Monthly Archives: March 2015

Ready for the Next Phase of My Life

Boy am I aching to be divorced. It’s been a few days since we had contact and I’ve got no desire to be in touch with him.

I know my Soon To Be Ex (STBX), and I know he’s not doing anything to pave the way for his daughters’ immigration — he’s too self involved, he has a very limited attention span, he doesn’t have enough money, and if they came he would not know what to do with them. But I imagine he’ll blame it all on me. Blaming is what he and his entire family do.

Until I met them I had never seen such a disordered group — they all point at one another (and everybody else) with blame — I kid you not. It should have been a huge red flag for me. They blame one another and constantly change sides. Even after saying the most hateful things and calling one another atrocious names.

He very rarely hinted that he felt the slightest bit of remorse for not providing for his children. Why should I have expected him to help provide for me when he hasn’t even done that for his own kids? When I left him a year and a half ago I said to him, “It’s time to do right by your daughters. Put them first for a change.” But he didn’t listen.

Oddly enough he does spend a lot of time on the phone with them and he is very involved in their lives but in a superficial way — it’s just for show. “See what a good dad I am? I spend three hours a day on FaceTime with my daughters!” Well, I suppose it’s better than total abandonment. But it’s like he’s so busy chatting with them that he can’t even go out and job hunt.

His time talking to the girls, his time spent shopping, grooming, and standing in front of a mirror, his time fucking Heather Ann, his time sleeping until noon, his time pretending he is a man of leisure — all of that interferes with him finding gainful employment.

I really want to go to the courthouse and get the paperwork and get on with the divorce but I’m playing this carefully. I’ve told him I’d help him sponsor his girls if it was all on the up and up. Then I told him I need some answers and he didn’t respond. I am guessing that he has no answers and doesn’t know what to do.

I had a couple of bad hours today. My dad called to ask what was on the Costco list so I read it to him, then he told me that he and my mom saw my STBX at the mall, “Looking all slick.”

I almost cut him off to say, “Please don’t tell me who he was with.” Thankfully he didn’t say anymore. But I really, really don’t want to hear about it — it would set me back.

So I guess when I think I’m making progress, but the idea of my folks running into him with Heather Ann or anyone else, really, upsets me very much. Perhaps I’m in denial about my progress. I kept wondering how he got to the mall if he has no car and what he is buying himself (or Heather) with his settlement money.

Just now I recalled how he loved to go to the malls in London, which naturally are much bigger. I remember asking if we can we eat before we go. Because it’s very expensive for me to buy lunch for all of us, especially when his girls came. He’d say yes, but I’d end up buying lunch and dessert anyway. Eventually I stopped going to the mall with him which surely must have cramped his style since he barely had enough petrol to get there, let alone have a cup of coffee or provide McDonalds to his kids. Near the end I stopped going most places in London simply because all I was was the person who paid.

On the Chump Lady websites there are a few women who, after fives years from d-day, are still miserable about their ex’s cheating. THAT CANNOT HAPPEN TO ME! He is so undeserving of stealing my happiness for that long!

My STBX is rather interesting, but he’s also a bit of a creep. I don’t miss him. I miss being part of a couple. He embarrassed me, he humiliated me, he let me down for eight long years — I don’t want that back.

He’s kind of an awful person, to be honest.

I could just imagine him at the mall in his tight jeans, pointy shoes, slicked hair, necklace (or tie), tight leather coat — prancing around a small Oregon mall saying, “Look at me, aren’t I exotic?” Oh my god I have to laugh.

Did I tell you he wrote to Banana Republic and told them not to allow their staff to steam iron the clothes where the public can see them? He said if he’s going to pay $100 for jeans he does not want to see them all wrinkled. I guess he wants them to be born pressed.

I’ve been thinking about how to get my things out of his apartment. I honestly can’t go in there without drugging myself. I will have to rent a small truck and ask my priest if he knows some college students who will go with me to get my stuff. And I’ll have a sheriff, too, if necessary. But I don’t want to go in there. I don’t want to see her stuff. I’m scared out of my mind.

