To Make You Feel My Love

My tire keeps needing air. My mechanic noticed it and supposedly fixed it but ever since that day I’ve had to fill up the tire usually every other day. This week it suddenly needed air every day.

I had a trip planned with the mobster this weekend. Being a safety conscious kind of gal I took my car in to replace the tire Thursday after work. Only to find out the tire was fine. My rim was cracked. That will be $350, please. Oh, and we have to order it so it won’t be in for a few days.

I was told it should be fine to drive it. It wouldn’t fall apart on me, he assured me. Nonetheless I had to fill the tire up again in less than 12 hours so I made a judgment call and opted to rent a car for this weekend.

I work over by the airport so I decided to rent from one of the car rental places at the airport. I planned on picking it up on my lunch hour so I could leave immediately at 4:30. It was an early day for me!

Plans did not go as scheduled. I couldn’t find a lot to park in. As I made my way around the second time I wondered if maybe there was no parking and they just expected me to park in long term parking. Great! Pay to rent a car, then pay to park your own car.

I pulled over at the Veteran’s Park and tried to call. Couldn’t get through. At this point I have 15 minutes left. I ended up going back to work and attempting to call from there. It took another two tries but I finally got through. They told me that, yes, I could still pick up the car at 4:30, and no, they did not have any rental car parking.

That was easy enough to solve. My co-worker just dropped me off.

I got to the counter, told them I had a reservation. He responds, “For 12:30?” I told him, yes, that was the original reservation, but I couldn’t find a place to park. I went on to tell him I called and verified that I could still pick up the car and was told it would be no problem. Nevertheless, the car was not ready so I would need to wait until they could get one ready for me.

Almost AN HOUR later I was finally on my way. I was so frustrated and upset. Instead of getting to my destination around 9:30, 10:00, when we would still have a decent amount of time to do something, I was now going to be arriving between 10:30 and 11.

I realize it’s only an hour, but for me the difference between 9:30 and 10:30 is huge. I was in a bad mood pretty much the entire time. Okay, I ate a Subway sandwich and that put me in a slightly better mood for a little bit.

The mobster kept trying to cheer me up but I was having none of it. I hate missing even an hour with him.

I finally made it to our Air BnB around 11:00. I walked in and was greeted by this.



When I first walked in I was a little confused. I thought maybe that was how they differentiated each apartment. I also thought it was a huge coincidence that our Air BnB had a Pokemon theme.  Then it clicked and I realized he had put this all together for me. All those frustrations melted away. I felt like a giant ass for being upset.

I haven’t even shown the pictures of the food! He had a plate of cookies, wrapped chocolates, chips, salsa, cheese dip, chocolate melts and strawberries so we could make chocolate dipped strawberries. He had mini diet Cokes for me, coffee drinks, and two alcoholic beverages- 1 for each of us.

We ended up having an amazing evening despite the fact it didn’t begin until 11pm. We walked the streets of Chillicothe until after 3 a.m.! We didn’t go to bed until 3:30!

What can I say? He was right. He’s almost always right. I wasted too much time being frustrated and pissed off because my plans didn’t go as expected. He always finds a way to turn my frown upside down. I am so incredibly lucky to have found him!

Pokemon Fever

My name is Sam and I am a Pokemon Go addict.

I didn’t intend for this to happen. My beloved introduced me to this addiction. “You should download the app on your phone and we can play together. Won’t that be fun?”

Honestly? I had no intentions of downloading the app. He keeps trying to get me to play Pub G, too, and so far I have resisted. I was content to nod my head and encourage him in his pursuits.

Then came the weekend after the 4th of July. We were in Athens again. We had just finished eating breakfast at our “regular” breakfast place. As we were deciding what to do he broaches the topic with me again.

If I’m being honest (and I always am) I was going to download the app just to make him happy. “Yep. See? I did it. I downloaded the app.” I had no intentions of actually playing that day. If I did play that day I didn’t think I would ever play the game again after the weekend was over.

The only problem was I fell in love with the game! We were on a college campus and there were Pokemon stops and gyms and Pokemon everywhere! I caught that first Pokemon and spun that first Pokemon stop and I was hooked! I downloaded the app Saturday morning and by the time we left the following day I was already a level 16, I believe. I came home eager to see what kind of Pokemon lurked in my hometown. I even took a walk after work to see if there was a huge Pokemon population in our surrounding neighborhoods.

