COVID-19 and Long Distance Relationships, Part 2

I have tried to write this twice before. Each time it gets very dark and angry. We’ll see how the third attempt goes.

If you haven’t already heard the governor of Virginia has called for a shelter in place order until June 10th. Yes, that is correct. June 10th. More than 2 months from now.

I had planned on spending a week of vacation with the mobster. I see the man a handful of times throughout the year and most of those times we see each other for less than 48 hours. I don’t usually get to wherever it is we’re meeting until sometime between 10 and 11 at night on Friday. We have all of Saturday and then depending upon the time of year we leave to return home sometime between noon and 3. Occasionally we’ll have a longer bit of time but for the most part that’s what we get. So, out of the 14 days of personal and vacation time I get, I like to take 5 of those days and spend them with the mobster. It’s the one time each year I get to do that.

My vacation was slated to begin May 22nd, about 2 weeks before the governor’s order is up. Yes, I could violate the order. I’m generally a rule follower but I could tell the governor to fuck off, get in my car or on a plane, and go to Virginia. I might not be able to actually get into Virginia but I could attempt it. I guess I will have to wait and see what happens.

Maybe the governor will rescind the order. Maybe things will get a lot better a lot sooner than everyone is thinking. I sure hope so. Because this separation sucks. It sucks a lot.

I feel like Sally Field’s character at the end of Steel Magnolias. I’m just so angry. I want to hit something. I want to hit something and make it feel as bad as I do. That pretty much sums it up.  She couldn’t do anything about her daughter dying and I can’t do anything about this stupid COVID-19 and the havoc it’s wrecking. It’s kind of like my divorce. All those horrible things forced upon me and I had no choice but to keep going and hope that eventually it would get better.

So I’m trying to be optimistic and upbeat. Honestly, what good does being pissed off, sad, and/or angry do? It doesn’t help. It doesn’t stop the spread. It doesn’t make the governor open up the commonwealth. It doesn’t make life go back to normal. No, you’ve just gotta hang on and ride out the wave. Nothing else to do. With that in mind I’m trying very hard to adopt a, “WTF ever,” attitude.

Vacation canceled? Oh well. No big deal. I’ll go next year. Can’t see the mobster for 3 months? Who cares? I’ll see him in six months, I guess.

The problem with this is I don’t do Zen real well. Oh, I can. I definitely can do it. It’s just that every time I have it’s boomeranged back and hit me in the ass. The pool that took 10 weeks to complete instead of the promised 3? After telling myself not to sweat it and I would have it for years to come I got to enjoy it for 6 days before my life blew up. Garnishing Mr. Jackass? After telling myself it would all be worth it and he could never fuck with me again I’m right back at square one. He’s moved to yet another state and I still don’t have a garnishment order. I probably never will. He will do whatever the fuck he wants to do until the end of time. So… telling myself not to stress and that I’ve got all the time in the world or we’ll spend the rest of our lives together one day, doesn’t really work for me. Mainly because I’ve never seen it come to fruition.

I suppose I should be thankful that our relationship is so strong that we can withstand a three to four month separation. I’m sure a lot of people couldn’t, especially in this day and age of immediate gratification.

I mean, we already get a raw deal. Our spouses walked out on us, leaving our kids behind. We’ve both chosen to do the right thing by our kids instead of creating yet more turmoil in their lives. This means instead of moving our kids we’re remaining 10.5 hours apart. Because of that we get to see each other typically every 2-6 weeks. Usually more like every 3-4 weeks. And we get ONE full day. One. I’m sure no one expected it to last but here we are- almost 3 years later.

Will it suck if I have to cancel my vacation? Yes. Will it suck if I don’t get to see him until late June? Yes. Yet what am I going do? Absolutely nothing. Grin and bear it. Try not to think about it.

I’m thankful I’m not a teller and going through this. A week lasted forever because I was always so bored. At least with my current job the week tends to go by somewhat quickly. When I was a teller I would go crazy when it was three weeks or longer before we could see each other because each week was agony. It went by so slowly. It was like our weekend together was never going to get there.

We’ve said many times that we probably talk more than most couples who live together. I call him every morning on my way to work. We FaceTime at lunch. We FaceTime again at night. Sometimes those conversations don’t last very long. Sometimes there’s a fourth call. Or a fifth. Sometimes we’re doing other things while we talk. But we do talk. A lot. Again, probably a lot more than most people who live together.

I’m thankful we’ve got FaceTime and email and text messaging and free long distance. Years ago I dated another guy from Virginia. He was my first love. We wrote letters to each other. Every week. Aside from that initial meeting I think we got together two, maybe three times more. There was no texting. Not even phone calls. Long distance was expensive back then. Ironically, we reconnected four years later. I think I did see him a few more times that time around, and we did talk on the phone. Long distance was still expensive but we both had jobs. Our phone bills were outrageous! So yes, I’m definitely thankful for technology. Even though I’m not right by his side every day it is still very easy to feel connected to the mobster when I talk to him and am able to see him via video each day.

I’m not going to think about it. If I can’t go next month I’ll cancel my vacation days. Even if I can go I’m still not going to think about how far in the distance that time is. It does me no good. It just depresses me. And makes me hate everyone who does get to be with their love. So I’m going to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and declare, “I’ll think about that another day.” I’m putting my head down and plowing onward.

