Tag Archives: family

Reflections

24 Nov

What a week. I have felt like I was in the middle of a downward-spiraling hurricane of depression and self-pity, with no way to pull myself out. I’m climbing back up. I always do. And as I spend Thanksgiving day alone, I feel the need to reflect out loud about the things that have brought me to this point, and why I know I can move forward.

Yesterday, when I was trying to figure out why I felt like my soul was being crushed into a grey mass of oblivion, I knew part of it was the impending holiday spent alone. I was shutting everyone out, pushing away friends and family, because I didn’t want to be a part of anyone else’s family day. I didn’t want to put on a happy face and go through the motions of someone else’s traditions. I wanted to be alone.  Honestly, holidays for the past few years have been positively hell even with my own family around for them. Either Mr. Smith was about to deploy, or deployed, or back from deployment and making me miserable. Our holidays always sucked.

Then I thought about the last time I was alone on Thanksgiving. It was 1999. I lived in Spain at the time, and I was pregnant from a one-night stand with a married guy. I decided to have an abortion, but since the procedure is illegal in Spain, I had to fly to the States. I had no one to come with me. I flew in on Tuesday, found a hotel near the clinic, and went by myself to have an abortion on Wednesday. I have never felt so stranded in my life. Until the next day, when I sat in a hotel room, in physical and mental anguish, alone on Thanksgiving day. My family knew I was in the States, and my mom was upset that I couldn’t fly to Kansas to spend the day with them. I told her I was there on a temporary work assignment. I flew back to Spain the next day, and I resumed a miserably lonely existence riding out some of the worst months of my life. Which is saying a lot, considering some of my shit.

Back to the present time… yesterday, I opened up and try to relay this bit of history to someone I’ll call Birch who was trying to understand why I was so upset. Mid-story, I got a phone call from Mr. Smith, who had been blowing me up about needing to talk about divorce “stuff”. That turned out to be a subterfuge for a much larger announcement, made even more ironic by my trip down memory lane… he was calling to tell me that his girlfriend (who also happens to be his first ex-wife aka Voldemort #2, for those who aren’t in the know) is pregnant. And they wanted to tell Bug about it, along with the rest of his family on Thanksgiving (all of whom had been inviting me to join them… thank God I didn’t).

End of phone call. *Cue meltdown.*

Birch called back. I told him what I had just learned and started bawling. I don’t know why it hurt me so much. It just hurt. Usually at this point, I would shut down, stop talking to anyone, hang up, go radar silent. For some reason, I can talk to Birch like I’ve never talked to anyone. I still feel like I don’t make sense outside of my head, and that I’m rambling and awkward, but at least I’m talking.

Eventually it started to come out. I was tired of seeing everyone else being happy around while I’m alone. I’m tired of feeling confused and lost. I’m tired of keeping my feelings so closely guarded that I have no outlet for them. And, in this case, my feelings were of fear. Fear that Mr. Smith and Voldemort #2 are starting a family, one that will include my son and will give him something that I can’t… like siblings, and two parents… fear that I will never be happy or in love again. That part of me will always be alone in a hotel room on Thanksgiving, hating myself for the decisions I’ve made. Ugh.

I spent the rest of yesterday in a pretty solid funk. I stayed up late, on my couch, drinking and smoking myself in to oblivion. At least I calmed down a bit, had a couple of good conversations — including one in which I called Bittersweet to tell her the baby news and we shared a good laugh over what an idiot my ex is. I went to bed feeling about a million times better than I had that morning.

When I woke up today (at almost 2 p.m.), it was hard to get out of bed knowing that everyone else I know was probably surrounded by family or friends, eating, sharing, getting on each other’s nerves… but I took a deep breath and got up anyway.

I cooked myself some awesome food, looked up movie times to go see a show, thought about getting in the shower to get ready to get out of the house… and then I proceeded to lay on the couch surrounded by blankets, pillows, my heating pad, and food. I watched a lot of Glee, and ignored “happy Thanksgiving” text messages. I talked to Bug on the phone and tried to not cry when he asked me how my day was.

