I’m Done

***Warning of incoming wall o’ text that may or may not crit the reader for 56432168411 damage, effectively one shotting them.  >.>  I keep looking at it, trying to figure out how to trim some fat – and am simply not able to.  Maybe like Stephen King, I have diarrhea of the word processor.  Or maybe, I simply have a LOT to say here, and need to get it worked out in words.  <.<

I promise however, that the ending won’t be horrible.  It isn’t roses and unicorn farts, but it is a good one for me, I think.

So.

As has become the norm,  it has been a while since my last post because as usual, life has gotten crazy, Lots of stuff got moved to the back burner. where it turned into a charred mess. Cleaning the pan has taken FOREVER.  (probably not the best analogy ever -but who the hell cares!  Am I right?  Y’all know what I mean to say.)

Still scrubbin’ away at the burns, and finding new places all the time but was reminded by the amazing Kit (again with the loves for Kit.  Amazing, caring, loving woman.)  She told me that she was sad because I had not posted in so long.  I told her that I hadn’t because I couldn’t find the words to describe my life right now – it has been so crazy,  my  heart was broken, and I was tender.  She replied that it sounded like the good starting point.

She had a point, so here I am.

To catch up a bit.  Last time you heard from our intrepid heroine, she was happily ensconced in a lovely apartment, with two (seemingly) incomes, in charge of funds so that things would run well – and while her work hours weren’t ideal, things were pretty damned good.

It wasn’t what everyone probably thinks. My husband has always been rather footloose and fancy free when it came to money and responsibility – and telling the truth. Even small things were lies – like where he got groceries… I don’t know in retrospect if he understood the difference.

He is 50 years old- and has never to my knowledge held a job for more than 2 years. He keeps having visions of being a big time contractor, working for himself, making the bucks, but doesn’t have the self discipline to actually -do- that. He doesn’t seem to get the concept that working for your self doesn’t mean LESS work – it means 70 hour weeks instead of 40 with a steady paycheck. It means saving from the fat weeks to cover the lean times while building the business.

His lies have become just too big – and cost me too much. In October, he went to jail unexpectedly. He had some sort of bounced check in Williamson county, and told me it was taken care of. Not so much, and he was arrested by the sheriff who was serving papers for -another- issue. (That bounced check was the same thing he was arrested for in JANUARY – and swore he had it taken care of) His family wouldn’t even help him out of jail.

I got a call from his sister stating basically that he was 50, and they couldn’t do it anymore. It is sad that both his brother and sister not only said that he needed to find his own way out – but urged me to take care of and look after myself, and offered their ears for any ranting/talking I may need to do.

I had never been more humiliated in my life. He lost his job more than 2 months prior  (near the beginning of July) and didn’t tell me – but DID run my bank account into overdraft.

Yes, I hid my card, he found it anyway. He had to have really been searching. He also stole checks out of my checkbook – two of which were paid by the bank (with heavy overdraft fees) – but one to Lowe’s that did -not- and I was working with them to get a payment plan on that – so I don’t end up with a warrant over MY head for a bad check from MY checking account. (They have since simply dropped it.)

If I have to though, I was willing to file a police report – because while I didn’t want to kick him when he was down so to speak, I refused to go to jail, or take blame for that.

I was in an extended stay motel, as the loss of his job/his not coming clean/his stealing from my checking account, and his lying meant that we had to move out of the lovely apartment  by xx date, or face eviction. Again. (This is the second or third – I am not sure about one that he swears was NOT an eviction – time he has put me in THAT position.) I didn’t have any money to pay for another night – and my paycheck for 2 weeks was less than 100 because of overdraft fees. I am blessed that my friend Sarah stepped in, and offered me and the kitties a room in her home.

I am very lucky to have the friends and dad that I have.

Right away, Sarah told me that I could come stay with them for a few weeks, while I figured out what I was going to do.  My dad sent me a bit of cash to tide me over, and help me get back on my feet. as did my lovely friend John and his beautiful bride.

I found that the storage shed, that had all of our stuff, had **also** not been paid for quite some time.  In fact, it was going to go to auction, just like that crappy reality TV show if it wasn’t paid within 10 days.  Now – I get quite a lot of swag from my job – and it can’t be sold.  That is in the agreement when you hire on.  If it had gone to auction, I was in very real danger of losing my job.  (I did go to HR, but there is still the danger of breaking contract.)  My wonderful friend Brenda (who called me every single week during the 5 years I was in MA to remind me that there were people who loved me) made sure that I got that taken care of, so I wouldn’t lose my job.

The first few days of his incarceration, my husband would call me through bail bondsmen – who would try to convince me to pay the bail.  When I stated flat out that I didn’t have the money – he got angry and told me that if I wanted to – I would find a way.  Ummm.   No.  I was the next thing to broke – even WITH the help from my friends and family.  No way could I or **would** I pay that bond.  He had bailed on the first court date, and ended up with a warrant.

Because I am beyond blessed, I was able to pay insurance on the car (another bill that had been “forgotten” – I wonder now where all the money **I** made went).  Ransom my stuff, and get it moved over to my friends house.

Of course, once I got into the storage, I found it had been pillaged.  A lot of stuff had never made it into the shed – or maybe it had been sold off.  My sewing machine and craft stuff, all of my books (less the ones I had in the extended stay for the year) my bed, my chest freezer… even more heartbreaking to me, the very first Christmas present I got from my place of employment. A lovely professional grade poker set that I had never used.  Along with two other branded poker sets that I had purchased (not the same kind) also in pristine condition.

Since these sets were in the bottom of my swag box – I don’t buy the “someone must have stolen them” line I got from the husband.  How would someone have known that that box was special?  Why the poker sets instead of the other swag that would be worth just as much?  I am guessing that was the one thing that someone felt might fetch some cash.  And it is not replaceable though the company.

