One Year Later

I had been planning on writing this post several weeks ago but… I’ve been busy with a guy.

My chipper attitude is not solely due to the mobster. He’s a huge part of it but even before meeting him the clouds were beginning to part.

I fully admit I’ve been engaged in a year long temper tantrum/pity party. I’ve had brief moments of hope and happiness but the darkness would quickly wash over me again.

I also admit I have been a horrible friend, a self absorbed whiner, and a very selfish person this last year. It has been all, “Me, me, me! Listen to me wail about my pain! I’m tired. I’m poor. I hate life.”

Something has changed recently. Maybe it was my mom returning and being available to help with kids, dinner, and laundry. Maybe it was Rock Star finally get her license and a car. Maybe it was both of my kids being happy. Hell, maybe it was the fact I finally got my back support so I could breathe a little. I felt normal again. Maybe it was something as simple as cultivating relationships and feeling better at my job. Or jobs.

I’ve been thinking of putting myself out there and volunteering again. I’ve thought about doing things I want to do. I have been able to look ahead just a little bit once again.

I have a court date looming. I don’t know what’s going to happen. I hope I nail his ass and he pays for every awful, evil thing he’s done to me and my kids. If the worst happens and he gets away with his 2 year financial rape of me… well, I’ve been through Hell and I”m still standing.

When it’s all over, no matter how it ends, I will still be the better person. I’m stronger than him. I’m more capable. I’m the better parent. No matter how many times or how many different ways he tries to beat me down, to defeat me, to try to suck the joy out of life and make me want to give up and die, I will always emerge from the fire- stronger, better, ready to kick his ass.

This blog has not been a ray of sunshine for a full year. But you know what? It’s like I’ve said all along: I just have to wallow and get through this in my own time. ’Tis true. There was no way to rush it.

I had to go through every crappy feelings, every crappy experience, to get where I am. I will never be one of those people who can be grateful and optimistic when I’m struggling to survive and things are going badly. I am, however, one of those people who can look back on it all and say, “I survived. I did it. I made it through.”

For those of you who might still be in those dark days I want you to know it gets better. I can’t tell you when it will happen for you but it will happen. Don’t rush the process even though you may want to. Don’t feel guilty when you’re down and don’t try to convince yourself that you shouldn’t be feeling that way. This shit is hard. Recognize it. Accept it. Wallow in it. Let it wash over you. And then get up and get on with it.

Everybody hurts. Everybody has problems. There are so many kids out there abandoned by parents. Kids out there that have lost a parent. There are people out there going through the exact same thing as you- they were lied to, cheated on, made a fool of. People lose loved ones- perhaps a child, a spouse, a parent. Sometimes they lose homes. Or pets. We’ve all got problems.

I don’t say that to guilt anyone. Again, I say wallow in it and let yourself feel every sucky emotion. And realize you’re not alone.

I wrote once about someone looking at her life six months post break-up. At the time my life was a mess, and looking at how far I had come was not a pleasant experience. This past weekend, June 10th marked the one year anniversary of what was probably the worst day of my life. I think it was worse than finding out he was cheating on me again. It was the day that led to me losing damn near everything. It was the day I knew I was going to have to tear my kids’ world apart yet again. I knew I couldn’t keep it all together and I couldn’t do what I originally wanted to do, which was to stay put so Rock Star could graduate where she started.

On this one year anniversary I happened to be with the mobster. I paused for a moment and mentioned it, to which he replied, “Don’t think about that.”

You know what? It was okay. I  could acknowledge it had been one year since my life fell apart, and then get on with my day. I didn’t dwell. I didn’t get sad. I acknowledged it and then turned my attention to this fabulous man who drove hundreds of miles to get to me.

Sand

The Best Revenge

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I came across a meme the other day, very much like the one above. I also came across this:

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and this:

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Logically, I know that this is all good advice. I knew this way back when I was a mere 21 years of age. There was a guy that I dated for about a month. He dumped me for one of my best friends. I briefly fantasized about being an alcoholic and watching my life fall apart, and then quickly realized neither of them would really care about the mess I had made of my life.

The stakes are higher but it’s the same philosophy now, 25 years later. Me being miserable for the rest of my life won’t make CF or Harley feel bad. Hell, if anything it would probably make them ecstatic. The thought that I can’t make it without him has to be glorious news to Cousinfucker’s ears. I’m sure he takes great satisfaction in knowing that my life has fallen to shit and that I will never have anything to call my own again. There will be no more shopping trips, no more vacations, no more day excursions, no splurges. My kids will never have anything they want anymore. I can’t afford it and I doubt I ever will. That must make him and the whore so happy.

If I killed myself tomorrow, or was diagnosed with cancer, or just had a heart attack like I’m hoping for, he wouldn’t feel shame or regret or guilt. No, he’d be dancing on my grave, thanking me for letting him off the hook for child and spousal support. Oh, did I say thanking me? No, he’d never actually thank me. He would dance gleefully and probably shout out loud about how happy he was that I was so stupid and pathetic, though. Ding dong the witch is dead!

In my head I KNOW all of this. I know that the best revenge is living well. I know the best revenge is to be awesome and amazing and to show him that I don’t need him and that the kids and I are doing great without him. I don’t want to give him the satisfaction of seeing me suffer. I want him to hear that I’m doing awesome without him, that I have a full social life and I have a great career and I’m making money and I don’t need him to support me (although I will take his money- I earned every dime). I don’t want him thinking he’s broken me because, honest to God, I sometimes think that’s exactly what he tried to do with his cross country move.

I sometimes think he wondered to himself, “Hmmm… how can I destroy Sam? She’s way too happy for my tastes. I need to knock that bitch down a peg or two. How can I make her suffer? I know! I’ll move her across the country and take her entire life as she’s known it for the last eight years completely away from her. I’ll move her to a desolate place where she can’t get involved and will have few friends so that she must rely on me. I’ll give her everything she’s ever wanted. And then, when I’m the only one she has and when she has everything she’s ever wanted, I’m going to walk away and leave her empty handed and completely alone. She will never recover. Finally, she will know what it’s like to live life like me- never happy, always miserable.”

Yep, that about sums it up, I believe.

So knowing this, knowing I don’t want to be pitiful and knowing I don’t want him to beat me the question then becomes HOW do you do this? How do you rise? How do you live your awesome life? How do you find happiness in a world of gray repetition? It’s a nice little quote but it doesn’t offer much guidance.

How happy am I supposed to be when I’ve lost everything? I’ve lost my house. I own very few possessions. I live with my mother. My husband cheated on me with HIS COUSIN, for crying out loud. I work two jobs, both of which pay a whopping $11/hour. I’m NOT living a fabulous life. I’m just not.

It is demoralizing to get up every fucking morning at 3:20, work stocking shelves at Job #1 and then get ready to work as a damn bank teller for another 9 hours. And the end result isn’t a fantastic lifestyle. No, it’s being able to barely pay my bills, put food on the table and buy household necessities. Or as I prefer to put it: I don’t have to choose between wiping my ass and eating.

