There Will Be Bad Days, Part 1

For any of you out there just starting this infidelity/divorce journey I am here to tell you that there will be bad days. It’s a process. One day you will wake up and everything will seem to be going swimmingly. You’ll be in a great mood and feel blessed to be alive. Then the next day you wake up and everything will come crashing down. Doubts will wash over you. You’ll feel like you’re at a standstill. You might even shed a tear or two. Hopefully, it passes quickly and you’re back to feeling grateful and blessed, and pretty darn content.

I had a moment like that on Thanksgiving morning. I was overwhelmed and worrying about things that don’t improve with worry.

The unfairness of it all welled up in me and I wanted to scream. I’m over here in Indiana, living with my mom. My son is dealing with crippling anxiety and I don’t know how to help him. It’s bad enough that even though he’s doing poorly in pre-calculus he can’t ask for help. The nurse practitioner who was willing to dispense anti-anxiety medication to Rock Star like it was candy is reluctant to prescribe it to him. As he said, “When I finally do open up and tell someone about my anxiety I’m told, ‘Well, you’re able to talk to me,’ and nothing else is done.”

I’ve been donating plasma twice a week since August to build up a Christmas nest egg so I’m not going into debt or worrying about how to pay for Christmas gifts. Then my daughter gets sick with some mystery illness.

When she called me crying on Saturday, not wanting to go to the urgent care because it would cost too much, I urged her to go. I have a check on my dresser for an overpayment of a previous medical bill. I have about $120 in my HSA account. Paying for that visit wasn’t going to be a problem.

But now she’s been to the emergency room. I don’t even want to know how much that visit is going to cost. I keep envisioning around $1000, but that’s probably going to turn out to be low. I have no fucking idea how I’m going to pay it.

Then on top of that she’s been to the regular doctor’s as well, which is another $87 I’m going to have to pay.

Meanwhile, Jerry Lee is living in his luxurious 5 bedroom, 2 bathroom home with a fireplace and granite counter tops, in a sought after subdivision.

He has no legal obligation to his daughter. He won’t be contributing to these medical bills. They all fall on me while he continues to pay whatever the fuck he wants to pay, whenever he wants to pay it.

So I envision my plasma Christmas money going down the drain. Instead of spending two days a week, every week, since August with a needle in my arm so that my family has gifts for Christmas, instead it will go to pay for an ER visit.

It doesn’t stop there, of course, because by this time I’m drowning in all the fears and doubts.

It moves on to the mobster. I fear that we are never going to be together, that I am doomed to never be with an every day partner. I spent 20 years married to a person that didn’t share life with me, and now I’ve found the love of my life and he lives 10.5 hours away from me. We do not spend day to day life together. We don’t spend holidays together. We’re not able to be together for the big events in life because of the distance. We see each other every two to three weeks, if we’re lucky. His kids live in Virginia and have no desire to move to Indiana. My kids live in Indiana and at least one of them has no desire to move back to Virginia. In order for us to be together one of us needs to move to where the other lives, and that means one of us is going to have to leave our kids behind.

Don’t get me wrong. I would rather spend every third weekend with him than 24 hours a day with someone else. I know what I’ve gotten myself into and I’m fine with it. As I’ve told him before, if we never live in the same state I’ll be okay with it. I’d rather have that little bit than to have nothing at all.

His new plan is to begin doing in home care. His parents used to do it and all three of his siblings do it now. It is a lot of money and you have a very flexible schedule which would be great, considering the distance. The downside is, unless the family of this person or persons, was willing to let him or her move he wouldn’t be able to bring this person with him when he moves up here. That means he will lose his income stream.

The bottom line is this: He’s got a house where he lives. He’s got a job that pays the bills and lets him buy pretty much whatever he needs; there’s a possibility he could increase his income by several thousand dollars a month. Three out of four of his kids live in his small town that I nicknamed the armpit of Virginia. He has to give all of that up in order to move up here and start all over. It’s crazy and it makes so much more sense for me to move down there.

I don’t need to sell a house. I don’t need to sell a business. It’s not like I’m working my dream job and there’s no way I’ll find another job making as much. But if I move I either need to get a place of my own which means I’m going to be living on a shoestring budget seeing as how I’m now paying rent, utilities, and all food, or I move in with him and must give up spousal support.

