December 5th, 2015 | No Comments »

I am so incredibly blessed.  My life is beautiful and amazing.  I have two gorgeous children who are full of zest.  Joie de vivre – it is ours!  We live in comfort.  Our needs are met.  I have the best friends that anyone could ever hope for — all so true and solid.  I am privileged to be partnered with a wonderful man with whom I connect on so many levels and in so many ways that I can barely comprehend, let alone attempt to describe.

And yet.

I’ve said it before.  Nobody makes it through life unscathed.

it's a dog eat dog world out there

it’s a dog eat dog world out there

On the matter of motherhood, there are times that I wish that I’d simply gone to a sperm bank and opted for artificial insemination.  Certainly I wouldn’t be enduring the chaos to which I am far too often subjected, had I chosen such a route.  However, I understand that all these twists and turns in the journey of my life were necessary to place me here, now, where I am SO GRATEFUL to be.  (Oh dear Lord, me and my stranded prepositions.  Bless my soul.)

I get it!  I wouldn’t change a minute, a moment, or a circumstance, if it meant I couldn’t have the now that I have.

So what’s up, Buttercup?  Well.  Let me tell you.

I almost want to post verbatim the things he says, because it’s very hard to describe or summarize.  It’s just a bunch of drama and blah, blah, blah, and oh, so tedious.  But what the hell.

—Dec 3—

HIM.  “I have to work the next two weekends and NewWife has to work the next two Sundays. Just because I have to work does not give you the authority to take my weekend away from me, that is contempt of court which you did when you all of a sudden forgot that you weren’t coming back the day you told me from your trip. It doesn’t matter if you made the mistake accidently, it is still contempt which my lawyer expressed to me which he has already drawn up the papers for.      You may not like some of the things on my end but I also don’t agree with some of the things you are doing either!  What upsets me the most is your letting things happen with other people around the boys and when I was around it was a different story but yet you let total strangers have the same things around the boys that you bitched about me having which is so hypocritical of you. Example is the reason why you asked for only every other weekend was because of the guns that I had. Which I practiced good gun safety and respected it as I still do. so you lied about your reasoning why you restricted me from the boys which gave you no right to do so and then the bullshit you tell BB that all I did was sit on my ass and ate gummy bears every day or all the time which is a total bullshit lie in itself and why I bring that up is that he keeps repeating that you keep saying that. You seem to like to not address any concerns I have and and ignore them all together.”

To which I recoiled and reacted, when I probably should have just considered the source and dismissed it.

ME.  “I didn’t lie about anything, and I don’t keep telling BB that about gummy bears.  I really did have the trip dates wrong.  Good grief.  Also, I have a responsibility to protect them from emotionally abusive treatment, which is what I heard they endure with NewWife.  So if I knowingly send them to an abusive environment, then THAT is a breach of my responsibility as a parent.  I didn’t know how badly things were with how they were treated, and then BB spent some time with Auntie and opened his heart to her with things he’s never told me, and she relayed that to me.  So no, I never considered it was awful for them when they were at your place, until I was given reason to question it.  I did know that they seldom feel like the time they’re with you is quality time.  Their comments are generally something to do with ‘NewWife and the kids’ or ‘Daddy and NewWife stay in their room watching tv all the time and we don’t see them much’, etc.  What they want most is to spend time with their dad, YOU, and more often than not when they are there, that doesn’t happen.  I am NOT keeping them from you.  I am trying to keep them from being bullied, which is how they feel with NewWife, or feeling like they’re pushed aside, which is how they feel when they’re at your place but don’t get to spend quality time with you.  They were so hopeful when they learned that NewWife had left, because it gave them the glimmer of hope that they could spend some real time with you.  They were crestfallen to learn of her return.

Contempt of court is deliberate disobedience, and I have NOT done anything of the sort.

Further to all that, regarding contempt of court…  Why do you suppose the parenting plan has written into it the portion where you have to coordinate with me to confirm you will SHOW UP for YOUR visitation?  How many times have you had some reason not to take the kids on your scheduled visitation?  So for you to suggest that I am in contempt of court (and I can only assume you are referring to the parenting plan) because I want to ensure my kids are not placed in an emotionally abusive environment is ludicrous.

All I have asked of you is to BE THERE FOR YOUR CHILDREN.  I don’t know why you are so hungry to turn it into something ugly on my part.

Further still, in the interest of giving you more time with them and to make up for missing the time that was missed, I offered Thanksgiving break, to which you didn’t respond.  You also did not respond to my inquiry about this coming weekend, until I got your threatening email below.  You say I ignore your concerns.  You’ve called me a hypocrite and you’ve not clearly expressed specific concerns.  If I could tell what your actual concerns are, then I could respond.  I am not interested in throwing accusations back and forth.  We should have a mature and calm discussion with each other to bring up and address issues and concerns.

I like to think that I am being reasonable.  I wish I would be more vigilant, and less apt to react and acknowledge his aggression by immediately placing myself in defensive mode.  Had I completely ignored him, he might have just dropped everything.  Alas.