There are 40 levels. When I started the mobster was at Level 28. I’m at Level 32 right now. I caught up to him a couple of times and actually passed him briefly but he managed to get to Level 32 and is ahead of me in points right now.

That’s what I’ve been doing with a lot of my time now. Sometimes it works out for the best- like when I take a walk over to the Veteran’s Memorial Park on my breaks about 2 blocks from my building. I figure taking that brief walk is better for me than sitting in a room, reading. Other times it’s a huge time suck- like when I’m driving around and hitting up the known Pokemon stops so I can fill up my bag, or get gifts to give to my 103 “friends”.

I like it though. It’s something to do and it’s something the mobster and I do together. We’re meeting up again this weekend in a quaint little town with lots of Pokemon stops! We’re gonna catch ‘em all!

Yet Another Deep Thought By Sam

Whatever happened to that man from Nantucket? That is a story that never reaches a conclusion; it just kind of drops off after the first two lines. I admit I’m curious. How does this story end? What is he up to?

Forget Baby Jane; I want to know whatever happened to the man from Nantucket.

He’s Moved On, You Should, Too

I wrote about Jennifer Ball’s blog post, Haunted (By) Houses, a few months ago. One of the things that people have said to her apparently is the title phrase, “He’s moved on, Jenny. Why can’t you?”

That phrase has stuck in my head. I don’t always express myself concisely or as eloquently as I wish the first time around but after ruminating on this blasted phrase for a while I finally figured it out in the shower this morning.

They didn’t have the same experience! It’s not just that he had someone else, ready and waiting. It’s not just that life went on for him as normal. The entire experience was completely different for each of them. He firebombed her life! He cheated on her. He tricked her into getting sterilized. And then he left her and their four kids in poverty and went on to live a life of luxury with his ho-worker and their own two mulligans. He had nothing to get over.

They were not both in a car accident and horribly maimed; he didn’t get on with his life, learning to live this new reality while she continued limping around, hanging on to the memories of pre-accident Jenny. No, he was the one in the damn car running her over!

It would be like someone running over my dog, and then mutual friends saying to me, “Look, that person has moved on after running over your dog. He’s not living in the past. He’s gotten on with his life. In fact, he’s got an adorable dog now. Plus, he’s got a cat. And some chickens. I don’t understand why you can’t move on and forgive and forget.”

Oh really? Let me tell you why.  It’s not the same! I didn’t run over his dog. He ran over mine. We’re not on equal footing; we did not suffer the same loss. This person has done something to me; he’s taken something from me. I have done nothing to him; I have not taken anything from him.

Jenny, if you ever read this I have a suggestion. The next time someone makes that comment punch them in the nose ever so slightly. Just enough to make their eyes water. Or maybe poke them in the eye. And when they react with shock, or cry, or ask you why you did that just shrug your shoulders and reply, “I’m already over it. Why aren’t you?”

Time Flies When You Forget Stuff

Today is August 10th.

As I’ve said before I work at a bank. I have to know what day it is all the time. I’ve got holds to place. Forms to fill out. Service requests to fulfill. These all require dates.

So, I knew when August rolled around. “Oh wow! I can’t believe it’s August already!” I got a little hung up on the 7th, 8th, and 9th. Kept mixing them up. Never sure if I was a day behind or a day ahead. Not a good thing to admit. But I have a calendar- a huge calendar- on my desk so it worked out okay. Then today, the 10th, rolls around. I’m not at work; I’m home, checking out Facebook while I cook breakfast. More specifically I’m looking back at my memories on Facebook.

The most recent memory? This little ditty: Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. Oh crap! Today is D-Day #2, the D-Day that ended my marriage and completely changed the trajectory of my life. Our lives really, because that jackass deeply affected my children as well.

Another momentous occasion that I have forgotten. Had I not checked my memories on Facebook I doubt I would have made the connection.

It’s strange though because only six days ago I came across the memory of our pool finally being filled. There was a picture of Rock Star and Picasso shivering in the cold water, so happy our pool was finally finished. A few days later came the picture of the deck jets working. I’m quite familiar with that timeline and how my enjoyment was so short lived.

Yet, somehow this date completely slipped my mind. Sitting here typing this I feel nothing. I’m not happy. I’m not sad. I still feel like I haven’t made proper progress in four years but that has nothing to do with him.

Hey, come to think of it I forgot my three year anniversary of moving from Virginia to Indiana, as well. Wow- I’m losing it.