Maybe that sounds awful and depressing, but it’s an improvement over how I’ve been feeling. Because I need to cut myself some slack and take a day to rest and just… FEEL. Without wallowing in guilt or self-pity for sometimes being down, or having days (hell, weeks) when I don’t get done what I want to get done. I have a past, and some of it is brutal. But I have come so far and learned so much. Now, I have beautiful things in my life that I can appreciate even more because of everything I’ve experienced.

So, today, I am thankful. For being strong enough to be alone. For being able to move forward and open myself up again. For being able to recognize that part of having a lot of good in your life means sometimes having a little bit of pain and darkness. I’m thankful for my past, and even more thankful for all the possibilities of my future.

What Would Jesus Do?

10 Sep

Excerpts from an Ambien text convo between Ninja and me about my marriage, prompted by a drunk text from Mr. Smith during which he tells me to stay away from him when I come home because he has been drinking and is horny. Then he proceeds to tell me his guitar is his only friend… and I should stay away from the house until he’s asleep.

Me: “You know what pisses me off most is that if *I* was the one getting wasted and acting this way, there’d be no end to the amount of shit I’d hear.”

Ninja: “How much longer can you deal with this?”

Me: “I don’t have a choice.”

Ninja: “I figured you’d say that. It makes me sad for you.”

Me: “What am I supposed to say?
Me: “Oh, I’ll just leave Mr. Smith.”

Ninja: “Where did that come from?”
Ninja: “Do you feel like you cheated on Mr. Smith?”

Me: “I feel like I could have been more communicative about what was about to happen and/or slowed things down with Fathead until I double-checked with Mr. Smith.”
Me: “I take full responsibility for under-communicating that part. But I never lied to Mr. Smith, and he always knew what was generally going on.”

Ninja: “Ok. And I never said you should leave Mr. Smith. I was just wondering how it’s possible for someone who doesn’t believe she is guilty of something like this.”

Me: “How someone “not guilty” can put up with this?”
Me. “Well, I’m still guilty for the demise of my relationship. Things I coulda/woulda/shoulda done, right? Hindsight’s 20/20 and all that.”

Ninja: “Okay. And I never said you should leave Mr. Smith. I just was wondering how it’s possible for you to constantly subject yourself to these phases of his. Man, carrying around that load must be getting kinda heavy. These phases of his, that ultimately punish you, when you don’t believe you cheated.”

Me: “I can’t subject myself any longer. That’s the problem.”
Me: “I’ve been trying to play nice, apologize, give him room to have feelings about it all… he thinks I cheated, so what matters other than how he feels? He’s the victim.”

Ninja: “But you said earlier that you don’t get to stop putting up with it. Is there a difference?”

Me: “Fuck that. I’m done.”
Me: “I don’t get to stop if I want things to work.”

Ninja: “Are you willing to sacrifice yourself day in and day out to make it work? I know a lot about martyrdom. It’s been my life. Trying to be Jesus is not a fulfilling life, believe me. The nails really start to hurt after a while and the cross is fucking heavy. Just so you know.”

Me: “I feel like I should not be laughing at that.”

Ninja: “And I’m probably going straight to hell for that one.”

Sometimes

8 Sep

Sometimes I think I’d be better off relegating myself to a life of being single.  Oh, I’d still have intimate relationships.  But they’d be with the understanding that I’m beholden to no one, I don’t share a house with anyone, and you can take me as I am or see yourself out.

Sometimes the things I write in my head never make it to paper or blog.  They die a slow and painful death, expiring in snippets as I remember less and less of them throughout the day.  They’re like little daydreams that never survive past the world between awake and asleep.

