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18 May 2015 @ 11:10 pm
So... I'm feeling tired, kind of happy, kind of sad and majorly surprised by myself. Oh god...

He said no problem, we are good, it was a joke, nothing serious... All good, fun and games.

I expected that. Because he is this free as a bird living in the moment kind of guy... But it was bit of a punch in the gut, a knock on my pride, whatever.

And it was nothing much... But somehow my life has turned upside down while he goes on partying. I am re-thinking my engagement and my whole future. Not that I'm so into him. But in general... He is the sign of something. Something that is not right in my relationship. Me perhaps.

I wish I could be more like him. So free, untied by life, flying all over the place. Perhaps I hoped it would all rub on me a little if I kissed him.

He wanted me. More of me. "I fucking want you so much" he said. Me too I whisper now to myself. I want you too. But the moment is gone. Life moves on. He is still free and I'm stuck in my suffocating life. It feels even more like a crushing weight over me now that I've glimpsed his reality.

I want to fly too. I need to fly. Not on his wings but my own. Damn how I envy his energy. How could he breathe a little bit of it into me?

There was once a guy with whom everything felt easy. He is another one of those rare guys. But he is not for me. I'm not sure if he is for anyone really. He is so larger than life.

I loved waking up from his arms. How he held me tight. I've missed that so much. The warm arms holding me to the strong chest. The breath in my hair. Legs intertwined.

Less than three weeks to seeing my long distance fiance. And suddenly everything has changed. A fucking mess.
07 December 2014 @ 05:01 pm
I'm struggling a lot with parenting lately. It kind of feels like I have always struggled. Perhaps that is the nature of parenting. But in truth the last months have been extremely difficult and I'm fearing for my own sanity and that of my son.

My 4-year old is acting up a lot. He hits, scratches, bites, spits, kicks and throws things. He grabs a fistful of my hair and yanks as hard as he can. He pulls the dogs tail and aims a sharp kick to the sleeping cat. And then when I discipline him, he says he is sorry and seems to mean it, only to revert back into the "crazy mode" a moment later.

He can be a little angel and super lovely and then he gets frustrated, excited, sad or angry and all bets are off.

I've tried stern voice, discussing why it is wrong what he does, naughty step, timeout in his room, holding him until he calms down, taking away all the toys he throws letting him earn them back (although he hasn't earned back anything yet). He just is completely out of control and it makes me feel like the worst mother in the world.

I've tried so hard to make things good for them after I broke up with their alcoholic father. I've tried to make their lives calmer. I moved in with my parents to have more safe adults around them and more time to heal myself. He has hobbies, a great teacher in the kindergarten and he was doing really good, better than in months.

And then my father had a stroke, brain infarct. He survived, was in the hospital a couple of weeks and came back after they operated. And he has changed. The kids can see it. He is tired and angry all the time and can't stand spending any time with my son. Not even when he is doing nothing wrong. My son is reacting to this change, this situation that has affected us all and the aggressive behavior has got a lot worse since.

Everyone tells me how worrysome my son's behavior is and I know they are worried for him just like I am, but it feels like I should somehow have done better. It feels like I am failing him because I don't know how to help him. My father loses his temper with him all the time and so does my mother and eventually so do I. And I feel so bad for him that nobody has the patience to weather out his storms with him, to help him navigate this feelings. I don't know how to do it.

I've spoken with his teacher and called a therapist, but in the meanwhile I'm struggling to find something positive to say to him every day instead of the constant flow of "no" "you can't do that!" "don't hit your sister!".

I'm so tired. And I'm angry at my ex for checking out of his responsibilies so completely and leaving me alone to deal with this all. I can't become a father for my kids no matter how much I would like to. And nobody can fix the failings of their father. What do you say to a 4 year old who asks "why is dad not living with us?". I tell him that we made a decision to not live together because we were not happy together anymore, that we get along better when we live apart and that is good for everyone. You can't say to a little kid that the reason your father doesn't live with us is that he is a drunk and an addict who takes no responsibility, who called your mum a whore so many times she almost started to believe it is true. I don't want to poison their minds with bad stories of their father. If they can remember the good things only, I'm happy. They deserved a dad who would've been there for them. And I deserved a man who would've been there for me.

I feel so lost and so lonely. I feel like I am a burden to my parents living in this house with my loud kids, needing their help. I'm trying to put my life back together. I'm trying to educate myself more and get a diploma that would actually employ me. I got accepted into a school and I can hardly even feel joy over that because I feel so guilty for all the additional help I will need because of my school.

Eli is on the other side of the Atlantic ocean and we speak 10-15 minutes one time a week. That is the extent of my relationship. I went from speaking with him almost daily to this. I know nothing what happens in Cuba. I don't know how he feels, what he is up to. Nothing. When we speak he wants to hear what happens with me and not the bad stuff. He wants the positive things. He tells me how he misses me and how he needs me and then we say goodbye and wait another week for a similar conversation. Half of the time he doesn't understand what I'm saying because the line is bad or because he is forgetting english in the all-spanish environment.

Thank god I have friends I can talk to. I would go absolutely crazy otherwise. It just feels like everytime the life offers something good a moment later it pulls the rug out from under me leaving me drowning. The anxiety, hopelessness of a life with an addict has changed into this constant daily struggle of getting through the day. I just wish I had one day when I didn't have to feel guilty because I need help, because I fail as a parent or because I can never make up for my kids that I chose a father for them who can't really be the father they need.

I need something good in my life. I need just something little, a sparkle of joy and happiness. I want to feel like I can do something right. I want to have something that makes me smile. I'm so tired, so overwhelmed, so sad and confused.
11 October 2014 @ 07:03 pm
I am standing on a ledge, wind in my hair. I know I have to jump. It is the only way to get to where I am going, but I don't know where I will end up when I jump. The only thing I do know is that I can't remain here and there is not much time left. Soon I have to jump.