While he was in jail, after I made it clear to the bondsmen he was third party calling through that I would **NOT** be paying bail, I wrote a letter.  (He couldn’t call me directly, cell phones don’t take collect calls.)

That letter let him know that I couldn’t go on the way we had been.  I had lost everything three times because of him – and I needed more stability.  I hoped that when he got out of jail, he would buckle down, get a real job and an apartment, pay his bills, and learn to live like a responsible human being.  I wasn’t filing for divorce right off.  If he could do that, and be responsible, and live that way for a year or two – we could see about dating, and see if being together was something we still wanted.

Fast forward to the end of October.  Husband gets out of jail, and shows up at my place of employment while I am out sick.  (Sick is going to become a recurring theme for the next several months.  Stress, plus strange weather and allergies played HELL with my chronic bronchitis.  /sigh)  When I get back to work, the physical safety officer calls me into her office, to make sure I was going to be ok – and to ask if they need to put a notice to other security that he could be a danger.  Not necessary, I tell her.  He isn’t physically violent, and I don’t foresee him doing anything that would put me or others in danger.

He shows up again that day.  Because I still love him even though I have left, I make some concessions.  If he is going to get a job, and start working, he does need transportation.  While I am at work, I have agreed that he could use the car.  I would pick him up, take him to work with me, and he would meet me there when I got off – and I would take him home.  Not ideal – but the best I could do.

Here’s where I started to fuck up.  There were a couple of times he would be 20 short for something – gas, or whatever, and I would “lend” it to him.  He would swear that I would see it back by XX day – and of course XX day came, and there was some excuse, some reason why he didn’t have it to give.  I kept him on my insurance plan, because he swore he would pay me the cost of it every month.  Our phone plan, same.

Then, the car died.  Like completely.  No fixin’ this puppy.  Dead.  So, I head off to rent a car for a few days, because husband swore up down and sideways that the guy he was renting a room from could find another car very easily – he actually has a business buying them at auction and flipping them.

Three weeks later – I am turning back in the rental, my Christmas bonus from work eaten up – and still no car.  No word on a car.  Husband has obtained a truck from somewhere – he says it is borrowed, for an indefinite amount of time.  Again, as before, I am depending on and relying on him to get me on time, to get to work.  And of course, there comes a time when things don’t work so well in that situation.  (Didn’t see that coming, I bet.  **rolls eyes**)

I am desperate.  I need a car, because I need to get to work.  I don’t want to lose my job on top of everything else.   Talking to the sister of my soul Julie about the whole mess.  Considering one of those places like Carmax, that will charge an outrageous amount of interest on a car – but unable to qualify anywhere else.  Again I am rocked by how blessed I am.

Julie, who worked for years to get herself and her finances back to good after going through something very similar, pops up with a figure that is in the range of what I can pull off – and then insists on loaning me the money to get a new car.  She even sends an amortization schedule, and apologizes about the interest – she will have to pay interest on it, or she wouldn’t ask for it.  (To be clear, I wouldn’t have taken it without some interest added in – she deserves something for not having that resource for the years of the payment schedule.)

I get a car – and while I am not going to go into THAT whole sad story – I should have it again soon.  >.>  Suffice to say I should have it back in the next couple of days.

Now however, I am **BACK** to relying on husband, and now – he is homeless.  He is living in the ‘borrowed’ truck – and has no money, no food, nothing.

Again, I give him some food money.  Gas for the truck.  (This helps me too – I have to get to and from work while my car is in the shop.)  I am getting low on funds – I have nothing much to fall back on. Every day, I am putting 20.00 of gas in the truck, and I simply don’t have the income to sustain that.

Husband finds a place to stay – a place where down on their luck musicians can “volunteer” 20 hours a week or so to cleaning up the property in exchange for the use of a camping trailer.  No electricity or running water – but a roof.  There are fire pits to cook over.  He gets a job with a temp company, and says that he has been offered a permanent full time job with the company that he is doing work for.

EXCEPT.  Yeah.  Except – he calls me one night, drunk, and tells me that he likes the ranch – that if it gets its funding, he could have a job there.  He doesn’t want to take that guaranteed job, he would rather do the volunteer stuff on the ranch, and maybe get foodstamps.  When I say that he has to make his own choices for what he wants out of his life – he comes up with “I would be doing it for US!”

Um….   what?  Really?  Yeah.  No.  I don’t think so.

Next day – he tells me that he wasn’t serious the night before, and if he did get the guaranteed job, he would take it.

EXCEPT – one week later – almost two weeks ago – I come out of work at 10.45, and he is not there to pick me up.  I call, and he says he got stuck – but he will be there in half an hour.  An hour goes by – and still no husband.  I try to call – no answer.  I try again at  midnight, and again at 12.15.  No answer.

I was waiting for the last shift to get off at 1.30 – I had been offered a ride home by a couple of people if I was still there when their shift ended.  I was saved however, by my room mate, who realized that I wasn’t home yet- called to make sure I was ok, and then insisted on getting OUT of bed to come get me.  ❤

She and her husband had discussed it – and if she didn’t need his car (he is driving hers while she looks for a job) I could take it to and from work til mine was finished.  When she has needed it – she takes me to work, and I try to find a ride home.

Husband **DID** leave me an email the next day – saying that if I needed a ride to work, let him know.  I didn’t answer it.  Not going to put myself in that position again.

I **DID** call him however, when I found out that our shared phone plan had gone over on data (I don’t use my phone as a computer.  Ever.  The data is all him.)  He didn’t answer, so I left a message telling him that I couldn’t afford the regular bill, much less the overage.  He needed to stop with the data.

