What happened to us

by Creative Junkie on June 3, 2013

If you haven’t blogged in a year, are you still a blogger?

Something to ponder. That, and why we put so much faith in a short, squat, fuzzy rodent one day in early February, only to hunt him down like the lying, filthy creature he is one bitter cold, snowy day in mid-April so we can rip his whiskers out one by one and beat him over the head with a snow shovel.

I struggled with how to write this post for months. Case in point, I wrote the above paragraph in April, when it was hailing outside. I’m just too lazy to erase it.

I’ve been wanting to return to blogging for a long time now but the OCD part of me won’t let me write anything new until I finish some unfinished business and the thought of writing about that unfinished business made me hyperventilate. I do not want this blog to be about the failure of my marriage and the gory details of my divorce. While my blog has always been about my life, I’m determined that the last two years will end up being only a small part of that life and will not define me for the remainder of it. But I knew I couldn’t just start writing again about Ollie’s poop or our bathroom that doubles as a testing lab for the CDC or my shitty putrid bladder and pretend that the last two years didn’t happen. That’s not keeping it real and I have always kept it real here.

Or what I was fooled into thinking was real.

I feel I have to address what happened to us, because it changed me in good ways and horrible ways and ways that I cannot even begin to describe. I’m hoping by putting my story out there, I will be able to bid this shitfest of the last two years farewell, kick its ass out the door of my psyche and move on with my writing. And who knows? Maybe someone reading it will recognize herself/himself in my words and know that there is, indeed, hope. There is another life to be had, a different and hopefully better life to be had, when the one you thought you had been living explodes into bitter dust.

I have both my kids’ blessings to write about some of what happened to us and I asked them each to read the pertinent parts before I published this, to ensure that they were OK with what I was putting out there. But even so, I’ve been at a loss as to how to begin. How do I begin to describe the downward spiral of my husband, the man I loved so deeply and considered, in the truest sense of the word, my soul mate? How do I write about the decimation of my family and everything I thought was real? And then I figured the best way to start is to just blurt it out.

On June 6, 2011 I discovered that my husband of twelve years was a complete and utter stranger. Within the next four months, I discovered that that stranger was, in my opinion, an unremorseful, lying sociopath. One with a dark past who led a double life and who eventually destroyed us and very nearly drove me to the brink of insanity. The realization that his family, a family I had considered my own, had protected his secret and, by association, their own families, all while leaving my family vulnerable and at huge risk, was devastating. Their betrayal is second only to Nate’s in terms of the carnage it wreaked upon our lives.

It’s hard to write that. This blog had been based on my life and my marriage. I had always kept it real here. I didn’t mince words, I didn’t gloss over the crap. I blogged the good, the bad and the stupidly ridiculous. I blogged the every day minutia of my life and tried to find the humor in the ordinary. Because I was ordinary. I lived a far-from-perfect life but I lived what I thought was a happy life and I believe that resonated through my voice here. I had no idea, none at all, that the life I had been living and blogging was the fabrication of one man’s deceit and delusions of right and wrong, bolstered by his family’s unwavering loyalty and fierce determination to protect him and themselves, no matter the cost. And make no mistake about it, that cost was high. My kids and I continue to pay a very dear price for their silence. My life was a lie and no one was more shocked at that realization than I.

Nate’s erratic behavior, which had steadily increased at an alarming rate since late 2009 through the spring of 2011, culminated late on the night of June 6, 2011 when he was arrested for DWI in our neighborhood. While Nate’s parents bailed him out of jail, I tried to keep my wits about me and retrieved the Durango from down the road. Inside the Durango, Nate had left his cell phone and his laptop and a small, nondescript gift bag that contained a bottle of perfume and a card that said “The thing I love the most about us is you.”

Of course, I didn’t wear that perfume.

Thus began the discovery of Nate’s infidelity, the scope of which was staggering. My life unraveled over the the next seventy-two hours and the shock of Nate’s betrayal eventually landed me in the lock-down, crisis care unit of our local hospital for a very brief but memorable stay.

Cross that little gem off my bucket list.

That night, within minutes, and with Zoe’s help while Helena was sleeping upstairs, I accessed Nate’s call history, text messages and emails and discovered Nate was having what I at first assumed was an ongoing affair with a very young woman by the name of Ava, whom he professed to love more deeply than he had ever loved anyone. After reading email after email after email, and seeing references to ”service provider” and “donations” I googled and then stared at Nate’s laptop in disbelief as the realization came over me that Ava was actually a prostitute to whom Nate had paid an enormous amount of money for what is coined in the industry as a “girlfriend experience”, a phrase I learned from Ava herself when I called her that night and the next morning.

I spent a few hours speaking with a high-priced prostitute who, it turned out, lived within ten minutes of my house, had been banging my husband on a regular basis for years and who was paid handsomely for her efforts.

That night, I found out far more about prostitution that I ever wanted to, the least of which was that it is alive and well and flourishing in our area via a website so popular, it has thousands of male subscribers and hundreds of prostitutes who participate in pages and pages and pages of discussions in their forums. Ava schooled me in the life of an elite escort, how clients were referred to as “gentlemen” and payment was received in the form of “donations” and that the “girlfriend experience” was exactly what it sounded like, not to be confused with the “porn star experience” which SURPRISE, was exactly what it sounded like. While Ava claimed to be equally proficient at both, Nate preferred to employ the services of Nicki for the porn star option. Or sometimes it was Chloe. Or Erica. Or Mary. Or Amber. I could go on and on but really, you get the idea.

Within 48 hours of his arrest, after sifting through hundreds and hundreds of emails between Nate and prostitutes, I found three from his best friend and it was those three emails that planted the seed that soon bloomed into full-blown distrust of everyone around me, sending me into a tailspin from which I could not recover. Those three emails taught me that people will lie directly to my face without blinking an eye in order to protect their own secrets. And I quickly learned soon thereafter that people I barely trusted, such as his best friend, were just as likely to deceive and lie, straight-out and by omission, as those I trusted implicitly, such as Nate’s family.

That was a brutally hard lesson to learn.

There were three emails between Nate and his best friend, dated a few months earlier. This would be the same best friend who, the day after Nate was arrested, stood in my kitchen, admitted that he knew Nate had been having sex with prostitutes for years and assured me that he would do everything in his power to help us through this mess because he cared about Nate and my family and he felt an enormous amount of guilt from having failed to dissuade Nate from participating in what he referred to as “disgusting extracurricular activities.” In the first email, this same best friend shared with Nate the details of a picture he had of himself as he was receiving oral sex from his own favorite prostitute who was wearing a favored green dress at the time. In the second, this best friend offered to float Nate the money to “buy” Ava and take her off the market so that Nate wouldn’t have to share her with anyone else. In the third, Nate accepted his offer.

Twenty-four hours later, I placed my feet in stirrups and tried unsuccessfully to control my hysteria while my gynecologist swabbed and scraped and tested me for every sexually transmitted disease known to man.

