It's not for the faint of heart.

Welcome to my slightly silly, often odd, and mostly messy life.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

A Wise Man Once Told Me...

A very wise man recently told me that "No" is a complete sentence.

I'm going to remember that.  I'm going to practice saying it.

I'm going to give myself permission to NOT elaborate, explain, defend, or feel guilty for the use of this very important sentence. Especially when dealing with my former in-laws.  MOST especially when I'm responding to my ex husband through my lawyer.

It's kind of scary... but I think I can do it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Crappy Teachers, and Possession is 9/10th of the Law

First I'm just going to sum up a long and frustrating week by saying that my child has several amazing teachers...and one very lazy, ridiculously ridged one.  My middle child has severe ADD and needs a few modifications to enable her to be successful. She can't be expected to remember what she's supposed to do for all six classes when she gets home.  She just doesn't retain instructions and multi-step processes at all.  She needs written instructions, or a Syllabus for each class.  She needs to be able to take notes in class, and I need the teachers to communicate with me if she's missing several assignments in a row.  Four days before the end of the quarter I find out she's failing three of her six classes.  Why?  She does the work, but she doesn't remember what to turn in, and to whom (if she even remembers to take it back to school, it really is an issue we struggle with all the time.)  They never once contact me until it's too late.  SO...  after lots of blame and finger pointing we are going forward with a 504 plan that will help give her some extra assistance.

Now to the possession part of this frustrating week.  When my ex and I split we had several verbal agreements. In my opinion all of them became null and void when the asshole showed up at my door with a gun.  Now he wants to sit back in his jail cell and pick and choose which of these agreements he wants to observe.  For example we had owned a Maytag duet washer and dryer set, top of the line worth several thousand dollars.  The "verbal agreement" was that the washer and dryer would go with the kids.  Whomever had the kids, got the keep the washer and dryer.  When negotiating the final divorce decree he demanded the return of the washer and dryer.... even though he was in prison, and once getting out of prison he would live with his mother, and the children will NEVER reside with him again.  Okay, fine.  Be an ass.  I won't fight over stuff.  I let him have them.  I cleared out my savings account and bought a new washer and dryer even though I really couldn't afford it.  I followed the letter of law and gave in to every one of his ridiculous demands just so that he would sign the divorce papers and I could get one with my life.   Now, nine months later he wants me to return the X-Box 360.  The children are under the impression that the video game system was bought FOR THEM.  They have spent their own birthday money and allowance on games and accessories.  I've spent my own money on things for the system.  The kids use it every day because it's their video game system, DVD player, and access to Netflicks shows/movies on instant download.  I'm not telling them they have to give it back to their dad...  not gonna happen.  The fact that the jerk-off even asked for it back shows he doesn't care about disappointing his kids.  He's a total douche...  UGH!!

So ya... possession being nine tenths of the law and all that means he can kiss my butt if he thinks I'm taking one more thing away from my kids. He bought it for them, or at least he told them he did...  he's going to honor at least one promise he made whether he likes it or not.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

He Said, She Said

I met with Fred yesterday for breakfast. He wanted to explain his side of things, and we needed to clear the air.

It was interesting hearing his side of things.  His perception of the events that lead up to their brief separation, and his view of the current situation is quite a bit different than mine, or Ethel's even.  I don't think he realizes how his behavior is perceived by others.  He's very much wrapped up in himself right now, which probably isn't uncommon in this situation.  Unhappy people tend to focus on their own misery and not see how they've affected others. He is still a very angry person, still feeling persecuted on some level.  There was a glimmer of acceptance that he did in fact do things on purpose to hurt Ethel emotionally, but it was almost as though he felt it was reactionary - as though Ethel "started it" and his behavior was proportional to her neediness.  That also may be true. Ethel may not realize when she's asking more from him than he can give...she's an emotional creature by nature.

 I still don't think he understands why his relationship with his "friend" in Arizona was wrong.  Since it wasn't  sexual he can't see that he was sharing a vital part of himself with someone else. My only answer to this was, "it was wrong...period.  In a marriage you don't get to have "friendships" with people of the other sex if it makes your significant other uncomfortable.  That's one of the sacrifices you make in a marriage, and you should be willing to do this."  You just don't have a relationship of ANY kind and lie about the nature of that relationship to your spouse...period.  The fact that he still doesn't seem to really get it is disconcerting.

Ethel on the other hand sees the situation differently. Her perception is that she's made a distinct effort NOT to pick and pry, not to be needy, and not to push him to talk when they aren't in therapy.  Her view of their interactions is different in many ways. So where is the middle ground there?  I suppose that's why you seek help from a professional therapist.  I can't see how you get from here to there and both come out unscathed? 