I plan to do the same with everything else this stupid virus has effected. I know there are a lot of people at work that are complaining they aren’t letting us work from home. Honestly, I don’t care. I found that I’m very distracted working from home. I’m on my phone. I’m checking stuff out online. I’m not very productive. Maybe if I were swamped with work I would be more diligent but the day I worked from home for a few hours, I was not. I’ll continue going in, not that I have a choice in the matter. I’ll tell myself that parking two blocks away is good for me because I get my steps in. What a bonus for me! And I’ll continue to pack my lunch and eat downstairs in the atrium. Thank God that’s still open because otherwise I’d be out in my car eating. It saves me money. I’ll continue to stand where they want me to in the damn elevator and try to think of all of this as one grand adventure. A positive attitude is a wonderful thing! Call me Mary fucking Poppins. That’s me.

In all seriousness though I have everything I need to do my job. I have a fairly large work space. I’m six feet away from all my co-workers. I’m not working in a dungeon. If I can work up my nerve to go to the 2nd floor and get some snacks it might be okay.

I’ve got a job; I’m getting paid. I’m supposed to get a check for $1200, which I don’t technically need. Jerry Lee is paying his court ordered support. I’m putting money away so that I’m only living on spousal support and my pay.

I’m going to cut way back on Facebook because it’s driving me nuts. I can’t take the self righteousness and the sanctimony. No, we are not all self-quarantined at home! We are not all sitting at home on our asses, eating junk food and binge watching Netflix. End of story. I cannot even with those people.

I am going to try to catch up on my Hallmark Christmas movies. I’ve already watched three of them. I’ve got quite a few to go.

I’m going to keep running three times a week. Maybe I’ll even up it to four times a week.

Life will be back to normal one of these days. Eventually, I keep telling myself, the mobster and I will live in the same state. I’ll keep plugging along until then.

#blessed

It’s so easy to feel defeated, to look back on all that has been lost and feel sorry for myself. I feel it when it comes on. I’m going to take a page out of the mobster’s book and look at it from another perspective.

I’m blessed in many ways. I have a fantastic mom who didn’t hesitate to take me and my kids into her home. I have a roof over my head and I know that my mom will do her absolute best to make sure neither of my kids do without. She was instrumental in keeping Rock Star in college when Jerry Lee “lost” his job. She’s the one that loaned Rock Star the money to buy her new car. She’s the one that runs Picasso around most of the time.

I know a lot of people don’t have that. They don’t have that safety net. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt my kids and I would have been living in a homeless shelter if not for my mom.

I know there are people out there who have had to figure out rent and where to live and how to buy food and toiletries and take care of their kids all on their own. I don’t know what I would have done if that were my situation. Well, yes, I do. I would be living in a homeless shelter.

I think of people like my friend D, who at one point was living in a garage with her four kids after her husband left her and their house had been foreclosed on. I think of people like Jennifer Ball, of the Happy Frau blog, who at one point worked three different jobs and had to shop at the food pantry because she couldn’t afford groceries. Both of those women have had it a lot worse than I have had it.

Hell, I’m blessed simply by the fact that my mom is alive and well. She’s healthy and active and loves to criticize my hair and complain that I don’t call her frequently enough when she’s away in Florida.

Her: I could have been dead for a week and you’d never know!

Me: Mom, don’t be ridiculous. You’re in Florida. Your neighbors would have noticed the stench and called the authorities. I’d know.

I’m blessed to have two children who love me no matter how much I may screw up. I’m watching as Rock Star reaches her goal of admittance to nursing school. I’m listening as Picasso talks about his plans to eventually get an apartment and be self sufficient. And to drive!

Kids get older and their lives revolve around their friends. They’re involved with other things and don’t have as much time for mom or dad. I’m fortunate in that my kids both still want to spend time with me. They both like to be around me. The mobster mentioned the last time we were together that he can tell Picasso sure does love his mom. He let me hold on tightly as we skated around the ice rink.

Both of them have been fabulous and written me many notes of encouragement. I still have Picasso’s note where he told me he wished I didn’t have to work so hard and he wanted me to have something nice for my birthday and he appreciated everything I did for him. I still have Rock Star’s message where she told me I had done such a great job of being both parents she didn’t even notice her father was gone. She even bought me an anniversary gift the first year her father and I were apart.

I do worry about them. I worry about depression and anxiety with them both, but so far neither are on drugs and both are good kids.

I’m blessed to have found the mobster. I wasn’t looking for him. I wasn’t looking for anyone. I had made peace with the fact that I would be alone for the rest of my life while Jerry Lee and Harley lived happily ever after. The anti-social fuck up whose own mother and sister never thought he’d ever find a woman to marry him would be on marriage number two while I was alone with my dogs. And then from out of nowhere he found me. He thought I was funny, resilient, strong, and beautiful.

He is a true partner to me. Years ago I mentioned to Jerry Lee that running a marathon was on my bucket list. He immediately let me know that there was no way I could ever do that. It was too hard and he knew because at West Point they had to run a marathon as part of gym class, or some other requirement. Yeah? Did you have to climb Mt. Everest and swim the English Channel, too? Maybe participate in the Tour de France?

The mobster upon hearing that thought it sounded like a great idea and immediately began planning for the day we could run one together.

I know I’ve made comments about our “exotic” getaways; the truth is we always have a great time. Chillicothe, Athens, and Columbus might not be places the masses would choose to vacation but we’ve explored almost all of the nooks and crannies of the two small towns and we’re crossing things off of our list for Columbus.