I have talked to my phone carrier – and it pisses me off, because though mine is the name on the account – I can’t remove him unless he agrees to take over financial responsibility for his phone.  Like that is going to happen.  >.<  I think I might at least see about dropping the plan to the bare minimum on data – and I have already pin locked the account so it can’t have changes made to it.  I have also requested that we have a hard cap on data – once it is gone – it is gone.

Next, I have talked to my HR rep at work about what would be needed (legal separation vs full on divorce) to remove him from my health insurance.  I could really use that extra 140.00 or so a month.

I have a feeling that the drunk phone call was his real feelings.  He would rather have a life of minimal responsibility – even if it means some discomfort.  Whatever.  That is NOT the life I choose for myself.  I am on the road to fully truly and finally getting rid of the concrete block that I have chained myself to.
I feel like I have just thrown away the last 10 years of my life – and I come out of this infinitely poorer in all respects. I have given up everything twice (or thrice?) for him.  I never ever wanted to become a statistic.  I swore I would never be in one broken marriage, much less two.

I am strong, and I am resilient, and I know I will get through this. It is overwhelming now – and my heart is breaking in the process. As childish, and irresponsible and outright untruthful as he is – I do love my husband. I just can’t do this anymore. When we moved to TX for this job, 5 years ago he promised me that he would get a normal, 40/week job, and with me doing the budgeting, we could have a REAL NORMAL (as normal as one can have) life. That promise hasn’t been kept – and now, I find myself living in a strange house, borrowing money from friends and my dad, and trying to mend my heart.

I hope that at some point, he really stops to THINK about things, and actually come out with a plan to be more responsible as well. I hope he can find enough love for himself that he stops skating through life, and starts living it. I don’t see that happening however. At 50, I don’t see him really making that connection. And that makes me incredibly sad.

At one point, my mindset was this:

“I don’t think he will really change, but if he did – if he actually spent a couple of years learning to and doing the right thing – I might consider it. I do love him. He has to be responsible for himself, or not.”

That has changed.  I don’t know that I would or COULD ever trust that he had changed.  I feel like I have been a resource – not a love. I won’t be the sometime crutch anymore.

I am currently taking Xanax (on a very occasional basis – the first 30 day script lasted me almost 5 months…) because I have been having anxiety/panic attacks again.  I am hoping that that need will ease up soon.  I am considering trying to find a counselor that I can click with if I feel the need to talk/work through things – or I might just subject y’all to more walls o’ text.  >.>

A wonderful meme I found somewhere (or someone else found and I stole – I forget which) said this:

“When someone loves you, they don’t have to say it. You can tell by the way they treat you.”

How very true!  How very real. How very very much I need to see, hear and remember this.

Now – the most important part of my blog.
A LOT of the strength, inspiration and courage to jump, and cut the ties, has been wormed into my brain by an amazing woman.

I can’t even begin to be as elegant and beautiful a writer as she is – not to mention so full of class and just bad ass – but I am doing my best to emulate.

Elisa Romero – published author and wonderful woman, went through her own marriage meltdown fairly recently.  Reading her posts, her words, and seeing her strength and beauty, have been an inspiration.  Y’all should really read her blog!  It is amazing.  ❤

Angels and Forever

She is amazing, and this may have you searching for her on Amazon!

Madison’s Gate  Just one of her many books.  ❤

I love you all so much for sticking through this novel with me.  Remember – as long and rambling as it was – I truncated a LOT.  >.>

Be good, be happy and be real.  That is what I plan to do.  ❤

The Power of Words

We’ve all heard the phrase “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” chanted at us when we were young, and crying because someone had said something cruel.

Of course, that phrase is supposed to put us in a mind frame that says “what others say to/about me doesn’t matter!  I am __________________(insert the opposite of whatever was said)”

As we all know – this is not true.  Words do hurt.  They can cut deep, and leave scars to rival, or even surpass the physical.  Bruises fade.  Cuts heal, grow smaller, and some physical scars will fade away completely – even if the gaining of them stays sharp and clear.

Words however, leave no physical evidence.  They are sneaky and insiduous.  They worm their way into the head, and pop up when we are most vulnerable to them.  They take on a life of their own – especially when you are already unsure about/insecure about whatever it was that the words addressed.

Struggling with clinical depression – struggling with a lower self esteem, and second guessing all the time makes this even more invasive. I fight with myself over every mistake – every word I have uttered that may have been misconstrued – even years after the fact.  I worry about what and how I said something, because I know this to be true:

Words can indeed hurt.  A lot.

When those words are uttered by someone who is supposed to love you?  Devastating.

Why do those we love do this?  Is it because they are hurting, and know that it is safe to lash out at us?  I mean, we love them – we should forgive.  Right?

I ask, because this happened to me today.  I have been sick for going on a week now.  I don’t know if FMLA will cover the second part of the sick.  It overspans the covered timeframe for the month that we have set up.  I need to see my doctor to ask about having that amended.

My sister called while I was napping – so I missed it.  Called her back after I woke up – and she was screaming at me.

I am here, running a fever of 101 – 102, coughing, hacking, and generally feeling like crap.  She?  Is flinging mud.  Starts with the fact that she has been trying to get ahold of me (facebook and phone) for THREE MONTHS.  It isn’t a matter of her catching me – I just don’t give a fuck, and don’t call back!  (Truth is – I checked.  NO messages on facebook – and one, from JUNE, that was missed.  She had called when I was at work, with my phone off).

She moves on to trying to throw down a guilt trip about my mom.

See, before my mom died, she sent me a Logitech webcam for my computer, and Skype.  It was my birthday present.  I hooked it up, but couldn’t get it to work correctly.  Mom died before I could get the damned thing figured out.

