Giving Thanks

Those of you who have been reading for a while know that my journey has been filled with a lot of bumps and potholes. It was not easy. My mom has always said he couldn’t have left us in a worse position if he had tried; she absolutely thinks he did it deliberately. He let me install a $57,000 pool in our backyard, using up most of his available stock options. I couldn’t pay the pool off because I needed the money to live on so we never had it closed properly. That in turn meant I had to replace pipes in the spring and we never were able to use the pool again because I couldn’t get it clean from all the leaves and other debris that had fallen into it. He let the house go into foreclosure and of course, we ended up losing the house. After spending months lovingly decorating our new home and filling it with new furniture I had to turn around and sell off as much as I could and leave behind almost everything else because I had no way to pay for storage and didn’t know how long it would remain in storage (going on six years now, btw). He walked out the door without saying a word to his kids. Didn’t bother to tell us he was moving or that he had quit his job and taken another one in a different state. He didn’t pay support at all for 10 months; he paid it sporadically for another 10 months, all while I worked two jobs and was the only parent our kids had anymore. I spent $35k on my divorce and then another $5-$10k getting support modified. He paid what he was supposed to pay for about 6 months and then unilaterally modified child support. Refused to go through legal channels. Refused to pay the legal bills when I tried to. Lost another job. Modified spousal support for almost a year. But you know that old adage: No matter how bad you have it someone always has it worse. 

I thought I’d take a minute to say what I was grateful for in terms of my own betrayal story and divorce.

1. I’m thankful I didn’t have young kids when I divorced. I see these stories of parents whose hearts are being ripped out of their chests because their children are off with the other parent, sometimes in a 50/50 custody situation. I got to spend the majority of their years with them, being a very involved stay-at-home mom. I didn’t have to split holidays or summers. I didn’t have to deal with them thinking Harley was awesome. I cannot imagine a bigger shit sandwich than knowing the OW/OM is playing happy family with your young child/ren and they are too young to understand who this person is. As many people have said, “You can take my spouse but keep your fucking whore hands off my kids.” 

2. Sort of the same thing but not completely I am infinitely grateful that neither Rock Star nor Picasso has any kind of a relationship with Harley. I’m sure to many people that’s an awful thing to admit because we’re supposed to “think of the children” and “love our children more than we hate the other parent.” I know it would probably be better for both of my kids if their dad gave a damn and was a part of their life. But he doesn’t and he’s not and that’s not something I’m responsible for so I’ll take my wins when I can. I’m sure it’s horrible when you’ve been cheated on and you know your cheating spouse and the AP are playing happy family with your baby. I’m sure it’s horrible to have to listen to your young child talk about how much fun this new person is, or how nice they are. But it’s also horrible, I’m sure, having to share older children. I’ve heard many stories of the morally challenged new partner showing up at the kid’s games, recitals, assemblies, graduations, birthdays. I hear about kids that choose to live with the cheating parent or the older child is receiving expensive gifts from the side piece. There are weddings and the births of grandchildren, not to mention birthday parties for those future grandchildren. Having to share those milestones with someone who played a part in blowing up your life would be difficult. I keep trying to steel myself for the day that either one of my kids decides that putting up with Harley is worth it in order to have a relationship with their dad. It’s not what they want right now, but they are still young and there are still years left. For right now though I’m glad I don’t have to slap on a fake smile or remember to use, “Cool. Bummer. Wow,” as my only responses when they’re telling me about their adventures with the two of them.

3. I didn’t have to worry about 50/50 custody. Jerry Lee had already moved by the time our divorce trial rolled around. He moved out six months after his affair was discovered. I feel for those who have to miss out on so much of their children’s lives because of the actions of an unfaithful spouse. I have had every holiday, every birthday, every major event because he walked away. Thankfully they were both old enough to have a say in where they wanted to live even if Jerry Lee had not moved (not that Jerry Lee fought for them). And because of their age and the fact that Jerry Lee moved hundreds of miles away from them they were able to have visitation at their discretion, instead of being ordered by a court.

4. In a similar vein I never had to worry about him trying to alienate my kids against me. God, that has to be the worst betrayal of all. This person cheats on you, leaves you, leaves you destitute and then turns around and turns your kids against you. I cannot even begin to imagine.