I would have celebrated my twelfth wedding anniversary that month. 

Four hours later, I found myself in the lock-down, crisis care unit where I had to surrender all my belongings, including my shoes, so that I could be observed because I had not slept, eaten or stopped crying for almost 72 hours. The only good thing I can say about that place is that I wasn’t allowed my laptop and was therefore forced to stop reading emails which had become an obsession with me. My observation was mercifully short, lasting only the better part of that day but that was long enough. I can still smell that unit and I can still see the ugly yellow and gray walls and the barred windows and I can still hear the howling and screaming of the other patients. I will never stop smelling or hearing that memory.

I collected my shoes and went home and tried to figure out what the hell I was going to do.

At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom of two kids. I had no income of my own and I already had one divorce under my belt. I also had no family around here – Nate’s family had been my only local family for a dozen years.

I loved my husband. Or, rather, who I thought my husband was – I later learned that alcoholism and infidelity were just the God-awful beginnings of this nightmare. Any sympathy I had for Nate vanished when I discovered his true nature. But at the time, I loved and was in love with him. This was the second time around for me, I thought I had done it right this time and I thought I had pretty much hit the lottery with him. Our life wasn’t perfect but it was perfect for me. The thought that I would lose Nate forever brought me such despair that it made it hard to actually breathe.

I also dreaded the mere thought of what another divorce would bring, including first and foremost, the shared custody of Helena as I had been advised that despite Nate’s behavior, he would almost certainly be granted visitation if not outright joint custody. Just because he suffered from alcoholism and could not keep his zipper zipped did not necessarily mean that he was an unfit parent in the eyes of the law. Nate managed to meet that criteria later all on his own, but at that time, I was looking at shared custody. Been there, done that with Zoe and I couldn’t face doing it all over again with Helena. I vividly recalled the anguish I would feel when I would have to say goodbye to my younger Zoe for a weekend. I just couldn’t handle the thought of doing the same with Helena. The thought of losing that same precious time with my last child was just unbearable. Not both of my kids. No. I just couldn’t. I just … couldn’t. So I clung to my marriage vows and what I still believed to be good memories that spanned over a decade of what I thought had been a happy marriage and I tried like hell not to choke on the ludicrous theory of sex addiction that the therapists kept jamming down my throat and I went about the business of trying to save my marriage. In other words, I threw on an ugly-ass bathing suit and did a whopping cannonball into the murky, piss-brown, bottomless ocean called DENIAL because I was scared shitless and felt I had no other viable options.

It is astounding the lengths of crazy to which you will go when you are desperate and scared. I found myself  going to extremes to save my marriage. I was doing things that, had my best friend done them in a similar situation? I would have bodyslammed her to the floor, slapped her unconcious and flung her into a closet until she came to her senses.

Pretty soon, I didn’t even recognize myself.

During this time, I was still reading the emails. I couldn’t stop myself. I almost welcomed the excruciating pain they caused me because that meant I was at least feeling something and feeling something was better than feeling the dead nothing that enveloped me. I read those emails every night, for hours on end, after the girls went to bed. Oddly enough, it wasn’t the porn star experience emails that wreaked the most havoc with my psyche, although the graphic descriptions of his sex life with these women made me wretch but I could almost, almost, convince myself that it was just sex at its most primal essence and that it didn’t mean anything. No, it was the other emails, the ones to Ava, that made my soul bleed and ultimately destroyed me. In them, the two of them would refer to the depth of their love and the simple moments they shared, such as holding hands or stroking the back of her head or sharing a dessert or stealing a kiss. They were just so intimate. I knew Ava was being paid a fortune to say exactly what she was saying, but … what can I say? It didn’t make it any less real to me or make it hurt any less.

The words “I love you” are sacred to me. I’ve never believed they should be offered lightly and I have never said them lightly myself. I do not understand how anyone can share those words without conviction. I do not understand how someone can be intimate with someone else without being somehow emotionally vested to some degree in that relationship. Call me naive or ignorant or even stupid, but I cannot wrap my head around people who do these things. I’m just not wired that way. So while I knew Ava was a prostitute and the logical, rational part of me knew she was holding Nate’s hand, and other parts of his body, only because she was being paid to the tune of $500+ an hour to do so, the emotional part of me believed that, her career path notwithstanding, she must have fallen in love with Nate and Nate with her because they shared those three words and they were … well, they were just so believable. Ava admitted to me that Nate was her best client in this regard, that he had elevated the girlfriend experience to an art form and had impressed even her, a seasoned professional, with his efforts.

I wasn’t surprised at that. After all, Nate never had been one do to anything half-assed.

Ava’s emails slowly killed every piece of my heart and left me grief-stricken and curled up in a ball on the floor of my closet at 2 a.m., night after night after night, sobbing incoherently to my brother on the phone as he would take constant breaks from his bartending job in Vegas to find a quiet place and try to pull me out of the darkness from 3,000 miles away.

I felt nothing but emptiness and blackness. I was dead. My body just didn’t know it.

And yet, I fought for my marriage. I fought tooth and nail for four long, awful months before I could no longer bear to watch Nate disintegrate and circle the drain. I officially filed for divorce in October of 2011 and my heart, what was left of it by then, was so heavy with sadness the day I filed, it was physically hard to move. I knew it was the right decision. I couldn’t save our marriage and I had come to the realization that I couldn’t save Nate and had no business even trying because you can’t save someone who is bound and determined to self-destruct. So, for the sake of my kids and my sanity, I decided to concentrate on saving myself.

I won’t bother getting into all the garbage that transpired during those four months because there’s just too much and you probably wouldn’t believe half of it. I lived it and I still can’t even believe what happened. Every single day brought another new layer of shit to cover the previous one. These layers included a second DWI, multiple car accidents, an incident with Ollie, police being called to our house numerous times, a restraining order, the calls from his work threatening job abandonment because he failed to show up again, me scouring the city trying to find him and Nate puking in the middle of the street during the funeral procession for his aunt. Oh, and that one night when I sat down to discuss my options with Helena’s court-appointed guardian, only to stop in mid-sentence because the alarm on my cell phone had rung. Instead of discussing how best to protect Helena during what was almost certain to be a nasty custody battle because I refused to agree to any visitation whatsoever, I turned on my laptop. For the next few minutes, the guardian and I sat and watched, slack-jawed, as text messages from Nate’s cell were downloaded onto my laptop, courtesy of the GPS system he had installed on his phone to prove I could trust him. We witnessed Nate’s solicitation of yet another prostitute, a very young prostitute, go down in real time at a hotel ten miles away.

Timing is everything they say, and never was that more true in my case than that night.

That guardian became a key player in the custody portion of my divorce, and later, she became equally as important in the criminal matter that ensued after Nate was accused of committing a series of reprehensible crimes.

