All posts by Dawn

About Dawn

I am a person on a journey. A journey to embrace my life now, no matter what my story is or where it began or where it may be going. I am newly single, learning about myself, life, relationships...and how to wrap that all into a beautiful life. After 17 years of marriage I decided that I had to let go of fear comfort and predictability and embrace my own life. No longer was I going to be victim to whatever story I had been told before. I hold my destiny in my own hands and I'm on a journey to do just that. This blog is about giving back the lessons that I have learned...helping someone else embrace there life now, at 12, 20 or 50. I hope to inspire and be inspired...I want to continue my journey...and hope to take some wonderful beautiful people with me.

Following your gut also known as “Are you fucking insane?”

Being able to quit a job that was dragging me down gave me the energy and faith to see my life finally going in a positive direction.  It was time to grab on to that energy and make the changes that I had been holding back for so long.  So, after a few months settled in to a job where I was appreciated and valued, I decided to tackle another big personal move.  I was finally going to sell my house.

That house was never a place I truly felt at home.  This was a house that was forced on to me by my then husband despite my never-ending rejection.  He had it in his head and there was no changing his mind.  So, we bought the house and did our updates while day after day I cried.  Finally, I decided that if this is where I was, I was going to accept it and do my best to make it mine.  It was only 3 years in that I found myself divorced and tackling this shit on my own.  As usual, I flopped back and forth for years trying to accept and be at peace with it, and feeling the need to kiss it goodbye.  I allowed other people’s opinions sway my decision to stay for way to long…then one day I decided enough was enough and I was going to let go of that goddamn house once and for all.

Once I made up my mind, I moved like a ninja.  I got an agent who was referred to me by a good friend.  She had an awesome marketing plan and since the market was only just starting to crawl back up, I decided to pay her way more than I would have ever paid a real estate agent, in hopes that this would be a done deal by summer. It was August and my plan was to have it on the market by spring.  She said, why wait?  So instead of giving myself 6 months to prepare I took on the challenge of getting it ready in just 60 days.  I must be crazy, right?  I knew there was a LOT to do to get this shit together before opening it up, but…I said yes, and so it began.

The first thing on my awesome agents marketing plan was to have a professional stager come in and make recommendations. I, being the fierce bitch I am, already had a shit ton of things on the list that I personally felt needed to be done.  She agreed with my entire list, and only had a few more suggestions.  It was time to get working, there was no time to waste….so every spare moment I had for the next 8 weeks was spent getting that house ready to release.  The week after I made the decision, a neighbor two houses down put their house on the market.  Fuck.  Their house was sooooo much nicer than mine and I knew that although my house had a lot of new upgrades, their house needed a lot less work…at least in my mind. How in the hell was I going to compete with that? I mean there house looked like it was dropped right out of a 1970’s house beautiful magazine spread. Ugh…well, I’m not backing out now so I put my faith in my decision and went ahead with it.

There was a lot of emotion in every bit of it.  I was bitter about my situation and I knew that I had to let that go.  Everyday during lunch, after work, weekends….late into the night I tackled that fucking list.  So many of the projects I knew I should have done years before, for myself, but because sometimes I’m really stubborn, I put them off because, well, fuck this house.  I packed, cleaned, painted, repaired, replaced, packed, cleaned, painted, repaired and replaced my little heart out.  Clearing out shit that belonged to my ex in-laws because they didn’t want to deal with it, pissed me off.  Clearing out shit that my ex-husband left because he didn’t want to deal with it, pissed me off.  I took car loads of crap to Goodwill, tossed out things that were older than my kids, had two garage sales and filled the garbage bins to capacity on a weekly basis.

Although I did not get everything on the list completed, I did a damn fine job and finally it was time.  The second step in the marketing plan was to have a professional photographer come in.  I cleaned that mother fucker like my life depended on it and staged each room with simplicity and style.  The pictures turned out beautiful and there was a twinge of what I thought was regret in my belly.  Was I doing the right thing?  Was I being emotional instead of practical?  What the fuck??? You could have done all this shit for yourself and been at peace with your situation, right???  AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!