We’ve discovered wineries that we love- Rockside, Wyandotte, Chateau Morrisette, Pleasant Hill, Hocking Hills, Athens Uncorked. We’ve gone canoeing and kayaking. We’ve gone to lakes and we’ve gone to the beach. We’ve seen outdoor theater, gone to weddings together, birthday parties, the zoo. We’ve had many meals out and even in these towns 6 hours away we have favorites that are familiar to us. We’ve sat through graduations together. We’ve gone ice skating, to hockey games, to football games, and to festivals. He’s gone to my company employee appreciation party twice now. We’ve brunched at a historic mansion, gone to concerts, played Pokemon Go all over the place, and explored small towns in Indiana as well. He’s attended both Family Weekends with me at Ball State. We’ve gone bowling, played arcade games, traveled to Utah, and even watched a few movies. Our running joke is that we never see movies together because we don’t have a lot of time together. We’ve been together almost 3 years and we’ve seen 4 movies- Jumangi, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Jojo Rabbit, and Jumangi 2. We’ve taken many walks together, we’ve gone to a Dickens of a Christmas, he’s accompanied me to a funeral, he’s met more of my family than my husband of 20 years ever met, and we’ve begun running together. We’ve done puzzles, we’ve spent weekends in, he’s tried to convince me of the wonders of carrot juice, and we’ve blasted Christmas carols nonstop. We’ve watched an awful lot of Bill Burr, gone Christmas shopping, drank a whole lot of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and seen some amazing fireworks at the Blueberry Festival. In short, we have a blast together. He really is my best friend and the love of my life.

Finally, I can’t overlook the fact that I do have a job finally and I have my health, although I am currently taking high blood pressure medication.

I’m a fairly healthy person who doesn’t get sick very often and when I do, it’s usually not serious. I can move about. I live a pain free life. I have all my limbs and my sight, my hearing, and my sense of taste and smell. There are people out there that struggle with health problems. I’m blessed to not be in that position.

About that job thing… I know what it’s like to be looking and to never even get an interview. I know what it’s like to wonder if you’ll ever find a job. I certainly know what it’s like to have to work two jobs because both are part-time and neither one pays enough to cover your bills. The fact that I have a job and the fact that I no longer have to work two of them (thanks to support) leaves me feeling very blessed.

I’m not sure I can ever say that things are really looking up at my job. Don’t get me wrong. I like my job. It’s not difficult. It’s not physically demanding. Once I leave at the end of the day I leave it behind. On the down side, I’ve concluded that even if they gave me a 50% raise I would still not be making enough money to live without Jerry Lee’s support. Would I take it? Absolutely. Will it ever be offered? Absolutely not. But, things are looking up, bit by bit.

I just got my annual raise and I was told that before my supervisor leaves in June she wants to up my grade level so I can get more money, which means another raise in May. The way I look at it, if I do finally decide to venture outside of the bank, or even if I go to a different area of the bank, it’s that much more money I’m already making. I obviously wouldn’t be leaving my job for a lesser paying job. Not at what I’m getting paid.

There you have it. My moment of looking on the bright side and counting my blessings.

Thanksgiving 2017

Thanksgiving 2014 was a very good Thanksgiving. I’ve written about it before. It was our first year in our new home in Virginia. We had a houseful of guests. I went Black Friday shopping for the first time in ages. It was honestly probably one of my favorite Thanksgivings ever. It was also the last one we would spend together as a family with CF. Shortly after that Blockhead found my other Facebook page and began feeding him information, which resulted in his downward spiral and his new affair with Harley.

Thanksgiving 2015, surprisingly, wasn’t bad. The kids and I were still living in the house, albeit with CF remaining there as well. I had money stockpiled in the bank so our lifestyle didn’t suffer too much. I recall the kids saying that the holidays were the best ones they’d had in ages because they didn’t have to worry about their dad’s moods or crying fits. I didn’t recall him being that bad but apparently they did.

We spent the holiday in Indiana with my mom, my brother, and his family. It really was a nice holiday gathering.

Thanksgiving 2016 sucked. I was broke. My money had run out thanks to CF losing his job and not sending any money for support. I was working at Target. I didn’t have to work on Thanksgiving Day but I did have to report to work at midnight on Friday so I was in bed pretty damn early that day. I think more than anything I endured the holiday last year. I wasn’t looking forward to any of it but I had to keep going.

Now we are ready to celebrate Thanksgiving 2017. I have volunteered to purchase all the sides since my mom bought the turkey breasts. I will be cooking. I have the day off and while I do have to work on Friday I don’t have to show up at midnight. It will be my regular hours.

I thought I would offer up a list of things for which I’m grateful on this Thanksgiving Day. I was going to try for 30- 1 for each day in November, but I only got to 15. That’s better than zero which is how I felt last year, right?