5. I don’t have to co-parent. I’m a big fan of parallel parenting anyway, but there are so many people out there who have to try to co-parent with the ex. The horror stories I hear make me so grateful I don’t have to deal with Jerry Lee. He is not a part of the equation at all. I’m sure having full legal custody also helped with that but I didn’t have to consult with him on anything. Kids needed therapy? I got them therapy. Kids wanted to participate in a sport? I signed them up. I didn’t have to ask his permission. I didn’t ask for his help. I took care of it.

6. He didn’t fight me moving. He didn’t have a leg to stand on but I’m still thankful I didn’t have to go through that. I see stories all the time about people moving for their spouse who then cheats on them and now they’re stuck in this place where they have no support.

7. I did not have to deal with him having another child with Harley. I think an affair baby would be the worst but even knowing that my kids had another sibling that I knew nothing about is something I wouldn’t like. I would have loved to have had more children but alas I did not get my wish. Had he gone on to have more children with her I would have been pissed, even though it was completely out of my control.

8. I have always said I saw the writing on the wall. I knew that there would be no reconciliation even if I had been willing. Nonetheless I put on my big girl panties, called the lawyers, made the appointments, and got myself armed with information. I didn’t let on until I was ready to file. And once he knew I knew I gray rocked the shit out of him. It would probably be more accurate to say I went no contact- even while living with him. I’m thankful I didn’t chase after him. I’m thankful I didn’t beg and plead. I gray rocked his ass and pretended he didn’t exist.

9. I had a soft space to land. I absolutely realize there are people out going through the same thing who have no one to rely on. I was fortunate that my mom was willing to take us all in. She was also an incredible help when I was working two jobs and could barely keep my eyes open when I was home. I have a friend who was living in a garage and was damn grateful to be doing that because of the antics her ex pulled. I hear horrible stories all the time, reading Chump Lady and the Chump Nation FB page. People out there wondering how they’re going to support their kids when they haven’t worked in years. People who have no one who can help them out- emotionally or financially. People who have lost their parents and all their family. Even worse are those whose families side with the ex. 

10. I will always be infinitely grateful to The Saint for telling me about what was going on. Because of him and his willingness to speak up I didn’t sink every last dollar we had into paying our final bill for the pool. Instead I was able to follow my attorney’s advice and hang onto that money. I cannot even begin to imagine what would have happened to me and my kids if I didn’t have that money to put into my account. It would have been bad. Really bad.

11. I’m grateful I don’t have to worry about running into them. I had to live with him for six months after knowing what a shithead he was, but then he up and moved and I’ve only seen him twice since then- once in court and once at Rock Star’s graduation. Oops- three times because I saw him right before Rock Star’s graduation as well when I gave him his ticket to her graduation. We are hundreds of miles apart. I know the mobster had to deal with his wife bringing her AP to the kids’ games and then again to T’s graduation party. So many people ask for advice on how to handle it when the inevitable happens and they run into them. Some people have even had the ex and the AP move in next to them. Not me. I don’t think I’ll ever see him again.

12. I have never had to deal with her writing to me, trying to explain things to me or tell me how I should behave. There’s a lot of this going on over on the FB page. Usually the OW feels the need to intervene and give “advice” to the person she helped try to destroy. Things like, “Move on and stop being so bitter,” or “You need to be more grown up and put your kids first,” or, “You need to encourage your kids to have a relationship with their cheating dad and shame on you for being the reason they don’t.” Real classy things. I think we can all agree that if we felt we needed advice the last person we’d ask for that advice would be some home wrecking whore. And yet, they freely give it. Then again freely giving it up to anyone is kinda what they’re known for. Thankfully, Harley has stayed way, way over in her lane. Ironically, despite being married to her cousin for twenty years I never met her. I’ve never laid eyes on her. Might be able to pick her out of a line up (she does have an impressive list of mug shots from which to choose). Then again, I might not be able to. I’ve seen pictures but I’ve never seen her. With the way things are going I probably never will. Hooray!

