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Author Topic: My Story Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6

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My Story Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#40: June 11, 2021, 02:01:26 AM
Here's what you can do with GPWELF's words...



As for the table saw, that sounds like a good investment!



Did D get a call back?
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#41: June 12, 2021, 12:02:29 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL - See this is a problem. If I get a new table saw and then work with S who has the mechanical know how, I may find myself designing a "Whack a MLCer" game. I know - I am packing my suitcase now for that trip to Hades.  ::)

The table saw is a good investment all the way around. I have a good chop saw and other power tools that come in handy, but the table saw is one thing that I am finding would really make life easier. And, maybe if I get enough done then I can build my dining table that I haven't forgotten about.

It is quiet at the house this afternoon. S is at a dance recital. He was not exactly thrilled about going, but his GF's little sister is performing. She is 4 and it has been tough for his GF. Her F ran off, not wanting to be a dad anymore and then started up with an OW and low and behold he now has another kid to raise. There are 21 years between GF and the sister. GF sort of laughs because the 4 year old is a spirited little girl and her F is getting a dose of karma in some ways. But, GF also doesn't blame her little sister for the situation. She wants to be a proper big sister. S knew that seeing her F would be tough, so he said he would go along. The F likes S, so he is a buffer of sorts. Add that GF's vehicle is not working properly and it is a long drive to this event, so S said he would take his car and they could spend the afternoon together.

I was kidding S last night that he needed to pick up flowers for the little dancer. He laughed. He said he remembers wanting to get some for D when she was involved in recitals. He also went to every band concert and choral concert D was in. He would show up with a bouquet after suffering through countless performances. By his side, Xh always was there. They would drive separately, as I was there earlier to make sure D was set before the performances.

Once Xh left, S still made sure he was there for D's events. Xh, not so much.

D and her BF were here early on, but decided to run some errands. Her BF is wanting to go get cheesecake at a local bakery.

I am grateful for the quiet. I have about an hour left on D's floor with the window seat to work around. Then touching up the wall and trim, baseboards and finishing up the closet by hanging the rod and installing new shelves. But, I should be able to get D moved back in tomorrow. One project completed and it will allow me to really focus on the bathroom. Depending on my contractor, maybe I can try and get that done by early July, or at least the bulk of it.

I really want to be working outside in my gardens, TBH. It is perfect weather and maybe if I accomplish enough this afternoon, I can spend time outside.

My F stopped by earlier with a visitor. It was my nephew. My sister had to take my niece to a tournament nearby for field hockey and my nephew didn't want to go along. My M went with my sister, which was good. My F and nephew have rarely spent time together like they did today. I saw them together and realized how very fortunate both of my kids were having lived so close.

My nephew came back with my sister later on. She had come to pick him up and they took a walk together. He wanted to show my sister the baby bunny that S's GF rescued and has nursed back to health and it is thriving.

I asked my nephew about his time with my F. He was smiling from ear to ear. My F drove him around. I giggled and said I was betting my F took him for a donut. My nephew laughed and asked how I knew. I know my F's routine. He took my nephew to the art gallery and they had a nice time there. My nephew started telling me how my F drove around and showed my nephew where he grew up. My nephew has never been to any of those places and he is a kid who is very interested in family history. I had been encouraging my sister to bring my nephew down to spend time with my F, for both of their benefits. And, I could see from my F's expression, he too enjoyed himself. S was always his sidekick, but S is working 50-60 hours a week right now. Before S, I held that position. My sister was into her social life. I suppose it is in part how I learned about backroads and why I love those random roads.

When my nephew was here he asked when he can come and stay with me. He is wanting to learn an art technique that is incredibly messy. I could see my sister wanting to encourage him but they don't have a space that is conducive to that type of mess. I am betting the HOA would have a fit, so I told him I can make it happen. Nothing a few drop cloths on the backyard won't take care of. My sister was laughing saying that I am a brave woman. Hey, I have been through the teenage years with kids that are creative, I know what to expect.  ::)

For some reason, I found myself having a fleeting thought about Xh this morning. It came out of nowhere, but I know why it came about. A friend of mine is on vacation and posted pictures of she and her H. They are celebrating their own anniversary coming up and their S just got married, the day that would have been my anniversary. After the ceremony my friend and her H decided to take a second honeymoon themselves. They are vacationing where Xh and I went.

I am not sad or upset by the photos or anything like that. It just reminded me of what seems like a lifetime ago. It was about  4 years ago when I took down the photos I had framed from our honeymoon. They were too painful to look at. The photos are probably in the closet still. I just pulled them off of the wall and put them in a box near the dreaded divorce box.

