left hand but I am so excited to be out of the cast and have the pins out.  After one treatment at the Hand Clinic today I am amazed that I am able to type with both hands (part of my homework). It is difficult and a little painful but I am doing it.

I feel like with everything that has happened to me and with all the unrest in the world right now between crazy weather, terrorism, war,  nuclear threats, acts of violence/hatred, etc. that I am being prepared for something even more difficult.  My world of what I thought was love, peace, comfort, stability and security has been rocked forever with infidelity but now I am undergoing further levels of being toughened up, challenged, changed, and forced to rethink my priorities and purpose for my life.  I am not afraid of what is to come.   With every circumstance I handle, endure, over-come, let be, or fight I am realizing more and more that my character is real.  I am a confident, independent, brave, tough, faithful and loving woman in good times and in hard times.

 

Photos are hand condition at 2 weeks post surgery getting stitches removed.

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adultery, cheating, divorce, ex spouse, other woman, separation

Burning our Portrait

In episode 9 of ‘The Crown’ on Netflix there is a scene where artist Graham Sutherland has been commissioned to paint the portrait of Sir Winston Churchill as a gift for his 80th birthday.

Winston Churchill wants to see Graham’s work in progress so he offers, “I could give you advice.  After all, I know this face better than you do.”

Graham Sutherland refuses to show him the incomplete portrait and responds, “I find in general people have very little understanding of who they are.  One has to turn a blind eye to so much of one’s self to get through life.”

This scene came at exactly the time I had just ended texting with a friend.   I hadn’t heard from him for awhile. The introductory two words in his four-word message offended me.

I responded by asking him why he would say what he did to me and that I found it insulting. I explained why.

His response: “Be nice. I am just messing.”

I suggested that he take his own advice and be nice because what he was insinuating in his text was not nice. I then said, “If you want to be one of those people that pops up in my life when you are bored then you might try to make it a more positive experience.”

His response: “Good Bye Robyn, omg. When you finish being a bitch let me know.”

My response:  “You insulted me and I let you know that you did.  Instead of apologizing you called me a bitch.”

His response: “Pretend I never existed. Just trying to be funny and you take it the wrong way again. I am dead to you.”

My response:  “It is a very immature way to deal with someone who is only telling you that you made an insulting comment. You could have owned it, accepted responsibility, apologized and learned from it so you don’t make the same mistake to others.  A little self-awareness goes a long way.”

His response: “Good luck with your life.  When you want to be nice and realize I am just playing let me know. You are the immature one, chill out and relax. Grow up. I was just trying to be funny. Drama queen.”

Although I don’t think he was intentionally trying to hurt me with his comment, he has used similar sentiments to purposely attack me in the past so I was very sensitive to his words. I explained that. He might have made a dig but I was giving him the benefit of the doubt and just told him it was a hurtful comment that was not funny to me.

I have offended people unintentionally, in business and in my personal life.  If it is brought to my intention, I feel terrible and it is honestly my heart to do and say what I need to in order to make it right.  I don’t blame the person for feeling offended by what I have done or said. I go out of my way to apologize and to hopefully make them feel better about the situation, to know I am genuine, sincere and remorseful in hurting them and I do what I can and need to in order to mend any tear in our relationship.

In the episode of The Crown that I was watching, Sir Winston Churchill hated the portrait when it was revealed.  He met with the artist afterwards in private at his Chartwell home where the painting was sent but never hung and called the portrait a “humiliation”.  He said it looked like he was “sitting on a chair producing a stool.  A broken, sagging, pitiful creature, squeezing and squeezing.” He felt it was “treacherous, an unpatriotic, cowardly assault by the left.”

The prime minister felt it was “a betrayal of friendship”. The artist explained that he took the commission because he greatly admired the PM and came through the experience of painting his portrait admiring him even more.  The PM quipped, “Do you make monsters of everyone you admire?” The artist compassionately spoke, “It’s not vindictive. It is art. It is not personal.”

Then the PM did what my friend did after I spoke my truth.  Where the artist said it wasn’t personal, the PM made it personal and attacked, “You are a lost soul, a narcissist without direction or …”(he is cut off by Graham Sutherland.)

