Cracking Eggs...Making Omelettes...Or Something....

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It's Monday, the start of a new week, and one I will make a good one through sheer will. The last few weeks have been very hard on me as I climb back on this emotional roller coaster that never seems to stop anywhere for very long. 

I'm simply overwhelmed, and that tough as nails facade of mine is cracking a bit. It began on my way home from Chicago last Monday, where I just became overwhelmingly exhausted that this was my 104th trip in just over three years. Six figures spent. 

I got an hour in a parking lot with my kids. 

It's whiplash that takes me days to get over. The effortlessness of Chicago is euphoric when I'm there. It's home. Atlanta has been good to me, but it has never relented from the squeezing vice of stress and turmoil. I get back on the treadmill with anvils tied to my ankles. I'm still a puppet on a string dancing for someone who can only be described as 'trailer park diabolical.'

One thing is for sure, this can't go on the way it is. It has to end. It is getting close to completely exhausting me and deep diving into some serious self destruction. The needle is on empty and I am gasping on fumes. Work isn't slowing down, and I am leaving behind huge opportunities for myself in order to go back and do battle with an overgrown toddler. 

Yesterday was Father's Day, and I did the gracious and what I feel the right thing, and I included him on a post that also recognized my father and step-father. I also texted my oldest, and asked her to please wish him and her grandfather a happy day from me. 

I struggled all day. I spent most of my Saturday drinking and crying because I am so overwhelmed. Sunday, I was mostly lost and depressed. This is so complicated and hard. I'm stressed about work, I'm stressed about money, I'm stressed about the difficulty of finding a place to live with three large dogs I can actually afford, I'm stressed about my kids, I have support, but I am an army of one. Everyone is battle fatigued. This situation seems to seep into every crack in my life. It ruins relationships, because I have to tap dance for someone instead of being present.  It's been three relentless years. I felt like my brain was on fire yesterday. Do I cry? Do I scream? Do I crack jokes on the internet? Do I throw myself into my work? Jump off a cliff? 

So I calmed myself down, decided Monday was a fresh start, took my sleeping roofies, and went to bed ready to conquer a new day...

Then this gem came over...

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HOW MUCH ATTENTION DO YOU NEED FROM YOUR EX WIFE???

My Mother's Day was exactly three hours long, cost me $1100 and I only saw my kids because my oldest took a stand. 

I had to laugh... it was comical. So I trolled him back. 

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More emails... whore, deadbeat, he's doing ALL of the work, blah, blah, blah... the usual attempting to twist me in knots with this push and pull that I'm not helping, but he's going to make it so I can't help, and it's all my fault. 

Eye rolls for dayzzzzzzzz. Cool story, bro. 

Then the last one of the night...

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For whatever reason, perhaps my fugue sleeping roofie state, THAT punch landed. 

Referring to my TERRIFYING hysterectomy last year, that I still can't talk about as 'getting spayed.' 

'Your kids...' 

Now anxiety has completely blown through the sleeping meds and I'm in this weird panic fog. I'm remembering him climbing through Tater's bedroom window to steal the carafe from the coffee maker just to mess with me. The drive bys. Boxing me in at a Walmart parking lot. Reaching through the car window when we exchange the kids. Trying to run away from him when he cornered me in my closet and sailing into a dresser... being held hostage for hours after that while pretending to be me on social media...uprooting everything and starting over in Atlanta...

What the hell. How do I survive this. I'm walking back into another $30k court battle. Not because there's anything to win, just because he wants to exhaust me financially. I don't want anything from the man. I don't want child support. I don't want to remove him from our kids' lives. I just want to be left the hell alone and be allowed to raise the children without someone endlessly punishing me for not loving him anymore. 

As I lay in bed until finally drifting off into nightmare fueled sleep around 3am this morning, I had no solutions. I should rehome my dogs and make things 50% easier on myself. Everyone is telling me to, but I can't. They're older, and I would never be able to forgive myself. Not to mention the crazy dog rescue weirdos would publicly shame me relentlessly. My career can't survive that right now, as selfish as it sounds. 

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I go back and forth... a distant mom is better than a dead mom. But then I go back to Christmas when they were begging me to come home, and how happy they are planning for when I do come home. I try to coach myself up and say, "This is the LAST thing he wins." 

But I'm tired. I can't even go up this weekend, because I know I won't emotionally survive it. I've hit my limit. We are officially at the tipping point. 

So for now, I'm going one minute at a time. Literally making in the moment to-do lists that don't go further than two hours out. I have to be physically well. I haven't slept or eaten in a couple of weeks, and it's beginning to show. I am reaching out, and my support system is amazing, but it's hard to overcome when everything in your being is saying, "I am done physically, emotionally, and mentally." 

That's really all I can do right now. I have to just be 100% in the moment and do the best I can, eat a good meal, and get a decent night of sleep. 

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Jennifer Gulbrandsen