—Dec 4—

HIM.  “With what is written in the plan if I don’t respond then I lose my right to have them.  That is not contempt. I am very tired of people talking crap and negative bullshit about me and making crap up to make themselves look better. Futher more when you keep the other parent from seeing the kids what ever the reason is considered contempt. I have protected the boys and will always will and I question you when I hear things going on from your side. When we were together you had issues with motorcycles and guns and I have never shown a lack of responsibility and the safety. You were always preaching against those then all of sudden you turn around and do the opposite when I’m not in the picture. And then when I voice my opinion you don’t care to respond or even talk about you just do whatever you want no matter how I feel about the issue like taking the boys out of school for a week when they should be in school learning. But my opinion as usual doesn’t matter to anyone and never will unless I am made to yell and make a big stink about it. Why am I being made to do so. I have brought up many concerns about a lot of things and as usual you could care less about them you have shown that many times. Just like when I got laid off from j.b. hunt. I had to keep asking friends and the church to help pay the rent and groceries and other stuff to help but yet did you care at all. No! you just kept taking child support and didn’t care what so ever. but it doesn’t matter now anyways because you simply don’t see anything how I see it and never will or don’t care. Just like when you moved did you care about me getting to see the boys no  it took months for me to get to see the boys. I tried talking to you but no you made your excuses and didn’t give a crap.”

Interesting.  So much to say.  Gun safety.  The man does not have a track record that inspires confidence.  My former opinion remains intact.  And the rest?  Exhausting.  I know I’ve blogged ad nauseum about many of these points before.  It’s the same old stuff, regurgitated for some reason.

ME.  “The process for dealing with contempt or perceived contempt is to follow the parenting plan’s dispute resolution process.  We can schedule to meet with a mediator to resolve disagreements about carrying out the parenting plan.  I am not keeping the kids from seeing you.  Through all of this back and forth, you haven’t actually informed me of your intent to pick the boys up this weekend.  I’ve told you that we have dentist appointments today.  We can meet at McDs on 44th Saturday morning at 9.  Please confirm.”

Note that this email conversation is in parallel with a phone text conversation.  It’s a thing of beauty.  Really.  Wait for it…

—Dec 3—

ME.  I can’t tell from your friendly email whether you are or aren’t planning to see the kids this weekend. They have dentist appts Fri. I mentioned this in IM yesterday and haven’t heard from you. Also, I’d like to coordinate Christmas plans.

HE.  How do you think that crap would make you feel if I told them that crap of lies. And as always you evade what I say as usual

ME.  I don’t tell them a load of lies and crap.

HE.  So you honestly think that’s all I did? I Never did anything for anyone i never busted my ass to do things never looked out for anyone. I never went out on a limb or bent over backwards for anyone… That’s pretty much what your telling them!!!And as you normally do you ignore the facts why. Because I’m not white collar like you so since I’m considered a blue collar you get to spread lies and crap about me. If that’s how you want to play the negative crap game two can play at that game

ME.  Why do you out of the blue think I’m spilling a constant load of negative crap about you? I don’t even know how to respond to that.

HE.  I dont know why you even make it an excuse or whatever your doing when you tell him all this crap. I have never said anything negitive about you in frontof them or to them what so ever but i can start. But then again im just a blue collar loser lazy ass that doesnt do anything.Then why does BB say you say that all the time and that’s the reason you did certain things was because I was so Damm lazy and never did anything for anyone and aged video games everyday all the time .

ME.  You flatter yourself if you think I spend any time at all telling BB all about you.

HE.  Yeah just the negitive lies and bullshit

—Dec 4—

ME.  Please confirm if the boys will be picked up at 44th Mcds at 9am Saturday.  BB wants to have a friend over tonight. I need to know what time to meet tomorrow so I can tell his mom when I’ll drop him off.

HE.  I would only have them til sat eve

ME.  ?

HE.  I work sun and so does NewWife.  Plus I work sat also

ME.  You said she works Sunday, not you.

HE.  Plan states sat morning to sat eve as per what you put in there

ME.  No. Every other Sat 8am to Sun 7pm.

Did I not say it was glorious?  What the what?  Seriously, it’s perplexing.  Clearly he’s resurrecting squabbles we’ve had in years long gone.  I made a blue collar vs white collar comment several years ago during an attempt to explain why it might be so difficult for us to communicate.  Must’ve hit a nerve…

—Back to the email conversation, dated Dec 4—

HIM.  “So how is it that you keeping them from me on my weekend as the plan states not keeping them from me. Does not say I get the right or you have the right to make up for lost time. The plan was mainly done by you not me your thinking not mine. I trusted you to do the right thing and in the end you decided to limit visitation because of ridiculous thought of me having protection that they could not get to if they tried as you explained it to NewWife as to way you did that, there again disregarding what is right and what your selfish thinking put down on paper but I am supposed to idoly sit by and say nothing or have an opinion. Seems like when I do, nothing matters anyway. you can hire a mediator all you want those are for the rich people that can’t talk it out with other people on there own. again when you deviate from the plan it is contempt unless it was o.k’d by both parties with the correct information”

ME. “I am not keeping them from you.  This is the schedule.   [Excerpt from parenting plan, Sat 8 am to Sun 7pm, every other week.]  You’re telling me that you are working Sat and Sun, which essentially means that you are neither able to pick them up on Saturday morning, nor are you able to drop them off on Sunday evening.  Therefore, you are forfeiting your visitation.”