  1. My kids. I’m so very thankful I have them in my life. I’m thankful that they love me and want to spend time with me. I’m thankful I have a good relationship with them.
  2. My mom. I have said it a million times and it bears repeating a million more. She has been my rock. She has helped me out so much throughout this entire ordeal. Whether it’s doing my laundry or running my kids around or sitting through a 9.5 hour trial she has been there for me. I know not everyone is fortunate enough to have that so I am grateful.
  3. My brother. He has stepped up in a huge way for my kids. He takes Picasso under his wing, showing him how to repair something around the house or taking him out hunting or to gun shows. He’s always there for a hug for Rock Star. He and his wife have taken both of them out for their birthday, just the kid and them. He has voluntarily stepped in and taken on more of a role for both of them.
  4. The mobster. He came along, just like a song and brightened my day.  Honestly, I never thought I’d date again. I thought I’d be alone forever. But he came into my life and made me smile again. He is wonderful. I don’t even have words to describe it. He makes my future look bright.
  5. My job. I’ve said many times it doesn’t pay well but it’s a job and I’m hoping to be able to move up and make more. My one year anniversary is less than 2 months away!
  6. My friends. I’ve been blessed with some fabulous friends. The mobster has commented on it several times. He’s impressed by the fact that so many people are willing to make time to see me when I am in their area, and that so many people have checked on me and cheered me on. I am truly, truly lucky! My friends have been a tremendous blessing all through this journey.
  7. My dogs. I love these fur balls. It’s my first Thanksgiving without my Beau Beau but I’m thankful for my two remaining faithful companions. My little guy follows me all around and will sit on my feet while I get ready. My girl is always eager for some loves and ear scratches.
  8. My health. I’m battling a cold right now but overall I’m healthy. In fact, this is the first cold I’ve had in almost a year. I’m grateful I’m not saddled with oppressive medical bills.
  9. I’m grateful I have family with whom I get to celebrate Thanksgiving. I’m not by myself. I won’t go hungry. I may even end up playing some Phase 10.
  10. I am happy. After spending close to a year begging for death that is a wonderful thing for which I can be grateful. Some days I want to say to CF, “I am tougher than you ever imagined.” Mostly, I’m just grateful I can say I’m happy. As I once so eloquently put it, I have crawled through the bowels of Hell. Yet I emerged on the other side, smiling.
  11. This blog. I’m thankful I started this blog. I’m thankful to all my fabulous followers and readers. I have enjoyed getting to “know” some of you. It has been especially satisfying to tell my story and to be heard and validated. I’m not crazy. I’m not overreacting. The things he did were really bad. I’m not to blame for his affair. The alternate Facebook posts weren’t awful and cause for him to cheat. Thank you!
  12. Chump Lady. Thank God I started reading her after the discard. She says the things I think, the things I believed before being encouraged to be more enlightened, less judgmental. And thanks to all those who comment. They show me I’m not alone and often provide me with valuable nuggets of wisdom.
  13. My co-workers. I remember when I first started working at the bank. Everyone was very nice but I still felt alone. It didn’t help that I couldn’t balance my drawer to save my life so I felt incompetent as well. Now I rarely walk into a branch without seeing a friendly face.
  14. The final judgement!!!! Best news of this holiday season! Last Thanksgiving I wanted to die. This Thanksgiving I have been vindicated and all I want to do is celebrate!
  15. Along with that I am thankful I didn’t give up. It would have been so easy to take a settlement offer. It would have been so easy to say that this whole fight was way too expensive and might not pay off. There were many times I was discouraged but I didn’t give up. I kept fighting and I ended up winning.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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 Own Facebook Post

OK, I’m not really going to make my own Facebook post to combat Asshat’s but I do want to reflect upon what I’m grateful for.

Unlike Cousinfucker I don’t have to reach out to my kids through Facebook (even though my daughter has him blocked and our son doesn’t even have a FB page). I see them every day. I tell them every day I love them and to have a good day. Unlike him I know that they hear me when I say those things because I get an, “I love you,” right back.

On Wednesday before Turkey Day my daughter took me out for breakfast. Her treat. And she was the one who asked me if I wanted to go. We ended up having the best time. She just talked and talked and told funny stories. She had me laughing constantly. I’ve missed that. I feel like I’m missing out on so much of their lives, especially with this crazy schedule I’ve had lately. Going in at 1:30 in the morning I’m going to bed around 6. I get 2 or 3 hours tops with my kids. But on Wednesday Rock Star and I ate breakfast, went shopping, and talked and laughed.

I took Picasso to get his hunter’s license on Thanksgiving so his uncle could take him out. We had a good conversation, too. He got a little frightened with my driving for some reason, apparently thinking I can’t judge distances too well, but I assured him that if anyone died in the crash it would be me. He told me he didn’t want me to die and when I told him he didn’t need to worry about having to go live with his dad he told me he didn’t want me to die because he loved me. Contrast that with his declaration that his dad is dead to him. While he thinks he’s too big to sit on my lap anymore (okay, he is about 5’10 and weighs a good 220 but he’s still my baby and my lap is always open) he is always leaning in to kiss me and tell me he loves me.

In other news as expected Cousinfucker is getting plenty of sympathy on his Thanksgiving Facebook post. Someone (I believe I refer to her as Daniella later on) that he used to work with told him not to give up on them, just to keep letting them know how much he loves them. Eventually they will come around and be able to make their own decisions.