13. He’s had his moments but for the most part Jerry Lee leaves me alone. He’s not texting me vicious messages or calling me or emailing me and harassing me. Like I said, he’s had his moments- his hissy fit when being called out way back in the day, the stamps on the envelopes, the text message to the mobster, his shitty messages and obscene emojis in his Venmo transfers, hacking my Facebook page… He hasn’t been an angel but I haven’t heard a peep out of him in probably over two years. Now that he has a suspended jail sentence hanging over his head it’s amazing how compliant he is.

14. I was awarded spousal support. That is HUGE. So many states don’t offer it. Period. Others only offer it for a very short amount of time. It’s scary to think so many women are at the mercy of their husbands. If he decides to leave her and take up with someone else after she’s spent fifteen, twenty-five, thirty years supporting his career and putting her own needs aside to focus on him, she’s just out on her own. Oh well. Looks like you live in poverty from now on.  I may have had to fight him on it. I may have never known when I was going to get it until just recently, but I got spousal support. It was enough that I could do things for my kids, buy groceries, pay the utilities, go out to eat, and have some semblance of the life I had before. Way too many women don’t get that at all.

15. I didn’t really lose any friends. Being married to someone anti-social has its perks, I suppose. I’m sure there were people at his place of employment who liked him, both in Utah and Virginia. I socialized with those people in Utah. Most of the people I don’t talk to anymore just because we weren’t all that close and we moved 2000 miles away. I was friends with the wife of the new production manager at his old plant. We still text or send a FB message every once in a while. We’re FB friends. We live over a thousand miles apart but I have an open invitation to get together whenever I come back to Utah. I never really socialized with those in Virginia so no loss at all. We didn’t have any couple friends. He never wanted to socialize so I did all of my socializing by myself. I didn’t hate Blockhead while we were married but I didn’t feel exceptionally close to him either. I guess I always felt kind of like he didn’t care for me so when we got divorced the fact that he wasn’t on “my side” wasn’t a big shock. Or a big loss. I had already distanced myself from most of his family by the time D-Day #2 came along so no loss there either.

16. I didn’t have to get rid of my pets. We did re-home our cats but we hadn’t had them very long either. It would have been nice had he told me he was having an affair and planning on leaving because then we never would have taken them in but let’s be realistic. Our cats were all re-homed and my three dogs were able to come with me. I’m down to two now. My sweet Beau died a few years ago. My luscious Laila Lou is almost fourteen. For a Boxer that is ancient. Far beyond their normal life span. She just had her check up and they were amazed at her good health. Little Milo Tim is almost 8. They will be with me until the day they die. Again, I hear the sad stories of people who were forced to relinquish their pets. I can’t imagine.

17. I won in court. Another huge thing in my favor and another thing to be grateful for. It could have gone badly for me. There were many times I worried about what might happen if the judge decided I didn’t deserve spousal support, or the amount was set at some very low amount. Winning in court, even if it didn’t guarantee him paying what he was supposed to, was a huge thing for me.

18. I’m thankful I had the means to keep fighting in court. And that goes back to my mom in part. I was able to pay the first two retainers (to two different lawyers) but the third retainer I had to borrow from my mom. At that time all of my savings was gone. I’m not sure I had a job yet and if I did it would have been my part-time job at Target. Hardly enough to pay a retainer. I did get lucky and had the funds to pay the retainer for the expert witness and I was billed as I went after the trial, but not everyone is so “lucky”. It also helped that I wasn’t paying legal fees on top of a mortgage and everything else.

There you have it. If I took another three months to write this post I could probably come up with some more things to be thankful for, but I’m not going to do that.

I guess it boils down to this: I’ve got my kids- full-time. I don’t have to see him or deal with him. She stays out of my way. Twenty years of marriage and it’s like it never happened. He’s just someone that I used to know. I don’t have to deal with him playing games in regards to the kids. And with a suspended jail sentence hanging over his head he pays what he’s ordered to pay me. Life is good and I’m thankful.

The Saint, Part 2

Years ago I wondered how The Saint felt about my husband, waaaay back when I still considered him “my husband”.

My pain and loss has made me very selfish. I typically tend to think of myself and everything I’ve lost these last nine months. I don’t think all that often about others who also are going through rough times, and believe me, I know we all have our problems.

The other night it hit me that as much as I may have lost I don’t have to share my kids with Harley. That cunt face cum dumpster will never be around Rock Star or Picasso. Ever. I don’t have to suffer the indignity of her attending show and tell with one of my kids or having to see her at one of their games or concerts. Hell, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I won’t have to put up with her ugly mug at either of my kids’ graduations either. She will be a non-entity.