On November 1st  the house went live.  I was even more nervous because the house down the street was still for sale and they had dropped their price twice already.  Fuck…fuck fuck fuck fuck.  Ok, this is what it is and let’s let it roll. At least I’ll have some time to relax and enjoy my work for a while, right?


I had my first request for a showing within hours of it going live.  Here we go, I told myself, time to open yourself up for a shit ton of disappointment and criticism.  I mean everyone is going to point out what a shit hole that house is and how it nowhere near worth your asking price. You are going to lose lady…and it’s going to hurt a lot. Thankfully, I could not have been more wrong.  Within less than 48 hours of listing that house I had full asking price and a request to close in 6 weeks.  OMG OMG OMG OMG….this shit is fucking real!!!! After 10 years of being in a house I never wanted to be in I’m finally going to get to walk away…finally going to be able to start my own life.  There was no time for rest….now it was full speed ahead to clear out and find something of my own.

Step one: get away from the crazy psycho boss.


Step two: let go of that house.


And then it was done

It was the best of times…it was the worst of times.

Well, maybe not that dramatic, but working for a psychopath has its ups and downs.

I knew after the first week I was there that it was not the place for me.  Although I have had a lifetime of experience with narcissists this guy took it to a whole new level. That coupled with the fact that I needed to be collecting a paycheck, made it that much harder to just up and leave.  I wanted and need out like never before. In everything there is a lesson…I was going to have to hold on to that for 3 whole fucking years.

This is another of those situations where one moment I had complete faith in the Universe to provide so I jumped in with both feet, then the next I freeze and become “responsible”.  Which really is just another word for scared.  Instead of walking away from a horrible situation, I tried to reason with myself that this was meant to be. There is a lesson here I need to accept.  You deserve this shit.  Anything but have faith in myself, and in the Universe.  So, I stayed, while it ate at me every day.

There were times when I would apply my fucking heart out…then peter out because it seemed like there was no hope in site.  However, I never really gave up.  After I had my fill of the insanity I dug my heels in and with the help of my friends, applied to anywhere and everywhere in hopes to find something that would get me out of that place.

At one point I was reaching out to everyone I had applied to in an effort to see if there was a chance to get an interview. Someone responded…then nothing.  A few weeks later I sent another request and got that interview scheduled.  Sort of long story short, I got the job!!! Close to home, small growing company, better pay and better hours.  I was like having my prayers answered, and I was being rewarded for either putting up with 3 years of bullshit or for my persistence.  Either way, I was on my way out, and I was going to do it my way.

People have quit this place before.  I have seen them be humiliated, shamed and abused during the process. I have listened to lie after lie about why they left, how they were the problem to begin with…after 2 years one guy was still on the shit list and the boss still took every opportunity to bring him up and talk shit.  I was NOT going to subject myself to that.

After I got the offer on the new job, I picked my quit date.  It was going to be a Saturday when I would be the only one in the office, one therapist, and NO big boss.  This was going to take almost two weeks.  I was going to go out on MY terms, without notice and with my head held high.  So, I wrote (with the help of the internet) a professional letter of resignation, explaining that for personal reasons, I would not be giving any notice, but that I knew my co-workers would be able to handle things in my absence.

Needless to say, I was nervous, and yet exhilarated by the thought that after all the abuse, the belittlement, the condensation and negativity I was finally going to be able to walk away.  On that Saturday I showed up to work and did my job as usual.  When it came time to leave, I took my name plate, office key and letter of resignation and put it on the assistant manager’s desk.  I gathered up all my personal items, said goodbye to the therapist still there and sent an update to the assistant manager, manager and big boss on the happenings of the day.  I closed with, please check your email for my letter of resignation.


I left.  Walked out.  Flipped off the building and made my way home.  OOOOHHHHHH….I wonder what they all must be thinking. I’m sure that it was seconds before they were checking their emails and calling each other with a WTF????

