Mia’s Story Part III

by mssinglemama on February 12, 2009

Facebook, girlfriends, and The Other Woman
(just when I thought she was gone)

By Mia

miaNow that I have some time on my hands I was finally convinced to join Facebook.

“A way to reconnect”…” to get to know people you had forgotten about”… none of this sounded appealing to me at all. But I joined anyway (side note: I kind of like it now, shhhh.) On my quest to find pictures for my Facebook account I started digging through old pictures on my work computer.

And there it was. Full screen and staring at me. A photo of The Other Woman and my ex’s mother.

The picture had been taken at his mother’s surprise 50th birthday party that I threw for her at my ex’s bar. The Other Woman (though not at the time) was our waitress that night. My ex’s mom had sent a bunch of pictures from the evening last April but I had forgotten about this one.

This kind of reminder is the worst – it is the kind that seems to grow arms, clench its fists, and punch you right in the face. Leaving me breathless and small, I had hoped no one was in my office to witness the assault. After a not so brief anxiety attack and a flare of anger I stared at it longer. It felt like hours that I looked at it- studying her smile, her eyes, trying to see her the way he does, and trying to find the good in this young girl who has no idea the part she has played in the transformation of my life. But all I saw was a picture, not a person.

And then I thought of me at 24 (her age now, I think). I thought about the decisions I was forced with – to have a baby or an abortion, to commit to him or to run away. And then I thought about my girlfriends and the role they played in supporting me in those decisions.

My girlfriends.

Through it all they have been there for me.

They have been my atlas, holding me up when I needed their strength and distracting me with wine and humor when I needed a temporary escape. I have made a conscious decision to surround myself with women I admire and trust as often as humanly possible.

Last weekend we all took off for a last minute three day trip to Santa Fe. Six girls total, from three different states. We spent the weekend getting spa treatments and shopping the galleries – a trip I needed so much but truly couldn’t afford. But every moment was worth it.

My favorite moments of the weekend were the couple of hours spent after the days activities and before the nights out would begin. All of us in our “comfy” clothes piled in one bed drinking wine, talking, and laughing. Every one of us offering something unique – logic, advice, humor or sarcasm. It spills out of us and settles like a cloud over the group making it feel like we are one complete and complex entity of womanhood. Of friendship.

I came back to my office this week and I opened up that picture again.But this time I looked at her and thought myself to be so lucky. I knew I was not looking at a girl who had the strength of quality friends behind her like I do. I knew this because no matter how weak I have felt I have had my girlfriends to remind me of who I am at my core. And I am not a woman capable of doing what she has done.

I pity her for being with a man that doesn’t have a strong, loyal group of friends either and I worry for him because now that I am gone he may miss the strength of my friends that I shared with him… even if he never noticed or appreciated it.

Now that I am back, it is time for some more cleaning… starting with my computer of course.

If you missed the beginning of Mia’s Story (catch up here):

{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Amber February 13, 2009 at 1:40 am

Amazing. Mia's strength is something I strive for. I never thought I would be able to wake up with out the lump in my throat, that horrible, nauseaous, pain in my gut (aka heartbreak). But I did. And Mia you will too, if you havent already. Sounds like you have some great friends, hang on to them! Please keep us posted on how things are going.

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tina cmarko February 13, 2009 at 1:47 am

looove this and the core strength.. Mia you are sooo lucky to have wonderful girlfriends.. I have not one set of friends but, many spread out… and with the help of facebook )aka crackbook I also have a ton of friends resurfacing etc. and it is soo helpful when rebuilding a single mama life. My ex had one small group of friends and I have began to pity them for hating me, never caring enuf to even get to know what a wonderful woman I was, and even more so am now. But, it is there loss and not mine, I see a few while I work out some mornings at the gym and … think they stare at my daughters.. catching glimpses of how were doing and it makes me smile more, giggle and laugh and feel bad that's all they have to think, discuss… and when I run when they're around I run faster and stronger.. thus giving me more strength, yes clean your computer I am all about getting rid of the old… and freshening up the new!!! congrats on your new found glory!!!

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Tricia February 13, 2009 at 1:57 am

Wow! You encapsulated it all in the statements about the strength of good women friends. I have been through what you have, although I'm much older than you and have two children. The letter you wrote to the other woman helped heal me so much, you have no idea. And I thank you for that> You said everything I would have liked to have said and more. I am so glad that you have friends to carry you through this painful time. Mine too have been amazing and I can be completely myself with them – through laughter and many, many tears. You are so right when you say that you are a person who could never do that as a woman to another woman, I identify with that so much in that I also know I could NEVER, ever do that to anyone else.