The thing that struck me is those are just memories now. I have no desire to go back now. I am much more intrigued by my current path and while I have no plan or idea what is ahead of me, I know that a strange comfort exists with someone else. It is not something that makes sense or can be explained. I have no end game in mind. Maybe it is that it is just nice to be okay with life unfolding. IDK

Next weekend, S said he may go see Xh, but he is not sure. My M had mentioned she and my F were considering going away for a few days, but they were very concerned about missing Father's Day. I took one look at my F and I knew the answer when I asked. I asked him how he felt if we celebrated another day instead. He, like me doesn't get too hung up on these things. I could see this becoming a situation where my sister's H would want to spend the day with the family and then there is his own F. My sister would try to accommodate my F - basically it would become a potential $h!te show where it was some juggling act. So, I looked at my M and said to have a good time - I would talk to my sister and we would arrange to take my F out for breakfast or do something when they got back. My F is excited about going away for a few days.

I called my sister and she is actually relieved to not have to make everyone happy. I will watch my parent's house and who knows what S will decide. D - I know where she stands. She is more focused on celebrating with my F than worrying about Xh.

There was a time when both kids would start making things for Xh in addition to buying him a Father's Day card and gift. Xh left all of those cards that he had kept from the kids when he moved out. But, then he left so much of his former life behind him. Crazy - all of it just crazy, but fortunately it is just a memory now and not something that haunts me like it once did.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#42: June 13, 2021, 12:11:43 PM
I think I have grown a thicker skin when it comes to caring what other people think - that is those who are not part of my inner circle. That is not to say that sometimes those opinions don't hurt or make me question things, but I am quicker to dismiss them if those opinions don't serve me.

My reputation is important to me, but I have come to learn that there are always going to be people who have opinions based on very little facts. Like the woman who way back when had it in her head that I must have been and still am some party girl because I wear heels, come across as very confident it seems and laugh a great deal. Oh, and I have no problem talking to men. Well, that is because, as my sister pointed out, my sister and I spent a great deal of time with my F and went to places that were perhaps typically where men hung out - like the local millwork. Yah, don't ask me - it is ridiculous, but there you go.

This all came about because my M mentioned to me that so-and-so asked how I was. Now, the woman is nice enough, but frankly she has no true understanding of who I am or what I have been through, so I don't concern myself with what her perception is or may be. This woman had known I had the whole house disaster, surgery and wasn't working. So, she asked my M the other day how I was doing. My M said to me that she doesn't know what to tell people. I looked at her with utter confusion.

What to tell people? My initial response was to ask my M if she was somehow embarrassed by me. She was mortified I would suggest such a thing. She went on to say that it is just that I am not working and the bathroom is still unresolved. As she spoke, I realized that my toxic aunt must be behind some of this because of the wording.

Toxic aunt likes to stir the pot and wants everyone's lives to be dramatic.

I was not happy, but I was not about to delve into the whole toxic aunt discussion. I know my M struggles sometimes with her sister, as that is her only sibling and remaining relative. I get it and my M is starting to really see that my aunt has always been this way and my M is too nice and worries too much about other people's opinions - like to a fault.

It rubbed me the wrong way and gave my M a scenario of how maybe she should tell people that I am out at the bars every night, have abandoned my kids, no longer work and am bringing home a new man every weekend. I don't think my M was amused.  ::)

I found myself temporarily feeling bad about myself. I went so far as to ask my kids their thoughts. After they velociraptored me a bit, but I knew that was a possibility the minute I asked, they both said they are not embarrassed by me. They don't like how things are at home in terms of the house is in chaos, but it is not because of something I did or didn't do. It is that until D's room is done and settled, her things are in the dining nook. The bathroom "linen closet" is in the living room. And so on. And, life has thrown some monkey wrenches in the mix along the way. The kids told me that I should be proud of the fact that I am the one they can rely on and have held things together even when life has spiraled out of control. Most people might hide or run away. I pick myself up and just figure it out.

Having my kids tell me that they recognize those things was humbling and had me on the verge of tears.

I don't resent my sister and her life, but when my M made a comment about how my sister keeps her life all organized, I reminded her that my sister has a partner that helps her on all fronts. I reminded my M how my sister and BIL have a landscape company that maintains their lawn. And so on. I don't have those things and so things happen at a different pace for me. Besides, as my sister pointed out, I have had a lot of moving parts over the years that factored into the mix - Xh blowing up life and two kids going off to college, etc.