He knows I don’t want to rely upon another man once again. I cannot go through losing everything again if he decides he’s tired of me. Until I can live comfortably on my own I am not giving up spousal support.

On top of the money and the mobster fears, I’m frustrated and feeling invisible. I’ve been trying to get my high blood pressure medication called in since last Thursday. I’m still waiting to hear back from my case worker to learn what the hell happens after the county gets the case. After my lawyer quickly got back to me once I asked for her to refer me to someone else if she couldn’t take the case, I am again dealing with radio silence. And, Jerry Lee still has not sent the other half of his self-modified spousal support. Put all those together and you have one very frustrated Sam.

Things I’m Grateful For- My Mom

How could I give a list of things I’m grateful for and not include my mother? I’m a little surprised she didn’t throw a fit because Milo was mentioned before her.

I absolutely know I’ve been blessed with a fantastic mom. I’ve said many times she has been my rock throughout this whole divorce. I found out on a Monday night that Jerry Lee and Harley were back at it again. I slept fitfully that night, woke around 5 in the morning and waited until 7 am to finally call her and tell her my husband was having an affair and it wasn’t the first time. In those early days, weeks and month, when discovery after discovery was made, I called her every day, sometimes several times.

She cried for me. She was enraged for me. At one point she offered to shoot him for me. “I’m old and I’m not afraid of prison,” were her words.

She took me and my kids and my three dogs into her home and has given us sanctuary ever since. We would be homeless without her.

When I was working two insane retail jobs at Christmas that first year she was the one who would pick Rock Star up from work. It was a little challenging to do that myself when I had to be to work anywhere between 2 and 3 am in the morning, and she sometimes wouldn’t get out of work until 10:15 or later.

That period of time is a blur but I’m certain she was the one who made sure my kids were fed. I know she is the one who would wash my work clothes so that my khakis and red shirts were ready to go.

She’s the one who runs Picasso to school or picks him up if he misses the bus or if the bus is running late (sadly, that is a frequent occurrence with our bussing system). She takes him to the other high school for his after school activities and picks him up when I’m donating plasma.

She does my laundry and most nights she cooks dinner for all of us. It is definitely appreciated. When she’s gone all winter I have to do all of that on top of working. Quite honestly I don’t know how I managed that first year when she was gone. I was still working two jobs, I was still getting up at 3:30 in the morning, and Rock Star didn’t drive yet. That’s probably why I cried so much back then.

It’s not just what she does for us, though. She’s a pretty cool person. My friends like hanging out with her. She dances. She’s funny. She likes to go out to eat. She hates Jerry Lee with a passion. She’s amazing with money. She gets shit done.

If someone asked me to send them something I’d be like, “Okay, sure,” and then I would probably put it off for months. Not my mom. You ask her to put something in the mail and she is down at the post office the next day. She always seems to have stamps, too.

She’s a hell of a bargain shopper. She still still sends sympathy cards and get well cards and birthday cards, too. They’re on time as well, unlike me who regularly get the birthday card in the mail about six months after the fact. She makes phone calls and reaches out to people.

Over the years I’ve watched as she gives and gives to those who don’t deserve it. She makes the 600+ mile drive to attend the funerals of various family members still living in Virginia. She puts forth the effort to get together with people who have never, in my fifty years, ever visited us in our state. She still visits her late husband’s side of the family on Christmas morning, even though she’d like to stop. She says she does it for him. She’s a lot nicer than me; I would have stopped quite some time ago.

She was also a single mom raising three kids some forty years ago. My dad did send his support on time, but it wasn’t a whole lot and that’s about all he did.

She didn’t move in with her mom. Instead, she worked and raised three kids, ranging in age from 12 months to 9 years. She got a job and then she got a better job. She bought two houses on her own by the time I graduated from high school.

She has been a great example. Being a stay at home mom I was always thinking about what I would do if Jerry Lee ever left. Her success after divorce assured me that even if the worst happened and we ended up divorced, I would make it. With a lot of help from her, I have.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Enjoy your time with your family and friends. Have an amazing holiday. I wish the mobster were with me today but I’m glad he is surrounded by his parents, his brother and his family, and three out of his four kids.

