plenty of shit has me depressed

I’m trying to avoid being buried by the bullshit

I know I’ve not written at my usual pace. It’s not that I don’t have posts swirling around in my head. There are far too many words to write.

I am working on the next post about Ian. It’s a doozy. But I needed to step away from that to just dump the other shit I’m dealing with out on a page.

First shit? Will, my ex-husband.

He wanted to move to the other side of the world again. Some of you may remember he moved away a year after he and I split up and was gone for ten months, leaving me as a single parent to an angry little boy. It was during that time I met Tony. Continue reading

How to split up friends when you split up.

At the time my husband Will and I split up, he had two close male friends. One he’d known since they were pre-teens in school and the other, he’d met through work. I liked both of their wives and the six of us had the occasional dinner with or without our children (who were all in the same age range).

I was the social convener: other than the occasional email the men might exchange, the women were the ones who made sure plans were executed.

Since Will and I had an amicable divorce, it wasn’t particularly stressful for these friends to keep in touch with me. At least, not from my perspective. For the last two years, I’ve seen the women every few months. The “work wife” and I see each other only at these dinners. The “school wife” and I are good friends; she was my travel partner on my recent trip and I see her one-on-one as well.  Continue reading

Two years ago | Yet another sign.

Some dates will always stick in my head. My wedding date. The day Will and I decided our marriage was over, and the day I moved out.

I moved out just over two years ago. I didn’t note the anniversary because I am on vacation and didn’t know the date. Which is an awesome thing.

But here’s what I found amazing.  Continue reading

I have a therapist and a lawyer. And some real insights.

Does having a therapist and a lawyer make me a real grown-up?

Will and I had our wills and power of attorney done just before we split. And although it’s not as if my divorce hasn’t felt final (our marriage was over before we made the decision, and we both moved on very quickly) there are things that really make it over.

While the piece of paper that formally dissolves a marriage sets the stage, there is nothing like saying “you are no longer the most significant adult in my life” by updating your will, the beneficiary of your life insurance and assets, and your power of attorney over your finances. I think those things are the actual final curtain on a relationship.

I am moving even further away from my marriage, which I didn’t realize was possible.

One thing I retained, however, is Will as the power of attorney over my “personal care”. This is the person that makes the decision whether to pull the plug, basically.  While I trust my Mom more than anyone else in the entire world, I just don’t think she could do it.  So perhaps we are still taking curtain calls in the stage play of our relationship.

While I picked the lawyer in the first place, now it feels like she’s really mine.

And now I can also add a therapist to the people supporting me in life.

Yes, contemplated for a while, urged on by my Mother, and timed with a full preventative and holistic health and wellness assessment, I agreed to meet a Clinical Psychotherapist. We have had two sessions so far. Another is booked for after my no-contact deadline with Tony.

And yes, she knows about this blog and has the link. How else for someone to really get to know me and my story – and for me to ensure I don’t hold anything back? Scary, I know. But the right thing.

(Hi, Doc!)

The core thing I wanted to address with her was a better understanding of how the relationship with my father could impact my actions, and how to break any patterns of behaviour that aren’t good for me. For example, staying in a relationship with someone who has characteristics I like but is emotionally unavailable.

Sound familiar?

Hello, Tony. Hello, Will. Hello, Daddy.

While my father has grown on this front and I now know without a doubt how much he loves me and is proud of me, growing up I never felt good enough. Never felt unconditional love from him.

On the one hand, a drive to constantly improve and satisfy has contributed to my business success. Much has been written about the insecurities and “impostor syndrome” of CEOs. It’s fascinating.

On the other hand,  I seem to have a thing for men like my Dad. Not a surprise. I like men who are highly intelligent, quick-witted, funny, gregarious, curious, communicative, and passionate. But, my most significant relationships were with men who were also self-centered, perhaps narcissistic, hard to please, controlling, and demanding. Ultimately, not providing me with the emotional support I need.

I believe I have to embrace the past and the experiences that got me where I am today. I understand that my relationship with my father, and his characteristics, are both positive and negative forces on my life. I am not the kind of person to remain in stasis, blaming others for my psychological lot in life, and not ever moving forward. Oh, and that characteristic? Definitely my father’s.

What I do want to continue to do, however, is make good choices. Break patterns. And I’m happy to say, I’m doing this. It feels great.

