Monthly Archives: January 2016

I Will Honor My Need to Create

The ex tried to reach me several times this week to talk about the lawsuit. I ignored his texts and messages but yesterday when he called I pulled over to see what he needed to convey.

He’s relying on the lawsuit money to start a business and move away from here but it could be six months or a year before that money comes. He’s mad at his attorney for telling him it would look better to the jury if he were working. The attorney doesn’t understand like I do, that he simply can’t get hired in this town — maybe any town.

I don’t want to get into my ex’s state of mind. He’s a supreme narcissist who has really never held a job. And when he does apply for jobs, which he is doing, he argues and offends the people he’s appealing to. He told me, for example, that he went to some sort of job fair recently where after the presentation he walked up to the guy in charge and asked how quickly people in this profession get promoted. He was told five years. So then he went on to argue and complain to this person about a promotion for a job he would never, ever be hired for.

That’s sort of him in a nutshell.

So yesterday he just wanted to complain about his (our) attorney and asked me to speak up on his behalf. Mainly he just wanted to complain to someone and I’m gathering lately that maybe his world of lackeys is getting smaller which is why he finds himself desperate enough to want to talk to me. But I don’t know about his world of lackeys or the 26 year old whore who caused me tremendous pain. I don’t ask.

I let him talk and tried to calm him a little bit. Mostly I sat there thinking, my god he won’t ever change. He won’t ever hear what he sounds like. How did I put up with it for so long…

And then, many hours later he texts me,

Hey can u talk

??

Me: What’s up?

Can u or not

Me (after a pause): I suppose

It’s alright never mind

Forget ir

Ut

Me: [crickets]

 

So I think to myself, what the hell’s going on with him? Did he really want to call and bitch to me AGAIN? This is not going to start happening.

And then I thought about how I ached for him to respond to my texts when he discarded me. There is no way to adequately describe the pain. I can’t even allow myself to dwell on it because it overwhelms.

I lay in bed in this room I’m still in and cried silently — the pain was searing. So many people who have been cheated on and dumped understand what I’m trying to express. You look for comfort from the very person who is causing the pain and it takes a while for that natural instinct to look to your loved one dissipates.

I am a chump and I don’t like seeing anyone in pain — even him. But there are limits to what I will or can do for him. And more than anything I want him to get this money and fucking leave.

I have a feeling that if I were in my own home and he knew it, he would be pursuing me just because I’m an easy mark and he’s desperate for help. What a sick fucker. I’ve already decided that when I buy a home, I will also get a post office box, because I do not want someone to be able to google my name and find my address, least of all him.

Okay, enough about him.

One of the things I’ve been doing this last couple of years, is to try to purchase all the art supplies I sold or gave away before our last big move to London. Stuff I loved and had acquired for years I just got rid of it because I believed this last move to London was permanent.

So while I don’t have room to paint, I’ve been buying all my favorite tubes of acrylic paints with 50% off coupons along with canvases, brushes, whatever catches my eye. And when I get my home I will dedicate part of it to being an art studio.

I was born an artist.

My earliest memories are of loving painting and drawing or simply creating. When I was 8 or 9 I begged my mom to take me to the library where an acting class was going to take place. I remember I wore brand new white pants, a yellow shirt, and my new leather moccasins (this was So. Calif. in the late 60s). She dropped me off. I walked into the room and all of the other moms where there asking questions and pushing their kids forward. I sat there and was ignored, far too shy to speak up for myself, and then went to the car when it was time for my mom to pick me up again. She didn’t want me to succeed.

When I was about 12 I begged my parents to sign me up for painting lessons at a local shop. To my shock my dad bought me a gift certificate for Christmas for a few classes there but I never used it. I was too shy to walk in the door.

This is the story of my life.

I took a couple of art classes in high school but wasn’t inspired. By my sophomore year I decided to learn about black and white photography and that is what kept me relatively sane for the rest of high school.