I know what is going on in my life right now for many would be difficult. I hate that I am behind on the gardening, but my lawn is mowed and I will get there. I am in fact making progress, albeit it has been slow and I think I have a good reason for some of the delays. Many which were beyond my control. I have had to forgive myself for that and I have had to laugh at how ridiculous it all is. It is embarrassing to be showering at my parent's house on the one hand, but I am trying to look at the positives and say at least I have that option and things are moving in the right direction. D's floor is in and now I just have to finish up some work here and there, but I should be able to deal with the bathroom in the next week or so and I have preordered the drywall for pickup.

As for work - I have been living off of my savings. I haven't gone after unemployment even though I probably should have, but I am managing. I have budgeted and know I have to look down the road, but I am paying my bills on time. If classes don't open up at the college, although my coordinator says it is looking like there will be additional classes being added and enrollment it up, I will come up with a new plan.

I have forgiven myself for not being able to do as much as I wanted to due to the pain I was in this time last year. I hadn't realized how bad it was until after the surgery and now that I am healed.

The thing is, in spite of the chaos and stress that life has thrown my way, I am relatively happy. I am anxious to get to a point where I don't have to deal with these big projects that I didn't choose to take on. But, that is my reality right now. I make lemons out of lemonade.

I like going out, but I am happy being at home too. I like the idea of sitting by my fire pit and the waterfall running in the pond while I have a glass of wine at the end of the day. I did my stint going to resorts and living that life and I honestly don't miss it. I miss traveling places at times or a true vacation, but it is okay.

S came in and he was laughing. He and his close group of friends have found they are outgrowing the party crowd, not that S has ever been a huge partier, but they are all pretty happy now just having a cookout and watching the corn grow across the field. He said that they have all discovered coupons and realize that is a sign they have entered into a new phase of their lives.

I told them how I knew of a group that used to play poker with coupons. S laughed and said that sounded fun. This set off a discussion of how people like to get together and have book clubs or painting parties with wine. He paused and said he thinks he could market a "Coupons and Cocktails" evening. We had a good laugh.

I called my M and told her that I have an answer for her to tell people - not that I really care what they think - but the answer might be that I am doing really very well. My kids are thriving and I am making progress, in spite of all that life has thrown my way. They don't need to know any more than that. They don't need to feel sorry for me and if they somehow think less of me - they can pound salt. I really don't care.

I reminded my M that my Xh sold people lots of lies and there were plenty willing to buy his stories. I have learned to not care what those people think. It still hurts at times, but at the end of the day - I know my own truth and those who truly know me know who I am at my core. That is all that matters to me. Their opinions matter to me, even when they might have to give me a dose of honesty, I listen. Others who don't know me? My reputation is still important to me, I just don't worry about what everyone thinks, because some people are just going to judge based on their perception without truly knowing the reality. That, I don't have time or patience for.
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« Last Edit: June 13, 2021, 12:13:39 PM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#43: June 14, 2021, 06:16:20 AM
You make lemons out of lemonade?

THAT I'd like to see...

As for the reputation/opinion of others....

"You know what the difference is between your opinion and a Pizza? I asked for the Pizza."
"Opinions are like an anus. Everyone has one and all except one's own stink." (I had to find an acceptable term because the actual quote wouldn't fly)
"Hypocrisy is pointing out the speck in the eye of someone while ignoring the log in one's own."
"Someone else's opinion of you is really none of your business because it reflects their issues, not yours."

And I could go on...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#44: June 14, 2021, 09:53:43 AM
Why you may not realize, MD, is that some people actually CARE about how you are doing, but are afraid to approach and possibly embarrass you. There are differing kinds of people who will ask a relative or friend how someone is doing. Some would like to help if you need it but dont want to offer yard work if it would imply your yard looks bad. However if a relative or friend said "MD is doing very well, especially considering the things that have gone sideways in her house/life. While removing baseboards, there were screws in them that had been screwed into the water heating pipes, and what a mess that caused!" Then that person might come and ask if you needed an extra set of hands to help clean up.

This is a relatively new personal opinion of mine, but allowing others to help you is doing them a favor. I used to think I needed to do it all myself, but that was really because the people I had asked for help in the past were often screwed up people who had plenty of time to ask me for help, but no time to return any help. But I finally figured out through many conversations there are plenty of people who want to give back or give forward. When I can do it all, it makes them feel like they have nothing to contribute to my life.

I still feel weird needing help for so many things, but yesterday watching my two kids wrestle a window air conditioner into place, one that three years ago I'd have just lifted myself and put in without help, I realized that while this experience took all three of us (I had to guide, cut wood and explain shimming and weatherstripping),  the experience with all of us was more frustrating, more satisfying and far more memorable.