That is how I feel about my life right now. Big choices. Big decision with enormous consequences. I have been begging for this moment to arrive. I have asked for it. I was so tired of waiting. I just wanted to be able to move forward. Now the decision arrived. Boyfriend didn't get his residental permit. Our life together in Switzerland is no longer an option. It was always a possibility but the finality of it all struck hard. I've had to re-evaluate everything. Before I could play with the idea of possibly following him to Cuba. Now I need to really consider it. And be honest with myself. Think things through with my rational brains and my heart.

I am not at all sure how the cards are going to fall here. I don't know if we can even survive the longer distance, lack of proper communication methods (as in no Skype), more time apart. This was supposed to be the decision that makes everything possible. The moment when we can put X in a calendar to mark the day when we can be together for real. And now there's no calendar. It could easily be two years before we could even imagine of living in the same country. I dont know if I can do that. My life has been stuck waiting for this decision. I haven't applied for work or into school that interests me. My dreams and future have been on hold. I can't let his life decisions and situations affect mine any more. Either the pieces will slot together or the puzzle falls apart. But I need to be able to do my thing.

I've been in such a turmoil for at least the past 5 years. Whenever I think things are moving to better direction, when I fear less, have beginnings of a new dream, something hits from the dead corner, unexpectedly and knocks the air out of my lungs. There are good surprises too, but even those tend to come in the worst moments.

Is it possible to run away from your on life? Or to hide for a moment? Pretend you are someone else with a clean slate and all these open possibilities instead of responsibilities?

Going to Cuba... It's such a dive into unknown waters. I have no idea if I could get work there. I would miss my friends so much and my family. I would be so far away. And right now I don't think I have enough trust in my relationship to say yes. Last summer was so hot and cold. Not that I need to decide now.

And then there is another thing. Another box of memories I opened and can't seem to close again.
19 August 2014 @ 12:37 pm
I've been trying to make my "room" in my parents' house feel more like MY room. It's not really a room, but an open space without doors and the kids treat it as their playroom, so it is hard to draw boundaries. Their own rooms are not that big and I feel like I need to give them more space to play in. In the summer it was not an issue, because they wanted to be outside all the time, but now the rains have started and they probably go on until it gets cold enough to turn into snow.

I've been painting the walls and the ceiling white. It never got done in time before the move, so now it is tricky as I have to keep on moving my stuff around in the room to paint another part of the wall. Nothing is in its place and there are piles of clothes everywhere, all surfaces away from harms way are filled with stuff. I don't really know how I will fit my clothes here as I literally have no place for them. There is no room for a wardrobe, the space is tight as it is. I just want the room painted and ready, so I can have everything where I want and it is no longer a chaos. I know it probably doesn't change how I feel about living here, but I'm hoping making the room look more like "me" would make me feel more at home.

It's a huge adjustment from having an entire house to yourself to cramping into one room. I just want that door that I can close when I need time for myself. I know this is temporary, but I want to minimize the changes the children have to go through and there will inevitably be changes. I want to stay here until I know for certain where we will be going next. And in all honesty this is the cheapest way to live for us. No rent, no utility bills and I don't even have to pay for the food most of the time. I do because I want to pitch in, but it's not expected of me.

I should be happy that things are moving along. I got my custody papers done. My ex and I managed to arrange a meeting and the papers were immediately signed. Much better option than having to hunt him down through a lawyer, which it came down to before we moved. The relief was so big that I got a 2 and a half day migraine. But at the same time now I have no legal problem with moving abroad. Now it is up to me to arrange everything and pick the right time. I am incredibly stressed over just thinking about it.

My daughter just started first grade, she is loving it and she has found new friends here, who are our neighbors. It couldn't be a better situation. She has turned from a shy and reserved girl into this confident young lady overnight. I'm really happy how things are going with her. I was afraid she would be odd one out, moving from another city or that the different school and new teacher would be a scary thing. Nothing like that. Everything is going really well with her. Which makes me kind of sad as I know there is going to be a change in the future. No matter how great things are now, we will either break up her brand new friendships and move her to a completely different country, which will certainly be really hard, or I will have to end my relationship.

I didn't consider how difficult it would be for me to uproot my kids again, to take them away from their grandparents and friends. It's hitting me hard now.

I feel like I have given up my dreams, my home, my plans to have a better environment for us as a family. I'm really feeling the weight of adulthood on my shoulders as I try to understand what is best for my kids in the long run. The decision was a no-brainer before this summer, before the school started. Things were really good with E and I was hungry for the change of scenery. Now I am scared and I think we need more time to figure out our relationship and if it is going to work and on top of that I feel really guilty for even planning to make my kids go through the big move. I know they will eventually adapt. They are resourceful, friendly and lovely kids. They will learn the new language and they will find new friends, but I don't want to do it until I know E and I are not going to fuck it all up with our personal stuff.

I have forgiven him, because I can't hold on to grudges for very long. But I was so unhappy this summer for such a big part of our time in Switzerland that I am afraid that it will happen again. He tells me he loves me. We talk about the future, but it does bother me that I am the one forced in essence to make the change if there is going to be a future. He is standing his ground. Him moving to Finland is not up to discussion. We've talked about it and he is not willing to even try if the worst case scenario happened and he wouldn't get his permit renewed. It hurst my feelings and it is hard to get over it. It feels like we are not that important to him. He has told me that he would move to Finland if I got pregnant and refused to move. He would move for his child but not for me. Yet he expects me and MY KIDS to move for him.

I know I haven't really put him in the position that he'd have to think about leaving us for good, because I've been open to the idea of moving all the time. Personally I like the idea of living abroad and I love his city. It is a beautiful place, I love the running trails, the nature, the mountains, the lake and the whole vibe of the place. I know I can deal with whatever stuff comes up if he stands by me instead of behaving like this summer. If he turns against me and doesn't help me through the culture shock that will inevitably happen, I can't deal with being all alone in another country with two kids going through tough time adjusting AND being criticized by my partner. That is my biggest fear. I don't want to go through with all the hard stuff to end up miserable.