But some of the furniture there is so sentimental to me. An antique dresser I’ve owned for 25 years and much more. So I’ll take two Ativan and go through the house as quickly as possible telling my helpers what to take. And then I’ll go home and sleep it off. I don’t know how else to handle it. I am really dreading it.

But after I get that stuff out I don’t think I’ll ever have to see him again. Our divorce will go smoothly because there are no assets. It’s possible we both have two lawsuits pending, but we’ve agreed to split them with one another 50/50 and the lawyer has those instructions. And that’s it. Pretty clean and certainly nothing to fight over any longer.

What I want: I want a full time job, an apartment of my own, to set up a corner of it for painting, to sell a bunch of stuff I don’t need on eBay, to buy some plants and take up a couple of new hobbies, to maybe treat myself to a professional KitchenAid mixer, and to try to have a little fun during the upcoming summer months. Oregon really is a paradise in the summer time.

I’m willing to work hard. I’m ready for the next phase of my life to begin.

I Hope Change is Coming

I can feel a shift coming, a change. It feels a little thrilling and a little frightening.

As you may recall, the one last act I agreed to help my husband with was to postpone the divorce so that “we” can sponsor his daughters. My stepdaughters  are creeping toward 18 and he can’t sponsor them without my  help because he was out of the country for over a year, so his three year waiting period had to start over. Hence he needs my help. In name only, that is.

But from the beginning I told him that I would not do anything illegal (he’s always hovering around illegality). It had to be totally on the up and up and I would need to speak to his immigration attorney to make sure she knew everything about our situation.

Well, he’s already started his dance by telling me I don’t need to talk to her. Then he forwarded to me a long ugly form that I, as the primary sponsor, have to fill out. It’s one of those gruesome forms I remember from when I sponsored him. You’d think the gov’t would keep all these records instead of asking for them again!

But he let it slip that “we” must have an income of $30,000/annually. I laughed and said, “Um, I don’t really have an income.” And he said, “Don’t worry about that. They can’t keep my kids from me.” But there’s no way in hell I’m going to sign paperwork that he sends in for me and have no idea if he’s written inaccurate information on it.

Do I want to get in trouble with immigration? NO.

I know that he loves saying to his family that I’m the one holding up the paperwork so I filled it out very incompletely and emailed it to him and I said, “I want to know how you’re going to handle this income thing. I told you everything has to be proper.”

Yesterday, after 18 months apart I suddenly found myself asking (again), “How could he have done that to me? How?” So I ended with some not very kind words since  I am back to pretty much hating him and not very much feeling sorry for him like I had been.

You’d think I’d get really sick of asking that and never getting an answer.

I suppose the answer is that he’s a conniving, bastard, con man who used me and he feels nothing over causing me immense pain. Nothing at all.

And then over on the Chump Lady website, in the grand scheme of things, my case is not nearly the worst. I don’t have young children, for example.

After I sent my email he texted me “can you talk?” And I wrote back. “No.” And I don’t plant to talk to him.

So this is what I am hoping. I am hoping very much that he will let me off the hook for this immigration thing. After all, if I’m going to insist on talking to his attorney, he is not going to like that. I’m done bending rules for him. I think he’ll love saying, “She (me) won’t help me so now I can’t sponsor my kids!” After all, what can he do with them? He can’t provide for them. He never has been able to.

But I do really, really feel for my youngest step daughter. She’s a good kid and she really, really wants away from the family in London. If I could take her in on my own, I surely would. BUT, then my imagination starts to run wild and I take myself to ugly places such as thinking my stepdaughters are enamored with their daddy’s new young girlfriend and can’t wait to come here to be besties and that I am only being used once again.

I have to tell you having young Heather Ann in this picture is coloring how I am feeling about stuff. That’s not very fair for the girls.

I’m hoping that my STBX will notify me that he will sponsor them on his own and leave me out of it. I will be relieved because I don’t trust him to be above board. But I don’t know what will happen in the long run to my step children. We had eight years together to make this happen and one thing after another got in the way. I paid for almost all of his sponsorship and believe me, that stuff adds up.

If and when he tells me he’ll take care of it on his own, I will begin divorce proceedings asap. I do not want to be married to him any longer.