In late November of 2011, about a month after I filed, our lives took yet another horrendous turn when Nate was arrested for unspeakable acts of violence. I soon learned that these acts were not new to Nate nor were they isolated incidents, but rather a return to a pattern of behavior he had established early on in his life. Nate’s family knew exactly what he was, what he had always been, but they made a conscious choice to keep that information to themselves, thereby protecting Nate as well as their own families but depriving me of the ability to protect my own. They swept his past under the rug where it lay a hidden secret. But as we all know, secrets rarely die. They just bide their time. This one waited until that one night in late November when it roared back to life and exploded, leaving in its wake the bloody carnage of our marriage, the decimation of my kids’ trust, a shattered family and the obliteration of every single good memory I ever had of our life together.

What followed was a harrowing journey through the criminal justice system for over a year. Nate ultimately took a plea deal and was convicted of far lesser crimes in late 2012 and all I will say about that is at least we were spared the horror of testifying at his trial. Of course, he waited until two days before we were scheduled to testify before pleading out and the stress of that looming trial took a toll on us. On the day he plead guilty, I kept Helena in school for her own benefit. Zoe and I raced to the courthouse and tightly held hands as he refused to look at us while admitting to his crimes in open court. It did not, however, give us the closure we sought.

This past January, the three of us went to the Hall of Justice for one final time where we were allowed to address the court at Nate’s sentencing. We read from our victim impact statements while Nate stood before the bench, wearing the same suit he wore every single time we went to court, looking simultaneously gaunt and bloated and twenty years older than his age. Nowhere did I see the handsome man I had married almost fourteen years prior. He again refused to look at us. I think that day may very well have been the hardest of this entire ordeal for the girls and me.

It was the last time we saw him.

The last two years have been a series of unfathomable losses. My husband. Helena’s father. Our house. My kids’ innocence and innate tendency to trust. Nate’s family, with whom I have cut off contact as I cannot find it within me to forgive them. I have tried but I’m just not there yet. I don’t know if I will ever get there and I am not sure if I can ever fully heal unless I do but for now, it’s a chance I’m willing to take. We lost any financial security we may have had. We lost any sense of normalcy. Any sense of safety. We lost our lives, such as we knew them. And finally, I feel as if I have lost what amounts to the last fifteen years of my life as I do not carry with me one single good memory of Nate’s and my relationship. Each one is irreparably tainted with Nate’s betrayal and my inability to reconcile the man he portrayed himself to be with the pure evil he ultimately proved himself to be.

Memories are supposed to sustain you, to comfort you. They’re supposed to be a soft place to land. The loss of those memories was devastating.

Today, I still grieve my marriage and the life I thought I would live. I think everyone who has been through a divorce does this to some degree, because divorce is death by a different name. At least it is, for me. But while I may grieve, that grief no longer consumes me. Every once in a while, I’ll have a moment when the sadness becomes overwhelming and I have to just stop, have a good cry and take a moment to regroup. Those moments are getting fewer and farther between.

I no longer read the emails. I haven’t for quite some time. The last time I did, I was surprised at how little they affected me. I’m guessing this is what is referred to as growth, part of letting go. I don’t care what it’s called, I’m good with it. It gave me some much needed hope.

The girls and I are moving on. I started working full-time soon after I filed for divorce and I’m fortunate to work with some pretty awesome people. Zoe is in college, studying to be a pharmacist. Helena is going into eighth grade, studying to be a teenager who drives her mom batshit crazy.

I bought a small house in another town so that we could have a fresh start. The girls and I are fixing it up as our own and at the moment, I’m dealing with a burst pipe, wet basement and something called a galvanized something or other. I think they have to dig a twenty foot trench in my front yard. Believe it or not, I’m actually grateful to have such problems because they’re ordinary and I need some ordinary. We are seriously considering having one shockingly bright purple wall in every room because … well? Because we can.

Lucky for me, I already got the whole mandatory rebound relationship over and done with last year and while he too turned out to be a colossal jerk, because God just has a sick sense of humor, that relationship helped me get through 2012 and allowed me to feel something other than pain and loss for awhile and for that, I’m thankful.

I am dating but it’s not easy for me. I am a fish out of water. I would much prefer to fall in love without the whole dating aspect because dating is messy and everyone who knows me knows I don’t do messy. Simply put, I do not know how to date. I like things spelled out and to know where I stand with someone and dating is pretty much the exact opposite. I am not wired to play games or say things I don’t mean or hear things others don’t mean or become physical with someone out of fear my hooha will atrophy otherwise and, with the exception of very few men I’ve met, I’m finding those to be prerequisites for dating in today’s world. My brother, who has been dating for 20+ years, tells me that it will get easier. I’m not so sure. It’s scary out there.

I miss falling in love. And staying there. I miss being part of something bigger than myself. I miss being part of a team. Building a life with someone. Sharing my day with someone and having him share his with me. Having someone’s back and knowing, with utter certainty, that he has mine. I miss the little things that are often taken for granted in a relationship. My kids are growing up and immersed in their own social lives and while I know that I will be just fine on my own and I’m too smart to be with someone just for the sake of being with anyone, I am acutely aware that sometimes there is very little wiggle room between being alone and being lonely.

The last two years has changed me. I hope they’ve changed me for the better. I’m pretty proud  that I am not bitter. I refuse to live my life as a sour hag who hates men. I love men. I just don’t understand them. After all of this, I still choose to believe the best in people, even though that has brought me heartbreak more often than not. But it is one thing that hasn’t changed about me and it is with that philosophy that I will continue to raise Helena. Zoe is already an adult so I can only hope that she will carry with her all that I have tried to teach her.

I’m not sure what to do with my blog posts as so many of them include Nate or refer to him in some way. My very first post here was about how I met and married him. If I delete all references to Nate, this blog will be a very empty place indeed. I suppose I could argue with myself that my blog reflected my reality for several years and deleting those posts won’t change that reality. I can’t undo anything that was done. Then again, I hate arguing with myself. I’m ridiculously stubborn and never let myself get a word in edgewise.

Thank you all for your emails and messages these last two years. I read every single one and if I didn’t respond, it wasn’t because I didn’t care. It was because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude and grief that I had to just walk away from my laptop because I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t have wanted a thirty page emotional manifesto of a response landing in your inbox. Knowing that people cared and continue to care about what happened to my family was a comfort I desperately needed. One I still need. I’m still not sure where my new life will take me but I hope to be around here more often and take you all along for the ride.

Until then, thank you.

 

126 comments

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{ 126 comments… read them below or add one }

1
Janmary, N Ireland June 3, 2013 at 6:18 am

Oh wow – you and your daughters have had SO MUCH to deal with.

We your bloggy friends are still here, and always will be.

You can’t help but to have been changed by everything you have been through, but you are still YOU, and your blogging voice is still there.

They say blurting is good for the soul – praying this helps you process some of the ordeal, and so glad you have such supportive wonderful daughters who probably have the strongest mum in the world. This would have crushed some, and I suspect it almost crushed you, but you HAVE survived.