Another dilemma is the alcohol. I think it might be hard to make a non-drinker out of a Cuban man. He likes his rum. And while he is not a mean drunk, I don't know how much the alcohol affects his behavior. I do think the arguments escalate partly because of the alcohol. I think he is not in control of his anger when he drinks. He keeps saying that he is happier when he drinks, but I did not see a happy man in June and July. I saw a man drinking for his stress, for the uncertainty of life, for loneliness, for everything that went wrong. And I did not see the alcohol making him happier. I did see him make more of an effort when the kids were around. We've since talked about this, which is good because he kind of refused to talk about it before. He has even tried to go without alcohol and cigarettes for a day or two since.

All in all this summer showed me stuff I never want to deal with again, but I saw good stuff too. I'm not trying to sugarcoat it. I was really miserable momentarily and if that is what being together will be in the future then I want no more of it. But that was not all. I was also really happy. I know it is stressful and difficult to be thrown in with two kids when you normally are by yourself. I expected difficulties from that, but I didnt expect them to be turned on me. Better of course that the reaction comes towards me rather than the kids and while he is adamant that the kids are not the problem, I know that in a way they are. They make noise, they make adults tired and more cranky and that's when stupid arguments happen. I deal with this every day.

I am in this constant state of tiredness. I'm always tired. There is not a single day in my life when I don't go to sleep way too tired, not a night when I do sleep enough. I dream about feeling like I've slept enough when I wake up in the morning. I can vaguely remember how it was like. I do sleep enough to get through my days, but I do not feel well-rested. Most of the time I feel much older than I am, weary and kind of burnt out. The momentary bursts of energy I try to use wisely and often I end up even more tired, because I try to get something done that I've been too tired to do before. And my periods make me extremely hormonal and emotional every single month.

I need time to heal. It is hard to admit that I still need more time. I just want one thing in my life to go my way the first time around. I'm so fucking tired of fighting against the current every single day. The change of scenery was good in many ways and I can see that my kids are calmer and maybe even happier. It's easier to organize everything when there's three adults instead of just me. There's more work for me and more hobby opportunities for everyone. I feel very welcome here. My support network is closer. But the things is that moving does not change your feelings. I struggle with the same stuff as I did before and on top of that I'm trying to adjust into life back at my childhood home. It is hard not to look at this as a step backwards in my adult life.

People keep on asking how the kids have adjusted or wondering how my parents are dealing with the change. Everyone thinks this is hardest on my parents. It's hard for the kids and me too. The kids miss their friends and their home. It was their first home. And we left in such a hurry that they didn't really understand that we were not going back. It's really hard for me because now I have nothing that is mine. Before I had the house. Now I have nothing. Continuously in my life people are more focused on everyone around me. With my ex, it was always his issues at the center stage. Now it is my parents, my poor parents having to adjust to two young kids "at their age" and how tough it is. It is not a competition. This is a new situation for us all.

I just wish someone would ask me how I am doing from time to time. Everyone just expects me to deal with stuff, to be strong every goddamn moment, to figure things out. And I feel like all I've done is fuck up continuously for 3 years. I don't know why people look up to me to fix things. I'm tired of being alone and doing everything alone. Sorry. Self-pity moment over.

I want to pass my duty for someone for just a moment without having to hear how hard it is and how tough it is to babysit for a weekend. My ex doesn't take his kids to be with him because "he doesn't have the money for food or anything". My mother needs to work and my father doesn't have the patience. My mother doesn't deal well with kids and everytime she babysits for me, she makes sure I know how fucking hard it was for her. She likes to play the martyr card and I'm tired of hearing it. It's just easier to do everything myself if I can.

I want to be independent financially and I want to live my own life. I hate being here and not moving forward in my life. I know it'll take some time to get evetything organized, but I just wish it would happen faster. I need more of what is good for me. This is good for my kids and for the time being that has to be enough for me, but in the long run I need my life to be good for me too.

Maybe it is in Switzerland with E. Maybe it is in my own apartment here. Maybe it is somewhere else. For sure it is not here.
02 August 2014 @ 12:06 am
So... a lot has happened in the past few months. I've made the move from my house back to my childhood home, I've spent a month in Switzerland with E, two weeks of those with my kids there as well and I've now returned back to Finland & am trying to adjust to this new way of life.

The trip to Switzerland wasn't all champagne and roses. I didn't think it would be, but in some ways it was pretty disastrous. It made me question my entire relationship and if we actually can build a life together. We even broke up for 24 hours. We fought a lot about stupid stuff. My friends in real life and online are a bit concerned about E. They haven't met him and obviously have only heard my side of the story, but the concensus seems to be that he is acting immature and controlling. From past experience I know that I shouldn't just brush over these signs. That if he is the bad kind of guy all of our issues will only get worse and I do not want my kids in the middle of that. But this is also extremely stressful time in his life and I think we tried to take too big of a step too soon. I don't know. My head is still in quite a turmoil over my month there. It wasn't at all what I expected and I felt really unwelcome at times. I felt like I could do nothing right.

I think I didn't anticipate the culture shock kicking in because it was just a holiday. The difference was in hindsight that I kept thinking if I could live there for real and everything just hit me like a train and threw me all over the place. I hated shopping because I couldn't find anything. The food was different and in wrong places. I searched for tuna for two weeks before I found it. E didn't like the food I cooked and was very vocal about it. Yes, I'm no restaurant chef so cook for yourself if you can't be grateful for a ready made meal. In my culture it is just rude to behave like that. I expect better from my kids and they are 4 and 6 years old. I really struggled with cooking with the gas stove and ingredients that were really different than the ones I'm used to here. Good, really fresh and wonderful, but different. E. is used to the Cuban way of cooking which starts with a live lamb, pig or a chicken and he buys his meat in chunks directly from the butcher. I'm used to the ready cut chicken filets. And I've only been eating meat again for a year. I have never really learned to make meat dished because I always cooked vegetarian food and fish. I think E. just expected me to be this kitchen wizard and eat perfect food every day, but I am not a domestic goddess. I suck at the housewife thing. On most days I suck at parenting too.