My youngest sister was telling me that I broke my moms heart – denied her her dying wish – wouldn’t use the camera mom bought for me, so she could see me before she DIED.  Didn’t I feel bad that I denied that wish?

Yeah.  No.  Not going to accept that one.

Sorry.  I managed to get over/not fall for guilt trips a long time ago.  Not gonna fall for this one. My youngest sister was just trying to pick a fight.  So, I told her that I wasn’t gonna do this, and hung up.

She called back.  I answered, and the first thing I asked was “are you going to be a reasonable adult?”  “Yes!  Just answer the damned question!”  I hung up again.

The third time, I answered and said that I would speak – but only if she were civil.

Nope.  “Just answer…”  I hung up again, and turned off my phone for about 1/2 hour.

Turned the phone back on (because I was waiting for a call from my FMLA coordinator, to figure out how the messed up claim was going to work), and she called one more time.

“So.  Are you going to be civil, and speak to me calmly?”

“yes.”

“ok.  How are you?”

“Fine.  Just answer the question.  What about…”

“No.  I am sick – running a fever of 102.  I am not going to do this.  Check your facebook.”  and I hung up.

I think she got the message.  She hasn’t called back.  My facebook message to her is private, but basically says, “I love you – but I won’t do this.  I refuse to do this.  If you want to talk to me, I am happy to do so.  If you want to abuse me because you are unhappy with something in your life, don’t bother.  I am not the cause of your unhappiness, and I won’t do this.”

I do love my sister.  She has problems, and I understand that.  She has let those problems dictate her life, instead of trying to figure out how to overcome them.  She has trapped herself in a victim mentality – and now doesn’t want to take responsibility for anything.

I however, refuse to be her punching bag.  I refuse to let her try to drag me to that level.  AND – I know that she is doing this, because she has something that is bothering her, and feels that the only way to deal with it, is to make herself “better”.  Better than someone, or…  I don’t even know anymore.  I am sick, and I am tired, and I am so over drama.

And yet.  I know that while I loved my mother, very dearly – it was a LOT easier from a thousand or two miles away.  I did try to set up that damned camera, but did I try hard enough?  I know that I was ashamed of the way the thyroid issues I have developed made me look, and the weight gain they have caused.  Did I not try hard enough because of NOT wanting to be seen that way?

Is she right?  Did I deny my mother the chance to see me – and ME of my last chance to see her?  Even subconsiously? (realizing of course, that mom died unexpectedly.  There wasn’t any warning.  Talked to her on Sunday night – Monday morning, sis called to tell me mom had died in her sleep.)

Still, I don’t know.  And not knowing, I guess that question will add itself to the other million little nibbling spiders of self sabotage in my subconscious – trying to weave webs of tangled doubt.

I guess congratulations are in order.  The guilt trip?  Seems to have worked.

Fear and Love

So.

I’ve had a real home for a few months, had a shift change, and am now held again to my IDP. (Individual Development Plan as you remember).

New team manager can be a bit of a stickler, and he is gonna hold me to it! (Thanks, Mr. Man. I definitely need the motivation/prods).

It’s not that I don’t want to write. I do! I really really do! There is just so much going on in my twisted little head…

First.

There is of course a fear of starting back up. Writing on a regular basis means commitment!

Other than my high and lofty goals, set out 1.5 years ago, I haven’t written regularly since 1993 when my best friend in the world, the mate of my soul, and one of the most loved people in my life Kevin, died.

He was so young. Just 30 when AIDS took him.

This was before the first cocktail went into trials. This was back when people were so afraid of AIDS that they freaked out at the mere thought of knowing someone affected. I remember my mom being worried because I used to hug Kevin, and even (OH MY GOD) kiss his cheek. She was frightened – afraid that I would contract the disease from that kind of contact.

Back then, people weren’t very informed. There was a LOT of hysteria about the disease. The docs didn’t know much, and the general populace, even less.

I however, knew that we were OK. If he didn’t have an open sore on his cheek (and yeah. Whose gonna kiss a cheek with an open sore anyway. Really?) I would be fine. It wasn’t airborn, so hugs were FINE.

And, at that time, we were both in need of hugs.

I had miscarried my first baby, and he was in the midst of an ugly breakup with his boyfriend. Ex-boyfriend was still his roomie – because they couldn’t afford to live separate. Ex-byfriend was bringing new boys home every couple of evenings – and in the end, had a “live in”. Poor Kevin. His heart was given, and he tried to be stoic, but I know he was hurting. His heartbreak was mine.

I loved Kevin from the first time I met him, at the Denny’s where my first husband waited tables early in our marriage. (He worked there, and I had a job as a subcontractor for the USGS, doing data entry). He worked there as well, and when I came in for all night coffee, waiting for Rick to get off, Kevin never minded if I had a table in his section.

We would talk about books, politics, religion… any and everything that could or would come up. Debate, and discussion, and even if we didn’t agree (which didn’t happen that often, surprisingly) we had a rousing good time, often ending with heading out to breakfast when his shift was over, to discuss more!

It was with Kevin that I saw the movie “The Accused”. Jodie Foster playing Sarah Tobias, in a film that was loosely based on a 1983 rape case, involving a woman gang raped in a bar in MA. SHE was the accused, because she “dressed and acted provocatively”. This movie had me in hysterics. Kevin was able to calm me down, talk me down, help me feel not so violated watching the movie. (I have some serious empathy issues – and when I can relate, Nellie bar the door!)

It was with Kevin that I learned about non mainstream religion (read paganism, in all of its forms) and started to come to an understanding of what the divine means to ME. It was with Kevin that I learned to be a bit more open. Kevin was like a brother I didn’t grow up with, but had he been NOT gay, or I a man, he would have been my love. My one and only. And I would have been his. In the bodies/lives we had however, that was not to be.