And, the slightly thrilling news is that there may be a future opening at the place I volunteer at and I’m very excited about that. It won’t be known for a few more months if they can afford to create this position, but I’m going to do everything I can to make myself the one they want if and when the time comes.

I went there over a year ago to volunteer in a very difficult field: child sexual abuse. Not sure what made me go there, but being able to spend 8+ hours a week concentrating on something really different helped me to get out of my own pain, which was so severe when I first began there. Those lovely young women have really embraced me and I feel so lucky and complimented.

During my time there I realized I am not as “weird” as I feared I might be. That I’m likable. That I can still learn. That I am employable. I really needed to know that since I haven’t worked for pay for about 10 years.

My therapist likes to remind me of what I have done for myself and I should do that now and then, too. I did go volunteer. I did find a church and commit myself to it. I’ve worked hard in therapy. I don’t think anyone would say I’m not trying.

I’m feeling really grateful right now.

Pissed at my STBX and what he did to me.

But really grateful that I am me and not him.


Later on.

If you read my last post about my mother, here’s another doozy that just happened.

I wrote out the check to her today for $2,000 and I put it on the counter and said, “I went to the bank and the check has cleared. I went to put the money in [daughter’s] account and here’s your check.Don’t sit on it; put it in the bank right away.”

My dad, I think, said, “Thank you” or “okay” And my mom may have said something too, I wasn’t really paying attention. And I said, “You’re welcome.” All while I was walking back to my room.

An hour later mom comes to me holding the check and says, “Honey, can you afford to give this to us?”

I said, “What? Yes. I knew this check wouldn’t really be life changing. I’ve got my feet on the ground. I’ve planned for it.”

And she said, “Well, I’m not going to take it then.”

I said, “What? You’re somehow going to make me feel bad about this?”

She said, “Well honey, you just set it on the counter and walked away. You didn’t hand it to me or anything. And you said something about cashing it.”

I said, “Mom, I just wanted you to cash it and not sit on it for a week, that’s all. I want to know my bank balance.”

She kept arguing with me. Finally I said, “Mom, I don’t want to do this.” And she walked away.

Can you fucking believe her? She can ruin the first time I can pay towards my keep for 18 months (besides food). I am so glad I can do it and she’s making me feel like crap about it. But you’ll recall from my last post that I felt like she locked me into the $2,000 in a way that was kind of tacky.

I wonder if that’s why she came at me from that direction. That she knows what she did was a little manipulative.

My god she’s a piece of work. I can’t believe she has managed to make this a scene.



Mom Dynamics

I’ve talked a lot about my mom on this blog because she’s so high maintenance. I’ll never figure her out as long as I live. She’s very intelligent, yet incredibly insecure. And self centered. And selfish. And she outwardly, blatantly favors men over women even in her own family (except her husband, she never favors him).

When my daughter and I get together, or when my sister and I talk, we all have to say, “Hang on. I have to get this off my chest first…” and we go on to tell the latest mom stories. They are always cringeworthy. But we have to tell them to other people who understand.

Once mom’s in her recliner for the afternoon or evening with one or two dogs on her lap, nothing gets her up again unless she has to go to the bathroom or is ready for bed. This means an entire night of me hearing her ask my dad to bring her this and bring her that. And my dad (the one with COPD) gets up, groans due to his bad knees and hips, and hobbles to the cupboard or refrigerator to get whatever she asked for. And it goes on a dozen times an evening.

When she cooks and puts dinner on the table she screams to him that dinner is ready even though he’s not even ten yards away. If he doesn’t get up immediately, she screams even louder and throws in a cuss word. Yet when I cook something and call her to the table she seems to purposefully putter around and let her food get cold. But I say nothing. I thought she was the one who taught me not to yell in the house.

But she also talks with her mouth full and I thought she taught me not to do that as well.

Her horrible passive aggressive way of asking him what he wants to drink (it’s always water) or how many pieces of bread he wants (give him one, he doesn’t need two), and then she truly believes this is her way of showing how much she loves him. Trust me, he does not see it that way. He’d rather have a peanut butter sandwich and some peace.