I like to cook and eat and most of all bake. Baking I love. But I hate doing anything if another person is going to critique it afterwards. This brought back vivid memories from 2001-2002 when I dated a very controlling man. I never want to go back there. It sucked all my will to live out of me.

But I'm going to give E. another chance. When his permit arrives and the biggest source of stress is gone, I'll visit him and see if we get along better. If the nitpicking continues... I just can't live like that.

I know it takes two people to argue and I admit that I have a bad temper. We both do and the combination is rather volatile. The tempers flare in a second and he speaks spanish, I speak english, we don't understand each other because we don't really even want to and the argument is ready. What is difficult for me is the change from my previous relationship to this one. J. avoided conflicts and didn't really argue with me unless drunk. With E. the conflicts are unavoidable and it's like a bomb goes off and I need to wait two days for the dust to settle and it's my fault without a question. It takes a really long time for him to cool down and even longer to acknowledge any responsibility.

In the last argument in which he broke up with me, he told me to get out of his house with my kids at 9pm in the night. I asked if we could stay until the next day and then go to a hotel. He told me that if we didn't go he'd call the police. So I cried on the balcony and the only other person I had got to know in the city walked by. He saw me crying and asked what was wrong. I told him the situation and he said we could stay in his house, that he has to go to work really early anyway and well just have the apartment to ourselves. I tried to speak with E. after and he just told me to fuck off, so I left into the night with the kids. He is still hurt by this eventhough I think he crossed a line by yelling about the police. I was tired of the yelling and anger and just wanted to sleep somewhere else. He is really jealous about this guy and doesn't trust I didn't do anything with him. Like I would go to cheat him with someone and take my kids with me... I'm not proud of the decision I made. I understand why he feels bad about it.

Anyway... It's a huge mess we got ourselves into. I'm not proud of how I handled it. I made stupid decisions. But it's in the past and all I can do is to apologize for my own part in it. I however refuse to take responsibility for his anger. The whole thing started over dirty dishes. And I felt like he was really being unfair because I had been washing his dishes, clothes and keeping his house clean and fridge full for the entire month. I am no maid for anyone. Maybe it's a difference in the culture and what women are supposed to do in his country. But if he wants a life with me he needs to understand that I will never be a Cuban woman. Even if I would move to Cuba with him, I'll always be European and I will never settle for being bossed around by my man. You want something done? Treat me well, appreciate my work and ask nicely.

Now I've been back in Finland for two weeks. We have spoken almost every day and everything seems to be okay. As long as neither of us mentions that one incident. I'd prefer to just talk about it, but he is all caught up in his jealousy still. He just can't deal with it. My mother thinks that he feels guilty and deep down knows that he pushed us into another man's house. I didn't want to go anywhere. I didn't even want to argue.

I think I expect a little too much from him. I have this need for validation and it is not his job to boost my confidence. That is what I need to work on. I am a little needy, especially in Switzerland. I feel really alone while he is working and I have nothing that is MY thing. I feel like I don't belong. If I were to move there, I'd have my work and my hobbies and even the house would feel more like my house too. Now I was in a limbo between being on a holiday and kind of living there for a while. It was hard and made me realize how goddamn hard it will be to move there for real, if that ever comes to pass.

But despite all this crap that happened, there were really wonderful moments. I loved spending time together with him and the kids, going to park and restaurant and just being together. The good times are really good, but this time together we fought the most we ever have. It was really a rollercoaster with so many ups and downs that I lost count. I think we momentarily lost our teamwork that has been pretty amazing this far. Always before I've felt that we've held on to each other through difficulties and now it felt like instead of supporting each other, we were looking for the fault in the other one, instead of thinking what we could do differently. I think the reality is setting in. This was closest to a normal life together we've had. In long-distance relationship you don't really get to practise by staying the night every once in a while. You just plunge head first in and hope you'll last through the initial shock. I think we might have lasted, but just barely.

I love him. It's hard to imagine a life without him. Because we have both spent the last 9 years imagining how our lives could've been if we had remained in contact back when we first met and probably imagined these rosy happy lives for us, the expectations are sky high. And now they are coming down. Crashing.

So far we've agreed that we love each other. That we miss each other terribly when we are not together. That when everything goes well, it goes really well. Sex is fantastic. We have similar hopes and dreams and values. But we are also both coming out of failed and difficult relationships and are still healing. We are a bit too sensitive about certain things and it shows. Yet, I can't think of anything I'd rather have now than a cuddle with him. I can't think of another place I'd rather be than back in Switzerland with him. I still dont know what I want for myself in the future beyond being with him. This is part of my problem. He has become too important in my life. I need to sort out my career and find other important things, so my life doesn't revolve around him and his good and bad moods.

I've never quite experienced this kind of love before. Sometimes it feels it will consume me. A smart person wrote on Instagram the other day that sometimes love can be so overwhelming and strong that you need to focus on yourself for a moment to get peaceful and grounded again. That's how I feel. E. & me together is a hurricane, a whirlwind of emotions, a flood and a heatwave. It's everything that is amazing, passionate, vibrant and really unbelievably blissfull. And then there is the dark side to all that is so very good. The darkness is darker and the light is brighter. I need to find some sort of a balance or I will burn out like a flame.
14 April 2014 @ 10:00 pm
My therapist once again reminded me what a great way journalling is to deal with my emotional issues. I don't know why it is so difficult for me these days to sit down and write out the thoughts in my head. I have nothing against it and I know that writing gives me clarity. I just don't seem to get around doing it much. I guess I am out of habit.

I've recently reached my first goal weight in my weightloss journey. It is not where I want to end up, but something I set as a point on the way there. I'm finding out now that I need to take some time off from the weightloss focus in my entire life. My head needs time to catch up with the change this far and the exercising has lost its joy. I'm trying out new things and hoping to find something that works for me. What I did for almost a year is just not cutting it anymore.