Here’s to the rest of your life – go live it and enjoy it!
Janmary, N Ireland recently posted..From Banking to Blogging, Beading and Beyond!My Profile

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2
Alison June 3, 2013 at 6:25 am

WOOOHOOO! Andrea! <3 <3 I am so proud of you mama! You have been through such an ordeal but I'm glad you are on the other side of it now. I just hope it won't be another year before we get another post from you because you make me smile. And I need more smiles in my life.
Alison recently posted..Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel & Towers #MexicoCityMy Profile

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3
Ishan June 3, 2013 at 6:29 am

Hey,

Glad that you are recovering. It is a LOT that you have gone through. I hope you get better with time and while I know it is next to impossible, forget all this and move on to a better life.

Good luck.

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4
Kellie June 3, 2013 at 6:51 am

(((((HUGS)))))

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5
Heather @ nobody-but-yourself
Twitter: MissusSmith
June 3, 2013 at 7:01 am

I just read this line: “Heroism is the way you confront the horrible things that are thrown at you.”

You, my dear, are a hero.

(And ps: I totally should give the preceding sentence at *least* 43 exclamation points)

xo

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6
Kathy
Twitter: kathyhporter
June 3, 2013 at 7:16 am

Welcome back! Such a brave post after all of this time. Like many your readers, I’ve sneaked back to your blog this past year, wanting so much to read an up-dated one but also understanding that whatever awful shit you had to deal with, that THAT was more important and necessary for you.

Your gift, what has always been yours alone and that will always be yours, is your wonderfully funny, insightful, intelligent and searingly honest writer’s voice. That you’ve found your way back to it is joyful.
Kathy recently posted..Love Always Wags Its Tail Has A Pinterest Board!My Profile

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7
Morgan June 3, 2013 at 12:22 pm

I agree 100%

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8
Kristin June 3, 2013 at 7:29 am

You are brave and courageous.
And you have a powerful way with words.
Love ya!

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9
Robin Gagnon
Twitter: TwiMommi
June 3, 2013 at 7:31 am

I am glad to see you and the girls have come through to the other side. I hope you do get back to blogging, now that you’ve flung this massive albatross carcass out there (far better than hanging around one’s neck I say).

I’ve got to say you’re either braver or crazier than me. The proverbial crap hit the fan in my marriage about a month before yours & I still haven’t gotten to the point of facing dating again. Sort of liking the sole custody single mom thing… not so sure I want the possibility of anything disturbing my benevolent dictatorship of the household :P

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10
Paula
Twitter: frostedfingers
June 3, 2013 at 7:45 am

I can’t believe it’s been two years. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of this. I am glad to see you back though.
Paula recently posted..I have an announcement!My Profile

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11
Leah Wright June 3, 2013 at 7:46 am

Wow. Just wow. I’m glad you were able to get it out – a cleansing of sorts. And I’m glad you trusted your loyal readers to share what you have gone through. We love you even more for being “ordinary”.

Leave the old posts. They will serve as a reminder of the shit storm you and the girls went through and how you came out of the other side, stronger, together, and with some kickass shoes.

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12
Claire Gutschow June 3, 2013 at 8:17 am

You are an inspiration to all of us. But most of all, you are an inspiration to your girls. You have shown them that we can all be more than just the sum of our experiences. Thank you for your strength. Big hugs.
Claire Gutschow recently posted..I live with Mother Theresa and Santa’s helperMy Profile

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13
Jessica June 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

Golly, Andie. I wish I could reach through the internets and just give you a big stranger-who-cares-about-you hug, although that sounds way creepier than I intended it to. I hope that you can feel some relief for checking this next step off your checklist of moving forward. It’s important and healthy for you, and, selfishly, it’s nice for us too.

You’re back.
Jessica recently posted..Mad Skills Link Party #158My Profile

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14
Lori June 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

I always knew you were one hell of a woman, but now you’ve proven it in spades. I won’t blow sunshine up your ass and tell you this will only make you a better person and you’ll come out on the other side thankful for the learning experience or any other such bullshit but you absolutely must know that you and your girls are tough as nails and you will all be just fine. I’m cheering for you all from Michigan. Keep fighting the good fight, girls…you got this! xoxoxo
Lori recently posted..Goals – June 2013My Profile

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15
Barb
Twitter: barbhogan
June 3, 2013 at 8:32 am

Wow, Andie. You are strong and beautiful and so eloquent. I think it’s so tremendously unfair that you and your daughters have had to endure all that you did. I’m sad and angry for all of you, but excited too as you’ve come out of the very dark and into the light.

You are amazing. Just know that your friends out here love you and we have your back, even if it’s only in pixels.

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16
ashlie June 3, 2013 at 8:46 am

So glad to see you back here and that you’re moving on with such grace. We’ve missed you.
ashlie recently posted..Help me obsess over Christmas presents in May. No, really.My Profile

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17
Maggie June 3, 2013 at 8:56 am

I’m one that had just recently begun following your blog when it went eerily silent. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. You are a strong woman to have survived all of that. And your daughters are lucky to have you as a role model.

Hugs and prayers for you and your family.

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18
Steffanie Huffstatler June 3, 2013 at 9:00 am

Just imagine hundreds, if not thousands, of your sisters standing in front, to the side and right behind you, surrounding you with love and support. In one way or another, we have all walked in your shoes and have come out of it stronger. One day, you will too. Please remember that even if you feel it, you aren’t alone. Your sisters are here.

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19
trisha June 3, 2013 at 9:09 am

There is nothing I can really say after all you went through. I still remember talking to you on the phone pretty much within days of this starting. I am so glad you are back. Take your time. We never went anywhere.

trisha
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Zippy Sandler June 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

Andrea – my mouth is open (slack jawed) and I’m amazed that you were able to write this. It almost makes me want to tell our story (involving a 50 year old husband and a 22 year old crack whore), and how he left us destitute with no food, not 5 cents in the bank, etc. (thank goodness I have a wonderful family who was there to help). My story turned out quite different (we’re still married, & he’s on anti-psychotic medication and doing well), but reading your story opened up some wounds that I hadn’t examined in a long time. Your strength is amazing….so THANK YOU for sharing that.
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RJFerret
Twitter: RJFerret
June 3, 2013 at 9:37 am

*hugs

Thank you for sharing.

I’d suggest not deleting the previous, as they are a delightful resource for others, that there’s no benefit in denying, broken links just undermine the entire premise of a network.

*hugs

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Melissa June 3, 2013 at 9:46 am

You don’t have to do anything with the references of Nate. This blog post has officially negated any well-meaning, true-at-the-time-as-far-as-you-knew info about him and your life together. You and your girls were the innocent victims of an elaborate hoax, from which you have escaped.

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Carmen Keder June 3, 2013 at 9:47 am

Dear Andrea

I applaud you for being so honest. My friend and I are from Australia and have been following your blog for years.
Keep your chin up. You are through the worst. Your story sounds so unreal. Here we were always jealous of you having the perfect husband in Nate. Just unbelievable. How does your young one cope with all of it? Does she want to see her dad?