I tried to tell her once about the British sitcom “Keeping Up Appearances.” I told her the “lady of the house” Hyacinth Bucket (she pronounces it “bouquet”) is like her but on steroids. Hyacinth takes the cookies out of the tin, puts them on a plate, and then before you can take one she’s putting it back in the tin, putting the tin away, and washing the plate. Mom said she has no desire to watch it. Hah. I wonder why.

I’ve tried, really gently but directly, on a couple of occasions to get through to her, to ask her to lighten up and stop being so sensitive. She smiled and nodded and looked as though she had no idea what I was referring to. We all walk around on eggshells around her.

But it’s her selfishness with money that irks me the most because somehow she’s decided that only the things she wants need to be purchased and anything my dad wants has to wait. Dad had the gardener out this weekend, something he only does a few times a year. But it’s been a mild winter and the grass and weeds are growing earlier than they normally do. They’ve got a house inspection coming up because mom wants to refinance the house. That’s why they just spent several grand on their kitchen.

The gardener missed a section of weeding and at dinner last night mom tells dad he’ll have to do it. I said, “I’ll do it when it’s not raining. I don’t want dad doing something that strenuous.” She’s fucking clueless — can’t she hear him gasping for breath!? Him, bending over picking weeks? Are you fucking joking? WHAT. IS. WRONG. WITH. YOU?

A few weeks ago, when I  knew this money would finally be coming to me I told them that I was going to give my daughter $4,000 and hoped to give them $2,000. Immediately my dad said, “No, no, no…” And my mom grabbed his arm and said, “Let her do what she wants.” I said, we’d talk about it later when the money came, but that I was going to give them some.

That was the entire conversation we had about the money. And I haven’t given them any yet because the check clears tomorrow. But a few days ago mom says to me, “I’ve been meaning to thank you so much for that money, honey. It’s really going to help us.”

I was dumbfounded. Mainly because I had really hoped to give them $1,000 each so that dad could have some input on how it was spent. But no, it’s already spent. And I just found it so tacky considering I hadn’t given it to them yet. It left a bad taste in my mouth. It felt like she was locking me in to the $2,000. It took away the joy of being able to give it to them. Very tacky.

When my dad talks about calling the gardener, my mom will say, “You’ll have to wait until next week because we’re broke. And then she’ll meet her friend for lunch and come home with two blouses and a pair of pants from J. Jill. Have you shopped at J. Jill? Even with a really, really good sale, you can’t leave J. Jill with three items for under $150.

Today dad said to me, “We go to the mall to walk five or six times a week. Every single time we sit and buy a cappuccino, a mocha, and a pastry and we spend $9.00. You know how much that is per month?” I nodded. He continued, “I’m going to tell mom no more of that, we can have coffee at home, then I can call the gardener and it will still save us money.” I said, “Yes, please do that.”

But here’s what my mom will do. For a few days she’ll suffer with no mocha at the mall but soon it will sneak back in. Meanwhile she’ll come up with more excuses why dad can’t call the gardener. It’s appalling. There really are no words for it. Why does he have no power in this relationship? What makes her think that’s fair?

She truly feels that no one is capable of doing anything right (except herself and my brother). She truly feels she must be in control at all times. My dad puts up with it more or less silently for weeks and weeks and then he’ll blow. And she’ll give him the silent treatment for a few days, and then it starts all over again.

Dad stopped asking to drive because mom would sit next to him and second guess his every move — gasping, and shrieking the whole way. Yet, my god, when I go somewhere with them, which is rare, I sit in the backseat in shock at how badly she drives. Constantly breaking really hard, constantly accelerating too fast. Turning in front of someone come right at us. Suddenly acting like an imbecile being unable to park. It’s mind boggling.

I know that by writing this stuff I’m not exactly “honoring my mother” as we are told to do. I will take care of her and see to her needs, but my god I can’t live alone with her, ever. She’s by far the most unhappy person I’ve ever known and it’s all because she’s decided to be that way. She hasn’t had particular hardships which would warrant such behavior. She doesn’t have to be mean or unhappy.

Oh no. I’m being punished for writing this stuff about her. She was just leaving for a signing and came back in and said her car battery was dead. I handed her my keys and told her to be careful, that my car drives much differently than hers does. Now I’m praying that she and the car come back unscathed. Shit.