Kevin was also my writing buddy. Both of us had the fire. The need. The want. We would read, and critique, and edit, and then reread each others work. He was a maarvelous author, and he had faith in ME and my writing as well. Of course, thinking back on what I was writing then, I cringe. SO fraught with meaning – symbolic as hell, and oh my gods preachy? I should say SO! Ugh. I hope that when I get up the courage to try to write more than my little blog posts here, that I will have found I have grown, and that I am better for the wisdom I have gained.

Still, and most importantly, we were both writing. Kevin was in school – taking classes at the community college, and writing stuff for his Creative Writing course. He also had a filebox full of titles, snips and ideas, as did I.

1993. Kevins HIV positive status had tipped over into full blown AIDS and he had Kaposi Sarcoma. It was invading his legs, feet… pretty much the entire lower half of his body, and with HIV, yeah.

There was a close call in November of that year – where I (as executor of his estate, and Power of Attorney for him) was told that his family should be called – he wasn’t likely to last much longer. He was out of his head – delirious.

Of course, this happened when we were in the beginning stages of a full blown blizzard in Denver. Still, I went to the airport (20 miles give or take each way) three times to get his parents, and each of his brothers as they flew in and take them to the hospital.

Turned out, the staff at the hospital had given him a drug that was dehydrating his brain, and hadn’t given him saline in his IV to help. Once someone realized that, he was more himself.

At that point though – I had another meeting with the hospital staff. His condition wasn’t going to get better, and they wanted me to choose a hospice facility.

It was a happy chance that the one closest to where I lived (only about 6 miles) was also rated the best. At this point, I was spending 18-20 hours a day at bedside, making sure he was never alone. After he got moved to the hospice, he became clearer, more focused. The staff there was awesome. He however, was breaking my heart. He kept talking about “when he got out”. I didn’t want to face it, but I had to.

“Kevin, hon. This is a hospice.”

“Yeah – I know. But when I get out – ”

“Hon. The reason you are here, is because there isn’t much time, and we want to keep you as comfortable as we can until…”

“You mean I am going to DIE here?”

“…” (with a squeeze to hand, and tears in my eyes)

“Why the FUCK didn’t anyone tell me? Mom and dad have been talking about when I go home. There’s so much I need to do before I die! So much I need to get out. Please. Make sure my stuff gets done? My books and stories get written? Finish them for me?”

(This is pretty much verbatim for how that conversation went. It is seared into my brain.)

And for the next week or so – I took notes. And listened. And committed to memory. And spent time with my best friend, my soul mate, as he slipped further and further away.

Finally, on December 3rd, 1993, we were in the sun room, and he was giving me more information about stuff he wanted written. Ideas he had, and novels that were conceived, but he was wandering a bit. A couple of nurses were in the room as well, having a smoke break. (This was back in the day – most places still allowed smoking, and in this hospice, that sunroom was the smoking room.)

They looked at each other, and then at me, and the sadness and compassion in their eyes told me exactly what I was afraid to hear/see. “Why don’t we get Kevin back to his room now for a bit? I think he is probably a bit tired.”

They got him back into his bed, and then went to hunt down his family. I stayed there, holding his hand, and a couple of minutes after everyone got there, he was done.

I leaned over, and kissed his cheeks, his lips, his eyes, and whispered into his ear that I would write for him. I would remember him, and I would love him forever.

Now, 20 years have passed. I still love Kevin, and I miss him every day. Some thought of him comes most every day for me still. He was and is, a part of my life that is precious, and beautiful. I have NOT however, fulfilled that promise. I stopped writing.

Apathy. Fear. Heartache. These invaded my life, until it became easier to make excuses than it was to make stories.

Writing this blog was supposed to be a way back to the joy – but I have been letting fear (and a bit of real life) get in the way of that.

Fear is the biggest part here. I have been left with a huge responsibility. Write his stuff – and do it justice. Write my stuff, and do IT justice.

I am afraid. He was such a marvelous writer – and I don’t know that I CAN do this. He had faith in me, but I am having a hard time finding that faith in myself. Can I write it – get it out, and get it READ? If I do, would it be what he wanted it to be? Would it be good enough?

These thoughts haunt me, and I find myself sinking into a quagmire. If I don’t try, I won’t fail.

If I don’t try however, I can’t succeed. I will also have broken a promise made to someone I loved, and still love with all my heart.

Change

All right.

I am a creature of habit. I know that this is so. I admit this. I embrace this.

My Myers Briggs personality profile stuff says that not only am I extremely introverted (go figure huh?) I am also one that does very well with a planned out, methodical way of life. I **LIKE** it that way. I like knowing that I get up, and do the same things at the same times every day (depending upon the day, of course). I have my set time for coffee, when I get dressed, when I brush teeth… I have everything that I do in very set times. Makes it easier when I can stick TO those times, and do things as I should.

This week, a LOT of change has come to my life. In some dynamic and not very good ways. When things get thrown out of whack, **I** am thrown out of whack, and not for good things.

Take the last several days for instance. Thursday, up at my normal time, drinking coffee, dressed, teeth brushed (I shower the night before), lunch packed…. and 10 minutes AFTER I am supposed to be on my way to work, husband calls. He is in Kileen – about 70 miles north of Austin. Not to worry though! The kid who lives next door, who has been helping as casual labor on his jobs, is ready to ride to the rescue, and get me to work! EXCEPT – when I go outside, no kid, no kids car. Phone husband.

No problem. He will phone Justin, who has benefited several times from help from us. (anything from 40$ until payday, to a couple of beers on an evening with the husband unit.) UMMMMM Justin is hemming and hawing about what he can and cannot do. Driving out to get me, and take me to work? In the “CAN’T column.