Those of you who have read my early dating stories know quite well I put up with a lot of douchbag behaviour. My primary focus was getting my mojo back, finding my groove, and feeling desired. I also had to learn a lot about dating and relationships again. But ultimately, what I can do at 41 which I couldn’t do at 16, is know that men and how they treat me does not define my self-worth. It does not define my attractiveness, and it does not have to be on their terms.

I now choose what I’m going to put up with.

For example, if I fuck Shenanigans, it’s because I feel like it. Not because his presence makes me feel more valued. Not because I’m craving male attention. As I said in a comment, I’d have to be really bored, and really horny. The latter is pretty much a constant, and I’m not seeing boredom in my near future.

I used to worry my sexual adventures were driven by a need for male attention and acceptance. It was probably true when I was 16, and while there may always be a piece of me that’s driven by it, I know what’s in my heart and mind right now and can honestly say it’s not there.

I’m simply, very very sexual. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.


 

Image Source: http://www.drandrabrosh.com/

I have an answer to one of my unknowns.

As I wrote recently, I currently have three big unknowns in my life, causing considerable stress.  Late Tuesday night, one of the three were resolved.

I was at my friends country place. My phone was connected to the stereo system to listen to music; as such, I didn’t check my email or text messages until I went to bed.

I had a text from Will: “Can you call me?” Continue reading

Mission Accomplished!! Merry Christmas!!

If you didn’t get access to my blog while it was private, you can read Baby Did a Really Dumb Thing to know what the heck spurred it.

Today, my ex-husband Will dropped off my son at lunchtime. I casually asked to see his new phone, saying I was considering upgrading mine. I asked him to unlock it so I could compare apps and the screen.

He was sitting in front of me the whole time. I played around, asked if I could see pics (he said no lol), and talking the whole time, quickly went into his mail app. Couldn’t see the errant email. Realized my hands had started to shake.

Showed him his phone again to ask where a certain app was. Then turned it back so he couldn’t see what I was doing. Found the right email account. Realized he may have deleted it. Sure enough went into deleted mail, searched for it, and found it.

With a quick swipe to the left, the Ann St. Vincent email was gone for good. My hands were shaking.

It didn’t help that I gotten a migraine on my way home, coming back from a friends house, where I stayed overnight. I feel like crap. I haven’t had a migraine in maybe six months. I’m hosting dinner tonight. My Mom and Step-Dad are sick – he’s here but she didn’t come. My Dad and Step-Mom and half-brother are on their way. But my son is so happy, which makes having a hand up a turkey’s ass while in serious pain all worthwhile.

I had checked a log I have of visitors to my blog yesterday and concluded that Will hadn’t tried to access the blog. That he put the email in Trash means he wasn’t suspicious. So, I am ready to open my blog again. It’s a huge relief.

I have stories to tell. It’s been a busy week. But it will wait until later.

Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate it – and happy holidays to everyone!!

Ann
xo

Baby did a really dumb thing.

On Monday I had a dentist appointment. Nothing serious. I was trying to get a bunch of things done at the same time. Checking my postal mail on my way out the door, I noticed an envelope from an Insurance agency.

Shit.

Will and I had decided to cancel the life insurance policy which we jointly held. Last week he asked me to send him an email agreeing to cancel, so if the company required it he would have it. I realized I never sent the email. Walking to the public transit station, phone in hand, I sent him a text asking him the name of policy, to which he responded.

I quickly fired off an email to him that said “this is to confirm our conversion that the policy is to be cancelled”, and signed my name.

I got on the tube and thought nothing of it. Until I got out of the Dentist and checked my email to see one from Will saying:

“Ann, can you please confirm the cancellation of the policy and any remaining cash value will be deposited into [my real name]’s account”.

It was to my Ann St. Vincent email account.

oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck

I sat down on a bench in the lobby and the panic washed over me in waves. I tried to get into my WordPress dashboard on my phone but of course couldn’t make it work. I got into my gmail chat and praying he would be there, contacted my friend Gardener.

He responded right away and told me how to make my blog private. When I couldn’t get to the menu, after giving Gardener my email and password he immediately did it for me.

Then I checked my stats and saw a very low number of views from our country. Phew. I had just posted a couple of hours earlier so this wasn’t unusual.

Gardener and I texted back and forth while I explained what happened. I realized that my ex was with my son running errands and was on his iPhone. Since he responded to the email as if I was the insurance company, it was unlikely he looked at the email address and instead just saw the name. My blog name has no meaning to him at all – it’s not something he would recognize.

