Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Midlife Crisis => Our Community => Topic started by: terra on November 20, 2020, 06:39:31 AM

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 20, 2020, 06:39:31 AM
A new thread. May it be the golden one.

I am going to keep posting but a little more vaguely as things with h have got weird. Thank you from all of my being, for being along with me as it did.

There are two things — well, a lot of things, but these two stand out — I understand more clearly since last night. One is that those of you who have been married for decades are experiencing something a little harder than what I’ve gone through with h, and at the same time, because of the duration and nature of your married life, you may be filtering it all through a lens I don’t and can’t really access.

People firetruck up. It’s not really feasible in contemporary times to avoid that. And when they firetruck up, it might be not a case of mental illness or MLC but just the way humans peak and valley over the course of a lifetime. The time you have given to your one beloved spouse has been generous and kind, and invaluable. Don’t you ever criticize yourself or break yourself into pieces over what mistakes you made in your long marriage. Those are the natural peaks and valleys of a lifetime, too.

For those of us who married late or twice or more and didn’t have long time with the spouse to know and fully grow with them, it’s a bit of a different story and maybe many bits of many more stories. Not just of a husband or wife or two but of many more intimacies and relational patterns and upsets, and somewhat, recoveries. It doesn’t mean our marriages were lesser or that we are better at recovering, because they aren’t and we probably also aren’t. It just means we had shorter ones and are maybe stuck between “oh this again??” and “I am probably never going to get this right”.

But it also does mean that we may see more in the overall story, ours or yours, simply by the dubious virtue of having seen and lived more stories.

I have to tell you, those of you whose marriages are long, I have so much love for your marriages and for you. It isn’t a romantic thing but just a life one; you and your spouse, whatever happened or happens, made a thing together that was good and invaluable and life sustaining. Literally life sustaining. That’s a measure of God’s will and love and protections, and from another perspective here I want you to always know how important that is, and how important you are.

You all are lighthouses. Whether you Stand or not is not the most important thing. What’s most important is that for all the time in your marriage when things were ok or bad or beautiful, you Stood. You Stood every day and night, even as you slept. That’s remarkable, if you think on it. That’s amazing.

Commitment is beautiful and you did a good job. You made an art of it. Listen to me: I mean it. Don’t you ever get down on yourself for what wasn’t good. Do the math sometime. Imagine if you were paid a dollar for every minute, every second. Your marriage was and is worth quite a lot, and only because you were in it.

You.

Those of us whose marriages were late or second or third or shorter, we know all kinds of things you might not. Myself, I wouldn’t say these things are good. Mostly they are confusing and sow a lot of self-doubt and shame.

But one thing I know is that even the MLC is just the peaks and valleys of the course of a lifetime. Life isn’t simple, although it should be. And especially this year is particularly hard for everyone alive, married or not. So please understand that what’s happening isn’t you and isn’t your fault and in fact probably isn’t even ever totally final, unless you decide that it is.

People firetruck up, in really, really horrible ways, and then if humanly possible they often come back. While they are away, just let them be away. Focus on you most of all, and on your children and other loved ones. Stay You, Stand for You.

I looked at all my camera roll favorites last night and saw at what I think is probably/maybe a final deepest rupture between me and h, that the two plus years since I last saw him have actually been outrageously deeply beautiful. There has been so much love here and it’s visible right in the palm of my hand. H was gone and is gone and was awful and has been AWOL and good again and terribly mean and cold — but there has been so much love here anyway, every day, every night, even when I am alone.

This has been a terrible two years and 2020 has been a survival effort every day and night. One benefit you long-marrieds have had is the one wherein having a primary attachment in adulthood means the very rhythms of your physiology have been regulated just by the natural and continuous presence and proximity of that person. The biggest and worst harm of this pandemic year may turn out to be that those who are sheltering alone may come out of it very emotionally and physically dysregulated. It won’t mean anyone is mentally ill; it may mean they are medically compromised. Touch deprivation qualifies as actual abuse. So many people will be coming out of it very traumatized as well.

Hug whoever is in your bubble. A lot. Hug them a lot. Because they need it, and so do you.

And look toward the coming care systems. Out of all this and no matter when your spouse defected or how long it’s been since you were last held by safe adult arms, all the world has suffered these deprivations in some way since the virus was identified. So one way to think of it all may be that now is a good time for you to be here, examining your marriage, spouse, and Self, and learning what it is You want and really need and can do, for You.

Caring for yourself now is going to make a difference in every one of us alive at this time. Think of it that way. It’s not that you owe it to anyone; it’s that whatever you do in the spirit of care for Self is going to make it a little bit easier for anyone watching to also move forward.

People really screw up and hurt themselves and others. And then come back, not necessarily to do it again but because they need and they do love. While they are away, you need You. Love *You*. Just keep doing that. It may take a learning curve, but it’s worth it.

It’s ok if you decide you don’t want anymore of the sh!tshow or screwed up dynamic. You do get to choose. And it’s not a decision you need to justify, whatever you decide.

Marriage has its benefits and we all know that. Having more than one or having a broader span of experiences relationally doesn’t really mean anything, either, although maybe it results in some different insight, not unlike passport travel or being a food taster or, you know. Some people may be wandering or restless spirits; that happens with trauma sometimes. And some, even active and adventurous, accomplished and well-informed, are also the rock or the root or the lighthouse or core. Maybe we are all a little or a lot of both at the same time, I don’t know. I just know that marriage is also often as hard as it is beneficial, and people sometimes really firetruck up and can’t even explain why.

*

The other thing I know, after last night, is that the woman h left me for is now going to have be the one to absorb all the costs of his choices. Because besides him, she is the only person who has really benefited from them.

*

The title is after a song that was released last night. This is a gift, from D and me to you, one that we didn’t originate but that we are passing along because we trust it, and the souls who gave it to us.

When you’re ready, watch and listen. I am sure you won’t be sorry.

https://youtu.be/-5q5mZbe3V8

And when you’re ready, too, the lyrics translation:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/genius.com/amp/Genius-english-translations-bts-life-goes-on-english-translation-lyrics

Life goes on.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 20, 2020, 07:26:04 AM
I’m reducing my intake of MLC-specific input lately and especially now that a different and heavier life event is coloring h’s expression. It’s weird to say but at least death is factual and the resulting grief is better known or acknowledged as valuable and normal, with more readily available instruction and support.

People still suck at it though, grieving when someone has died. I’ve been at it for 40+ years and that is my observation and judgement, in the still-resident inner 10-year-old.

This morning I looked to see what internet says about how a parent death impacts an affair. Just for kicks. It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t, I was just curious and so I asked.

The truth is that our grief display is going to come out at whoever is near or nearest. H is angry. It may be ok that he is angry at me for the comparatively smaller thing he is angry at me about. I know his anger at me is partly a means of feeling something other than the raw awful astonishment of his parent loss. He has also said with clear self awareness — prior to the singular focus this past week — that the anger or needless fighting is so that he can just feel *something*. Anything, at all.

So, death. A death loss is going to kick up all kinds of buried stuff, and will hurt, and it’s anyone’s guess how that will be expressed.

I am very, very peaceful about death matters. Those are close to my core and I have been dressed in all of it a long time, almost like I was born to it. It makes me a bit of a spooky person and also a bit aloof; people have called me ethereal, even in corporeal form, which, I don’t disagree. Maybe just a different kind. But also kind.

It’s ok if all the bull of him charges and rages and then rests, in the china shop of someone different. She’s not me and the china shop allusion isn’t about ethnicity; I have no clue who or what she is or looks like or comes from. I only know that I am valuable and a bit delicate and fragile in my own life as it is or has been. So if there’s going to be destruction, even if there is comfort after any clean up, that can happen in the house he made instead of here in the one that he left.

On grieving the loss:

https://www.affairrecovery.com/newsletter/founder/infidelity-betrayal-grieving-the-loss
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 20, 2020, 08:38:58 AM
What I also know, since last night:

There are any number of things that I will only ever say in person, now, to h. Not that they need to be said, or said aloud at all, but that nothing of the sort will be said in texts maybe ever again.

This isn’t because they could or would be used against me.

It’s because these are the things that a wife says to the husband under her own roof. Things of quietness and care and good humor, the kind only he would ever “get” or need or understand.

