Monthly Archives: July 2014

Family Dynamics & Family History

I’m under the weather. I think it’s a sinus infection. I swam so often when I should have stayed out of the water. Was in my nightgown all day yesterday, but will force myself to go to the kids center this afternoon for a few hours of volunteering. Day three of no swimming.

Making that family video (that I posted on the blog yesterday) has been an amazing experience but what’s more amazing is the effect it’s having on my family.

My mom cried, of course. My dad was obviously moved. My brother wrote that he “teared up” several times while watching it. So did my sister and one niece. The niece also wrote on her Facebook wall,

This is is a video my aunt made for my Gampy’s 80th birthday and my Gammie and Gampy’s anniversary I love my family!!

The video is reminding my family that we were a family that met often and loved one another.

But the most amazing reaction has come from my mom. I knew she’d be emotional about it because that is her nature. But something much deeper has taken place. She stood in the doorway to my room and said through tears, “It’s made me think of our family and your dad differently.” She could hardly speak, and I hugged her genuinely, not resentfully as I often do.

If my video has an impact on how my mom treats my dad, then that is all I can ask for.

She’s carried around so much anger, bitterness, and resentment over his cheating, and punished him over and over for decades for it. Now that I’ve been cheated on I certainly understand the pain it must have caused. There’s no excuse for it, and I’m not letting him off the hook, but if she decided to take him back, doesn’t she owe it to herself and everyone else to give it her best shot?

I don’t know. As her daughter and as a person who loves my father second only to my daughter in this world, I cannot waste a minute hating him, but of course, he didn’t cheat on me. But in a way, he did. Cheaters cheat on their families.

But I look at those early photos and I know that in the year or two before my sister came along my mom and dad had separated and were on their way to divorce. In 1959 or so, when I was 2-ish, he had impregnated a woman he worked with at the bank who came knocking on the door to ask what the family planned to do about it. I gather they gave her as much money as they could scrape up (about $150), and she went away and had her baby. She met a nice man who adopted her son and they lived a great life. Mom kicked dad out and started divorce proceedings.

But that is when my own hell began. My mother, who loved dad more than anything was destroyed and she took all her anger out on me. I don’t remember any of it, not a bit of it, but one day when I was in my early 2os, she took me to lunch and told me all about it. It was horrible. I tried to brush it off. I didn’t want to hear it. She was apparently telling me because she wanted to apologize and ease her guilt. I could not process it, and I still can’t.

It was the darkest period of our lives. Then my mother became pregnant by a married man she worked with. So I’ll never know if my dad came back because he missed my brother and I, or because he knew how it would look for my mom to become pregnant while separated from him, or if he missed and loved her, or any combination of the above. But he came back.

Throughout my life (even before I heard this family lore) I had a fear that my father would leave us and the idea of it was overwhelming to me. Part of it was fear that my mother would marry some awful person and I’d have a stepfather that I hated. My dad (when he wasn’t pissed off) was fun and loving and I feared the type of man my mom might end up with. I feared he’d be religious and/or creepy. I hated him even though he didn’t even exist. I did not trust my mother’s taste in men.

But that insecurity of worrying about if dad would leave us was rooted in the fact that we endured a year or two where he was not with us. And as a younger person, when this story started surfacing, I convinced myself that he came back because he didn’t want my brother and I to have a stepdad. I guess I really didn’t see love between my parents so I figured it must have been love for us that brought him back. But I don’t know the truth. And I don’t dare ask. I hate opening cans of worms like that.

Writing this I can see that my own taste in men has been greatly influenced by my father. He had a temper. He and mom would have traumatic fights. More than once I remember being in the backseat of the car when they fought because they were lost and thinking we were going to have an accident and die. But what is it with these volatile and quick tempered men that makes us want them or hold tighter to them? Is it an addiction? Would we all have been better off without him?

But throughout my life my mom has been the bitter one and my dad the loving one. I had a healthy fear of both my parents, but I especially hated disappointing my father. Even now, my mom embarrasses me when she so obviously favors her grandsons over some of her granddaughters. She sneers and puts some of them down, and not subtlety. That kind of behavior from her makes me cringe. My mom has always very obviously favored males. Always. The only girl she pretty much loves unconditionally is my daughter, who was the first grandchild and they bonded deeply.

I like to think if I had grandkids that I’d have a wide open heart for them, but who knows. My daughter is 38 now, and I don’t think I’ll become a grandmother!