When I thought I could actually use my legs again, I said my profuse thanks to Gardener and went home. I had to figure out how to a) cancel my policy and b) ensure Will would have no reason to go back to the email I had sent.

I called the insurance company. They couldn’t cancel over the phone and we needed to fill out a form and both sign it. I had them make a note on the account that we intended to cancel, and then the rep emailed me the form.

I texted another close blogger friend and bounced some ideas back and forth with him how to minimize the impact of my astoundingly bad mistake. I now had a plan.

I forwarded the email to Will (this time from the RIGHT account – sheesh) and changed the Agent’s name to Ann in her email (I know, I know…but did anyone have a better idea?). I said “here is the form we need to fill out to formally cancel the policy so the cash value will be deposited. I can print out and you can sign on Christmas or drop off earlier if you prefer. Let me know.”

Then I waited.

He responded later and sounded completely normal. I felt a bit better.

I tried hacking into the webmail version of his email account so I could delete the original Ann email, just so it was forever gone. Of course, he’s changed his password. He has a new iPhone so perhaps when he drops our son off tomorrow, I can “check out” his new phone and casually delete it from there. It would help me not worry.

Since Monday’s adventure, we’ve spoken on the phone and exchanged texts and nothing seems to be amiss. I think it’s safe to say he hasn’t noticed the real email address I sent the email from and that he hasn’t searched for my blog. He will probably not give it a second thought.

I still worry that he may notice if one day he decides to clear out his inbox. Hence my desire to delete the original email. The risk is fairly low, but still.

Why do I care if he knows about this blog? Well, even if I could get past him knowing all of my slutty sexual adventures, he doesn’t know that I exercised my rights to be “open” in that phase of our marriage. It would hurt him, even if it’s not why we split. I’ve written about him, highlighting some particularly unflattering moments in our marriage. He would be livid that those stories are public.

I will bring this blog back up in the next week or two. I miss sharing my stories with everyone, and I have some great ones this past week, including a date with P/Shenanigans, a great afternoon delight with Jason, and my best first date ever with a new guy off Plenty of Fish. But when I open it up again, I might make the posts about Will, and Faraway Lover, private for a while longer.

Thank you to those of you who reached out to me to ask if I was okay. It means a lot. And a special thank you from the bottom of my heart to Gardener, and Will Carrier, and Mark Baron, for helping me get through the day.

Ann

xo

There are a bunch of random thoughts in my head today. Yes, I'm gonna share them.

Time & Illness

I broke my post-every-day streak of many months yesterday. A part of me was rather perturbed, then I realized it didn’t matter. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say, but I simply couldn’t get the words out yesterday.

I’m still not 100% better from my walking pneumonia. It’s crazy. Anyone who has had it reminds me it took them anywhere from 4-8 weeks to really get better. I’m sick of not feeling great.

The last 10 days I have had 4 evening work events and 4 all-day sessions. Although I enjoy my colleagues and the events, it’s exhausting. I took my friend Katharine to the event earlier this week and even on her best behaviour my boss still said to me afterwards “well, she’s not reserved, is she?” – it was perfect.

Last night I had the house party I rescheduled two weeks ago. Usually I have about 25 people, last night was fewer than 10. But I had been fighting fatigue and a ice-pick-through-the-eye headache, so I was totally fine with having a chill night.

I’ve been kind of out of it since I contracted this illness. I looked at my calendar two days ago and realized that Will comes home on Monday and as a result, I will only have my son between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. I actually have evenings and weekends free. I have no plans.


Men

I have done a really good job not engaging. I have not texted the Lawyer (and there has been no contact from him either). After ONLY a “good morning” text last week, which I responded “good morning”, I have heard nothing from hot actor. As one of you wryly commented, he very slickly cancelled on me using my time as an excuse – as if being free for 5 hours one evening wasn’t enough.

So I presume they are gone due to other horses in their stables. I am totally fine with this and will be interested to see if they come back. But I’m not keen on making any sort of effort to see them. The Lawyer has some merit but we can’t seem to connect, ever. Hot Actor is too much of a flake, since he’s the one that proactively asked me to go out, just to disappear.

The Comedian hasn’t been in touch either. I take this in stride because I’ve known him for so long and our contact waxes and wanes. We are friends first, so I don’t think of him in the same way as these others.