Running makes me feel good in the moment, but I don't get that runner's high as so many other people do. I have nothing against running and I do love the feeling of air expanding my lungs as I push myself to run further and faster. But it doesn't ignite me with that spark of wanting to do more and more. That's what I felt with HIIT routines, pilates and zumba, running as well. Now none of those give me the excitement. I'm trying weightlifting at the gym now. And I've tried out some barre workouts because I used to dance ballet as a youngster and love it. I'm also setting myself more challenges. I try to go further, faster and lift heavier. But I kind of feel this is more in my head than about the forms of exercise.

I've meditated and done yoga and stretching this week. I am desperately to leave behind this dreariness and exhaustion I've been feeling. I need to start feeling better about myself and my life. I feel like I am closer to getting there, making the break for it and running away from those negative voices for good. I feel lighter. I worry less. I'm no longer carrying everyone else's problems on my shoulders. I am learning to say no so I can say yes more to those things I really want to do.

But I am also still feeling scared. I'm self-sabotaging by procrastinating stuff that shouldn't be delayed but just dealt with. I'm standing on my way. I'm hesitating because of uncertainty, because I'm afraid of getting hurt. It is my challenge in this moment. I need to find the direction, accept and embrace the uncertainty and just go for it. No promise is forever. I can always figure things out anew if all goes sideways. I am really scared to think about the possibility that things don't work out, that he doesn't get his permit renewed. Everything looks so promising now in this moment. It will devastating to lose everything I've dreamed about. I know I can survive that too, but quite honestly I do not want to even go there. I just don't know how I could pick up my pieces if I lost him, because of stupid thing that is out of our control. Life is not that black and white and there are other ways to build a life together, but if he is not willing to do that and I can't... If neither of us can give in, there will be no future together. I don't think for me it is possible to do more than promise I'll move for him into another country in Europe. To go further is not possible for me. I need to provide the kids the possibility to see their father and if he would be a 12 hour flight away... that's just too far. For them I can't do it. He says he can't come to my country because he is scared to repeat his earlier mistakes. I think that is a wrong way to live, but it is his life. I can't force him to come to me if he doesn't want to. But it does break my heart that he can say so calmly and surely that he will rather finish the relationship for good than even try a life in my country if it is the last possibility on earth.

It is so hard to have faith in the future when this permit situation is hanging over us. I'm just literally waiting for July and the day when we know for sure if we have a future together or not. I thought about just cooling things off until then, but the truth is that I'd rather take these last months with him even if they were to be our last than give up now to avoid more pain in case of a heartbreak. I think we belong together and there has to be a way to do it. There has to be a way for us to be together. Life just can't be so cruel that it would separate us. We've both had hard time for the past 2 years and we deserve some happiness and sunshine.

I need to find that faith in the future and in good things happening in this unjust world. I need to let go of the fear and just believe we will have everything we dream of. We will be together. Our love will last. It has lasted through one year of difficulties and being thousands of miles apart. It can last a bit more hard times. And then we will have that day when we can finally be together, live under the same roof, wake up and fall asleep next to eachother, have a family. Patience. I have so little patience.

Before I felt drowned, suffocated, paralyzed by this situation. Now it doesn't affect me like that. Now I hang somewhere above that desperation and doom. I'm not feeling joyful or super positive either, but can somehow trust that the life will provide us with a solution or if not we'll figure out what we do once we get there. I hope.

I guess the hope is the key. I hang on to the hope.
26 September 2013 @ 01:14 am
Since I officially became a single mother, I have experienced so much kindness and support from people around me. It surprised me completely. While I was living in a relationship with my alcoholic boyfriend and father of my children, I felt so alone in this world. I felt like I had to carry everything on my own. Now as I literally am alone with the kids, people have stepped forward to offer their support.

There are still those moments when I am completely alone and when it is not possible to reach for other people. There are those moments when I know the help is there, but that I still have to deal with the emotional stuff on my own. There are still moments when I think that I can't do this. I forget the gloves, boots or a scarf. I only have energy to maintain the level of mild disarray in the house, but not clean up the bigger cluttered areas. Last week I only cooked one meal by myself. Everything else was store bought and on many nights we didn't even eat a warm meal, just some toast. The kids eat two meals at daycare and preschool and often don't have much of an appetite at home. So I sometimes skip the warm meal too, because I just don't feel like cooking only for myself.

But regardless the difficult moments, I am grateful.

I am grateful for my mother. I feel like I can't ever really repay all of this to her. She is not the motherly type. Being with the kids is not natural and easy for her. She loses her cool easily and loud noises annoy her. She loves my kids to bits, but she prefers them in smaller doses not all day long. Same goes with my father. And yet they have both been babysitting for me, so that I've been able to work at the theatre or to take time off and go to see E. They've gone above and beyond what I expected. My mother has organized her work around my schedules & bought me groceries on numerous occations, without me having to ask her to do these things for me. She was always a phone call away when I faced the first weekend without the kids as their dad had them. I cried through the whole weekend and the whole next week and my mother called me several times aday just to make sure I was even remotely ok. My parents have also organized so much fun activities for the kids to do and to take their mind of all these huge changes happening in their lives. I have no energy to do trips, picnics or go to see a kid-friendly concert. I barely get through the every day stuff. So I am really happy someone comes up with these nice things to do. I go along and participate, but it would be completely beyond my capabilities to organize such things right now. I am so grateful for my parents. I know they don't have a lot of money and they have their own health problems and other stuff to deal with and yet they are here for me whenever I need.

My neighbor, who is my mother's old friend and also my close friend has been my savior so many times. My parents live far and can't be here on a moment's notice. My neighbor has watched the kids while I take care of urgent matters. She has come over to chat and found me in tears, because I am just so tired and taken the kids to play outside, to give me a moment to myself. She has invited us all over for coffee, juice and apple pie and lifted our spirits. She has talked things through with me when I have felt nothing makes sense and even sat in my house at 2am while I took ex-boyfriend to ER after a suicide attempt. She has been such a good friend and done so much more than I could have ever asked of her. I hope I can one day help her too.