The manager tried to call, she was worried about me. I was not falling for that shit.  Then she emailed.  I said I was fine, and that due to personal reasons, this is how it had to be.  I gave no explanation.

When I got my final paycheck, I noticed that my vacation pay was not included.  Being prepared for this (because I know who the fuck I’m dealing with) I sent an email asking when I could expect it.   This is when I was told that is was a use it or lose it policy and that since I gave no notice and would not talk to them that they would not be honoring that.  HA. Bitch, please…I was ready for this exact response.

I sent a follow up email advising that I had read through the office policies, and there was no mention of not receiving unused vacation upon termination.  I also sent an excerpt and link to the Illinois dept of labor outlining that I did indeed have a right to that money.  I clicked send. The email was returned….Send again, returned again.  Apparently, my email was flagged for spam.  OOOhhhhh, they are funny, but they totally underestimate me.  So, I sent it through an alternate email, explaining that if I did not receive the vacation pay earned that I would be filing a complaint with the DOL and including this email along with the rejected effort marked as spam.

“Fine. It’s not worth arguing about.”

That was that…I got my money and was able to put that fucker and his insane business practice behind me once and for all!!!!

Woot woot.

On to a better life…for a while anyway.


The boys are back in town…well, it’s just me

Well well well…Look who’s back in town. It has been over a year since I have written anything and I  can tell you that it has been a whirlwind of a year.

Why did I stop writing?? That’s a good question and you would think that I had put some thought into that before I decided to open myself back up…but I haven’t.  I think that I was tired of writing about the same shit all the time, or more specifically, writing about not getting anywhere in my life.  It makes sense that at some point you should look at your life and think…what the hell am I doing???  Besides, if I was bored reading it, then anyone would be too.  So, I took some time off…a long time off, and I have come back with changes!  That’s right, finally my life has stopped riding the same boring roller coaster and I have boarded a new one.

Here’s a quick snap shot of what has happened over the last year (and then some):

I got a new job!

I quit my job for the psychopath Dr!

I sold my house and bought a much smaller more doable home!

I have a solid relationship with the Stallion!

I lost my job.

Ok.  So that sort of brings you up to date. Of course, you are probable all on pins and needles to hear the actual details of each and every one of those changes and how they came to be, and being the ever so gracious host that I am, I will oblige.  However, they are each in their own right, deserving of their own post, so they will come shortly.

Let me say I am in a really really good place. My mind is at ease, my heart is at peace and I have more focus than I have in a long time.

What hasn’t changed, I still haven’t quit smoking, I still can’t fit into those fucking jeans, and I still have problems with keeping a healthy eating and exercising.  However, I have not given up on any of them.

So that is where I’m at for now.  Hopefully there are a few people out there who will be happy to hear about my updates.  There will be more consistency in my updates…at least that’s the plan.

A clear perspective

I make no secret that I have been in counseling for several years. There is no doubt in my mind that it has saved me in more ways than one.  It did not save my marriage, it did not save my relationship with my mother…it has saved me from thinking that there is something wrong with me.  Sometimes it’s all about validation…I am not wrong for feeling the way I do.  Other times it’s giving me a new perspective on the reasons I am the way I am, and why I feel the way I feel.


“Wait…are you in love with him?”

I was completely taken aback by that question, and to be completely honest, the thought had come up just a few days earlier.  The answer to that question is as complicated for me as almost anything in my life right now.  The bottom line, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I want to be in love….I feel like after nearly 3 years together we should be in love.  However, love has always been a volatile emotion for me.  My relationships have been wrapped in my taking the blame for all that is wrong, and teaching people that it doesn’t matter how bad you treat me…I will always love you, I will always forgive you.

So what it boils down to is that I do not know what true love is.  I do not know how to be loved in an honest healthy way.  Of course, I do know what it should look like, how it should feel…yet I can’t seem to wrap my little brain around how any of that relates to me.  The task I have been given is to allow myself the opportunity to have the kind of love I truly want.  Dare I say, the kind of love I deserve.