Rock Star wanted to know if I could take her clothes shopping. I had to tell her no. After years and years of being able to indulge her whenever she wanted to go shopping, I can’t drop even $100 on clothes for her once in a blue moon. I don’t find anything happy or fabulous about that.

She wants a car so badly. She was promised a car when she got her license. Then her dad lost his damn mind. There is no car, and again, I so badly want to make her happy. I would love to present her with an inexpensive car. Obviously, if I can’t afford to take her clothes shopping I can’t buy her a damn car.

I hate not being able to go places. I hate the fact that I won’t ever get to take my kids on vacation again. I hate not being able to spend money like I used to. It sucks! Anyone who says that money doesn’t buy happiness doesn’t know where to shop! The fact of the matter is money problems are the leading cause of arguments and disagreements within most marriages. It’s a huge stressor in people’s lives, and more than a few people have actually divorced over it. Money may not guarantee happiness but it certainly helps. I prefer not having to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills over worrying constantly.

Because I get up at 3:20 in the morning and don’t get home until around 6 every day I have no energy to go and do things after work. I think about volunteering somewhere but the truth of the matter is when I finally get a chance to go home I want to take it. I want to go home and chill for an hour or two before I need to go to bed so that I can get up and do it all over again.

I work 6 days a week most weeks.  That means I have one day to catch up on everything I need to do. While I do get off work by 9:30 at the latest on Saturdays keep in mind I’ve been up since 3:20 am. If I don’t take a nap on Saturday and I run around getting stuff done then I’m conked out early-  like 7:30 or 8:00.  I usually don’t want to go anywhere. It’s exhausting. If I go and do something and run all day on Sunday then that means I have to go another 6 days at full speed before I get another chance for any downtime.

Then we add in the fact that he moved me 2000 miles away from my life and then, just as I was adjusting, I was forced to move again. I have to start all over and I’m tired of starting all over. I’m tired of reinventing my life again and again. I’m in a town I don’t want to be in. My friends all have lives of their own. I do not have a jam packed social schedule. I don’t even have a moderately packed social schedule; the last time I went out with any friends was approximately 6 weeks ago. My friends who would have had me over for a night of drinking or who would have gone out with me or kept my mind off of the hell I’m living or who were actually going through the same crap all live 2000 miles away. I rarely go out and do anything with anybody I know. I’m tired of MeetUp groups. I have no desire to start attending church again. I can’t get involved at my kids’ schools because I work constantly. I can’t even help out at the track meets because you need to be there by 5 and I wouldn’t get there until at least 5:30.

So I don’t have this great new social life. I don’t have a life that is full of activities that I enjoy. They don’t exist anymore. I don’t know anyone. Or rather, I have about 3 people in my social circle and they are unavailable most of the time. Quite honestly I think I’m being very generous when I say I have 3 people in my social circle. I used to have PTA, and Bunko, my neighbors, my fellow gym moms. I was a hockey mom. I volunteered for my son’s T-ball team. I have none of that anymore. I will never have it again. That part of my life is gone. He made sure to take it all away. I don’t know what to fill it with. I don’t know where to go to get involved. I don’t have the time or inclination to do it anyway. Like I’ve said before I’m tired of wasting my time with dead end events that never go anywhere. I have no desire to go walk dogs or take hikes or to go out and sit in bars with people I don’t know and end up having nothing in common with.

Yet there is a part of me (a very small part) that says I need to somehow keep trying because I will never find a new, fabulous life sitting in my mom’s living room. I didn’t get my old life by sitting at home. I got it by putting myself out there and reaching out. I didn’t meet some of my very best friends by watching TV and eating cookie dough. I did it because my daughter was involved in gymnastics and I would sit with some of the same parents. Some of them I really clicked with and we are still friends today. But I wasn’t working 55 hours a week then either. If I wasted some time it was no big deal because I had plenty of it to spare.

There is a big race coming up this summer. I have thought about training so that I can run. I only have time to do a 5K, as opposed to a 10K. But let’s be realistic. I’m up at 3:20. I work from 4-7. I come home, get ready for my second job, and then work until 5:15 or thereabouts. I head to pick up my daughter and finally get home around 6. I honestly don’t see myself strapping on my tennis shoes and going out for a run. I’m a very slow runner so eventually running 3 miles would take me almost 40 minutes. Take a shower. Eat dinner around 7. After I’ve reheated it because my mom is not going to eat at 7. She’s got dinner ready no later than 6! And then I have maybe an hour or two before I need to go to bed.

I’ve even thought about joining a gym but the same questions plague me. When would I go? My mom usually goes in the morning. She doesn’t want to wait until 6 or later. Now I have to actually drive somewhere so that’s taking even more time.

I see people traveling and taking vacations. I don’t have the money for traveling or vacations. I see people getting involved in things they love. I don’t have the time and I don’t know what I love anymore. That’s the truth. Everything I enjoyed was taken away from me and now I have to start over yet again and I have no clue what I want to do if I even had time to do anything.

I sometimes think the reason forgiveness and this whole “living well is the best revenge” tripe is so popular is because they have all these nifty phrases. Vengeance gets a bunch of warnings and people pleading with you to take the high road. No wise words. No inspirational memes.

I don’t think I’m going to be getting any sort of “revenge” on Cousinfucker and Harley anytime soon. That’s okay, though, because I prefer Confucius’s warning about revenge:

 

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I’m fine with that. I’m willing to go down with the ship in order to take him down. It’s not like I have anything else. My happiness is nonexistent so I’ll stick with making sure I can make him miserable as well. Living that insanely happy life is probably a better form of revenge but I don’t think I’m ever going to get that so this is all I’ve got.

 

My Heart Sings

I was having a conversation with my daughter a week or so ago. I don’t even remember what we were talking about exactly or how it came up but she stated, “I’m happy.” <Jaw drop>

“You are?” I asked her, astonished. Believe me, this was the first time I had come close to hearing anything like this. In fact, I had just asked her probably no more than 2 weeks earlier if she was liking it at her new high school more now that people were starting to notice her, she had made friends, and had joined the cheerleading team. She shrugged and replied, “Eh.”

Not this time, though! This time she went on to say that she was just really happy. She had her good friends and her cheer teammates. She had a fantastic mom and an okay brother. Again, I had to stifle a cry of joy because that’s the nicest thing she’s said about her brother in ages. She loves her job and is “in” with the managers. She’s not even that bothered anymore about not having her license because so many of the people she knows here don’t have them either.

She’s happy! Both of my kids are happy and settled. As the old song sings, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”

My Big Day

Today was orientation for my new full-time job. It went okay. They had snacks, which I’m always up for, and lunch was pizza from my favorite pizza joint.

I looked amazing, if I do say so myself. We had to interview one another and while talking I mentioned my kids. She asked how old they were so I told her. She looked at me and exclaims, “How old are you? I thought you were going to say you had little kids!” I told her I was going to be 48 next month and she assured me I didn’t look it at all.

