I’m not quite sure where to begin with this entry, and I’m not quite sure where I’ll end up. I suppose I should just start writing.

The past few years that I’ve been separated from Rob, I’ve tried my very best to concentrate on doing what I needed to do as a mother: to make sure my kids were taken care of. From my point of view, life sucks as a single parent. There is no silver lining in sight for me, being alone with two small children! I’ve tried my best to be a good example – like any other parent, I’ve fallen down and flat-out failed and, other times, I’ve overwhelmingly succeeded. I’ve tried not to depend on Rob for anything, and it makes me angry at times to think that he is not willing to ‘step up to the plate’ and be the father he should be. After all these years, he still views his time with the kids as ‘babysitting’, and threatens me on a regular basis that he’s going to stop ‘watching the kids’ if I don’t stop being a pain in his ass. I’m not sure why I expect anything different from someone who never stepped up to the plate to be the husband he should have been. Harsh? Maybe. True? Absolutely. But, anyone who knows me knows what I have been putting up with for years.

I’ve spoken before regarding how I felt growing up – that no one would ever want me – and now that I am in a serious relationship with D.P., it baffles me how easy it was to (mostly) let go of those feelings once I found the right person. I still struggle with a couple of minor things but, for the most part, I feel good about who I am.

I don’t recall ever feeling this way when I was with Rob – in fact, my self-esteem became progressively worse the longer he and I remained living in the same house. On several occasions, I felt completely helpless and hopeless – I began thinking I would never thrive as a mother and wife. I remember being so depressed I would lie in my bed all day and would barely get up to do anything… I’d feed and water the kids, and essentially let them play by themselves all day while I watched TV. I never cleaned the house. I let my kids do pretty much whatever it is they wanted to, and very rarely disciplined them. Instead, I’d let Rob be the bad guy – he was so very good at it! I was so damn bitter and hateful towards Rob, it carried over into family relationships, too – man, I was such a bitch! I was mean to my kids, and mean to my family. No one wanted to be around me, and I was so lonely for their love!

Even still, it was a very hard decision for me to make in September of 2005, when I told Rob I didn’t want to be married anymore; I’d have to go back to work full time and I wouldn’t be able to stay at home with my two children, plus I’d have to admit that I was delusional regarding my thoughts of what my marriage was. While it was completely liberating at first, to be alone in that apartment with the kids and doing my own thing [not answering to anyone], I remember becoming increasingly lonely and afraid that I had made the wrong decision. After all, taking care of two children (they were 4 and nearly 2 at that point) was no small feat. Even though it was scary during Rob’s violent outbursts, he was still a second body to help with the kids and, because I had been depressed for so long, I didn’t have the energy or wearwithall to deal. I quickly realized how much I had underestimated the result of a decision I had originally deemed to be worthwhile.

Fast forward to Christmas 2007.

I asked Rob if he can use his own plethora of cash to buy gifts and write both of our names (and some Santa, too) since I was still struggling and wasn’t able to afford anything. He agreed to my request. I was also contacted by M’s daycare director, who said she offered our name to a friend of hers who was looking for a family to ‘adopt’. While I was shocked and felt a little guilty at first, I graciously accepted the gifts and the kids loved it! While my life finally seemed to be working out for the most part during that time, there was a dark side that was about to come through.

While my parents were in town, they made up an excuse as to why they couldn’t stay at my house like they had done several times since they moved to New Jersey. They ended up staying for a few days, but it was really awkward, and they eventually went to my brother’s house for the rest of their visit. I was pissed off beyond belief, especially after getting into a heated argument with my mom (someday I’ll share what we discussed), and I could feel myself creeping back into a depression. It was not a good time for me, to say the least.

Soon after, I received a message from a friend that said she had someone she wanted me to meet. I wasn’t quite sure about it at first, because she said he was almost 43 years old, but I decided to give him (and myself, really) a chance, and I’m so glad I did because January 27, 2008 was the first day of the rest of my life. I am so lucky to have found such a special person to share my life with, and I know he feels the same way… ’cause he told me so last night. While my life outside of my relationship with D.P. is still very much uneasy, I am much happier, and my family has noticed it. My kids think he’s the bee’s knees. Life looks so much better when I think of D.P. sharing it with me.

I think I’m in a sort of Dreamland. How can I explain my life with D.P. in it otherwise?