Thank YOU! I appreciate all of you who continue to read what I write.

And for a little holiday cheer…

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What a Week

I’m tired, folks. I’ve had quite the crazy week. I realize I’ve only been doing this “work” thing for three years now but this is the first week I’ve ever not worked all the hours I was scheduled.  Monday I left work abruptly to meet my daughter at the ER approximately 3 hours away. Tuesday I took off to get her back to the house. But let’s face it, even if it hadn’t been Thanksgiving break there was no way I was going to be able to drive back at 10:30 at night, get home around 1:30 and then go back to work, all the while wondering if she was going to be okay. Today I took an extended lunch to meet her at the doctor’s office.

The people from Med Express, the urgent care center she used, called to give her the test results. They were negative. No bladder infection. No kidney infection. This worried them because she was obviously very sick when she came in on Saturday. They thought it was a kidney or bladder infection because of her symptoms and that’s not it. So we’re back to square one.

The doctor she saw today mentioned the possibility of an ovarian cyst. That would account for the pain but I’ve never heard of an ovarian cyst to cause a fever, or nausea. He also briefly considered appendicitis but said he really didn’t think it was that.

He gave her a different prescription for antibiotics and if she’s not improving the next step is an ultrasound.

The bright side to this whole thing was supposed to be Chick-Fil-A for lunch for me. It’s right down the road from the doctor’s office. I was all set to enjoy a delicious chicken sandwich. Then I remembered the peppermint chip shakes. That made me really excited. Especially considering last year when we went in specifically to get the seasonal peppermint chip shakes they were freaking out of it! How do you manage to run out of your seasonal shake only weeks into its limited time run?

Spoiler alert: I did not get Chick-Fil-A. I didn’t get a sandwich and I certainly did not get a delicious peppermint chip shake.

Why? Because everybody in this damn town has lost their freaking mind when it comes to Chick-Fil-A! The lines are insane! My mom always suggests I go inside but the line inside was even worse. I couldn’t even tell where the line began because there were so many damn people.

I was there a little after one. Not exactly a lunch hour rush. Certainly not worthy of the crush of people that were there. It doesn’t really matter when you go, though.

I took Picasso once at some random time in the afternoon and we still had quite the line. I remember muttering under my breath, “WTF? Are they giving away free sandwiches or something?”

No, it’s always packed. Always. It doesn’t matter if you go at noon or you go at 3. You can go at 6 or 7 or 8. You will still wait. There will still be a line a mile long.

I don’t understand this. Yes, it is a delicious chicken sandwich. Probably my favorite. But this is not a new restaurant. We’ve had a Chick-Fil-A in this town for more than 35 years! I have high school classmates that worked there for crying out loud when we were in high school. I graduated in 1987. That’s a long time ago!

By the lines we get you would think this was a brand new restaurant, at least to this area. But, no, it’s not. And the lines never die down.

When I lived in Utah we finally got an In-N-Out Burger. The day it opened the lines wrapped around the parking lot and the line for dine-in spilled out the door. They had people out there coming to your car and taking your order. We were in line for over 30 minutes. It might have been longer. I get that. It was new, or at least new to the area. Within a month or two, maybe a little longer, the lines were no longer insurmountable. You could generally pull right up or go right in.

That does not happen at Chick-Fil-A. It’s constantly busy. I haven’t had a Chick-Fil-A sandwich in months. I haven’t had a peppermint chip shake in two years, at least! I’m getting cranky.

You know what else makes me cranky? My damn doctor’s office. I have been trying to get my blood pressure medication refilled for going on a week now. That’s not a medication you want to quit cold turkey. It’s not even a medication you want to randomly skip here and there. Yet when it comes time to refill my prescription they can’t seem to get their act together and get it called in.

I took my last pill Wednesday night. Thursday I went in to get my blood pressure checked and to get the prescription refilled. When I got there around 4:30 they looked at me as though I had two heads.

Who told you you could just stop in and get your blood pressure taken? Why do you need it checked?