Last night and this morning I’m feeling lower than I should about my husband. I think watching family stuff brought him front and center to my mind. Leaving him out of the video was the right thing to do, but his absence from it seems glaring to me.

I don’t know what he’s thinking. I don’t know who he’s involved with, if anyone. His short texts seem to imply he’s alone, but that might just be wishful thinking on my part. I’m really angry with myself for missing him and still finding him interesting and also for feeling pity for him and his situation. I’m angry with how fucking loyal I am to him. There have been dozens of times where I’ve almost called him or emailed him and then I force myself to stop.

I’d have a problem with iMovie or with Photoshop and I’d begin to write him a text or email and then I’d stop myself and erase it. I am trying to break myself of the habit of relying on him. He would like me to keep that up, but it’s wrong. It makes him feel good about himself when I need him. Like we’ve come through this unscathed and we’re pals now.

And now that I barely communicate with him he seems bothered by that. “You don’t check in anymore” he writes. And I think to myself, ‘Yes, that’s true. Because you hurt me to my core. You are not a good person.’ When I don’t contact him, I think he almost realizes he’s not a good person. I think he almost realizes that he lost something of value. I think he almost realizes that he still loves me.

He’s quick to judge me, still. He complains that he is always fearful to look at his email for fear there will be some long scathing or threatening or demanding email from me. He never stops to think he might deserve those kinds of emails, of course. And it’s been a long time since I’ve sent him anything longer than three sentences. He can see I’m letting go, I know that. And I’m sure that hurts his ego a bit.

He really did not expect me to get to this point. And I’m not as far along as I’d like to be, but he doesn’t need to know that.

I guess today is one of those days where I’ll need to remind myself of how horribly emotionally abusive he was to me for years. I’ll need to remind myself that I have an unhealthy attraction and addiction to him. And I’ll need to remember my goal which is to rise to the head of my family and pull us all together.

Meh. I’m quite blue today. Perhaps the result of not exercising this week, or being sick, or the anticlimax of working on that video for a month. But I’ll keep trudging along.

 

 

 

 

My Family

I’ve spent a good part of the last month working on a video to honor my dad’s 80th birthday and my parent’s 60th wedding anniversary.

They were divorced for a few years in there, but I decided not to include that part.

The video is done and it’s good, but naturally it’s not exactly what I had envisioned. It taxed my computer skills and I was limited in the photos I could use because virtually all of mine are in storage. Thankfully I had scanned quite a few of them a few years ago.

Some of the nieces and nephews are under represented but I did the best I could. I asked my siblings for help, and my brother sent a couple and my sister sent nothing. When I told her I had hardly any photos of one of her sons she said, she had no photographs where he doesn’t look like a heroin addict, which he is.

Hell, she had five kids and I only had one, so at times it feels it’s a video about her family!

I showed it to my parents for the first time last night before it showed up on YouTube, and my mom immediately began to cry. When it was over they both stood and hugged me. In my family, although we are far from perfect, this is the perfect gift.

A video can make my family look perfect and appear always happy, when of course we weren’t, but you know what? It was good. And people meant well. And no one was an asshole. We all did the best we could, including my very young parents. We always supported one another; we were always there for each other.

Some could accuse me of just portraying the good stuff, but hey, how many of us grab our camera when the bad shit is going down? And why do we need to relive that anyway?

I’m going to include the video here for the heck of it. The are no photos of me in it past the age about 32. A few photos exist, but they’re horrible. I’m the creator (and often the photographer), I can leave myself out if I want to. I even left two of my four husbands completely out of it. Again, my prerogative.

It’s hard to feel like you have wrapped up your parent’s lives in a 15 minute video, so please know that is certainly not the case. This video is a mere snapshot. But I think you can see the love there, especially in all the many photos of my dad hugging his grandkids through the years.

I know it makes him really sad that we don’t have enough family nearby. I wish we all lived near one another again. I wish we were meeting at parks and having birthday picnics and Christmas dinners. I wish we had not spread out all over the world.

That’s one thing I plan to fix, when I get my life in order, to help bring some more of the family to Oregon.

I know that my husband would be insulted that I’ve left him out entirely and he’ll never see the vid anyway. But he never did get how close I am to my family and he never will.

He sent me a somewhat cryptic text message on Sunday asking where I was. Then today he sent another saying “You never check in anymore.” And so I “checked in” with him via text and asked if there was anything new with the case. There wasn’t, so we said goodbye. Weird.