So – I am stuck. Can’t get to work. Can’t call in, because somehow, my available time off (without penalty) is off. My calculations of excused time don’t match up with my bosses. If I can’t get that figured out, then I am taking a hit behavior and attendance wise. (including a written warning – for ME – who has never had any kind of written ANYTHING when it comes to work…) And yet – that is where I ended up. Couldn’t get there in time for it to be even HALF a point – so….

Next – no calls (or at least none husband creature would share) about the last house on the “looked at, may wish to rent” list. This means – we must be out of the house we are in no later than Tuesday, but we have nowhere to go.

Husband unit/creature/thing has that figured out. Extended stay motel place until new place is found. EXCEPT –

One room living on opposite shifts isn’t gonna work to well.

Already – have not slept more than 6 hours or so since I got up on Thursday. Too unstable in the future, and not knowing what will happen causes PANIC (not just anxiety, but full blown “I’M GONNA DIE!!!!!” panic) attacks in me.

Husband thing got most of the stuff that we would use at the motel moved before I woke up – except the cats, my puter, and meds. Just after I woke up, he took the cats, a load of clothes, and other misc stuff over, while I drank my coffee, caught up on Facebook, and then started to dismantle my puter/pack up meds. (stupid PA has me on enough now for 10 people. Am hoping that I can get those pared down a bit when we change docs after we end up…. wherever.)

It’s funny.  Spook is the bruiser of the family – and the total scaredy cat. He was hiding in the bathroom of the VERY “efficient” extended stay room when we got there with my stuff – and only came out to crawl up under the comforter on the bed and hide as a lump there. Callie? Out, about, scouting out the new crooks and crannies, trying to get behind, on top of, or under anything she could find. (She still jumped with sudden movement though – not quite as brave as she tried to act!)

Panic attack commenced to grow stronger however, when upon hooking up my ‘puter, it would not turn on. The tremors (so remembered from my first divorce time, and NOT missed) made a comeback – fuzzy, buzzy head, inability to focus.

It is stupid, I know – but being connected is one of my “security blankets”. Kinda like having at least ½ an unread (this time) book, with the next in queue if I am past ½ way in my bag, even if going to a convenience store.. I have the “smart phone” thing from Christmas, and upgrading during the re up period on my plan, but I haven’t quite figured it out yet. >.<

A shot or four later…. taking the cover and side off to see if I could see what was happening with the switch… )When I hit it, the fans would turn on – but not the CPU. )

Wow. There was a LOT of dust in there. Having cats, and a not so airtight house, makes ‘puters suck in ALL THE THINGS! Got the dust blown out, and a damp rag over the NON board parts to clean it up all pretty like.

After clearing about a cat worth of dust and stuff out of the case, husband pushed the button on top (sans the pretty button cover) and the ‘puter finally booted up. Have a feeling that I will just be restarting, and not shutting down for a while.

Next challenge was trying to get online. ALL of my saved tabs reverted to the motel chains login page – because it turns out, they require an extra payment to use their service.

Husband critter/creature/unit/thing got that taken care of as well – and finally – I could connect!

Except.

Indeed. Except.

Latency? Yeah. Horrible. I don’t know if they have satellite, or if someone(s) in the same motel is (are) downloading ALL THE PRONS!!!!!! for their private pleasure, but my latency? Yeah. Not so much.

Going from 400/800 (not too terrible – instant cast stuff taking 1 – 2 seconds) to 15000/20000 or so… Yeah. Instant cast flight form? Took a full 30 seconds. Quest box open? Same.

SO.

Very top of the list is to NOT be in efficient efficiency place. Claustrophobia = ME, and I would probably end up killing husband, cats, or both if I had to co exist for too long in these “cozy” quarters.

To get excused (read FMLA for known issues) time figured out so that I am NOT on a warning the very first time EVER in any working situation. (My time figuring says I have a bit of wiggle room – Managers, didn’t).

Husband critter/creature/unit/thing needs to acknowledge that my getting to work, and on TIME, is of paramount importance, and if he has a contract, or other that takes him far away that happens after noon or so – it HAS to be put off. (And a damned set, 40 hour a week job would be good, as that is what I was PROMISED when we moved down here…)

The ability to log into a game, and NOT have to worry about dying because my latency is causing EVERYTHING to take too long, and me be dead by the time I realize I am being attacked…

Whiny lil brat am I – I don’t ask for much. A real home, where I have all my stuff, room to stretch out a bit, and an internet connection that doesn’t suck, would be a very good start.

EDIT:  Crappy ass connectivity likes to eat things every 1/2 hour to hour or so.  UGH!  Means relogging every hour – though, to reconnect to tabs etc.  NEED a home, DAMNIT!

A hard week…

So.

I am sorry that I have fallen a bit behind on posting, after stating that I was going to go hell bent for leather, but that is how the cards fell. I really will try to get back on track, and posting more than once a week again! Not only is it something that I actually enjoy, it is part of my Personal Development plan, and something that I need to kick in the ass and get going again!

It has been a very exhausting and emotional week.

One week ago, my company had a sizeable layoff. The news was announced (per Federal law) that morning, and those of us on the later shifts were left waiting, to see if we would still have jobs or not.

We had gotten an email regarding a mandatory meeting that would occur on that day, and once the news had been reported, we knew what the meeting would be for.

I am relieved to say that I was not one of the ones cut, but many of the people I have come to know and love in the company, were.

I have been through layoff before. I have been one of the ones cut in both of those.