Great, now dad and I have realized she left her phone in HER car and drove off in MY car. Shit.

I’ll be nervous until she comes home

Hours later. Well, she made it home but she was hours later than we expected. Dad and I were both really worried and about to call the police. He told her she should have called us from the house she was at to say she was on her way home. She said that never occurred to her.

Then she saw the mail including a letter from the IRS. Their large tax refund is on hold — that’s too bad because she’s already spent it. I’m not kidding, she has. My mom said to my dad in her optimistic way, “Well, now we won’t get any money back until August or later.” And dad said, “We shouldn’t have spent it before it got here.” And cue mom pouting for the rest of the night. I just offered her an Ativan — she’s thinking of taking it. Those pills are like gold to me, but if it’ll avoid a major melt down I’ll part with one.

Why can’t I find a job and get away from these all too frequent scenes? I don’t think we are supposed to know our parents this well.

Temperature Check

Interesting times. I’ve noticed that there aren’t very many places I enjoy spending money at here in this town — one of the shortfalls of living in a small/medium sized town. But it’s good for not buying as much. I made one major splurge with my money, a new Dooney & Bourke bag. I did wait for it to be 25% off, but it was still very expensive (for me).

If I had a home I’d be buying stuff for it, so I just need to hold on because with any luck I will be in my own place in a few months.

I sure hope so. There are jobs out there, but they aren’t ones that will sustain me. I wish there were more to apply for.

My daughter is in dire straits financially so I gave her some money. My parents will get their share when the check fully clears. That takes over 1/5th of it right off the top. I have an appointment to have my car checked out on Tuesday — crossing my fingers over that.

For fun I checked out the rental situation and it’s appalling due to the University of Oregon being here. Prices are utterly ridiculous. Good luck finding a ONE BEDROOM for under $700 — it can’t be found Even studio apartments are higher. I actually spent a little bit of time today on the RMLS real estate website today looking to see if I could consider buying. If I had that good full time job, I would look into it. It would appear I could buy a modest two bedroom in a decent part of town and pay about $1000 a month or slightly less depending on interest.

My husband called today to chat about how he wants to get a loan to buy a car. I gave him some advice but then later had to take it back because even if he does have this large check, they probably won’t give him a loan without an income.

When he talks about getting a job my heart absolutely breaks for him. The sympathy I feel knowing that even though he’s “smarter” than I am and eight years younger than I am, I still stand a better chance of getting a job than he does.

I hate that I’m spending a lot of time (these last few days especially), feeling really sorry for him. This is one reason I was reading one of his email accounts (one of many that he has) because it kept me in reality and not feeling sorry for him. When I see what he’s buying for himself and for his young girlfriend, I no longer feel sorry for him.

But I gave that and convenience stores up for Lent. I’m at day 30 and have another ten days to go. It’s been really hard and I don’t think I can keep it up after Lent. Part of me needs to be able to know when he’s lying to me. I guess the other part of me must be a glutton for punishment.

I wonder what’s broken in me that has me feeling terribly sorry for this vulnerable man when he unceremoniously discarded me for another woman. Part of it is he is not American and he doesn’t know how things work here. I can’t help it, my heart is breaking for him. I’d rather be in hate mode than this mode. If he hadn’t cheated I would still be trying to support him.

It’s been an amazingly mild winter here in Oregon and the weather lately has been breathtakingly beautiful. I wish so much I had someone to take a walk with by the river, or have a glass of wine on the patio with.

Supposedly my sister and two of her daughters plus one granddaughter will be here around May 1st for good. I don’t know my sister well, and we are very different people, but I am really looking forward to the company.

The director at the place I volunteer asked me today if I could work a few hours as they make a big transition, I said yes, of course, I’d be happy to. I’m thrilled that she has asked, I only wish there was a full time job there that paid decently. I’m just not qualified for them with no background in social services or law enforcement.

Summation: I’m a bit frustrated, but overall I still feel that I have a great deal to offer an employer and the job I end up with will be the one that is meant for me and we’ll all live happily ever after.

Well, one can dream.