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Tricia February 13, 2009 at 1:57 am

It just isn't in my nature. In my situation, my (still husband) hopefully soon to be ex husband actually broke it off with the woman. She relentlessly pursued him, knowing the devastation it caused and knowing how it broke up an entire family unit. Yet, she continued to go after him and won. He went back to her about a month ago and the wound that I thought was healing was exposed again. I blame him mostly, but there is a part of me that finds it unfathomable that she would do it, not once, but twice, with full knowledge of our situation and the hurt she had caused.
Keep going. You are strong and amazing.

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Kelly February 13, 2009 at 2:10 am

I am one of the women that went on this amazing girl’s trip with Mia. I have known her for 16 years and I consider her to be one of the strongest women I know. We have seen each other though everything, such as first dates, heartbreaks, family crises and the most life changing moment yet… the birth of her daughter. I have seen her grow and pick herself up after her Ex moved out. After he moved out the house was a mess! Like any best friend I showed up at 9 a.m. with coffee, clothes to get dirty in and a tool box. Eight hours later it was her home again 🙂 There have been many times I have thought to myself “I wish I had half the strength and courage Mia has to get me through life’s obstacles”. I guess this is one of the many reasons I am lucky to have her in my life. I can say without hesitation that there is no comparison between Mia and the other woman, because the other woman pales in comparison. Mia I love you and will continue to be there for you every day. Unlike the Ex, I’M NOT LEAVING!!!!

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DesperatelySeekingMe February 13, 2009 at 3:27 am

You know I did not discover the true value of girlfriends until my husband and I separated. I have always been someone who was suspicious of women and although I did have friends, I kept them at arms length. The greatest blessing that has come from my separation has been the amazing friendships. My closest friends stepped in and became closer, and some just watching from the sidelines moved in and took care of me. It was amazing and I am humbled by it. Mia I think it's amazing that you already have the perspective that you have, so soon after this discovery. You are a very strong woman and a great example!!!

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phenomenalmama February 13, 2009 at 4:09 am

Mia – your strength is an inspiration to women everywhere. Please keep updating us on your story. It is an important one.

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MorseMusings February 13, 2009 at 6:40 am

I love sequels … also, I love tears of joy. Mia has the world by it's tale. Look how the universe conspired to make sense of the mystery … of her. And Alaina thank you for being such a star player in everything you do. I'm in awe.

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Star February 13, 2009 at 6:47 am

Hi Mia…now I'm 4 months out and already things are miraculously transformed. I, too, had photos of the other woman in amongst my photos. I, too, searched them for an answer…the only answer I had was that no person who respected themselves or had any self confidence or sense of self worth would choose the road of "the other woman." All I could find in my heart for her was pity. She was pathetic and a sad version of someone with nothing to lose. Well, after I threw him out and filed for divorce, he took her to Hawaii. This broke me. Then, I recovered, yet again, and finally started to have some distance from wondering what he was doing, what is status was, you know. Well, after that, I found out (from his newfound interest in his children) that she is no longer in the picture. After all that, she finally had the guts to stand up and say that she was worth more than what he had offered her. 2nd place. Runner up. So. Now he is all alone with only his addiction battle for company. Meanwhile, I went online, posted a sincere profile of who I really am…not who I tried to be for him originally, not who I was when I met him, not who he made me into, but a profile of who I am now…baggage and all, and I met an amazing guy who offered me a night full of romantic effort and sweetness just like it should be on just the (8 hour) second date and now I'm already up for a third date! The blooming romance is so much more than my life has been for the last 6 years I've been with my ex and even if it goes nowhere…it is still what I would choose over what I had. I have my kids, my life, and my love, just the way I want it. No settling. What has he got? A small amount of time with his kids and himself. Yuck. So…it will keep getting better. This is our opportunity to break it all open. To make our lives what we always wanted. To be ourselves in full honesty and have someone take that on knowing what their getting into and being ok with that. Wanting us in the midst of our chaos. This is how we will transform into our next form, a glorious butterfly of truth and messy delicate beauty, and the world will love us more for it and offer up the wonders of the human race to support us…showing us a community of helping hands that we never knew was there. It will get better and better.
Love, Star

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mama_crazy February 13, 2009 at 8:49 am

Awesome that Mia has you, and other friend she can lean on….. I hope that she'll continue to write!

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mama_crazy February 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

Awesome that Mia has you, and other friends she can lean on….. I hope that she'll continue to write!