The only bad part was finding out that the cute shoes that fit when I tried them on with thin socks were too big when wearing them with tights. I could barely walk to save my life!

And then, at the end we drove to a different building and we were given vouchers for the parking. I couldn’t get mine to work and there was a long line of cars behind me. I was trying to back out because I had already banged my head on my window and it was obvious the stupid voucher wasn’t going to work when this guy came over and swiped his card for me so that I could get out. Very nice of him.

We had a lot of different people from many different departments come and talk to us. It was fairly interesting. I’m really crossing my fingers that something good will come out of this job and that I won’t remain in poverty forever. That hopefully one day I will be making more than $1/hour more than my 16 year old daughter and can actually provide for my kids instead of merely barely surviving. Today was the first day of what could eventually lead to a long career at this institution.

In the meantime, I got up at 3:10 this morning because I was too tired to take a shower before I went to bed last night. I was thinking about how much I hate getting up that early. I truly do. But I sucked it up and went to work. While I was working one of the supervisors told me to see the HR person before I left. I was thinking, “Oh boy; they’re going to let me go because I can’t work the hours I was able to before,” but he followed it up with, “You won a prize for attendance.”

Apparently, they put the names of all the people who didn’t call off into a drawing. Now, I’m not sure how many names were drawn and what the other prizes were but hot damn- I won a $100 gift card! I was pretty excited.

I told my friend from work what had happened and she told me to make sure I spent some of it on myself. I told her I had seen a couple of shirts I liked but I probably should spend it mainly on such sexy things as dog food, pads, and saline solution. $100 could potentially take care of a lot of basic necessities.

Also, on the good news front I did manage to make it two whole days without crying. I almost cried a few times but I didn’t. Maybe one of these days we’ll get a three day streak. It’s doubtful but for today I got pizza from my favorite pizza place, I have $35 in Rewards money plus another $25 for shopping during the month of December, I was told I look very young, and I have won a $100 gift card. So suck on that, life!

A Tale of Two Sams

Catchy title, huh? My ode to Dickens. A tale of two Sams, you say? Tell me more!

This is the way I feel most days. There are two different sides waging battle inside of me. There is the happy-go-lucky Sam that does her best to forge ahead, be positive, and have faith. This Sam chirps cheerfully, “No use in crying about the things you can’t change. Just put your head down and plow through it!” I sometimes hate her. She’s way too cheerful for me and she’s going to end up on her ass because nothing ever goes according to plan. Then there’s the pessimistic, defeated Sam who is still convinced she will live in poverty forever and that life isn’t really worth living anymore. “Dear Lord, just kill me now!” she begs through her tears. Honestly, I can get behind this Sam. She’s very comfortable, like a warm sweater. She doesn’t ask anything of me except possibly a Kleenex so she can blow her nose. Occasionally I have a third Sam. Let’s call her psychotic Sam. She spends her days weighing the pros and cons of life in prison and taking careful notes while watching ID TV. I’m just saying… if I can get him to Corsica somehow it’s possible I’ll only serve about 7 years if they catch me. Yeah, Psychotic Sam is also weighing the pros and cons of trying to get away with any shenanigans versus just taking the prison time. Usually Psychotic Sam is kept waaaaaay in the back but sometimes she manages to fight her way up front, knocking Happy-go-lucky Sam down onto the ground, stepping on her back and grinding her face right into a big ol’ patch of mud and grabbing Defeated Sam and telling her, “Wipe away those tears and watch this!”

Truthfully it’s difficult to believe anything good is ever going to come of this. It often feels like he set up his whole new life and then abandoned all of us and I’ll never get a chance to make a new life because I’m always ten steps behind. Then there are the days I feel like Monica on Friends. Do you remember the episode where her identity was stolen and she eventually befriends her identity thief? She loved hanging out with her because she took all of these crazy risks and lived life to its fullest (until she went to prison, of course). At the end of the episode she’s in a tap dancing class and the instructor yells out, “You’re doing it wrong!” and Monica replies, “Yeah, but I’m doing it!” Or maybe it was, “Yeah, but I’m here.” Either way, Monica showed up, she put herself out there, and even if she wasn’t doing it as well as everyone else she was there and she was trying. That’s how I feel some days.

I’m barely hanging on most days but I’m here. I show up. I’m doing it. I’m tired. I get my ass up on a good day around 3:20 in the morning so that I can go in at 4. On other days I go in anywhere from midnight to 2 am. Right now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I’m only functioning because my dear mother is helping to pick up my daughter, do my laundry, cook most evenings, and wash dishes. I have no idea what I’m going to do when January rolls around and she’s no longer here and I’m working TWO jobs.

Yes, folks, I managed to get hired at Kohl’s for the holidays. I interviewed on Monday, found out I got the job on Tuesday and I should be starting sometime next week. So, this means that my job at Target generally covers my monthly bills and the job at Kohl’s will allow me and my kids to eat! I was excited about that. Plus- employee discount!

I’ve also interviewed for a full-time job. I’ve had interviews with three different people and just sent off my pre-employment stuff so they can interview references and do a background check. I applied for the same position at 3 different places and apparently they are considering me for 2 of them. I am hoping for one position over another just because the hours are better and the pay is more since you’re not at a sole location. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll take it if they offer me the permanent location. It’s only $10/hour and the hours are terrible for trying to work a second job. Unfortunately, I will still need to work a second job because neither position pays me enough to only work 40 hours a week.

I’ve also taken an exam to work at the post office. I haven’t been called in for anything yet but I took the exam and I passed. Plus, my sweet J has a long-term boyfriend who has an aunt that works there so hopefully something will pan out with that.

The other job at Aldi’s didn’t pan out. They advertised for a big job hiring event and it was basically going in and filling out an application.  Apparently I was not Aldi’s material because I didn’t even get called in for an interview. Normally, Defeated Sam would be moaning, “I can’t even get hired as a stupid cashier!” and, “You went out of your comfort zone and took a chance at applying for a manager trainee position when you clearly had no business trying for anything like that! You’re a cashier and nothing more! You got your hopes up and then they were shot down! This is why we don’t try things!” but here is where Happy-go-lucky Sam took over. For some reason I didn’t dissolve into a heap of tears at being passed over as a cashier or a relief supervisor or a manager trainee. I just kind of shrugged and said, “Oh well. I guess I need to apply for more stuff,” and then went on my way. I’m surprised by my attitude, too, because a cashier at Aldi’s makes $12 an hour! A relief supervisor makes $16! Those in the manager trainee position make around $22.50 an hour. That’s nowhere close to what I was living on but it would make a world of difference to Broke-Ass Sam.

I feel like I never see my kids anymore. The week of Thanksgiving I was going in at 1:30 in the morning, so I’d go to bed around 6 so that I could wake up around 12:45. I guess they’ll live but I find it sad that their father isn’t worth a shit and now their mom isn’t around much to participate in their lives either.

