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Tell Me How You’re Mighty Pandemic Edition 3.0

Well, I don’t know about you, but I could use a Chump Nation mightiness report. Hurricane Ida, Texas taking leave of its senses, month whatever of this pandemic — tell me something good.

I’ll tell you something good! Remember our post this week from WishingforHappiness who is pregnant and suddenly widowed? Well, the CN bat signal went out and OzzieChump, a baker, jumped into action. She’s sending Wishing a loaf of sourdough bread every week to keep her strength up. And Rebecca and some other chumps are organizing a little virtual baby shower. (Email me if you’re interested.) And Zhuchi is on the ground trying to organize bereavement resources.

The kindness of CN never ceases to amaze me.

Oh, and other tell-me-something-good news — I saw a hummingbird this morning! No big deal, you say? I live on the 10th floor of a high-rise! I’ve NEVER seen a hummingbird on my balcony. And there it was, buzzing around my canna lily. Mr. CL looked it up: hummingbirds are a sign of joy, healing and messages from spirits. If you believe in that sort of thing. Maybe the remains of a hurricane blew a hummingbird off course on to my balcony, but I’ll take it as a good omen.

So, any positive portents to report? How’s the mighty going?

TGIF!

Ask Chump Lady

Got a question for the Chump Lady? Or a submission for the Universal Bullshit Translator? Write to me at info@chumplady.com. Read more about submission guidelines.
  • My 5 year old twin boys have just started kinder!! I made it to kinder CN lol!! I’m 25 nearly done with my bachelors in social work and I did it all by myself!!! I remind myself of this each morning. It’s going to be a great day guys!!

    • Twobytwo,
      Congratulations on your boys starting kindergarten. Such an amazing milestone.

      I sorry to hijack you post but wanted to get this near the top of the thread!!!!

      For all those wishing to help Wishing for Happiness, I am working very hard to start a registry for baby necessities and for some needed purchases such as crib/cot or stroller/pram.
      The store has many services for new parents including delivery, setup and even installation of car seats!
      We have boots on the ground support from local chumps.
      My goal is to supply her with a layette. Whenever she reaches to get a onesie or bib or baby towel, she will be reminded that so many strangers care very deeply for her and her well-being.
      This is more of a Chump Baby Registry than shower. There will be nothing in person!
      Will keep you all posted and anyone interested PLEASE just send your email address to CL so she can forward it to me.
      Thank you all in advance for your support!
      Love you guys – a mighty nation indeed ❤️

    • Hey twobytwo! My youngest are twin boys, 5 yrs old and just started kindergarten, too. They’re not too thrilled about it yet lol. You’re doing an awesome job!

  • Good morning CN! Hummingbirds are beautiful! For me, the start of school/college for my youngest has gone off well. My oldest is back for her the second half of her junior year of college after an 8-month work term. Her employer is keeping her on part time too. After 2.5 years, I am in the last stretch of divorce (Wahoo!!!), I started working a few months ago after a 21 year break and my employer is offering me permanent part time :), I was able to see my family after 18 months apart (wear a mask and get vaccinated) and…. I’ve reached Tuesday.

  • I am beyond awed and humbled by the kindness I have received from Chump Nation. I didn’t expect the outpouring of love…but I should have. Chumps always have the biggest and most amazing hearts. I married one and just lost him…Chumps are rare as gold and far more precious. Thank you for being you.

    My mighty for today was getting up and making a phone call to agree to an autopsy on my beloved. I didn’t think I could do it but I did. I may have fallen apart afterward but I’m still breathing. I consider it one more brutal step walking through hell. But I’m walking.

    • Wishing. The world is love. Hears to bringing your little girl into a world of love and kindness. Be good to yourself. Feel your feels. Sit with them, cry and let them go. No rush. Exhale. Sending you so much positive energy. 🙂

    • Here’s a podcast that may bring you some comfort. As I said before, I may sound crazy but I do believe James is with you. This is Madonna Badger on a podcast. She is the lady who lost her three daughters, her parents, and her house in a fire on Christmas Day. She knows what it’s like to live after tragic loss and I hope her story can encourage you as it has me.

      Here’s the link if/when you want to listen:

      https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/magic-carpet-cast/id1514851229

      I’ll totally be at the virtual baby shower.

      • Wishing: I also really believe James is with you and that you will see him again. When I lost my sister 22 years ago, I felt like she was always with me. The grief was horrible but I felt that knowing her had made me a better person, still do. Through that pain, I cherished the good memories. Wishing you and your daughter only the best.

        Regarding what I have going for me today: Many things but I am thankful to have gotten my third Covid shot yesterday (immuno compromised is how I got it).

        • I agree that James will forever be the voice in your ear and that feeling over your shoulder when you need support.

          An autopsy is a brave, difficult decision but important to your baby. His health history is half her history and may be important information for her in the future.

          You’re already putting her needs first even unconsciously. You’re going to be a great mama bear and a team of two.

          Sending love and hugs from far away.

      • Thank you so much for this Velvethammer. I have lurked here a long time and I know the courage and strength you have demonstrated on your own painful journey. The podcast will help me a lot tonight. I am scheduled for a c-section on 20 December and expected to bring our daughter home on Christmas Eve. I will be taking a detour to the cemetery before we get home. I see this podcast as a little bit of a sign…she lost everything on Christmas Day and my life and our daughter’s life as a little family without James will be starting at Christmas too.

        Thank you. Hearing how other people walked these painful paths helps.

        • Dear Wishin,
          I wanted to send a short note to you here to tell you how mighty you are for calling and agreeing to an autopsy on your beloved husband.
          As I posted earlier, my daughter lost her husband, ( he dropped dead in front of her and her two children).
          Well, everything happened so fast, the funeral arrangements were made so quickly. The medical personnel did not suggest an autopsy, none was done. This was only a couple of years ago and one child already exhibits cardiac issues. I kick myself that I did not think of suggesting an autopsy.
          Grief paralyses you. I stayed by her side. I cared for and fed the children.
          YOU are Mighty.
          CL, CN love you with all of our heart.
          You & your Baby Girl are never alone! 💞
          Xxxxxx
          Peacekeeper

        • Also sending you hugs Wishin. I am a little bit acquainted with tough times and I know what it is to struggle to put one foot in front of the other after a loss. Each day it will get a little bit better. Taking time to grieve when needed, rest when needed and keep doing what was in front of me each day is what got me through. Also knowing my son was near (I could feel him) and that he was ok and well taken care of helped. Know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    • Wishin, that IS incredibly mighty and I am so very proud of you. Keep breathing and walking one breath and one step at a time. We are here rooting for you every step of this painful journey. ((Hugs))

    • Wishing, you are a mighty badass warrior woman. I salute you. Your strength and courage are just fucking astounding. That autopsy will perhaps provide you with answers and medical information to help your little baby.

      Stand strong!

      • Wishing,

        3 quick comments-

        First HUGS— people here – who don’t know you yet – feel genuine & deep compassion for your loss. I hope you will let yourself feel this. We are all pulling hard for you and your daughter.

        We are the fans in the bleachers encouraging you, and will be cheering you on when you give birth.

        Second, the autopsy was a wise though difficult choice. Any unexpected death can raise questions later in life. And someday down the road your daughter may want specifics. She might even have a health issue that could relate. You’ll have the information.

        Finally, I don’t know what your faith is like. But in my belief system, your husband rests in the arms of a loving God, and your husband is rooting for you and your daughter.

        He is sending you strength and support, as are we.

    • Sending you hugs and strength Wishing. Each step is honouring James and your daughter. Your grace under such pressure is humbling to witness… thinking of you

    • Sending big support hugs to you-
      You are mighty!

      I know it seems impossible to have the autopsy done but please do it. If your beloved James had any genetic issues you need to know for your precious baby girl.

      When ex died unexpectedly at 48, I reluctantly had the autopsy done and it turns out his family had an unknown heart defect gene that they did not know about. My ex was a carrier and there was a 50% chance that my son could have had it. I had my son tested and thank god my son does not have it but having him test & the wait was scary.

      I will keep you & your sweet baby in my prayers

  • My son was hit by a fast moving car on his bicycle last Saturday night on his way home. He was thrown over the car, over a guardrail, and into a ravine. He was rushed to the hospital in really bad shape and he not only survived he was out of ICU in 2 days and now out of the hospital. He is so hurting but he will eventually be ok. He needs a ton of help but that is so mighty!

      • This week has brought me often to tears. Tears for the courage, commitment and connection of Chump Nation. We are each mighty but together we are an army. Dearest Wishingforhappiness, your circumstances have called us all to action and we are so proud to step up. I am fiercely proud of everyone of you! Your stories of adversity and then our Phoenix like rise is so inspirational. And Tracy – we can never thank you enough!