It doesn’t matter what he does today or any other day. I’m good.

As for the woman he lives with, and the thing he is mad at me about, I don’t think his father ever saw the then or future good of us as us being a couple who would build business legacy together. We were good because it was about love and about the good of the children.

FIL really loved all the children.

I know they all miss him; they loved him too.

It didn’t and doesn’t make him a saint, but it’s important. Not everyone loves all the children or even any, and some who might aren’t always loved back. He did and he was.

I know FIL wanted that his son should feel and be loved and happy. If the woman h left me for does that for him, at this point I confess I am all for it. I want him to be loved and happy, too. That doesn’t have to come from me, I know.

It does have to come from within himself, though. I know that also. And that’s the trick of it. If we can’t love the Self that we are, foremost and at the root, from what I have seen all along that lack of Self love results in a life that is just, chronically,

m i s
e r
a
b l e .

That’s not how I live, even if some days are wastelands and some nights are centuries long. So I’ve wondered about that, too, this week. How aside from the grief, and aside from midlife or any physical or financial pains, what is it like to live alongside a person who might not see its own goldenness and strength and sweetness and value?

I mean, I already know what that’s like. I’ve lived it even if sometimes it’s me who is the miserable one. But now that I know certain truths about me and remember that I *like* me and *love* me and truly enjoy myself?

What would it be like, really, to live alongside a person who couldn’t see their own deep value, or even, who doesn’t want to?

Not that I have anything figured out. Just, taking the space I’ve been given, to think on what will work for me going forward.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Seahorse on November 22, 2020, 07:27:03 AM
Terra - -
Following along on your new thread...
The video "Life Goes On" was really well done, and I enjoyed watching it.  Thank you for sharing.

I also have to admit that the beginning of your thread made me cry.  Cry for my loss of my single, long-term marriage.  You made me feel different and unique, cared for.  I am absent physical touch, and got a hand massage the other day and thought that I was in heaven!  Now that S19 is moving back home (because covid), at least i get daily hugs from him...  It's been nice.

As always, your musings and contemplations are so deep...
One thing that resonated with me is the fact that you're happy that H's loved, and that it doesn't have to be you.
I'm not sure that I'm there yet.
I don't think that anyone could love H the way the I did.  And I say "did" because my love for him now is different than it was when we "fell in love". 
I honestly don't believe that ow loves him to the capacity the I did/do.  Maybe I'm too haughty, but I truly don't think it's possible. 

I look forward to following along...
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on November 22, 2020, 08:11:13 AM
Hello,

Quote
I know FIL wanted that his son should feel and be loved and happy. If the woman h left me for does that for him, at this point I confess I am all for it. I want him to be loved and happy, too.

Yes, your heart is in the right place in regards to letting go. Wish your h the best and detach. However, your h does not love and is not happy.

Quote
and the thing he is mad at me about,

If he was so happy, why have anger towards you. I'm not angry with my ex anymore. No more rages or anger. She may have a boyfriend or not- I don't care. I am in a house filled with love and that love nurtures and sustains me. Just like you, I am at the point where I can wish my ex the very best and let it go.

But your h hasn't and that is why he still lashes out at you. The demons that haunt his heart are still there and no one, you, OW, or I can exorcise him of his spirits- it is up to him alone to fight them or at least recognize the terrible things they can make him do.

Love is important, but you can neither receive or give love until you have it for yourself.

Ow may give love, but he doesn't feel it, he doesn't believe it.

Your h is a charmer, and from my perspective, his ability to capture the attention of others is more important than having a sustaining relationship with one.

So why is he angry at you? Because despite all the charm and quick wit, the deceptive smiles and winks, when the mask comes off, he is a monster. He would like to hide the monster that he can be and he truly believes that the only person that knows the real him, the real person behind the mask, that knows his sins- is you.

And that is the anger and the source that fuels his attacks on you is fear.

(((((Ready))))
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: in it on November 22, 2020, 09:11:29 AM
Whew!
That last paragraph Ready wrote could not be more true.

These types think they can start over..clean slate because this next person doesn't know them like you do. All the things they have done will just go away.

They think it will be better with this next person. No it won't, the same thing will happen to the next person. They will do the same thing.

Because your H has not changed. And he's not going to. This kind of behavior works for him. Gets him what he wants.
His demons are not yours to deal with.
He fears you because you know him.
Who he is at his core.

But its twisted because I think he sees you as a safe person to target. And why is that? Because you put up with it.

Again all I can tell you is stay with no contact.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 22, 2020, 02:31:55 PM
Sea, Ready, in it, thank you. I had to take a day off from this yesterday and by the end of it, I took a Valium and went to bed really early and didn’t wake until after the sun had already been up for a while. You folks and the ones “backstage” in PMs this past week have been a real blessing for me.

I think the latest go-round with h, and the life event it centered on, really has clarified some of the issues that aren’t likely to be reconciled. He’s going at me for $$$ when he’s moneyed enough and repartnered and well-stationed where he is; he knows the circumstances here have been poor since he left. I have a real problem with men hassling me about money. I also have a problem with his doing so while D is still in my home and care; he knows what it’s like to live on nothing while trying to keep a child nourished and sheltered. These two problems, I’m pretty angry about and astonished, too.

What I know is that it’s been abuse and that his father’s death doesn’t give him any right or excuse to do it.

A third and major problem, I realized instantly upon waking yesterday, is that S told him what he needed and wanted, and was brave and clear enough to argue and plead for it, and h told him no and flew back to ow.

This might have hit differently if h were flying back to any other state, but it happens to be the one my parents all defected to. I realized that history aside, I side with children and will always advocate for them, even and maybe sometimes especially the newly adult ones. H overriding S’s need in time of grief doesn’t sit well with me, I don’t respect the reasons given, and in previous years this was reason for me to ditch a few friends permanently, my mother too. So I’m at some resolved place, now, and I understand it’s no longer my story to negotiate or navigate. H is on his own; he can struggle or soar through it with the woman he left me for.

I actually have been sitting here composing various petitions in my head. The divorce petition, a TRO petition, maybe or maybe not a responding statement to whatever formal declaration he might make about the one thing he is fixating at me on.

I understand that I know a lot about him, enough that he maybe ought to be afraid. Today I understood that really, if he were to file police reports or lawsuit?! there is plenty I could counter with, to dismiss it and also get him into a lot of heat where he lives, and maybe financially too.

It strikes me as weird, to have clarity and that much potential power over somebody else, and weird also that I have zero even reactionary impulse/reflex to do anything to him. But, you know. If it comes to that, there it is.

I took that pill last night because the dog is driving me crazy, on top of all this from h. I seriously cannot wait for the vet appointment; I don’t know what is up with this animal.

I had actually spent yesterday morning suddenly aware of how a lot of my own focus in the years h has been gone, all converge finally on one gentle place in me. And how to leverage that into something good for others, all others, and how pertinent it is for right now. So I got to sketching and storyboarding and have a loose but clear plan. It won’t pay the rent but it will pay for all the other basic needs, and it will be good.

Something about that was really the thing that people say — that when you let go of the wrong things, the right things show up. In this case, whatever I felt obliged assigned or willing to do for or with h, suddenly traded out for my own creativity and peace, a new thing that might be loved and needed by people I don’t even know.

I went to bed last night feeling relieved that he apparently had taken a day off too. Somewhere in all the multiple texts daily since whenever he started on me, he did say he would be at me every day until I do what he has asked. So last night I felt relieved. And I’m glad I did, because I slept really well, and finally long enough to seem normal again.

Of course first thing this morning I see he texted sometime after I went to bed. I thought about this for a while, and then in the middle of some other task, I decided to just block him.

Do you know, here it is some four hours later and right now at the top of my SMS there is another text from the area code he lives in? And a business-like email from his “business only” email account, today, too.

Listen. You can pretend this is only business. But who does business like this on a Sunday.

So I’m still just not answering. This all feels very much like when I was married before and the person turned out to be prone to actual diagnosable psychotic episodes. And this feels identical to weathering through those. I finally understand that when I truly can’t even begin to wrap my head around what someone is saying or doing, it’s usually because they have gone all the way off the rails.