The first was the month after my divorce from my first husband was finalized. I was truly on my own, with only myself to look out for, but also only myself to pay the bills. This one was from a job that I hated, in a company that I hated, with (mostly) people that I disliked, the exceptions being my friend Brenda, (love you Brenda!) and Cheryl. (Love you too, Mrs. Ma’am!)

While the idea of starting something new in a place that WASN’T slowly sucking my soul was exciting, the idea that I would only have 66% of my pay (unemployment) for a bit while looking for a new job was scary – as well as just having to look for a new job! What would happen if I didn’t find one? Would I have to move into a shelter? Would I decide that pride was over rated and become a pan handler? Ugh. It didn’t help that the actual “termination” date fell on December 25th. Merry freakin’ Christmas, huh? I cried most every day for a couple of months with worry over this one.

From that job, I started spamming resumes. Unemployment required a minimum of 5 contacts a week. I went over and above. Any job that I felt the least bit possibly maybe could be even slightly in some way qualified for? I went ahead and sent a resume. Sometimes, 20 – 30 a week. The guy at the local Kinko’s got to know me very well.

Finally, February, I got an interview for a job. It was with a securities firm, and paid better than the one I had been laid off from! New stuff to learn! New people that I might be able to stand in an office! Benefits! Holidays! The interview went well, I loved the office manager, and I got the job.

This job was pretty good. I enjoyed what I was doing, the people in the office were pretty great (and the back office, where I was, was very small. 4 people, and we all got along pretty well. BONUS!) Other than spelling the receptionist for her lunch and breaks, I didn’t have to deal with anyone outside the office, and the pay plus benefits were rather awesome! We even had a rotation of 4/10 day workdays – each week, one of the back office people would work Mon. – Thurs., with Friday off, so that we could take care of things like Dr. appointments, or shopping, or just lazing on a three day weekend.

This job, I thought I might possibly want to retire in. Not because the work was challenging, because it wasn’t so much, but because the PEOPLE were ones that I could handle, and the environment was one that was nice.  I could get my learning, and challenging, the way I had for countless years as a work from home/housewife type.  By choosing something, and learning it!

Unfortunately, four months later came the second layoff. The office was a satellite. The main office was in Worcester MA, and the Denver office, where I was working, was going to be closed. I cried for a different reason on this one. Yes, I was still worried about money, and still worried about supporting myself, but mostly, I mourned the loss of the future with this company that I had dreamed for myself.

Again, for the second time in a year, I was a regular at Kinko’s. 20+ faxes a week being sent. Looking for a way to support myself. The next job I found? At least I was paid as much as I was at the securities firm. Benefits weren’t as good, but I was able to pay all my bills again, on time, and having a job was better than not. Or not.

This was a small, family owned business. Their product was amazing. They however? Were not so much. Family owned businesses can be a bit tricky. Unlike corporations, smaller family owned places like to have a LOT more micro management – and that can be… a bit overbearing.

Add to this an office manager that should positively definitely NOT be in charge of an office, and you have hell. Complete and unmitigated. This woman was overbearing, obnoxious, totally unprofessional, and completely unsuited to any kind of workforce administration.

True story here. I had been having a hard time. I had not been in the best of moods, but while less than communicative, had been doing what I was supposed to do.

One night, I go to clock out, and I find the entire staff of workers (minus the supervisor) from the warehouse/production side of the business waiting in the lobby of the building as I punched out for the day.

Turns out, the office manager had gone to the warehouse (a walk across a street) and had announced that I “needed to get laid”. They were there, waiting to see if I would ask one of them home. Seriously. Nope. Not a joke. I was livid.

I did let the higher ups know about this, but nothing was done. “Maybe it was misunderstood – English is not their first language” was the best I got out of it. I did not feel bad at all when my husband (then partner) suggested a change of pace and a move to Massachusetts that I gave less than 2 weeks notice. Had I been a bit less “flight – run hide turtle!”, I probably would have handled it differently. However, we know from previous posts, that my first reaction to bad is “RUN!!!!” That is what happened.

So – back on track.

I know how it is to be on the cut side of layoffs. I know the insecurity, and fear, even if it is a place that one isn’t happy in. I know the feeling if it IS a place that one is happy in. Now, I know how it feels to be on the other side.

Quite simply, it sucks. Rocks. Through a straw.

Yes. I do still have a job. And with the hubster STILL not employed by a company (though doing odd jobs) I am grateful that I still have some sort of set income to depend upon.

However.

Being in the office, while others were having their meetings, and then cleaning out their stuff. Being on break, and having hysterical people show up for their meetings, unsure if they would continue the night or not… Trying to make sure that the work still got done, that trouble tickets were still answered, and that business continued as usual while all this was going on, was hard. It was exhausting. My heart mourned for every friend that didn’t make it, for whatever reason.

And of course, there is some kind of guilt attached. While we have been assured that there is a reason that those of us that didn’t get let go…. well… didn’t, it still cuts. And it still is hard to figure out how to deal with the ones who did, whom we like or love, and who are having all of those feelings that I remember from my own layoff situations.

I want every one of you to know right now, that I do love and honor you. My heart mourns for you, for the fear, and the unsurety, (is that even a word? Now it is! ‘Cause I say so!) and the… open endedness of things right now. Please know, I know EXACTLY how you are feeling, because I have been there. My shoulders are here to cry on, and my ears are here if you need some one to rant to.

Most of all, my heart, and my love go out to you.

Lost Weekend

Cid Meyer’s Civilizations games.

How I love them – and hate them!

These games are awesome fun. You choose a “ruler” to play as, and you build a civilization from 4000 BCE to…. whenever the game is won, or lost. The game itself is highly replayable, as the maps are random each time, and you can customize how many AI opponents you wish to have (must have at least 1) and how you wish the world to be set up.