That’s adorable. I’d love to throw caution to the wind and reply on his page: Your sympathy is admirable but save it for someone who really needs it, like his kids. This is the first time he’s mentioned his kids since June. He walked out the door in February and hasn’t set eyes on them since. To be clear, it isn’t because they’ve told him not to come see them. He hasn’t even bothered to ask. This FB post is as far as he’s going to go to reach out to his kids. He doesn’t call; he doesn’t text. Aside from their birthday cards they haven’t heard a peep out of him since June. He lived with his kids for six months after they got the news we were divorcing because of his affair and he didn’t bother with talking to them, reaching out to them, or offering to take them anyplace during that time either. He hasn’t sent child support since May. He forced them to move out of their home and transfer schools. He couldn’t pay for his own daughter’s $80 Homecoming dress but he could spend over $300 on a dress for his whore’s daughter. He didn’t have the money to pay his half of the household bills (or to pay for the damn dress for his daughter) but he had over $4k to spend on an engagement ring for his mistress. In that same month she was able to spend over $400 on sports equipment for her kids, another $167 at Vera Bradley, over $400 on utility bills, and hundreds on eye care- all out of the joint checking account they opened while he was still married (and before his wife even know he was having yet another affair with her) and taking from his own children to support her and hers. He couldn’t be bothered to be engaged with his own kids while he plays Daddy of the Year to four kids who already have a father. His kids have nothing to do with him not because of their evil mother’s influence but because he’s a selfish, entitled asshole who chose a whore and her four kids over his own. He’s never offered a heartfelt apology to either of them. He never bothered to reach out and check on them after finding out we were forced to move out of the state. Never asked a single question about how they were adjusting, how they liked their new schools, how it was living where they were living. Certainly never apologized for forcing his daughter to transfer schools right before her junior year.

Here- let me sum this up in a much more concise statement:  Outside of Facebook he never gives them another thought. Facebook is nice and public so everyone can see his grand declarations. It’s no fun texting or calling your kids; no one can see that! He posted that drivel so everyone could see his very public gesture and in turn would feel sorry for him. You all fell for it, suckers!

You know what, readers? In the end, no matter what kind of bullshit he pulls, no matter how bad off financially I am, I have won. My kids love me; they value me. He has no idea what kinds of things they like, who their friends are, what they want to do with their lives. He doesn’t get to talk to them, joke around with them, eat dinner with them, drive them around. He has no idea who they are as people. He will never watch our kids graduate from high school. Neither of them want him there. Hell, he doesn’t even know which schools they attend. He will never watch Picasso at an orchestra concert or watch Rock Star cheering. If our son ends up playing football he won’t be around to give him tips, coach him from home, or watch him play. He won’t know if or where our kids end up going to college or what they choose to do for a career. He will not be the one to walk our daughter down the aisle should she ever marry; he won’t even be invited to the wedding. He won’t be around for our son’s wedding either should he ever marry. If grandchildren are a part of the future he will never know them. He won’t even know they exist.

The sad part is I’m sure he would say the whore is worth it. She has to be now that he’s lost everything. I don’t really care whether he thinks she’s worth it or not. I know I’ve got the better deal. For that I’m grateful.

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?

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.

What I’m Grateful For

I see a lot of posts about being grateful.  It’s a difficult thing to do when you’re going through a divorce.  It’s a difficult thing to express when your world has been rocked by infidelity.  Hooray- my spouse cheated on me!  Thank you!

But seriously, there are a few things for which I’m grateful. For example, while I’m crushed for my kids that their father has chosen to walk off and abandon them I’m grateful that he never played a huge role in their lives prior to our divorce.  I think about how much more difficult this could be for them if they had had a close bond or if he had been Daddy of the Year.  Their dad not playing a major role in their lives is something they’ve grown up with so now that he’s no longer around it’s not a big change. While Rock Star will tell you she wanted a close relationship with her dad, she didn’t have one and she knows that.  She mourns for a fantasy, a what-could-have-been that probably never would have been.  Picasso is sad that his dad lied to him and that he spent so much time wishing his dad would get better, but again, he knows it wasn’t something he ever had.  I don’t think any of that makes it easy on them, but I think it makes it easier than if they worshipped the ground their father walked upon.  All their lives they’ve known me being there, taking care of everything, cooking for them, washing and folding their clothes, taking them places, creating memories for them. I was the parent that was there, present in every day life; he was the parent that shut himself off from them. That hasn’t changed.

Likewise, I’m selfishly grateful for the fact that I don’t have to share my kids with him.  I don’t have to miss my kids on holidays. I don’t have to spend weekends without them (although to be fair, my kids are teenagers so I don’t spend *that* much time with them on the weekends). I don’t need to figure out what I’m going to do to fill in the time while my kids are away.

I’m grateful I don’t have to worry about them being around Harley and her kids.  My kids want nothing to do with her or their father and thankfully, they are old enough that they have a say in that. I can’t imagine the hell that is sending your kids off to spend a weekend with a cheating ex, the affair partner and any additional kids to play happy family. I am grateful I don’t have to hear how wonderful Harley is or how nice she is or that she makes a great bowl of cereal or whatever else cheating whores do to win over kids. In my kids’ case it was nothing.  She gets to block my daughter on FB and pretend they don’t exist while gushing about what a wonderful dad CF is to her own kids. Again, I can’t imagine the hell that it must be to have your kids gushing over the affair partner, or to have the affair partner trying to claim your children as their own.

I’m also grateful that thanks to their almost nonexistent relationship prior to the divorce he can’t poison my kids against me.  I have read some heartbreaking stories where the cheater turns the kids against the cheated on spouse.  Anytime CF tries to portray himself as a victim of my machinations or tries to play the victim card neither of my kids buy his bullshit.  Picasso has gone so far as to say he can’t trust anything his dad says.  Rock Star has said many times that he has brought all of this on himself. It is sad when the kids buy into the cheater’s narrative and my heart breaks for those who are losing their children right along with the cheating ex.  No one should have to go through that.

