Sometimes… I’m still a little broken.

daddy remember
When 10 family members like this post on Facebook…

So, this past week, I went on 1004 dates (blog entry both pending and a lot funnier than this one) and decided that my bias toward the free sites was unfair. There could be good men on there, if I’m patient enough to weed through all of the 28-year-old “students” living at home. So, as a tester, I reactivated my OKCupid account, since that was easier than building a new one on Plenty of Fish. Within just a few minutes I sent Gaily the following text:

Reactivated my OKCupid account. First Message:

Hey ur beautiful how r u doin? U look really nice n sweet n i am nice n sweet n wanna be friends?

She thought it was hilarious and I decided I’d deactivate again once the site would allow me to in a week. I wasn’t willing to completely delete the information of whom I’d been in contact with and whom I hadn’t.

In the meantime, I chatted with one guy who lives a few hours away (briefly, because he lives a few hours away) and giggled over the profiles of some obviously crazy people, which naturally led to… my ex-husband’s OKCupid account.

Upon seeing a picture of the man who… oh I can’t even outline his sociopathic tendencies again!!!!! I started to hyperventilate and immediately deleted my account forever. I was intensely freaked out that he might have had the opportunity to open my profile and read anything about my life. Everything about me has changed. I am unrecognizable both physically and personality-wise. The idea that he knows I like guns and college football and that I actually became a librarian? It has my heart racing as I fucking type the words.

So, naturally, I immediately turned to my human security blanket, The Great and Powerful Gail.

wizard of oz gail
Can you believe a female Wizard of Oz costume doesn’t exist?!?! No, seriously. I’m bothered by this. There’s a sexy Tin Man, a sexy Cowardly Lion, a sexy Scarecrow, and a sexy Glinda for crying out loud. Glinda was 55 years old in that movie! I fucking checked! What? A woman can’t be the leader of a magical city? Fuck you costume makers of America! FUCK YOU!

Ahem. See? I’m avoiding the point of the blog, because it’s making me nauseous.

Anyway…

As I was informing Gail of my e-run-in, I realized that I really wanted to know what my ex-husband’s profile said. I couldn’t quell the curiosity over what a man who refused to work for four years lists under “profession.” Gaily’s ex-husband, Shane, claims to be the manager of his parent’s pet store… as he did when he never went to work while they were married. Welcome to the Midwest, y’all: Home of the Commonplace 22-Year-Old Divorcée . I once texted Gail in regards to my ex:

Me: His Facebook says he has a job.
Gail: Hahaha. Sure. I’ll bet he was “hired” to burn down the pet store Shane “manages.” 

Given our oddly similar mental fractures from our previous marriages, Gaily was in full support of my creating a fake profile just to see what my ex-husband’s said. FYI, you don’t need a valid e-mail address to create a blank OKCupid account under the name Mobetterdogs and stalk people. I don’t know if it’s better or worse that I looked. I really don’t. I will say his profile name had both the word “nerdy” and the misspelling of the word “than.” His profile also included:

What are you doing with your life? 

“putting it back together after a tough divorce left me homeless, jobless, and pennyless.”


WHAT?!?!?!? 

One, Captain Asshat, it’s penniless, not pennYless. No wonder you failed senior English!

Two, Spawn of Hell, you were penniless and jobless the entire time we were married! That’s like saying our divorce left you fat and white! Also, you can’t talk about how you’re putting your life back together after your divorce 104 fucking years later!!!!

Gail: “How does a divorce make someone jobless?”

Three, Bag of Dicks, homeless?!?!?! You had months to make arrangements, because that’s how long you refused to leave after I asked!!!!! That’s how long it took for Jay to advise me to threaten to call the Sheriff and remind him of the WARRANT out for those checks you “didn’t write.” You were only homeless, because you were no longer welcome in the homes of your family after their shit went missing!!!!!! That’s quite similar to the reason you weren’t welcome in MY home anymore!!!!! It was, indeedMY home, since I was the only one paying for anything EVER!!!!!!  You even kept breaking into my apartment long after I kicked you out, so you could steal my shit!!!!!