When people ask about you, give your mom and sister some non personal tales to tell. The screws in the baseboard story is hilariously appalling and invokes the feeling of "You gotta be kidding me" and "Really, something ELSE to fix?" in anyone who has ever been there. No judgment in most cases, just empathy.
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« Last Edit: June 14, 2021, 09:55:33 AM by OffRoad »
When life gives you lemons, make SALSA!

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#45: June 14, 2021, 01:27:49 PM
UrsaMajor - yes, I make lemons out of lemonade - I am that good. Hahaha. Oops. Okay, maybe I am not quite that good.  ;D

OffRoad - I do realize some people care about me. That is not what I was trying to convey. There is a difference between those people who are nosy and those who care and perhaps offer help. I am private, but I am not embarrassed or needing people to keep everything a secret about my situation. That is not what this is about at all.

First of all, it is about my mother's reaction and how my toxic aunt winds her up. That particular woman, she is a friend of my M's and is pleasant, but I don't really worry too terribly much about her opinions on certain matters. She knows my M, she doesn't truly know me.

In all honestly, this was more about my M being bothered by my aunt and suddenly worried about what to say about me. My M is too nice to her sister. It is pretty common knowledge that my aunt is jealous of my M and has always been that way. Just yesterday my aunt's response to my M and F going away wasn't "have a good time" or "how nice that you are getting away for awhile". Nope. Right away it was "my H and I can't go away because we don't have the money". Hmmm, and this is my M's problem why? So my M feels guilty. And then my F and I remind her that my aunt and uncle have always spent on things they want and just bought a brand new car. My aunt and uncle aren't exactly destitute.

My aunt is a negative, self-centered person when it comes down to it. Everyone always has it better than she does. Her own S once told me his M is very good at playing both sides. My aunt is a gossip and is just like my great aunt was. Toxic and just not pleasant to be around.

My M tries to reason with her. She tries to make excuses for her and I just no longer buy the excuses or explanations. The problem is, my M still loves her sister. I get that. But, my M is starting to see that my aunt likes to create drama and this is what the other day was about. My aunt has called me twice this week. I answered once. I know her game. She starts off with an innocent question or comment as if it is genuine and then she digs for intel. My sister and I joke that she should have gotten a job as an interrogator. She could make anyone break under pressure.

So this week, she didn't get anything from me, so she was working on my M. She is the one who wants to know how I am managing to not work and go on unemployment. Since her S just went through a divorce, my aunt is convinced I somehow landed some huge alimony settlement or something. Or she wants to know what I am up to. I keep telling my M it is none of my aunt's business and not to let my aunt make her feel like somehow she should be embarrassed about my life.

I just don't tolerate people's opinions that somehow make my M have to feel like she has to defend me.

I agree, the screws through the water heating pipes are really very funny. I laughed about it today when I went and ordered the table saw as my prize. The manager gave me a curious look when I said that was what I was getting, considering there are plenty of things to choose from. Don't think he expected the woman wearing full make up and stilettos to say that is what she wanted. LOL. It was a dress up day, what can I say? I showed him my indoor-outhouse and said I am looking forward to knocking out some of these projects.

I laugh at most of the things that go on. It is how I survive. I won't say it isn't embarrassing on a certain level. I don't feel like I can have people over to visit with the state of things at the moment. But, on the flip side, if anyone judges me for it then they don't know me at all. It is not like I have chosen to live this way. It is just the way it is right now and the pandemic made these projects all the more difficult to complete. Throw in the normal life events like kids and college and a surgery I hadn't seen coming and well, here we are.

I had my second post-op check up with my surgeon. We are at the 4 month mark and he asked how I was doing. My answer was "doing very well". He clearly liked that answer and reminded me that I still have to be mindful of lifting things that are too heavy. The conversation came around to him looking at the charts and saying he honestly doesn't understand how I was even managing with what was going on and it has been going on way longer than I suspected. I told him that I think the stress of the divorce and what lead up to it, etc probably made me think these aches and pains were associated with that. Other times I figured it was from my back injury when a kid rear-ended my car going 45 miles an hour. The fatigue and pain, I just chalked up to other things. He said from the final analysis, the fibroids and andermyosis were pushing on my spine and bladder like he hasn't seen. It explains so much now.

I do feel so much better and it has helped my mental state as well. I no longer feel like I am somehow imagining those former pains. I was dismissed by Xh and then the doctors. It becomes easy to think that you are imagining things. But, truth is, I know my body pretty well.