Oh my goodness!  So much blah blah blah!!!  After ALL of this, the picture emerges.  He is working the weekend and trying to find a way to turn his lack of making room in his life for his kids into my fault.  It also appears that perhaps he wants me to drop off the kids for a few hours at his convenience on Saturday, because that is his available window.

Such a tedious read!  And yet, in a way, mildly entertaining in a voyeuristic way, akin to crap fiction.  So this is a snippet of the waters I navigate.  Sadly, not fictional at all.

I actually had some valuable thoughts emerge from this experience.  First I was shaken and disarmed by the threats, and then I was mystified by the references to wild back talk.  I mulled things over and observed my emotional reaction to the onslaught, noticing how easy it is to get caught up slinging vitriol.  I don’t want to sling vitriol.  I married that man for reasons that (sort of) made sense at the time.  I had children with him.  These are choices that I made and for which I am responsible.  Now I have to find a way to live with the consequences of my choices.  He’s projecting his own inadequacies.  That is evident.  He is who he is, and I can’t fault him for that.  He is completely entitled to be who he is.  We have nothing in common, other than our kids.  Try as I might, I simply can not understand him, nor communicate with him.  I can wish that he were a reasonable and kind man.  I can wish that he would have the courage to look in the mirror and take responsibility for himself and his own choices.  I can wish that he would step up and be a dad to and for his children.  Those are wishes, and certainly hopes.  I have no control or influence on any of those things.  I do have control over my own thoughts and actions.

I want to maintain clarity where the well-being of my children is concerned.  I want to be a good example for my kids.  I want to take the high road.  I want to be able to calmly face opposition, impervious to attack and distraction tactics.  These are all within my sphere of capability, given vigilance and self-discipline.

~*~*~*~

Update.  Because, you know, NewWife chimed in with some golden nuggets of her own.

05 Dec 2015; 12:53pm
NewWife:  I will be picking up the boys at 3pm today at the mcds in renton..ty see u then

1:51pm
Me:  No.

2:11pm
NewWife: Then we will see you in court for contempt for two weekends in a row

3:00pm
NewWife: I bet the boys will love to know that you have kept them from seeing their Dad for 2 months

My immediate reaction is still far too visceral, and my vigilance to my emotions can stand to step things up a notch.  I glanced at my phone, read the message, and became internally livid, truth be told.  Having received no confirmation for meeting Saturday morning at 9, having clarified via both text and email that visitation is posted as Sat morning until Sun evening, and having concluded via email that his visitation is forfeited, the scenario seemed clear.  So to receive her demand at nearly 2pm Saturday, pronouncing in effect that I should jump in the car and drive immediately to the meeting place…  It’s an hour drive on a good day…  Let’s just say, in retrospect, that they seem perfect for each other.  Militant.  Immature.  Materialistic.  Self-serving.  Despicable.

Is there any consideration for what’s good for the boys?  They are sweet children, finding their way in life.  They have a yearning for one-on-one time with their dad.  Very simple.  They don’t want to go to his house and be sequestered with his wife and her four rowdy children.  The first questions they ever pose when visitation time is at hand is whether he will be home, and whether he will be the one to pick them up.  Before that, however, they both immediately chime in that THEY DON’T WANT TO GO.  And so often they have expressed, forlornly, that they would love to just SIT AND WATCH A MOVIE with him.  I don’t want them to see all this BULLSHIT that takes place when attempting to coordinate visitation.

It’s disgusting, really.  It mostly boils down to an issue over the haves and have nots.  It’s all about the means, not about the boys.  It seems that they consider the disparity between our respective means a catchall for any justification of responsibility.  It seems that they think, because I have more ‘means’, that I should kowtow to their shortcomings.

Ummmmm.  No.

I’m struggling with this.  I have to see and know and understand and DO what is best for my children, while honoring and upholding what the law requires, and somehow navigate through the flotsam and jetsam of attempted communication with their father.  It is a crock.  And it stinketh.

Me no likey.

March 22nd, 2015 | 1 Comment »

SUCK IT, FIFTY!