I’d like to check in with him all the time. I’d like to spend hours on the phone with him. BUT I CANT DO THAT BECAUSE WE ARE NO LONGER TOGETHER BECAUSE HE DECIDED ANOTHER WOMAN’S VAGINA WAS MORE IMPORTANT THAT ME. Fuck. Sigh. Yes, I still want him. Still waiting for that to wear off. And it will, someday.

I don’t expect anybody who stops in and checks out this blog to actually spend 15 minutes looking at a video of a stranger’s life, but if you watch the first minute or so, you’ll get the picture.

 

From Blanche du Bois to the Queen of England

My parents are driving to the coast today so this is the first day in months that I have had the house to myself. I did not go swim. I probably should have, but I awoke feeling very weird from a bad dream and my stomach was upset and I just decided not to go.

There is a particularly moving article on Chump Lady today. The woman’s story is terrible, but not all that unique in the world of the chumped. It’s Chump Lady’s response to her query and all the other comments on the blog that have moved me to tears today. Women are more brave and strong than most people will ever acknowledge.

There have been many times in my life where I have identified with the character Blanche du Bois from the movie/play Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams. Blanche represents the most fragile and injured part of me. She was not a bad person; she had a series of events that caused her life to go off course. She faced humiliation and bankruptcy and all she wanted on earth was to find a man to love and grow old with. Her brother in law made certain that would never happen, and we are given to assume that Blanche probably spends the rest of her life in a mental institution.

But there are other women from film/history who I also relate to. Long before I moved to England and long before I became an Anglophile, I was a huge fan of the movie Elizabeth staring Cate Blanchette. No, I don’t relate to being a daughter of Henry VIII or being a queen, but near the end when Elizabeth transforms herself into the Virgin Queen, I know what she’s feeling.

I am transforming myself.

She has given up on the idea of a happily ever after. She has given up on love and any hint of a normal life. She cuts off her hair, applies the white lead make up to appear other worldly and statue-like. She dons a bright red wig and wears garish gowns. She is now something to be feared and adored, like a god. She announces that she is now married — to England, and she goes on to rule for another 40 years — the Golden Age of England.

As far fetched as it seems, this is how I feel now. This is why I need to work or have my own business. I need to focus every ounce of my energy on helping my family financially. I cannot fathom ever letting another man convince me that he will make my life better. Four marriages is enough. It’s time for me to steer my life and to become the powerful woman I believe I am inside.

A part of me feels resigned to this fate, and another part feels that it’s been a long time coming. My family needs a leader and I want to step up and fill that roll. I don’t want anything to deter me from it.

So will there be a man to step in and take me out? Make love to me? Buy me dinners? No. There won’t. I can no longer believe anyone other than my immediate family want the best for me. Besides, I have nothing to offer them; my loyalties are elsewhere.

I do not think I would be able to accept their less favorable traits and therefore I do not think I would make a good match. I don’t want to get to know them; I don’t want to hear their stories. I don’t want their family drama. I don’t even want their dick. For the first time in my life, I don’t want them.

I don’t mind if someone thinks I’m a man hater after writing that, but I know that I am not. I am simply used up and have nothing more to give. It’s been taken from me. But it will not kill me. I don’t hate man; I almost feel as though I am becoming a man.

I am leaving Blanche and her vulnerability behind. I am becoming the queen of my own fate. Yes, part of me has died, but what remains is strong and focussed. I am reborn.

 

Weighday for the First Time in Two Weeks

I haven’t weighed for a couple of weeks so when I woke up today, my normal “weighday”, I forced myself to step on the scale before I could talk myself out of it. I was fully prepared for it to say 202 or 203, perhaps worse. When it read 199.6 I was hugely relieved.

Never thought I’d be so happy to weigh 199.6, but I feared I had really ventured into the now we’re gaining mode and I just couldn’t do that. So  technically I’m still in the now we’re maintaining mode, which is okay for the time being.

I ate well for the last two days, hardly any evening snacking and no candy during the day (a pattern I was quickly falling into). I’m back to my treats being a couple of cups of coffee with two teaspoons of sugar in them, plus the odd whole wheat fig newton.

I am not going to weigh every day any longer. The fluctuation every single day is off-putting and bewildering to me. But I do think once a week may not be enough. For now I’ll throw in a Wednesday weigh-in just to make certain I am on track. That’ll still give me a few days to try harder before the Sunday weigh day.