Let’s see, where else does Happy-go-lucky Sam pop up? Well, I was briefly filled with hope when I read someone’s status on FB. Eight years ago she was going through a divorce and believed she would be alone forever. But, she met someone and she’s been married for 3 or 4 years now. Good for her. Bonus points for the fact that she isn’t some lithe size 2 either and yet she still found someone who loved her. That gave me hope for a millisecond, not that I’m looking for love or that I ever want to remarry; then I realized she was about 30 when she went through her divorce. I’m 47. I’m fairly certain my dating years are over and honestly CF has damaged me way too badly for me to put myself out there any time soon. But for a millisecond, Happy-go-lucky Sam was in charge. She pokes her head around occasionally, pointing out various people that have found love later in life. Hey, look at that one! He’s remarried. Look at her! She’s fat and she’s married. Hey, don’t mean to rub salt in the wound but Jezebel got married for a third freaking time at age 47 and Cousinfucker managed to find someone at his age and with all his problems! But then Defeated Sam stops bawling in the corner long enough to pipe up, “Yeah, but Jezebel is very pretty and she always loses weight before she cheats on her husband so she’s thin when she snags the next one! Cousinfucker found someone else because his gold digging whore of a cousin latched onto him, thinking she had found a sugar daddy. All these people you see around you who have someone new in their life are younger and thinner. Men always have it easier when it comes to remarrying so don’t look to them for examples.” Then Happy-go-lucky Sam pops her head up and cheerfully chirps, “If you think you need to be thin in order to ever date again you can always start going to the gym. Eat better. Lose weight.” Then Psychotic Sam clocks that bitch and laughs.

I do feel a small sense of accomplishment seeing as how I am indeed taking care of all that needs to be done, albeit with help from my mother. I mean, if I had to live on my own we would be in a homeless shelter because I just couldn’t make enough to make a mortgage payment or pay rent. I readily admit that living with my mom has been a lifesaver. But I am doing what needs to be done in order to pay my bills, buy a few Christmas gifts for my kids, and purchase food and essentials for the three of us. I probably still won’t make enough to be able to go to the movies or out to eat with them, but we’ll have food. Maybe if everything works out I can work a third job for some extras. But here’s the thing. As much as it sucks (and it does indeed suck so much!) I’m doing it without Cousinfucker’s help. I am so much stronger than he is. Yes, he made good money but he also had a wife that was his biggest cheerleader and who made numerous sacrifices so that he could climb the corporate ladder. I’m sure he wouldn’t like it put this way but he wouldn’t be anything more than possibly a first shift superintendent if he weren’t married to me. I always agreed to move whenever he got an offer. I was the one who left behind friends and community and activities; he didn’t make friends or socialize much. It was no big deal for him to leave an area. I was the one who always got involved and made the new location a home. He went to work and once a week he would mow the lawn. Sometimes there would be a household project. He had me to take care of everything else. I made dinner, I did the grocery shopping, I washed and put away his clothes, I made his doctor’s appointments and picked up his prescriptions, I fed and watered the animals and cleaned out the cat boxes. Most importantly, I was the one responsible for our children. I bathed them, I got them ready for bed, I fed them. I took them to school and I picked them up. I took them to and picked them up from their extracurriculars. I volunteered at their schools and went to parent-teacher conferences and helped out with the PTA. I signed permission slips, gave them lunch money, made them breakfast, and took them out to get school supplies for projects. He didn’t have to lift a finger. He went to work and that was pretty much it. Hell, he even outright stated that if I got a job it couldn’t interfere with his job and he wouldn’t be helping out around the house or with the kids.

I’m working and I’m still taking care of my kids. When my mom goes to Florida it’s going to be tough but I’m going to figure it out. I’m going to figure out how to get my daughter to school, whether it’s coordinating rides to school, putting her in charge of getting rides, or just relying on the bus. I’m going to drag my tired ass over to her place of employment at 10:00 at night when I need to get up at 3:20 in the morning to go to work seeing as how she still doesn’t have her license. Because I’m her mother and she’s my child and it’s my responsibility. I don’t have the luxury of walking away and pretending like I have no obligations. As much as it pisses me off that I have to do this instead of her being able to drive herself, thanks to him forcing us out of our home and out of the state, I’m not going to bitch and moan; I’m just going to do what needs to be done. As always. I’m going to figure out how to feed them when I’m working 2 or 3 jobs. I’ll probably resort to doing a bunch of cooking one day and then relying on the crockpot for the rest of the week. Laundry will get done. The house will be picked up. The dogs will be fed and watered. There may be cleaning charts involved. Who knows? What I do know is that it will all get done. And Cousinfucker can’t lay claim to any of it. I’m doing it without his help just like I always knew I could. I’ve always been the stronger of the two of us. I’ve always had it more together. I’ve always been the one to take charge and take care of things. I can do this! I might not want to but I can, and that’s the important part. I might be poor. I might be barely hanging on. But I’m not relying on him for anything. I never will again. I don’t care if he starts paying child support and spousal support. I will continue to work whatever I need to work to cover my bills and take care of my expenses because he has shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that he cannot be trusted to do what needs to be done. That’s not Happy-go-lucky, look to the positive, always cheerful Sam. That’s Kick-Ass Sam. She’s wearing her sassy little kick ass boots, too.

I’m also trying more to adopt ifonlymommy’s philosophy. She’s always so sweet and positive. She tends to believe that things will get better and that it won’t always be like this. Happy-go-lucky Sam is doing her best to get me to look at life that way. Yeah, I’m not making great money right now but maybe one day it will be better. What I have now isn’t necessarily what I will have in a year. Things could get better. This full-time job I’m interviewing for doesn’t pay all that great but there are advancement possibilities and more money in the future. I try to remind myself that my mom has helped me out a tremendous amount since I had to move back home so maybe even if I can’t do much for my kids right now when they’re older I might be able to help them. Maybe if I have grandchildren one day I can spoil them like I used to be able to spoil my own kids. Maybe if my son or daughter finds their lives upended by a cheating spouse I’ll be able to give them refuge.

That’s where I am today. I no longer cry every day. And most days when I do cry it’s for a short period of time. I’m at kinda-sorta okay most of the time. The days when I’m praying for an aneurysm or a massive coronary are getting fewer and farther between. I still don’t have hope, nor do I think I’ll ever have much of anything, but I’m learning to live in poverty without crying all the time. I feel small bursts of pride when I realize that shit eating chimp I married isn’t supporting me or my kids- I am (with a great deal of help from my mom). I doubt that life will ever be good or that Happy-go-lucky Sam will ever be the dominant personality, but I’m alive. For better or for worse, I’m alive.

These Are Things I Do Like

This blog hasn’t been a very upbeat place lately. I thought maybe today I would discuss some of the things I do like and appreciate about this new chapter in my life.

It turns out I do like living with my mom. Yes, there are definitely times I wish I still had my own place. Let’s face it- as we separate from our parents and create our own spaces we get to do whatever we want to do for the most part. If I don’t want to do laundry for 2 weeks, I don’t have to. If I don’t feel like cleaning the kitchen, no big deal. I can leave my shoes all over the house. And I do still get misty eyed when I walk into a store and realize I no longer ever have to buy household items, like platters and decorations and bowls, again. We have a brand new Home Goods in town and the reality is I don’t ever need to go inside because there’s absolutely nothing I need or have room for.