Mr. Sutherland advised Mr. Churchill to give it time and not to over react.  He shared that he showed Lady Churchill, his wife, the sketches during the process and she felt it was accurate. The PM responded:  “That is the whole point. It is not a reasonably truthful image of me.”  The artist said, “It is sir.” The PM angrily responded, “It is cruel.”

Then Graham Sutherland firmly and directly speaks his truth, “Age is cruel.  If you see decay there is decay.  If you see frailty it is because there is frailty. I can’t be blamed for what is and I refuse to hide and disguise what I see.  If you are engaged in a fight with something then it is not with me.  It is with your own blindness.!”

At the end of the episode Sir Winston Churchill is shown burning the portrait.  It is reported in history, though, that it was Lady Churchill who destroyed the portrait because of the distress it caused her husband.

sand_painting_of_sir_winston_churchill

Maybe we should all have a commissioned portrait and see if we have the courage to hang it, look at it and recognize ourselves.

 

 

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affair, anger, Betrayal, cheating, deceit, ego, ex spouse, infidelity, lies, marriage breakdown, other woman, separation

The Girl on the Train

My 14-year old announced this week that she wanted to read The Girl on the Train.

I was excited for her to declare that she wanted to read anything.  She doesn’t enjoy reading. I have bought many books on many subjects and ones she has chose that she thinks she might be interested to read but the cover is never cracked or she can’t make it past the first chapter.

She went on to tell me that her teacher has the book in their Grade 9 classroom but that she needs parental consent before being able to sign it out as the teacher described the content as “edgy”.

I loved reading the same books as my older daughter. That started when she was 10.  She is a voracious reader and it gave us a bond we share today recommending and discussing literature with each other.  So I suggested to my 14-year old that we go to Costco and buy the book so that I can read it first. Then if I think the subject matter appropriate she can read it next.

When she found the book at Costco the first thing she did was exactly what her dad does–flip to the back to see how many pages. My ex wasn’t a reader before meeting me. When he finally joined me reading in bed before we turned out the lights, if a book had more than 180 pages, regardless of how great the story was supposed to be, he refused to read it.

My daughter moaned about it’s thickness and small print. I admonished her to put the book in the cart before she saw the 395 pages.

As I start to read the book tonight, one theme is clear: infidelity.

When the main character finds out that the wife of a couple she admires is having an affair she reacts:  “I can’t believe it.  I snatch air into my lungs and realize that I’ve been holding my breath.  Why would she do that?…I can’t believe she would do that to him, he doesn’t deserve that.  I feel a real sense of disappointment.  I feel as though I have been cheated on.  A familiar ache fills my chest.  I have felt this way before.  On a larger scale, to a more intense degree, of course, but I remember the quality of the pain.  You don’t forget it.”

“I found out the same way everyone seems to find out these days: an electronic slip. Sometimes its a text or a voice mail message: in my case it was an email, the modern-day lipstick on the collar….Once, I answered his phone when he was in the shower and he got quite upset and accused me of not trusting him. I felt awful because he seemed so hurt…There was a message at the top….I clicked. XXXXX.  That was it, just a line of X’s. I thought it was spam at first, until I realized that they were kisses…It was a reply to a message he’d sent a few hours before, just after seven, when I was still slumbering in our bed.”

Her husband’s message to the other woman was in a folder marked ‘Admin.’ and it read:  “I fell asleep last night thinking of you.  I was dreaming about kissing your mouth, your breasts, the inside of your thighs.  I woke this morning with my head full of you, desperate to touch you.  Don’t expect me to be sane. I can’t be, not with you.”

The main character discovered “that my husband was in love with her.  He told her so, often.  He told her that he’d never felt like this before, that he couldn’t wait to be with her, that it wouldn’t be long until they could be together.”

Witnessing the wife she admires with another man evoked these feelings in her: ” I don’t have words to describe what I felt that day (the discovery of her own husband’s betrayal), but now, sitting on the train I am furious, nails digging into my palms, tears stinging my eyes.  I feel a flash of intense anger. I feel as though something has been taken away from me.  How could she? How could Jess do this?  What is wrong with her ?  Look at the life they have, look at how beautiful it is!  I have never understood how people can blithely disregard the damage they do by following their hearts.  Who was it who said that following your heart is a good thing?  It is pure egotism, a selfishness to conquer all.  Hatred floods me.  If I saw that woman now, if I saw Jess, I would spit in her face.  I would scratch her eyes out.”