I wish you all the best and please keep us devoted followers updated.
Sending you kisses and hugs from Down Under!

Carmen ???

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monique
Twitter: armsofasister
June 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

I love you. I think about you all often. You and your daughters are amazing. Absolutely amazing.
And you haven’t lost that sense of sarcastic humor that I love.
I can’t tell you that I’ve walked in your shoes. I can only say that the 3 of you are stronger than any family I know. And that I’m here for you if ever I can help you.
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Avry June 3, 2013 at 9:51 am

I too went through a divorce after infidelity but not nearly to the degree that you did. I admire your Strength to let go of someone so toxic. Welcome back to the blogging world :)
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Jana R. June 3, 2013 at 9:54 am

You go girl! You are an amazing woman. Please know that though we have never meet, i say a prayer for you and your girls, that you may know comfort, joy and peace. God bless you.

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stacey June 3, 2013 at 9:55 am

Wow, you have a had a journey! I’m so sorry you & the girls had to go through all this & that Nate proved unworthy of you & them. I’m glad you are coming through it ok & that you all have a found a place where you can move on.

{{{hugs}}}

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Sheri
Twitter: kidsumers
June 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

You are amazing Andy. Most people would be bitter. I think you are an incredible role model and I’m sure your girls will be reflections of that.
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SWJenn
Twitter: ScrapprsWkshp
June 3, 2013 at 10:17 am

Thank you for writing this. I know it must have been hard, but I appreciate you letting us in a bit. Can’t imagine how shitty this has been for you, so glad you are well on your way to healing. You have been a great inspiration for many, this just confirms how awesome we all knew you are! Who knows what the road ahead holds? Love has a way of surprising you when you least expect it. Do things you love, enjoy the trip, and who knows where you will go! Looking forward to reading about the journey.

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Emilie June 3, 2013 at 10:19 am

I think you are amazing. I can’t imagine putting everything out there for the world. Your story was heart wrenching and so eloquently written. I just have to say I’m proud of you for doing what you needed to do for your family. I’m so happy to hear that things have gotten better for you, even if they are far from perfect. So glad you have you back!
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Angie C. June 3, 2013 at 10:20 am

Andie – you just might be my new hero – the strength that you’ve shown here is amazing. I’m so happy that you and the girls are moving on….

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Lynsey @MoscatoMom June 3, 2013 at 10:27 am

I am both heartbroken and overjoyed for you. Heartbroken for what you went through, and what your girls went through, but overjoyed that you are making it to the other side. Many people have not recovered from lesser trials, and you have managed to keep it together beyond what I could imagine.

Kudos to you and love to you, the girls, and Ollie.

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Debra June 3, 2013 at 10:32 am

Two words…ROCK.STAR!!!

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Carrie Medford
Twitter: CarrieAMedford
June 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

Wow. Even though I’ve lived quite the unreal life myself, it still never ceases to amaze me the depths of hurt that can be caused by another or the amazing ability we all have to overcome and persevere. Healing may take a long time, but every day I hope you feel a bit more happy, healthy and confident. My heart goes out to you and your children. Thank you for sharing your story.
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Martha
Twitter: eclecticred
June 3, 2013 at 10:34 am

? I am so proud of you! and for once? I’m without any other words.

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A.B. Shepherd June 3, 2013 at 10:36 am

I’m so sorry you and your daughters had to go through that horrible experience. *hugs* to all of you.

You are the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Your new life will be beautiful and strong because you are.
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Maree June 3, 2013 at 10:40 am

Wow ~ what a beautifully written recap of some beyond horrible shitty times for you and your girls! Going through a nasty divorce is pure crap and realizing that the living happily ever after dream isn’t going to happen is an awfully disappointing thing. Betrayal sucks! I truly hope that it feels like a relief now that you’ve shared this on your blog. Please know that there are many of us out here who have your back and sincerely care about y’all! Sending you H U G E hugs and wishing you all brighter and happier days ahead. You’re well on your way and I’m incredibly proud of your strength. And, I know Zoe and Helena are, too. xoxoxo

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Anne June 3, 2013 at 10:45 am

Amazing strength. I admire you for looking out for, protecting, your daughters, through this disaster.
And somehow you have kept your wonderful ability to write clearly, honestly, precisely.
I have no idea what is best for you in terms of moving on, but if you ever decide that writing out the story of what happened is healing, you must have at least one book here.

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Lisa @ Oh Boy Oh Boy Oh Boy June 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

Thank you for sharing this story. I can only imagine how difficult it was. But I also know that the hardest ones to get out are also the ones that can be the most helpful to someone. Someone will come upon this post and because of your bravery be reminded that they too can get through their struggles.
Hugs to you and your girls. You are inspiring (all of you)!
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Krissy June 3, 2013 at 10:51 am

Thank you for sharing your story; I can only imagine how hard it was for you…I was in a 7 yr relationship with a man who made me believe I was crazy because I suspected things..to find out everything I ever thought about him, or had suspicions about were true
I know it’s hard.
I am proud of you for picking up and moving on. I know it’s not easy – but it does get better.
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n. June 3, 2013 at 10:59 am
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Amanda June 3, 2013 at 11:04 am

Wow. I can’t imagine. A friend sent me a link to this post this morning. My husband and I are in the midst of a separation, a situation in which I want to save the marriage and he does not. His issues don’t even come to the same planet as your husband’s…but waking up one day to realize the man you thought you were married to for 13.5 years is suddenly someone else does ring true for me. I’m so sorry for what you’ve been through, but knowing that you could handle that and come out the other end stronger and better gives me hope that if the worst day of my life is to come…maybe there is hope for the days after.

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Dee Thompson June 3, 2013 at 11:13 am

Wow Andrea. Bless you. What a nightmare ordeal. You ARE strong, though, and you are healing. Now that you have written this I hope it helps the healing process. Just remember there are lot of us who care about you very much and pray for you. Hang in there my friend. Peace be with you.
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Tiff @ Babes and Kids June 3, 2013 at 11:13 am

I can’t even fathom how much courage it took to write this blog post. No one should EVER have to go through something like this and I cried as I read your post. I have no doubt that each day is still painful for you, but I commend you for divorcing him and moving on. I’m sure you’ve been told, but you deserve someone much better. Someone who will be faithful and cherish you. Your girls are lucky to have you as a mom. Much love.
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Kathleen June 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

OMG is the first thing that comes to mind. I don’t know you, I don’t think I’ve ever been to your blog before today but I feel sick for what you and your girls have had to go through. It is unspeakable what he did to you. I’m so sorry that his true self wasn’t revealed to you sooner so you could protect your family. I can’t even IMAGINE going through what you did and still coming up the other side. Even without really knowing you, I know you will pass that strength onto your girls and they will grow up strong.

As for your blog, if and when you are ready to get back to it, I suggest starting a new one and letting your past readers know where to find you. HUGS.