        • Phoenix….I got my first and only tattoo of…you guessed it. To me there is so much meaning behind it. I survived.

  • My daughter is 9 months and she loves to clap and watch videos of herself. Being a single mom is not bad at all. Loving time with my cuddle bug.

    • I also found new appreciation in the time I had with my daughter when she was little, which has carried on through the years. I found out about my ex’s double life when she wasn’t quite one, and we were on our own when she wasn’t quite one and a half. She’s turning six soon. Her father royally fucked up to miss out on the bulk of her life and getting to watch her grow.

  • When FW left 6 years ago, he mocked me and said “you’ve been a SAHM for 10 years — no one will hire you!” He literally laughed at me.

    I ended up getting back into advertising sales thanks to a great network from my past. After 4+ years at a company becoming their top seller, the company was purchased and I ended up in a commission plan that was killing my paycheck and we couldn’t live on it anymore.

    I’ve spent the last 8 months trying to get another job. I was losing faith in myself. Didn’t think it would happen. But…. Just started a new amazing job that I’m thrilled to be sat! And it’s because of great friends and contacts who had my back. So thankful

    • Yay you! Congratulations on the new gig!
      And if you happen to run across your ex, maybe you should mention that sleeping with strangers doesn’t make one a fortune teller.

      • LOL!! Sleeping with his coworker wasn’t exactly best for his career in the end (he was fired from that job) … so I’m glad I didn’t take his “jobs expertise” seriously 🙂

  • I am often so scattered with C-PTSD after what Benedict “OJ” Madoff did to our family and things fall through the cracks.

    My daughter is a talented artist and for many years we talked about her going to the high school for the arts in our area. When it came time to apply last year during eighth grade, she said she did not want to go (depression. Thank you, cheating lying dad). In June when I saw a final class project featuring her drawing, I made an executive decision to send it to the admissions director. They emailed me back within 24 hours and offered her a place in Drawing and Painting as well as the Digital Art and Animation programs. Her teacher is a Disney Pixar Lucasfilm ILM heavy hitter.

    I have been so scattered since Benedict “OJ” Madoff blew up our family that I do not know how I had the presence of mind to submit her work, but as it happened her talent was such that we were able to skip over the whole stressful complicated admissions process, six months past the due date, and earn her a place.

    A Higher Power thing to be sure…..

    • That is wonderful. Oh, what a smart thing you did! It is no suprise that you have a wonderful, talented daughter. Congratulations, Little Hammer!

    • I needed this story today. Good for you. And wonderful for your talented kiddo. You might have put her on a true life path with that decision.

    • Velvet Hammer, reading your post just gave me chills! You are mighty and your daughter is lucky to have you. Congratulations and wishes for her healing and success.

    • A super Mom Class Act-sending in her work and making a move that springboarded her into
      an environment where she can succeed in cultivating her gifts, be appreciated everyday and make connections with others like herself.

      Mama Bear to the max…!!

  • I’m not mighty yet, but I am slogging towards it about an inch at a time. During the pandemic I did something I’d always wanted to do and planted a giant vegetable garden. I know nothing about gardening, so everything was experimental. Experimental is fun and I fail about half the time, and that is OK, I keep going. The sprouts of plants as they poke through the dirt and reach for the light is a hopeful thing and I love watching everything grow and run out first thing every morning to see what is going on. Bonus is fresh organic veggies. Fresh veg tastes very sweet and tender, and quite unlike the store stuff…I didn’t know that.

    • That’s mighty! Don’t underrated yourself. I too have got into veg growing since being chumped and am loving the perspective on life and growth as well as the delicious food. Now finishing the summer crops and preparing our autumn season (southern Europe).

      • Gardening and growing things is a lifelong adventure! I once heard Eliot Coleman, organic gardening guru (and, unfortunately but unsurprisingly, an FW, from what I understand), talk about this in an exciting and inspiring way. Already an avid gardener/farmer when I heard the interview, his stories and reflections sparked my imagination. So much to learn and explore, so healthy and nourishing, and yields so many gifts to share with others.

        Ironically, one shit sandwich of getting chumped was leaving my gardens, which were always a sanctuary for me. Temporarily on hold – too raw to start over just yet, and I’ve been too busy, for starters – but I know I’ll be back at it when the time is right. Glad others have found joy and healing in growing things!

        • Just now by accident I am temporarily living in a place with a tiny garden – my first in my whole adult life! Such a joy! But even living in a tiny apartment in the city my plants were my sanctuary too. I lived in a tiny jungle 🙂

          So sorry to read about that shit sandwich b&r.. I am sure the right time will come again! And who knows it may even start with one tiny plant..

    • Ex-hole and I spent many years rehabbing our fixer upper. I had always wanted to garden after the home repair was done but lost the motivation and time when I became a single mother. Last year during lockdown I cut 80 feet of garden along my fence and widened a section for a monarch preserve. I really enjoyed planning, prepping and planting. Well 5 varieties of milkweed refused to grow and I got no monarchs. But Mother Nature gave us a treat when swallowtails found our little patch of kitchen-herb parsley to lay their eggs and 23 very hungry caterpillars ate and ate (RIP Eric Carle), went to sleep and emerged as beautiful butterflies taking their first flight from the safety of our garage. And towards late summer, when the cardinal flowers were in full bloom, the hummingbirds came.

  • The hummingbird is an animal that by all rights shouldn’t be able to fly. Its wing movements are not at all like that of other birds. But not only can they fly, they’re so good at it that they’re the only species which can fly backward. They’re also one of the few–but not the only–that can hover.
    Humming Birds don’t follow the science!
    We need to be more like humming birds and be true to ourselves and our own mighty- not what FW’s and RIC tell us!
    Have a great weekend CN! Celebrate your mighty labors!

    • I have a tiny, to scale glass egg, handmade by an incredibly talented glass artist. I keep it with the note it came with, handwritten in cursive by the artist: “From the tiniest egg, the most fierce bird.”

      My grandmother, a chump and yet a tiny, fierce thing herself, loved hummingbirds, too. She could be hard, but she doted on them and even let me help her prepare their food. I still think of her whenever I’m lucky enough to catch one flit past.

  • I shifted 5 college courses from full in-person to synchronous online in a week in March 2020 to finish a semester. Most of the kids were freshmen and they were shocked and scared. This was very difficult because many students did not have good Wifi or lacked laptops to make Zoom instruction easily visible. It’s hard to see the screen being shared on a phone. Students also had big conflicts, as their parents and siblings also needed the family computer for remote work or school. Many kids had to do class in family space, so there were lots of barking dogs and people talking in the background unless I kept everyone muted. Then there were grandparents and parens sitting in classes because they were interested! I loved that but sometimes students not so much. Taught two more fully synchronous online courses in the summer.

    In the fall, We were directed to teach in-person, so I went in there with masks, Lysol, hand sanitizer and hope for Fall 2020 (5 courses) and Spring 2020 (4 courses). This “in-person” teaching was hybrid instruction, with kids wandering away from in-person at will to take courses on Zoom. Students lying on their beds, Zooming while driving cars, and doing lots of other wacky stuff. Summer 2021 was back to fully online synchronous courses (2). The U’s protocols required us to state that we were NOT in contact with anyone who had COVID, plus the usual temperature and symptom checks. That meant essentially being locked down at home from March 2020 to May 2021.

    Again, I teach mostly freshman writing, and this cohort matriculating in 2020-2021 lost their HS spring sports seasons, the prom, graduation, graduation parties and a chance to say goodbye to HS friends. Then their first year of college involved these hybrid classes, little contact with faculty, no sports, few activities, and seeing people only with masks on. On the plus side, we had very few COVID cases and no actual “outbreaks.”

    A friend in the Athletic Office told me, “We did a great job dealing with the stresses students experienced. But we forgot about the coaching staff.” This was true too about faculty. We were expected to “just do it.” Our department chair was great and encouraging but up the food chain, we were invisible.

    Where I wasn’t so mighty was self-medicating with food and pop (mostly Coca-Cola but some root beer, too.) So I gained weight, to my detriment and my doctor’s horror. I’m down 20 pounds now at a reasonable weight and not all that far from where I want to be. I expect to hit my goal by the end of October. Although my income was reduced by low enrollment in Spring 2021 and by a decision made by to not honor part of my workload as “paying work” for Fall 2020, I managed to pull together enough resources to buy a new car this spring and to do some important work around the house. So I feel, on the whole, that I was pretty mighty.