In hindsight, I’m grateful that I did do so much on my own while married.  I read posts from people who wonder how they’re going to manage taking care of kids without the help of their spouse.  Taking the kids out to eat or on vacation or on a road trip are major achievements to some newly single people.  I’ve been doing that the entire time I’ve had kids.  Yes, my kids are older now so they don’t need the same day to day care, or constant supervision, but even when they were younger I did it by myself.  I can’t even count the number of vacations and road trips I took my two on with my husband nowhere in sight.  For every one trip down to see his parents with him I would make two or three by myself. At one point it was about a 7 1/2 hour trip.  Later it was more like 25 or 26 hours.  All.by.myself.  I remember taking an infant and a toddler out to eat by myself as well. I remember preferring to do it in the winter because our coats would remain on the chairs so the server would know we hadn’t left if I had to take Rock Star to the bathroom; I couldn’t leave an infant behind while I tended to the toddler so all three of us went.  In the summer I had to make sure to get the server’s attention and tell them where I was going. I remember corralling 2 young children into a single bathroom stall whenever I had to go to the bathroom on the road.  One would be trying to get out while I’m trying to use the bathroom; if I was lucky the other one would be relatively stationary. Even as they got older I was the one who coordinated car pools and all the extracurriculars. I was the one who ran around and took care of all of that.

I’m grateful he was never my best friend. I read a lot of stories from people who are lost when their marriages end because everything revolved around the spouse.  Now, whether that’s good or bad can be discussed in another post, but for me, the idea of losing my best friend when CF walked out the door was a joke.  I’ve always maintained outside friendships.  I’ve always socialized with people aside from him, mainly because I did most of that socializing with fellow SAHMs while he was at work. I remember years ago when I was in MOPS attending a Bible study and somehow I mentioned my best friend.  One of the ladies thought it was very curious that I had a best friend still. I remember her telling me she didn’t have time for a best friend and she had told her husband that he had to be her best friend now. I’ve never understood getting rid of all your friendships for your spouse. I’ve never understood those people that could never do things with other people, things like going to lunch or going to a movie, because they were joined at the hip with their significant other. I think I would find that somewhat suffocating but what do I know?  My husband cheated on me and I’m getting a divorce.  Maybe if we had spent all of our time together I wouldn’t be in this situation, thinking about how grateful I am that he was never my best friend. 😉

Likewise, I’m grateful that because he was such a recluse and so rarely agreed to socialize with anyone, I haven’t really lost any friends (that I know of anyway).  He didn’t have many and of those that he did have I generally didn’t know them because they were work friends. I can’t miss a friendship I never had.  I don’t think Blockhead ever really liked me but that’s no big loss; I’m not crazy about him either. Plus I saw him a grand total of 6 times in the 21 years that we were together.  Not exactly a close friend of mine. The only area where I might encounter people trying to be neutral would be at his place of employment in our former state.  He did socialize a bit there until he decided he just couldn’t. They might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt but I’m friends with one of the wives and I know she gives me the benefit of the doubt. He does have a friend from high school who is trying to be supportive of both. I don’t let that ruffle my feathers because when you get down to it he was CF’s friend. I don’t expect him to banish him and I think this friend has been more than fair to me. Once again, I really feel for those people who are not only losing a spouse/partner but also a whole social circle because everyone believes the con that the cheater is selling.

I’m grateful that I have a supportive family who has been there for me this entire time and a mother who has offered up her home to me.

I don’t like to give him props but I am grateful that even if he wasn’t willing to go places with me, wasn’t willing to go on vacation with me and the kids, he was willing to let me go.  Let me explain that because there really wasn’t any “letting me” do anything.  I am aware that there are many people out there that don’t want to do much of anything and they want their partner right there beside them the entire time.  There are people out there that “forbid” their spouse (usually a wife) from driving long distances by themselves.  There are people who would pout and whine if their spouse was going to go off on vacation or out with friends and they weren’t coming along, even if they didn’t want to go.  I remember once Tammy Faye saying something to me along those lines of how he “allowed” me to run around as much as I wanted.  At the time I’m thinking, “Yeah, bitch, because he ‘let’s me’ run around without him you’ve seen your grandchildren much more than if I had to make every move with him.” Pastor Fake, on the other hand, hated it whenever she came out to visit us for anything more than a week.  He acted like he couldn’t possibly make it without her.  Jezebel and Husband #2 were like that as well.  He was one of those that also wouldn’t let her drive far by herself. I’m getting into a minivan with a nursing infant and a 2-year old and driving 7 1/2 hours, but Jezebel can’t get in a car and drive her happy ass 6 hours without a chaperone.  CF rarely wanted to go with me but at least he didn’t whine about being left behind. And all that running? It was typically me taking the kids to see family.  He didn’t want to go!  Him “letting” me run all over meant he could stay at home and do whatever he wanted in relative peace and quiet while I dealt with two small children.

I am still beyond pissed that he moved us across the country only to turn around and run away less than 2 years later but recently I’ve been grateful that my kids are having to move away from a place they’ve only known for 2 years, instead of uprooting them after 10 years.  Having to quit gymnastics was brutal for my daughter.  She still misses it. I can only imagine how difficult it would be for her to be pulled out this year, or possibly last year when I discovered him cheating and he decided he no longer owed it to his family to support us at the same level. For both kids I think it would be extremely hard to leave behind friends of ten years.  My daughter started 1st grade with those kids. My son had been with the same people all his life.  I think it would have been even more difficult to take them away from that, as opposed to shaking their world up yet again after only two years.  At least they know now that they can start over and make new friends.  Rock Star has even said she’s looking forward to reinventing herself.  I’m not sure she would feel that way if she was leaving our previous state after ten years.  Leaving his friends of eight years behind was excruciating for my sweet, kind-hearted Picasso.  This will end up being a piece of cake compared to leaving two years ago. For both of them.  I never thought I would say I was grateful he moved us across the country after what he has done, but in many ways, especially now that we have to pull up and move again, I am.