So I’m not even going to try. I notice the simple fact of that other SMS and the “business” email account showing up today does bug me. But I’m still not going to respond.

One thing I am glad to be able to say: I never really feared that he would physically harm me. He’s a beautiful person somewhere underneath all this, and is not about physical brutality. He’s cunning and likes psychological combat, though, and so although I don’t fear being physically hurt, I know I have to keep a hard boundary around me and D anyway. Probably permanently.

On loving him and wanting him to be/feel loved and to have a happy life: I don’t know why it has been him that I’ve loved so deeply. In retrospect it may just have been the right timing — D and S were both very young when we met. I was full of love anyway, with never-ending replenishments of even more. It’s possible I could have loved or perceived anyone, then, the way I loved and perceived h. Which is a little strange to realize. The human body and brain do some interesting things, chemically, and maybe being a fairly new mother was part of why I bonded the way I did.

I’m still capable of it, but at this point I get that it is more psychological than physiological now. And more a habit than anything exactly deserved. So guess what: I get to break or subvert that, and I know it.

I don’t like a cold or stiff approach, in relating. That’s what he’s sticking to now, no matter what, and that he’s doing it every day, I am ok disregarding whatever my former feelings were.

Yesterday it really struck home that sometimes we think we love someone so much, when really it might be more true that we love the person we are, when loving them.

I did love him and I did love S, and at this point and under the circumstances, there isn’t really anything I can do about it.

If he lived in this house, I would have him carted off to hospital by the police, for a psychiatric examination and 72-hour hold. Instead I am just blocking the line. I let D know the other night that he may push this to LE and if he does that’s fine. But if LE shows up here, I told her, I just want you to know it’s not a surprise to me, I’m not going to jail or anything, I’m not in any wrong, and it’s just a thing that can happen in a life. I am not worried so don’t you be either. It’s just a thing where maybe we learn new information about how things work.

On the woman he lives with: I think he must be kinder or at least nice to her. Why else would she be there? So it’s good that she’s there, or that someone is, anyway. He’s 2500 miles away from home and family. It’s pretty there, but it’s COVID time. I can’t imagine being there that way, and trying to cope “alone” with father loss.

My mother suffered a legit nervous breakdown in those circumstances. At about the same age, too, I think.

That’s ok.

I no longer begrudge him the choices he’s made or is making. I can’t imagine what it’s like to live with them, though.

Thank you again for reading along and for comments. It’s clear to me that there’s a lot of weird about him right now and so your words and insights are a big help and comfort.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 23, 2020, 08:19:54 AM
This morning up again before the sun. I’d love to find a way to just sleep until it has risen; I think I got about six hours last night, if that, and it doesn’t feel like enough. It rained overnight, though, so that’s nice. Yesterday when D was getting ready for outdoor friend date with her select person, she asked me — the same way we discuss wearing another layer during whatever weather — if she should take a shower. One of those things where you don’t need to but it might be nice but it also isn’t necessary so you’re on the fence, and someone else’s input might help you make the decision either way.

I told her I was outside earlier and it was 36°F.

We both laughed and the shower was not taken.

This child wears the clothes I bought over 20 years ago and the face and physique and mentality I had at her age. She presents visually and energetically as a woman in her twenties, and mid to late twenties, at that. It’s really weird and wondrous and scary, to notice that really, she’s not too far off from that decade. S is already there and he carries himself older too, I saw recently.

This morning I thought to h,

I’m sorry you are far away from S and me right now. I’m sorry this upcoming holiday will be so different from any other year.

I think it must be very hard, to be that far away from family, during a time like this and during this time of year especially. So I’m sorry that you are.

*

My mother had a legit nervous breakdown in those circumstances, at about h’s age. My own age.

This morning when that above thought about distance came out of my heart like the voice of my own grandmother, I remembered the year both grandparents died.

And I remembered that that year, when they did and I was so far away from family, I had a legit breakdown too.

It’s nothing I can do anything about, if h does. Last night he blustered that he had no problem coming out here to take care of the issue he is going at me about. I copied it to the contact log. This morning I notice the math doesn’t wash; he is ranting about $$$ when it would take $$$$ to travel.

I kind of think he is already tailspinning. I also think if money is the issue, which I know full well it isn’t, he ought to save the trip here and apply the effort and funds instead to go be with S.

The funny and sad part is that with FIL gone, and MIL absorbed into the nest of siblings and grandchildren, and S home with his mom, xw — there isn’t anywhere for h to land. There’s no root, no nest, no soft place.

That’s why I went down, the year that I did. It was a million years ago, but it’s why I went all the way down.

H was so mad the other week, about D. Last night I read idly about personality disorders, and saw that this is just sort of typical fare.

It’s her birthday time. It wasn’t when he yelled at me last week, but now it is. That means it is also the time of year in which I became a brand new mother for the very first time, so, the time of year in which I became a wondrously valuable new person, brand new identity.

I like this identity. A lot. This time of year is a co-celebration, and mixed up in Thanksgiving, and most people don’t understand. It isn’t just family time, in our house, D and me. It’s so much more.

Even that aside, though, I think it must be really terrible to be thousands of miles away from the ones you love, this time of year. It doesn’t even matter that it was his own choice and continues to be. It’s just sort of low-grade harrowing and really sad.

That doesn’t mean I’d issue invitation. There’s no room here and h’s needs and current temperament collide with what D and I — and S, though he is living with his own mom in a different house altogether — feel and know and deserve.

I don’t know if it’s pity or empathy or projection I’m feeling. Probably a good measure of each. But the trees are all full of color against the wet gray sky here, and there’s so much gold and so much good. This is when we celebrate, here, something over and above Thanksgiving. Just JOY. Just LOVE. Just APPRECIATION, of how much has been done in a year, all the years, and how much good is coming.

We live a good life here and we *give* a good life. Every day. With h away all this time, I notice it several times a day: gosh: look at how much love there is. And it’s here because we’ve made it that way, because we like it that way, and it feels good.

Love feels better than just about anything, I think. Gratitude. Gratitude is a big part of it. When I look at the love that is here, I don’t feel I am missing much else.

We don’t have a lot here, but we have love, and are grateful for what we’ve got.

It’s raining, and it’s cold out, but it still feels like a really good day.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 23, 2020, 10:25:57 AM
Ready, I had to pull this forward again, because I think it really must be the crux of all this stuff from h:

Quote
Love is important, but you can neither receive or give love until you have it for yourself.

What I need to keep aware of is that I have it and D has it and we both give and receive love just fine. That isn’t evident in many parts of our extended family or my or her dad’s or even h’s FOO. But we have that here in my house, and it’s worth protecting and cultivating.

It’s really weird for me, to look at h or anyone else and understand that some key element is just missing. I don’t believe the stuff he is ragging on about even matters. I notice I am pretty well outside all of it (and after two-plus years now, good that I am), and I know I live in actual truth. It’s weird to see that he doesn’t or isn’t, and that it’s not the grief or bereavement “doing” this to him — he’s just doing what he always does. I just didn’t know he would ever focus it squarely on me.

I’m waiting til D goes to her dad’s tonight, before I call LE again to maybe bump the case to the next step. Not scared of anything, just, let’s set about putting a real stop to it. I definitely have got a whole school of other fish to fry, this month.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: 3longyrs on November 23, 2020, 02:11:55 PM
Quote
It’s raining, and it’s cold out, but it still feels like a really good day.

You know Terra,after a bit over 5 years after the first bd,I try to have the mindset of "all days are good,just some are better than others"...(((hugs)))
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 25, 2020, 04:52:44 AM
3longyrs, (((HUGS))) and thank you. Yesterday was ok. It was finally quiet, and ok.

I had a videoconference call with the ladies on Monday night and it was my turn to present. Getting to the roots of some of what I’ve experienced in life from the start. That was a rough presentation and I even know all this stuff like the back of my own hand. When I finished, one of the ladies shared that she always knows when I do speak, it’s time to get quiet and listen, “because when terra speaks, you always know there will be wisdom dropped.”