Sometimes I question my sexuality.  I try to remember how long I’ve felt this way, and whether or not what I feel is what I really feel or just what I think I should feel.  And the older I get, the more lesbian-oriented I get.  By the time I’m 50, I’ll be the biggest dyke ever.  I’ll be the aunt at the family reunions who brings her “roommate.” My husband and I will just be really good (probably divorced) friends who happen to have a (really awesome) kid together.  Then I think about living a life without having heterosexual sex ever again, and it makes me a little sad. I guess I’m destined to a life in limbo.

“Sometimes is never quite enough,” according to Alanis Morrisette.  I couldn’t agree more.  People think I’m so demanding sometimes.  Ha.  Try living in my head.  I’m uber-demanding of myself every second of every day.  I guess I never got over the “if you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love” mindset that was so ingrained in me.

Sometimes I look at my blood relatives and I wonder how on earth it is I came from the same tidal basin of the gene pool. Maybe I’m adopted.  There are days when I don’t want to speak to my family again, unless I can tell them exactly what I think and how I feel for once without being called selfish for doing so.  I frequently can’t believe I made it out of my home/hometown/home state with my sanity in tact. Clearly, they did not.

Sometimes I wish I could be oblivious.  Stupid, even. What must it be like to live a life of contentment, of never wanting more? To just not know any better?  To never question, to just fall in to line and be happy with the status quo.

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to just be dead. I don’t mean that in a “Oh, look at me, my life sucks, someone hear my cries for help,” kind of way.  I just mean it in a very factual sense.  I think about how peaceful and quiet death is going to be, and I sorta look forward to it.  Then I feel like a major asshole for thinking things like that when I have so many amazing people and opportunities in my life.

New Lease

19 Jul

This has been the Year of the Shitty Tenants back at our property in Virginia.  There was the gay couple in the basement who faked a job transfer to Qatar to move out three weeks early on their lease with no notice without paying the last month’s rent, without paying ANY month’s rent on time, and having bounced three checks to us including their security deposit.  There was the crazy girl who lived upstairs with her cats that we didn’t know about, driving our perfectly good tenant/her roommate insane, and bouncing checks and paying late and using her security deposit for her last month’s rent, leaving us with over $600 in unpaid utilities.  Now we have a two-month college intern who is apparently as dumb as the day is long (on a REALLY long day), who has a dog with a leaky bladder that has peed all over the house and who can’t seem to grasp the concept that we did NOT have the front lawn re-seeded and a dog run put in (to the tune of $2,000) so his dog could shit all over the new grass. 

Thankfully, we are about to get a fresh new start.  Starting September 1, we will have all new tenants.  Tenants who have had rental applications checked, and paid deposits already, and have jobs that don’t require last minute transfers to exotic locales.  But just in case, we’re thinking about trying out a new, more to-the-point lease with them:

Name: _______________________________________
Phone:________________________________________
Stanford-Binet IQ:_______________________________

       Rent:  $____.00 per month, payable on time or late fee assessed: $50 for first late month,  $100 for second.  After second month we will begin taking body parts.
       Fee for bounced checks:  you will be charged $40 for the first bounced check, 1/8 of your rent for the second, 1/4 of your rent for the third, 1/2 for the fourth, etc.  If you don’t “get” this, you will be charged $150 for lying on Line 3 above.  Bounce as many checks as you want, we’re saving for a trip to Disney World.
       Yard care policy: grass is to be cut and yard watered when necessary.  No dogs are allowed loose in front yard under any circumstances.  If any dog doo is found in the front yard it will be carefully placed on the hood of your car.  If you don’t mind it in our ‘hood, we don’t mind it on yours.  Should there be repeated infractions, you will be called daily by Keyven, who will loudly repeat the word “poop” in your ear until you get the idea.
       Giving notice of vacation of property:  we have noticed that some tenants have not noticed they are leaving, and have not given proper notice.  Notice that if 30 days notice not given, you will notice some big, ugly wrestlers who have come to help you move.  Notice you will not like where they move you to.
       Respectfully,  Your Landlords

I have to give credit to my MIL for coming up with this after her last trip over to our place to show it, only to find a yard full of dog crap.  Ahhh…. if only.