I began working after school and weekends when I was 15 because I needed my own money so that my mother could stop trying to buy my love with gifts after huge fights. I saved and saved and when I was a junior I purchased my own brand new Minolta SRT 102. It was my pride and joy.

Then boys began to happen and broken hearts and pregnancy scares and eating disorders and just overall drama and after one particularly bad break up my father did something spectacular for me.

You have to remember that my sister and I never got rewarded or encouraged in any way. We were non entities. The only person who mattered in our house was our overachieving brother.

So I’m not sure how this came about, but it’s huge.

My father took me to the photography shop at the mall and bought all the stuff I would need for my own darkroom and then he took the small laundry room at our house and moved the washer and dryer into the garage. He painted the room dark, put in a deep sink, put up shelves, installed the proper lighting, covered the window, and turned it into a darkroom for me.

MINE.

Can you imagine? I don’t even know what my mom thought of having her laundry moved to the garage!

I spent a lot of time in there but I was still freaking out about boys. But it was the only thing that anyone ever did just for me.

Before my graduation from high school, when I was still 17, I got pregnant and so I guess I thought my dreams of being Annie Liebowitz were over. I dabbled in photography when I could, but never the way I did when I was 16 and 17.

When I was a teenager and in my early 20s I wanted to be an actress, but most of all I wanted to be a rock star like Deborah Harry. When I was divorced at 20 with a two year old I tried to audition with groups, but was too shy to open my mouth.

Flash forward to my third marriage, to the good man. I’m in and out of psych wards. I’m very medicated. And during one of my stays in the psychiatric wing I got started doing crafts and something clicked.

I came home from that stay and signed up for a drawing class. After that I took an acrylic painting class. The instructor was a local surrealist painter and I loved him. He was a bit off himself, so he was a great teacher for me.

My husband and I had just purchased a brand new home so we took one room and designated it my studio. He built me a gorgeous wooden easel which he surprised me with at Christmas. I cherish it still.

I painted a lot on paper and canvas and board and then I began to take ceramics classes which I took over and over. Eventually I took a sculpting class.

All of this was a several year period where I was heavily medicated. I noticed that when I was off anti-depressants I was not as apt to be creative.

My life has just been one mishap after another because I was not true to myself and my need to create. My own intense shyness ruined my destiny.

So even though I won’t be a famous artist, or even necessarily a good artist, I will be an artist again. I will create my studio space and I will paint. I will honor that part of me.

I cannot wait.

 

 

 

Easing my Load with a Hard Conversation

Having my mom and dad come to me when my dad was so ill a few weeks ago to ask if I’d take over their loan because when one of them passes the other one will not be able to afford to live here has spurred on some heavy thinking, so I’m glad it happened.

Yesterday and today I felt a profound depression coming on and I realized that I had been pinning a lot of hopes on having my own home again. I realized by giving up that dream, I was feeling horrible.

I don’t feel hopeful about ever sharing my love with a man again, and that is so, so sad. So the only thing I felt joy over was nesting in my own home, making it my own. Putting out all the things I’ve bought over the last two years to create my own modest home for the first time in my life.

I want to come home to paint, to play loud music, to cook and bake, and also to sell stuff on eBay and invite people over to MY home. Giving that up, along with the idea of never being loved again was just more than I could bear.

So I sat down with my folks today and told them that this wasn’t about them at all, but all about me. I told them I might be being fantastical, but I wanted to try to have my own home again. Thankfully they both understood and my mom said since the initial conversation about me taking over their loan, she began to think about how hard it would be to make that transition. Also as a woman she knows how important it is to have your own home, especially your own kitchen.

I did reassure them that I’d never abandon them and that when the time came for decisions to be made about who lives where, we’d make them together.

I’ve also realized that the huge amount of stress I feel at work is largely self inflicted. I don’t need to be that stressed about it. It’s just another sign of me feeling depressed.