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Kait June 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

I am not exactly sure how I ended up here…maybe a friend posted a comment, which showed up in her FB post? Regardless, I am heartbroken upon reading your story. I am amazed at the downward spiral that your life took and equally amazed at the strength and honesty with which you handled it. If you survived this, you can survive anything else that life has to throw at you. Many blessings to you and your daughters.

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Morgan June 3, 2013 at 12:13 pm

HUGE HUG! I’m inspired by the strength you’ve shown through all this and so glad to hear from you again. You are hilarious and I hope your bad days become more ordinary as you said. Welcome back and best of luck!

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deb June 3, 2013 at 12:15 pm

I think it took a lot of courage to write this post and it shows your growth in doing so. You’ve been to Hell and back and you’ve survived.

I say leave the posts because there were good parts to this guy and you got to experience them. It is on him that he turned out to be a psycho, not you. Also, no matter what, he is still H’s bio dad and she may need some of these good pieces to hold on to as well.

I’ve mentioned to you before that I had a friend who went through a similar experience, basically finding out her husband and father of her two children was involved with unspeakable criminal acts. He is still serving a sentence in jail and she has spent the last six years putting her life back together, but she has done so with lots of counseling and support from her family.

I’m glad this is the way you re-entered the blogging world. Skipping this just wouldn’t be you. You’ve thrown the shit to the fan, now we can move on and get back to stories about flooded basements and Ollie crapping in the living room. (My dog peed in the dog dish this morning. I ask myself WHY do I continue to own this little beast??!!).

Take care because you have lots of cyber buddies supporting you.

d

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Penelope June 3, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I love how he wants to pay to keep his hooker from cheating on him, while he sleeps with multiple other hookers and his wife.

I would NEVER forgive his family, and I don’t think you need to ever reconnect with them after they exposed your children/family to harm. They shouldn’t have the chance to do it again.

There are just no words for this kind of deception, but considering there are people in the world who hurt people for fun or out of boredom, it no longer surprises me. I’m so sorry you had to deal with it. If I ever find myself single again, I wouldn’t even bother dating. Marriage is too much work, I’m doing it once only.

Are you near your real family now? Your real friends?
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Elizabeth Towns June 3, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Honey, you are a rockstar. I’ve been through adultery and divorce, albeit not as cinema graphic or unbelievably destructive as yours (oh, it was unbelievably batshit crazy, tho). I am so sorry you had to experience that relationship, but I am glad that you have your awesome daughter as a result of the union – which, never forget – was a union of love. No matter the end result, at that time, you were in love with that man and created that wonder of life. I wrote about the disintegration of my marriage on my first blog, and working my way from their to a new life. I don’t see any reason why you can’t just keep it moving, and make your blog what you want it to be. Archive the old blog posts, and if somebody wants to read them, they can. Move forward in your own way.

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Ruth June 3, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Thanks for sharing your gift of words, even when it hurts. Sending tons of positive thoughts your way.

Ruth <3

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Amy Ray June 3, 2013 at 12:56 pm

I’m going to say those 3 little words that shouldn’t be said lightly. I love you! We love you! I’ve missed you, and have checked on you often. I’ve worried about you as if you were my sister or my child. I’ve prayed for you and your girls. Through the bits and pieces you have give over the last long while, I am not terribly shocked by what you write. I am, however, incredibly saddened that you and the girls have had to go through all of this. I am glad you are back, I HOPE you are back! You are a wonderful writer with such a unique voice. Even reading this sad tale has brought a smile to my face, because I can hear your “voice”! I wish you all the best, and hope that you will be able to tell us whether Ollie ever stopped pooping behind the sofa!

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Valinda June 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’m so sorry this is what kept you away from blogging. Thank you for coming back to us.

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Nicki June 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Thank you for posting. Thank you for sharing that even when you think life is just another 4 letter word along with SUCK/SHIT/DAMN/HELL – it isn’t. That despite being hit over the head with an enloader filled with some of the worst crap life has to offer, you can discover the high from realizing you have more strength, endurance, and perseverance than imaginable. This whole ‘what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger’ is in reality the glossy top coat over smudged polish. Quite frankly it rips. But I’ve got to be honest with you – from where I sit, you are Super Woman . . . with some pretty kick-ass nails.
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NTE June 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Whenever I read a post like this – in that it’s wholly honest, and brave, and true, and puts it all out there – I always come to the comment box and think “whatever I have to say will pale in comparison, but I can’t say nothing.” I can’t say nothing, because I want you to know how much I appreciate you showing up here, with your words full of power and grace and horror and humor, and spilling them all out for us to read. I’m sorry that these years have shown you such treachery. I’m glad that you’ve found some way to move on and come back here. Welcome back, and thank you.
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TAMARA GRAHAM June 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

I saw so much of my life in your story. I too married for a second time, and thought that he was my “soul mate”. I had 3 kids from my first marriage that ended after 16 years of severe physical abuse. I thought my second marrriage was the the answer to my prayers. A friend of the family for many years, I thought it must be fate. I went to school after my first marriage, because I was a stay at home mom, and needed an income to support my 3 kids. I was married to “matt” for 10 years, most of the time I worked 2 full time jobs to buy us everything he wanted. New vehicles, a house, snowmobiles, renovations for a huge shop, renovating the house, a huge boat. My father passed away and left me some inheritence. What did I do, buy him a corvette, because he always wanted one. One night I came home form working 18 hours and my girls would tell me he has been on the phone for hours in the bathroom each night. So I got the keys to his “NEW” truck and checked his visor to find very explicit sexual letters , which I later find out is from a 16 year old girl from his work. And a secret cell phone. At that time he was older than her parents! Crushed isn’t the word, but after months of marriage counselling, the girl keeps calling etc. I was devastated the way you explain it so well. We move on and after a year or so, I find out he has been molesting my older daughter. I trusted this man with my life. I packed up and ran with my girls. I left mostly everything, my house EVERYTHING. I didn’t know what to do, where to turn. I found out later he was also having an affair with another woman for a long time. It has been 5 years since I left. My daughter refused to press any charges against him as she was of age. I worked so hard for my family, and to have it all gone down the drain, with him benefiting from my hard work. I am now with a loving man, who was abused as a child. We have never fought ever, we are very much the same. We go with the flow, and discuss things that bother us. For me I still struggle everyday. I really felt your pain. I do my best day to day, but I can’t help but wondering what I missed. I was so blind, thought I was so in love. Kids are what is most important. Relationships come and go, but you have your kids forever! Love and prayers to you and your children.

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Rachel June 3, 2013 at 3:18 pm

I have said it before and I will say it again, you are incredible. You are so strong, and such a wonderful mother. I too am so glad you are back. It was nice seeing you post again, even if the subject matter was scary.
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Kate June 3, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Wow. You are an amazing woman and mother. You have been through the fire and have come out stronger on the other side. Thank you so much for letting us in and maybe in some ways it’s another process that’ll help all this be finished. I have visited the site many times wondering if you were coming back regularly. I hope to read you more often now. I always looked forward to your stories. You are a gifted woman, and this shows how strong you are, too. I’m proud to “know” you. Cause you’re on the internet. And I read your stuff. So you’re my friend…right?