Her response when the Other Woman contacts her complaining that it is an inconvenience when she calls her ex is this: “Fucking bitch.  She is a cuckoo laying her egg in my nest. She has taken everything from me. She has taken everything and now she calls me to tell me that my distress is inconvenient for her?…I am going to tell her that I don’t care about her…I’m going to tell her that the line he used with her–don’t expect me to be sane–he used it with me, too, when we were first together; he wrote it in a letter to me, declaring his undying passion.  It’s not even his line: he stole it from Henry Miller. Everything she has is second hand.”

My daughter was just 11 when I found out about her dad’s affair.  She has her own strong opinions about her dad and the other woman which I tend to learn about indirectly. It is usually when she talks to her sister about them in my presence or when she talks to me about her best friend’s cheating dad and that other woman.

This is just the first 43 pages and I’ve read 60.  The plot is thickening and the characters are developing.  I promise not to reveal any spoilers.

 

 

 

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adultery, Christianity, divorce, infidelity, renting, separation, the other woman

Lifting my Anchor Again

One overwhelming and very stressful situation that pushed my need to take the purposeful break from all aspects of my life involved another move.

While I was in the midst of my melanoma surgeries and still no indication the outcome would be the best case scenario possible, my landlord gave me notice that they were taking over my suite for personal use.

The housing situation in Victoria is crazy.  There is a shortage of inventory.  Overseas buyers are snapping up whatever they can and there has been a frenzy of home owners placing their home on the market to cash in on the ridiculous prices that home owners are receiving for their properties.   My realtor is so busy.  She told me she lists a home, has one open house the first weekend and then accepts all offers Monday morning. People aren’t even doing home inspections or placing any conditions on their offers.  My realtor has been getting anywhere from 14 to 21 offers at once on a property.  People are paying well over the asking price to make sure they win the bid.

As a result, the vacancy rate for rentals in Victoria is 0%. People are selling their homes to take advantage of the market and then renting hoping the market will either slow and they can buy back in or they are continuing to rent and just investing their money elsewhere.

I spent the 2 months after I received notice trying to find whatever I could as a place to rent.  As a result of the rental demand not only have prices increased but landlords can be way more picky with tenants.  I am not the ideal tenant as I have a dog, 2 cats (pets posed a problem for me even before the market change), 2 kids and no employment income.

Again, I had to rethink whether I could even stay in Victoria.  If I were alone, I would definitely not still be here but my reasoning for staying the next 4 years is that I didn’t want to move my youngest daughter away from her dad, sister, friends and dance studio. Therefore, to find a place to live I was looking well out of the school catchment for my youngest daughter prepared to commute unreasonable distances just to keep her life as stable as possible.  I had a hard talk with both my girls about options we needed to explore including them living with their dad at least temporarily until we found a place, placing the pets in foster homes and moving back to Ontario.  Even my kids were trying to come up with ideas suggesting they would talk to their dad about him moving in with Janice and then us taking over his place and that Janice could have pets at her place so she could take them temporarily.  They suggested staying on the island but moving up north 1 1/2 hours. In the end, they said, “Mom, we don’t care where we live but we want to stay the 3 of us together and the pets have to be with us.”

I investigated every referral from friends, searched online 4 or 5 times/day, placed my own advertisement, told anyone I met I was looking for a place, looked at places to camp and to stay over the summer for the interim and even planned out ways to exist as a homeless family. I tried to see if I could buy something even a trailer. I asked the landlord if we could stay at least a month longer and I tried to fight the eviction as well through the BC Tenancy Act dispute process to buy us more time.  God was being clear; I needed to move on yet again.