My nurse practitioner told me I could just stop in and I need it checked to make sure the medication is working and she doesn’t need to up the dosage!

Jesus Christ on crutches. Do they really think I just pulled this out of my ass?

Turns out they have a new system and because of the new system they do things a little differently now. You need to make a “nurse appointment” to get your blood pressure checked. Those only occur between 8:30 and 3:45. Meaning I need to take another hour to two hours off of work to get my damn blood pressure taken.

The lady at the front desk takes down my request to refill the prescription and tells me she’ll get it back there to someone and get it called in. This is Wednesday afternoon, sometime between 4:30 and 5:00.

I get no call from the pharmacy that evening, not that I was entirely surprised. Friday comes and goes with no call either. Well, this is great. I’m now going to go the entire weekend without my medication. Wonderful. Let’s hope I don’t stroke out.

I call on Monday. The person who answers the phone tells me she understands and she’s so sorry it didn’t get called in. She’ll make sure the request gets back there and someone calls it in to the pharmacy.

Before I go any further, let me set the stage. My current doctor’s office is part of a very large medical group. When you’re walking up to the building to the right of you is a bariatric weight loss center. To the left is an urgent care center. And just past that is yet another building for, I believe, radiology. The office itself has a nifty little phone system setup where you push 1 for appointments and 2 for radiology and 3 for prescription refills and 4 for billing and so forth and so forth. I really have no idea if the person who gets the phone call about the prescriptions works in the same building as my nurse practitioner or not. Now that you know that I can continue with my story.

I’m sure you already know the ending. No prescription. Plus, I was a little busy, rushing down to meet my daughter and her friends at the ER several hours away.

I check again on Tuesday. The pharmacy has no record of anything being called in for me.

I call the doctor’s office again. Press 4 for prescription refill. I tell the lady who answers the phone I came in on Thursday and I called yesterday and I still have no prescription. She tells me it is being processed right now.

Very well. I shall wait for the phone call from the pharmacy, alerting me when it’s ready.

Alas, that phone call never comes.

I call today. I let “Caroline” know I have been trying to get this prescription filled since Thursday. I have been out of my medication for almost a week now. If it doesn’t get called in today I’m not going to be able to get it until Friday at the earliest. Caroline actually seems a little concerned. She can’t figure out why on earth it’s in the system but hasn’t been processed. You and me both, Caroline.

She tells me she is going to flag this as a high priority and run it back “there” so that it can get called in.

Now, I don’t know if Caroline is a liar, or if the pharmacy is just taking it’s sweet time to call and let me know my prescription is ready, or if the rest of the idiots at the office are simply incompetent, but I do know this- I still don’t have my damn blood pressure medication.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I have a meatloaf to make. Seriously, my niece loved my meatloaf so much from that Sunday dinner that she requested I make one for Thanksgiving. So, I’ll be making that, along with the stuffing, corn casserole, and dumplings.

I hope that all of you who are celebrating the holiday have a great one. And for those of you who aren’t celebrating Thanksgiving, have a wonderful day anyway.

Pardon the Interruption

Sorry about the missing post yesterday. I was all set to come home from work and write. Life, however, had other plans.

I mentioned on Sunday that Rock Star had gone to the urgent care down at school. They thought it was a kidney infection, treated her for such, and instructed her to go to the ER if her symptoms got worse or if she didn’t improve.

Yesterday around 4:30 she called me at work telling me her friends were worried about her because she wasn’t getting any better, the pain was getting worse and she was continuing to take her anti-nausea meds every 4-6 hours to keep the nausea at bay. One of her friend’s mom has worked in healthcare for years and she, too, was very worried about her symptoms. So, off to the ER she went. Needless to say my child was not going to go to the emergency room while I remained at home, 3 hours away.

I left work and drove to the hospital.

The good news is she is fine. As fine as you can be when you’re sick, I should say. They were concerned she might have a kidney stone along with the infection. She does not. They gave her an IV, did a CT scan to rule out the kidney stone, and gave her two or three more prescriptions- one for pain and one for the nausea. If there was a third one I don’t know what it was for.