I am off to enjoy what is left of the day and I have a contractor coming to look at the soffits which need repaired. I am hoping to get that project scheduled soon. Small steps towards finishing those pesky projects I would like to have done.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#46: June 15, 2021, 05:46:08 AM

 ;D ;D ;D

Ah yes, the perineal "poop-stirrers" - the ones that live off of the drama they create in other people's lives... And you (and your mom too) have enough experience with Toxic Aunt to know her Modus Operandi.  Like you said though, it IS your mother's sister and of course, there is a desire to maintain a good relationship among the siblings.... That does NOT mean that everything that TA puts out has to be accepted... not every call has to be answered... not every question (digging for dirt) has to be responded to.. sort of like dealing with a Mid-Lifer...

Mom, though, needs to learn to NOT let TA get her wound up ...

I am REALLY glad that the surgery and everything really worked and solved the problems that were happening. It is odd that, when we are int eh thick of the MLC-tornado, we often do not even recognize stuff like that or, as you did, chalk it up as a result of the  rest of the Hades we are going through at that moment...
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« Last Edit: June 15, 2021, 05:47:56 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
Site Map
 
A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

M
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#47: June 17, 2021, 11:11:10 AM
UrsaMajor - See, now I am laughing thinking how I should tell my M to let everyone know I am opening up a lemonade stand on the corner as my new business endeavor.  ::) LOL.

I was booking my appointment for my yearly physical and opened up my health account associated with my doctors. Seeing all of the visits and follow ups, etc was a little jarring for me. I knew I had been bouncing between offices, but wow. Funny to compare the activity on my account this past year with prior years, where all seemed good and they were just routine visits and the occasional sinus infection or something. I wasn't even sure based on the history when my last "routine" visit had been with my GP. I am seeing her in a couple of weeks and hopefully that will just put me back on schedule. I am very spontaneous about life, but there are some things I like to just keep on a regular schedule of sorts.

It makes me laugh when I think back to the MLCer accusing me of having no set plan or schedule at all. It wasn't that way at all. Yes, I can and have flown by the seat of my pants, and I wasn't regimented like he was in terms of structure. I know it was part of his nature, but also ingrained in him having been raised in a household where his M adopted his F's military regime across the board. Xh relaxed some over the years, but at times his need for complete control in life kicked in. It was then he couldn't deal with any chaos, and like it or not, when you have young kids, there is chaos that occurs and not necessarily because of their doing. Things like baseball games and ballet performances that overlapped because the baseball game had to be rescheduled due to a rain out, etc. There were times when those moments would set Xh into overdrive and he had to work on not letting it throw him off.

Or when he was under a deadline for a client. He had a hard time turning off that aspect when he got home. And, we all knew it and accepted it. It wasn't like we tiptoed, it was more of anticipating it and working together to give Xh time to decompress and knowing he just needed time to change gears. When it crossed into a realm of "that isn't going to fly" I would let him know.

But, once FIL moved in that began to change. And then add MLC. Forget it.

MLC brought on this very odd mix. On the one hand, at home he wanted things to be run like some machine. Before any vacation, he suddenly would demand that the house should be spotless before we went anywhere. The kids and I knew that the first 2 hours of any trip would be miserable during this time period because Xh was an absolute a$$. Then by the second hour, he would ease into it and have a good vacation. And, he had no sense of humor about anything or patience.

One of the last trips we took, we stopped for gas. We had taken my car and I asked him to grab the spare key before we left, just in case. We were traveling through several states and we used to bring the spare keys just in case. I asked him if he had remembered to grab them and he got angry with me and I didn't really get an answer. He wanted me to drive, as he was going to sleep along the way. That was a bit odd, as he liked to drive the first leg always and then we would switch places at the midpoint. I was pumping gas and he grabbed the keys to open the trunk. Funny when I think about it, because we had a switch inside the car and it was a fob, so he could have pushed the button, but whatever. He threw my keys back in the car on the seat and slammed the door. The kids went to use the bathroom. He went and got himself a snack at the store. Nothing for the rest of us. The problem is, unbeknownst to any of us, he hit the door locks and locked the keys inside the car. He was pissed. How could I do that - lock the keys in the car? The kids and I were both standing there completely shocked. Oh, and he hadn't grabbed the spare keys, so he found someone at the gas station to help pop the locks, even though I wanted to call AAA because I had roadside assistance. The kid didn't want to ruin my door, but Xh grabbed the bar and pried the dang lock. The door got badly scratched on the top and never sealed right after that. But what did he care?

When these types of mishaps happened in the past, Xh would maybe get upset, but he would eventually joke about them. They were part of our adventures. That trip and mishap - nope. If it was brought up, he would get angry and blame me for the whole fiasco. In the past, it didn't matter whose fault it might have been because it was more about how funny it was now. Just like the 3 inch screws in the heat pipes are to me now. It is a rather funny story in terms of my bathroom looking like it had been in a ship wreck with all of the water that poured down from D's room.