The Money’s Here and I Feel Eh

Last Wednesday, a check for a substantial amount finally came in the mail to me after two years of waiting for it. It was half of the settlement for my husband’s lawsuit. It’s a significant amount, at the same time, if I weren’t careful, I could easily spend it in a year. Also, it’s only a fraction of what I lost due to my affiliation with my husband. He did keep his word to give me half, however. I’ll give him that.

We knew the checks were on their way and when he got his check, a few hours before I got mine, he texted me. Who else would understand what this means after waiting so long? Just one another. He said he thought this deserved some sort of celebration and said we could have a drink together. I said no. But the truth was I felt empty with no one to share this with but I would never subject myself to more humiliation by him.

Why would he want to have a drink with me? For old time’s sake? Why, because young Heather Ann is busy? It gives me the creeps to think about spending time with him even though I still wish things had turned out differently. I am lonely. But I really hate that he pretends he has no one when he absolutely does.

I thought my life would feel different when this money was finally in my account, but it doesn’t feel any different at all. I’ve spent a little, not much. A $40 purse. A couple of blouses, a pair of p.j.s. Things I needed (except the purse). I’m waiting for the full amount to clear and then I’ll transfer a chunk of it to my daughter who needs some desperately, and give some to my parents. My dad doesn’t want it, but I can tell my mom does. Not sure how much they’ll let me give them, but I want to give to them.

I bought a lot of food for us here, but that’s about it. I didn’t contribute to the extra utilities my presence in the house has caused them. This money will help offset those expenses.

But the truth is, I still just need a job. Until I get a job I can’t move out and get on with my life. I’ve applied for two more jobs since the phone interview (I never did hear from her again). And I don’t feel very confident I’ll get either of these two jobs. I should apply for more, but I am still being particular. If I accept a job that’s wrong for me, or doesn’t support me, I will deeply regret it.

As you can imagine, it’s an incredibly busy time of year at church and I’m almost feeling overwhelmed with the meals I’ve promised to help prepare and all the activities coming up at Easter. This coming Tuesday I’ll spend all day in the church kitchen preparing potato and leek soup and Irish soda bread for about 70 people. I’m nervous about it!

I have donated a bit more to the church and their causes this month since I can and I’m glad that I am able to. But the truth is I have to really guard this money so that when I am working, and able to move out of my parent’s home, I will have the extra cash I need to buy things like a couch, a bed, and maybe a TV depending on if I get my TV back from STBX or not.

Oh, and I also need to get my car in for a major tune up. I feel frightened that it will slip through my fingers. It feels weird not to have anyone to share this experience with. I want to be wise with this money.

My husband has thousands and thousands of dollars to pay his friend/landlord and other friend who has loaned him money in the past two years. If he pays them back he won’t be left with much extra, which he needs to sponsor his daughters. He’s sent me the paperwork because I am helping him with this as a parting gift to his girls, not for him. But my god I hate that complex government paperwork. Ugh! It’s horrible. And they should already have all of this info because I already gave it to them when I sponsored HIM! Shit.

But I am certain he’s already bought some special things for his young Heather Ann. My god I really hate that name now.

He tells me he is frantically searching for a job and I wished him well with that even though I really don’t want him settling down here. He told me he can get any job if he can get an interview and I was speechless, since he hasn’t had an interview yet. He told me he was talking on the phone recently with a car dealership, and I’m sorry to say this, I’m not sure how this makes me seem, but I think being a car salesman is, well, not very respectable and even below him — surely a waste of his talents. But again I wished him well. It’s best that he doesn’t stop to think about the odds of him finding work. I hate that I still hurt for him and feel sorry for him — those are the things that kept me with him for so long.

I found his LinkedIn account and it made me sad. Full of lies and exaggerations. He even added “Class President” which I found both hysterical and baffling. Okay, that’s enough about him. I hate when he occupies so much of my thoughts.

I had a great session on Friday with my therapist and talked about being ready to  move on and act my age. She seemed thrilled for me and is ready to help me along. She’s undergone extra training to help with trauma and has many ideas. But she’s gone now for several weeks so I’ve got to get by for a bit on my own. Thank goodness for church and the peace I find there. I have to admit that most of the people I’ve met there have felt very genuine. I’m getting a hint of church politics, but a lot of it is talked about in a sort of tongue and cheek way where they seem to be more or less laughing at themselves. They aren’t saints and they know it. As congregations go, this one gets along pretty well.