Four, you Son of a Whore, “tough divorce”?!?!?! Try free divorce, since I’m the one who paid for it!! I went fucking crazy during said divorce and refused to sleep for two weeks while I threw out all of your shit and realized all you had stolen from me!!!! I found a card that proved that, after all those times you yelled at me for the implication, my wedding ring was indeed fake!!!! I still can’t watch Firefly because it reminds me of how you stole the boxed DVD birthday present from me when I forgot to pack it up with the valuables I had to store for safekeeping!!!!!! I LOVE FIREFLY!!!!!!!! How about my tough marriage?!!? I owe six digit school loans from living off financial aid when you wouldn’t work! You pulled roadrunner-esque schemes to FAKE JOBS!!!!! I lost 12 pounds the summer I worked at the movie theater, because free popcorn was the only food we had! I MISCARRIED THAT SUMMER!!!! You left me alone while I did, so you could go to a party!!!!!! 

Then I read his questions.

Do you like cats or dogs?

Both. As long as they’re trained and not pains in the ass. 

My precious little “pain in the ass” still cannot get through bathtime without my singing, because you used to beat him on the rare occasion you would bathe him, despite not working or being in school! He’s finally over his fear of men! YOU HURT MY PUPPY!!!!!!! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!?!?!?!?!?!?

Gaily was right. Under profession, it said “student.” Not only that, but the text of his profile actually clarified that he’s “planning to go back to school soon.”

That’s still unemployed! You were “planning to go back to school” when you got kicked out of college at 19. At one point, YOU FAKED BEING IN SCHOOL!!!! Higher education is not for you. Get a fucking job.

Yes. I feel validated. I won the divorce. Clearly. It’s been two and a half years and I have a Master’s degree and burgeoning career, wonderful friends, an adorable apartment. I’m also 100 pounds lighter and know what eyeliner is. I did everything I said I would and then some. Go me. Most days, I feel wonderful and free and blessed.

Then, there are other days, when I’m still a little broken. I say the name of the beloved cat that died in the unexplained fire that got my nineteen year old husband a bunch of cash the day he lost his job… and I can’t breathe. I open a DVD case with soot on it and that smell puts me back on a charred futon, crying into a burned, wet stuffed animal because my pets look like they’re sleeping on the front lawn. I walk down the baby aisle of a Target and know it’s for the best that he has nothing to do with a child… but it’s a child I lost. I look for a movie on my shelf and realize it’s one he stole when he was breaking in at night. I have a nightmare that I’m still married and I wake to a panic attack. I cuddle the dog and promise no one will ever hurt either one of us again. Most days, I’m an upbeat, happy Librarian with a thriving social life and a skill for random Pinterest crafts. On rare occasion, I’m a morbidly obese, 23-year-old, sitting in a judge’s chair, holding back the tears. Another person who was supposed to love me had hurt me.

ex husband okcupid
… but thank the Lord for good friends.

I’m pretty sure I’m done with the free dating sites. I also feel completely justified in my refusal to date anyone with the profession of “student.”

sexy tinman
Yeah. That’s a fucking thing.

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31 thoughts on “Sometimes… I’m still a little broken.

  1. You are a better person for all that you have suffered, but my heart breaks for you and your animals 😦 People like that just astound me.

  2. Sometimes you’re a little broken-only because you are human. What you’ve accomplished in the two and a half years is more than the years you spent in an unhappy marriage. You seem like one strong lady and truth be told, someday you WILL find someone who won’t do ANY of that to you. Keep on keeping on.

  3. The category is Abuse and more
    Putting this “away” is nearly impossible as much as we would like to erase the shit of the earth. Annd, ya can’t even use it as fertilizer
    Enjoy life , grit the teeth once in a while. My specific receiving abuse is different – some would not even notice being stalked, terrorized – to dumb to link the sequence of events. Some would have none nuts long ago. I’m waiting – analyse exactly — prefer not to lower myself to “that” level.

  4. Sometimes it’s okay to feel a little broken and vulnerable. That just means you survived some terrible shit and it turned you into the totally awesome and strong woman you are.

    Also your ex’s warped perception of life is pathetic. He has to tell lies, which being a sociopath he probably believes as truth, and will never progress in life or relationships. You on the other hand are flourishing, independent, honest and strong. And the dating game sucks the big one, but I’m sure if you stick with it you will find someone who is worthy of your time and will treat you better than you could ever imagine. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement. I’m pleasantly surprised by all of the references people are making to me finding someone better some day.

      • No problem!!!

        I was in a shit relationship for years, though we weren’t married, we were engaged. I had literally given up hope of anything better. When I was finally “free” I had moments just like you describe here. It’s completely normal. I remember when I met my current fiancee that I was astounded by the fact that someone wanted do nice things for me and pay so much positive attention to me. I know it is super cliche but these things always happen when you least expect them too.

      • Thank you so much. Most of the time, I’m pretty well-adjusted, but I think any survivors of abuse have moments. That’s just part of it. It’s nice to get positive feedback on it.