How often do you weigh?

It’s sort of amazing how being more or less back on track feels so good. Realizing I’m a bit hungry, but not automatically getting up to simply shove stuff into my mouth. Being comfortable with being a little hungry. Not feeling deprived of the candy. I can’t believe I let myself start eating candy like that. It’s appalling! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m out of the woods yet. I’ve just had a few good days.

When my eating is under control I feel in control of my life, which gives me confidence.

Physically I don’t feel so well, the nonstop dripping nose which I don’t think is allergy related, but perhaps a low grade infection from swimming. My ear hurts, my sinuses are messed up. I’m glad the pool is closed today to give my body a chance to recover from whatever is going on there.

The tension in the house yesterday was awful. It took me way, way back to my childhood being afraid there’d be a blow up. So after I swam I just stayed out for several hours, not too much fun since I’m incredibly broke.

I did go to the Saturday Market, but after I walked quickly through it I just kept walking to my car. I was simply too nervous about running into my husband. When I imagine running into him and then allowing my eyes to scan the scene to see if he’s with another woman, my heart races and I actually feel I might faint.

I don’t want to see her or know who she is. When he finally leaves this town I don’t want to know who else I need to avoid. Leave me in my oblivion!

I’m still very traumatized when I recall that night I met him downtown for what I thought was a mini date night only a few weeks before d-day. But when I sat with him and his friends the tension was palpable. They wouldn’t engage me in conversation even though I was trying to engage them. They looked confused and frightened, to be honest! After one drink and everyone practically ignoring me, I said I’d be heading home now and my husband quickly walked me to my car. He could not wait to be rid of me. Now of course I realize his friends were very aware that there was another woman and didn’t know what to say to me. He could not wait to be rid of me because she was due there any moment.

When I re-read that last paragraph I want to add that I feel such shame. And that is so wrong. I shouldn’t feel shameful! He should!

Just imagine if I hadn’t said I would be leaving. I probably would have met her that night. Shudder.

I’m going to take it easy today and have a day of rest. I plan to make up another batch of leak soup and perhaps give myself a manicure and pedicure.  I’ll also check the jobs listings to see if there’s anything else to apply for. I hate that I’m so picky, but if I were to accept a soul sucking position, I’d never last.

I will admit that I really, really hope I’ll get a call this week to interview for the last job I applied for. It’d be perfect for me. Sigh.

I am also learning how to sit down with a book and just be in the moment. I spend so much time reading online that I have forgotten the joy of turning actual pages and just chilling out. When you’re online, if something begins to bore you you simply click and click and click away. I want to learn how to just sit some place shady, read my book, and be comfortable in my own skin.

Lately I’ve begun to think I do not want a man in my life. The idea of getting to know someone from “scratch” is too exhausting for me. Discovering their idiosyncrasies and flaws and deciding if I can live with them seems overwhelming. Learning about their baggage and sharing my baggage feels very unpleasant. Worrying about giving up parts of myself is no longer acceptable.

The sense of accomplishment I will feel when I get back on my own two feet, financially and emotionally is what I need right now. Perhaps in time I will meet someone, but I won’t do anything to force it unnaturally on myself. I would, however, like a few friends to be able to have a social life so I won’t stop trying to make that happen. If I do not get a job by then, I plan to take an evening or weekend class in the Fall where people my own age might be, so I will have to save for that.

Of course I wonder if I’ll ever be intimate with someone, but I have to be satisfied to just wait and see.

For the very first time in my life I am getting to know myself and it feels really good.

Sunday Stats
Starting weight: 267 (mid October 2013)
Today’s weight: 199.6
Total weight loss to date: 68 pounds
Height: 5’8″
Goal weight: about 150 (about 30-50 pounds to go)

 

Oblivious Mom, Applying for Jobs, Planning My Own Future

I began to read my book French Women Don’t Get Fat and made the leek recipe at the beginning as a sort of cleansing/get refocussed day. At night I was still dying to go into the kitchen and eat more, more, more, but somehow I didn’t. So, one day down. I’m relatively hopeful that I can pull it off again today.

Don’t worry, I’m not on a “diet” per se. It’s just a cleaning out, a kickstart for a day or two. I don’t eat badly until after 7 at night, but then I eat very badly. My counselor suggested I plan a small protein rich meal at about that time and I think that’s an excellent idea. So from now on, when I wander in there I’ll have a plan and when I’m done with it, I won’t eat any more the rest of the night.