Despite those moments of pity I do enjoy living with her. I like how she does my laundry and will fold my clothes. I like that I have someone to share the cooking and cleaning with. I try to get in front of it because I don’t want to wear out my welcome but it’s nice to have someone else plan a meal. I certainly never got that while I was married. I like that she irons because I don’t. It’s nice to have someone to talk to and run errands with. She definitely keeps my mind off of everything that is going on in my life. I don’t have time to cry when she’s around and we often find ourselves laughing.

I do have to say that one of the side effects of living with her is gaining weight. That woman is on a definite eating schedule. She eats in the morning, the afternoon, and the evening whether she needs to or not! Actually, in her case I’m sure she does need to eat. However, I’m used to a much more relaxed schedule. There would be days when I wouldn’t eat breakfast until 9 in the morning, if at all. I might have a heavy late lunch which would then mean I wouldn’t eat dinner. If that was the case I might pop a batch of popcorn and have that later on. Sometimes I would have chips and salsa for lunch and that would be it. Here it’s much more regimented. Plus, I’m bored and lonely so I’m constantly eating. I should probably take a walk or start back on the Couch To 5K program, but I rarely leave the house; I’ve turned into quite the hermit.

Hey, that brings us to another silver lining. Unloading trucks and stocking shelves will give me some exercise and maybe I’ll end up losing some weight. Also on the positive side while I’m at work for those few hours I won’t be eating!

I like being around family although it’s still difficult to ask for help and every time I call my brother and ask for help he ends up telling me how to do it instead of coming out here and actually doing it, which is really no help at all. Before my mom left we had my other niece and nephew up here for dinner and then my brother and his two came over as well. It was nice having a family dinner and getting together with everyone. On a daily basis my daughter is hanging out with her cousin. Yesterday the two of them rode into Chicago together and went shopping. The day before we picked up Queen B and all three of us went to get pizza and then finished up some grocery shopping. Both she and my nephew spent the night last night. It’s nice to be able to pop over to each other’s houses and say hello, visit for a while, and then go along our merry way. I’ve never had that before.

I like the fact that my brother’s dog gets so excited when she sees me because she knows I’ll tell her how pretty she is and scratch her ears and head and fuss all over her. She sees me, if not regularly, certainly more often than once or twice a year for a few minutes.

I’m also very thankful that I was able to bring my dogs with me. I feel bad about having to re-home my cats, but I had only had the one for less than 18 months and the other two for a little over a year. My dogs I’ve had for 11, 7, and 3 years.

My oldest dog is my baby. I took that dog to obedience training. I got a damn recliner re-upholstered when he tore the back off of it while CF was living apart from us during our move of 2006. I fed that dog, slept with that dog, played with that dog, and loved that dog. I put my foot down when CF suggested getting rid of him. I’m not sure that this was verbatim but it was a variation of this: You are free to move out there without him; however, I’m not leaving him behind. If you move out there without him you’ll be moving out there without me because I’m staying with the dog. Smartest choice I ever made. My 8 year old is a female that we rescued when she was approximately a year. She’s a barker but very sweet. I couldn’t give her away; I’d never be able to look at that sweet face and see how sad she was as I walked away. And my youngest is my little tag along. He follows me everywhere. I can’t go to the bathroom without him following me. If I shut the door to have some privacy he scratches at the door and whines. I can literally go from one side of the room to the next and he will follow me each and every time. I sit down on the bed to put on socks and he jumps up there beside me. I walk over to the dresser to grab a shirt and he hops down to be by my side. I sit back on the bed and he hops back up there with me. He would be heartbroken if I gave him away and he had a new family. With my mom gone I’ve been sleeping with four dogs every night (hers is right there in the mix). It’s very cozy.

I do appreciate the variety of restaurants we have around here. I can no longer eat at them but when the day comes that I’m actually making some money they will be here.

I like the fact that I have other relatives here as well and we meet with them every other week or so for dinner. It is nice to be connected and not out on my own as I’ve always been.

I appreciate that my sister-in-law has offered me up as a possible person to help bartend when they are short staffed. I like working with her and I really appreciated the fact that he paid us for 5 hours instead of 3 last week!

I am thankful I have a friend who marched into a co-worker’s office to let them know I had applied for a job in that department and she wanted to put in a good word for me. I’m also thankful she was willing to contact her ex to see if he had any job openings, even though she doesn’t like him and she really wishes I didn’t work with him and his new wife. Neither of those leads have panned out but I appreciate the fact that she was willing to do that for me.

I will say once more that I am very thankful my mom opened up her home to me and my kids. I know there are many people out there who don’t have that kind of support. I won’t be homeless no matter what. I know that I often concentrate on the bad and what I don’t have so I do want to reiterate that I am aware I am blessed to have a mom who is still alive and who will help me out. I’m not living in a garage; I’m not living in a homeless shelter. I’m not living out of my car. I have a home with heat and food and DirecTV.

My dad is in failing health and we don’t have the best relationship but I am thankful I’m close by so I can occasionally see him. When I moved out here my stepmom gave me some money to help with moving expenses and then turned around and gave me a check to help with back to school expenses. That allowed me to pay my bills through this month.

I like the fact that we can now do things with family on a regular basis. My brother took Picasso and his son out to the shooting range the other day. We all met up to go out for my nephew’s birthday last week and then headed back to their house for cake. Last month we all went out for my brother’s birthday. No cake involved that time. Very disappointing.

I’m excited that for the first time in a long time I will be physically present for my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day. We can all actually go out to dinner. I can hand her a present in person. Or I can make her dinner. Depends on how poor I am in May.

I’m thankful for my part-time job. I don’t really see it going anywhere but at least it’s something. Something is better than nothing. Surely to God someone will eventually hire me full-time and for more than $8/hour. The nice thing about the Target job is that they are willing to work with me and if I should get hired on full-time and need to be at another job by 8 or 8:30 then they’ll schedule me for 3 or 3 1/2 hours if that’s all I can work.

I like the fact that Picasso is happy here and he’s made a lot of friends. I like that he gets to play the cello again since that is what he loves.

Rock Star seems to be liking it here a little bit more. I’m sure making the cheerleading squad had a little bit to do with that. I think I wrote about her finally going to a football game and enjoying herself. She is close with her cousin and has some friends at school and at work. If we can just make it through the next five months until she can get her license we might be home free.

There you have it. The things I like about this move. It’s not a huge list but I did indeed make one. That has to count for something, right?

Looking Back To a Time When I Was Optimistic

I thought I’d try something different this Thursday. I was going through my old posts and came across this one where I write about moving and leaving my old life behind. I was actually quite upbeat and optimistic.

