Divorce, Single Parenting, Dating, Sex, & Self-Recovery

Posts tagged “my dad’s divorce blog

Happy Mom Chat About How I Got Here: What I Figured Out

Exes Into Plusses - The Off ParentI took lunch to my mom’s house today, just to stop by and say hi. We talked about this blog for a bit.

See my ex-y left some sort of message about something I was doing that was damaging my family. My mom wanted to know what it was. I showed her The Off Parent and explained how it was anonymous.

“But it’s on Facebook,” she said.

“Yes, but it’s not connected to me in any way. I don’t even LIKE my own page.”

She was happy with my explanation. And she said something next that brought the conversation to a different place.

“I’m glad to see you taking a different path than your father.”

She went on to tell me about how he once told her that she was the reason he drank. “So, I told him I wouldn’t be that reason any more.”

We talked about my dad and how he went on to marry another drinker and eventually drank himself and her to death. And I told her, that her survival after the divorce had colored a lot of my childhood, and probably formed a good portion of my personality. She was always quoted as saying, “I’m turning X’s into plusses.” And that’s kind of a maxim that I have learned to live by.

Even as things got hard for us, back in my elementary through high school years, she would keep us pointed at the good side of the situation. A lot of the time I thought it was bullshit. Just a way of escaping some of the pain of the moment. But eventually I heard myself using the exact same phrase when talking to myself about bad situations.

I told my mom about how this blog had given me a voice, a place to process the anger and frustration at the divorce. And how eventually those parts of the blog began to subside and a new part of the story began to emerge. As I transitioned out of anger, depression, and divorce mechanics, I started moving into how to turn this major X into a major WIN.

The divorce is the biggest thing that’s ever happened in my life, and I’m 50 years old. What ripped through my safety and joy has now become the fire that has burned away the bullshit and brought me down to WHAT’S IMPORTANT.

Here’s what I figured out about the positive side of this blog, and the positive part of the divorce, for me.

1. Self-care. Physical and mental health are a full-time process for me. While I’ve never had a substance problem, I have used the 12-step program for various parts of my recovery. What I am working on is EMOTIONAL SOBRIETY.

2. Kids First. There is nothing in my life more important than the love and support of my children. Keeping them safe from the bitterness and anger that could’ve erupted in my divorce was always part of my agreement with their mom.

3. 100% Positive. While there are plenty of times I’m angry with their mom, there is NEVER any reason to voice those complaints to my kids. I remember how horrible my dad was at speaking about my mom. And of course, she was doing only a little better at voicing the victim side of the horror. And it was pretty bad. Eventually, in high school my dad began taking it out on me, saying that the divorce was my fault and saying that I didn’t love him. These will never be words that my kids hear from me. And I believe the ex-y has the same intention.

4. Lead With Love. I may not be in love with their mother, but I will never stop loving her. It’s often that love that turns to bitterness and hate when it’s flipped around. But I won’t ever go there. She is gone. She is someone else’s. And I can do better each day remembering the relationship of the divorce is about my kids. And if she’s happier, they will benefit.

I don’t always get it right, but I keep trying to return to these principles. And as my ex-y has now turned me over to the Attorney General’s office I guess we will see what it’s like trying to abide by these principles while she is suing me. I imagine that she is doing the best she knows how. At least, I suppose, she will know with the bankruptcy that I’m filing, that I’m not secretly stashing money away, or trying to keep her from child support payments.

Even in cutting off most of the conversation between us, I think she must be doing that for some personal, self-preservational reasons, rather than hate at me. We’ve got these great kids. And we do everything we can to support and encourage them. If she no longer wants to sit face-to-face to map out some plans with me, that’s okay. I guess we go back to emailing each other. That worked some while we were married.

And I’ll keep mapping my own path along this journey here. Turning my ex into a plus.

Sincerely,

The Off Parent

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Ferris Bueller Gets a Divorce – My Dad’s Divorce Blog – The Movie

My Dad’s Divorce Blog ™, a major motion picture in development. (Today I found a link to the original shooting script from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.)

I kid. But I imagine it would make quite a screenplay.

The pitch: “Ferris Bueller gets a divorce.”

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Staring as DAD, Matthew Broderick.

dad's divorce blog - a major motion picture

see the Ferris Beuller reprise commercial from Honda.

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And his beautiful ex-y, Sarah Jessica Parker (uh, sure, she’s actually married to the guy above – similarities to ex-y acknowledged)

Dad's Divorce - the ex-y played by Sarah Jessica Parker

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The ice breaker Felicia Day

My Dad's Divorce Blog - The Movie - Staring Felicia Day

wait… maybe Suzanne Vega would be better

Suzanne Vega LIVE

click for “If You Were In My Movie”

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The love interest Mary Louise Parker (I’ll admit I have a thing for dark hair.)

My Dad's divorce blog, staring Mary Louise Parker

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Young Son is, of course, played by Justin Beiber.

Dad's Divorce Blog stars Justin Beiber as the Young Son

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And Young Daughter is played by Zendaya Coleman from Disney’s Shake It Up, cause we’ve gotta have a Disney tie-in.

Dad's Divorce Blog stars Zandaya Coleman from Disney's Shake It Up

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The Med’s Doc in Suite 404 is played by Lawrence Fishburn.

Dad's Divorce Blog stars Samuel L. Jackson as the Med's Doc

“We’re going in without pills this time.”

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The Talky Doc is played by Johnny Depp.

Dad's Divorce Blog stars Johnny Depp as the Talky Doc

“And how did that make you feel? Do you know what John Lennon said about his divorce/separation from Yoko? (pause) The separation didn’t work out.”

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Liberal, Progressive, Spiritual, mentor, and Methodist Minister is played by Nathan Fillion (the Firefly dude)

The Off Parent Movie - starring Nathan Fillion

“There’s a dark forest, and a lot of sad feelings. Light a fire, or shoot your way out of it.”

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And then again, maybe the Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along-Blog is the better format.

dr. horribles sing along blog as a divorce metaphor

click to see dr. horrible in action

With this much fun, it’s bound to be a hit. Strippers, Online dating. Random sex. Recovery. Parenting. Ex-wives and ex-husbands. Now we just need someone to option the script. Takers?

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Sincerely,

The Off Parent
@theoffparent

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