That was so nice and so unexpected and kind, that my hand flew to my heart and I just finally smiled and couldn’t stop. She’s younger than I am and maybe that surprised me too, that a younger person felt that way about me, my words, my life. The things I know, new or all too well. It was such a soft and caring reception, from all of them, really, that I just wondered how I could ever have ended up with men or husbands or so many family constellations that were so icy and jagged and hard and didn’t care at all, or who would savage me for being who and how and what I am.

One lady said that from the whole recounting, it stood out to her that the only key people who had not been total and utter pigs in my life had been my D, my brother, and a pair of Holocaust survivors who had taken me in when I first left home.

That was notable too, first that she noticed it, and secondly because it was actually kind of true. The other night, when I said all I said, the rest of the people I had spoken of had indeed been really terrible. I wondered at that also. How on earth could it be that so many others had been so bad to be around?

When I got off the call, my phone full of stony cold formal messages from h 2500 miles away, I went into my room and into my bed and passed out from the effort of having put so much pain into words and said it and survived it all again.

I woke up in the dark and yesterday alone in the house I looked up something about h’s current employer, saw immediately that he is a bit lying to me or leveraging something really obvious there to make trouble in my mind. And then I just set about overriding his influence and doing my day my own way.

The ladies checked in on me and that surprised me too. I have no idea how people are initiators of simple kindness or graciousness anymore; the years of h away with ow have worn me pretty thin and the circumstances of this C19 year have all been pretty hard. I rallied a few equally kind and grateful responses and was/am really glad for this group of women who are caring and demonstrative about it.

D came home for a few minutes to hand off cash from her dad and just to see if our favorites’ current album had arrived yet in the mail. It hasn’t but it will soon; it is coming from another country and we never know when their gifts will show up until the moment they do.

I spent most of yesterday silent in my own focused work, doing something I might have done for someone else for money but instead for myself, because it was high time I did some organizational productive task that I actually like.

That was good.

By the end of the day, my ears were ringing. Only on one side, loud, and it went on for hours. I went to bed to silence it, and saw that for once, there had not been one single message called or sent by h.

This morning I woke up FAR too early and there still is nothing from him, so, I managed at least one 24-hour period in which I wasn’t hassled by him.

That’s good too.

I had meant to call LE yesterday to get guidance on something he’s said. Instead I didn’t and I just had a nice day of my own, alone in the house, doing something productive that I liked. He would think it was stupid, or that I was, and honestly, he did call me that on Monday. “Very, very stupid.”

I did answer back the once, at that, just to tell him that all things considered, I thought it was all very, very stupid too.

And by that I mean you, h. But I don’t feel the need or compulsion to say that to you out loud.

I also told him that he probably needs to rest. And to stop talking or texting about anything and just do it.

Not resignation or dismay on my part, but just ...acknowledgment of inefficiency, ineffectiveness on his. Boredom. Not even anger. Just, so much time wasted.

I didn’t waste the time yesterday, on anything. I spent it doing what I liked, deliberately, and found I really liked that. It felt better. Except for the mad ringing in my head at the end of the day, which may have been some aspect of whatever physical illness or maybe h yelling at or about me from across thousands of miles, *I* felt better.

Why would I ever be receptive to anyone who deliberately wasted any time yelling at me? Or about me, to people I don’t even know?

I can’t make excuses for that anymore, in him or anyone else. That time in my life is just *over*.

When people hear more of even my recent backstory, they often start off with how strong I am, and how kind. This morning I think it is still pretty unclear what the strength is even for, but I know it doesn’t make much sense to have a spirit of kindness if it is only outward given. So it was just really lovely, yesterday, affirming, to be able to give it all firmly and continuously to myself. Alone in the house and just doing a quiet productive task that could be an ordinary paid task but is one that I actually like.

I’ll continue today also. Because I can.

*

I dreamt yesterday of a guy I knew in college. I wasn’t thrilled to see him in the dream, but it was alright. I did notice, though, where I was of a different caliber of thinking and perceiving. And where he, like h, had got stuck on some trauma event and wasn’t able to see or function beyond it.

For once, it didn’t feel like my job to align or attend.

I was kind enough and glad enough but while he went on and on, I also watched for my way out.

Something alike h, in that figure, but whatever it was, it resulted in me taking yesterday all for myself and my own quiet thoughtful enjoyment.

*

This morning I dreamt significantly but woke too early and shifted the vibe to today. D will be home today. The money her dad put here yesterday was in part so that I would have it to do the run up north for a special restaurant pick-up, which we do annually when I am not interested in cooking all that myself. This morning in the dark it took me a while to remember that today is THAT day; *today* is when we make that drive. And I wonder where all the past year has gone, and how did we get to this day again that soon, and has a whole year really passed already, and I notice this means part of the cash that arrived yesterday has to be put in the gas tank of my car.

Is that why her dad asked on Monday if my car was driving ok, and did I need any services for it this week. When he asked, I was standing barefoot in the driveway and it and my car were buried under mounds of golden leaves, and bird droppings, and I just laughed, because sure it is, the car is ok. I don’t think it needs anything, and you can see, it’s no princess.

I forgot I had to drive it out of area this week. I totally forgot that was this week.

Chronic hassling from h, on top of FIL’s death which is *final, absolutely final*, on top of wildfires that started in July and went everywhere in the family *except* where h lives in the middle of the sea — my mind is just like a snow globe except maybe full of ashes and glass shards instead of the typical fluffy sparkling soft snow.

It rarely rests; like h, I know I need to rest, too.

Sometimes when the ashes and shards settle down a bit, I can see parts of myself in the pieces that are mirror, and the ashes are soft and warm.

And h would hate the poetics, but that’s how I do. That’s how I live. And I understand if he doesn’t or can’t or won’t, he’s missing more than 95% of the point and benefit and healing opportunities of the place where he is living.

I love the place but I would hate to be there right now, this year and under all the circumstances. Sure, you live across the road from a beautiful beach and warm sea. But not anywhere near us. So is it really all that great?

I don’t have much. But I am so very happy, with my lot. I’m grateful. And I love, and, I’m at rest.

*

The guy from college: we knew each other as adults, both of us returning to school as older students. It turned out that we had good friends in common from way back, which was kind of weird as that intersection had been in a completely different state and decade. We liked each other immediately, and it was easy to understand all the reasons why.

Sometime early in our first term, I happened across one of his bad moods. When I drew it out of him, it was about a parent death. He thought he was the only person who had been through that. Hostile, defensive, upset — at me but really at everyone he had known since the day it happened, decades before.

When I gently told him no, that happened to me also, I know very well what that is to live with, he was stunned silent and looked at me like I wasn’t even human or earthly at all.

It didn’t mean he was any nicer to me, eventually. More like the part where I’d been through it too, and for as many years, meant that I would understand why he was cold or belligerent or sharp. To anyone but especially to me.

Something similar to h, then, in the dream or in general.

I looked around for the small gift I’d stashed months ago for D’s birthday. I don’t think it is enough, but maybe the time we spend this week just being safe and good to each other will be.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 25, 2020, 06:48:53 AM
I’ve been up for four hours and in another ...four? five? will pick D up from her dad’s and go do the northbound restaurant drive.

I am laughing my head off because I am tired and I *just* got the rubbish out to the bins and up to the curb, literally just as the truck rolled up in the dark.

That is the first time in ages, or ever, that I have met the task and the other people involved in it right at the same time.

That was actually really, brilliantly, a really nice moment. The sun isn’t up, but we all were, right there on the open street while so much was still and silent.

And now the rubbish is gone and the bins can be put back to the driveway, and I’m glad that stuff is out of here.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 25, 2020, 11:13:34 PM
Picked up D and set to the restaurant up north. What previously has been about an hour-long one way took 2.5 hours today, in that direction. I have no idea why. But with excellent company and excellent music, it was an absolute joy.

I don’t think we’ve driven more than about 15 miles away from home, at most, since quarantine measures began eight months ago. Mostly we stay within about a four-mile radius from here. GOSH it was good to get out and see more space.

And such beautiful space. We live near woodlands and open spaces, above the rest of the local community, just shy of where the commerce begins. It’s pretty up here and the foxes and deer and wild turkeys like it too, and we like living among them and near other quiet neighbors. I took the scenic route up, and it was open road until it wasn’t.