So as soon as I can tomorrow I am going to call my therapist and get in to see her and set up every other week appointments with her. I really wish she had evening hours, but she doesn’t, unfortunately. But this is feeling like life and death and I promise to go. I am even going to consider going back on anti depressants, but I’ll decide that in a few weeks.

I feel better already having spoken to my parents but it was a hard conversation to have. Not to tell them, but to admit to them how profoundly sad and lonely I am. I do everything alone and it’s just wearing so thin.

During this three day weekend I went to church, a museum, and a movie alone. I can’t even remember what it’s like to go to dinner with someone besides my mother and father. I’m humiliated and embarrassed that this is what my life has come to.

And I’m pissed because just a little over two years ago when my asshole ex husband dumped me for a 26 year old girl, I made two last suicide attempts and then I decided I wanted to live in spite of him.

I’ve worked so hard to get off disability and to get hired and at 58 that was not easy. I’ve worked hard to get comfortable in my skin and with my own company, but I truly thought I’d have a couple of friends by now and there surely hasn’t been even the slightest attention from any man. I don’t even know one unattached man even close to my age.

But now I can get back to my dream of buying a little two bedroom home next July and trying that on for size. It’ll be super tight financially, but I believe the rewards will be worth it. I pray they will be.

And I have a tiny bit of hope that owning my own home and feeling good about that, will change the trajectory of my life — and maybe I will still meet someone special.

If Carson and Mrs. Hughes can do it, maybe I can do it too.

xox

 

I Think I’m Interesting. Why Aren’t I Worth Something?

I’ve had some interesting realizations this week in light of David Bowie’s death, believe it or not.

My brother is two years older than I am and he was always a good big brother, unlike some of my school mate’s brothers who periodically beat them up for no good reason. As very small kids we were almost always together. As he got older he’d take responsibility for looking after me on our walks to school, but he might do it from the other side of the street. I was, after all, a little sister.

He was very bright and skipped 6th grade. He helped me with my homework. He exposed me to books and music. He was involved in baseball and later on basketball. Our family life revolved around going to his scholastic or sporting events. My sister and I were just girls. We weren’t entitled to extracurricular activities, let alone the opportunity to go to college.

He took me to my first concert, David Bowie, at the Long Beach Civic Auditorium. I’m not sure if I was 15 or 16, but the experienced changed me. For the first time I realized that being on the cheerleading squad wasn’t my only option, which was good, since I didn’t even make it past the first round of tryouts.

David gave kids like me the opportunity to be weird, different, and to celebrate that weirdness.

I always held my brother up to a very high standard, which may not have been fair, but I found myself disappointed when in his junior year of high school he took a particular cheerleader with double Ds to the prom.

I thought, this girl’s got nothing going on — the lights are on but no one’s home. She’s not even very fit looking like the other cheerleaders because her naturally big boobs were so enormous. She didn’t seem interesting in any way except for those large tits and I look back now and wonder, was my own brother, a very intelligent young man, a man who thinks, writes, ponders deeply, only interested in huge tits, just like any stupid idiot boy?

A few years earlier my dad, brother, and I were miserable to beat the heat in Southern California, before we got our own pool, and we went to my grandparent’s trailer park where they lived, to take a dip in their pool. I was 14 or 15 and very insecure.

At first it was just dad, my brother, and I and it was fun. And then a girl, about my age, maybe slightly older, came in with her family. I saw my brother looking at her and felt insignificant. I will never forget my father saying quietly to my brother, “If she looks that good wet, you know she’s a beauty.” Or something to that effect. And I felt so ugly. My dad and brother checking out a girl, just a girl, really, right in front of me as though I didn’t exist.

These things severely impact a girl of that age.

So this week, at the announcement of David Bowie’s death, I noticed that among the many, many sad supporters, a small contingent of people calling Bowie a rapist. I decided, due to the nature of what I do for a living, to look into the accusations.

It seems there were two incidences. One where a woman (not a minor) says Bowie raped her, but the case went to grand jury and he was never charged with anything. So whether he did or didn’t, nothing came of it.

