On the weekend our town had the annual Santa Claus parade and pretty much every single family in our small town lined the downtown street to see the floats and lights. I brought my son along to it and we bundled up in warm clothes, brought comfy chairs to sit on, had some snacks and treats and we got ourselves set up in a prime location. My son was buzzing with excitement because he knew that Santa would be at the end of the parade. And what was even more exciting was that he knew that his dad was driving the truck that was pulling santa and his sleigh. How cool is that for a four year old?! The parade itself was a pretty standard small town parade. Lots of business vehicles that tossed some lights on and called it a float, some floats that were well thought out, and some that just stood out more than others. My son was having a great time and there were only a few hiccups where he kept getting missed by the people handing out candy canes and he got upset by it. But a little girl near us heard him saying he wanted a candy cane too and she so kindly gave us not only a candy cane but the biggest one she had received. That is small town kindness for you. It made my son’s night even though after a few licks he decided he didn’t like candy canes. That’s four year olds for you.
But as the parade carried on and we started to see Santa’s sleigh getting near, I worked to get my son pumped up to see not only Santa but see his dad having the big job of pulling the sleigh. My son was practically vibrating off the ground he was so buzzed about it all. It was adorable. But as my ex-husband’s truck started approaching where we were standing, and I was eagerly getting our son to wave to his dad, my heart sank. Actually, scratch that, my heart crumbled into more pieces than it already has since our separation. My ex-husband failed to give me a heads up that his new girlfriend, the one he started seeing within 2-3 weeks of him officially leaving me (which I still feel confident isn’t the whole truth), was going to be in the passenger seat of the truck. While I stood on the road, trying to pretend that I wasn’t as hurt as I was and trying to get my son excited about seeing his dad, she sat in the passenger seat smiling away like a happy pig in shit.
All I could think of was that she was looking out at me, thinking in her head “that’s right bitch. I have it all now and look at you standing out there in the cold.” Maybe it’s irrational of me to think that, but I, among many other people, strongly believe that she is using my ex-husband for status and money. She is known around town for doing whatever she can to get ahead in life. My ex-husband, if all goes to plan with his business, could one day be making millions upon millions of dollars and have his name splashed all over the industry he works in. To anyone who wants a life of financial comfort, he is basically a diamond of a find. And what hurts about that is that it has been me that has supported his growth in his career, while making sacrifices for our family and even our marriage so he could work his ass off to get himself into a position of financial wealth. So I did the hard yards, got kicked to the curb, and she is now reaping the rewards. Little does she know how fucked up mentally he is.
But the hardest part about the whole parade situation was, as she smiled out of the seat in the truck that used to be mine….the one I sat in for road trips, smiling at my husband as we chatted on the drives or as we went out and did things as a family, was that I felt like I was an outsider looking in to the life that I once knew. To better describe it, I compare the feeling to that claw game that you see in some stores, where the giant claw comes down and you have to try to grab a stuffed animal or toy with it and then drop it down a chute so you can claim your prize. While I stood there I felt like a giant claw had come down, plucked me out of the seat of the truck, removed me, placed me on to the street then picked her up and placed her right in my former spot and everything just carried on as normal in his and her life.
I know that when marriages end and new relationships start that ultimately the former spouse is “replaced” by the new person. My ex-husband has literally done exactly that. He is still doing everything that we did together. Eating out at the same places, going on the same adventures, staying at the nice hotels, cooking nice big dinners for groups of friends, etc, etc. The only difference is the face standing beside him with all of this is no longer me, it is her. He has literally plucked me out and plunked her in. He took no time at all to end our marriage and fit someone new into his life. I have been left feeling as though I wasn’t even worth mourning over after he decided to walk away. That the 8 years we had together was that easy to just move on from.
I know that karma is going to come back and bite him in the ass for not taking the time to properly work through his many issues and instead trying to sort of glaze over them by putting a new woman in his life. I think he is going to realize that jumping from one failed relationship into another one which he has admittedly told me he hasn’t allowed himself to open up in, is going to leave him in a really shitty place. And I want to shake him and tell him that he is fucking up his life by pretending everything is ok to the outside world but to a select few, including me, admitting the truth to. He is a ticking time bomb that is either going to explode or will just end up with him spending more years with “her” and hiding the real truth of his mental struggles and issues and eventually leading to another break down in relationship. And it isn’t my place to say any of this. Because while I care about his well-being, I don’t give two shits about her and what he does to her. She is not a good human being and she deserves whatever it is that is coming eventually. Watch…now that I’ve said this they are probably going to move on and be happily ever after while I sit here and bitterly eat my own words.
So, needless to say, this brief 30 seconds of the parade completely destroyed the rest of my evening as well as my Sunday with my son. I cried…a lot. I compared myself to her by saying she’s prettier, skinnier, etc, etc. I turned my mental space into feeling like I was a piece of rejected garbage. I hit such a low point because of those 30 seconds, that my ability to handle my son’s typical 4 year old stubborn moments was non-existent and I snapped at him constantly. I let those 30 seconds ruin the few moments I had with my son before he went to his dad’s place for a few days. I was consumed by those 30 seconds.
I still am pretty hurt and triggered by that parade moment. I have told my ex-husband to only message me if it is something important I need to know regarding our son. I have told him I don’t want to hear from him otherwise. I need a breather from him as these last few weeks our messaging has increased again and he has started to use me as his shoulder for tough moments or even for his happy moments (like hitting goals with his company). I can’t continue to be that person and know that he is having me in his life for that while later in the evening or on the days he doesn’t have our son, going and spending time with “her” and giving her the happy and affectionate version of himself. He doesn’t get that part of me right now. Maybe one day when I find myself in a stronger emotional position he can have that part back as a “friend”, but I can’t keep giving that when the return for it is me getting crushed by pictures he posts with her or our son talking about things they all have done together, or seeing the two of them together. One day, if they stay together long term, I am going to have no choice but to accept that she is a solid part of his life and my son’s life and I will have to find it somewhere from deep within me to forget the moments of right now and attempt to be amicable with her for the sake of my son. I don’t know when that will be, and I honestly hope it won’t be any time soon as right now it is easiest for me to block the idea of her out of my world while I work hard on my own happiness.