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Richard June 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

I cant tell you how sorry I am for what you and your girls went through….It is so good to have your great stories back. Looking forward to many more!

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Jamie June 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I’ve really got nothing more to say than this(and it’s still woefully inadequate):

You. Are. Amazing.

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Audrey June 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm

I can totally relate to your post. I dealt with most of it with my ex-husband. The only part I didn’t deal with was the prostitution but everything else you put forth is my ex-husband too. The lying, the booze, the violence, I lived through it all.

It does get easier, you will love again. I met an amazing man who I’m madly in love with. He taught me what true, unconditional love really is. I thought he was my rebound, after all we only started dating a few months after I left my ex, turns out he was my knight in shining armor. You will love again.

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Shop with Me Mama
Twitter: shopwithmemama
June 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm

you are one very strong mama! huge huge hugs to you.
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Sandra
Twitter: coasahm12
June 3, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Wow! You have definitely been through a lot. ***BIG HUGS*** I’m glad that everything is healing and slowly getting “normal” again.

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Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting June 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm

I am grateful you’ve come through that ordeal in tact, and I am SO happy to see you writing again xo

Biiiiiiiiiig hugs, sweetie.
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Connie Seattle Mom Blogger
Twitter: princesstimetoy
June 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm

You are so missed! You’ve survived such a horrible nightmare. Be kind to yourself – you’re one of a kind.

(((HUGS)))
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LauraM62 June 3, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Well at least your cleared up my guessing :) I can say been there on most of it with my ex, there was plenty of other women I found out about, just not paid for kind, but mine had started mixing crack cocaine with the drinking, money down the drain. What is that they say about what doesn’t kill you :LOL: so do you feel stronger — I’m sure you do, and will continue to as you show everyone that this too will not bring you and your girls down — I think you might be braver than me though, dating again took me quite awhile (that whole trust thing) — then I had decided marriage wasn’t happening again — glad my present husband wanted to take the time to prove he was a much different man — I’m sure you’ll feel better with each passing year —

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LauraM62 June 3, 2013 at 9:31 pm

PS — leave all the other stuff you wrote — I loved reading it all back then, the crazy steps in life and relationships (the crazy things you think are normal crazy :LOL:) — I think all those things just shows what a super person you are !!

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Nichol June 3, 2013 at 9:47 pm

You are so strong to write this. I can’t imagine what you and your girls went through, but we have been here and I’ve thought a lot about you. You are strong, very strong. Huge hugs to you
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Cat Davis June 3, 2013 at 9:57 pm

I’m 99.9% speechless. So I’ll just say this … you are without a doubt the strongest and bravest woman I’ve never met.
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Ashley Sears June 3, 2013 at 10:01 pm

I have never read your blog before, but I am so glad that I came across this post. I to was married to someone that was the worst narcissit and pathalogical liar I have ever known. I luckily was spared the details of the many affairs I am sure he had (though he only confessed to one).
You are so brave to share this story, and I hope the next years bring you lots of growth and more and more steps to the happy/healthy life you deserve!
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Scott Gibbs June 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm

Andrea – I hope to read more from you soon! I am proud of you. Keep writing. It is your gift to yourself and you deserve a gift (or a million gifts!).

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Ella June 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Hello. I don’t know you but I feel you. I’m not as brave as you as to say why, but I’m thankful for this post today.

I’m very glad you and your daughters are safe.

Thanks for this.
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McKenzie June 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm

“The Sociopath Next Door” is a great read and might help you put to rest some of the “what the fucks” about your amazing story. What strength! Keep going!

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Jessica June 3, 2013 at 10:42 pm

I’ve been coming back to your blog day after day to see if you have posted an update. I never expected anything like this. I’m physically sick for you and your daughters and what you have had to go through. I can only partially (thankfully) know what you’re going through. I’m glad I got out before things got worse.

I’m glad you’re moving on. And don’t give up on love…I didn’t. Take care!

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Kathryn June 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm

I’m in awe of your courage. I wish you a life filled with more joy than sorrow, more smiles than tears, more laughter than crying and a heart that is healed and happy!

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Lori June 3, 2013 at 11:32 pm

Andie, I am glad the you posted your story, I have “known” you since way back on Two Peas and have loved following your life. You are one very strong woman and continuing to get stronger each day. Hugs to you!

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Jenn L June 3, 2013 at 11:35 pm

You are so amazing. Thank you for sharing your life, your experience, your reality. I am so thrilled you are back to your blog. Not only have I missed reading it, but I have often thought that your story would be incredibly inspirational for someone because of your strength and perseverance. I’m sure it wasn’t easy in any way, shape, or form – but good for you for doing the very best of a crappy situation.
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Elaine A. June 4, 2013 at 12:16 am

I am so, so sorry. My heart aches for what you went through, while reading this. Another commenter said you have been through Hell and back and boy have you!

You sound like you’ve come through it though and even though I am sure you still have very hard moments and even days, you are on a good path and I hope you can continue.

Much love to you…

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Kell June 4, 2013 at 4:44 am

I really hope you find someone special who will cherish you and your daughters and make you feel like you are his whole world. You deserve it. There are some nice men out there (I married one), but unfortunately you’ve got to kiss a few f**kwits, I mean frogs, before you find one. ;) I don’t know how you came out the other side of this nightmare, but you did it because you are amazing. xoxo

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Heather T.
Twitter: heather_t_
June 4, 2013 at 6:26 am

Wow Andy, that’s some heavy shit. I guess I learned a few things about prostitution, and I thought I already knew a whole lot… Relationships/partnerships are really a lot of work, & quite frankly, if mine were to end at this point I think I’d rather just relax and enjoy my books and coffee and art till the end. So I hope that whatever you decide to do, and however you handle it, that happiness is surrounding you. And the girls. I’m horrified at the thought of how all this has impacted them. Messing up a fellow adult is one thing; but messing up your children is an entirely different level of dastardliness. I hope they can both get it sorted out for themselves without having to re-enact it sometime down the line.

I know I’m only a virtual friend, but I’m really happy to read that the clouds of bleakness that have surrounded you are parting. I hope you get to flower again for a long time. Big hugs–and if you ever feel like escaping to the Oregon Coast, you guys would be more than welcome. =)
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Nancy June 4, 2013 at 7:37 am

Andie, you are an inspiration, your strength and power to overcome such devastation amazes me! I am so glad you are back, and I want to thank you for sharing your journey through hell and back. I look forward to hearing more from you. Sending huge hugs and high fives from Ontario, Canada.