In another twist of irony I’m grateful we put a pool in while he was conducting his affair.  Between our (meaning me and the kids) trip back to visit friends and family and all the money CF was funneling to Harley our savings was being rapidly depleted.  With the completion of the pool we had to come up with a significant chunk of money to pay the remaining balance. He cashed in stock as agreed upon (another thing for which I’m grateful- he could have refused, I suppose, but that would have tipped his hand) which meant when I found out about him and Harley there was a lot of money sitting in our bank account.  I’m so grateful that was there for us so I didn’t have to rush back to work, leaving my kids to fend for themselves while they dealt with their parents divorcing and potentially moving.  When he decided he was no longer going to be depositing his paycheck into our joint account and dole the money out instead I had a backup plan. Without that money I would have been destitute.  He would have been able to call all the shots.

I’m equally grateful that I caused a stink about having my name on the deed.  I can only imagine what would have happened had I allowed him to leave me off the deed. The kids and I would probably have been out of there a long time ago if he was the only one on that deed.

There are other things I’m grateful for which have nothing to do with what a shitty person he has become.  I’m grateful for the lifestyle we were able to have for all of those years.  Granted, we were paying out major bucks for sports but my kids never went without.  I could run down to the mall and buy $200 worth of shorts for my kid if she told me she had outgrown all of hers.  I could go shopping and buy them the toys they wanted, the clothes they wanted, the food they wanted.  I am grateful for that, although I know things are going to be infinitely more difficult now that we’ve experienced that.

I’m grateful for having a chance to see and live in many different areas of this great country of ours.  So many people rarely venture beyond their own town or state and I’ve been blessed by living in multiple regions.  I’ve loved the arid, stark beauty of the west, and the green rolling hills of the south.  I’ve loved the mountains while living out west and would frequently marvel at having such a view, even 8 years later.  I’ve experienced drive-thru liquor stores, no alcohol sales on Sundays, children allowed in liquor stores, wine, beer and liquor all sold in grocery stores and drug stores, wine and alcohol sold separately from liquor and having separate entrances for each store, only beer and alcohol being sold in grocery stores, and anything in between.  I can tell you how long it takes to drive the length of Illinois and what the last exit is called, and I can tell you how many miles I-80 runs through Nebraska.  I can give you a list of the most boring drives and a list of some of the most beautiful. FYI: That drive across Nebraska is a bitch!

I’m grateful that up until now I have been able to pay for my kids to partake in expensive sports, such as hockey and gymnastics.

I’m grateful that I was able to stay at home with my kids.  I was able to be there to go on field trips, volunteer in classrooms, serve on PTA, go to awards assemblies and spend summers entertaining them.  I know that working parents can do those things as well, but I never had to juggle work and kids.  Summers were spent with season passes to water parks and amusement parks.  I got to fly my niece out several summers and keep her occupied.

I’m grateful I have been able to attend various out of state gymnastics meets for my daughter.  We’ve been to San Diego, Seattle, Phoenix, Nashville, and Las Vegas all thanks to her.  And I’m very grateful I was able to go, to hang out with friends and to cheer her on.

I’m grateful for all the family vacations I have been able to take. I’ve been to a lot of fantastic places.  They haven’t been exotic but they’ve been fun.

I’m grateful that I’ve been able to volunteer all these years.  Again, I realize people can work and volunteer; I just happen to think it’s easier to do when you don’t have to juggle schedules or you’re not tired for working 10-12 hours a day. I loved attending MOPS meetings and joining their hospitality team.  I am very fortunate that I was able to start a completely new chapter at my own church years ago.  I liked volunteering in the nursery and then in Children’s Church, plus leading a small group and joining the Meal Team at my old church.  I loved serving on PTA and volunteering in the kids’ classrooms. I did so much up at the school and through PTA and I’m very thankful for that.  Before I got married I was a Girl Scout leader and also volunteered as a rape crisis advocate.  I moved shortly after getting married so I didn’t continue on with either of those long after getting married.

I think I could go on and on for paragraphs about all the various things for which I’m grateful.  I won’t, but I could.  It still grates on my nerves that CF actually had the audacity to tell me that I had a great life thanks to him.  No, what he actually said was, “You have a great life thanks to me!” Present tense.  Said with all seriousness as he’s fucking a whore and abandoning his kids. Yes, asshole, I had a great life.  Your money and my cheerful, sunny can-do attitude made it possible.  The fact that I was willing to get up off my ass and throw myself into getting involved made it possible.  The fact that I was willing to make terrific memories for my kids even without your help or participation made it possible.  Right now, my life kinda sucks.  I’m in transition; I have no money and my savings account is rapidly shrinking.  I’m looking at working some low paying job that is going to pay my fucking bills and that’s about it!  My kids are going to be living in poverty and all of those damn restaurants I listed as silver linings are going to be off limits to them because I won’t be able to fucking afford them, thanks to you and your antics, fucking asshole!  But you know what?  I will have a great life again.  And the best part of it?  I don’t have to spend a single second of it with you! For that I am infinitely grateful.

A Reminder to Myself

I was reading back through some old blog posts on Chump Lady.  This particular one was about oversharing.  It has absolutely nothing to do with what I’m going to write about today, aside from the quote I’m using, but I wanted to give credit where credit is due.