Haven’t heard from Andrew. Which is a good thing for me because despite my saying I could have non-emotional sex with him, I’m not sure that’s true. So creating some space is good for me.

Dan has been a surprise. After I saw him last week, I sent him a text that said “Thank you for helping me sleep so well 🙂 Please don’t go silent this time…I don’t like feeling like I’m chasing you.”

And yes, I know that breaks all kinds of rules of being all mysterious etc. But I thought fuck it – if I can’t tell him that and have him respond positively, then forget him.

Since then, I’ve heard from him every day. Sometimes we’ve had phone chats, and other times it’s been a little texting here and there. We’ve been joking that I broke him. He was sore for days. I said he needed endurance training and I was happy to assist. It’s been lighthearted.

I had been doing well only responding when he texted me. But I broke down coming home from a party this week. I was drunk. I said “hola”. He said “what does that mean?” and then I told him it meant “hello” and that I was drunk and broke my promise to myself to not text him until he texted first. His response? “Don’t beat yourself up. That’s a silly promise”. At least it made me smile. We spoke that night on the phone.

He’s not all the things I want. But he’s a nice guy and if I can spend some time with him every once in a while, I’m okay with that.


Online Dating Site Misadventures

I am currently “active” on two sites. Lavalife (where I met Jason, NIM, and Ariel), and OK Cupid (where I met the Giant and miscellaneous others). I guess FetLife also counts although apparently it’s not meant to be a dating site. But all I have had is men reach out for that reason.

Lavalife and OK Cupid have been a source of entertainment, mostly. There was a guy whose profile said he was a 6’4″ black man, and the pic was of a white dude. There have been a constant stream of opening lines in my mailbox. I have responded to very few of them, for a variety of reasons. Some I quickly discern are looking only for sex, others are far away, way too young, way too short, or have terrible profiles.

I am not going to run down the few I am chatting with, because as I have learned over and over again, they often don’t pan out. I am proud of myself for not wasting my time, and for not chasing any of them. I am pacing my responses – not because I want to play games but because I find with the constant contact, I start to get my hopes up. Also, my sense of time is skewed in this world – I might think it’s been forever since I’ve heard back from someone. I look at the date and it’s been 1-2 days.

Bottom line is I’m being less impulsive and impatient.

I also have a new approach to early communication. If they don’t clearly spell out in their profile what they are looking for, I ask them. I swear to you, 90% say “fun” as one of the things. Here’s where I have my fun. If they mention “fun”, In my response I include “LOL. I find that “fun” is often used as a euphemism here”. And then I see what they come back with.

One guy said “sorry, my vocabulary is on the small side… but I make up for it in other areas :)”

Which at least made me laugh.

Another said “I am also looking for intellectual and physical chemistry, stimulation…but someone whos company I can enjoy. Sometimes msgs can be ambiguous and misconstrued. Don’t get me wrong I am not a prude or innocent by any means :). I am a red blooded male but a gentleman first and foremost.”

Okay, better.

I’ve been chatting with The Model more, as he’s on LavaLife. We still talk about perhaps getting together one of these days. I’m sure to be in his city soon, and I’d love to meet him. At the very least, because he’s someone I’ve talked to off and on for a year and I’m curious.


Last but not least…

If you are interested in why it is so hard to maintain desire in a long term relationship, take 20 minutes to watch this brilliant TED Talk.

An amazing article on relationships | kindness & generosity

This article is one of the best I have yet read on relationships – and so, contrary to my usual approach on my blog, I wanted to share it in its full form here. The link to the online article (from The Atlantic) is at the bottom. Enjoy.


Masters of Love

By Emily Esfahani Smith

Every day in June, the most popular wedding month of the year, about 13,000 American couples will say “I do,” committing to a lifelong relationship that will be full of friendship, joy, and love that will carry them forward to their final days on this earth.
Continue reading

I've been busy the last few weeks…writing, that is

A couple of reader friends mentioned this past week that it’s hard to keep up with my stories since I post every single day. They also said they liked my summary posts which for a while, I did weekly.

It’s been a month or more since my last summary post, but that feels like an eternity in my life these days. So I thought I’d catch you up on my main topics. Of course, Johnny Id was a main topic up until the beginning of October…but he has his own page if you want to peruse.

1) Faraway Lover

I’ve written more about the relationship he and I had: Continue reading