They went to a hospital about 50 minutes from campus. We didn’t leave until around 10:30. Got home sometime between 11:30 and 12. I stopped to get her something to eat and to grab something cheap for me to wear. I left work with nothing except my coat and purse.

I told my supervisor when I left that I didn’t think I would be in today, and sure enough, I’m not. I’m packing her up and getting her home for the Thanksgiving break. She’s hoping to be good as new by Friday because she’s scheduled to work.

Right now I am refusing to think about the  medical bill that’s coming my way. Just thankful she’s okay and that no surgery was required.

I pledged to post every day for the month of November. I didn’t reach that goal. I think I had a good excuse though.

When Your Kids Take the Hit

It’s getting down to crunch time. I’ve got 3 blog entries in my draft section; I still need to work on one of those. Normally, I would have just replied but since, as I said, I’m down to crunch time and needing some material I’m going to write a blog post.

I wrote about Rock Star calling me, crying, worried about rent money and worried about school. Ainsobriety commented that she believed this conversation would have happened even if Jerry Lee and I were still together. I agreed at first but the longer I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to the conclusion that no, we wouldn’t have. We wouldn’t have had that conversation at least.

Yes, I am her sounding board. I always have been, even when her dad and I were together. I was the one that drove them to practice and attended almost every single game, competition, recital, and program. I was the one who took them to school, stayed home with them when they were sick, took them to visit family, and planned fun outings all summer long. I was the one who cooked for them, cleaned for them, washed their clothes for them.

When Picasso was in second or third grade he had to write a letter saying what he was thankful for for Thanksgiving. He said he was thankful I cooked for him because otherwise he would starve. The thought that his father might actually take care of him in my absence didn’t even occur to him.

When Rock Star was three I had Jerry Lee pick her up from preschool one day because I was tied up at the doctor’s office with a baby Picasso. She asked where I was/why he was picking her up, and after explaining that I was at the doctor’s with Picasso she replied, “Wow- I’ve never stayed at home by myself.” She was three! He quickly assured her that she wasn’t staying home by herself that day either. But how sad is it that even at that young age she couldn’t fathom her dad staying at home with her?

So, yes, she would have called me if she was having trouble with school, or was simply feeling the pressure of it. I’ve always been the sounding board; she’s always felt comfortable falling apart on me while keeping it together around everyone else. That time she got her hand pinched in the vault at the gym and everyone was commenting on how brave she was and didn’t cry once? Yeah, she got into the safety of my minivan and burst into tears. Mom’s here; I’m safe. But I also don’t think she would be under so much stress if not for her father and his shenanigans.

The reality of the situation is if Jerry Lee and I were still together she would have no financial stress. You can argue whether that’s good, or bad, but it’s a fact. His bonus check alone was enough that we could have paid her full tuition, no loans required, and her room and board (or rent for an apartment), and still had money left over to put into the bank. Her books would have been covered, any additional schooling expenses would have been covered and I would have sent her money each month to cover incidental expenses. She wouldn’t have to worry about working enough over her breaks to cover rent, books, or spending money.

Money is a huge stressor. Without having to worry about student loans, coming up short on rent, cost of books, and a variety of other expenses, she would be able to fully concentrate on her classes. Instead, she worries about things like whether or not she has enough gas money or grocery money. She worries about costing me money that I don’t have.

Hell, she was reluctant to go to the urgent care center even though she was sick. She didn’t want me to have to spend the almost $200 it was going to cost. I had to assure her that I had the money and that I could pay the bill. The girl was crying and telling me she felt nauseous, was in pain, and was running a fever. She never runs a fever. She didn’t think it was a UTI and feared it might be a kidney infection instead. Still, she was reluctant to go because of the money.

Thank God her big [sister, in her sorority] insisted she go because they were very concerned about her at the urgent care. They’re still waiting on test results but they are treating her as though she has either a kidney infection or a bladder infection. They gave her two shots in her booty, three prescriptions and instructions to go straight to the ER if she got any worse.

I wanted my kids to have easy lives. I wanted them to be able to have it all. I wanted Rock Star to be able to go to college, have her tuition and books paid for, and join a sorority if she wanted. I wanted to be able to send her spending money and buy groceries for her and slip her some gas money as well. I wanted her to have no worries in the world. I wanted her to just have to concentrate on getting through nursing school and having fun.