I’ve been struggling with anxiety over the milestone looming on my horizon.  It’s taken many forms, and has been mostly low grade, but mounting.  I thought for a moment that with such a milestone I should do something memorable or have something memorable to show for it.  I don’t know.  The last time I bought myself something ridiculously expensive as a milestone memento, it was stolen.   Not that that will completely take the wind out of the sails for any future extravagances, but it does leave some tarnish on the idea.  Anyway.  I have been feeling like I should go somewhere special, or buy something special, or do something special.  But I’m at such a loss.  I haven’t had any time to make any plans, as far as the notion of a getaway goes.  Where would I go, and what would I do?  Logistics.  God knows I need a break (ummm, I did just take a week and cruise to Mexico with my kids and all told, fifteen family members, and it was so wonderful to spend time with family, and it was so wonderful to feel and breathe warm ocean air and hear the sound of waves lapping against the boat, hour upon hour upon hour, and  yes, that was amazing, but of course I will throw in a but…   ….but in order to take any time off I have to complete all the work that I would have to do for the week that I’m away, which means, really, no break from work at all…  whine, whine, whine) and a rest and I don’t know what.  I need something.  I’ve been struggling with the changing tides of my work for some time now.  There’s little to no respite on the immediate horizon, as far as that goes.  Some of the bigger projects will work themselves out in the next few months.  Or rather, I have to finish them, and they will be a thing of the past, after which I might be able to steer myself toward a more manageable workload.  The immediate forecast is bleak, and there is so much pressure, beyond that which I place upon myself.  I am famous for demanding great expectations of myself, so this present workload predicament is taking its toll.  Blah, blah, blah.  I am so weary of complaints.  My own.  My kids’.  Anybody’s.  I have almost no threshold remaining.  I’ve been uncharacteristically irritable, off and on.  Weary.  I know that if I could somehow get enough rest, I’d be FINE.

Almost 29 years of indentured servitude, little to no sunlight, and countless hours of commuting are taking their toll...

Anyway.  I’m not one for pomp and circumstance.  I don’t want a party, and GOD FORBID, a surprise party.  I don’t want to be the center of attention.  I don’t want lavish gifts.  I don’t know what I want for that day.  The kids have visitation with their dad that weekend, and they are oblivious to life events, milestones, and things of that nature.  I suppose that’s my fault, since I haven’t actually taught them to be aware of such things.  I wouldn’t mind doing something special with my sisters, but we are out of time for planning any sort of get together.  Logistics again.  The sweetest thing I can imagine is having a nice meal with my loved ones.  And so it is settled.  My friend will prepare a lovely meal, and we will hang out as a sweet circle of three –my friend, my honey,and I–for the evening, in the comfort of my home.  Simple.  Sweet.  Perfect.  That is all I want.  Bliss.

I hope the 50s are the new 40s, because the 40s were mostly all right...

And as for turning fifty?  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around that number.  It seems like it’s a number that represents something that I just can’t quite put my finger on.   Age?  As if I was supposed to have accomplished something remarkable by now?  Or I should be at some other, more arrived, state of self by now?  Shouldn’t I have life figured out by now?  Shouldn’t I know how to handle stress?  Shouldn’t I know how to manage my children?  Shouldn’t I be cool, calm, and collected?  Well, externally I am all of those.  Internally?  I’m cool, I suppose.  Or maybe tepid.  I’m calm.  I’m collected in a scattered way.  I’m just weary.  Worn.  I went through my list of Facebook friends and pared it down to mostly family.  I could have just shut it completely down, but I do like seeing pictures of my family.  I am actually pleasantly surprised at the feeling of liberation that this small task accomplished.  Inability to keep up with the news feed has been frustrating, and I don’t need any additional source of frustration in my life.

I don't think I wanna be FIFTY. I'm not ready for this!

What would I have imagined for myself by this stage of life?  Happily married?  Kids healthy, grown, and making their own way in life?  Comfortably situated in some career?  Maybe those are all just projections from my early adulthood.  Time has marched on and things are as they are.  My life is not all those things, but my life is beautiful!

Looks like trouble! I still have some oomph left in me...

I don’t feel as though I’m emotionally ready to be fifty.  I feel as though I am only just now getting my momentum, only just now settling in to simply living.  I feel as though I’m only just now getting started in life.  I suppose that realization brings with it a little bit of panic.  Fifty years have gone by and I surely don’t have fifty years left.  I want to be able to live joyfully, to let all unpleasant things slide from me, never taking hold.  I don’t want to allow negative thoughts to crowd my mind.  I want to be comfortable in my skin and in my mind.  I am a rock, standing firm on the ocean shore, while waves crash around me.  They can’t hurt me.  I stand solidly, and let them fall at my feet.  I feel them and I let them go.  I breathe in.  I breathe out.  I keep on loving.  And so I live.

Wrinkles are emerging, but at least they are the smiley happy eye wrinkles...

I have this set of selfies in a photo album called “Fifty Shades of… …Sue” that I’m planning to post on my FB wall next Saturday. My suck it fifty declaration. My sense of humor isn’t always evident, but these are the thoughts that have been milling about in my mind in the past weeks and days while I’ve taken those pictures. All this anxiety. So to offset that, a collection of serendipitously lovely images. Hey, there’s another pretty one. Let’s post that. Really, then, it’s an unveiled invitation for others to say, my goodness, you don’t look anywhere near FIFTY! I have no shame.

September 4th, 2013 | No Comments »

How’s that for a title?