I am grateful for my two closest friends who have come to see me to make sure that I am ok. Who have encouraged me to keep up my exercise routine and made me take time to have fun. They have listened to me relationship troubles for years and now that my relationship ended, they have been there. They've watched my kids, come over in the middle of the night because I was crying hysterically. But most of all they've given me so many fun and happy moments in the middle of otherwise dark time in my life. I know that whenever we get together, I feel better afterwards. They make me smile, giggle and rememeber there are good things in life too.

I am also extremely grateful for E. I am grateful to simply have him in my life. It was such a miracle that he re-entered my life on the very moment when everything was crashing down around me. He has listened to me, watched me cry on Facetime without being able to really do anything for me except be there. He has held me, put up with my crazy fluctuating moods and the crying that never seemed to end. His life is extremely difficult right now and yet he still is there for me. Speaking with him almost daily gives me so much. Knowing that there is this one person on this planet who is thinking of me, missing me and loving me, even though we can't be together right now... it makes such a difference. Having something to look forward to in the future, it keeps me going. I dream of our life together in the future. He has given me hope when I had none. He has given me a reason to believe there are good men too. He has forgiven me for walking away from him 9 years ago and is completely ready to open up his heart for me again, even though I already broke it once. Because of E I believe I can love and be happy again. I'm pushing myself to step beyond my limits, to learn new languages and to just go with the flow without overanalyzing every single thing. I am so grateful and happy that he loves me. He is such a caring and good person who wants to help everyone he loves. It inspires me immensely. When I am actually physically with him, everything feels possible. I feel like I can face anything if he is by my side. But it is not obsessive or I don't feel like I need him in order to succeed, I just feel like there's nothing we can't do when we are together. We give each other strength. I do need him in my life. I want to need him there. It is hard to be so far away. I am grateful for each and every moment I can spend with him.

I am also grateful for every single person who has asked if they can help or do something for me. It means so much. My other neighbor, who was very recently diagnosed with diabetes and has two young children of her own and a husband who works mainly night shifts, offered to do my shopping for me. Her own life is stressful and she is going through a huge life change with her diagnosis and yet she worries how I get along. These offers truly touch my heart. I feel kind of blessed that there are so many people I can turn to.
19 August 2013 @ 03:56 pm
I don't know why today is such a crap day. There is no reason for it to be really.

This is my first official weekend without children as a single mother. And it is not a weekend but 5 days. I am going a little crazy alone in the house.

I feel the pressure to do all things useful and at the same time all I want to do is cry. I am so damn alone. And it is not the feeling of being alone in the house, but being alone in this life. It is hitting me hard today. I don't know how to be alone, do things alone, make decisions alone. We are all ultimately alone in life. Those moments when it hits you, they are scary.

My friends are working and busy with their own lives. I know they are and I can't really blame them. I'm jealous of their lives. I was supposed to meet my friends tonight, but my ride had to cancel because of overtime at work. So I'm stuck at home for another night by myself. Last night I finally got the migraine that has been promising to arrive since Friday. I was so stressed about the meeting on Friday with the social worker & my ex to agree about custody, visitation and money. I knew I would get a migraine afterwards, but it took 2 days to arrive. So I didn't speak with E last night. I slept in a dark room.

I guess the meeting made this all official. I am now a single mother in all the papers too. I get the minimum child support payment and my ex is not even paying all of that. The government will help him out. I find it quite unfair that if my ex should become unemployed, he will have to pay next to nothing & the government pays everything he can't pay. I am currently unemployed, but that has nothing to do with anything. I still have to find money to pay the food, clothes, doctor's bills, hobbies, everything. He has no obligation to help with any expenses after he has paid his child support or government has paid it for him.

Money is not the issue though. I can live with what we get. I just cut the spending to minimum. And I'm sure the grandparents will help me with hobbies and bigger purchases whenever it is necessary. It just feels unfair how little the dad has to do. One weekend per month and couple of hundred euros. That is the responsibility of a father. That is so fucking little.

I'd like to think he will try to be more of a father than that. But the truth is, I'm afraid he will settle for as little as possible.

E is having a difficult time as well and we had to cancel my trip to see him, because neither of us really has the money right now. I was looking forward to being with him. I need to be with him so much. Hold his hand, hug him, kiss him, fall asleep in his arms and feel safe and not alone. Feel like there is someone in this world for me.

I know that I have to get through this alone. I have to deal with these emotions and fears alone. No one can really help me. I just have to persevere until I feel better. But being with friends and my kids and skyping with E, those all help, because I am reminded why I made my decisions, why I am in this situation now and why this is better than the alternative. I am reminded that I have all these great people in my life who like me and want good things for me.

When I am alone, I overthink everything and I keep on thinking and thinking and worrying and everything is crap after that.

It just feels like this weekend all the people I normally turn to when I need support are busy with their own problems, own lives, own things and I'm having a really hard time getting out of this hole I've dug for myself with my dark thoughts, fears and frustrations. I'm trying to be easy on myself and be understanding, but at the same time I'm constantly mentally kicking myself for not moving ahead in life fast enough.

My emotions are a rollercoaster right now. Yesterday I was pretty much on top of the world before the migraine hit. Today I woke up tired, because that is what a migraine does to me. I had a dentist appointment, which usually tends to make my day hell every single time. I hate going to the dentist. And then I walk back home to the empty, messy house and have no energy or desire to clean, to do anything really. I find out that my friend cancelled the girls' night tonight and E is MIA from Facebook although it is his day off and he promised to speak to me during the day today.

I've tried cleaning, doing the laundry and everytime I start doing something useful, I start crying. I don't know if this is the moment when the magnitude of my life change hits me. I can't help the crying. The tears just flow and I don't really know what I am crying about. Everything I suppose. I try not to cry in front of the children, so I guess this is what I have been holding inside of me. Better let it out probably.
06 August 2013 @ 02:15 pm
Two days since my low point, when I felt like a pile of frayed nerves and a puddle of tears on the floor.

I'm still sick with flu and I'm still not sleeping well, but I suspect it now has more to do with my flu than anything else. The flu is really not helping, but hey why not do this the hardest way possible, right life?!