    • I retired from a college environment. I was in Administration, I only taught a few courses over the years as an adjunct for an income supplement. I had many well educated friends who could not break into a career path, and were gypsies — teaching adjunct classes where they could, without benefits. During the last part of my career I saw the attitude change from respect for teachers, and administrators, to treating us as parts which could be interchanged, and overworked on a regular basis. It broke my heart.

      Every day I listen to stories on the news about well educated health care professions who are leaving their profession due to constant work overload and PTSD. Everywhere I go I see help wanted signs, for servers, and grocery stores, etc. Many people cannot work because there is no childcare available, and they cannot leave school age children alone for virtual school without supervision. Parents are paralyzed with fear for their unvaccinated children I listen to public protesters wanting their rights and freedoms to be protected, and not acknowledging any connection to their choice and the health of others.

      Sorry Chump Lady, not so inspirational, so far.

      However, I also see random acts of kindness and selfless behavior. I see CN responding to a chump in need. I see neighbors doing welfare checks after floods, tornados and hurricanes. I see restaurants retrieving food intended for the running of their business, and taking grills and tables out to the street to cook for the masses. They could let the food rot, I suppose, but to me they are defiantly giving life blood to people who desperately need an act of kindness.

      As long as we have that spirit, we will survive tragedies and injustice. I have to believe in Martin Luther King Jr. who once said, “Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I certainly hope so! I refuse to hibernate forever, but when I scuttle out for food and provisions, I wear a mask. I am vaccinated, and will take the booster when available. I did not grow 3 heads, or have Bill Gates park in my driveway to track my calm and predictable life. I have had many shots in my life, and I experienced measles and mumps in my childhood, while my children did not. I was exposed to TB as a child, and remember hospitals devoted to TB patients. I believe in the power of science, and am so glad pioneers keep making progress every day, appreciated or not. I believe in spiritual and moral values and practices, too. I think all of us, as part of the human race, should practice the doctors creed of “First, do no harm to others,” Take care of yourself, and your own family and friends, be kind to others, but still be careful and mindful of bad people in the world. Don’t pour your chump assets into an empty bottomless hole.

      Sure would enjoy seeing a hummingbird! For now, I will just have to enjoy the thought of Chump Lady’s, flying to a high rise!

    • I’m also a professor and had many similar experiences! A lot of mightiness around as I see most people working hard to keep each other safe. Wishing safety to everyone, students, staff, admin and teachers, returning to school at any level this fall.

  • I divorced my ex (and sold him my half of the house) and retired all within six months. That’s a lot of change, but I had plans. Then my mother had a stroke and I needed to set aside my plans and step in to help care for her. Then the pandemic. Then my mom needed my help again, and I moved back to my childhood home to help out. As I told my best friend the other day, this isn’t what I planned for my life right now, but it is what life has dished up for me to deal with right now.
    But all summer long there have been hummingbirds at the feeder, and just this week elk rut started. What a spectacle! I am so grateful to live in a country that still has roaming herds of large animals. And I’m grateful for the county open space parks and state and national forests that make it possible.

  • Just a small triumph. I had surgery Wednesday and today all body functions are working. A small but wonderful step. Please don’t roll your eyes at me. Oh and I am finally booked for my trip to Ireland. It’s been rebooked 5 times. And as a treat I upgraded to business class. Such amazing things happening here!!

    • I have a trip booked for January, to Ireland. I am crossing my fingers that it will not be cancelled or postponed due to the pandemic. I’ve always wanted to go, and have some ancestors from there. It is wonderful to have something to look forward to!

    • Ive booked my trip to Montreal 3 times and it seems that our Tuesday departure may actually work. Will have to arrive at airport with a fresh neg covid test but as of now were good !!

      I have only seen my son who lives in NY once in nearly 2 years…..Im SO excited to see him. I rented a penthouse in the old city and will host my 2 kids, Cheaters recently widowed mom, his sis and her son (all our kids are adults and the men are chefs!!).

      Im gonna spend like a lunatic spoiling everyone.

  • My kids are finally at an equilibrium.
    STBXH has “agreed” that divorce is the option I have chosen and he will no longer object to that choice (I know, I know).
    I completed the paperwork for my divorce yesterday.
    I declined a job which would have been a step back financially but would have made me “secure” for a while. I don’t want to work 60+ right now. I need space and time to breathe and heal. the money will show up for me, just as it always has.
    I am no longer “afraid” for my future; I am nervous and a little scared but not filled with the fear that has underpinned the last few years of my life.
    I know my value and I no longer accept that I was the reason for other people’s (ahem) choices.
    I am breathing the breath of healing.
    As I take another giant leap into my future, I see so.much.more. than what came before.
    There is a better way and I am walking it.

    Happy Friday CN.

  • Covid hit not too long after D-Day for me. It was somewhat of a blessing in that I could cocoon as needed while working at home. I kept my wits, and wound up with a favorable settlement. My covid circle of good friends and family helped me through.

    During this time I rediscovered my love of the outdoors, with solo hikes and biking. When I was able to read again, I enjoyed lazy afternoons on my deck overlooking the wetlands. It doesn’t sound like much, but I feel mighty most days.

  • I recently auditioned for – and somehow was accepted into – an amazing chorus that sings with my local symphony orchestra. I have a degree in music, but haven’t used it in 15+ years because – well, you guessed it – FW told me so many times that it was useless and stupid. So I had given up singing (along with all of the other parts of myself that I gave up for him). But no more!! First rehearsal is next Tuesday night, and I cannot wait to sing again. Socially distanced, with a mask for now of course.

    • I live this. I didn’t pursue my interest in art for similar reasons and I’m starting my second year of steady classes. Just for fun. It satisfies my some mystical way and I’m delighted you have the chance for something that is just for you.
      So much good stuff today.

      • Fern
        Art- is the best way to heal our souls… it’s healthier than drinking or drugs and we can look at it in the future and see the progress…
        I have a degree in Art but was always afraid to fully express my creativity..( too many great artists in my family)
        I’m not afraid anymore ( ok 60% ) and planni g in stepping up my game next week…
        Fingers crossed- here I come

    • I am so happy for you! In early 2020 I was working up the nerve to audition for a choir. I sang in multiple choirs from age 7-17, but I fell out of the habit as an adult, and my EX made singing an issue (he dreamed of a career as a musician, so my interests in music always caused tension), so another decade went by. Then there was a decade of solo parenting while working full time. No time for rehearsals–I had to drive kids to their activities! But, now . . . the world is my oyster (albeit a slightly contagious one).

      I hope to join a community choir when it feels safe again. I hope you find joy in every rehearsal and make many new friends.

  • I have been trying to run a race in all 50 states before I turn 50 (which is rapidly approaching). The pandemic sidetracked my progress due to event cancellations, but I only have 8 more left to complete and am quite optimistic about the probability of reaching the goal in time. I’ve been leaving a copy of LACGAL in each state, mainly in those Little Free Library boxes. My cheating husband ran away from our quarter century relationship and now I’m running toward a healthier life!

  • I am in better shape (financially, physically, mentally) divorced than I was ever married.

    I am heading to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim next week and then spending a week hiking Zion National Park.

    OW can keep the sparkle twat, I don’t need that kind of baggage. We are No Contact and I love it. Only do hostage exchange once a week with the kiddos. (I wouldn’t settle for less than 50% custody).

  • I converted our non-profit women’s organization’s in person women’s leadership development classes into all online, timely virtual webinars to help our members get through the pandemic. The industry we serve was particularly hard hit during the pandemic with many, many furloughs and layoffs. I was able to provide connection for our members at least twice a week, every week for months. Many people reached out and told me it helped them with their self-worth, skill development and made them not feel so alone. I felt really good about my contributions and I really busted my butt to become an onscreen personality (I’m an introvert) and a Zoom guru. My board of directors decided that I would need to take a 20% pay reduction even though we lost no funding, so it wasn’t a difficult decision to make to leave this past February for a new job making almost 3x what I was making previously.

    I still mentor a number of the women that I served in my last job and lo and behold, my old board of directors has come knocking to ask me to become a board member – for a hefty donation.

    Somehow, I survived and thrived in times that felt dark, and even though our industry is still struggling, there are some bright spots. I’m 4 yrs out from DD-Day and 3 yrs out from divorce and I’m making my way in the world when I never thought I would. I still read here every day for inspiration and I have moments of sadness that I don’t have anyone to celebrate my successes with, but I have cultivated and retained a strong network of friendships that have seen me through.