I had quite a bit more stuff written here, blah blah blah, but I think the title pretty much sums it  up.

a bit morbid, yet a bit brilliant, and a bit apropos as well

October 29th, 2011 | No Comments »

I stand in condemnation and read the words on the page that summarize conclusions about my personality, my issues, my mental state.  People who love me have taken it upon themselves to make conclusions about me, and speak authoritatively, as if they know.  As. If. They. Know.

If I rise up in indignation, does that mean there is credence in the accusations?  If I were innocent, I wouldn’t have anything to be angry about, and why would I care what anybody says or thinks?  That’s a bunch of bullshit, though.  I care what people say and think, whether it has credence or not.  THAT is one of my personality flaws.  Whether or not it matters, whether or not it’s true.  I only want goodness for everyone and for myself.  From the time I was a child, I was hyper sensitive to these things.  Always wanting to do the right thing.  To please everyone.  Not to let anyone down.  It’s the core of me.  Do I need therapy to correct that?  I don’t know.  Maybe.  What is wrong with trying to be good?

I actually HAVE had counseling for that very thing.  The bottom line:  if the manifestation of my people pleasing tendencies serve me well, amen.  If they don’t serve me well, then pay attention and be aware.  Case in point.  I kick ass in my professional life.  Kick. Ass.  People pleasing has served me well.  I’m an over-achiever.  I get things done single handedly that take entire departments to do.   Cradle to grave.  Me.  Just me.  Requirements. Design.  Architecture.  Business model.  Business case. Construction. Test. Debug. Release. Communication.  Training. Process definition.  Project management.  Change management.  Documentation.  The business. Analysis.  Diagnosis.  Troubleshooting.  Corrective  action.  Tracking.  Statistics.  Marketing. Support.  Administration. Business focal. Technical focal.  Information Technology focal.  ALL OF IT.  And my reward?  I’m respected in my field, by my peers and my management.  I’ve been promoted as high as I can go.  I’m recognized and esteemed.  It serves me well.

And what of my mental instability?  I’ve blogged ad nauseum for years.  I work through my stuff here.  Openly.

“What you’ve been through since your divorce is kind of making it seem like your marriage to Gadget wasn’t that bad after all.  At least you had some stability.  I envisioned you crusading forth like other single moms, but that’s not the path you’ve taken.”

Now that’s a kicker. The suffocating abyss in which I lived was preferable to the life I live now.  I’ve met a lot of men in the last two years, but I haven’t paraded them through my kids’ lives.  Met, not dated.  Yes, two men have come and gone in that time.  Does that make me unstable?  Of course I would rather have met the right one and stayed with him.  But I didn’t.  How the hell does anyone know whether someone fits unless they try?  So I’ve tried.  God bless me for picking myself back up, brushing off the dust, and starting over again.  So why the condemnation? Mama ain’t no ho. I’m not going to put myself or my children in harm’s way.   And even if I were drunken and delirious and high and completely blind in the moment, it would become evident in very short course, and I would snap out of it and that would be that.  So why drag someone through the dirt and invoke unnecessary pain?

I’m not trying to fill a hole in my life with somebody or some thing.  I stand strong as a complete human being.  I am good.  I am whole.  I am not broken.  I DON’T NEED ANY BODY OR ANY THING.

I want somebody though.  Want!  Not need.  I want to spend the rest of my life with one and only one man.  The rest of my life.  Every breathing moment.  I want to be a devoted and loving wife to a devoted and loving  husband.  I want my kids to grow up with a positive male influence.  I want them to have a step-dad.

Who the hell has the right to tell me I shouldn’t want these things?  It’s MY life.  My decision.

September 25th, 2011 | No Comments »

I’m feeling scattered again.  Oh, I don’t like to feel scattered!  I like to know the boundaries of my world, as they constitute my comfort zone.  The perimeter can be very extensive, but I so very much like to be aware of what the perimeter is.

I’ve been house hunting and man hunting — up to my internet mischief.  It’s exhausting!  Add to that the cold that is trying to catch me.  My throat is a battleground.

The house hunting is proving to be very similar to the internet dating experience.  I’ve been to view several houses lately, and what they look like in real life is a far cry from what they look like in their on-line photos.  Rooms look impressively spacious, only to find they are tiny cracker boxes.  Earlier this year I was intent on finding a home with a view, maximizing the tranquility of my sphere –proximity to work, neighborhood safety, proximity to my family, and a view of mountains and salt water were my top priorities.  Frustrated with that, I refocused on vacation properties.  I thought I could buy a weekend home with the view and tranquility, and remain in my current home for the day-to-day living.  I’ve since reconsidered matters again, now that my Brutus is in school, and raised the school ratings above the desire for a view.  It has come to my attention that we don’t live in a particularly good school region, so I would like my boys to have the benefit of better schools and the stability to grow up with the same set of people.  Better views and better schools come at a price, so a similar home to the one I have is far beyond my means.  While there are beautiful and affordable homes available the further one extends from the city, and there are pockets of better schools in the outlying regions, the commute and proximity to family are prohibitive.  I don’t want to add any further stress to the world in which I live, so I have to be mindful of the effects of a difficult commute.