The reason I have been thinking about this is because, yes, the pain I was experiencing, I think was just masked by the other stresses going on. My needs and any pain I was having were just not allowed. And some of that is my own fault. I was so consumed by Xh and his antics, that I ignored my own health beyond my mental health. Now looking back, it explains so much in terms of additional fatigue and weight gain that I couldn't explain. Everyone just kept telling me I was getting older and blah, blah, blah. Then when I lost way too much weight, it was due to BD #1 followed by the second one, and that was all nerves. It was not a healthy way to lose and that made things worse. When I leveled out, the weight still clung even when I was walking nearly 5 miles daily. It made no sense. Now, I am slowly dropping weight, in a healthy manner and my body is adjusting. If I can get back to my regular walks, I should be able to at least fall into a weight I am more comfortable with.

Yesterday, I met my sister for our walk. She set the watch for after we left the bakery. We had already walked nearly a mile, but we didn't count that.  From the bakery to our final stopping point, we hit nearly 6 and a half miles. Remarkably, I wasn't wiped out later in the day and I was thinking about how it got so I couldn't even walk to my parent's house without being in pain or fatigued. Insane.

My sister was asking me about one of the places I had gone with my visitor and she said I clearly enjoyed myself. What was amusing her though was there has been a man that we have seen at the bakery for several weeks in a row. It is his routine to get a cup of coffee and sit and do work. He reminded me of Xh in some ways - that is the Xh of pre MLC era and more like when he and I first met. My sister has noted it as well. At the time I had mentioned it, I wasn't looking at him with any interest, etc. It was just something about him made me think of Xh. His mannerisms, and way he dressed for work. He is close to my age and a good looking guy. Yesterday, he was in line in front of my sister and I. We were busy joking. We were looking at the cookies which had simple signs on them like "chocolate chip", etc. We decided those could not be a breakfast item no matter how much we tried to convince ourselves. Then we started laughing about a cookie that sat alone in the cookie mix. It was gluten free, vegan and I don't know what all the sign said. It just struck me as funny at the time. And, I am not judging those who need or are seeking those particular aspects - I am a "you do you" type of person. For me though, I was just laughing at this long list of what the cookie was not and the much larger sign for this particular cookie. It wasn't about the cookie as much as the description by then. The gentleman turned and laughed and said he would need a shot of whiskey to be convinced to even try that cookie, as it really was starting to sound like the "anti-cookie".

He held the conversation for awhile and then they told him his order was up. As my sister and I were waiting, and I was telling her about my trip she was smirking. I was oblivious. When we left the bakery and started on our walk, she informed me that I clearly had a nice weekend because I was so completely oblivious that she said he kept trying to get my attention while we were sitting nearby. She found this incredibly amusing. I tried to tell her maybe he was trying to get her attention. Yah, she is not buying that at all.  ::)

This lead my sister to ask me about a conversation that had upset me last week. It was the Toxic Aunt phone call that I answered. She had gone on a whole lecture on how I don't know what it is like to be lonely. I have my kids. It was in response to her D, who is married and her H is just like every guy she ever dated. I was informed that I would pick on the exact same type of guy. Just wait until I date, blah, blah, blah. I was angry and yet, part of me was laughing to myself. I told her that my cousin never took a breather or did any work on herself or step back to look at why she picks the same type of guy. She is in fact the common thread in her many relationships over the years. And, it is the reason, I don't tell my aunt much of anything. She has no idea about who I spend my time with on any level. I don't tell her for instance I am meeting my high school friend for dinner tomorrow night, even though my aunt knows who she is. And, it is not that I don't tell people things. I am private, but not so private that all of my life is a secret somehow. I just guard those people in my inner circle from people like my Toxic Aunt.

My sister's question was one of if I was in that mindset, that is just date, would I have avoided that guy at the bakery completely because of how there were things that reminded me of Xh or would I find it attractive. And, my sister knows me well enough to know that I have never been one to pick a "type" in terms of looks. Oh, sure there are things that appeal to me physically, but I don't typically have some checklist.

I had a hard time answering her only because I tend to focus on one person at a time if there is something that intrigues me. I am not and have never been a person that could date multiple people at once. So, I had to really step outside of my normal self.

The man at the bakery, I would have to get to know slowly. I know that for sure. I would not be okay with someone just giving me their number or something like that. That would be flattering, but would also make me uncomfortable in some ways. And, I can be very assertive when I want to be.