    FoxForceFive

  • My car is making a funny noise and I had a slight minute of, “Oh, no. And now that it’s just me, what do I do? This isn’t fair!” Followed by a very quick inner voice correcting me. “He never took care of your car. Don’t you remember? He never filled it with gas, he never took it in for an oil change even. It was always you.”

    And my update from my first months in the online dating world…. a nice guy has been messaging me. As we have chatted, it came out that he had a two year affair during his marriage. After the divorce, his schmoopie went back to her husband. My mightiness for this weekend will be to clearly tell him that he is not worthy of a chump like me! Such a big step for me to just lay it all out there and claim my worth!

    • Tallgrass, I’m on your wavelength.

      This morning I texted the man I went on a first date with last night to say, no thanks, not a good fit. He didn’t even say anything about cheating — he just made a couple jokes that I had talked too long, to explain his quick consumption of beer while I was ‘nursing’ mine; called himself ‘fat’ more than once when he’s clearly a regular runner and looks in better shape than most (what’s he going to say about my amazing, but pushing 50 and slightly squidgy, butt if he’s making critical remarks like that on first date); and at the end, he felt a bit pushy (when I hesitated about whether to meet up again, he said, “what? it’s a pretty simple question, I mean, we talked for two hours, we didn’t argue”). I went home and did scales at the piano and thought, man, this is way more fun than keeping my entertaining-a-new-client face on for two hours.

      My picker must be doing better because I feel no anxiety about this decision at all. Finally, being alone with me feels like an abundance I’m discerning about sharing, rather than a lonely void I need company to handle. Many years of work have gotten me to this mightiness.

      Also this morning I called to make an appointment to deal with the funny noise in my car!

      S

      • Thanks for sharing this story. It is easy to forget how big these “little” steps are. I hope your next date makes you forget about your “new-client-face” altogether. You are an inspiration!

      • Great work seeing those red flags (so much aggression!) and pointing us all another step along the way.

    • Tallgrass, I too clutch when I have to tackle some car issue or house issue thinking- how can I do this by myself-if he were here he could take o er-fix it or assist. Then I wake up and call total BS on that fantasy. When he was with me he didn’t take over, come up with a solution or even notice what was wrong. He resented anything that needed a man’s attention (sorry younger Chumps-in the old days men took care of mechanical and home related maintenance-that was the expectation)- he didn’t try to learn, he didn’t hire someone to help-he just pouted with anger because it imposed responsibility on him and he didn’t like that.
      So -yup-he made it like I was the bad,nagging wife and exuded resentment and denial that the broken thing was broken.
      So I ended up working on it myself, and hiring a handyman with whom I did such things at putting up the storm windows, changing lightbulbs on ladders, etc.
      when technology came into our lives I figured out how to get in the internet, installed every printer, dealt with the people needed to assist, etc. when he needed help sending an email-he felt free to call me
      and call me and impose upon me wherever I was.
      I lived in a fog of not knowing how to deal with this crazy world he had set up as being normal.
      If anyone can tell me what I should have done-.PLEASE REPLY.

    • Tallgrass,
      “He never took care of your car. Don’t you remember? He never filled it with gas, he never took it in for an oil change even. It was always you.”
      Car, house, kids, etc. the list goes on. Whenever I feel panicked about doing it “all alone” I remember I was doing it alone all along.

      Glad you ran from that cheater, and you know your worth!

    • You have to be vigilant about the Miraculous Conversions. “I used to be a bad, bad, boy (are you excited yet) but now, I’ve Changed” Chances are, someone who carried on a 2 year affair, carried on more, and engaged in other nefarious activity.

      I am wishing you special super powers in navigating the wretched waters of online dating. I just chose to get out of the line of fire after a short time. It was never my thing. I admire your courage and strength!

  • I have been thinking about how fortunate it was that I divorced my ex pre pandemic. We always walked on eggshells to avoid annoying or offending his majesty, and my kids usually hid in their rooms.

    I’m now working from home full time and my boys had gone to online classes (one is in college and the other just graduated hs and is working full time). It would be miserable with that asshole in the house as we’re all around a lot.

    Now we come and go as we please, sometimes one of the boys will fall asleep on the couch and I don’t care, but that would’ve been unthinkable with his majesty who didn’t really want them around much. They hang out with me around the house and we have 3 cats, fish, and a mouthy cockatiel to keep us company.

    It’s fantastic without the asshole around.

    I still talk to ex asshole’s stepmother as his dad passed away, and she told me his father knew ex had treated me like shit and was really disappointed because he loved me. That was nice to hear.

    • Kim,
      That sounds so wonderful, I can feel the peace from what you wrote! I am starting a new telecommute job and hope it can be the same for my kiddos as they get older. And once I get stbx outta here.

      • Hey Chump, it is great and you’ll get there.

        I’ve had a lovely bf for a few years now that stays over a couple of nights a week and I stay with him a few more. My boys are 18 and 20 so they don’t need me around all the time.

        Everyone gets along great and it’s fantastic. Be solid for your kids and put your own life together and you’ll do great!

        Your ex can go fuck his own life up.

    • Your life now sounds like sheer bliss. I’m still trapped while getting ducks in a row to get out. We walk around on eggshells. Klootzak is about to go on vacation (not with me or our child because why would he plan to take vacation time with his wife and kid?) and we are ecstatic. I’m looking forward to our everyday comfort once paperwork is filed and he is forced to separate. The freedom to work, study, and play as we please without constant criticism is what I look forward to. Meanwhile, I’m like the guy in Shawshank Redemption, clawing my way out with a spoon.

  • March 2020 — Hightailed it out of one city, where I was attending grad school, to go home because they shut down the campus. Returned to a half-renovated house in complete disarray, alone.
    Summer 2020 — Busted my butt on school, while working a full-time job and trying to complete renovation.
    Fall 2020 — Sister dies unexpectedly, names me as executor.
    Last 12 months — Handling sister’s estate (multiple beneficiaries, her house in another state to clear and sell, etc etc), full-time job, writing a thesis, and pandemic isolation. Sister-in-law also died.

    I have talked about all this with my posse as it’s all unfolded, but I tend not to sit back, look, and go WOW. I am too modest (chumpy?) to say this to anyone in real life, but I am proud of myself. I did all that. I did all that during a pandemic. I did all that without any self-destructive behavior. I did all that while thinking that I was losing my mind, but I did it.

    • Amazing! What resources you had all along.
      Now that you have been able to accomplish all of that-no telling what you can create in your life.
      This is the real you..!!

    • I am so sorry to hear about everything you’ve been through, FYI. You should definitely feel proud. You’re an inspiration, and you help chumps here with your comments.

  • I’ve had hummingbirds this summer for the 1st time too. I live in an urban area but planted dozens of cannas & I think that did the trick. Two feeders by my kitchen window keep those beautiful buggers refreshed.

    In a world of fuckwits, they bring me fuckwit-free joy every day.

  • This place is awesome. Champ Lady and Chump Nation, you literally saved my life over the last few weeks. I went from feeling incredibly low and depressed to now seeing light at the end of the tunnel and feeling optimistic about what my future could entail. When I first found the site, I was still in reconciliation and denial. It was too real. But after the bomb went off that he was still seeing his mistress, this is where I went and have spent hours on this site every day. Also read the book!

    Thank you all for the words of encouragement and laughs.

  • I just returned for year two working in a school. This time last year, I had just forced myself to leave my community, job and financially, emotionally and physically abusive hoovering ex to start over. I moved to a new state and new apartment the day before in service began. I abandoned my gardens and natural sanctuaries. I packed up most of my hobbies, and I didn’t have the energy or desire or space to unpack them. During a pandemic, I lived alone in isolation, and work was stressful. I took grad classes and I joined committees. I was invited to present about some of the work I was doing, and I also was published on a few blogs (not a big deal, but exciting for me). I volunteered and pursued new hobbies. I got outside and exercised whenever I could. I spent a lot of time with my friend’s dogs. And not a day went by that I didn’t passively wish for it all to be over. Aside from family and friends who love me, I didn’t feel like I had a reason to keep going, and I didn’t feel hopeful or strong enough to rebuild a life worth living.

    Fast forward one year. The pandemic is still looming large, impacting every aspect of our lives. I still live alone and am still lonely. I’m still battling anxiety and depression, searching for meaning and direction, trying to find “home.” My supplies and equipment are still in boxes, untouched since the move. Work is still stressful. And… I’ve paid off my car. I’ve moved up on the salary scale. I’ve saved more money in one year than I managed in the past several, combined. I’ve made many wonderful new friends, and I’m no longer a stranger in my community. I have positive relationships with many colleagues and students; yesterday, one kid told me that he was really happy when he saw me walking into school (with a big box of bouquets for everyone) on the first day back. I oversaw a major renovation/redesign project at the school, and it’s created much needed positive buzz as we kick off the year. It feels good to have something to throw my heart into. I’m more confident and professionally capable than ever, and this is exciting; my experiences and hard work and adventures and risks weren’t for nothing, after all.

