I don't write much about The Ex on this blog because I respect her and I respect her privacy. I am going to let my shield down a little bit because I feel like, for anyone who has gone through a breakup, this post needs to be said. It is damn hard to break up with someone. Especially someone who you truly thought you would spend the rest of your life with. And even when we think we are over it, something will happen to bring that tear to your eye and remind you that life has a way of doing what it wants. That no matter how much you plan and hope, it is going to go its own way.
I have mentioned briefly on here that The Ex is buying herself a new house. Like everywhere in the US, the housing market is in the crapper here in California. And because of that, there are houses on the market that have been foreclosed upon for a MUCH lower price than they would normally sell for. Now keep in mind this generally means that the house has been somewhat thrashed. And buying a house in foreclosure is not all roses and honey. The process is hard, the appraisals are hard, and often the condition of the house itself is more than hard. That is the case with the house that The Ex has bought. She moved in this last weekend.
I need to have a little aside here to note something about The Ex. She is a handy-woman extraordinaire. That girl is a master with a drill and a saw and a...oh who am I kidding? The tools! The shit she uses to make nasty things come out beautiful. In the 8 years that we were together she managed to make our house look quite beautiful and elegant. And the majority of the time she either built it from scratch, or was able to refinish it in a way that made it look brand new. We often joked that she missed her calling and should have "flipped houses" as a career. So when she found this old craftsman house, for a STEAL of a price, with original woodwork and crown moldings and amazing columns of wood that had not been painted since the house was built in 1915, she knew she could not turn it down. So she bought it. Knowing her as well as I do, I knew that this was THE project for her. I have absolutely no doubt that she is capable of making this house a beautiful, amazing house that will sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars more than she paid for it. She has the ability and the talent to make this house into what it once was.
That being said, the house in its current condition is just...scary. To say the least. I took The Boy over there on Sunday to see "Mom's new house." It really is a diamond in the rough. I see the original details and craftsman wooding that she saw when she bought it. I can see far enough into the future to see what it will become. But right now? The driveway is too narrow for even her small car to park in (in fact she scraped her door trying to park in it). The stairs are cracked and broken. The paint is completely chipped off. And then you go inside... The front rooms are not all that bad. But the kitchen? It smells of urine and poop. There are no working appliances. The windows have cracks in them from where people threw rocks through them. The one bathroom has walls covered in mold. The sink doesn't work because it leaks and is therefore shut off. The bathtub is somewhat rotted and has a sad metal ring over it where a shower curtain must have once hung. Some of the lights don't work. The house is on a busy street right across from a huge church and next door to a "super mercado" that has Mexican blankets hanging in the windows as curtains. The next door neighbors informed her nicely that they sometimes like to have sex outdoors so she might want to invest in curtains. I could go on...
She showed us around this house and told us of her plans for all the rooms and made sure that we knew we were just here to see the "before" of what will become. Meanwhile The Boy is so thrilled to see her and wants to play with her toolbox and run his cars through her new house. He sits down on the kitchen floor to play with a tool as we all sort of inwardly cringe at the thought of him sitting on that floor. He looks lovingly up to his Mom and says, "Mom, sit! Play wit me!" And she does. And as she is offering me up the remainder of her dishwasher detergent (obviously no dishwasher here) she starts to cry a little. And then a lot. I go over to her and put my arms around her and just hold on. This house is the result of our demise. She is putting on a brave face but really...she doesn't want to be refinishing a house at this stage of her life. She already did that with the first house that we bought together and then sold 2 years later. She is completely starting over.
And as I packed The Boy into my car and watched him blow her kisses and scream "Love you Mom..." out the window as we drove away I just lost it. I had one of those, "How the hell did we get here?" moments. I mean really. When we met over 8 years ago and started our life together we had no idea that now, 8 years later, our son would not be living in the same house with both of his moms. That we would consider each other best friends, but not lovers. We were so in love and had such good intentions that it would last a lifetime. And now? Now she is starting over in a shithole of a house that she has to re-do from scratch. I am pregnant and alone. And sometimes the world just seems so unfair. In terms of timing, she left me the first time back when The Boy was 6 months old. That is almost 2 1/2 years ago. We did briefly reconcile, but really the relationship has been permanently damaged from that point on. And most days? Most days I am okay with it. Most of the time I KNOW that we did the right thing for each other and for our son. And most days I am very thankful for the relationship that we have now. But yesterday? Yesterday I was just sad. Life doesn't always give you what you want. Life doesn't go the way we plan it. And even when you think you have adjusted and moved on, something will happen that will make it hurt all over again. Just like it did when it first happened.