July 2013

It’s really hitting me now that I will soon be out of here. I’ve done some cute “this is our last time here” pictures but overall I try not to get too maudlin in front of my friends. So I shall come here instead to vent and cry. Yesterday was my last Saturday in our former state and my last Saturday to play Bunko. I won high score so it was a good way to go out. And they gave me a gift card and everyone signed a going away card.

That means today is my last Sunday and tomorrow will be my last Monday and so on and so on. Tomorrow, in fact, will be the last time I pick anyone up from this airport. I should probably take a picture. Speaking of which, I need to get out there and take a few. I want to take pictures of memorable things, like the schools and places I hung out. I have some already but there are others I need.

Realistically I know things will be ok. Well, I hope they will anyway. Almost eight years ago I was crying because I didn’t want to move here. My bff and I joked that the state motto was:  Hey, we’re not Iran! But I’ve come to love it out here and my kids have come to love it out here, the Boy before the Girl. Then again, he was only 4 when we moved so he doesn’t have as many memories. I have friends. Good friends. No, great friends. PTA friends. Bunko friends. Neighborhood friends. And of course gym parents friends.

Gosh, sitting all alone, cheering my kid on is going to be so strange after years of being with a group. And traveling. That was such a huge bonding thing. No more travel. At least not like that. And I think that’s one of the things that made us so close. Lots of times we would do at least *something* together. It wouldn’t necessarily be everyone, but one or two of us would get together and explore. We saw so many fantastic things, especially in our second and third year of optionals. We had such a fantastic time in Seattle last year and a great time in San Diego this year. Vegas was fun last year, until the Girl got hurt. But even after, we went to the team dinner and she rode the rides at the top of the Stratosphere with her teammates. Nashville this year was fun even though we didn’t do a lot with the team since so many family members came down to support the Girl. I’ll miss the big team dinners when we traveled, and our smaller team dinners after a competition in state. I wonder sometimes if she’s still going to love it and have the passion for it when she no longer has her teammates. They’ve been everything to her these past seven and a half years, but especially these last three or four. She’s at the gym 23 hours a week during the school year. Those were the people with whom she spent the most time.

As for me I was active in PTA. I formed a Bunko group which I loved. I lost a dog and a cat out here. Gained two new dogs. Of course, my husband also had an affair with a skanky little whore. My relationship with his family has been destroyed by this. So I suppose I can look to this move to a new state as a fresh start.

No more being in the house where it happened. No more of my husband being in the same office or sitting in the same plant where he and his whore texted back and forth. It’s a very small consolation considering I’m not really bothered by being in the same house or him being in the same work space.

I’ve really enjoyed my time here, even with the bad things that have happened. I try to stay positive and tell myself I wasn’t looking forward to the move here either. I hope I make new friends, although if I’m honest I’m really tired of starting over. I hope my kids fit in. I hope they make friends and love it out there. I won’t cry for them until it’s apparent things are bad because otherwise it’s just wasted tears. I would say I hope my husband is happier but the truth of the matter is there is no hoping about it. He’d damn well better be ecstatic out there after dragging us across the country and making us leave lives that we loved behind. Especially when I’m forced to now live five or six hours from the whore and will have to drive my daughter to a town with the same name as the whore’s town! He’d better be so fucking happy he can barely contain himself.

I will end on a positive note. I’ve come to realize it’s easy to recognize everything I will miss. The beautiful mountain views, my friends, PTA, Bunko, Cafe Rio, Kneaders, Zuppas, Village Inn. Lots of restaurants. LOL. I’ll miss all the kids friendly places, the close water parks and the amusement park. I think I may even miss all the season passes we used to have. I’m definitely going to miss all of my daughter’s friends. Those cute, sweet girls that I’ve watched grow up over the past four to seven and a half years. And I’ll miss my son’s friends, too. I had boys running in and out of my house all the time. I actually miss that.

But what you can’t see, can’t know, because it’s in the future, is everything there is to look forward to. When I left our last state I was in tears, worried about my kids fitting in, me leaving behind church, volunteering at the school, MOPS. I couldn’t see everything that I would gain- my new friends, my kid’s new friends, PTA, Bunko. All the things I’m sad about leaving behind now were hidden from me at the time. So I try to stay positive and believe that this next chapter in my life will be amazing as well.

Looking back on this makes me so sad for the person I used to be. I didn’t want to move. I loved my life out there. My kids loved their lives. But CF was miserable supposedly and because I loved him and wanted him to be happy, I agreed to this move.

Oh, there was a little more to it than that. At one point I wouldn’t have agreed to move at all, but that was a very brief period. In fact, it was during the summer of 2013, when he was carrying on his emotional affair with Harley and I didn’t have a clue.

But then he was outed and I thought things were going well between us. So I told him that we would all be happy no matter where we were as long as he was happy. I was willing to start all over and give up so much if it meant he would be happy and he would then invest in his family.

Obviously that didn’t work out well. We weren’t out there six weeks before he was complaining about his job and whining that things weren’t going his way. Picasso was bawling the night before school began, so nervous about starting at a new school. He pointed out that no one had sat next to him at Back To School Night. We tried to explain that everyone was new to that school and no one was really sitting next to other kids since they were all with their parents. He was no longer playing hockey, no longer playing the cello. He had a tough time fitting in at school that year and spent many mornings having a meltdown. He frequently complained that he had no friends at school. I had nothing to do; I was bored out of my mind and had no friends. I lost all my volunteer activities and couldn’t find anything new to replace them. The only one really happy was Rock Star who had fit in seamlessly and was taking her school by storm.

I suppose that’s why it’s so difficult for me to try to imagine a positive future. I did that when we moved the last time and it was basically a disaster. I moved and my husband began a downward spiral which resulted in a stay in the psych ward a mere six months later. He battled one illness after another and ultimately chose to cheat on me and try to find happiness with another woman. My kids’ lives were torpedoed- first when we moved and then when they found out we were getting a divorce. I spent most of the first year unhappy with my life, dwelling on the EA, and watching my husband break down. If it wasn’t his social anxiety then it was his drinking and then his supposed PTSD. At the conclusion of that first year I learned my husband was having an affair. So the second year I spent trying to keep afloat, trying to keep some stability for my kids. I was cut off from over 50% of his paycheck for 4 months and then I had to try to pay 100% of the bills and 100% of the kids’ needs on 66% on his paycheck. I found out he resigned from his job of 15 years and moved out of state; I had no idea if he was going to keep paying support or not. Then four months later he resigns again and tells me no more money will be coming my way. At the end of our second year there we were having garage sales, selling off furniture, and loading our possessions into a moving truck so we could make the 600 mile move in with my mom, blowing up my kids’ lives again.

I have learned the hard way not to say, “What else could possibly go wrong?” or “How much worse could it get?” The answer to either of those questions is never pleasant.

I did want to showcase this though because it points to a time in my life when I was optimistic. I was determined to make lemonade out of those lemons. As I so profoundly stated: I’ve come to realize it’s easy to recognize everything I will miss…But what you can’t see, can’t know, because it’s in the future, is everything there is to look forward to. When I left our last state I was in tears, worried about my kids fitting in, me leaving behind church, volunteering at the school, MOPS. I couldn’t see everything that I would gain- my new friends, my kid’s new friends, PTA, Bunko. All the things I’m sad about leaving behind now were hidden from me at the time. So I try to stay positive and believe that this next chapter in my life will be amazing as well.