How do you rebuild trust, much less love and affection when there is no middle ground in common?  What about intimacy? Fred hinted that their personal life was severely lacking...which I didn't bother to address other than to say, "well we're women, you can't expect us to flip a switch like that. Sexuality and intimacy and safety and respect are all tied up together.  When you start fixing the broken things in your marriage that will work itself out in time."  I know in my own case that aspect of my marriage had died out long before I left my marriage. It was a symptom of the sickness growing within our relationship. I guess it's a slow process.  Ethel said that she understands that it didn't take a month to create these issues, so it won't take a month to resolve them... it's a long, arduous process. Does Fred understand his too? 

I'm not sure I would have it in me.  I know in my case I stayed in my marriage as long as I could and then I was just done.  By the time I was ready to throw in the towel my marriage was too far gone, therapy wasn't an option.  I didn't hate him, I didn't feel anything at all towards him.  At least with hate there's some kind of emotion there... there is no recovery from total apathy.

At least both Ethel and Fred professed love for each other, so there is some kind of emotion there to build on.  I hope they figure this out, or if they can't fix it that they have the strength to walk away and treat each other with respect.  It's an awfully big job.  I just want them both to be happy, with or without each other.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gonna have to let it go...

** Ethel this post is about you and Fred, and is not meant to be hurtful, but I'll give you heads up that I'm expressing some honest emotion here, so feel free to skip it if you would like. I won't be offended and neither should you as I'm just musing here and working things out in my head. **

I've had a lot of issues rumbling around inside my head in the past twenty-four hours.  It appears that Ethel's husband, Fred, has decided to unfriend me in Facebook.  Apparently he feels like we're no longer friends.  After nearly 20 years we're not friends?  Because why? Because I don't agree with his choices and behavior? I understand that as friends, as humans, we don't always agree... we don't always understand each other and we are not always going to get along.  That doesn't mean I would force him out of my life.  Why? Well because I don't think it's reasonable or mature. Why does this bother me?  Should it matter? How does or doesn't this effect my relationship with Ethel?

One part of me says that you just don't do this.  You just don't alienate the closest friend of your spouse. Especially when the general opinion of you over the past six months is that you're a disrespectful, bullying jerk who's treated your wife like crap..  I mean really... is alienating me the best way to make yourself appear more understanding and reasonable?  Me thinks not.    Another part of me feels like it's his right to be friends, in real life and via social media with whomever he wants. 

I am not one of those friends that will lie to you, or pat you on the back and say, "oh gee it's okay if you've had emotional affairs.  It's alright if you've lied to your wife over and over and spent years being selfish and disrespectful. No problem long as you say you won't do it again, all is well."  I will be honest with you if I think you've been mistreating my friend. However I AM the kind of friend who believes that actions speak louder than words, and that redemption is possible if you want it hard enough. I AM the kind of friend who will allow you to come to my home for Thanksgiving dinner, even when you've been hurting my friend because it's in the best interest of your kids...and because in all honesty she chose you, for some reason she wants you, and because you guys are a family.

I let him come to Thanksgiving dinner at my house.  I bought a gift card for him for Christmas and sent it home with Ethel (he was at work) so that he didn't feel as though I was upset with him and feel left out. I have not yelled, been rude, nor have I expressed any of my private opinions to him.  In fact, since Ethel came clean about letting him move back home after she kicked him out I haven't said one word about him one way or another.

Ethel and Fred have to figure out their own relationship. It's none of my business.  My goal is for Ethel to be happy, to be healthy, and to be treated with respect.  I don't ask for details because it doesn't matter what I think.  Ethel chose him, and some part of their relationship obviously works for her - and that's all that matters.

So why the hell does her husband have to treat me so rudely?  After almost 20 years he has the nerve to think we're not friends because I didn't lie to him and blow sunshine up his ass when he was behaving so poorly? What right does he have to be offended because I reacted in a negative way to HIS behavior and choices? I mean really?  You make horrible choices that hurt the people around you and then you get offended when someone doesn't just roll over like an obedient dog and lavish you with praise and forgiveness because  you convince your wife to take you back?

How will this effect my relationship with Ethel? As it is I was horribly uncomfortable on Saturday when we spent the day carpooling to a friends party and back.  Obviously if her husband has decided we're no longer on speaking terms then I can't, and won't, ask about what's going on between them.  If we're not friends then I'm not welcome in their home, and in turn they won't feel comfortable coming to where does that leave us?  This is all ridiculous beyond belief.  All these years of friendship tossed aside like so much trash... and for what?