The Saint doesn’t have that privilege. His kids live with Cousinfucker. He’s had to sit by and watch while Cousinfucker has tried to bribe those kids through gifts and through deeds. As much as it galls me to think of that lazy ass bastard making pancakes for his fake kids when he could never be bothered to go out of his way for his own children I know it would be even more painful to hear about how Harley was in the kitchen cooking for my kids. I don’t have to sit by and watch as that bitch tries to bribe my kids to like her with endless gifts that they will lap up like puppies. My kids aren’t taking the whore to show and tell with them. I don’t have to worry about what kind of an influence she is on my children because she’s never around my kids. She will never be around them. For that I’m grateful. Sadly, The Saint doesn’t have that same luxury.

Perhaps I am sympathizing with him for no reason. Perhaps he has no problem with the alcoholic, PTSD suffering Cousinfucker being around his kids 24/7. Perhaps he is so secure in his children’s love for him that all of Cousinfucker’s previous antics roll right off his back like water off a duck’s back. Perhaps the thought of his youngest child choosing to take Mommy’s married lover to school for show and tell doesn’t eat at his heart or bug him in any way. Hell, maybe he’s one of those highly evolved specimens that has been able to put all of this behind him for the good of everyone and as long as Cousinfucker is good to his children and treats them kindly he has no problem with him playing Daddy to them. Better that they all get along, right? The more people to love your kids the better off they’ll be.

Then again, maybe he’s not so highly evolved and maybe it’s eating away at him daily. Sadly, most men don’t fare so well in the custody battle, even when their wives are cheating whores, and they are forced to eat a unique shit sandwich. Maybe he has no other choice; he just realizes and accepts that Cousinfucker is going to be a major part of his kids’ lives now because the cheating whore has decided he is important to them. Maybe he gets that he is his kids’ father and regardless of all the shit CF buys them or how much CF tries to win their love he’ll never replace The Saint in their hearts and minds. They’ll always be talking about his “gross ass pancakes” and belittling his efforts.

I hope that’s how he’s able to see it because I know I would hate to have to share my kids with Harley. I haven’t had to share one single holiday with that bitch. I haven’t lost a weekend to her. My kids are with me all the time. I figure The Saint has lost at least 50% of his time with his kids, if not more. My guess is that the whore asked for primary custody, although I have no proof of that.

He also has to write her a check for child support each month (which is why I think she must have primary custody). Can you imagine being a stay at home parent for more than ten years and when your spouse cheats on you and then moves the affair partner into your house you’re required to pay child support to them? And the cherry on top of that shit sundae? I’m sure she out earns him significantly.

Yes, I’ve lost an awful lot. I would be willing to bet that financially The Saint is doing better than me. But I don’t have to share my kids with the affair partner. He does. And for that I am truly sorry.

Let’s Try This Gain a Life Thing Again

My sweet friend J called me Saturday morning, late, wanting to know if I’d like to go to lunch with her. I had just got home around 10:30. Of course because I was hoping for a low key day the truck on Saturday was huge and I ended up staying until almost 10. I picked up carpet shampoo and things for breakfast and dinner. Picasso asked for breakfast burritos so I obliged.

Anyway, despite being tired and planning on taking a nap before I tackled cleaning the house, I said sure. I had to drop Rock Star off at a restaurant to meet a friend to work on a paper (Whew! That was a mouthful!) so we decided to go to lunch at the same place. Afterwards we drove over to where Rock Star works and took a walk. Then we went for ice cream! I was going to treat her since she bought lunch but she wouldn’t hear of it and insisted on paying for mine. Finally, we went to Kohl’s since I had some Kohl’s cash to spend. I got Rock Star a shirt she had liked and a cute little necklace that was on clearance and I got Picasso two t-shirts.  This one is my favorite:

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Sunday my dad and stepmom came up to see the dogs and take us out to lunch. Yes, they really do travel to see my dogs. I’m not sure what will happen when the dogs die off. I’ll probably never see them again. Okay, it’s not that bad. They do drive up for the kids’ events as well. I think they just love driving because they’ll drive two hours, spend an hour and then return. My dad once traveled over 20 hours out my way and spent a single night. Granted he was already on a trip and I was simply a layover, but still. I drive but I stay for a while, too.