Little did I know that when I moved I was not going to find happily ever after. It seems to me that moving turned out to be one of the absolute worst decisions, right after marrying Cousinfucker, I’ve ever made. It turns out there was nothing to look forward to. There was nothing to gain and nothing was hidden from me. I left behind a wonderful life and I exchanged it for upheaval, tears, a whore, uncertainty, divorce, and financial ruin. I could say that with this new chapter unfolding I will choose to believe it may be amazing as well, but I tried that once before. It blew up in my face. I could say it couldn’t possibly be worse than what happened last time, but I know what happens when I say that, too. It always gets worse. Instead I’ll simply say: Like it or not, I’ll live.

My Day

I didn’t post yesterday. I figure I post 28 days or so out of the month so I’m entitled to a break now and again. Plus, I posted 3 times the last day I posted. I’m due for a break.

So we left off with my daughter having made the cheer team after all and me heading into an interview at Target the next morning. First, let me say I am so glad I did not send Cousinfucker a scathing text blaming him for ruining Rock Star’s life. That would have resulted in me having some serious egg on my face! I guess I could have not told him. I’m sure if he ever cared to contact her she would have told him the good news.

Speaking of the good news, she has a friend who is currently a cheerleader for football season. This friend tried out for basketball cheer as well and she made it. She couldn’t believe Rock Star hadn’t heard anything and when she told her the next day that she had made it this friend literally screamed with excitement. I was so happy to hear that. This kid needs some good things happening to her.

She also went to a football game last night with another friend! She reported that she had a really good time and saw a lot of cute guys. She was also very impressed with her new school’s student section. She told me they had won “Best Student Section” for four years running. Apparently, there is an actual award for that. Who knew?

She also really loves her job. I don’t want her life to devolve into nothing but school and work, but I am glad she likes her job.

I don’t write as much about Picasso but that is because he is doing great and I was never really worried about him. He didn’t love our old town like she did. He didn’t take his new school by storm the way she did. He always said he was willing to move and he didn’t really like it there, even if he was making more friends and getting more involved towards the end. For anyone curious he is once again playing the cello and reports that after only a few weeks of being back at it that he is one of the best players in the orchestra. He was moved up to Honors Algebra and Honors English. He has a “group” that consists mainly of girls. He’s already been invited over to one girl’s house twice now. He is doing very well and seems to be very happy. Then again, I knew that would happen.

I had my second interview and I was offered the job. I ended up taking it. I’m not sure when I’ll start but whenever I do I’ll go in at 4 in the morning. I’m NOT looking forward to that; however, this position will pay more than being a cashier. I’ll be unloading the truck and helping to stock the shelves. I’ll be done between 8 and 9 in the morning, unless I stay to help unload the grocery truck and stock those shelves. He also said that even though it’s seasonal he doesn’t get rid of people who are hard workers and have a good attitude. There won’t be as many hours after the holidays but he will keep everyone on who has been a good worker. Because of the shift differential I’ll get paid $11/hour until 8 am. Then it goes down to $10.50. It’s crap money but I’m not really being offered anything decent so it looks like this is it.

Currently, I’m debating whether or not to take the other part-time job as well. It would be in a warehouse and I’d be pulling and cataloging books. It only pays $10/hour and would be Monday-Friday from 12-5. My other option is to wait to see if one of the temp agencies finds something for me because the guy who hired me told me that some people only work 3 or 3 1/2 hours before going on to another job. It’s not a problem for him so if I did need to only work until 7 or 7:30 he would be fine with it.

I guess I’m too nice because what I don’t want to have happen is for me to take on the second part-time job and then have someone call me up and offer me a full-time spot and so I then turn around and tell the second part-time people, “See ya later!” I know it takes time and resources to interview people and then more money costs to hire people.

On the other hand, Rock Star and Picasso need to eat! And until the holiday season hits the truck for Target comes in five days a week- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. I’m not even sure I’d be scheduled all five days.

I’m still mulling it over but right now I’m leaning towards seeing if I can still be hired on at the second part-time job.

Just to show how I have put on my big girl panties I have already solved the dilemma of my daughter getting to school in the mornings. I should have Wednesdays free to take her. My mom will be back sometime in early November but until then my niece has agreed to take her to school so she doesn’t have to ride the bus (although I did tell her she might have to just suck it up and do it for a few weeks). We’ll see what happens when January rolls around and my mom is off to Florida once again for 2 or 3 months.

Further wedging those big girl panties up: Tonight is Homecoming at Rock Star’s old high school. Her new school does not have a Homecoming dance. They have Spirit Week and a Homecoming game but no dance. While all my friends post pictures of their kids dressing up and heading out my daughter missed it completely. And tonight when she should have been getting ready with a big group of friends and having a terrific night she was actually at work. But, I have wished the others well and focused on other things tonight. I can’t change it so best not to dwell.

Last night I once again acted as a bartender. It was a fairly short gig- 3 hours. But it’s money. We lucked out and got paid for 5 hours even though we only worked for 3. Our boss is my brother and sister-in-law’s neighbor; he told us he knew it was boring so he paid us for more hours. At $15/hour that ended up being $75 so I was definitely happy. Especially since tips weren’t all that great. It was a museum fundraiser and my sister-in-law and I walked away with $10.50 each.

The kids and I, along with my brother and his family, headed down to see my dad today. He lives about 2 hours south of us. It was a nice day. We went to a long-time favorite lunch place. I think my brother and sister-in-law like it because of the homemade fries. Then we headed over to another local place for ice cream.

This was interesting. The man who owns the place named it after his son who died while serving in the Army. From the various things I’ve read it appears that his son suffered from PTSD and committed suicide. I’m not completely sure that is the story, but when he talks of losing his son he doesn’t say he was killed in Iraq or Afghanistan or that he was KIA. Usually those details are mentioned. There were also a few things written about PTSD which made me think he suffered from that.

The whole time I’m reading about this young man who died way too soon I’m thinking about Cousinfucker. Here is something that is very real and he’s using it as an excuse, a ploy to get out of paying what he owes. It is disgusting. I can pretty much guarantee you that if a judge lets him off the hook it will take no time for him to be completely recovered. Other men and women are truly suffering from PTSD; they’re taking their lives. I don’t discount it at all. But I’m not convinced he is suffering from it at all. I think for him it’s catchy and convenient. He never even brought it up as a possibility until American Sniper came out. He always talked of social anxiety; that was something that had always existed for him, not just since he got back from Iraq way back in the early 1990s. He had opportunities to get therapy. He refused them. He quit therapy each and every time. He went off of medication. He told me last summer he didn’t think therapy was effective and he didn’t believe in it so he was just going to go with medication. So, sorry but I’m not willing to cut him a break. I find it way too convenient that two months before our divorce can be finalized he has a crippling bout of PTSD- 25 fucking years after he returns home.