I know she’ll be okay. I know that she’ll be stronger for it. I also know I hate him for what he’s done to us. And I know we wouldn’t have had that exact same conversation if he hadn’t left.

Back From Columbus, Part 3

I like to call Sunday “Our Day of Frou Frou”. It began with breakfast at the South Village Grille and ended with a trip to Native Cold Press.

Our host had listed the South Village Grille as one of the places visitors should try so we opted out of going to the German Village Coffee Shop again and decided to give this place a try.

South Village Grill

It was definitely busy! We lucked out, however, and were seated immediately. I tried the crab cake benny and the mobster went with the French toast.

Wow- both entrees were amazing. They serve the French toast with some of the best bacon I have ever eaten and they top it with ice cream! It was delicious! I say that having only taken a bite.

French toast

My crab cake benny was a new twist on one of my favorite breakfast choices- eggs Benedict. They served it with a simple salad. Now, this would not be my first go to choice for breakfast, but it turned out to be really good. I would have loved to have had a side of that bacon, but I had crab cakes instead.

We knew we were slightly out of our element when we examined the menu but what sealed it was when they brought my mimosa to me. They garnished it with a thin piece of dried orange.

The mobster and I both looked at it and then at each other. Hmmm…. Nonetheless, the mimosa was delicious. I went on to have what they call their Sunday Spritz and even though it had vodka and cranberry, among other things, I did not like that nearly as well. Maybe it was because the vodka was infused with hibiscus. Or because there was too much seltzer water in it. I don’t know. It didn’t taste bad; truthfully, it didn’t taste like much of anything.

After brunch we walked around some more, caught some more Pokemon at the park and participated in a raid with three other people before heading back towards our cars. The mobster wanted to grab a cup of coffee for the road.

We had two choices- The Fox In the Snow, or Native Cold Pressed. Let’s just say we should have gone with The Fox In the Snow.

They advertise themselves as one of the best coffee shops in America. No, I take that back. They were actually chosen as one of the best coffee shops in America. They boast about their delicious homemade pastries and show pictures of lattes with cute designs in the foam. I checked their website and they have a menu consisting of such delights as: hot chocolate, New Orleans iced coffee, mocha, latte, custard filled donuts, sour cream coffee cake, salted dark chocolate brownie, croissant morning buns, and carrot cake. I’m not even finished! They also boast about ham and swiss tarts, banana bread, lemon pound cake, house-made granola and yogurt, and a ham and cheese baguette. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it? You know what we had instead? Two vanilla mushroom coffees.

This is a place that advertises itself as GMO free, gluten free, HPP free (whatever that is!), and dairy free. They forgot to add that it’s also flavor free.

They sell a charcoal lemonade for $9, beet juice for $11 and smoothies for $10. They also have something called “Adaptogen Lattes”. That’s what our vanilla mushroom coffee was- an adaptogen latte. We paid $7.50 for some reishi, lion’s mane, vanilla bean, coffee, coconut sugar, and house made cashew mylk. Yes, they spell it with a “Y”.

Native Cold Press

If you’re hungry, bite into a protein bite. They make one called Blueberry Moon that contains raw cashews, sacha inchi protein, coconut, Blue Majik algae, dried blueberries, dates, lemon, and himalayan salt. I love a good bite of algae in the morning. It clears the head and really gets me going.

God bless ‘em. They are health conscious and driven by the desire to do good, I’m sure. As we said to each other, “Hey, we gave it a try. We can say we had a vanilla mushroom coffee.” I’m no longer sure why we would want to say that, but if asked, we can acknowledge it.

As an aside, the vanilla mushroom coffee was not horrible. It was actually quite bland (although I had to toss it out once it got cold; I could not force myself to swallow the rest of it). Is that the new trend- pretentious but bland?

Sadly, that is how we ended our weekend together. Overall, it was a wonderful weekend. I am looking forward to going back. I’d love to spend another Community Day in that park, grab another burger at Thurman’s, and eat some delicious pastries and drink some delicious, normal beverages at The Fox In the Snow.

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