A couple of weeks ago I had a night where I couldn’t sleep.  First off, I was completely and totally grateful that it wasn’t one of those nights that I was hyper-focused on a conversation, a comment, or feeling.  What did that mean?  Why didn’t I say this or that?  If only I had done this… Ugh, I have had way to many nights like that in the past and it sucks.  This time, it was just calm reflection, but still, the mind would not quiet.  After an hour or so I decided to get out my journal, and write it out.

Each area turned into no less than 3-4 pages.  Apparently I had some things to get off my mind.  The job, the home, the man, the friends, the ex, the smoking, the goals, the weight….There was a lot of shit packed in there that night.  The common thread seemed to commitment (or lack there of) and follow through.  Why oh why can’t I take that great idea, thought or intention, and follow through, focus and commit to any of them.  Well, it seems that I may tend to overthink (I know I was shocked too) (not really) (I’m not fooling anyone) and as was recently suggested “hyper-focus” on emotions that have no real value to the situation.  That isn’t exactly the phrase he used, but the bottom line is I  spend too much time thinking about things, applying inaccurate emotional value to things, situations and people, and not giving myself enough credit or acknowledgement that sometimes and some things are just out of my control.

I have not quit smoking because I am a failure and weak in my commitment.

I have not found a better job because I am not good enough or qualified enough for anything better than this.

I have not sought a better relationship because I don’t really deserve anything better than just the crumbs someone is willing to offer.

I can’t followed though on my yoga, house projects, meal planning, etc etc etc…because you just aren’t good at taking care of shit.

As it has been explained to me…I have a little more in common with my son than I may have been willing to admit to.  None of these things are character flaws…they are more traits of someone with ADD.  I am too focused on having a mediocre life, because it is something familiar and predictable. It is just easier to blame myself for the mediocrity than to actually accept that I could do better and pursue it.  So, it’s time to admit that I might need a little help.

It was suggested, that if I got a little help with what’s going on with my brain, I might be able to stay focused enough to follow through on all those areas of my life that are lacking.

I am not a bad person for having a hard time quitting smoking…I have an addiction that needs to be addressed.

I am not a bad person for wanting to leave my current job…it has served its purpose and I deserve an opportunity to be in a position where my strengths can be appreciated and I can be allowed to grow.

I am not a bed person for wanting a more fulfilling relationship filled with love and commitment…I deserve to be with someone who wants and appreciates what I have and is eager to return the feelings.

I am not a bad person for not staying focused on the tasks that need to be taken care of…I can give myself permission to accept that I need some help.

It’s going to be an interesting journey.  Somehow I’m going to have to admit I am not the flawed person I have been telling myself I am…I am human, sometimes we need a little help, and a clearer perspective.



Lessons I clearly haven’t learned yet

It’s been clear to me and probably anyone who has read this blog that I have adhered to the “maybe this time will be different” rule in my relationships.
I’ve done it with my mother.
I’ve done it with my ex husband.
Clearly I’ve done it with the hunky stallion.

What I’ve come to realize is that it isn’t just with relationships that I hold steadfast to this rule. There are at least a few other areas where this has come to light. Let me explain.

Online dating: For the last 5 years I have gone on and off online dating. When I go on, I have good intentions and hopes for some type of real connection. I get frustrated after weeks or months of the same lame offers. Either I’m attracting creepy guys, overweight horny guys, young horny guys, good looking horny guys or older men who send me the strangest emails….I’ve connected with a very few decent guys, but there has not yet been any real connection. So I quit. Then I get lonely, tired of not ever meeting anyone anywhere and go back online again. Of course I change up my profile a bit, add different pictures, try to express that I’m really interested in a long term committed relationship. After getting the same type of responses I delete my account and the circle continues.

Summation: Online dating is not for me.