Add to this the pursuit of togetherness.  If only I knew what I wanted, or what would work best for me.  I know much of what I don’t want, but to quantify what I want and what I’m capable of is very difficult.  So far, it’s been an iterative process that has consumed years of my life, because I don’t know how else to approach it.  The current mission statement that best describes what I  think I want is “a respectful, respectable alpha male sex machine who is okay with me having my way when it’s important to me“.  In a nutshell.  Ha!

Meeting men is easy enough (with the online venue).  Determining a definite ‘no’ is easy enough as well.  Encountering a possible ‘maybe’ is very, very rare, and if it happens, I don’t know what to do next, other than tread softly, try not to cast forth too many pearls, and hope to remain clear headed and open minded.  None of which I am particularly good at.  (Oh, how my dad would cringe at my split infinitives and dangling participles, were he alive and reading this.)

It’s all so hard for me!  I just want to be settled down.  To know where home is.  To know with whom my heart is safely entrusted.  I want a simple and beautiful life.  (Yes, I know, I know, I already have a simple and beautiful life.)

June 18th, 2011 | 5 Comments »

Recently one of my new-found cousins (I have new-found cousins!!! [squeals with glee]) shared an article on FaceBook about the top 5 regrets people have on their deathbeds.  The first one, I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me, was especially timely for me.

In general, I avoid conflict and confrontation and tend to be a peace-keeper.  Having a peaceful nature isn’t in and of itself a problem, but the undue stress I subject myself to when navigating the tides of potential conflict is.    Case in point.  Gadget recently approached me for a loan.  I know.  Unbelievable.  I should know by now that any time he actually talks to me or is even remotely amicable, he is just playing me, working me, trying to get something from me.  I’m such an idiot.  An idiot, because I even engaged in the conversation in the first place.  Even more so, because both he and his wife were there.  That is some nerve, to team with the 28 year old new wife to ask the solvent, fiscally responsible 46 year old ex wife for a loan (oh, 25k, by the way).

The details are a work of art in themselves.  It would be a consolidation loan, to include all the moneys he already owes me, plus whatever other outstanding debts he’s managed to accrue in the year and a half since we’ve been divorced.  A loan from me to pay me back what he already owes me.  Hello?

The blinders I wore when I married that man.  Please.  I can only remind myself that I have my boys.  I have my boys.  I have my boys.

I was in the middle of the funeral arranging and real estate purchasing fray and told him I’ve got too many things to do right now, so I will think about it when I get some time.  I should have just said no, right then and there.  Couldashouldawoulda –the bane of my existence.

Part of me was angry that he would even put me in a position like that.  He knows that my nature is to help, and he knows that it’s hard for me to say no.  The problem is, he’s like a black hole.  He sucks energy and resources and life, without replenishing.  At some point it has to stop, which means I have to make it stop.  Hence the divorce.  Hence the need to say ixnay on the oanlay.  He cries his crocodile tears and racks up his layers of lies.

I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Saying no to him is being true to myself.  It’s an epiphany of sorts.  In a way it seems selfish, when I have the means to help him, but truly, it’s finally sinking in that I have to take care of myself (i.e., put myself first in some things) so that I can do what’s most important in my life, which is take care of my kids.  The best possible care.

Granted, I’m not particularly surprised to receive a message from him this evening that he won’t be able to pick up the kids in the morning, after all.  Is it coincidental that he knows I have a 10am appointment, since I made sure to confirm a few days ago that a 9am pickup would work, so that I could make the appointment in the first place?

I’m an idiot to give him the benefit of the doubt.  Again.  I should know better by now, not to make any plans.

I’m kind of pissed off, right now.*

kinda cute for a pissed off idiot, and kinda digging the stud and loop look

*Prior to the schedule change, I was going to write more about the epiphany, liberating thoughts, and being true to myself.  It was going to be a much more bright and positive post.  Alas, I have gone off on a whinge.  Again.

December 25th, 2010 | No Comments »

A more apt title would be Gadget Sucks.

Christmas Eve – his time with the boys. We had agreed to a 7pm exchange. At the last minute he said something came up and asked that I come all the way to his house to get them. I have had a headache all day, and driving at all is hard. I offered to meet him later. A bunch of useless back and forth texting ensued with a final commitment to meet at 10:30 pm. At the last minute he said change it to 10 am. I thought he meant pm, but no, he meant am. I said no, I will be at the park&ride at 10:30pm as agreed.

So here I am. No response from any further messages. Apparently he’s not coming.

What of the Santa experience for the boys? He said he’d tell them I didn’t want to see them for Christmas. Such a blatant lie. I’m physically sick from this.

My work has family care resources. I’m going to call and ask for help, for some consultation regarding what I can do, whether a lawyer can help me. I have to do something.

He’s deliberately sabotaging my life, and the kids are caught in the crossfire.