I'm honestly not sure where we go from here...  I can't explain how hurt my feelings are. I assumed that with enough time he would redeem himself in my eyes when I saw him making an effort to treat Ethel with love, respect, and kindness.  Now? I don't know where we stand or what will happen.  It's not like Ethel is going to choose our friendship over her husband. I totally would never expect that.  I'm so conflicted about this.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Window of opportunity

I've been thinking a lot about letting my kids have one last sleep over with their paternal grandparents.  On one hand it makes me terribly nervous, but on the other hand I realize that with the X getting out of jail in sixty odd days the window of opportunity for them to spend an lengthy amount of time together is rapidly closing.

On one hand it makes me uncomfortable - we are not on good speaking terms.  There's been a lot of "rule breaking" from my X's Drama Momma in regards to discussing the X with the kids.  However, I also believe my kids when they said that she followed all the rules and everthing I requested of her when I allowed the kids to go over for the day in December to celebrate Christmas.  I think that after my intense and forcefull phone call, and not getting to see the kids for a month she's finally figured out that if she wants access to them she keeps her damn fool mouth shut.

The kids have been asking, and when the X gets out in March he'll be living with the inlaws...which means that none of us will be able to go within a football field lengh of their house. Due to the restraining orders we won't be calling them either, and the won't be allowed to know our new phone number for our own safety.

Contact with the kids will be very limited and difficult to arrange while he's living there.  I want to give the kids one last chance for some special grandparent time - I just hope I don't regret it later.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The way he smells

It's uniquely him. 

It's woodsy, clean and subtle.

It makes me want to bury my nose in the crook of his neck.  To breath him in and taste the skin under his ear.

It lingers in the room when he leaves.

It stays on his pillow - which I sleep on when he's gone.

It stays on his shirts - which I wear when he's gone.

It lingers on my skin after we make love.  The smell of us together is the strongest aphrodisiac I've ever encountered.

Like a bee to draws me in and makes me hot and impatient.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Yes people I am a klutz...

I'm well known in my social circle for being a klutz.  If there is a unique way to hurt myself in any given situation I'll find it. If there is a rare virus I'll catch it. If there is an accident waiting to happen then it will happen to me.

I rolled down a hill once while carrying a giant stock pot of hot chili and got lodged under a parked Buick, dislocating my shoulder, burning my boobs, and taking all the skin off my knees and hands.

I managed to roll my Chevy three times and land back on the tires, facing traffic.

I nearly died from a severe kidney infection.

I woke up one day and half of my face was paralyzed.  After testing it was determined that I caught a virus called Bells Palsy.  The paralysis lasted 8 weeks.

I broke my wrist tripping over my own feet and landing with my hand in a metal bucket of hot, soapy mop water while working at the mall in high school.

And today...  today I nearly drowned myself in my own cup of coffee. How does one do this?  Well first you have to take a big, unlady like gulp of hot coffee.  Then at the exact moment you are going to swallow it you have to sneeze.  Voila - you suck all that coffee into your lungs... Then you start turning pink, so violet, to lovely shades of blue as your significant other is pounding on your back and you are desperately trying to suck air into your burning, gurgling lungs.  Sound like fun?  Wanna give it a try? 

That was 6 hours ago and I'm still coughing, and when I do I have the faint taste of coffee in the back of my throat... lovely... 

I wonder what new and imaginative way I'll manage to damage myself next.

Broken Hearts and Bad Dreams

I'm broken hearted for my co-worker.  Just a few days before Christmas her daughter was struck by a car while she was fleeing her abusive boyfriend.  She was so severely injured they made the decision to take her off life support and donate her viable organs two days before Christmas.  Her families generosity means that several other people got a second chance at life.

I can't imagine this kind of loss.  Bea came into work for the first time since the accident and I've never seen a human grieve like this before.  It's never been so close to me before - so palpable.  The air around her is actually heavy, if that makes any sense - as though you can actually feel her pain and loss. You can almost close your eyes and smell it, taste it like bitter fruit in the back of your throat.

I wish I had the right kinds of words to offer comfort.  I know that nothing I could say would help.  All I could do was give her a hug and tell her that we love her.

Ever since I heard about the accident I've had bad dreams off and on about something happening to my kids.  I can't imagine it... it really is the stuff of nightmares.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I'm a little pissed at the world

I'm a little annoyed today. What's the reason? I have no freakin' clue.

I'm antsy, anxious, cranky, and impatient today.

It's a good thing I'm a firm believer in my mother's favorite adage, "if you don't have anything nice to say, shut the hell up!"

So I'm grumbly and taxiturn and mostly silent today... really it's just better this way. Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's hormones. Maybe its the cycle of moon or some other wird astrological bullshit. Maybe, every now and then we human beings just get fed up with all the noise and greediness around us from the other people who share this planet with us.