The second is a girl who, fourteen years old at the time, proudly states Bowie took her virginity. This girl was a very well known girl groupie. I found an article written by her where she states he had been after her for a while, and finally managed to get her alone. He ran a bath for himself and asked her to wash him, which she did, she was, supposedly, a super fan. So after the bath he leads her to the bed and fucks her.

The person interviewing her asks her if she didn’t feel taken advantage of and she replied something like, “I got Bowie to take my virginity! I’ll never regret that!” And throughout the article the interviewer would try to get her to see that she had been taken advantage of, but she would not see it that way, she’d do nothing differently. She felt privileged.

In the end Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin was the one who she feel deeply in love with, but he ended up dumping her for someone else too.

So I went off on this journey reading articles about the super fan girls at the time and how all the rock stars used them, from Bowie, Jagger, Zeppelin, and every other major and not so major band. It was what was done. Girlfriends of 21 were dumped for the 14 year olds.

Let’s just put the issue of child sexual abuse off to the side for a moment and the fact that it was illegal for these grown men in their mid to late 20s to be having sex with these girls, just set it aside if you can.

These rock stars are in a position of extreme power and can get these aspiring young models to come to their hotel rooms, but what about normal men? Would they do it too, if they could? If a normal, intelligent man like my brother will take Big Boobs to the prom simply because of those boobs, then I think, yes, most men would fuck that way if they could get away with it.

Here is a fairly recent comedy sketch put on Saturday Night Live called “Meet Your Second Wife” and I find it, frankly, horrifying in it’s truth, especially in light of my own discard two years ago by my 49 year old husband, for a 25 year old.

In my early teens I was a freakish fan for Mick Jagger. If I could have given myself to him, I would have gladly, in fact I dreamed of it. One day in my forties I suddenly realized I was now far too old for Jagger, how weirdly ironic.

To say this world is tilted towards men is such an understatement. But I am beginning to feel that I never had a chance in this life. If I had given myself to Jagger at 15, he would have dumped me at 15.5. Others might have used me until I was 17 or 18, but after that, I had no value.

In the last couple of years I have honestly begun to scratch my head about why on earth men are in charge of basically everything, when they have so little self control when it comes to their libido. It just makes no sense to me.

I feel I still have so much to give to the right person but when I look around I do not see any single men of interest. I see many men my age who are with women 20 years younger. Does that mean I must set my sights on men in their 70s?

It doesn’t really seem to matter that I am loving, giving, generous, a good companion, a decent conversationalist, fairly well traveled, a decent sense of humor. I probably will not find love again.

Even my folks now seem to think I’d be happy with their offer to live with them for the rest of their lives when for over two years now all I’ve ever thought of is a home, FINALLY, of my very own. Mom says I can make this my home, but I don’t think she really knows what that would look like.

While my co-workers seem to enjoy me, I have no real friends, still. An acquaintance at church is about all I’ve managed in this time. So even without that elusive MALE in my life, I have no one to go to the theater with, on a trip to Europe with, out to dinner with, and I’m really getting tired of it.

It seems no one has ever felt I was entitled to a life of my own. And while I had wild aspirations and very big dreams, I was far too cowardly to act on them. In short, I have failed, so far, with my life.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself. I’m just angry to learn all this now when it’s too late to do much. I’ve got a great deal of thinking to do. I think on Monday I will call and make an appointment to see my therapist who I haven’t really seen since April when I began to work full time. I have to see her regularly and set up a game plan for the rest of my life.

I am so sick and tired of putting myself second.

xox

Dad Better. Job Hard. Cheating Ex Wants to Have a Drink.

Hard to take time to write here — I wish I could more often.

Dad is improving. It’s a matter of balancing medicines. He saw his GP today who is taking charge of the meds and made things clear to them. When it’s a blood pressure issue it’s not just a simple, “take one of these and two of these.”

