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Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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My Ex Is Sexier Than Ever and It's Pissing Me Off!

"It's kind of become our running joke. I arrive and Serge does his Sexy Guy voice and pretends like we're meeting for the first time. "Hey, girl." Then he'll toss me a cloying wink and say something like, "The kids are in the living room," and use his arm to point while flexing it really hard. He's joking, of course. But he's enjoying it, too. And yeah, it's funny and also annoying, dammit!"

Hey! In addition to Babble and I write for YourTango now about pretty much whatever I want. And I can swear. I like it. This is my first post. If you want to keep reading, click on over.

My Crew


Why Do You Need Us To Hate Each Other?

"Does a couple hating each other validate divorce more than a couple that chooses to continue loving each other in a new and different way? Will our separation seem more real if we slingshot clumps of mud at each other and string our dirty laundry on a clothesline for the world to see?"

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I Am The Rock

Know how in the movies there always seems to be a funeral scene where the main character doesn't cry, instead sits stone-faced while everyone around them falls apart? Cut to three scenes later when they're explaining to a friend/love interest how they never cried at their mom's funeral and What's wrong with me?! or whatever and that's when they finally completely lose their shit?

Yeah, that.

That's how I've felt for the past four or five months. The expressionless sitting at the funeral part, not the losing my shit part. Except the funeral isn't the death of anyone I know, it's the death of my marriage. And I can't help but wonder when/if I'm going to lose my shit.

I talked to my therapist about this the other day and she says I've always been the rock, that it's the only way I know how to survive. It's true. I come from chaos, married into chaos and my remedy has been to withdraw into myself and Handle My Shit or else risk swirling into the abyss with everyone else around me.

Throughout my life I've been called emotionless and even mean, I told her. But I don't feel that way on the inside at all. On the inside I feel so emotional, so raw and scared, that if I let out even a little bit of that I'll shatter. Maybe forever. Those alcoholic, homeless people have a story, you know? They used to be somebody who probably never expected to be where they are now and yet there they are. Life happened. And they shattered and never recovered.

So I play the Tough Girl. I act the role so well it becomes reality.

Someone left a link to an old YouTube video of mine on my Facebook page the other day. I watched the video and then another one automatically started. This one. It's just a funny video I made years ago about what a maniac Milo is and Serge is just riffing and being silly and you can hear me giggling from behind the camera but it just about fucking killed me.

He was the love of my life. Always will be, in a way. It became so hard and we were so miserable but there he was, being his silly, stupid self and making me laugh and if I hadn't been at work when watching the video I would've completely lost my shit. My clichéd breakdown scene in the movie of my life. We probably argued immediately after I shut off the camera and slammed into our separate bedrooms or whatever but those minutes of him joking and me laughing and us just doing our usual thing on that sunny day in Utah, my entire universe contained in that car at that moment... I don't know.

Serge is properly mourning the death of our marriage and I am not. I am doing what I always do and soldiering onward and upward and jamming so much stuff into my days that I barely have time to breathe let alone think, thank God. But what will happen to me when all the busy-ness stops and I am left to my own devices? Serge will have moved on and I will finally allow myself to contemplate all that I have lost and I don't know what will happen.

I am afraid to be vulnerable. I am afraid to let myself experience the loss of Serge in my life. I am afraid if I let myself go I'll never make it back. So I am the rock. It's the only way I know.

Two Houses Are Better Than One

"A few weeks after his move, Serge drove the moving truck and helped me move into my place. He spent the first couple of nights there, too. If it sounds strange, it isn’t, really. Ours isn’t the kind of separation where hatred and anger are involved. Oh, there was hatred and anger. A lot of it, for a long time. It was bad. There were days my face was swollen from crying, my throat raw from screaming — so intense was my rage. But I came to realize it’s difficult to sustain intense emotion like that and, in the end I’m only hurting myself and, more importantly, my kids."

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