Whatever the reason I can't imagine it will last long. If I don't cheer up soon my parents or BLT will bonk me on the head and stuff my body in the trunk of my car.... and rightly so.... I don't even like me today!

*roll eyes*

Monday, January 10, 2011

I guess I AM that kind of girl....

Several years ago, had you asked me to describe myself I would have told you that I'm rather unfeminine. I would have told you I don't cry...ever.  I cried at my grandma's funeral, and then went about 8 years without shedding a tear.  I would have told you I don't participate in public displays of affection, and that I detest pet names. I would have told you that I hate to snuggle.  I would have made it very clear that I have no use for displays of excess emotion and I really don't know how to deal with them.

Fast forward three years....go through an affair and a separation.  Get a job for the first time in 12 years.  Survived having your ex husband try to kill you.  Become nearly homeless if it weren't for the love and support of dear family and friends.  Spend some time falling in love for the first time in your life. Spend some time being a single parent of four young children.  Have your home foreclosed on and your credit destroyed. There is no way I could be the same person after all of that.

It hit me like lightening the other day.  BLT asked me a question, "Hey babe can we..." and I replied, "of course my love."  HUH?  Pet names? Me?  I AM that girl now.  I am so very fundamentally different in my own eyes from the person I was a few years ago. I'm softer in a way.  The thing I look forward to most is crawling into my bed at night and being held by him.  We're always looking for moments to snatch a kiss or a cuddle. We walk hand in hand, we talk about our feelings and our dreams for the future. 

I've cried more tears in the year and a half since my Ex brought that gun to my house than I've cried in my entire previous 30 odd years on this planet.  I feel things very deeply now, and I know that part of that is the PTSD, the fear, and the resulting the frustration and the helplessness that this situation brought about. Part of it is feeling safe, and cherished though too.  I don't carry around this weighty judgement and ridicule on my back  any longer.  I don't feel like I HAVE to be tough to get respect. I KNOW I'm respected.

It just hit me all at once that maybe I've always been this kind of woman...I just wasn't with the right kind of man who could bring out this softer side.  Maybe it wasn't ME at all, but instead it was him, or at the very least the dynamic between us that made me so much less affectionate and emotional when I was married to my Ex.

I used to think people didn't change... and maybe our core values and personality traits don't.  But I'm starting to believe that the people we surround ourselves with and the people we build a life with have a much greater impact on who we are and how we behave than I ever realized.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

75 days

In 75 days my more than slightly psychotic ex-husband will be released from jail.  No parole, no monitored group home, no restrictions on his behavior other than the restraining orders in place for the kids and I.

As of September he was still talking like a crazy, bitter, angry man.   He was still blaming me for his decision to try and shoot me.

He was promising to get back "everything that was taken from him" and claiming to be thinking about me every hour of every day.... delightful... just what you want to hear when someone has gone to jail for stalking you, trying to shoot you, and then having you followed while he was in prison. 

I'm doing everything I can to control my fear, and my anxiety.  Some days I'm successful, some days I'm horribly, pathetically incapable of keeping the fear under control.  I don't like that he has the ability to frighten me.  I don't like that I'm not strong enough to live my life without anxiety attacks and psycho therapy.  I don't like any of this.

I'm glad Ethel moved while he was a guest of the state - at least he can't find her and her family in an effort to find me.  Not that he won't find me...I'm sure his Drama Momma has already told him what town we are in, and he'll just hire another detective to find me.  In this day and age it's nearly impossible to hide - I accept that.

I just have to hope his desire to remain out of jail is stronger than his desire to punish me, but hope is a fragile thing that brings me very little comfort of sense of security these days.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

He Cries

Twice this past week I saw BLT cry. He wasn't ashamed, or weird about it. He doesn't have any hang ups about expressing emotions when it's appropriate and I love him all the more because of it.

The first time we were watching the Disney movie Up. The first 15 minutes of that movie make him cry a little bit. He looked at me and said, "what do you want, you would have to be a sadist for that not to break your heart baby!"

The second time he cried was when we left for home. BLT has a daughter, and a complicated shared custody arrangement with her maternal grand parents because the mother isn't fit - or interested in parenting. She is less than three years old, and he doesn't get to see her nearly as much as he would like. She's come up here, he travels down there as often as he can... but being two states away from her tears him up. When we left she started to cry, and he started to cry, and I started to cry for all of us. It's not an ideal situation - but it is what it is, and for now we can't change it.

My heart breaks for him, and at the same time it feels so full when I think about how lucky I am to have him in my life. Some day we'll get the Fraggle up here and we'll be a complete family. Then he'll have a lot less to be sad about. It's something I want very much to happen for him - for all of us really.