  5. I don’t think such brokenness ever really goes away as we’re not machines or computers that have clean formats available for things that have affected us in such a way. It’s amazing that you can write about this stuff and still live a strong life after it. It is the brokenness that we build on and our past experiences that have shaped us to who we are. Keep on moving. I hope you’ll find that person who will take that burden away from you soon. As far as your ex-husband…playing the victim card will get him no where, it just looks pathetic to me to be honest

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement. I agree. One of my thoughts reading his profile was “Wow. That’s not appealing AT ALL.”

  6. There is something in that home of yours that is setting you off. Something that you are picking up on your nose. And I mean that, the nose. Like when a husband or wife dies and years later her/his smell is on some clothes. Like when a mother keeps the infant stuff her baby had and years later can smell her child even though the baby is now 6’6″ with a wife and kids of his own.
    Nor is it the stuff you ‘know’ like the burning. No this is under that.
    You say you are OK about this now, and I suspect you are generally. But you have referenced him or the fact you were married in almost every post I’ve so far read.
    If I were you -and I was once- I’d eject anything you had before your divorce. Especially anything that can retain a smell. eg, a sofa/couch, armchair, bedclothes. And check the car if you had it at the time. Pretend you are a CSI.

    Is the outfit in that top photo for the upper middle class and wealthy Irish on St Patrick’s Day. 🙂

    • I’ve gotten rid of most of that stuff. I did not have any furniture a month after my divorce. And the fact that I was married is usually relevant in dating posts. There are probably many posts that don’t mention it. The OKCupid account was just a very strong and obvious trigger.

    • For example, the one on genealogy, the one on lunch with my dad, the one on taking medication… none of those mentioned my divorce. It’s a part of my past and bound to come up, but I write plenty that’s unrelated.

  7. Your writing and your life are incredibly inspiring. Through some light “research” (read stalking) I recently saw that my ex husband is dating my doppelgänger. Although the past is always with us, it’s always an amazing feeling to know how far we’ve come and grown since them! Love your blog!!

    • Thank you so much! I usually post pretty humorous stuff, so it’s been great to get such positive feedback from the rare serious article. Gail’s ex-boyfriend from high school married a girl who looks so much like her that Gail thought it was an old picture OF HER. Creepy.

      • Since the US mid-west was settled mostly by Germans and Nords leavened here and there with a bit of French and Celt. Would the look be that dis-similar with any set of ten girls.

      • Oh! Re read the comment. No. Not really, since we’re not all white with brown hair.

    • Thank you so much for the support! I’m typically a humor writer and I’m so pleased by the encouragement I’ve gotten after an extraordinarily rare serious post.

  8. Never like him. Not just because he was fat ugly and always would breath out of his mouth and never his nose. But because he was an idiot. I have seen a separation cause a good friend of mine to crumble and she is going to lose everything really fast that she loves so much because she allows it to overtake her. Everyone has their time to grieve and you DEFINITELY had yours but, I’m incredibly impressed by how well you transferred that energy into building the remarkable person I have come to know these past two years!

  9. Pingback: Okay, Cupid, your aim sucks. | Belle of the Library

  10. Sometimes I’m not a little broken. I was 40 and had been married for thirteen years when I discovered my wife was having an affair. After a year of relationship counselling, wherein I repeatedly asked her to tell me the truth because I didn’t think I could handle another shocking revelation, I summed up the courage and did some more digging. I discovered that the affair had been going on for at least ten years. Not only that, but she and c#nt boy had gone to a swingers club and had a penchant for having sex in public places. It took me a further year to finally crash. Literally and figuratively. Car, let me introduce you to tree. Psyche, reality has been eagerly awaiting your arrival.

    You’re lucky you’re young and don’t have kids. It’s easier to start over. It’s been tough, but along the way I’ve learned a lot about myself, beaten some demons, travelled, had Ayahuasca in the Amazon, discovered trail running, rediscovered kung fu, and taken up long boarding (although, the long boarding is more for my son’s amusement. I’m bad.)

    Anyway, the anger is fading, I’m more positive, and I’ve taken a few half hearted attempts at dating. I’ll probably delete the social media accounts through which I’ve so obnoxiously vented.

    All the best to you. Keep up the good work; it won’t go unnoticed.

    • Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. I’m not ALWAYS a little broken, but I don’t know if being wronged like that ever TOTALLY leaves a person. I’m glad you’ve found some peace and are moving toward happiness, though. Best of luck.

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