Or maybe the significance of all of those dates are simply losing their power over me. They don’t really mean anything anymore. I’d rather concentrate on dates like August 15th, which is the date my son begins his junior year. Or, August 13th which is the date Rock Star has to return for her sophomore year. Or May 23rd and 24th, which are the two anniversary days of the mobster coming into my life.

So fuck you, horrible anti-versary dates. You mean nothing to me anymore. I barely even recognize you. Four years ago today my life fell apart. I had no idea what was going to happen to me and to my children. Today, I am with the love of my life, my kids are doing well despite whatever hurdles are thrown our way, I have a job no matter how little it pays, and I no longer have to worry about a fuckwit and his whore. Tonight I am going out dancing with two of my friends from high school. We’re listening to a band that someone we know plays in. I’m going to have a few drinks, maybe enjoy some appetizers, and dance the night away. Even if I don’t dance I’ll be with friends. Maybe I’ll mention the date’s former significance to them. Maybe I won’t. It’s possible that between now and then I’ll have forgotten about it once again.

More Random Thoughts From Sam

Our vending machine at work takes debit cards. You swipe the card and wait while it decides if you’re worthy of a beverage or not. I’m always so happy when I see that little message scroll across the screen: You’ve been approved! I do a little happy dance. It’s like I got approved for a mortgage or something. Yee-ha!

I know it’s just a diet Coke but for a moment I feel great. I’ve been approved!

Wise Advice From Sophia

I wrote this year about June 10th passing with barely a notice from me. Sophia commented and something she said really resonated with me. It turns out she was in an automobile accident 19 years ago and it has fundamentally changed her life. This is the comment that grabbed me by the throat and wouldn’t let go: I had to throw out every plan, schedule, routine, hope and dream and make a new one for the new life I had to live. Most importantly I had to stop thinking of how it was before so I could be happy where I’m at, because that was the worst of all.

I struggle with that to this day. I try hard to let it go. I try to focus solely on my own life and the things I can control, instead of thinking about CF and all the horrible things he has done and put us through. I try to count my blessings and be thankful for the good things in my life.

Yet, I vacillate between daydreaming of karma and justice, and resigning myself to eating a giant shit sundae by dropping the rope and doing my best to let all the injustices pass me by. I can’t control it so I may as well accept it.

It is still very difficult to look back on past memories and see pictures of my house, my pool, my furniture. It’s hard to see me back in Utah, celebrating our return, hanging out with friends, having a great time, completely oblivious to the carnage that was happening. It’s still painful when I see those stupid, inspirational signs, like the ones I hung up all around my kitchen and throughout my home. It is still very hard to hear certain songs or to look back at everything my kids lost due to their father’s poor choices. Some of those memories bring on a shot-in-the-gut, stabbed-in-the-heart, heart-in-my-throat, shortness of breath type pain.

It’s been almost four years since I found out my life as I knew it was over. Four years since that message popped up on my phone, letting me know I wasn’t crazy. Letting me know that my husband of twenty years was spending his weekends with Harley, instead of visiting his mom and his best friend like he claimed.

It’s been three years since that fateful day he completely immolated my life and the lives of my children. I remember only too clearly getting that text, letting me know he had lost his job and he wouldn’t be sending me anymore money. And then silence. No need to let me know what was going on.

I have tried writing this post a few times but I always seem to get stuck. An earlier version focused on why I thought it was so difficult to move on.

No surprises here- it’s a combo of CF never tiring of fucking with me and not doing what the court order tells him to do, not being financially secure on my own, and still mourning the life I left behind.

As I wrote about CF in an earlier version:

It’s always something; I can never settle down into a comfortable, boring existence. He’s always in the background doing something. It’s been over a year and I still don’t have child support modified. He still has not paid the legal fees he owes. And he’s now decided to modify spousal support. Each time I think I’ve finally got that sonofabitch up against the rope I’m told, nope, he gets away with doing what he’s doing. It’s exhausting.

I would love to no longer have to deal with him. I would be ecstatic if the man paid what he was legally required to pay on a timely, consistent basis. But that’s not happening. So, I keep fighting the good fight. I keep insisting upon holding him accountable. That’s a choice I’m making because God knows I could throw up my hands and just say, “Do whatever you want, Jackass! I’m not coming after you anymore. I’m not going to fight anymore. Pay whatever you want, whenever you want to.”