After ice cream we headed over to my dad’s house to see his dog. Everyone except my stepmother took a walk through the woods. Picasso and his cousin were busy swinging and breaking sticks. The two girls were taking selfies. I was on the lookout for snakes. Hey- it was the woods! We saw four deer. Oh, speaking of which, when I went to pick up Picasso from his friend’s house the other night I almost hit a deer on my way back. That sucker was just standing there in the middle of the road. I didn’t swerve but I did hit the brakes.

It has been a promising and busy weekend so far. We shall see what Sunday brings my way.

She Made It!!!

It turns out the coach had called my number last night. She said she had left a message but my phone apparently didn’t record it somehow. I remember seeing the call come in. I didn’t know who it was and figured if it wasn’t a sales call they would leave a message. Tonight she called back and did indeed leave a message. My awesome kid made the team!

So now of course I feel like an idiot. I’m sure those of you with kids know what’s it like though. Heap as much abuse on me as you want but leave my kids alone.

Now I can go in for my interview with a real smile on my face since I won’t be lamenting Rock Star’s misfortune.

HOORAY!

Today Is a Brand New Day, Plus Pictures!

Oh boy! I’m guessing I have one or two new readers. My view count is over 200 for the very first time! I guess that makes sense after you’ve been posting for a while. I have almost 250 entries so if someone new comes along, likes what they read, and decides to catch up it wouldn’t take long to get over 200 views. On the other side of the coin, I have almost 250 entries. I am either not getting a lot of new people who are reading, or people check me out and decide they don’t like the blog. Today though we’re going to focus on the POSITIVE so… Hooray for over 200 page views!

I know things have been dark around here since the beginning of June. I was giving that some thought because it is possible that someone who just found out they’ve been cheated on will stumble upon my little blog. I don’t tend to recommend people leave or stay because once again I find that to be a personal decision. But if someone is on the fence, or perhaps even leaning towards leaving and then they read my story I don’t want them to be discouraged. Yes, my situation sucks. Big time! But not every story ends my way. Quite honestly, I’m not even at the end yet. I’m not divorced so anything could happen.

Was I heartbroken when I found out what my husband was doing? Yes. Was I worrying about a million different things, most of them focusing on finances and being able to keep a stable environment for our kids? Of course. Here’s the thing though: After I got over that initial kick in the throat and took action I began to feel better. I’m pretty sure I’ve said before that if he were still paying me what he’s been ordered to pay I would be fine. I’d still be living in my old house, my daughter would still be going to her old high school and rocking it there, my son would be in the marching band, Rock Star would be driving, and I would probably be working by now. Life would have been good. I got over him pretty quickly. It’s everything else that has taken a toll.

I know it can be tempting to stay put. I get that. Some may be thinking they need to stay for financial security. I get that as well. When I first found out what he was doing I was sorely tempted to broach him about the possibility of continuing on with a marriage of convenience. If what I’ve been writing over the past four months has caused you to think that it’s better to stay with the devil you know let me direct you on over to Chump Lady. Hundreds of posters over there can tell you how they stayed as well, not wanting to disrupt their children’s lives, not knowing how they would survive out on their own. And then they’ll tell you how he (or she) left anyway. I don’t tell you this to sway anyone into leaving. I tell you this because it’s a possibility. Sometimes despite our best intentions, our best laid plans, they take off and leave anyway.

My advice if you’re going to stay is to get yourself financially secure. I don’t know how that looks for each individual person. I do know that I should have begun working after I found out about CF and Harley. I should have made a plan and decided what, if anything, I wanted to go back to school for and started that journey.  Don’t be me! Don’t get blindsided. Go back to school or finish school. Get a job, even if it’s only part-time. It will help you out so much if your spouse does it again and leaves this time. People always say that my volunteer experience counts and it’s so useful but the reality is it doesn’t. No one cares. Put money aside. Start up your own retirement account if you’re a stay at home parent. Some people swear by getting a post nuptial that will give you significant assets in case of another round of cheating. Others say they’re not worth the paper they’re printed on. Also, don’t move. That’s my PSA for day: Protect yourself financially. Take steps as though you’re going to divorce so that you’re protected in case you actually do.

Now onto more pleasant things. Like this bowl of sugary greatness complete with delightful marshmallows that I had for breakfast. Mmmm!

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Doesn’t that look delicious? Fruit Loops with marshmallows. My favorite.

Yes, I went grocery shopping yesterday. I actually cooked dinner for my kids last night. My niece was over. She and Rock Star went out to lunch, did a little shopping and then Queen B dropped Rock Star off at work. She stopped by to drop off my Rock Star’s purchases and once she heard I was going grocery shopping she offered to go with me. Isn’t she sweet? I love that girl. When I told her what I was making for dinner she announced she was going to be staying. The more the merrier. In case anyone is wondering I made the slow cooker loaded baked potato soup that I posted back in January.

I ran out of bacon bits so I actually fried up some bacon to add to the bacon bits. I also made it on the stove top because I didn’t have 3 hours to wait. It still tasted great. I would recommend cooking for 45 minutes to an hour so that the hash browns have a chance to soften if you’re going to cook it on the stove.

This morning I had another interview with a temp agency. She sounded fairly positive about a job that had just come up. She was going to see if they would increase the pay. I felt pretty good about myself. I wore my cute kickass boots and the dress I bought to go to court in (but then didn’t have to). Here I am in all my kickass glory…

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Hello everybody. I see two dogs made it into the picture. Anyway, this is what I look like. Well, this is what I look like when I’m dressed up. P.S. In the picture to the left you can see my magnolia painting. It ended up making the move.

I need to do the computer assessments at home because their computers were down so after I finish here I am going to get right on that.

I’m going to apply at a couple more places so that I will have two jobs because even if the position she talks about pans out it won’t pay me enough to do diddly squat. But hey, at least it will allow me to get my foot in the door and pay bills while I try to find something else. See? Positive attitude! I can do it!

I’m probably going to delete the next two pictures (and the one above) after a few hours. I don’t think Cousinfucker or his minions read my blog or even know of its existence, but the one thing I could always tell myself is that unless you knew one of us personally you wouldn’t know it was me (or him).  Once the divorce is final I don’t care who reads what!

Here I am in close up…

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I so wish I could take selfies like my daughter does. Every picture she takes is amazing. I take about 20 to get 1 that I find tolerable.

Excuse the trash cans on the counter. They are locking trash cans but my dog has apparently accepted that as a challenge. Since he can’t get it open he simply knocks it over and takes the damn lid off. I came home from my interview to find trash all over the floor. Bad dogs!

Yes, I said dogs, plural. Oh make no mistake. I know which one is knocking it over but trust me, the little one gets in on it after the lid is off. In fact, he probably growls and nips at the bigger ones so he gets the best pickings. The female might hang back but my guess is she’s in the mix as well.

And this is the expression on my face most days…

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Have a great day! I’m off to do some assessments.  Wish me luck!