    I feel so much calmer than I did one year ago. I’m also opening my heart again; I spent most of the summer in my old community, with dear friends there, and I felt like myself again. It was relaxing and fun, not triggering and depressing. I don’t have gardens yet, but my neighbors share their bounty. Expansive forests and trails surround me here, and the woods I left behind are still there whenever I’m ready. Rewinding through this past year, pondering my anniversary, I’m truly amazed at how different I feel, even though I’m in the same place, doing the same things.

    I’m not close to where I want to be. I don’t even really know where/what that is! I don’t have kids to love and live for, and it’s likely I never will. I don’t have a home to settle into, and that’s a long way off still. I don’t even have pets to care for – though that, I can change if I choose! And yet, life is so much better, and I think I’m going to fare this pandemic winter far better than the last. I am so happy to be where I am instead of where I was. I would do things differently if I could go back in time, but I wouldn’t go back to my old life for anything.

    Cheers to all the chumps here. We’re all mighty in our own ways. I feel so much appreciation and admiration for all of you.

    • I also left a long term relationship. 28 years. We didn’t have kids till late so I still have kids at home. Kudos to all of us who left after so long. We could have ridden out the rest of our lives but we chose better!

      • I had my children in my 30’s, so dealing with teenage adolescence hit me around the same time menopause started. Fun Times!

        You made the right choice. It may be a bumpy ride, but the trip to MEH is so worth it!

      • Thanks, I Count. I was only with a cheater for half the time you were, yet I lived with him for nearly as long as I lived with my parents. The relationship filled the window of time between young adulthood and middle age. I’ve never been closer to another human being. I can only imagine what it’s like for chumps who are abandoned later in life after enduring decades of abuse. “Intimate partner betrayal” wreaks havoc.

        When I feel my own pain and anger, I’m aware that many, including here, have it far worse. I can’t take my good health, support networks, freedom and opportunities for granted when I think about oppressed and brutalized women in Afghanistan, or even many of the neglected and abused children I work with every day. To merely witness the injustice and terror in the world is unfathomable and overwhelming. It’s largely thanks to luck – not merit and certainly not divine will – that I lead a relatively easy, peaceful and beautiful life. I also know it could all be taken from me in a moment, by natural disaster, war, an accident, illness, or even by someone I love, trust and depend upon. There’s a lot I can’t control, and some if it sucks, but I want the good things in my life to be central.

        It’s all very confusing and uncomfortable, but I guess I do think I can have perspective and self-awareness about my relative privilege and good fortune, and at the same time know I did not deserve abuse. I have a right to be disgusted by the the systems, institutions and narratives that support infidelity and abuse. I have a right to grieve for what I lost (and even if I don’t, I cant seem to help it). Like you, I Count. Expectations and self esteem are not the equivalent of entitlement and egotism and are healthy, not shameful. Leaving an abusive relationship with a cheater did not make me weak for not being able to handle the abuse. Wanting more and better for myself doesn’t mean I think I’m better than anyone else. Acknowledging that I was in an abusive relationship was a personal journey, as was leaving it. Standing up for myself, in the end, meant deciding that my feelings and opinions and safety and expectations were just as worthy as anyone else’s. I wasn’t standing up to my abuser so much as I was standing up for myself and what I believe in. I’m not ambitious or accomplished in any traditional sense, and my life is small and quiet. It is still precious (thank you, Mary Oliver, for the refrain and reminder).

        In my teens and early twenties, I read a lot of Jeanette Winterson. This weekend, I picked up her memoir, “Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” I can’t put it down, yet progress is slow because every page, every paragraph, contains revelations and wonders. Winterson, an orphan, was raised by abusive and neglectful parents in a working class, post-industrial neighborhood of Manchester. I thought about mightiness, and the hunger for bread and roses, too, when I read the following passage:

        “The one thing good thing about being shut in a coal-hole is that it prompts reflection.

        “Read on its own that is an absurd sentence. But as I try and understand how life works – and why some people cope better than others with adversity – I come back to something to do with saying yes to life, which is love of life, however inadequate, and love for the self, however found. Not in the me-first way that is the opposite of life and love, but with the salmon-like determination to swim upstream, however choppy upstream is, because this is your stream…

        “There are times when it will go so wrong that you will barely be alive, and times when you realise that being barely alive, on your own terms, is better than living a bloated half-life in someone else’s terms.

        “The pursuit isn’t all or nothing – it’s all AND nothing. Like all Quest Stories.”

        There’s much I’ve left out, but my comment is already embarrassingly long. I highly recommend reading the memoir for yourself, in any case.

        • ‘with the salmon-like determination to swim upstream, however choppy upstream is, because this is your stream…´ Love that.
          Your post resonated with me. I like this quote too- paraphrasing -‘life is a garden full of rocks and flowers and we are in control of planting more flowers’. And some would say ‘even the rocks can be beautiful’.

    • Just reading your comment now b&r. Those are a lot of milestones.

      I guess we should be patient with ourselves, because indeed when we look back one year we’ve made a lot of progress. Who knows where we will be next year. It’s a pity though that we have to live this in an age that for women is pretty confrontating. But if anything, we escaped from being linked to these abusive men through children.

      Thanks for quoting Winterson, I’ve never read her. Looking back, my previous painful periods were always periods of growth. So now as well I try to focus more on learning from my mistakes rather than seeking immediate happiness, and it tends to help a little bit..

  • I was married for 30 years then DDay and divorce in 2019. I moved to the midwest near family, who gave me great support. I researched so much about cheating and am in a much better place. I am so lucky to have found CL and CN. It’s a great start to my day (spitting coffee at the snark too!)

    Since then I bought my home that I’ve renovated and am adding gardens, joined a non profit and became a board member, bought an airbnb in this vacation town (booked solid), completed a grant writing class and won a large grant on my first try!

    I have been watching hummingbirds all summer too. I love they come to my flowers!

    Thanks CL and CN!!

    • I was typing my response when you posted yours. Our stories are so similar. There are some unique aspects to be rebuilding after such long marriages
      Best of luck to you

  • Completed my divorce of husband of 30 years on June 30th. It took almost two and a half years.
    He Lied, threatened and sent me abusive text through the entire process
    I had great lawyers, handled myself well and ended up with a settlement that I am pleased with.
    My ex I believe had a good lawyer too, but he continued his behavourial patterns with his lawyer that he had with me – inability to listen to anyone but himself – ability to respect women (for some bizarre reason he picked a female attorney) I think he thought he could charm and flirt his way into divorce success
    and his inability to function within the same rules and expectations As everyone else, and it’s absolute in ability to take responsibility for any of his behaviors during our marriage including verbal abuse, sexual abuse and infidelity. He actually got off easy I could’ve found much more serious charges against him or taking him to trial. His behavior during mediation revealed his narcissism and mental instability to both attorneys and the mediator and it contributed even more to his shooting himself in the foot
    He furious with my settlement and has refused to speak or cooperate with me on anything.
    I Sold the house we lived in for 12 in a few weeks with none of his help, cleared it out and then completed a roof replacement to close sale working with the insurance company when he refused to pay A dime for it, even though he would benefit from the sale of the house
    Right after our mediation in the middle of May, my mother had a stroke. I always wonder if the stress of my situation contributed to her illness
    I had to fly 1500 miles spent three weeks in another state juggled all this. I returned, found a new rental home quickly moved all my stuff o and I’ve now just begun setting it up. I love my new neighborhood, my new neighbors. This house is 5000 ft.² smaller than the other one. Its filled Floor to ceiling with boxes
    I’m going to spend this weekend unpacking and I’m excited.
    My son in his early 20s just flew out of the country to spend Labor Day weekend with my ex husband and his array of women. I’m terrified for him, not only for the physical danger but for the exposure to his fathers ridiculous behavior. But I resolved to work as hard as I can on the home so when my son returns to town he will see how much I accomplished
    Next, I am inspired by all the job search stories here because that’s my next challenge! Then and only then will I begin looking for another healthy partner. I have no desire put any energy into a relationship with a man.
    Thank you see CL for all the inspiration here, it gives me so much energy