Diet: This year I decided to take a hold of my eating habits. After a year of working out and getting my body in better shape, I find myself frustrated with still having a jiggly belly. Trainers tell me that I need to work on my diet. I bought a book with some really healthy and easy recipes, all clean eating balanced meals. The result after just a few days I am bloated and unable to poop (keeping it real people). I talk it over with my trainers and they are perplexed and I’m recommended to either keep going with the hopes that eventually things will work themselves out or add in Probiotics. After 5 days of not getting any relief and the pain of it overwhelming, I toss in the towel and order a pizza. Everything is back on track. A few months later I decide to try again, maybe my body was just in shock. This time I’ll add the right dietary aids and some additional “tricks” I’ve researched. Same results. Bloat, constipation, pain, pizza…relief. Just this last week I thought I’d give it another try…Fuck, after 4 days its a bacon cheeseburger to the rescue.

Summation: Clean eating does not work for me.

Online shopping: I love a good deal. I hate shopping in general. So when I see a great deal online I want to jump on it like the 10 tank tops for $20. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I am no longer a size Large or X-Large…so I ordered adult medium. I couldn’t believe how small, really tiny they were, not a big investment so I gave them to my daughter. Next were a set of yoga pants, size medium…I couldn’t get over the camel toe they created, so I gave them to my daughter. Next was the oh so cute black and white sweater that was only $12. Turns out it was being shipped from China. Ugh…it’s a little snug in the armpits but I can work with that, so that’s a partial win. Recently I decided to order a couple of cold weather items. 6 tops, one to be a gift for the girl, the rest just for me. I ordered all my tops in large or X-large cause I think I’m finally getting that online and real life are very very different. I get 1/2 the order, one is too short in the arms and the other one looks more like and child large than an adult large. My daughter once again benefits. I desperately tried to go online and see if I could get the remaining order in the X-large only to be told they have already shipped. Keeping my fingers crossed but admit that my daughter may be the beneficiary of a couple of more tops. Dammit.

Summation: Don’t buy cheap shit online or at the very very least check the size chart and see what size you are online and not in your imagination.

There is much work to be done with me for sure. Forever a work in progress….

Let me tell you why I can’t do that…

I’ve been quiet for a few months.  To be honest, I’m still a little pissed.  I’ve been trying to decide whether or not to continue writing the way I have or change so as not to include any details of my personal life.  What I do here, is not to share information so that people can eavesdrop into my life…but to, hopefully, show someone else that they are not alone, and maybe they can see that we all struggle, and we can all change.  Anyway, I’m back, and still open to being honest here.  Let’s hope I’ve made the right decision.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with why my life isn’t moving forward.  Still the same shitty job, still smoking, still not fitting into those jeans, still not in a committed loving relationship.  I have some issues that I need to deal with.

No shit.

What I’ve come to acknowledge most recently is that I’m really good right out of the gate…filled with conviction and confidence towards my intended goal.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for me to fizzle out.

It’s not just one area of my life…it’s every area of my life.

Diet…Monday= great, Tuesday=great, Wednesday=kind of great, Thursday=oohhh chocolate, Friday=WTF, Saturday=I just want a cheeseburger, Sunday=how did I gain 4 lbs this week.

Exercise…Monday=on it, Tuesday=I’ll just take today off, Wednesday=ass kicking class was enough, Thursday=I can’t move wheres the remote, Friday=another asskicking class, Saturday=Fuck this shit, Sunday= I’m not moving off the couch, try again Monday.

Finding a new job…Week 1-4= Resumes for everyone, Week 5-10 = Resumes for only a few, Week 11-52 = How many rejection letters can one woman handle. Fuck this shit.

Smoking…I’ll start Monday = Fuck this shit, I’ll start Friday = hell no, I’ll start Sunday = you’re kidding right? just try again Monday.

We can add to it…being social, cleaning and organizing, relationships with anybody, writing, shaving my legs…and so on.  I’m sure I could come up with many many more…but for the sake of argument let’s just say that I do not stay committed to doing anything long term.  Fortunately that also includes the bad shit…but that’s not what this is about.