Through a lot of prayer and perseverance, I found a place to move to 6 days before my eviction date. I found the ad on my 4th try that day on UsedVictoria.  My daughter suggested I change my search to include smoking properties. I thought that would limit my search but it actually opened up this one property that didn’t care if we smoked or not in their unit.  I knew from losing other places that I had to be aggressive. I called the new potential landlord, sent an email and although the ad was placed with no address, just the street name, I tried to drive by and find it from the photos as I planned to knock on the door to speak to the landlord. I couldn’t find it by driving by as I only had photos of the back of the house. When they called back they said it was too late for me to come by that night (I still asked). They were showing it at 10 the next morning. I asked if I could come at 9.  I came with an application filled out, a letter about me, a page of referral names and numbers and a cheque to fill out for damage deposits and first month’s rent. They actually were planning on renting it July 1 but I said I would take it for June 1 as it was vacant and I didn’t care about any of the work they planned to do to get it ready.  My dog was almost a deal breaker but I pleaded and asked if I could bring him by to meet them.  I went and got the dog immediately and while I did that they called some of my references.  We must have won them over because they accepted us.

$1300 in moving expenses and a lot of exhausting help from friends packing and moving boxes and hard-to-pack items over in advance confirmed again that I don’t want to keep going through this process.  I have been getting rid of more and more stuff again as I am now renting less space for more money. More confirmation that the universe is telling me to lighten my load significantly.  I better start abiding or I suspect I will be forced again to move and to get out of my comfort zone and lose more possessions. I am being prepared for something I am certain that is going to involve me leaving everything behind.

Right now, my youngest daughter and I are sharing a room.  My older daughter is sleeping in what we call “the Harry Potter closet” as her tiny room doesn’t even have a window.  My kids have never complained once about our new living environment.  In fact my older daughter is the one to always say things like, “I lived in a dorm last year sharing a room and having less so this is no big deal,” or “we need to just be grateful we got a place”.

I am very grateful every day.  I came back from the break refreshed, refocused and with a renewed energy and purpose.  I have a lot to do and I am doing it.

 

 

 

 

 

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abuse of power, adultery, affair, cheating, child support, children, divorce, Janice Andrews, other woman, separation, single parent

Meddling Other Woman Money Motivation

My older daughter returned from university at the end of April.

She lived with me for the summer last year and each time she returned from university she only stayed with me.  She decided that upon her return from university she would live with me for the 4 months she is home for the summer.

The other woman decided to discuss this with my daughter.  She tried to encourage her to live with her dad.  She said, “Your mom doesn’t even have a separate bedroom for you to stay in does she?”

My daughter was feeling very stressed by the other woman initiating this conversation with her.  I have no idea why she would get involved or even care.  When my daughter did live with my ex, she was left alone most of the time while my ex worked and then went to the other woman’s place afterwards.  Whenever I would drop her off there, no matter how late at night, his vehicle was never in the driveway and she always seemed to come home to an empty place. He would sleep at the other woman’s place and my daughter was by herself.

I suspect it is a money motivation.  I currently pay my ex child support for my older daughter as she lived with him for one school year following our separation.  As my ex has to pay more per child than I do based on his higher income level, he simply reduces his child support payment to me for our younger daughter by the amount that I owe him for our older daughter.

Now that it is obviously clear that both children are living with me full time, my ex is refusing to change the child support amount.  He initially tried to argue with me that our older daughter still hadn’t decided where she was going to live and she was just “visiting” me so she could see her pets and sister.  It has now been 1 month and she hasn’t stayed at her dad’s place once.  He argued that her resume had his address listed.  When she updated her resume, however, she listed my address and applied for jobs closer to my home. She obtained a full-time job and I am the one who drives her to work or gives her bus fare and I am the one who makes her breakfast before she goes to work, packs her a lunch and picks her up after work.

My ex said that if she does decide to stay with me he’s not saying he won’t pay support for her but it hasn’t happened yet.

He is now arguing that I don’t pay him support for our older daughter. This is his latest email to me on this topic:

” (Older daughter’s name) has not stayed with you full time since July 2015. (Older daughter’s name) primary residence has and remains as my place. Even her resume shows my address. Her mail is delivered to my address. Her belongings are at my place.