We sat in stopped traffic outside a beautiful city for a long, long time, and just admired architecture and the afternoon sunlight gleaming off the highest buildings. Talked about family holidays of old, talked about the families of friends. Sang along with beloved songs.

We saw open spaces. We saw landmarks and cities, and billboards advertising things we don’t think about or know about, things we don’t want or need, things we didn’t even know existed. We saw vivid exquisite graffiti and street art declaring with a vibrant roar powerful messages that deserved to be seen and understood every day, by everyone alive and by all those yet to come. We sighed at the idea of going to museums again.

We saw water. So much water. Water in lakes, in salt marshes, in the sea. Such beautiful water, all of it.

And then when D picked up my phone and navigated us into a neighborhood I used to know like the back of my hand, and once we were in it, it was like a whole heart had opened wide.

“I LOVE THE HOUSES HERE. I LOVE THESE HOUSES. LOOK AT THESE HOUSES.”

And they are just houses. But she was right: they all are SO BEAUTIFUL.

We parked and I locked up the car and she stayed in it listening to music while I went and placed the order. This child is so at ease in my old city. I was up at 3am this morning, so I was more subdued than I expected to be.

At the restaurant I didn’t make any small talk. I listened to the sweet sounds of a family enjoying their spread at an outdoor table. A man in the socially distant line wore his mask over a hooded jacket emblazoned with a bold glyph that I recognized. The symbol of a local music collective from years ago. I laughed silently behind my own mask: I have several songs by that artist collective on my phone. I listen to them often.

The architecture of the place — four buildings from four eras, side by side and perfectly in harmony. I studied all that and marveled at the details right in front of me. Just vibrant and amazing.

When I brought the goods back to the car, it was like Christmas morning. We probably have done this same run for Christmas too; I don’t remember very well now. D yelped to receive just the house drinks in their plastic cups. We laughed at the one we had never tried; she felt it was both too sweet and too basic. I think it is just regional to the cuisine; to me it seemed like that elsewhere and also very “old school”.

That is the joy of there, that city. As much new influx and thinking and dynamism happen there, they preserve the good of history too. D fell in love with it all, the parts that we saw. I drove through my old neighborhood before heading home; I needed to see my old homes first.

I didn’t say or even feel the same things this time. But along one of the streets, I pointed to a stately old house and said that every morning and night I walked there and loved that house, their windows had been full of a collection of beautiful old blue glass bottles.

“They still are,” she said; “They’re still there.” And I almost cried with joy.

That’s been some 30 years ago. Those neighbors are still there, or someone who loved them is. And the beautiful old glass bottles are still there too.

I find that just amazing, a gorgeous unexpected comfort. I don’t think I would even *dream* that something like that would continue to exist.

I drove us a few blocks more, just across the main thoroughfare and up the hill a jot, saying the directions out loud so that her body would remember, and then I slowed and parked and just got out of the car in my bare feet and skirts and went directly up the stairs of the most beautiful place I have ever lived.
 
My front door just the same. A stunningly carved dark thing, tall and mysterious, with an ornate metal handle.

I stood there for a long time and felt how much Home that still felt, in all my being. I took the photos and immediately they were exactly perfect. I looked over my old sun deck and let my vision skip the French doors, because my being felt those too — the bedroom just inside them, private. So I took the stairs instead, going further up into the place,

And it was surreal, because I have dreamt those steps beneath my bare feet and the curving of the architecture and entrances and hallways over and over again for all the years since I moved away from there.

That place has my heart.

D came up quietly behind me and it may have been the first time she has explored that old building with me. And it clearly had her heart too. I lived there such a long time before she was ever born, before I ever knew her dad, before I ever met h.

That place is all me, just me. That was such a miraculous place.

It wasn’t exactly intentional, that side jaunt. She and I both quietly took several photos of what we saw. She made her way carefully back down the narrow small stairs and went back to the car. I took photos as I descended and I think I will have a few of them enlarged and printed on canvas. I lingered on the last steps and just marveled at the pour of them, the way it all seemed flowing and natural, like it wasn’t made by humankind at all.

I am glad I went to it all barefooted, as I can still feel the cold of the old concrete steps. The fulsome, almost living warmth of the old polished wood in the halls. And the shapes of cobblestones that are still the same, in the passages between the buildings.

I prayed gratitudes as I walked alone along the old passages, seeing the old houses where good neighbors had lived and maybe still did. The old details still evident and refreshed and yet so unchanged. The way the evening light made it all glow.

When I neared the car again, taking pictures all the way, I prayed thanks for even the moments we’d just had to revisit this place and also the provisions of the time in which I lived there. And a pair of hummingbirds thrummed above me in the dusk and hovered near, and that was a perfectly beautiful answer.

I dream of there because it is the kind of place that both has always existed and should always exist.

That was a really good Home. Gosh I loved that home.

*

When we reached the road back to this one, the light and the scenery and view were just what I’d seen from my living room at a different home there, and I was *floored*.

That “there”, all of it, had been such a joy to me then, all those years ago. And this time, D was enthralled and somehow it’s that way to her too, different and new and yet very familiar.

WE SEE A NEW POSSIBILITY. We both see it. It isn’t just me.

Our drive home was no less amazing. It all took longer than expected, but when we got home to this house, I photographed our little home and the moon and stars that accompanied us all the way. At the lower left corner of the dark photo, there is light from an old-fashioned lantern I set out months ago on the pavement and forgot to pick up again or move.

The moon looks like a star sapphire. The house windows are warmly lit against the dark blue of early night.

And the light cast by the old lantern is somehow shaped like a glowing golden heart.
 
I AM SO GLAD WE DID THESE THINGS TODAY.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 26, 2020, 08:10:25 AM
A simplistic update, journaling.

Beignets are still good the next morning, if you keep them in the oven overnight. Or, good ones are.

I woke up after the sun this morning and I’m thankful for that.

The property I love is still owned by the same landowner and his wife. When I met them years ago, they seemed like timeless people, a timeless couple that could have come from anywhere in the world and any time in history. They were old then. Not old old like my grandparents but a strange and beautiful different kind of old. His hair was dark and hers very flaxen, neither of them unnatural, and their lined faces appeared to be just mysteriously happy. He was the more extroverted one but also tethered to her quiet spirit in a way of cherishing that just was more of the same, timeless and happy and enduring.

I don’t think I was impolite enough even 30 years ago to ask their ages. I rented from them for years. At some point I think one of the other tenants told me the landlord was 80. That was astonishing and added to my joy there.

I found out they are still living and in fact are just up the way from D and me, on a parcel in another town that we pass through a lot on special occasions anytime of year and love. Both are still living, and he is 90.

That means they were late 50s or 60 when I knew them. So whatever MLC is, or menopause or andropause or midlife, they had already passed through those passages very successfully. Because they were beyond those years and they were together and so gentle and happy, and it really showed.

I now have a folder on my phone with all the notes I’ve collected over the years of dreaming of there. That was such a good place to go to and be at, yesterday. The front door with its remarkable carving, the old light fixture where I used to light the entry with an orange bulb. The ornate old handle set low, as if every time we came home, we let ourselves into a deep and joyful secret.

I entertained in that place a lot, only one or two other people at a time, because it was so small and so very special. The fireplace and hearth of hand-laid bricks that were probably hand cast as well, nearly 100 years before, and often lit or still warm.

Last night I studied other places near us. Wildfires have made some of them more affordable again, not that I have any income or savings to do anything with. I learned about HOA fees; no wonder the low selling prices. How could anyone afford those fees every month all the years. The only place I would ever pay those for is the one with the lovely front door.

There is nothing like that place. I remembered the year I left it and how determined I was to live there again someday. Through three decades I’ve lived in it in my dreams and walked the halls and cobbled passages the way I did last night, barefooted and in long skirts, touching the living and painted and hewn details with my eyes and heart. It’s always good to be there; it always was. That place will exist in me forever.

So that’s the new goal. Get the job and the money again, someday, and get in there. For just me and D, for any length of time. And in the meantime send gratitudes to the landowners who are still living and now just up the way. Just because.

That’s a good goal and I’m thankful; I feel like I haven’t had a strong goal in a very long time.