I also would not be drawn to someone just because he looked or behaved like Xh used to, nor would I be put off by it. The truth is, I know that I am sure there are things that I probably would be and am drawn to that maybe one could say are similar attributes to Xh. The thing is I don't have a checklist going on.

There are things that I know I could never put up with again. I have changed too much. There are things I no longer have to have in my life. I don't have this need to go to fancy resorts and live that life. Been there, done that. So, I don't miss the materialistic aspect which Xh was always drawn more to. I liked those things and they are nice, but I think I don't want someone who needs those things like Xh did.

I told my sister that I think I am drawn to character more than anything. And prior to MLC, Xh had integrity and was honest. He was fun to be around for a very long time. He was responsible and a good dad. All of those traits, I no longer see in Xh. Those are important to me. But, I want to feel secure now. A comfort that maybe Xh and I didn't have for a very long time. In part a comfort to be myself, who I have become now. And, that means having someone secure enough to be okay with all of my flaws and imperfections as a human being. I am a work in progress and am willing to make changes as I learn, but I won't twist myself in knots and lose myself entirely ever again, I have promised myself that.

That guy in the bakery. IDK. Maybe he would be someone who would embrace just stopping along the way and going on an impromptu hike. I have no desire to find out at this point. Right now, I am just enjoying the fact that I am on a path and I am not sure where it leads, but when I have driven past one of the places I have been with this other person, I find myself smiling. That is way more intriguing than some random guy at the bakery. I just don't care to meander from my current path just because there is someone else trying to get my attention. I don't work that way. Never have.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#48: June 18, 2021, 02:07:56 AM
At first I was thinking Sis was going to activate Velociraptor mode (which she did a bit) but her question is interesting...

Your reply to the Toxic Auntie is perfect and I am SURE that she didn't want to hear that her little "precious" was at least partly responsible for her own misery... Responsibility for one's own choices... What a concept! ::)
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Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#49: June 18, 2021, 09:34:18 PM
UrsaMajor - My sister likes to engage in Velociraptor antics sometimes. We laugh most of the time and this was not a serious conversation as such, but it was an intriguing conversation. In many ways, it is good when she asks those types of things, because it is not something I have really been conscious of. It wasn't upsetting in any way and it is a fair question to ask if seeing someone who had some very similar qualities to Xh affected me in any way. Before she asked, I hadn't really thought about it. After our conversation, I can honestly say I noticed him, but he wasn't difficult to miss for a variety of reasons. One being this last time him engaging in conversation with us. But, I had noticed him. I just hadn't somehow lingered in a gaze or thought too much about it other than being struck by how he was dressed and his mannerisms were very similar to Xh's. Yet, strangely, it didn't illicit any emotional response. It was almost like seeing someone who say resembled a celebrity and you do a double take and realize that it is just someone who looks like them.

In this case, I can say I was neither drawn to him nor was I somehow upset that he had things that were reminiscent of Xh. It was really a huh moment. If anything, after my sister asked, I simply thought about how this man had a calmness about him much like Xh used to. It didn't make me somehow miss those days with Xh. It really was almost like recounting a memory of having gone on a trip somewhere and then returning years later to realize that the place has changed and no longer has the same charm. Fond memory, but in the past and you can't go back and wouldn't want to go back.

As for Toxic Aunt- she is leaving me alone, which is usually what happens when I get a bit sassy with her. She backs off for a time. I try not to be mean to her, but I also don't allow her to play her games. I have learned how to deal with her and not get pulled into her drama riptide.

My sister came to see me at work today. She came in the gallery and had this funny look on her face. She had stopped to get me a latte and said I was never going to guess who she ran into while getting my coffee. Hmmm. No clue. My X-SIL and her partner. She said right away the partner came up and gave her a big hug and asked how she was. They talked for awhile and before leaving the partner asked her to tell me she said hello and to give me a hug. My X-SIL - yah, she was her usual self and my sister had her D with her. My X-SIL said she believed the last time she saw my niece was at D's graduation. My sister didn't correct her, but my niece laughed when she told me that there was no way my X-SIL saw her at D's graduation considering she was not there. She is correct. I only had a limited number of tickets and my sister and nephew came. X-SIL - she wasn't there at all. The last time I had seen X-SIL would have been back in 2016, when S graduated. I haven't seen her since then. D graduated 2 years later. Of course, my sister said she was nice, but she laughed when she told me, as she is sure I am not surprised that the partner - who was always someone I admired was her usual sincere self and X-SIL, was well, X-SIL.