So I’ll have some of my super delicious Lebanese yogurt with lavender honey on top. Or some cheese with vegetable crudités. I’ll plan ahead for what my after dinner treat will be.

I’ve spoken a bit about my mother here and feel it doesn’t reflect well on me to complain about her incessantly since she gives me a roof over my head, but last night there was an incident that has made dad and I feel like we’re walking on eggshells today. It’s so uncomfortable! It’s times like this when I really cannot wait to have my own home again.

But worse than making me feel uncomfortable is that I hate what she is doing to my dad. She truly behaves like a child at seventy fucking eight years old! And even though I had nothing to do with the incident, the fight they had, it was about me so I feel weirdly guilty.

I’ve been telling them both for weeks that not only have I stopped losing weight, but am starting to gain weight. Yesterday I made a point to tell them I was going to make the leek soup in an attempt to kickstart myself into better eating. We spoke about how eating late at night is my downfall.

My mom announced a little later that she was going to go to Dairy Queen for Blizzards for her and dad and asked me if I wanted the small Oreo one. I thought that was an odd way to put it, since I never have them, so why would I have a favorite. At any rate I said, “No thanks, I don’t want one.”

The irony here is that she is constantly getting on my dad about his love of sweets and yet when she decides she wants a Blizzard she pushes it on him too. So, he can’t have any sweets except when she craves them, I guess.

I’m used to my mom being oblivious and so is my dad. Both of us bite our tongues a thousand times a day because she’s a notorious martyr when she feels slighted.

My mom  is getting ready to go buy their treats and she’s walking towards my room, “___, do you want the small Blizzard?” And before I can tell her no (again) dad says to her, “No. Don’t offer her one.”

And mom says, “What?” In her very loud, oblivious voice.

He says, “She’s been telling us for days she’s gaining weight. She needs our support. Don’t ask her if she wants one — she already said she didn’t want one.”

My mom said, “She’s a grown woman, she can tell me if she doesn’t want one.”

Dad: “She already did.”

And that was it, folks. She got her shoes on, went to DQ and came home with (I guess) one Blizzard for my dad cuz she’s busy pouting now, and she didn’t speak to him for the rest of the night.

And then she went to bed early.

And today she’s barely speaking to him.

She’s so oversensitive I can hardly believe it. It makes me feel ashamed.

But it’s not just that; it’s the fact that my dad has COPD and his days are numbered. And I can’t fathom not speaking to your loved one when every moment of every day is precious. I just can’t.

I want so much to sit her down and tell her that it’s time to let some things go; that she may regret her actions later, but you know what she’d say, and I swear she would, “Oh now you’re against me too, huh?”

She wouldn’t listen, she wouldn’t be open, she wouldn’t even consider behaving a little better. At 78 she is as emotionally immature as she was at 14 and I find it disgusting. On days like this I want to be out of here so bad I can taste it.

My dad and I agree in private that mom is truly the most unhappy person we have ever known. The only upside is that she would deny it, so in her own weird way is oblivious about her own misery.

On Thursday I applied for a job I’m very qualified for. If I don’t even get an interview I’m really going to feel age discrimination is a factor. It’s such a shame. For a time while I was carefully writing my cover letter I could imagine having a nice work environment to go to, new friends there, a steady paycheck and then taking the settlement money and using it for retirement, or to buy my own house in a year or two when my credit is better.

Such a lovely fantasy.

But not if no one hires me.

It’s such a shame. I have energy. I have a very good work ethic. I’m free to travel with no baggage at all, and yet I don’t get interviews. I look fine, dress fine, speak fine, but I can’t get an interview.

I would like my own business. I’ve wanted one my whole life, but I have no experience at it and feel that it’s quite a risky thing to do with my settlement money. When I think of having a decent job and saving that money, I feel comfortable and safe.

During my eight year marriage I stopped doing what is comfortable and safe because I thought you needed to take risks and be uncomfortable to get that lucky break. All I did was lose every penny I had in the process.

It’s pretty terrible of my husband to expect us all to be brave and risk-takey when it’s not his fucking money.

He knows nothing about earning or saving money and he made me feel I was a square for wanting to be cautious.

I spoke to his daughters on FaceTime yesterday, they are in London. For the first time the older one said to me, “Daddy is weird. He’s really weird.” I said, “I worry about him.” And that was it, we usually ignore the topic of daddy. But I feel they’ve given up the idea of the American dream because daddy can’t stop moving in order to put down some roots. He’s unhappy everywhere he goes.