  • That does it! I’m preparing my hummingbird nectar this very moment and getting my feeder up. I’m on the third floor in a transitional one bedroom apt in Texas. I’m going to attempt to pull nature a little closer to me. I set up two feeders in Arkansas at my son’s and he has four resident hummers that feed there twice a day and are such a joy to watch. ( love that, he sends me videos) I didn’t think I stood a chance getting them here, but I’m going to attempt it now after CL’s post. That’s so cool! I’m a big time nature girl, it saves me every single day.
    I don’t feel as mighty as some of the amazing stories I read here, but it makes me believe that courage and strength are not insurmountable and I’m happy to receive that message as many times as I need it.
    I’ve re-signed my lease here this week ( took over my son’s lease 2 years ago when his job relocated and I was dumped for another after 38 years of marriage, our home in Va sold and our planned retirement home still jointly owned to date, so I can’t live there and not sure I even want to). So this is my limbo address ( past two years, divorced three) and I’m not ready to move on just yet. I do feel myself growing and changing ( yoga, learning music on my keyboard, making bread, enjoying hikes in nature with my pup daily, reading volumes and listening to podcasts on everything and can’t contain my curiosity in so many varied and fun directions, bike riding and exercising, road trips to visit my kids and deep internal psych dives to try and reset to name a few). I still beat myself up that it’s all not enough and I should be ready to move up and out. But what does that even mean? Is it to make everyone that loves me feel okay that I will be able make it past the hurt? Is it my obligation to feel healed so my children can heal and move forward? I feel like I don’t want the pressure to have to find what everyone else thinks I should be looking for, it causes angst.
    What do I want?! No clue, but I trust the process and I trust myself to get there, so even though 66 years old, I don’t feel a rushing timeline to figure it all out as life keeps exploding by, not waiting a second on me, nor should it.
    I feel basically safe internally right now and I haven’t felt that, I realized post divorce,in a really long time. So that’s as big as my mighty has gotten. Got this quote texted to me just this morning after I read all the mighty CN posts and felt my inadequacies swell up:
    “There’s something within you that knows what to do. Surrender your thoughts, your mind, your ego, to the current that knows the way. It will take care of you. It will take better care of you than you can ever imagine.”
    -Robert Adams( photographer)
    So amazing how the universe will always drop some breadcrumbs of strength in front of us, we just need the awareness and faith to look up and let them flow in. This site is one of them, it’s overflowing with massive giving hearts and inspirational steps to healing that I love reading, a true blessing. You are all killin the game out there!
    ( I also want in on the baby shower project.)

  • It will take care of you better then you can even imagine, I left out “better” in the quote above. It’s incredible how many times you can edit and the mistakes only pop up once posted, lol! (A great life mystery there)

  • As a now single senior, I have been working on building a new circle of friends. We women are so amazing. I joined a hiking group and have a couple friends from that and this summer I started playing golf on Tuesdays with other retired ladies. I’m the worst player in the club but the women don’t care. They give me tips and tolerate my poor play and are just friendly. It’s humbling cuz I was at the top of my profession and now I am at the bottom of the league. And I am happy with that. 😁

  • This year was the year I finally left her.

    Too many D-days to count; she was not ever going to change.

    Today, I am living fairly comfortably and I have a budget that my STBXW can’t duck up. My stress level has plummeted as a result and I am feeling great.

  • Maybe an inspirational quote session would be fun. Here is one that has helped me. (Paraphrasing) In the depths of winter, I realized that within me lies an invincible summer” Camus

  • i’m writing in a meaningful way, again. concentrating’s been difficult over the past year.

  • Yes, I feel mighty. After DDay I divorced my FWs sorry ass, overcame a burnout, job stress, raised 2 teenagers. One kid graduated and is doing well, the other is almost done. In addition I renovated the house and garden, and 5 years ago I set up my own business and it is doing really well. FW literally sailed into the sunset with schwoompie- bought a boat and are living on the opposite part of the world. Actually moved out with this boat one month before the youngest kid graduated secondary school. All the madness was not my fault after all. And for the pandemic I got myself two kittens and I wake up every morning with two adorable fluffballs and drink coffee in bad with lots of cuddles.

  • This week would have been our wedding anniversary. Instead of feeling sad about what could have been, I’m actually celebrating. I work in the film industry and my movie was released on Netflix last weekend. So moving forward, this date won’t be a reminder of when I got married – but instead a reminder of when my movie was the number 1 streamed movie in the world on Netflix. I took back the day.

  • This is a good time for this. I have been thinking about all the events of the last year. I had been stuck in limbo since 2010! I found CL, George Simon, Lundy Bancroft, and Omar Minwalla in 2018.

    Even so, leaving a long term marriage and still being softly accountable for 3 young adult children was difficult until I finally reached out to a nearby church’s abuse ministry group. All kinds of help became available, including a rental property. I filed for divorce in October, moved out in December with my son who has a disability, worked to fix up the house we had lived in for 20 years, put it on the market, and completed the sale in May. At the end of July the divorce was final. I had been looking for another home in this horrible seller’s market, and finally decided nothing was available in my price range, so I asked the landlord if he’d be interested in selling. The answer was yes, if we could close before August 31. The inspection showed numerous flaws & also that bigger repairs are needed, but it is so much easier to think about doing the roof vs the unanswerable questions that I stewed over for years: “why can’t I trust him? Why doesn’t he want to spend time This is a good time for this. I have been thinking over all the events of the last year. I had been stuck in limbo since 2010! I found CL, George Simon, Lundy Bancroft, and Omar Minwalla in 2018.

    Even so, leaving a long term marriage and still being softly accountable for 3 young adult children was difficult until I finally reached out to a nearby church’s abuse ministry group. All kinds of help became available, including a rental property. I filed for divorce in October, moved out in December with my son who has a disability, worked to fix up the house we had lived in for 20 years, put it on the market, and completed the sale in May. At the end of July the divorce was final. I had been looking for another home in this horrible seller’s market, and finally decided nothing was available in my price range, so I asked the landlord if he’d be interested in selling. The answer was yes, if we could close before August 31. The inspection showed numerous flaws & also that bigger repairs are needed, but it is so much easier to think about doing the roof vs the unanswerable questions that I stewed over for years: “why can’t I trust him? Why doesn’t he want to spend time with me? He said he wants to do a disclosure, when is it going to happen? Why did he lose his job? What if he spends all our money? Why does it take so long for him to run out to get a Coke? What will happen to my son if we divorce? Will the kids hate me? How much have they already been harmed?”

    What a living hell, all because someone else chose to live a double life.

    I moved closer to the river in our town and it takes just 10 minutes to walk down to the bike path. Everyday I see something enjoyable or unexpected and sometimes spectacular. It’s been very healing over the past 9 months.

    • Sorry about mess up. The site crashes frequently on my cell phone & I’ve learned to copy then paste, but went terribly wrong today!

    • Sorry about mess up. The site crashes frequently on my cell phone & I’ve learned to copy then paste if it disappears and reloads, but today I inserted it again by mistake!

    • The site also refreshes on me as I am about to post so I tend to just lose the whole thing and then sigh and figure it’s not worth trying again. lol

      This awful seller’s market is part of what has me trapped. I can’t force klootzak out of the house. The attorney told me the judge won’t boot him out unless there is domestic violence. We are being patient because klootzak has been looking for work in a city a few hours away and it may just be a matter of time until he leaves of his own volition. The area I live in has such a hot market, people are making offers above asking price. I want to stay in the house and keep things stable for the kid as much as possible, so the stupid market plus that have me a bit stuck. If I knew I could get into a house in the area, I’d make the leap, but even the rental market is insane. I have friends who keep their ears to the ground for me, but staying in place is best for now. If my child wasn’t at such a sensitive age, I’d move us butI know this will be hard for him as it is. Klootzak’s company is looking to take on a big contract in that other city so they might transition him there. Crossing fingers!

  • The hummingbird reminded me that I have delighted in birds, bees, and butterflies visiting my flowers and birdbath this summer, including several surprise visits by a hummingbird. You can create your own bird blind if you have screens on your windows/sliding glass door and don’t turn lights on. My flowers are close to my house, as is my birdbath, and I have had wonderful up close viewing that makes me SO happy.

    I’m living in the past much less than I used to. Ruminating initially is a normal reaction to loss but as time goes by I am healing and living much more for TODAY. And I’m finding so many lovely moments to enjoy in the here and now.

  • 36 year marriage took 2 1/2 years for recent divorce, howorker’s 30, he’s 63. He slow rolled me in divorce process. We need to exchange quit claim deeds, he got the paid for office, I received the paid for house. He hadn’t picked up his personal property or made the first two meager support checks $200 (should pay for the dog food and vet appointments).
    I refused to let lawyer release the quit claim deed until I got the checks (probably only ones I’ll ever get) and his mover is coming tomorrow. That part is overkill he’s just afraid to come himself, probably thinks I’ll have another intervention for him. I am finished trying to save him from himself.
    I felt mighty dictating MY conditions.