They feel good about the visit so I feel good about it, too.

Dad walked to the mailbox yesterday and today, quite an outing for him. He’s aware that he’s quite behind in his knee surgery recovery because of his heart/lung complications, but his mood seems good. His color is a little better. I’m just praying we have more time and I’m grateful for every day he’s with us.

—–

Work is extremely hard. I’m the only one fussing with a brand new database, and my workload is huge. I wear more hats than anyone else does there, have a heavier workload, more stress, and get paid the least. When I calm down enough to do it right, I’m going to sit down with my supervisor.

If things don’t change I will look for another job, but that would be so sad. This place and the people there mean a lot to me. But I feel taken advantage of. The reality is, however, at my age it’s almost impossible to get a job, and I want one that pays more. My odds aren’t great. As of April of this year I will have been in the position for a year. I think it looks better that I stay on the job at least that long.

But I hope I don’t have to leave.

——

On another note, I’ve had several months of not thinking of the cheating ex very often at all. But once he talked to me about the pending lawsuit last week, he began to want to chat.

Two nights ago he called and started the conversation, “Well, you’ve probably been waiting for an apology.”

I interrupted. “On no. I’m not. I’m good.”

Then nothing from him, so I said, “Was that it? Was that the apology?”

I don’t even know what he said then, but there wasn’t anything more on that subject.

He talked about the lawsuit but it was clear he wanted to be charming and chatty. He asked me if I drink I said, “Not really.”

“Why?”

“I just don’t.”

“Well, you should come have a drink with me.”

“Ah, no. That’s not going to happen.”

“Why not? We had seven years together. You don’t need to be bitter or resentful.”

“Oh, I’m not. I’ve done the work. I’m good.”

“Well, then come have a drink with me.”

We changed the subject and he began to talk about the history of the English language which is one of my favorite subjects. Since I’m starved for that sort of conversation I let a few sentences escape from my mouth and then I forced myself to stop.

I said, “Listen, you’ve always been a great conversationalist, and if you weren’t a former husband of mine, I’d have this conversation with you, but I don’t want to do this.”

“Why? Don’t be that way.”

I said, “Because you’re not worthy of my time and attention.”

He laughed it off and made me say I’d meet him for a drink sometime — otherwise I could not get him off the phone. I will never meet him for a drink, don’t worry. NEVER. EVER.

Last night, the next night, he actually had important information to convey about the lawsuit. I kept my tone utterly professional and was very brief with him and hung up when the info was relayed. If we have to talk — it’ll be that way.

But just having recent contact with him is fucking with my head. Not in a way that makes me want him, but just sad (again) for those few things that were pretty awesome about him. He can talk about anything.

The only real thing he said, which made me feel sad for him because I think it was genuine. I said, “How are the girls?”

There was a pause and he said, “ML, I don’t. I just don’t know. Everything is messed up.” I didn’t inquire further.

I don’t know if his whore has gone or just change shifts, probably the latter, but he just wanted to talk to someone, anyone. I’m not that cheap.

When I was married to him he’d get so antsy to talk with someone he’d call almost anyone to talk. He could not stop himself. He could not just be comfortable on his own, in his own skin. I’ve never known a man in my lifetime who could talk as much in person or on the phone.

And except for when he was on a paranoid rant or talking about conspiracies, he could be very interesting. In our early years when I had could not sleep I’d ask him to talk to me until I slept and he would do it. He could be so generous that way.

It’s a shame he could not have been good more often.

I have to have limited contact now, but when the case is over I plan to never speak to him again.

But NO CONTACT is the way to go for healing, peeps. In fact, it’s the only way to go.

—–

The house thing isn’t as simple as mom thought. Turns out I can’t assume their loan unless they move out. So she’s looking into ways where I get put on the deed. We’re going to consult some tax folks and real estate/estate law attorneys. Nobody wants me getting a big surprise when they’re both gone.