And now talking about Miami. That really would be starting over since he does not know a soul there. My heart breaks for him; thinking of him doing his wheeling dealing thing trying to impress people. I know he has depth and I know he’s a poet inside. It’s a shame that he primarily shows his obnoxious and flashy  side. Here I go feeling sorry for him again. I need to stop that. For all I know he’s got seven lovers who have investment money willing to settle in Miami with him. I need to stop feeling sorry for him.

I’m not nuts about swimming on Saturday, but I missed two days of swimming this week so I must. Usually it works out okay, it’s just a different atmosphere. I can’t get there until 11:15 because other groups are using too many of the lanes until then. After that I think I’ll go downtown to the Saturday Market. Yes, I could run into my ex, but the chances are small. I need to stay out of the house for a bit today. And I’ve got several good books to take with.

I did email my husband yesterday and just wrote, “Just checking in. No news this week?” And after a while he responded, “No news.” So hopefully that’ll be that until next week. I need to stop thinking about him and worrying about him. He made his decision and there’s no going back.

I need to think about my own life now.

 

 

The Ongoing Process of Learning About Oneself

I went to the pool yesterday with a new anticipation. Normally I go there automatically but a small part of me dreads it. I wonder ‘How hard will it be today?’ And the hour or so in the water is both good and bad but often something to be “gotten through.”

But yesterday I decided to try swimming in the much more relaxed manner that I tried the day before (when I had my meltdown). The difference is astounding, actually, and I doubt I am burning many less calories plus it is much more enjoyable.

I think I got so concerned with making my body long and having good form and it just made me fight the water instead of becoming one with it. Plus, and this is a big point, I’m spending far less time at the edge of the pool in recovery — I’m able to keep going. So I’m in motion more, but going at a slightly slower pace. I can live with that.

I’m looking forward to doing it again today.

Yesterday I stopped at a favorite used book store and bought a copy of French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano. I can’t say anything about it yet as I haven’t begun it, but I thought it sounded interesting. My own philosophy (or goal?) is to eat really high quality foods (none that are marked “lite” or “low fat”) but to watch portion sizes.

Except when I’m eating candy and shit. Very contradictory.

I ate fairly well yesterday, the first time in a while. I’m praying that I can get back into some sort of groove diet-wise and slowly return to weight loss.

I also purchased Right Ho, Jeeves by PG Wodehouse and the play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams, my favorite playwright.

I’m trying to find new things to focus on that don’t require sitting in front of this damned computer.

But after I made my book purchase I really wanted to go sit in a coffee shop, order a cappuccino, and read a few pages of one of my new books. The only place I felt would be fun to do that is downtown, but I still don’t venture there much in case I run into my  husband. So I headed towards home instead.

It’ll be interesting in the coming months, when he leaves, to reclaim my town. It’ll hurt a bit at first, like going to the charity shops hurt at first, but in time my town will be mine again. My marriage to him just a weird dream.

I’m still recovering from the conversation we had the other day. It’s ironic that it was a light, friendly, sometimes flirtatious conversation, nothing sinister, yet it affected me so badly. He’s still on my mind more than he should be, more than he would be if we had not spoken.

I guess a day will come, sometime in the distant future, when I don’t yearn for him, and the man I thought I knew. Also feeling sorry for him is a big factor; I hate that I feel he will flounder and fail even more without me. In the meantime, as Chump Lady says, I’ll continue to “trust that he sucks.” Because the writing’s on the wall, so-to-speak.

I spent too much money this month at charity shops, primarily, which is incredibly stupid since I don’t have a home or a shop to put the stuff in. I am now dead broke through the end of the month to the point where I’ll have to go hock my wedding band just to put gas in my car. I’m sad to do it, but I’ve left myself no choice. Sometimes I get so nervous about finances that I refuse to check my balance until it’s too late. This is one of those times.

I feel like an idiot.

And I can’t believe the fucking attachment I feel to that wedding ring. I bought it online in the UK. It’s a very narrow band, but inside you can see the UK gold mark, and it’s 18k. My husband lost his. Yes, I paid for his, too. I paid for everything.

It’s so small that I doubt I’ll get more than $50 for it. Fuck it. Let it go.