  • Not feeling mighty myself but I’m loving everyone’s stories – thank you for giving me some inspiration and hope.

    I love the info on hummingbirds. We’d had a camping trip planned since May, for the end of July. D-day 2 was July 7th. I didn’t want to go on the trip anymore (not with HIM, anyway) but all of the kids had been excited and waiting for 2 months. And it’s a camping resort that I went to with my family many times as a child and had been excited to go to until July 7th. Instead of pitching a fit I put on my big girl pants and we went. I’m a lifelong mountain girl and just being in the trees makes me happier than pretty much anything else on this planet. I’m glad we went because we all had a great time.

    The first night there we were signing out some sporting equipment for the kids and they had hummingbird feeders hanging in the front of the building. There were at least 20 hummingbirds flying around us and it was awesome. I’ve never seen that many in one place. To read that they mean joy and healing gives me the warm and fuzzies. I hope that our encounter with so many means that healing is finally in my future (and maybe his, as well). We’ve fought a lot since coming back but that weekend was as perfect as I could have asked for.

  • Studying, working, peacefully navigating lock down in a well-cared for harmonious, home with cherished kids and pets, and with good friends checking in online. Grateful to be far from the disruption of disordered-x.

  • I have a lot to celebrate and extremely grateful for this entire experience…without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today! Divorced my ex 2 years ago, got full custody of my lovely son and everything I needed. Received 2 job promotions over the past 4 years and was immediately able to financially support myself and my son without ex support for the first time in my life! My son graduated high school. Organized a transpacific move during COVID for me and my son to return to our home. I just accepted a job offer and couldn’t be happier! We are both happy, healthy and settled in our new life/adventure. Thank the heavens for this site! I am loving my freedom, being single and living my best life!

  • I love the mental image of CL in a high rise building with hummingbirds…after the pile of manure on her 40th birthday, I imagine a 10th floor dwelling is perfect.

  • I always feel pretty mediocre compared to the mighty Chumps here.

    But what I do have to offer this time is: my sister and I managed to care for our father so he could die at home (which was his express wish). He died in June this year (89 years old).

    We were executors of his will and have recently put in place an enduring power of attorney for my mother (aged 94).

    Along the way, we have had to wrangle some angry and personality disordered siblings and 1 x extremely difficult mother (even without the grief, she’s really hard work).

    We got him nursed really well, he died peacefully and painlessly; we got him buried even though we had to organise a funeral in lockdown; we got him a headstone, paid all the bills, valued the estate, and did all this in 2 months.

    My sister has also gotten our mother’s house house painted in two instalments, and a whole raft of essential repairs done that our parents refused to do when they were both alive.

    The hardest part has been dealing with our mother. We have given her the final say in everything, and deferred to her choices, but the goalposts keep moving, as always.

    The easiest part has been processing our personal grief at our father’s death, because quite frankly we don’t have much to process. Having looked after his needs for so long, neither of us has any guilt. We were both able to forgive him a great deal before he died.

    It happened really fast, like an emotional avalanche, but it’s all very peaceful now.

    I don’t miss him. But we’re Catholic, and we pray for him, and it feels like he’s praying for us and helping us now much more than he ever did in life.

    • I think that’s mighty, LG. Taking on your siblings and mother must have been difficult and you did it. My condolences.
      My dad is 92 and has outlived my mom by 5 years. My siblings & I had to work through 2 hospitalizations last winter. I found out that the sibling who was abusive 50 years ago is still abusive. So sad.

    • My father also died in January, at 89. He never expressed remorse for anything, but one of my brothers was strong enough to deal with him at the end so that he could die at home. The other is taking care of his estate. The irony is my father will do more for all five of us now than he ever did when he was alive. We did not experience grief at his passing. Relief is a better word.

      My mother also has dementia, and is getting more difficult every day. It is a hard time, she adamantly refuses any efforts to help her now, fearing we will put her in a nursing home. She wants to die at home, too. I get it. It just will mean a great deal more work than necessary after she is gone, and none of the children are up to deal with the job alone.

      Maybe one of your (unintended) gifts from all this is your relationship with your sister. Sibling relations are tough, and it sounds like you have a whole lot of personal differences in your family. I think you have to search for rainbows after the storm, and look forward to this during the storm. There will be a storm, either way. You and your sister both seem to be mighty, meeting challenges as they come. It is nice to have someone you care for at your side!

      • Wow, Portia – that’s uncanny, isn’t it. But I do think many Chumps have similar difficult family backgrounds that have predisposed us to chumpdom.

        “The irony is my father will do more for all five of us now than he ever did when he was alive. We did not experience grief at his passing. Relief is a better word.”

        Yes, this exactly.

        We’re all in favour of keeping our mother out of a nursing home, because we can provide much better care at home for her, especially where we live.

        But in order to do that, it took a long fight to get her to realise that the people who get help, get to stay at home.

        The people who refuse help, have a fall, and end up in hospital -> transitional care -> residential care.

        Dad had a really peaceful and beautiful death, and I’m hoping Mum has one as well, but she’s got some way to go to acceptance.

        My sister is amazing. She has years of experience in aged care both as a caregiver and in admin, and she knows the system inside out, and makes it work hard for us. And she’s also my housemate, so it works well!

        We have worked hard to create a peaceful and safe home for both of us and for her son, who lives with us. We absolutely didn’t want him to have to grow up in the kind of home we had for ourselves as children.

        • That all sounds very sane and amazing, Lola and Portia! I’m looking at some of those years to come very soon, I think!

  • Yes, they don’t seem to change much. Some people outgrow personality disorders as they mature and age. Others don’t.

    It’s been interesting.

    It’s Father’s Day in Australia this weekend.

  • I moved out in March 2019, survived a faux effort at marriage counseling (cake eating), filed for divorce – did all the heavy lifting on that, went into lock down, retired, stayed no contact.

    I created or joined on-line groups and met frequently for outside walks. I maintained my old house and car and volunteered in my community. I got vaccinated and wear a mask.

    I am not looking forward to another year on “pause” because of covid. My friends and family are also fatigued and I fear there will not be the virtual gatherings which previously sustained me.

    My goals are to lose – rather than gain – 20 pounds and to shred decades of marital documents.

    Only other chumps can understand that to do all of the above is mighty when we see disaster interviews ending with “we are going to be okay because we still have each other”.

  • Despite having a husband that was never home and 3 small children, I finished graduate school just before the pandemic. He sabotaged my last semester with an unreasonable amount of last minute travel and plans to just put more on my plate, I made it anyway. I then discovered he had to be living a double life with his multitude of secrets, and history with ho-worker. After so much time/money/energy wasted trying to figure out all the secrets, CL’s advice finally clicked and I just started focusing that energy on myself and kids. I’m starting a new job, I’ve set up my own LLC, and am continuing to press forward with separation despite his avoidance in the matter.

  • Tracy, I am currently 3,666 miles away from LTC Fuckface. I am in Alaska. I arrived in July and won’t have to leave until October.

    I’ve seen a bear, from the safety of the truck. I’ve heard wolves singing at night. I see moose regularly. There is a black fox that I see almost daily. I’ve seen more Sand Hill Cranes than I’ve seen in my lifetime. This is a bird watcher’s paradise. It is so quiet and beautiful here.

    My mighty is saying YES to the invitation that landed me here. My mighty was in accepting the gift of money that bought my flight. My mighty is relaxing into the slower paced lifestyle of America’s Last Frontier. My mighty is being willing to step away from the heat and brutal humidity of the Midwest and leave it behind. My mighty is in accepting a chance at a different life.

  • Hm, despite the effort I don’t really feel that mighty at all. Yes, I moved to another country, yes I started freelancing (and so far successfully), yes I feel like I’ve become less of a people pleaser and more of a hell raiser, and yuk hell no would I ever think again of fw in any soppy way.

    But in the same time: I left a place where I have lots of good friends, and after a year of lockdowns with moments I felt that I could have died out of loneliness, my expectations of life are pretty low. I am soon turning 39 and my happy-family-ever after dream is shrinking each month, while in the same time men still seem so unattractive to me that I actually raised the thought that i maybe should start dating women for a change.
    😐

    I have lost hopium, and in the same time also stopped believing I will ever be able to be happy in love. Not in a desperate way, more in a grayish meh-kind of way. Perhaps this is the only part I prefer from my pre-fw self. I used to be such a love enthusiast!