When I wrote the last time, I decided already when I was writing that I need to do something. I need to pick myself up and start towards something better, crying and self pity was not getting me anywhere. First thing I made myself realize was that this situation is new to all of us, me, my children, my ex, my current boyfriend, my family, my friends... It will take time for us all to get used to this. I must give myself time and kind of let go of the mother I was in a relationship and realize that something has to give. I won't be able to be the kind of mother I was. I have no time for homecooked meals every day. I have no one to go shopping for me, so it is impossible to do that daily. I need to buy food for at least 3 days at one shopping trip. Shopping with a 3- and 5-year old children is a nightmare. I will not make myself go through that on a daily basis.

I need to be kinder to myself. I need to give myself good things to look forward to. I need to connect with other moms. This I have already been doing. I must not guilt trip myself over every angry and snappy sentence that comes out of my mouth. I'm not feeling good. I'm tired and now also sick. It is normal I have no patience to whining or tantrums. I'm going through one of the hardest times of my life, so I will not be the best version of myself right now. I have to keep on focusing on the good moments.

I am normally a positive person. Since I broke up with J, my positivity has really been put to a test. Sometimes I really miss him. When I find a new recipe I want to try, I think how before I would have told him. He liked cooking and it was something we shared. He was my best friend too, the person I shared everything with for the past 8 years. There are moments I miss that very much.

My friends and family are so angry at J for everything he put us through that they can't really remember the good times. He is not a bad person, troubled yes, very troubled, but not bad. I'm not apologizing for his behaviour, not anymore. I'm not making excuses for him. I would not have put up with the bad stuff for so long, if it had been all bad all the time. There were good times. But towards the end just too little in between the crap.

I didn't break up with him, because I woke up one day and realized that I did not love him anymore or because I had someone else in my life. I broke up with him because I saw no future with him. The trust was broken too many times and nothing seemed to change for the better, only worse. So I'm still dealing with my emotions towards him just like he probably is dealing with his emotions towards me. I hope for the sake of the children and little for me too that one day we can be something that resembles friends. I'd like him as a friend. Not a close friend, but someone I can talk to occationally. Im not sure if that will happen. Maybe there's too much stuff between us.

I wish I had time for myself without a boyfriend. I had not thought to get involved with anyone right away. I'm not the kind of person who does that. For me it has always been important to be independent and alone after a big breakup and be alone for a while before even thinking about a new relationship. It is difficult to make sense of all my emotions right now. There are the sad and angry ones from the failed relationship. There's frustration and failure. There's guilt. Why did I wait for so long? Maybe my kids saw and experienced too much. Maybe I saw and experienced too much. And then there's that quickening heartbeat when the Facetime connects and I see E, preparing food, smoking on the balcony or lounging on his bed without a shirt. There's the warmth that fills me when he says "Te amo tanto.". There is the silly smile that takes over my face when I think of him, the fist of longing squeezing my heart when I haven't seen him for a while or when I think of the 5 long months before I can touch him again.

I want to focus on my children, on myself, my future, but it is impossible to disregard this love I have for E. It is like it has been in my heart for 9 years and even grown if possible and now that we have another chance, I dont control my love anymore. It has escaped my heart and lives a life on its own. I'm not in control at all. I thought about suggesting that we wait for a year, just be friends and chat occationally, but it is impossible. I have to really focus on taking it slow. I would marry him right away, if he was free to marry me and wanted to. It is crazy. It is scary and I think it is a little unhealthy. I know people always say they have never felt like this before. I have. 9 years ago when I left Cuba and E behind, I felt like I was cutting my heart out of my chest. Everyone said to me that it was just a holiday romance or puppy love. I think he is the one for me.

We are strong and will fight, like we already have. He is really quick to anger and not easy to calm down. I am steadfast in my opinions and if I feel I'm treated unfairly, I will not give in an inch. I see a lot of silly arguments in our future. But we have both waited and hoped to meet again for 9 years. We have both been with other people and thought about each other. We have been in each other's thoughts for 9 years. I think we will never take our love and being together for granted. It feels like a miracle that we found each other. I can't just say "Sorry but not now". I might get my heart broken so badly that it will never heal, but 9 years ago I acted in fear and let him go. I will not back out now because of fear. I will throw my all at this relationship, do everything it takes to make it work and to give it a chance. If it doesn't work then at least we gave it a shot.

I think we might end up being that disgustingly sweet couple who is always just as much in love as when they first met. Or our love will end up being so explosive that it is impossible to maintain a relationship. Either way, I need to see what it is going to be.

And while we are taking it slow with E, I need to start making decisions about my own life, work, school, career, where to live, what to do... I have to make that my top priority. Now if I only knew what I wanted in life besides a future with E...
04 August 2013 @ 12:44 pm
Yesterday was a low point. Another one.

I am still not sleeping well and I have managed to get myself a summer flu. So I was even more tired than the days leading up to this. I have been short-tempered with the kids but yesterday I just had no energy at all to even hold a resemblance to discipline. Cooking dinner for the kids at 8pm was a triumph. Before I began it felt like an impossible task. Getting them to clean up at least the surface of the bed from all the toys and to listen a bedtime story was another triumph. One task at a time I pushed through the fatigue all day long.

E wanted to see me, so after I had put the kids to bed, I accepted his Facetime call. I informed him that I am sick, probably have fever and am so tired I'd prefer death to sleep, if it meant I could rest forever. I didn't exactly say that, but I said I was very very tired. I asked how he was and he simply shrugged his beautiful shoulders. I wanted to show him what I had bought to his family earlier that day from a sale at my local shop. He didn't want to see. So I suggested that maybe it was not a good time for us to talk, if he didn't really want to talk about anything. He started to speak about me eating while we talk (I was having a cup of tea and a snack) and me exercising in a tone of voice I did not appreciate. So I told him bye and stopped the call. I then sent him a message on Facebook and told him to not call me if all he wants to do is bicker. I am tired, sick and having the first quiet moment of the day after the kids have fallen asleep. I do not want to use it by bickering with someone, anyone.