~*~*~*~

Follow up

9:13pm last text received from him.  9:15, 9:56, 10:36pm – my texts with no reply. 1:34am he replies ‘just got your messages via text…thanks alot’

It’s asinine.  Somehow in his mind he thinks *I* am the unreasonable one.

8:00 am he texts to meet at 9 am at the park and ride.  I immediately told him to bring them all the way home, but I don’t want to see his face anywhere near my home today, so I then told him I will meet him there after all.

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Posted in bellyaching, divorce, me
December 8th, 2010 | No Comments »

I need to learn how to accept the limitations of time.  I find myself, over and again, succumbing to anxiety rooted in the inability to mold my life around the constructs of time.

The hyper awareness of time interferes with my rationale and affects some priorities that I set, decisions that I make, thoughts that I think, and emotions that I manifest.

This is already a broken record.  I can tell, even before I get the words out.

There is only so much time available.  Somehow I have to work, mother, keep my household, foster my friendships and tend to my budding relationship.  I would like to have some self-nurturing or at least recovery time.  I have to multi-task even that, and glean whatever pleasure I can wherever I can.  Rather than choke at yet another chore, I choose to savor the upkeep of my household and the shopping for groceries or other sundries.  It gives me a smidgen of peace.

And what of this budding relationship?  How does it fit in?  How does one have quality adult time and not compromise child time?  Beaten down by logistics.  There’s no time for seeing each other during the week, which leaves only the weekend.  Friday nights are nearly shot.  It’s late by the time any meeting can take place.  Saturday, and part of Sunday constitute the window of opportunity and the dynamics shift dramatically as a function of child visitation arrangements.  How to be relaxed and content when there’s no time for just plain living?

I don’t like juggling.  I don’t like the ‘hurry up and wait’ mentality.  I don’t like not knowing what time I will have with whom and when.  For all I know, I could be dead in five years.  Or tomorrow.  I’m grateful to make it home alive, each and every day that I have to traverse the freeways in the dark, when it’s raining.   It’s harrowing.  I don’t want a future life, I want a now life.

So I am confounded and frustrated.

I don’t know how not to be anxious about the time.  I don’t know how this life balancing act works.

Sometimes I find myself in thought, and realize that I’m not breathing.  Stress.  It’s a stress of some sort.  I have to remind myself to breathe.

Maybe I should ask myself what I want.  Why is the time or lack of it so stressful or so important?  Or did I not just write ad nauseum about it?

After I’ve put the kids to bed, there is a small window of time that I get for myself.  It’s all I have, and there are a thousand and one mentally, physically, spiritually, or emotionally productive or constructive things I could do with that time.   But for whatever reason, the need to decompress and refuel is amplified lately, and I find myself floundering and anguishing, at a loss for doing this with the faculties I have available.

Ideally (this is pure speculation) decompression and refueling could be a symbiotic process with one’s partner, given that there is regular contact.  But there isn’t regular contact, and there’s not likely to be regular contact in the foreseeable future.

So I am confounded and frustrated.  And feeling alone.

I said it was a broken record.

October 9th, 2010 | 1 Comment »

the bird

I’ve been sick all week.  Trying hard not to let it take hold.  I even took all of us to urgent care on Tuesday, to get checked out.  We got the all clear, but got one prescription for LB for the pink eye that was making the rounds, just in case.  So who gets pink eye?  Me.  Followed by BB.  LB has a runny nose and a cough.  BB is a bit stuffed up.  And I’m a complete mess.  I took a sick day on Friday, which is just as well because BB got kicked out of daycare the minute they noticed his rosy eyes.  It’s funny how such a ruckus is made over pink eye.  Whatever version we have doesn’t even hurt.  It’s nothing compared with the sore throat that has persisted all week.  I’ve been drinking lemony tea, gargling with cayenne pepper and vinegar, sucking on menthol throat drops, popping the ibuprofen like it’s going out of style, and even working my way through the remnants of my ancient prescription painkillers.  Thank GOD the boys don’t have the sore throat.  I wouldn’t know how to help them and it would break my heart to know they had to just suffer through it.

So this is the big wedding weekend for Gadget.  His daughter and stepson are here from Kentucky, having arrived on Tuesday.  His twin and significant other arrived yesterday from New York.  I’m not sure who else is here, but rumor has it that it’s a big wedding, with 200-300 guests.  Gadget mentioned something months ago about the boys having a role in the ceremony.  I started trying to make some plans a few weeks ago, so that the kids could see that side of their family.  It turned out that Friday was a no-school day, so I told Gadget that I could actually bring the kids over on Thursday after work.  That way they could spend some time with their siblings.  They’ve never even met LB.  “We’ll see….” is what I got from Gadget.  I tried to solidify plans as the week progressed.  He finally said “No, don’t bring the kids over until around 4pm on Saturday.”  Why not Thursday, I asked.  Gadget said he wouldn’t even be home until 9:30pm Thursday, and his kids wouldn’t babysit.  WTH.  I wasn’t asking them to BABYSIT.  And at 16 and 21, are they not responsible enough to spend a few hours with my boys, their BROTHERS, unaccompanied?  WTH?  So it comes out that there is some function on Saturday for the over 12 crowd and there is nobody to watch the little kids.  He pretty much declares that I should bring them over at 4 on Saturday and pick them up Sunday.  I told him I’m not a taxi service.  My window of helpfulness was Thursday evening.  If he couldn’t work with that, then figure it out his own.  I thought I was very clear.