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Susan H June 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

Wow. For a few moments, this almost read like my sister-n-law’s story around 12 years ago now. But it didn’t end in jail time or violence. Although I’m sure we don’t know everything ‘he’ was completely doing either. People can be unbelievable sometimes. In such a sad way. However…my sis-n-law is 13 years down the road, still not re-married…but…enjoying her life as she can. Hang in there. There is life after ‘hell’. I’m watching my sis-n-law live it. Will be in prayer for you and your girls.

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Win Dinn June 4, 2013 at 9:33 am

I know there are no words to express the admiration I feel for your courageous post, and life, except thank you.

I’d like you to know that a friend who has gone through a similar thing (hers included sexual abuse against their children) is on the other side of the horror now, living a life that’s a beautiful dream. I wish the same for you and your children; may it come soon.
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84
Heather M June 4, 2013 at 11:02 am

That was actually a beautiful post, full of strength. THank you for sharing it with us and I hope this means that you’ll blog more often. :)
Heather M recently posted..Trudging along…My Profile

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Pearl June 4, 2013 at 12:41 pm

Wow, that was gut wretching,but also beautiful for you to open up and sharing your inner feelings. Reading was hard to the point where I had to re-read it to take it all in. Thank you for letting us in your life.

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86
Christy June 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I wish I knew what to say. Hang in there. You’re a funny, strong lady, and your kids (and Ollie) need you. We’re keeping an eye out for your posts and praying for you.

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87
Scraps
Twitter: scrapsoflife
June 4, 2013 at 2:54 pm

I was glad to see something new from you in my reader–I’m just so sorry for all that’s happened in the last 2 years.

One thing I can say, as someone who has lived through bits of what you have (only I was the little girl in the scenario who almost had to testify against her father): you will be okay. Zoe and Helena will be okay. Not always great, some days will suck even 29 years later when your body remembers the anniversary of those hard days and you wonder why you suddenly feel so run down and out of sorts (it’s PTSD, it will fade), but you will be okay. And there is always hope.
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Amy
Twitter: amykinnaird
June 4, 2013 at 3:27 pm

Damn, girl. I knew it was going to be bad, but this is unimaginable. I am so sorry that you, or anyone, had to experience even one of these bad things. You should know that by telling your story, you may help one or two, or even hundreds of others.

I believe you could fill a room with people coming to hear your speak…just saying.

Glad you’re back. Praying for your growing peace.
Amy

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89
Liz
Twitter: Wickedlychic
June 5, 2013 at 12:54 am

Hear her speak. Hmmm. Amy, I think you are on to something there. Andy? Maybe in the next few years?

Okay fine. I see you cringing. I’ll invite Anderson for the opener.
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Shan @ Last Shreds Of Sanity
Twitter: BabyRocasMama
June 23, 2013 at 9:41 pm

Only if Anderson is slathered in Nutella, Liz. lol
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91
Channy June 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Thank you SO MUCH for pouring your heart out in this blog post. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR BEING REAL! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! And may blessings flow to you and your daughters in this new season of your lives!

I think you should leave the old posts – don’t revisit them and read them – just leave them for others to read, enjoy and understand the nature of the drastic change that happened in your life.

Healing for your broken heart will come.

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Ann June 4, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Holy Crap! Kudos to you for making it through and writing about it. I have loved your sense of humor and have missed you in Blog-land. I know I don’t “know” you, bit I have missed you and if you lived near me I know we would be friends. I am proud of you for picking up the pieces and hope each day is filled with more happiness than the day before. And even though your 2 exes may not have been right for you, you would never have those 2 wonderful girls and be where you are in life without having met them. “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” XO

Ann

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93
Katie
Twitter: Sanchez
June 4, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I am so glad you are in a better, and safer, place now.
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94
Cindy W June 4, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Let me seeif I understand this correctly. You were betrayed by not only your ex but his family and friends and you not only survived but thrived. Amazing. In that two year period you not only went through a divorce but also managed to move from SAHM to working full time and buying your own home. WOW. You rock. and I am so glad you and your daughters are doing so well. Good for you and good for them. The three of you are a force to be reckoned with.

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95
Jennifer @ Mom Spotted June 5, 2013 at 10:19 am

I bet writing this felt freeing. Scary but freeing. Therapy at it’s best. I can’t believe all you’ve gone through but I am so proud of you for doing it. Go mama!
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Jennifer June 5, 2013 at 1:54 pm

So gald to see you post! I had just been thinking of you…wondering of you would post anymore and hoping that you were okay.

Life is really hard sometimes. I’m glad that you are feeling stronger and doing well.

I hope you keep posting now that you have “ripped the band-aid off”.

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97
Jjs June 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Andrea,
I was given your blog by a mutual friend Debbie. Please please text me. I am going through the exact same thing but Im a bit behind you. I cried the whole time reading your blog. You might as well been writing about me….90% the same!!!!! Im local. We should meet. Number is from our previous location we used to live. 952-393-2113. Please text!!!! At this point I feel I found my twin!!!!

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98
Janet Knox June 5, 2013 at 3:53 pm

You have been through hell and come out on the other side. Your courage to live through the last two years is only matched by your courage to share your heartbreak with those of us who follow your blog.

You have found strength you never knew you had, through that you have found a new person. Love that person and treat her well she deserves it.

Looking forward to more tales of the ordinary in the future.

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Jan June 5, 2013 at 6:10 pm

I am so impressed with your inner strength. You should be so proud of your ability to take control of the situation in which you found yourself and also proud of the sound decisions you made for both yourself and your daughters. You are a great role model for your girls and many others who read your blog! Take care.

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100
Jen-Eighty MPH Mom June 5, 2013 at 9:09 pm

What a nightmare you and the girls have been through. I honestly cannot imagine (I don’t think anyone can). I am glad you are doing better and are moving on. I hope he stays far, far away from you and I just know you will find someone special…someone who will make your life complete, once and for all.
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101
Dave June 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I’m not a blogger, I never blog, I never read a blog until recently. I read the last post knowing something bad happened, she had hinted, but I had no idea. She is very strong, although the experience she has had is part of her, just like all our life experiences make up part of all of us. That’s life, and in her case it shows. Things will take time. I think shes such a strong person, and so real, clearly this blog is part of her, and its a very good thing shes blogging again. I’m glad she is.

Oh, and I enjoyed the Italian food much more than that crazy movie. what the heck perfume was that old lady wearing ?? ug. I hope I’m still on her “A” list.

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102
Lorri June 9, 2013 at 8:11 pm

my dear Andrea,
I am so glad I have kept your blog on my favourites and decided to check it again today. I wish I could just give you and your girls a huge hug and tell you much I wished I could take all the shit away. But as we all know shit does not completely go away, it leaves a lingering odour that pops up every so often. I wish you all only the best life has to offer. Peace when you need it and always love each other to get through the shit.

Lorri

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103
carrie June 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I have been following you for so long and always checked you blog to see if you were back because you are so funny and such an inspiration. I am glad your back! You are still an inspiration and someone to look up too!!!

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