I’m not sure where you get the idea you pay support? You don’t pay anything. If so provide me with a copy of payments made to me? If you think that I don’t pay you any support for (older daughter’s name) is somehow you paying me, then you need to seriously rethink how you view things. And if you think you’ve paid for anything of (older daughter’s name) over the last two years other than a passport, again you’re seriously mistaken. I’m the one that she comes to and says Mom says it’s your responsibility to pay for things. You have a very strange way of viewing things at times.

I’m not continuing this dialogue with you. My lawyer has everything and it is up to the lawyers to communicate. If that hasn’t been done, then please have your lawyer follow up with (his lawyer’s name).”

We go back to court in June.  This is just another dispute to add to the list.

I did send the other woman an email to the work email address listed to contact her on her employment website telling her to mind her own business and to not interfere in trying to persuade my daughter where to live to suit her own agenda.

 

 

 

 

 

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adultery, affair, Cancer, divorce, infidelity, melanoma, separation

Cancer Update

Last Thursday, I contacted my specialist’s office as I was surprised I still hadn’t received any information about the pathology report following removal of the malignant melanoma tumour in my right shoulder. I was told that it had not been received and they too were anxiously awaiting the report and would call as soon as it came in.

Today, I was contacted that the report has now been received.  When I went in to have the stitches removed it was my understanding that if the surgery was successful and there was no more sign of cancer there would be no need to return.  I would just be referred to the Melanoma expert for ongoing monitoring and genetic testing for me and my girls.

I was hoping that my specialist would call directly again saying that there was good news this time.  I wanted her to call and say that the cancer had all been removed and that I didn’t need to go back. I thought she would confirm the referral to Dr. Patrick Kenny’s office and tell me that his office would call me with my first appointment date.

Instead, I was contacted by my specialist’s assistant. She told me that the doctor needed me to come in so she could go over the pathology results with me directly.  She asked if I could come in on Thursday or Friday.

My appointment is Friday at 2:30.

 

 

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adultery, affair, cheating, difficult personality, divorce, Dr. Craig Malkin, narcissism, Oprah, parenting, psychology, relationships, separation

The Secret Signs of Narcissism

I recently received, in my inbox, an email from Oprah.com with an article entitled “How to Spot the Hidden Narcissist in Your Life”.  I watched the video that teaches you how to protect yourself after identifying an narcissist by learning how to engage and when to walk away.

Beneficial to me was the coping mechanism of “catching the narcissist doing something good.”  This direction on how to approach the narcissist in your life suggests that you point out times they show caring, concern or empathy. Research shows that the more the narcissist sees they can rely on feeling good from relationships the less they turn to the addiction of needing to feel special or superior in other unhealthy ways.

I tried this.

I thanked Dave for selling the 3 coupon books that I gave him for our daughter’s dance program.  I also complimented him on selling the 10 raffle tickets I gave him to sell. I thanked him by text for getting the money back to me and then suggested that he might want to even look at buying some gift cards for places that he regularly frequents, through her dance program fundraiser, for himself and Christmas gifts. A specific percentage, depending on the company, goes back to our daughter directly. He got back to me a few days later and said he had money for the poinsettia fundraiser, too.  He gets all the fundraising emails but he has never raised funds for her before.  My response, “Wow, you did poinsettias. That is awesome. I hear they are beautiful for the price.” He asked what he had to do with the order forms and I told him that I would hand everything in for him. He mentioned that the order had to be in that day so I just asked him to email the rep and let her know it would come in the next day and make sure that was okay.  He did.

A couple of days later I asked him if he was interested in picking up our daughter from dance on a night that I had a conflict.  He didn’t respond for 3 days so I made other arrangements but then he did respond saying he would get her. The day after he picked her up I texted him saying, “Thank you for picking up (daughter’s name). I am sure she misses seeing her dad every day.”

The blurb under the video I watched has this message:

It’s not always easy to spot a narcissist, but knowing who they are can save you from heartbreak. Dr. Craig Malkin, author of Rethinking Narcissism, breaks down the hidden warning signs of a narcissist. Watch as he explains how they work—and how you can protect your own emotional health.

The video is only 6 minutes long and worth the view.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/own-show/How-to-Spot-the-Hidden-Narcissist-in-Your-Life#ixzz3sUMsqHFZ

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