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April February 13, 2009 at 11:37 am

You have to take that strength and ride with it. You'll still stop and question everything, get furious and have all these mixed emotions but each time you get down it'll be for shorter amounts of time. You'll get that burst of strength again and go even further. You'll settle into your own routine without him and enjoy the wonderful person you've turn into. You don't need him to make him who you are!! Keep your spirits high!!

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Ali February 13, 2009 at 6:09 pm

Awesome. I found myself thinking about you during my run last night. Tomorrow is Friday, I wonder how Mia did this week. Of course, you're amazing, full of grace and stronger than ever. Go, go, go!

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michelle February 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

This time in your life is like labor…your labor of life.
You are in it girl, it is hard and painful and as much as you want it to stop and say “never mind, I have changed my mind, this is too hard I don’t want to do this”; you are doing it, one moment at a time. Your body, your friends, your child are along with you supporting you however you alone will have to do the work. Own this pain, learn from it, grow from it, thrive from it…on the other side of this labor you will be reborn and that is a beautiful thing…it takes time, all labor’s do but Mia it is so worth it! You are worth it!

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:09 pm

WOW, so good to read that I am not alone, although I am obviously very sorry for your situation and sad that you have to go through this. I have a 4 month old. I found out I was pregnant about a year ago, with my husband's child. WE had been together for 7+ years at the time, but only married for a little over one. We had been trying to get pregnant–I had a miscarriage in fall 2007, and then we did IVF. So, pregnamcy was not a surprise! long story short, he started cheating on me 3 weeks or so after we found out about pregnancy, with a younger woman in his office. (by the way, I worked in same office for 7 years; left a couple of years ago.)

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Enter text right here!ANYWAY, I found out about it in may, when i was 3 mos. pregnant; he promised to end it, i foolishly believed him. a month later, found out it was still going on–told him to leave, and he promised to end it again so, i gave him another chance–it still didnt end, his work found out, he got into minor trouble there. But, because he's a "good earner" and the economy's bad, they did nothing to him discipline-wise in the long run, even though his extracurricular relationship was TOTALLY against his firm's policy.

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:11 pm

AT that point, after discovering more incriminating messages and realizing that it was never going to end, I told him to leave. Within a couple of weeks, he was back, but we were not together–just because he didn't have anywhere else to go and had to have surgery from a softball injury. So, I (like a COMPLETE fool) let him stay at the house. Big surprise, he totally disrespected me–spent nights out with his girlfriend, actively seen in public with her, etc. Still, imagine being 8+ months pregnant, living with your husband who also wanted this baby, enough to go through IVF a few months earlier, and by then, he's sleeping on the couch (when he's home) and actively having a sexual / romantic relationship with someone else. Worse yet, he's flouting it all over town.

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:12 pm

Anyhoo, flash forward– he is with his new girlfriend, living in his expensive condo, and I'm still at the house we bought together, with our daughter. He is actively having a relationship with the other woman–going out, having a good time on weekends with OUR old friends–while I am at home, alone, with an infant. Words cannot describe the crushing lonliness, anger, and rage that I have felt. I waited for so many years to start a family, I thought he was the love of my life, and apparently our 8 year relationship meant so little to him, and our daughter meant so little to him, that he was capable of this. He is involved with her now, but not to the degree he wants everyone to think he is. Seeing your daughter 8 hours a week or so, always at times that are convenient for you (i.e., no weekend evenings, only at times where there's nothing else going on) is NOT what parenthood is about, as we all know.

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm

So, the real dilemma now is (as you obviously know well)–how do I parent a child with this person who makes me ill, who I found out is a piece of shit as a human being? How do I protect her from that without denying her the opportunity to have a relationship with him, and hopefully a good one? How do I reconcile all this and move on–and hopefully find for myself someone who DOES understand what family means and wants to share in that? How do I cope, and stay strong for her, so that she knows it's NEVER ok to accept someone treating you like that. It's not what anyone should accept for herself / himself. But, he's her father, and she needs to know him. Also, how do I accept the fact that her idiot father is going to have his idiot whore of a girlfriend around my child? (I found a card from his girlfriend when my daughter was just a few weeks old–he was still staying here then–congratulating him on becoming a dad, and saying "I can't wait to meet her!" How TOTALLY DISGUSTING is that?) So, how to make this all work?

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Nan C March 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm

It helps to know that we can all get through this by giving each other support and remembering that even with one strong parent–who gives love unconditionally and actually makes time for parenting–our children can grow up to be lovely, happy, strong, responsible human beings. Because, in the end, that's all any (normal) parent wants for his / her child.

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