I can try to minimize his effects as much possible. I can be miserly. I can refuse to spend a penny. I can figure out how to survive on the whole $200 I have left over each month. I can make sure I’m never looking to the current month’s support payment to pay for the current month’s expenses.

Eventually I am going to have to find another job or I’m going to have to get a fantastic promotion at my current job. I do realize I cannot rely upon him. He has absolutely no respect for the court order. I will spend the rest of my life chasing after him.

In many ways that pisses me off. If I decide to forgo any of that money I want it to be because I decided to tell him to fuck off, not because I’ve finally given up fighting him on it.

The above also plays into point #2, which is not being financially secure. A day or two after I wrote my post about almost missing June 10th I  realized three years had passed and I had not made the progress I had hoped for. As I was voicing these concerns to the mobster he commented that I couldn’t expect to be where CF was in only three years, maybe not ever.

Here’s the thing- I don’t expect to ever make as much money as CF does. I do think I should expect to be able to make enough money to support myself and my kids in my own home. I’d like to make enough money to live in a house of my own and still have enough money after paying bills to go out with friends, travel, see the mobster, buy things for my kids, go out to dinner, help my daughter with college, go on a vacation or spend a weekend away.

Again, I know I’m going to have to find a new job or get a fantastic promotion because $14/hour is not going to do it for me. Not without CF’s financial aid.

Point #1 and Point #2 are small fries compared to Point #3- mourning what I have given up.

When I tried writing this the first time I focused on the fact that I don’t mourn him. I don’t miss him. I don’t want him back.

I don’t mourn the house or the new furniture. Sure, there are days when I’m looking around for something I’ll think to myself, “Damn! Why did I get rid of that?” But it’s not like I tell myself that if only I could move into another 4000 sq. ft. home with brand new furniture and a pool and a hot tub and a game room, everything would be great.

Because I didn’t focus on the man, or the house, or any of the other tangible elements I could delude myself into believing I had let go of that old life.

It wasn’t until many paragraphs into it when I wrote:

In many ways I am still mourning and grieving everything that was taken from me. Mostly I mourn what was taken away from my kids.

I know I should let it go. I’m sure that my kids have already done so. It wasn’t that long ago that Rock Star told me not to worry about it; she loves her college and her sorority and she realizes she wouldn’t have any of that if her father and I remained married and/or we hadn’t moved. Picasso seems to have a great group of friends and he has no interest in moving out of Indiana.

Maybe that’s the downfall of being the grownup. I know what they lost, and for me I didn’t get to replace it. My husband cheated and left, and we were forced to move out of our home. That was the end of my normal life as a mom. I became a working mom and was no longer around for my kids like I was. There was no more hockey, no more gymnastics, no more kids ringing my doorbell and staying at my house for hours on end. There was no more car pooling, no more driving kids to practice and games/meets. It just all evaporated and was replaced with… nothing.

I re-read it and realized, “Holy shit! I’m not mourning what was taken away from my kids! I’m mourning what was taken away from me!” Talk about your epiphany! This was exactly what Sophia was talking about!

Don’t get me wrong. I do definitely mourn the fact that my kids had to leave behind not one life, but two. What has me stuck though is everything I left behind. My kids are doing fairly well, all things considered.

It was a double whammy, really. Hell, some could consider it to be a triple whammy. I still mourn the life I left behind in Utah when CF convinced me we had this great chance to start all over in Virginia. More money. Bigger house. A pool, finally. Job satisfaction for him. A fresh start away from where he began his affair with Harley. I barely had a chance to catch my breath and begin to acclimate to life in this smallish southern town before I found out the last twenty years of my life had been a lie. This whole move had been a setup. My husband was cheating. This time there would be no reconciliation. I was heading full steam ahead towards a divorce. I was suddenly on my own- cut off financially and left to deal with the kids, the pets, the house all by myself. And then the following year I was forced from my home and had to uproot myself and my kids once again.

That’s what has me stuck. Money and memories. Financial insecurity.

I’d like to say that knowing that I am finally on my way. I have a plan. I’m embracing all the new aspects of life today. That would be a lie. When you are financially insecure your life is in turmoil.

I can say, however, I am slowly letting go of what was. It’s gone; it’s over. I’ll never get it back. Time to stick it in a scrapbook. Log it as a chapter in my life. Instead I am doing my damnedest to look ahead, to believe that eventually I will be self sufficient and that everything will work out in the end.

Sophia, your words resonated. Now to put everything into action… hmmm… easier said than done.