And just like that, things were okay again.

The past two months since Squishy left me have been truly a learning experience. I learned that I am still strong, and I can make it through whatever life throws at me. It wasn’t easy by any means, and the scars still remain. But I have moved onto a better place, and I am comfortable.

I have started seeing a psychiatrist for help with PPD and life in general. She gave me a prescription to help me sleep, and I no longer need to self medicate with alcohol. I used to drink for fun, but it got to the point where I couldn’t sleep and had to be drunk to get even just four hours. I’m so glad that’s over.

I have finally made a connection with Little Hippie, now that he’s more of a child than a potato. I didn’t experience PPD with the other two boys, so it was very difficult to realize what was happening. Talking to friends who went through it, especially ones who specifically only went through it with their third child, was incredibly helpful. His dad sees him twice a week and every other weekend, and I am glad for that.

There were absolutely no plans in my head or my heart to start dating anytime soon. But I went out to dinner with a friend, someone I’ve known about two years, but had never hung out with. One night the ex’s girlfriend decided to text me from his phone and talk all kinds of shit. It was infuriating to the point where I actually vomited. At that moment, I wrote him off completely. There was no coming back from that incident. Because I was so angry, I needed to talk to someone on the phone to distract myself. I called my friend (let’s call him Hoss), and I told him what happened. He let me vent, and then proceeded to talk to me about everything under the sun otherwise. We were on the phone for four hours, and by the end of the conversation he had told me that he had been interested in me, but because I was attached, he never said anything. I was shocked.

The next night, he came over after work. It was wonderful. We watched a movie and cuddled up on the couch. I fit perfectly into his body, something I have never had before. From then on, we’ve been together. He stayed one weekend, and I joked that because he had a toothbrush here now, he must be my boyfriend. He agreed.

In the few weeks since that first dinner out, Hoss has treated me, and more importantly my two older boys, better than Squishy ever did, even at the beginning. Hoss seems to truly care, like lifelong care, not fairy tale romance care. He fixed my dehumidifier, and now maintains it of his own accord. He wants to cut my grass. He set up an antenna so I can get regular TV and watch Jeopardy! All these things that are the stuff of life that Squishy never did or couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. Hoss took me and the older boys fishing. He voluntarily had dinner in a real restaurant with them. Squishy wouldn’t even tolerate eating at McDonald’s with the kids! And you know what? They were SO GOOD with Hoss. He is patient. He is even keeled. He doesn’t yell at them or insult them. I never thought Squishy was that bad until I saw how good someone else could be. Hoss is already planning our holidays and birthdays. He changed my oil.

So, while I am surprised to be in a relationship so soon after tragedy struck, it is a good thing. It happened naturally, organically, without any pursuit or drama or whirlwind romance or whatever. That, I think, is what might make this be one of the best relationships I’ve ever had. I’m finally comfortable. It might sound cliche, but for once I actually believe that everything happens for a reason.

Part II

After Poke died, things were rough. I had to change my work schedule because I could no longer work weekends. I lost hours and income, as well as no longer receiving the child support I had fought so hard to get. Squishy’s job was going downhill fast, and he wasn’t going to get hired on. We were running on empty, financially and emotionally.

In late August, Squishy started a new job, hired on immediately, and he loved it. In fact he is still there to this day! Warehouse work isn’t for everyone, but he is really good at what he does.

By December I was incredibly pregnant, and Little Hippie was born just before Christmas. Squishy and I had some relationship issues around the same time, and made some much needed changes.

Found out at the beginning of summer that Squeaks has a milk allergy. It’s been very eye opening as far as products that contain milk but you wouldn’t think they do. Poor kid had to completely change his diet.

Finally, Squishy and I broke up. It was sudden, but not, because he’s been miserable for awhile. The changes we made helped, but couldn’t make it right. My heart is shattered, but I have no choice.