I see on Thanksgiving morning that h would not fit there or see the point of it. I don’t know what his influences or values are anymore, but in retrospect I see he was always about bigger and the kind of status show that was very obvious. The property D and I visited last night speaks for itself in a lovely and understated way, and although it stands out, it does so the way we both do. It isn’t loud; it’s very peacefully quiet. I went up in bare feet and D came up in pure silence, the way anyone might approach a church altar or a grazing forest creature. The neighbors are still studious and mindful and that’s just how you are in a place like that.

My whole heart was there when I lived there; my whole heart was there last night as I watched D take well composed photos of what she saw and wanted to always remember and maybe to dream and someday live in.

That place had nothing to do with h, although it’s funny: the years I lived there, he lived only minutes away. I just didn’t know it then.

*

The astros have been saying for a while that next month there will be sudden significant surprise, just before Christmas. I find the revisiting of Home, and the resuscitation of that long ago goal of returning there and being there as my own Self, take away any concern I previously had about h or things like surprises.

I’m not crazy about surprises. Given my history, I understand that’s natural for me. I like things to be steady and reliable and to stand the tests of time. That place does, and I do.

So we keep going, and I’m thankful.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 27, 2020, 08:15:50 PM
I woke this morning from a dream in which it felt some major energy had cleared. Like stepping backward out of the funhouse mirror, all the way out. H had been front and forward in the dream, all business and very detailed, as if it was all technicalities and fine print. For me, even in the dream, it was just energy clearing; for my part, something like rimming the front door and perimeter of the house with salt, or closing and locking the gates. Practicalities; a kind of hoodoo water or practical magic, from my side of it all.

I woke unalarmed and just went about the morning with awareness that it was different now. I don’t know how or why, just that it is. I am. D and I know a plan and a place that follows after this one, where we will like to go when we leave this one. That’s for the first time in at least four years, and this time, no one else is troubling over it. It’s our choice. It’s hers and it’s also my own.

I’m happy that she is dynamic and deliberate about it. We came home from there the other night and facts are falling into place and they all make good and real sense. And no one is arguing about it and no one gets to. It’s her choice and also mine. A good and happy choice, and I am so surprised it wasn’t clear before this.

In the dream, I didn’t quite recognize h. Which is fine, because the last few years have really changed him a lot. I think I knew I was dreaming; I didn’t bother to look at him closely, because, why? He isn’t sticking around. Not even for a touch and go. This was all business and I don’t vibe with business, especially not his. Because there often seemed a scummy element to how he wanted to do those things, and that isn’t me.

So I listened instead, and it may have made sense to him, but it didn’t make any difference to me. Like any other dream, I was just there because that’s where my sleeping brain deposited me just then. Let him say what he has to say; you’ll wake up soon enough anyway, and it will have been just a dream. Then you go on with your day.

I listened, nodded at appropriate moments even when I didn’t care or agree, and then woke up.

Something major cleared on his side of it all, that part I did understand. But when I woke, something had cleared in me too: I no longer care about any of this.

I spent the morning and in fact much of the day just putting random things back where they belonged. It’s winter and the wildfires aren’t coming back again for a while. We aren’t moving or evacuating or going anywhere far or for long. Just put things back where they were supposed to be all along.

It’s funny, what we find when the house has been shaken up over and over again. It felt good to hang the springtime clothes back on hangers and into the closet. They’re out of season now and a little too vibrant for a pandemic year, but it won’t always be winter or coronavirus times. There will be plenty of good days or weeks or seasons to wear these colors again. Just put things back where they should have been all along.

I find I am selecting only what will fit in a new/old smaller property, one we move to a few years from now, a pre-selected address and set of rooms. I remember what those spaces are and what belonged in them; those spaces influenced me even as they just deepened some of the ways I already was. I know how the furniture is to be placed; I still have one or two of the pieces that fit there, in places like those.

I remember who I was and who I am.

I am not a person who will tolerate iciness or sharp tones from even a person who loved me, who I loved, or who I had intimacy with. That tolerance isn’t the least bit necessary.

*

He gave me the whole holiday off, apparently, but returned to hassling me this morning. I did bother to answer, and wrote a concise calm truth dart, non-accusing. This is something that would have “worked” in the past, paving the way or just standing my own ground. This morning instead it was just acknowledgement of the facts of today, his and my own, and although he bristled and retorted with stuffy “we” statements — and who knows if he meant he and ow, he and the others supposedly involved in supposed business, or he and a small army of split personality aspecrs? — I had already said the only thing I felt necessary.

It was enough to shut him up for the rest of the day. Rather than say it “worked” or paved the way, I think it was just a truth he couldn’t talk his way around or out of or deflect at all.

I spent the rest of the day putting my own small things in order and with D, and it was really beautiful.

*

I don’t like that h is with ow and others during this grief period? But I also see where if it was the two of us, or us and the kids, he would be just like this, with me. Hard and cold, armored, icy. And I don’t like that; I don’t grieve that way and I don’t want it around myself or either of the kids. I looked up “anger grief” for kicks and I saw that’s a thing.

It can be a thing there, he can do it with the only other person who reaps the benefits of his choices. She can reap the rest of it as well. He’s shelled out enough money; whatever he is now, let it flow into her life and hours. It doesn’t get to flow into mine now, anymore.

And they can lock it in. As long as it doesn’t come here, into my life and D’s, I’m glad. There’s a lot else on our plates here, and a lot of it is actually good. A future that makes sense and feels like coming home to the right place.

I no longer feel here is the right place for him. He is sort of menacing about coming back to it, and all I can say is that it’s finally not a big deal if he ever does. He is saying court actions. I am saying please do what will make you feel better.

It makes me laugh a bit, because I honestly finally don’t care a fig about any part of it.

I’m excited about finding work again, even the hunting part. Glad that I have skills that are long proven and quantifiable and that in the right position will turn into wealth increase again.

I can do this on my own.

I’ve done this before, even under his haughty nose, and I already know I am good at it.

*

His imperious “We” just reminds me of how he used to talk about himself and the dog.

*

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Seahorse on November 27, 2020, 08:32:13 PM
Terra -
It seems that the dream had a deep,  profound impact upon you, and that's a good thing.
I think it's lovely that you and D have a place that you look forward to moving to, in the future.
Your detachment is good right now - just hold onto it.
You're at peace..
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 29, 2020, 07:37:18 AM
Sea, (((HUGS))), and thank you. I had a look at some basic Gottman materials last night and was reminded that if we look at the ratio between positive bids and negative events, really in my case with h, it has been strongly and daily very negative almost all month. He flew back to ow and it has been something cold and hard every day, multiple times a day, whether I’ve responded or not. He has been so icy and just *wrong* that really we are looking at 100% concertedly very negative since around the 10th. So there’s not much to do or say or want or wish for, anymore.

Acceptance is just the only thing left, and paperwork, I guess.

The dreams actually help clarify that, and so do your comments here (everyone’s). So thank you.

*

To be super crazy honest, the C19 news is bugging me a lot. D’s dad isn’t able to help with rent now and I’m not in a space to hightail for any aid elsewhere. He thinks I should just pick up seasonal retail or administrative work, the low paid kind, and no judgment here about that; I’ve been able and willing in other years to do whatever is necessary to keep food on the table and etc.

This year is so different and the prospect of a customer-facing employment is honestly almost terrifying. I have one life, one body, one child, and I need to live for this young person. The stories on my various timelines of whatever persons quarantining for months on end and following all the guidelines only to test positive for C19 anyway are really darkening my perception and narrowing my willingness to go out into the world to make money. Any money.

D is excited about working this summer or after C19 recedes or is properly vaccinated more than it isn’t. We discussed it the other night on the way to her dad’s, at a traffic light, and it only took the length of the light for her to consider my employment potentials and to tell me just NO. D doesn’t want me out there among people, even here where 99.9% of the community is approaching C19 with care, with masks and proper distance.

We live in a county that has been careful from the start, careful for all the reasons. And our rates are still bad, even if the community overall has been good about it.

Part of what scares me so much is just that: our community was and remains responsive. And still is very notably beleaguered by this virus.

I’m not even watching local or national news, really. It’s just THERE, and the numbers don’t drop. That scares me.