My shift at the kids center was canceled yesterday. This is the first week that I really didn’t go in except on Monday when I dashed in just to finish Friday’s paperwork. I suppose I should be glad that it must mean fewer children are being sexually abused or witnessing domestic violence. So you can’t complain that there’s no work!

I am very glad that I will see my therapist tomorrow. It’s been a long couple of weeks. I want to write some notes today so that I can address my most pressing concerns. It’s so easy, when I get in there, to lose focus and be all over the place. My weak self-esteem is a huge issue. My anger is another. There are too many issues and not enough time!

I saw another job to apply for so I’ll come home and do that later. I don’t hold out much hope that someone will see my potential, but I will keep looking.

After I swam yesterday I came home and put make up on and dressed nicely because I thought I’d be going to the kids center, but as I was on my way they called to say the appointment was canceled. So I did some errands, bought my books, etc., but I noticed what a difference it makes when you feel you look nice. I handle myself very differently when I feel put together — I definitely have more confidence.

That’s a good clue to go ahead and do more of that. It allows me to hold my head high and have the dignity that I desire. Hard to do this on an extremely small budget, but still doable.

 

 

Living Well is the Best Revenge

I got to the pool yesterday and began my laps. All was going okay until this 65 year old woman with bouffant hair, glasses on (yes glasses on in the lap pool), started using the lane next to mine with her floaty belt and floaty ankle thingys on and for some reason (the calls from my husband), I just wanted to fucking splash her.

Every time I passed her to see her bike riding feet in slow motion with the black ankle floats on I felt my blood pressure go up. I gave her the finger under the water. She can’t see me because she doesn’t get her fucking head wet.

After about the six lap by her I screamed under water and I knew I was losing it. About to cause a scene due to this oblivious and innocent woman. I feared that my scream might have been heard above water by the lifeguard. If I’m not careful they’ll be asking me to leave!

I stopped at the end and pulled up my goggles and silently cried into my hands. I thought for sure I’d have to get out. I sort of hoped the swimmer on my other side would appear and ask if I was alright and I wouldn’t give her details, but I’d appreciate the human concern. She didn’t, which is fine. She’s working out and didn’t see me.

I thought I’d try one more lap and see if I could stay in a bit longer. I tried to use my imagination. I’m not in a pool in Oregon. I’m in an endless blue pool in Hawaii and it’s gorgeous, pristine, and all mine for miles.

I began to close my eyes every time I passed the bouffant glasses woman. I really could not bear to see her bike riding slow motion black-clad ankles one more time.

I slowed my swimming up to the point where it was almost effortless; a bit like I  swam when I first started and didn’t have a lot of stamina. I stopped counting laps, I just wanted to stay in and somehow clear my head.

I closed my eyes more and more, only opening briefly to make sure I was still swimming down the middle of the lane.

It felt divine.

I had totally forgotten that I could swim in a way that didn’t tax me so much. It was a huge relief. It was still a workout, just not as intense, and I stayed in over an hour.

Of course I think a person who wears their glasses in the pool and doesn’t get their hair damp does not belong in the lap pool. There are two other pools there that would serve her better. But it’s not like it was crowded and someone was demanding to double up in my lane because of her. And more power to her for being active, such as it is. I’m trying to be nice now, but I’m not succeeding. I don’t feel nice at all. Get the hell out of the lap pool you oblivious woman!

Before I set out for the pool yesterday I sent my husband a very brief email asking him (AGAIN) not to call me unless it’s regarding the case or something urgent regarding his daughters. Shortly after I got home there was a text from him, “What’s going on?” His usual greeting.

I don’t know if he saw the email or not. I have not responded to him.

I’ve got to quit taking out my anger and frustration on other people (the pool lady, my mom). I’d really like to see, when I have my hands on this money, if I can tell him to fucking fuck off and die. Asshole. Fucking cheating ego maniacal bastard.

That stupid “innocent” conversation has again caused me to think about how this whole thing went down. To be honest, unlike many chumps, I just don’t know how it happened and I never will.

Things were awful, to say the least. I had no idea how we’d pay rent the next month. I could barely afford groceries and could not pay utilities. I had never been that poor in my entire life. Not even when I married at 18 years old.

He would sleep late (1 p.m.) and then spend hours on the phone with his mother and daughters. Truly, hours. He’d sometimes have dinner with me and then he’d get up and shower like it was an idea he just had and announce that he was going downtown to see what was up.