Thoughts on Why My Week Sucked

6 Jul

In my attempt to re-ignite my blogging habit, I’ve tried to refrain from using my blog(s) solely as means to vent. But it seems that, having done myself the great disservice of moving halfway across the country from the vast majority of my closest friends, this method will have to do. That is, until I can pick up the phone or text and be sitting on someone’s couch with a drink in a half hour or less.

This weekend really sucked.  To start, I’m not a fan of holidays. I wasn’t to begin with, and a year of being depressed and crying at pretty much every major celebration certainly didn’t help that cause.  One would think that having Tim back would make things just peachy.  But one would be wrong. I think it’s going to take about a year of adjustment to the year that was spent apart.

Where was I? Oh, yes… the holiday.  To me, holidays are synonymous with: extra stress, everything being closed, traffic/travel sucking, and trying not to spend an entire weekend eating like crap. Add to this weekend’s past one that we’ve endured a week of feeling like we live in a war zone, thanks to the rednecks and their penchant for cheap explosives.  Last year, I was so far out in the boonies that I didn’t think about it.  This year, we had mini-Armageddon 25 feet from out backdoor every.single.night. Fireworks curfew is 10?  Oh, you won’t mind if we go until 10:30 or so, right?  I mean, even though we’ve been setting them off since 7:30 for the past four nights in a row. And last night?  I actually had to go over there and be the asshole neighbor who asked them to stop.  At 12:20 in the morning.  “Um, excuse me.  I know you probably don’t care because you’ve been drinking beer since 10 a.m., but I’ve got a toddler who’s trying to sleep and my husband and I both have PTSD and get a little twitchy after five straight hours of this shit.  So, if you could cut it out, I’d appreciate it.”

I guess my body’s way of starting off last week by sleeping for almost two days straight was supposed to offset the lack of sleep the rest of the week.  Somehow, I still ended up napping today from 2:30 to 7, further adding to my sense of discombobulation and grouchiness.  And speaking of grouchiness… if there is a pill to offset that homicidal feeling I get when I don’t get enough sleep, I would almost be willing to try it.  I spent most of yesterday and today snarking at Tim over stupid shit, and just generally being an insufferable bitch about things.  It seems ridiculous in hindsight, but at the time when he is asking me retarded male questions, not reading my mind, or even so much as breathing incorrectly, I feel like my eyeballs are going to pop out of my head from the rage. I think Valium would do just fine.  Maybe missing yoga class for two weeks straight has something to do with it, too.

Lest I forget another kick in the proverbial nut sack, today is the anniversary of my first wedding.  I guess that makes it an ex-iversary.  Which, normally I don’t really think about.  But thanks to my subscription to the extended family nationwide e-group for the sharing of birthdays, anniversaries, and all things pointless and inane (like what business we should boycott because they support gay rights, or the weather in some far corner of some state you’ll never visit), I was reminded by e-mail that today was (or would have been) my sixth year anniversary.  Brought to you by the group of people who most enjoy reminding you that you’re the only person from your generation of the family who has been divorced (out of about 70+ various layers of cousins). Let’s never mind the fact that I’ve been divorced for four years, or that this happens every year, and every year the moderators say the fixed the “glitch” that keeps causing the reminder of this joyous occasion to pop up.  Happy ex-iversary to me.

This is probably all delayed/compounded/subconscious stress over the month I’m about to undertake: another full-time school|house remodel|raising a toddler|Tim back in grad school full-time|long-distance managing a property that is a pain in the ass extravaganza.  But I’m ready. Even if I have to drink every night, I will make it. And maybe by the end of the summer, I’ll get to sleep for the first time in eight months without the use of Advil PM.  Until then, it’s fun and excitement at our casa! Buckle your safety belts, kids. This ride’s about to leave the station.