    Having said that, I am really proud and happy to see so many chumps here doing great stuff. And for those that don’t feel quite there yet: (((hugggggs)))

    • Hugs right back, Giraffy! I just turned 40 and could have written almost everything you just did. Appreciate your humor and honesty about the often bleak and lonely situation we find ourselves in. Here’s to hoping for hope?!

      • Awww thank you bread&roses! I didn’t realise we have the same age!

        I know I’m better off now than if I’d gotten a baby with the fw and spent the lockdowns with im – I cannot even imagine what that must have been like, ew. It sometimes helps me to realise what I escaped from, it makes me feel free and alive again. But definitely not always easy on a daily basis.

        And yes for hoping for hope! Maybe it will come gradually, as a subtle surprise 🙂 ((hug))

  • Well, the eye of the hurricane went through my ex’s home town. His mother lives there and all of his friends, as people from there seldom move.

    The last time I talked to him I found out that he had made a new woman Facebook friends. He talked about getting married and as we were talking, she texted him with pictures of a get-together they were having that night. He sent the pictures over to me. I asked him if he talks to her sometimes on the phone, and he said, “yeah.” It’s weird because we’re broken up, and he moved to another state, so it should be fine for him to be talking to her, but he was calling me every day, and talking about getting married, especially that night….

    She sent him an avatar of herself holding a bouquet of virtual flowers for his birthday, and he hearted her post. (He never does that.) She said, “Awwww… ya love me.” And he said, “Yes, I do.”

    I asked him about it, and he was defending himself and… you know… I just hung up on him and haven’t talked to him since.

    But I reached through the silence when I found out about the hurricane and said, “Thinking of you. Prayers for your mom, your family, your friends and your home land.”

    He didn’t respond.

    It felt good to reach out anyway.

  • Well, it’s not as mighty as many others on this page, but this weekend (probably yesterday), the FW XW and her rich, 15 years older male AP (her former married boss! Classic cliche!🤣) got married. And I worked an 8 hour day yesterday for FedEx, and enjoyed myself. I also decided to do something positive, so I bought dinner for a homeless person (just McDonald’s).This morning, I decided to see if the FW’s had announced their wedding at all, and came up w/a bunch of recent pictures of the FW XW. And laughed! Not feeling down about them getting married is my mighty. Let those fuckwits be free. Only about two more years to go till my son is 18, and then I can be even more no contact. That’s something to look forward to.😁

    I’d also like to contribute towards Wishinforhappiness’s baby needs. I will email Tracy.

    As for the rest of CN, best wishes to you all. I hope we’re all making progress towards meh and Tuesday. Remember, we’re all mighty for surviving our fuckwits. Don’t EVER doubt it.

    (Btw, the hummingbird story, Tracy? Fantastic! What great gifts the Universe can give.)

  • I have been doing great for the most part: Friends, family, relatives are such big support. I read science articles as they always excite me. It reminds me of how incredible so many everyday things, and I picture how small I am in this universe. It eases my negative thoughts.

    To be honest, I am not feeling well right now. It’s been 2 years, and I still have ups and downs (ups more for sure). I am done with him, in fact he is not even the problem. I still cannot accept what he did to me. We had (or I thought) one of those soulmate relationships. This has infinitely damaged my confidence in my intuition and my attitude towards romance.

  • Last weekend I moved my daughter into college with the FW as part of the process. Guess what? I felt totally meh about him! I realized what a very small man he is and how much more there is of me. I’d been dreading the weekend for a whole slew of reasons and being around FW didn’t end up being the issue I thought it would be. Whew.

  • I believe in hummingbirds. I have seen two in the past week or so, both times as I was sitting at the edge of my garage on my little metal stool having a good cry. And I KNOW it was from the spirit of my two most favorite and solid people who were ever in my life (and have been gone 21 years). WASband (divorced 2.5 years and the terrible anniversary weekend that Labor Day is in my life…the weekend of the final monumental putrid unforgivable trespass of against my life and heart) once again is wreaking havoc. He died a few weeks ago. It was an agonizing death of his basically own making, and has brought up the, hopefully final, jumble of emotions. The hummers are a sign of hope and healing and a “clearance” of sorts to my one and only fabulous future.

  • I have gained 15 pounds during this stupid pandemic that I now must lose. I know I was able to drop pounds after having my child but not looking forward to doing so once again. So that part of me is not feeling mighty.

    On the upside, I have made some inroads on getting ducks in a row. I have half of my retainer amount saved up. I also opened my own major credit cards last year (only had store cards before as klootzak had us using his cards on which I am only an authorized user) without him knowing so I could build my credit. I will either need a mortgage to buy him out of this house or get another one. Anyway, I checked my credit score this last week and it’s now a very high score! It was good before but now I qualify for the best mortgage rates. I would buy things on my secret cards and then pay it off right away with a money order so I kept them active and showed timely, full payments. I also finished my first draft of the separation order I want. I have a legal background and may save some $ on my legal fees with whatever I can contribute.

    Another awesome thing is that, after much pushing, I got klootzak to agree for us to send kiddo to a great private school. Had I filed before, I would never have gotten him to agree to it. But once he signs the contract, not only is he locked in for the year but it also shows his intent for the child to go there so keeping him going there won’t be as much of an uphill battle when we separate as it would have been. I’m not trying to leave with more than my fair share but I want to ensure the child is well taken care of and have less battles (hopefully) later and this one was HUGE. The short version is that the private school classes have less kids and are much bigger with more windows. He trusts them to keep kiddo from bringing covid home to him more than the public school. So hallelujah. (We are both vaxxed but kiddo is too young.)

    Anyway, I’m not separated yet or anything but every little step is in the right direction. Someday I’ll look back and ask myself how I endured for so long.

    • It sounds like you are making lots of progress! Your mortgage lender will be able to tell you if you can assume the mortgage or if you will have to refinance. Little steps over time add up to big leaps.
      It is hard being in the same home, I know this first hand.

  • Ok, this is off topic, but I just learned about this, and I can’t think of any other people I would rather snark over it with!

    THE NERVE of some affair partners is the gist.

    My mom (who is 90, and now living with me) is very close to her sisters. Just recently one of my aunts broke the big wall of silence and confided in my mom about an affair her husband had 10 years ago. And…well you know how it is. The floodgates have opened, and she’s poured out to my mom the whole sad chump litany. The affair, which lasted about a year, did permanent damage to my aunt & uncles’ marriage– they live together, but kind of hate & tolerate eachother. Very sad. I’m pretty sure these convos with my Mom are the first my poor aunt has opened up about what happened back then. At the time she did not breathe a word to anyone, as far as we can tell.

    Ok, too bad and so sad, but here’s where the sordid history has resurfaced! The OW (who had the affair with my uncle) JUST HAPPENED to buy a house across the street from another one of my mom’s sisters! NOT ONLY THAT but she is making a complete pest of herself, coming over uninvited and making googoo eyes at second aunt’s husband.

    It reached a kind of crisis point a few days ago when, in company, OW-of-other-uncle-10 -years-ago made a loud and obvious remark about the present uncle being a hottie. Just in case, ya know, her “I’m easy and I want you in the sack vibes” weren’t clear enough.

    Just…the fuckin’ nerve. Under my aunt’s roof, taking her hospitality, to her husband. In front of her face.

    I am glad to say my uncle’s response was model–he was appalled.

    We are all basically encouraging Aunt 2 & hub to tell Ms. Fuckwit to get lost the next time she tries the neighborly drop-in. To make it all the more gross, she WAS using the little visits to hoover for news of my OTHER uncle, the one she did fuck. All class!

    I think the most fucked up thing about it all–these sisters are younger than my mom, but no one in this story is under 75. So here’s Ms. Pushin’ 80 But Still Trolling for Cheaters. I guess she missed the part where age was supposed to bring wisdom.

    Tales from the chumpy crypt…

  • My adventure continues!

    It’s been 4 years since D-Day, and everyday is wonderful without a sociopath around. My partner and I have been together for 2 and a half years, and going strong. I’m moving to a different country to further my study into a subject that I love, and I’m super excited about it!

    I’ve learnt so many new things about myself; and one of it was uncovering FOO issues that led me to my X. Now I’m learning more about self compassion, of being kind to myself and what a healthy, loving relationship filled with respect looks like. The undoing of FOO issues are not easy, but recognizing old thought patterns and replacing them healthy ones is so fulfilling and also eye-opening.

    My Tuesday came and went, and I am now typing this from the land of Meh. I don’t care what X is up to, or what the AP is up to (never did the whole social media stalking thing). I am firmly NC. I don’t have anything to say about them because they do not deserve any of my time, energy or thoughts.

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