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m always going to be tired. I even agreed to come in on Wednesday at Target so I’ll be working there six straight days this week. But I need the money so I guess I will try to look at it as, “Thankfully I’m able to make more money this week.”

Tired is my new default mode. I figure if I accept it and stop bitching about it maybe it will seem okay. So even when I’m tired I’ll force myself to go to games, attend conferences, go out with friends, make an attempt at creating a new life for myself. I’m sure Cousinfucker would love to hear that my life is total misery. Some days I say, “Who gives a fuck?” but today, for at least a little bit, I don’t want to give him the satisfaction. For today, at least for a little bit, I won’t lay down and die. Today, I won’t let him break me or win. At least for a little bit. I may change my mind tomorrow.

This is the cute little bracelet I bought for myself (thank you Kohl’s credit card) on Saturday. It is a reminder to me to try to brighten my attitude.

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It’s not just cheaters that need to be reminded that their happiness is their own responsibility. I need to remind myself of that as well.

I won’t lie. It’s hard most times. My life has done a complete 180 compared to what it has been. But as I’ve written about before if I drop the rope and accept that the old life is completely gone then maybe I can find some good in this new one. Like, being able to pick up shirts for my kids. It’s not the shopping sprees I was able to go on but it’s something. Or, making breakfast burritos for my kids because that was what one of them had requested. Maybe Saturday morning breakfast will become a thing for us. I can go to work at 4 am, come home, make breakfast and we can spend some time together before Rock Star is off doing something. It’s not what I ever would have asked for but it’s what I have so I may as well try to embrace it. Maybe instead of dreading Christmas once again this year we can come up with some inexpensive traditions to make the holidays merry and bright. Perhaps I’ll become very good at doing things on the cheap and my kids will still have some fantastic memories instead of dwelling on all the things we no longer have.

Here’s to “bee”-ing happy despite everything.

 

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!

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.

My Sweet J

The last time I wrote I was feeling pretty low. Jackass and his piss poor behavior resulted in some unforeseen credit issues for me and I was wondering what on earth I was going to do. Then on Friday afternoon, right before I was set to take Rock Star to work, I get a phone call from my friend J. We’ve been friends since we were 16 years old and sophomores in high school. She worked for her uncle and would walk to work after school. I had to walk home and one day, I’m not even sure how it happened, we ended up walking part of the way together. There were times we were having such a great conversation that I would walk her almost all the way to work and then I would backtrack and head on home.

I still remember our first outing together as friends. We went to see “Girls Just Want To Have Fun” with Sarah Jessica Parker and Helen Hunt and then played miniature golf. I don’t remember if we went out to eat beforehand or not.

She has been very good about keeping in contact with me since I’ve been home. She’ll call sometimes just to check up on me. A few weeks ago she called in the evening and asked me to go to the casinos with her. She even offered up money for me to play. She just wanted someone to go with her because she likes going and no one else wants to go.

Anyway, on Friday she called me, asked me what I had going on that night. Well, that’s easy! Nothing! I never have anything going on. She asked if she could take me out to dinner. Sure! She asked me where I wanted to go and started naming off restaurants. Now see, since she’s treating I would offered up something like McDonald’s, maybe Chili’s if I got really bold. No, she goes right to steak houses and other fantastic places.

“You’d really buy me a steak dinner? Oh J, you’re going to make me cry after the past 24 hours I’ve had!”

She replied that of course she would buy me a steak dinner and then asked what had been going on. After I told her she was appropriately outraged.

So, she picked me up, told me to pick two of the four lottery tickets she had just purchased, and off we went! I didn’t win any money but I’ve already won much more having a friend like J in my life.

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?

Thank You For Making Me Laugh

The other day after I posted about Rock Star not making the cheer team one of my readers left a comment that made me literally laugh out loud. So I did the only logical thing I could do; I made a meme out of her comment!

I hope this doesn’t embarrass you, Whitney. I really, really appreciate the laughter you brought my way with your comment and this was the best way I could think of to show my appreciation.

1cesdu

Love,

Sam

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!