The main priest is a young man with a young family and I really like him. He just got back from three weeks in Israel/Palestine with his father, a retired bishop, and he seemed changed, then again, I don’t know him that well. But it does seem like he had a profound experience being there. I am finding a home at his church and I’m so grateful for that.

I did meet with a young graphic artist on Saturday and discussed a project I have been considering for some time. He’s going to get back to me about costs and then I’ll go from there.

I have so much extra household goods from all my charity shop sprees that once I move and can see it all, I’ll have hundreds of things to sell on my eBay store. Pretty funny. I would really like to be able to afford a two bedroom apartment if I can.

I’m just rambling. Sorry.

It’s Time to Address the Inner Child

I am very honest in this blog but I do leave things out. The bigger truths I leave out have mostly to do with things I’m terribly ashamed of. Things I can’t admit to another living soul. Not even my priest or therapist. I honestly don’t know what would happen to me if I started to tell my whole truth.

In the last several days I’ve spent quite a bit of time realizing and admitting that I am a product of an extremely volatile, abusive, neglectful, and frightening early childhood. Much of it happened pre-memory and I’m glad that I don’t know more than I already know because it’s nearly unbearable as it is.

But the results of that early childhood are with me every single day of my life and with every breath I take. To be honest, and I don’t say this lightly, I am surprised I am not a drug addict, homeless, more seriously mentally ill, or dead. It shows me that I am smarter and stronger than I ever gave myself credit for. Somehow I have survived.

I’m not sure where I was yesterday when it suddenly dawned on me that I am a 57 year old woman. I am a mature adult. I don’t have to keep being so afraid and anxious. I don’t have to keep doubting myself. I know things. I am capable. I was capable all alone and I copped out every chance I got.

My emotional maturity for the most part is very, very low. Consequently I look at myself in the mirror and I simply don’t know who that person is. I honestly don’t know what other people see when they look at me because I always feel about 15 years old.

There are a couple of very brief and small exceptions to my immaturity. Well, one that I can think of at the moment. I have often (not enough) behaved like a mother to my daughter. From what I’ve been reading about early childhood trauma everyone has “sub-selves” inside and sometimes it’s the effed up ones who are running the show. Thankfully one of my sub-selves is protective of my daughter and wants the best for her. Sadly, I wasn’t a very good mom and I’ve spent the last several years trying to make it up to her.

I feel I hardly deserve her love and feel very honored that she does love me. I will always live with regret that I wasn’t a better parent to her. She was beautiful and innocent — she deserved a better mom.

One of my major life goals for the rest of my life is to earn what I can in order to leave her with some inheritance. She’s an only child and she’s unmarried and I feel so responsible that her own life has been a struggle largely due to my influence in her life.

But I am aware. Aware of how I behaved before and after she came into the world and I live with regret, guilt, and shame every single day. I’d give anything to have become aware earlier in my life. Even five years, ten years, twenty years ago — anything. Because at 57 it really does feel too late.

Nevertheless, I won’t give up, it’s just that much more of an uphill battle.

But my parents, particularly my mother, is unaware. I suppose I’m glad that she doesn’t feel the shame she should feel over how she treated me and what she exposed me to. We can’t make the clock go back in time. And she didn’t hurt me to be cruel. She hurt me because she was in her own panicked, fearful, desperate state.

It’s a cycle and it’s repeated from generation to generation. I wish I had realized this earlier in my life — I might have been able to undo some things.

I can’t say that I forgive my mother, but I don’t really blame her too much any more. She’s so messed up, and so sad, anxious, high maintenance, that any attempt to get her to examine herself is met with a blank stare. It makes no sense to me because she’s really smart. But not about herself. In that regard she likes to stay in the dark.

But I want to walk into the light.

I want to acknowledge the pain and harm that was thrust on me when I was an utterly helpless baby and child but when I just barely start to think about it, the pain is so overwhelming that I can’t continue. Just thinking about it briefly makes me want to sob for hours.

My heart breaks for that little girl that was me. And it breaks for all little boys and girls who have experienced the same. We deserved better.