Now that I have had my proverbial “ah ha” moment, the next step is to move out of my familiar pattern.  How?  This means I’m actually going to have to get uncomfortable, and commit to something instead of giving in to my never ending list of excuses why I don’t really need to commit.  (insert eye rolling heavy moaning like a teenage who’s just been asked to take the garbage out).

This sucks.  For one, if I do commit to something, that means things are going to change.  What??? Wait, that means that I’m letting go of my little nasty torn smelly security blanket called the Comfort Zone. Anyone who has been openly honest with themselves knows that we all feel better in the familiar, even if we don’t like it, than with that thing that is unknown called Change…even when we know (intellectually) we will be better for it.  It is easier for us to complain about a better life, than it is for us to actually go out and create a better life.  Why would we want all of that nasty uncertainty when we can stay wrapped up in the blanket of our comfort zone.  Ew…

I listen.  Not only to myself, but to the little cues life gives me, and everything is screaming that I need to make a commitment to myself and stick to it.  Just one is all I need to start with.  Which one?  Quit smoking? No junk food? Yoga? Daily resume submissions?  Any of those one things could improve my life drastically in just a short amount of time….if I stay focused and committed to it.

As of this moment…I don’t know which one it will be.  What I do know is that once I’ve chosen, and proven to myself that I can follow through, it won’t be hard to add in another, and another….till I’m where I truly want to be or at the very least, a better place than now.

I have to stop making excuses.

I have to be my greatest supporter and champion.

I have to start somewhere.

It has to be now.

Liar Liar…stop trying to put my pants on fire!

My ex husband recently accused me of posting something on FB about him that wasn’t true. I didn’t.  Unfortunately that really doesn’t matter.  Someone told him I said something, and without proof assumed it was true.  The last thing I said to him was “Why do you assume I would be the one lying?”

A few years ago, when he was dropping off the kids, the neighbor came out to talk to him.  When he left, he said “the neighbors are concerned with what’s going on over here, you should watch yourself.” and he left.  WTF?? So I marched my ass over to the neighbor to ask what’s up.  Apparently, one of the neighbors had an issue with me leaving my garbage cans out a little too long.  I immediately texted my ex to tell inform him of the neighborhoods BIG concern.  All I can think is that he must have imagined endless strange cars parked in my driveway, orgies, parties….all things that may concern certain people.  What he didn’t do, was ask what the big concern was.  See, he isn’t interested in truth, he’s interested in seeing me as a bad person, and there are enough people who would  leave him with that impression, even if it was unintentional.

There are a few things about this most recent accusation that bothers me.  I certainly know I open myself up to critics by sharing my stories.  I also know that not everyone I’m “friends” with on FB is really a friend.  For the most part, I enjoy social media and have learned to block out all the drama.  So, you want to gossip, ok.  Think about this…someone told my ex husband something that wasn’t true, which hurt him.  Not only that, but it hurt our already strained relationship, adding lighter fluid to a fire that is never going to burn out completely no matter what.  What did this person think they were going to gain by “sharing” this information?  Did they want him to see me as an Ex bashing drama queen spreading lies bout him?  I don’t know…and honestly I don’t really care.  Thanks asshole.

The second thing that bothers me, is that because he felt the need to confront me the way he did, it has caused some issues with my kids.  I have tried very hard to let my kids know that no matter what, their father and I can and will unite for their benefit.  When he told the kids to ask me to come outside, it peaked their curiosity.  They heard the entire encounter.  Now, both of them feel like they need to keep the interactions between the two of us to a minimum, cause apparently we can’t get along.

One incident and that trust is broken.  One false accusation and I’m the bad guy.

Maybe I should share less.  I could say 10,000 wonderful things about my ex…then one day I’ll call him and asshole and all hell will break loose.

I’m saddened by this, but not really surprised by any of it.  Now, I’ll go back to just doing what I do and let Karma work out the rest.