It would turn out that D had just missed encountering X-SIL. She had called to tell me she was at the coffee shop. I told her she had literally just missed X-SIL. D said she was glad that reunion didn't happen because she wasn't really in a mood to pretend all is good between them. It's not. She would have given her "aunt" - the partner a big hug, as she has been consistent, but X-SIL - the last time we heard from her was about wanting the cookbook that D was given from MIL when she died.

None of this ruined my day. X-SIL is back in the area. I am not changing my routines. I am not going to avoid going to the coffee shop now nor do I need to be territorial at all. Back when BD hit, I did my best to avoid her at all costs. She is like my Toxic Aunt and always was. I just didn't know how to deal with her back then. Now - I am in a better head space to not let her BS affect me.

I honestly was feeling pretty blessed this afternoon. I had received a note from a former student that he wanted to share something with me. I had worked with him for a couple of years to try and work on reeling in his passion. He was a kid who had good ideas and opinions, but he was young and often argued to try and get his point across. It was one afternoon when he had a very passionate letter written that he was ready to send off and I stopped him. He was fired up and I didn't tell him, but at the time, his gripe was really very valid. I simply told him that his letter had a tone that felt like it was an attack. I had him imagine if I came at him and took a tone that was adversarial. He said his response would be to automatically go into defensive mode. It had nothing to do with art class, but he did listen to me and at the time my coworker who told him I was trying to help him. He matured and took the advice to heart. He contacted me the other night and wanted me to see he had been interviewed on national TV. It made me so proud, but not because of his point of view. I wrote him back and said that he voiced his opinion in a very mature, factually based argument that made me so incredibly proud of him. He took his passion for the subject and presented it in a really persuasive, yet not adversarial manner.

It was in some ways the same feeling I had when S called me later. He didn't tell me what had happened right away. He lead with "thank you for sometimes being strict with D and I. We knew our boundaries and for that I am so grateful".  He said I was the laid back parent most times, but he knew that there were some things that would never have flown and I would not hesitate to punish the kids by taking things away, etc. I laughed and asked him what that was about.

It would seem someone decided to use my parent's mailbox for batting practice this afternoon. It was fine this morning when I checked on their house, but sometime between 9 am and 5 pm the mailbox was smashed. When I came home from having dinner with my friend, S met me and at first I wondered if someone had been distracted while driving and hit the mailbox, but then S showed me the tire marks and he is right, there is a definite baseball bat type indentation at the point of impact. S laughed and said he goofed around when he was a teenager, but he would have never destroyed other people's property and while he knew Xh would have been upset, he said making me angry takes a lot and that would have done it. He said he was sure had he done something like that I would have made him replace the mailbox, even installing it and then he would have been without a driver's license for an extended time. I laughed and told him he was probably correct.

S is very upset about the whole situation. I told him I would deal with it and had already spoken to the sheriffs office. They were on a call in the area, but I said it could wait until morning and I would file a report then. I just know from experience that it probably means that there is a group of kids that are bored and this is just the start of one of those summers where they start with batting practice on mailboxes and it escalates. They have been cooped up for so long that they are squirrelly. I get it, but doesn't mean I am putting up with it.

When I came home I had a notice from Facebook. I opened it up and found a public post from another one of my former students. I haven't had her as a student in a couple of years, but she graduated last night. She put up a post that mentioned some of her teachers and all they did for her. At the end of it, she wrote that she especially wanted to thank me for pushing her creative imagination and she now can draw portraits of people.

I wanted to cry. She was so stubborn and believed she wasn't able to do anything artistic. She was going into computers and she didn't think she was able to draw, etc. I remember telling her that I wasn't trying to make her into an artist and sometimes it is about learning to see things and that would benefit her in her endeavors. She got so she liked drawing and creating things. She was actually very good at it. But, wow, what a battle. And the very first few times I encountered her, she was a tough nut to crack and I am not sure she was terribly fond of me. But it would be a few weeks in where she wanted to learn and would often speak up and tell the students that were misbehaving to knock it off and be respectful because I was trying to teach them things. By the end of her second year of knowing me, she was always quick to greet me in the morning and share what she had been working on.

I was telling my sister about it and she said it has to make me feel good knowing I made a difference. I guess so - but what makes me happier is both of these kids are kids who came from some pretty bad home situations. What makes me feel good is knowing that they started believing in themselves and I can see both of them doing so well down the road.

Yes, the acknowledgment is nice. It is a form of validation and maybe I need that sometimes. It hasn't been easy not being in the classroom. This whole shutdown and my situation has made me wonder what is next and sometimes I question my own abilities in that arena. I think sometimes I still fight to hold onto that self confidence that Xh in MLC crushed. I have had to really dig deep and dust it off, but sometimes I still struggle a little.
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