When I do watch any sort of blanket national news or updates, the numbers are no better. They don’t call out our county or even state, but they keep saying it’s going to be a devastating winter. So, even if I modify the language before it settles into me, that scares me too. I am just scared.

This isn’t my first hard winter, but it’s the first one in which extreme financial hardship is accompanied by something airborne that might easily make me or anyone very sick and could even possibly kill me.

I’ve lived under a lot of different kinds of physical threats, but never this one.

So, I’m scared.

*

This morning it’s fair to disclose that I do wake up every morning and just still cry about matters with h.

The thing is, this also is not the first time someone has been extremely bad to me after the death of someone I dearly loved. My mother does it just about every time, which is why I don’t speak to her anymore.

I texted my brother last night for a bit. It felt awkward. When he asked how it was going with h, and after I told him, his only response was the one I feel most of the time: “WTF”.

I realized suddenly, I no longer long for or even think of what it was like to receive a simple warm hug from h, or anyone. That was sort of a relief. I am not stuck in the upset of touchlessness anymore.

The daily harassment from h has now been enough that I don’t long for him in any way. All that’s left is the grief, the awareness that this isn’t the first time someone has been this concertedly and deliberately bad to me, and the awareness too that I don’t care why they do it or what the angle is or how a person could be this split or this “off” or this unkind.

This morning I thought very briefly about sending him that message:

You win. You’re good. You and your “We” have succeeded there. I no longer want even just to see you, anymore.

I don’t.

The thought or impulse passed very quickly. I cried, but, I also just got up and responded to small sales communications. A trade resulted in something that, I noticed, is actually a small Christmas-y token. It does feel like Christmas soon. It’s different, and not as contestable as the national holiday that just passed. And it will be small, here, like the trade, but that will be ok.

I am still waiting on supplies for a creation I will be glad to make and sell. In putting things back where they always belonged, I haven’t found my notes for the little black canvases.

I know I will. I also know that every day, my own sense of “home state” is only my own, not my mother’s or h’s or the one he makes with his recently reiterated “We”.

Theirs doesn’t matter.

Mine, too, almost doesn’t matter. It isn’t something I will ever share with him, I now understand. The two places or senses are as different as magma and ice. I don’t want his, and I don’t want him to trouble mine.

I’m thankful for the communities that will have me, and that do, and that are much more kind.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 30, 2020, 12:03:39 PM
He keeps beating on me verbally with this weird cold legalese, and finally, after making two key calls, I answered it last night. I told him I understand now, that there are those you pay $$$K to keep near you night and day, and then there are those you batter at daily for weeks straight, over something you feel is worth only $$$.

Then I put two clean pinpricks in his ballooning threat, and said I would be happy to sue back. The fact is that I’ve spent over and above $$K in therapy and coping mechanisms since before BD. It isn’t difficult to provide the truth, there.

He didn’t answer and anyway, I went to bed.

When I woke too early again, I ventured an email to him and said what needed to be said. I didn’t say the part that felt most true: that he has become an altogether sharply different person, even in just these past few weeks. I did tell him that alone here, I haven’t got much recourse except to tell others, including my local LE. And that no one likes what he is suffering, but that likewise, no one likes that he is taking it out on me. I told him that he has to find a different way to cope.

I don’t mind saying here that the person I loved is fully gone, and that the person who has taken his place now is very much adamantly letting me know it.

This morning I had a number of other legal things that had to be done, things to sign and copy, papers to be moved. Nothing to do with him. I dressed and went to the tasks and ended up sitting in my car in a parking lot for a long time, like it was my own living room. I couldn’t tell you why; I was just ...comfortable and just sitting there like it was home and there wasn’t any rush or anything in particular to be done.

I did get that part of those tasks done. On the way home I stopped for a few dollars of gas and asked the clerk if they were doing ok during this pandemic; I saw that the storefront had been considerably modified. He said they were ok; the modifications were because of too many break-ins.

I was floored. More than one?

Several. They had several.

This shop is along the corridor of good neighborhoods, places where you wouldn’t expect crime. C19 has been a different way of everything, I guess. I drove home not feeling anything.

In the house with the paperwork that has nothing to do with him, I just put a pot on the stove to make a beef broth. I updated a spreadsheet. I pulled project supplies from where they’ve been stashed, to sit on the bed for an hour or so before I get my wits together to put them in what is now the key place for all the projects and all the supplies.

I received a text from a far-off area code inviting me to participate in an ongoing customer service something. I didn’t see that as valid, but finally, I noticed, I no longer see those anomalous texts as coming from h, just him playing games along the side of us, or along the side of them. His imperious We.

I looked at career opportunities at one of the places I used to shop at before C19. Even though D said no, the other night, I think I will apply for their 4am shift. I’m up at that time routinely now anyway. It’s different work than I’ve done in years but I’ve done it before and now is a good season for it. It’s essential. The perks are good, basic. Wholesome. Not well paid, but fairly compensated.

H sent messages after that, cold and hard. He doesn’t acknowledge the email.

He has let me know this is the last message as I am now blocked.

This is the first time he’s ever sent anything like that. I cried for a minute but I’m not sure what for. Mostly the loss of all of him, I guess, and all of us. I had looked at all the messages of the past month, last night before making those other calls. It’s bewildering how different he was just 30 days ago. I find I am upset at being not just deprived of opportunity and “right” or “position” to care for him through this time in his life — but also at the unwelcome and unlikable, unexpected fact that I don’t.

That I can’t, hurts. That I don’t, hurts more.

I wish I had a bottle of wine here even though it’s not yet noon, on a Monday. It just feels like that kind of day.

This morning after moving project supplies, I stared at my room and anew at an old open journal for some reason face down on the unsafe bed. Apparently sometime over the past 72 hours I had thought to look at it, I don’t remember why.

I picked it up, then, this morning, and prayed briefly for the right page to open. And the page that resulted was from sometime in 2019, a haranguing in ink about key figures at midlife, ages ago, and how I could *see* in retrospect that each of them had been through *something*. And how I could *see* that h was echoing and embodying it too, all of it.

What a horrible entry, and yet this morning I was glad I had written it, glad I had not burned it yet, glad it was still there in one of the many books that on the outside all look the same.

I no longer know how far into this process I am or he is or we are. And all I can think to say here, for community benefit or comment, is that as bad as it was earlier on, I think it has got worse. He has got worse. Enough that I have a case number with LE because I don’t like the tone or his approach, or his weird perseverance.

I don’t think he will ever come back here and I also don’t think any court action will cost me. This is one of the aspects I don’t understand. It’s not hard to provide the truth and he seems to have forgotten how much of it I know, and have, and am.

Stupid: I leaned on astrology a long time, because there wasn’t anything else that seemed to make sense otherwise. I authentically believed he would be back here sometime now or in the next few weeks or months. Instead I see there is nothing there.

Paperwork. Maybe a court appearance. I no longer remember how any of this goes.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 30, 2020, 01:21:41 PM
The thing that hurts most, maybe, is the part where I just don’t understand how someone I loved and who seemed normal and even good at one point could turn however long later into someone so deliberately *mean* to me.

I mean I am just a child about this. Part of me is maybe all of six years old and this child part absolutely does not understand. I adore her and I have got her close to me but even as a fully-grown and pretty smart adult, I don’t have any words for her about this. Zero wisdom. I don’t have answers; the only things I’ve got are sorrow, compassion for her, and love.

It’s fine: I’m fine. The inner six-year-old is fine. We’ll all be fine, the inner young and also old of me, and my D. We’re fine. I’m just hurting and just puzzled at how a loved person can turn so decidedly malignant.

That’s hitting the young part of me really hard.

I get that there’s a lot of projection and that he is ?? fighting some adversary he has to have concocted in me. It wasn’t me and it isn’t. I don’t like fighting. I also don’t like moral confusion, and that seems to be the barrel he’s trying to get me over. I also don’t like being abused, and when I know that I am, I stop everything and just station like a rock. Part of that is trauma response, I know. But the rest of it is defiance and stubbornness.

Keep breathing.

It doesn’t feel good to be his target and I don’t want that in my life anymore. Who ever would; it’s insane.

It’s weird how specific the hurt is, and where it hits. He doesn’t know it hits there. I didn’t know, either, until a few minutes ago. And I can’t grasp what it was, the decades ago, because then, it was in a good and safe and loved place; it wasn’t those people who did the harm.