I don’t tend to play a war game – I go for cultural victories. I love building huge empires, with lots of cities, and workers, monuments and wonders. I overwhelm the AI opponents with my culture. (I love “golden ages” and “We love the king!” days too!) I make enough military units to protect my people, and to explore. Exploration is the other other great love I have in these games. I always make a HUGE world, so that I can an explore more!

The problem with this is, you can sit down for a couple of hours, and notice 13 hours later that it is…. well… 13 hours later. /sigh  Add some wine, or a few beers, and…

Last time I went on a Civilization jag, we were living in Massachusetts, and I was doing accounts payable for Peter Pan Bus Lines. (not a glamorous job, but hey! I got to spend literally MILLIONS of dollars a year. No matter that it was for things like fuel and bus wraps .) I had to put a limit on it of just weekends after one too many sessions that ended with me showering, and heading to work after NO sleep.

This happened to me this weekend. I started playing a new game in Civilization V, and kinda lost track of all time. Missed our cross realm fun run raids on World of Warcraft. Barely stopped for supper. Just… exploring, building, creating, and living in my own little world. Literally.

Now, it is 3am Monday morning. I have to begin my workweek tonight, and I got absolutely NOTHING done this weekend. At all. My laundry is mostly clean (one more load to pull out of washer and put in dryer), but it needs folding. My desk looks like a bomb hit it. The floor seems to be growing another cat with all the stray hairballs that are floating around (I don’t know HOW they shed as much as they do, not to mention me…) and the dust is thick enough on my swag shelf to write in. Instead of taking care of that though, I was playing at being Consul Bismarck of the German Empire. (He gets a wicked bonus in Civ V – has a 50% chance of gaining a military unit upon defeating a barbarian camp. Means I don’t have to waste much time building military units!)

Add the lack of cleaning to the fact that we need to move by April 1st (or our rent for the ghetto duplex goes up $125, which is not acceptable), so cleaning, and some preliminary packing would be a good idea, and you see that I really did NOT manage my time well this weekend.

Needless to say, Civ V is not going to be played during the workweek for me. I have way too much that needs to be done, and April 1 is going to be here before we know it.  Couple that with sleeping issues, and there is the potential for some real problems to arise if I do let my self play.  Workdays will be for reading, and whatever I can do in the early morning hours that WON’T wake the hubby, or the neighbors.

For the weekends, I need to figure out how to force myself to do this with reward system housekeeping (alarms, or XX turns – sweep floor, XX turns, pack box) – and have the best of both worlds!

Heaven help me if I get on a Skyrim jag as well…

All of my love – and support

So. I have a friend that is going through a very very tough spot right now.

Out of the blue, a few days ago, her husband was upset over the clutter in the house, and the fact that the dishes weren’t done. An argument ensued. He ended up being physical. She had handmark bruises on her arms, and has a fractured wrist. He went to jail, and she moved out.

My friend, who is very young, is obviously going through a lot right now. It is a lot to take in. The person you love, you trust, you share your life with, has done this monumentally horrific thing, and shattered every single ounce of trust in what IS, and should be, in a normal relationship. She is hurting, and not just physically. Her heart is hurting, and she doesn’t know how to move from here.

I grew up with this. My biological father was an abuser, in every sense of the word. Physical, mental and sexual. I have seen a knife held to my mothers throat, and a gun pointed at her head. I have been beaten, seen and heard how “worthless” we were, and have had acts performed on me that a child should not EVER be exposed to. Ever.

It took DECADES of therapy to work through. It was not pleasant. It was scary, and draining, and often seemed too hard to cope with. I have, however, managed to come out of the other side, and while I have my share of neuroses, I know that I can handle most everything life has to throw at me – even if I don’t like it. I am strong. I am capable. I am worthy, and I am good. I know this without hearing the affirmations of friends, family or other. I know this, because I have come through it, and I have kept my sanity, my ability to live and love, and my ability to look forward through it. There are rough patches. There are still times that I doubt what and where I am, who I am, what I am doing, and how I am doing it. I keep on keepin’ on, because the alternative is… to not do so.

Don’t get me wrong. That alternative has been examined. I have some scars to prove it, as well as an extremely vivid memory of sitting in my garage, with the car running and the dogs locked in the house (they had a dog door to the garage, and then out to the outside so that they could do their business at night) when I was going through my divorce with my first husband. This was brought on by a panic attack – I didn’t know HOW to be an adult without being with this man. I had met him at the tender age of 18, and had lived my ENTIRE adult life with him as my spouse. I am extremely thankful that I came to my damned senses after 5 minutes or so.

This blog is for her.

Hon – I know that it is hard. I know that you want to just move on, and heal. I know that it seems as if hiding in the corner, and not acknowledging this outside of sympathy from friends and family is the easiest road. Unfortunately, easy isn’t always best. The restraining order is there for a reason. USE it. I know – GOD how I know you just want to forget and move on. Unfortunately, that isn’t possible. I know that you feel that I am not supporting when I remind you of these things – but I am! I am trying to give you the tools that you need to ensure that this works right, for YOU. You work in the same company, with shifts overlapping. The order is needed, and necessary – even if it seems like too much to deal with.

Take your time next week. Go to your mom, and start the healing process. Just please, please remember to keep YOUR safety in the first and foremost part of your thoughts, actions and plans. Make sure that the order is enforced. Texts are NOT acceptable. I know that you love – but remember the recidivism rate – and remember that you h ave made the choice that is best. Know that I always have a shoulder to cry on, and arms to hug – as well as a kiss on the forehead. I will do all of these, and gladly – in person or zen form. Know as well however, that I will also stress how to keep yourself safe, and true to YOU – because in this, YOU are my top priority.

I love you hon. Never, ever ever forget that.

 

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