Half the time he asked me if I had any “dosh” and I always gave him what I had on me, from $5 to $10, sometimes I had nothing. He smokes, so a large part of it goes towards a pack of cigs. The rest to a beer, I guess. A really cheap one. I’m sure having to ask me for every penny was wearing thin for him.

He used to ask me if I wanted to come, but as I’ve said on here many times, there was no point. A couple can’t do that mooching thing and still look like decent people. Plus the smoke, ick. And his friends were boring to me. Bars are for twenty and thirty somethings, not forty and fifty something married people, unless you’ve got a problem, or an ulterior motive.

I’d settle in to eating too much and watching BBC on my computer. By about 11:30 p.m. I was exhausted because I get up early, unlike him. By midnight I was usually asleep. No word from him at all, generally.  This was seven nights a week.

Suddenly, only two or three weeks before our blow up, he became tremendously cold to me. I’ve shared that here as well. He was done with me. He must have decided he had a future with her. I remember what it was like when he was obsessed with me, nothing else existed for him.

Now I’m kicking myself for “letting” him go out every night and that’s so fucking ironic because in my younger days I was very jealous and insecure, but he really did make me feel he’d never cheat. With all our problems I didn’t think it’d be that, until those last few weeks anyway.

Could I have changed his mind if I could have found a way to keep him home? Doesn’t matter because I could not convince him to stay home. Not once. Even when I cooked a meal I knew he’d love. Even when I bought the sherry he liked. Even when I set up the backgammon board or asked him to have his friends around. Nope. He could not wait to leave. He already had someone.

It’s not my fault. He likes to share the blame with me, but it is not my fault he chose to cheat.

You can’t imagine how alone I was during that time. I didn’t want anyone (mom, dad, daughter) to know that I was home alone every single night — I was still protecting him. At the very end I started coming to my folks house at night and I finally told them I was home alone every night. I left to come home one night and they called me and tried to talk me into coming back and spending the night. I said no thanks. I was used to it. They hated him so much.

So I can just assume he met her at one of the bars. I can assume she’s educated, a smoker, and can hold her booze. I can assume she’s 30ish and can play a musical instrument. I can assume she’s outspoken and argumentative since he would like that. Of course I can assume she may have met me at one of the rare early times I went with him. Of course she knew he was married. I wonder what it is that she offered him that made him take that step.

I can only imagine it’s textbook stuff: finding him charming (he is in an odd way) and feeding his ego. Some men and women just go crazy when someone puffs them up and desires them sexually. That’s all I imagined happened. Nothing very complicated, certainly not sophisticated.

But I’ll never know.

I don’t know where they went, but without a doubt his affections, all of them, were now with her, and not with me. After all we’d been through together.

And lucky him. He gets to brush it all off on how I’m “mentally ill” and how he did all he could but couldn’t take any more. What a hero. Poor guy.

But he never told them I cashed in every penny I had and supported us for eight years. Flying us back and forth from London to Oregon. Shipping boxes back and forth across the world. Do you know how much that costs?

Once when we got to the UK I bought a car. Then we’d come back here and I’d buy a car. These are large purchases, obviously and I bought four cars altogether.

Does he ever think about these things? No, because that would cause him not to sleep at night and we can’t have that.

So that asshole can try to call me in the daytime to flirt with me and chat with me because he’s feeling bored and talkative? I’m supposed to be kind and gracious and forthcoming and understanding to a man who did all that to me? And offers no remorse?

What the fuck is wrong with me?

I should absolutely be at NO CONTACT.

I didn’t answer his text yesterday and I’m glad. It’s the first time I have ignored him in nine months. He’ll get the picture soon enough. But he won’t really even care.  In fact he’ll roll his eyes and say, “Well I tried to be friends with her. She’s nuts.”

And the despair back then before he told me to leave or he would. Especially the last two months. I could not see this ending well. I had no idea how we’d live through it but I was utterly numb. It should not surprise me that we didn’t live through it. I was a zombie, walking numbly through life. Ashamed, mortified, hurt, alone.

I will always believe that underneath it all he knew he had to end it because he was ashamed. He’d never admit it, but I think so. How could he ever face my family again? Forcing me to live in utter poverty all due to his huge ego. There was too much shame.

I fucking hate him and at the same time I still have that mindset, ‘But we’re married. So we’ll get through it.” But no. We won’t get through anything. And I pray that I do live well when he’s gone and out of my life and that will be my revenge.