I’m sad when I think that this was an odd way to ensure that I’d always be here to take care of my mother, but I would have done it anyway. I’m just going to find a way to make the best of it.

Now that dad is recovering perhaps I can work on the “Gain a Life” part. I haven’t done anything just for me since my trip to Portland last month. I’ve got to get exercising and involved in outside activities.

There are many things I’m interested in, I just feel so tired in the winter and have been so sick. I’ll have to take some baby steps.

Thanks for being here.

xox

Oh, here’s the first of a series about the history of the English language! One of my favorites.

Parents Ask Me to Take Over Their Loan

I came home today from shopping and my mom said, “When you have a minute, your dad and I have something we need to talk to you about.”

I said, “I hate conversations that start that way! I don’t want to!”

Dad said, “No, it’s good.”

Mom said, “Sit down.”

I said, “No, I don’t want to have a conversation that requires me to sit down!”

You get the gist.

The bottom line was, with my dad’s ill heath and my folks tight finances my mom’s been losing sleep about what will happen when one of them goes.

She said, if it’s her first, dad won’t know what to do, but if it’s him first, she could manage things due to her background (knowledge of real estate and loans, etc.)

But the bottom line is that when one of them goes, the other cannot afford the house they are in. (We are in). So she asked if I would assume their VA loan so that the house is mine, and then they’d pay me rent.

They have very little equity in the house (under 10k) so they’d somehow divide that up between my brother, sister, and I, and then transfer the loan to me.

I told them that I had been thinking sort of along those lines except figured I’d get my own home and end up with one of them living with me. In this version there won’t be as much of a financial sting. I won’t have to put up all my savings, for example.

I don’t love this house, but it’ll have to do. I think it’s a win win for both of us. In the end I’ll invest my money and maybe when I’m on my own decide to buy a home of my choosing, but for now, it only makes sense.

We can’t do anything now anyway because I won’t qualify for a loan until next June, and I’m hoping I do qualify for their loan amount. It’ll be tight. The amount they’ve offered for rent isn’t very much so I do hope they’ll kick in for some utilities! But we’ll cross that bridge later on.

Apparently she spoke to my brother about it yesterday and got his support. We’re all a little nervous about how my sister will take it. We’ll cross that bridge later, too.

I probably would have ended up in this town anyway, as the neighboring town where I have lived before is a little too expensive.

I told them that I never would have abandoned them anyway and they said they knew that.

So this is weird, and something we’ll talk more about in the coming months.

For over two years I’ve confined myself to a tiny bedroom and left no mark on the rest of the house. If this goes through I’ll take over the front living room and make it my own. In time we’ll work on changing the kitchen so that it suits both of us. I’ve got so much stuff in storage and they’ve got a house full of furniture. This will be a slow process.

I guess I’m happy about it. I don’t really know. The good part is that I won’t have to lose every penny of my savings to get into a home. The bad part is it still won’t feel like my home, but I suppose that can change with time.

I think, given the situation with my parents, and their lack of equity and savings, that this is all I can do. It’s not a sure thing anyway — It’s slightly more house than I would have tried to buy on my own. I would not really be able to afford it if they weren’t helping with rent.

On the rare days when I do talk to my sister she says, “I don’t know how you do it. I would have killed one of them by now.” And she’s right, it’s not easy living with two people who bicker A LOT. But since I began to work full time I haven’t let them bug me as much.

But this move will mean I am truly “stuck” with them.

I still don’t know how I feel about it all, but it can’t happen until next June at the earliest anyway.

I’ve got a lot of pressure on me at work. A heavy work load and a brand new data base which I begin to use tomorrow. I didn’t take the job they asked me about, and the new employee who took it starts tomorrow. I don’t regret it, but I feel weird about it.

I’ve been ill for about a month and still have the dregs of it. I go to bed every night at 9pm, so I don’t know what else to do! Missed church services two Sundays in a row — I just recalled the audio for the sermons is on line, so maybe I’ll go have a listen to them now.

xox