But we can pick up the pieces and become the people we would like to be, even if we’re 57 years old.

I look at mature women and I’m in awe of them and I feel inadequate and feeble when I’m with them. At the same time I really want to be them. From now on I will be working on finding out who I am and who I want to be.

I feel that, having been apart from my husband for almost a year and a half, it’s time to look at what got me into that relationship in the first place. It’s past due time to move on.

my brother and I



A Broken, Flip Flopping Record

Still no word on that particular job. Obviously I am not going to be called for the face to face interview. I just find it odd that she didn’t shoot me a thanks but no thanks email.

Yesterday I decided that I would move forward with my own business once and for all. I told my therapist and she was thrilled for me. Then I wrote to my brother to ask him what he thought. His answer was truthful and heartfelt. It’s just such a risky thing to do with my settlement money. Having to buy an inventory can really suck up your money and I could watch my little nest egg go up in smoke.

So I’ve decided to find a way to increase my eBay sales with some new items and just see how that goes. A small investment, and no outlay of money for a new website, etc. He’s right, it’s too risky.

I applied for another job today that pays really well. The position’s been open since October 2014 which makes no sense whatsoever. In this town of talented and overeducated people they can’t find someone to do that job? It’s not going to be me, I’m sure. But I applied just to keep applying.

The bottom line is with a job I can move out and get on with life, and I really do want that. I am a bit worried that I don’t have the stamina of a younger person, yet I do whatever I need to do, like the last two Tuesdays making huge dinners at church, or washing dishes there for the homeless breakfasts on Saturday.

I know I shouldn’t be so picky, but I’m desperately trying not to end up with the receptionist position somewhere. I’d really, really hate it. For so many of my younger years that’s where I was: at the front desk. Always running for the phone. I can’t do that at my age. It’s degrading and soul sucking.

Just when I think I have a plan I change it again. I do think I need to do myself a favor and once and for all get the idea of my own business out of my head. But I have to admit, my sales on eBay have been remarkable this last week. Who knows why, but I’m loving it.

In the midst of this I am deeply troubled that I still feel such shame and humiliation over what my husband has done to me. Abandoning me for a younger woman. Her interest in him probably thrilled him to his core. He dropped me like a hot potato and never looked back.

How could he never have looked back?

But life with him was truly horrific so why can’t I just be grateful for young Heather Ann and get on with my life? I guess I’m mad that I ever let him enter my life and that I lost eight years to him.

It simply makes no sense how a person can abandon someone they claimed to love — I just can’t wrap my head around it. And I still suffer from awful thoughts of them having sex and partying around town. The other day I had to go into a downtown grocery store and I was trembling I was so afraid I’d run into him or them.

Why is what he did to me so humiliating to me? There’s a double standard and no one would argue with me: when a man flits off with a younger woman he is admired and the woman he left is looked down upon. It’s wrong, unfair, and hurts so badly. For the first time in my life I’m not thrilled I was born female.

I’m tired of feeling this way, so tired of it. I barely write on my favorite website these days because other people’s pain is too much to bear right now. How can I try to cheer up other chumps when, after 18 months, I am still such a wreck. I honestly think that I may never recover from this. I’m not just saying that. I really feel it. This pain is simply too deep and will leave a lasting scar.

I feel as much shame today that I don’t have a partner in life and I may never make love again as I did six months after he dumped me. This just has to stop. The distraction of a job would sure help. Having him leave my town would help.

When I think of the ruined relationships I’ve had in my life (and there have been many) I honestly feel I don’t deserve to find happiness. I made my bed and this is me lying in it. But I can’t help but feel what a shame it is now that I’ve figured some important things out. I do have a lot to offer someone, but I haven’t even seen one man in 18 months who looks interesting. What’s the deal with that? This is what happens when you end up with no friends and do no socializing.

I’m in my bedroom with my door shut and my mom and dad are fighting. This is just like when I was a kid — it’s awful. This is one of the big ones that mom won’t recover from quickly. I suppose it’s better to be alone than to be in a relationship where you hate one another as they do. I just have to keep my head down, try to earn some money, get a job, go to church, take care of myself.

Life is short and it will soon be over. Look for the beauty and help where you can.