Fast forward to today.  Saturday.  3:54pm.  He texts me.

Him: Are you bringing the kids?

Me: I’m sick.

Him: That’s ok two can play your silly game. I knew you would pull some crap like this, but whatever.

Me: What game.  I’m sick.  U can come get them if you want.

Him: Whatever

Me: I’ve been waiting for you to communicate about how u want to handle the boys and haven’t heard a word.  What do u expect?

Him: At least I didn’t make up something. To be at least civil and not make up a lie not to do something. I wanted to bring the kids here to spend time but everything didn’t  work out that way but I have talked to you and you wanted nothing to do with anything so there you go.  You got all mad. You’re just pissed.

Me: U told me when u wanted them here.  I told u what worked for me-Thurs. I told u to figure out a plan.  Did u? And I DON’T LIE.

Him: If I have to pick them up then  they won’t be back until u pick them up on Wed.  When I say I don’t have fuel I’m not making it up.

WTH.  He didn’t even TRY to figure out an alternate plan.  He thinks it’s appropriate that I drop everything, drive an hour each way, and drop the boys off at the time he edicted.  His family members live North of me.  He lives South of me.  He could coordinate with someone to pick up the boys on their way.  He’s asked my dear friend’s husband to photograph the wedding.  He could ask them to bring the boys.  He had several options he could have explored, yet he did nothing.

So, here I am, sicker than hell, can barely swallow or breathe, and I just break into sobs.  Right in front of BB.  So then I have to tell BB that I’m crying because his dad thinks I’m lying about being sick.  Not to mention, my beautiful angel of a boy has been excited and looking forward to seeing his relatives.  And I had to tell him, no, you can’t go see them Thursday.  Or Friday.  And it doesn’t look like he’s coming to get you now.

Still sobbing, I check the clock and call my friend.  Luckily, they’ve not left yet, so they come over and get the boys.  Solution.

The man is incompetent.  And an ass.  Check out the reflection.  It’s ludicrous that I would make up a story and lie.  That he could even conceive such a notion speaks volumes as to how deeply he knows the essence of ME.

Un-flipping-believable.  I am *this* close to incorporating the f-bomb into my vocabulary.  I was recently able to produce the gesture depicted above, albeit still with a smile, and not directed at the ex.  That one was directed at my geeky friend, who I shall call Sailor.  I think he’s trying to toughen me up.  He shares his drama and I attempt to give him a rational female perspective.  I share my drama, and he offers his crude male perspective.  Basically, he says I should stand up for myself and take Gadget to the cleaners by going after max child support and daycare contributions.

Thus far, no man I encounter seems to understand my idea of the high road.  I don’t get it.  They almost unanimously share tales of child support woes.  Maybe it just kills them to see that they, being the nice guys they are, get shafted, yet Gadget, being the apparent ass that he is, gets to skate.  Gadget, as we all know, thinks he is being shafted.

I’m tired of trying to explain it to anybody.  I don’t want to hurt him.  I don’t want to make his life miserable.  I’m not vindictive.  I just want him to step up and be a man.  Good Lord.  Just. Be. A. Man.

And I hope and pray with all the hope and earnestness that I have in my heart that I can live long enough to raise my children, because if they had to be raised by him, they would have a tough road, without good and honorable examples and guidance.  I don’t want them to think it’s okay to lie.  Or to be selfish.  Or self-serving.  Or materialistic.  Or lazy.

So I guess I better step up my game, as far as taking better care of myself goes.  I have young lives to help shape.

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September 9th, 2010 | No Comments »

pissed, pissed, pissed, pissedy pissed

Probably I over-react, but over the course of a few days, Gadget won’t answer his phone.  I messaged his wife-to-be and she hasn’t replied.  I called his work number and he didn’t pick up.  He hasn’t called me back.  Finally, I texted him.  Does he want to pick up the kids after work on Friday?  Can’t. Saturday morning?  No money for gas or anything else.

WTH

WTH?

What kind of a person doesn’t FIND A WAY to see his kids?  I can’t take full legal control of them and just remove ourselves from his life.  I want them to see him and have fun with him and love him and respect him.  So WTH?  So he has a limited income and a wife-to-be and four extra kids all under one roof.  You just modify your lifestyle to make things work.  Eat in.  Play in.  You find a way to make it work.  Shop at thrift stores.  Whatever it takes.

And yes, the stupid server is still crashing several times a day, as they work on migrating everything to new hardware.  I don’t know why that task should take so blessed long, unless they have a complete set of incompetents flailing about.  Ridiculous.  They are crediting a full year of free service once the dust settles, but for heaven’s sake.  How’s a woman supposed to vent?

Posted in bellyaching, divorce