Over the last ten months I have found myself feeling exactly like Tracy did on this day, wondering when on earth the world is going to give me a fucking break.

There’s a knock at the door and it’s Ron Outlaw. He sees that I’ve been crying and he says very firmly to me “It’s just money. That’s all. It just doesn’t matter. It’s just money, okay?”

I start to bawl some more. Because it felt like fucking EVERYTHING that day. The punishment of breeding with a deadbeat, lawsuits, single motherhood, a dear friend’s suicide, ghastly plumbing repairs, the World Bank deadline. When was the universe going to give me a FUCKING BREAK?! I was having a total pity party.

And then he says to me “It’s just money. It’s just a house. It doesn’t matter. Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them, okay? I just lost my 21 year old son last year in an accident. It broke up my marriage. When that happens, you see what’s really important and it’s never the same.”

Lord knows you’ve all seen me at my whiny, pitiful best these last few weeks. I swear I don’t mean to; I just know I’ve got to get it all out.  I have to let it wash all over me so I can wallow in it before I pick myself back up and begin again.  Those words, though, touched me: Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them.

As we were driving back to my home state for my nephew’s graduation I discovered that a woman I had served on the PTA with had died of a massive heart attack.  She was 52.  She left behind four kids.  I’m not sure how old her oldest was; I know he was away at the time so maybe 18 or 19.  Her two daughters were juniors and sophomores; one of them had been in Rock Star’s class.  Her youngest child, another boy, had been in Picasso’s class, so he was 13.  She was the kind of mom I am- involved, volunteering, never missing any events her kids had. Her kids were her life and many of their friends wrote moving tributes to her about how she was like a second mother to them. It is so damn unfair that she only got to see one out of the four of her children graduate from high school. It’s unfair that she will never attend any of their weddings or be able to meet her grandchildren.  So when I’m down and feeling sorry for my kids because they have to leave their new home and their new friends, I think of her and her children.  They don’t have to switch schools.  They don’t have to leave their home.  But they’ve lost their mom.  I’m sure they would switch with my kids any day.

Another friend from back there lost her four year old son to cancer less than two years ago.  He was diagnosed shortly before his second birthday and spent almost his entire life fighting.  He went into remission and it came back.  He had a successful bone marrow transplant.  And it came back.  There were no more miracles the third time, although they did have a few more months with him than they had expected.  I have no doubt that they, too, would switch with us and our situation.

Some things really do matter, but this isn’t one of them. It sucks to lose your home, your lifestyle, your long awaited pool, your furniture and your decorations.  But they don’t matter. I’ve got my kids. I’ve got my health. I’ve got my dogs.  I have family who love me and my kids and I’m going to be ok.  It’s just money and it’s just stuff. Things can be replaced.  People can’t.

Today Is a New Day! Thank God!

Today’s post is going to have a religious slant to it so I apologize in advance to any atheists or agnostics I may offend.  Actually, here’s a quick tip if talk of God offends you:  Just skip over today’s post.  Thanks!

I believe I have mentioned how we have started going back to church.  We like the new church.  It’s fun.  It’s interesting.  Great coffee bar.  I’m not heavily involved yet but I enjoy going and look forward to it on Sundays.

As many of you may have realized yesterday was not a good day for me.  I broke my mother’s heart (I’m sorry, Mom!) and made someone else cry.  I was doing a lot of crying myself.  Where am I going with this?  I swear there is a point!

I browsed through Facebook yesterday and a woman with whom I went to church years ago posted this:  Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace.  Philippians 4:6-7a

Being a smart ass I decided to give it a try.  I swear to you this is my prayer almost verbatim:  Dear God, Could you please make my jackass soon-to-be-ex husband pay me my damn money?  Thanks!

I didn’t thank Him for all He has done.  I intend to get right on that though because let me tell you- my prayer was answered!

For those of you not following along in the comments section I did get my check finally.  Hooray!  Now I can breathe for another 2 weeks or so.  I also found out this morning that Cousinfucker DID indeed get his bonus check.  Now, he could try to screw me over and insist he got way less than last year but I have faith my new lawyer won’t let that happen.  So, the pool will be paid off soon and I should be receiving a lump sum of money that I intend to set aside for taxes and lawyer fees.

I’m back to my original plan of staying here until Rock Star graduates.  I’m hoping to hear soon from a vocational rehab specialist (I think that’s the title) to see where I should put my energies.  I have a degree already but I never used it.  Cousinfucker moved us around so much in the first 5-6 years of our marriage and we intended for me to get pregnant and stay home with our kids so I did mainly secretarial jobs.  That’s great when you’ve got a husband making decent money.  Not so great when you’re trying to support yourself and two teenagers who have had everything on that salary. I don’t want to go back to school for a more viable degree only to find out no one will hire someone nearing her 50s.  So I want to find what fields are hiring, if they hire older entry level people and what kind of money we’re looking at.

The next step is to figure out if I’m going to try to work full time and go to school part time, go to school full time and work part time, or any other combination. I’m still a fair distance away from my family, I don’t have a huge number of friends here, and Cousinfucker has moved out of the state so I don’t have a big support network to help me out.  I’m also very cautious about repeatedly asking for favors.  Because of that I’m going to be juggling all of this on my own- school, job, kids.  That’s ok, though.  I am woman, hear me roar.  I’ve got this once I can finally get on a road to somewhere.

To all of you who checked up on me, thank you!  I truly appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.  Yesterday was a bad day.  Here’s to today!  And to Philippians 4:6-7a.