After a moment he apologized. Wrote that he is still feeling weird after the funeral yesterday and was taking it out on me. That it is best indeed that we don't see eachother while he is in this mood. But that surely I know he loves me and that I am the most important to him.

I cried a little after that. I want to be supportive of him and push my own problems aside when I speak with him, but on days like yesterday, when I have zero energy and I already feel like I'm stretched too thin and carry too much on my shoulders, it just feels like I have no more to give. And really it is ok that he is not in the mood to talk, I have told him that. And it is ok if he doesn't want to see me one day. But he specifically sent me a message earlier that day that he has to see me because he misses me too much. The Facetime call wasn't quite what I expected after that message.

I know he doesnt have friends or family to pour his bad feelings on. I am probably closest to that. So I guess it is natural that I have become his shit bucket for bad feelings. That's what we people do, make our loved ones hear all the crap and feel it too. Except I do not have any intention of accepting that from him. Not when he doesnt accept it from me. Not when I can barely deal with my own shit. Not when I am this vulnerable. Not when our relationship is only these Facetime calls and rare moments spent together when I travel to see him.

Boundaries are difficult for me. I am codependent by nature, have been since childhood. I have been trampled on so many times. This time I am trying my hardest to stick to the boundaries, to make it clear from the very beginning that it is not ok to treat me badly. Not even when you are sad and mourning a death of your friend. It does not give you the right to treat me like crap. It may give a little bit of more understanding on your moment of bad behaviour but it is no excuse to be nasty to me.

I'm glad I ended the call instead of getting sucked into a pointless argument. Apparently he is well aware that my body issues & weight loss journey is something that will push my buttons. If he uses it one more time as an ammunition in an argument, I will address that. It is a low blow to go there, when he knows that I am working my ass off to lose weight and am succeeding too. He has said many times that my size doesn't matter to him, has made fun of my stomach (which I did not appreciate but smiled anyway). He doesn't really get how fragile my body image is at the moment. Or really how fragile I am at the moment.

He has no children and thus he has no idea of the magnitude of responsibility that just fell on my shoulders alone. Nothing much has changed yet with the every day stuff. I did it before mostly anyway. The only problem is my lack of sleep. But the responsibility of everything the future holds in store for me and the kids. Being the only example, the parent who is supposed to do it all, that is what has sent me on a free fall. I don't care what other people think, I don't care about appearances like some other single mothers I've talked with or like my mother, who is worried how everything looks on the outside. I care about not being constantly tired and snappy to the children, having time to read for them every night, bathing them at least every other day, preferably every day as my son is covered in sticky substances at the end of every day. I care about having the energy to make healthy food for them and having time for myself to exercise.

I do not want to put on the weight I have already lost. For one week now I have not really had a chance to exercise. I have been too busy and too tired and now I'm sick. My weight has stayed the same, so no gain yet, but I know that if I stop exercising, it will be super-hard to keep the kilos from piling on and to begin this exercise routine anew.

I am afraid I will not survive from running the daily stuff, the food, the sleep, the laundry, the cleaning... I have never been good at it before but I somehow got it done. Now I'm left with piles of stuff to go through and organize on top of the normal things that seem overwhelming by themselves.

What is the hardest thing about parenting? For me it is the moments when you feel like you have come to your absolute bottom. You have no energy to pick yourself up and go to bed to sleep let alone catch those little rascals who were supposed to be asleep in their beds but instead are running around. You have no patience, no good will, no nothing. You are running on empty. And yet while you sit there on the floor feeling empty, beaten down and absolutely out of control, tears running down your cheeks, you know that in a moment you have to get up and put those kids to bed and feed those cats and put the clothes ready for tomorrow and get yourself to bed too. You sit there and dig deep and somewhere you find those last drops of willpower and you do what you have to do. This is what people with no children who are not extreme athletes or in other kinds of extreme circumstances don't understand. They have no concept of facing your limits and then having to push through because you just have to. There have been many moments in my life as a parent when I have felt like I cant do this anymore and pushed through.

E has no experience of this with children. He doesn't know how frazzled your brains can feel after one day alone with two children. How many times you have to get up from dinner table to cater for the needs of your children. Often I eat after my kids have eaten when the food is already cold, because I have no time to touch my food while my kids are eating. They need more milk, more tomatoes, more this more that, the milk spills, the spoon falls... He is a son of a single mother and I know he holds an appreciation for strong women who are capable of dealing with everything life throws their way. But I am afraid of him seeing the reality of life with two children. Not just the holiday version of it.

He wants children, but with children you can't put your own feelings, wants and needs first every time. You can't always do as you want. You are not free to just do things impulsively on a moments notice. I have grown up immensely since I became a parent. Now that I have been officially a single parent for one week I can already say that I'm going to grow up a lot more during the next few months.

I am afraid that we will be in different places in our lives. For me it is difficult to accept his immaturity when I have no possibility to behave like that even when I want to sometimes. Recklessness is something I have no luxury to experience. He needs to meet me half way, maybe even more because I'm not sure if I can meet him half way. There are some things that are just given, that I cant change. I will forever put my children first. He is my first in adult world, but my children will always be first for me. If I can't take my children away from Finland, I will not leave them when they are still so young. Maybe 10 years from now that could be a possibility, but not yet. He must face the possibility that we can never be together for real. I must too. I want to live with him, but I don't know if that is going to ever happen.

I must say that I am working on putting my adult needs and my own needs first occationally, because I realize that a mother can't always be a martyr. But moving the children to a different country is a huge decision and something I can't make alone. The father has his say and I believe he will not let me move.

Time is what we all need right now. I need time for myself to get through my breakup, to heal my wounds and to stand on my own feet again. He needs time to finish his marriage, deal with his emotions relating to that and to stand on his own feet again. We need time to get to know eachother better and to find out if this love we have is as strong as it seems it is. I personally feel the love growing stronger through every shared experience, the good and the bad. I hope he feels the same way. If our relationship does not work, the breakup will be so big that I will never survive it. If this breakup now feels like the end of the world as we knew it, breakup with E would be the end of me. I really don't want to think about my life without him in it.