It was mostly about missing my missing father, then, when I was young. And really, really not understanding why he was inconsistent or gone.

Otherwise, I am mostly mad. At how many varied and complicated things I have to do or keep track of or call people about, and how none of it has to do with him, at all, except the part where his grief anger or anger grief has got in the way every day for weeks now. I phoned LE last night but the deputy I needed to speak to wasn’t on until later. And instead of calling again, I fell asleep.

All of it has to be presented to them to build the paper trail and that’s another thing on the list of things that have to be taken care of.

I think someday it would be great to feel taken care of. I get that it will probably be a cold day in hell before I ever even begin to trust anyone to do that again.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on November 30, 2020, 01:26:43 PM
Oh what I meant to say there,

I was thinking all of that and then checked one of my groups on social media, and there was this:

“Some people are still mad at you because you survived when they threw you under the bus, but the bus ran over their lies.”

Is that why?
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on November 30, 2020, 02:03:41 PM
I think one of the hard things about this LBS process is that we know MLC is about their trauma or FOO issues or any number of things, and it becomes crisis because their coping mechanisms are poor and they become destructive to varying degrees. But what we can’t forget is that we LBSs have our own trauma and FOO issues to work through - plus the new trauma of BD and the ongoing crisis of the MLC. But while we try to find healthy coping mechanisms and try to leave them to their own healing, so many times the MLCer impedes our healing, either by vanishing or by Monstering or by staying close while still offering nothing resembling the relationship we thought we were in before the crisis.

Wanting to be taken care of (and to take care of another human being) again, while fearing that we will never be able to trust anyone to have that kind of relationship... that’s another hard part.

I feel like Monstering from the MLCer hurts on a whole other level - when they’re close, we can usually see how broken they are and that can help it not feel so personal. And when they vanish... that is also heartbreaking, but at least they aren’t actively reopening our wounds.

I wish you healing from all of this, and the peace that we all seek.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 01, 2020, 07:54:17 AM
Curiosity, thank you. I find I really struggle sometimes with thinking about my own issues — as much as ;) I think here it is probably clear that I think about them a lot. I get stuck with the part where I know so much about h’s, and still habitually think about those instead of getting my own stuff done. With all this recent icy aggression it’s easy at least to think of my own needs first. I also get stuck about whether to feel grateful to him about that. :/

I wish us all peace, too. Rabbit rabbit, everyone.

*

I had the call with the ladies last night and was able to share an artwork that showed my current self perception. Strengths and weaknesses, a self swimming through broken glass. In sharing it, I realized the difference between Then and Now is that finally I feel myself much more whole. The jagged sharp parts that hurt are mostly outside of me; what’s inside, is clear and stronger, natural, trees growing.

I want to say, for anyone’s benefit, this was just a photograph taken in my room. An object atop another object atop another object. If you don’t consider yourself an artist or artistic, just take photos once in a while. Of random things, ordinary things. Then maybe zoom in, afterward, and see what your mind’s eye is trying to tell you.

I am sure there is meaningful art, and poetry, in every person alive.

I went to D after the long call and just enjoyed her spirited telling of her day. Friend dates, birthday gifts, a social media post that garnered 113K likes. My brother is sure this child will grow up to be a millionaire pretty quick. I kind of think so too, but/and in the meantime, I am more concertedly looking for new work. She was dressed prettily in her open-windowed winter room, and I recognized the dress — a beautiful thing I had picked up during a weekend training away, the first of my career. The dress still stylish 20+ years later. It fits her perfectly, and I was so glad to see it still has a lot of life in it.

I had held onto that dress all the years and it was one of those that I couldn’t part with for some reason. Last night I saw the reason, and I think when I bought it, I know I knew it was special, if basic. I’m sure I never expected, then, that it would be worn this many years later by a young woman who lives in my house and is directly related to me.

So that was fun and it felt like a puzzle piece that had been missing some two decades and finally found.

There.

That is now in its right place.

*

I meant to go to bed early, because the calls with the ladies are always beautiful and exhausting. We all have our stuff and this month in our county we all are concerned with the family holidays and with C19. Our county is now in a new level of precaution that is more strict than before, and it was among the most strict to begin with. So that feels dark.

I asked them to pray peace in my heart so that I can release h and move on.

Then I thought about it later last night, and spite-bought something that had been on my list for a while. I thought about not buying it, but on researching it into minutiae, I went ahead last night and did, and was ferociously not sorry. It cost much less than an hour of paid therapy and I know it will last ages and bring the right tone anytime I use it, which I suspect will be often. It speaks directly and solely to my own experience of where h lives, where my parents live, where my father died, and where I feel very distinctly my own woman. So, I did that. I spite-bought it and I am just not sorry.

*

I went to bed late and woke early, though not so early as other days recently. I’d dreamt a long intensive dream there, of ow hassling after me in their house, and me just walking away from her at every turn. H hassling me too, from a different angle, because I was necessary in the triangle as the person they were uniting against, even though he loved me and knew this wasn’t a role I would ever want to take on.

The house was sort of a wavering mirror of the one I’d grown up in, the one I left when I was around D’s age. I came out of my bedroom and saw the quartet of 8x10 frames on the minor wall in the hallway — portraits of the ow, very beautiful. She looked like the current First Lady.

This p!ssed me off so instantly that I just grabbed the upper left portrait in its classy frame and took it right down the stairs and out the front door, dismantling the frame expertly and tearing up the photograph as I went.

Across the culdesac from my bedroom window, I simply put the pieces into a pile and lit them on fire, and watched them curl and melt and turn into ash.

Then I went back into their house, knowing h would bellow at seeing the empty space where the First Lady’s most stunning portrait had been. And knowing S would likely be the one to point out that it was gone, not to cause trouble for me but to widen any small opening in his dad’s armored heart and any rumbling rift in the relationship between h and the interloper.

Like, four years is enough.

Four years of this has been more than enough.

In the dream, I was slightly concerned about the bellowing that was going to come. But when it was noticed, they both noticed, h and ow, and both of them seemed subdued about it, like reprimanded children. And our good old dog, the one who died last spring, came up from the downstairs and bowed his great dark head to me and then laid it across my chest, the way he used to do before h left and took him away.

Our dog here is smallish for the breed and more skittish or scattered than our old dog. He doesn’t do that, and is just a different kind of guy.

The feeling of good old dog’s strong dark head on my heart, I woke with that weight and warmth and assurance.

It was the best way to close a dream; I felt at home, fully protected, and sovereign.

*

I still have never quite grieved the loss of that good dog. I wasn’t sure how to, or how I could, alone and without h.

This morning I understand one of my ways of grieving is actually just celebrating and really feeling, really viscerally remembering, only the rock solid Love.

That feels better. It feels best.

Regarding the First Lady’s portraits on the walls of the hall outside “my” bedroom, next to theirs! in their house! and the needling and hassling from the ow — four years has been more than enough. And I understand on waking that my own efforts as his First Lady were and are never about “Be Best”.

I’m more about BE REAL.

So this morning with a spite-bought aspect procured, and the warmth and solid Love of a good dog’s head resting on my heart like he owns it, I’m foregoing the lesser-paid role I was looking at yesterday, and looking instead at actively returning to my actual career.

Full steam ahead. Rabbit rabbit, time to pull all the rabbits out of all the hats now.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Seahorse on December 01, 2020, 05:16:28 PM
Terra -
Four years is truly enough for you, yet nothing in MLC terms.

I visualized your D in your beautiful dress, and how special it must have felt to see her in it, after it meant so much to you.
It made me smile to think of -- both the vision of her, but also of how you must have felt seeing her last night.

As for the dream --
Could probably spend hours analyzing it, but the most important thing is that it helped to propel you forward - to return to your old career and realizing your self-worth.  That also made me smile.  And sad that I may never see the products we had spoke about through DM, but oh so glad that you're doing what's best for terra. 

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 01, 2020, 08:42:03 PM
Sea, (((HUGS))) — you’ll still see those! It’s just a matter of getting the supplies in. Just the one that is on its way, will be enough to start the first project. I handled some of the materials yesterday and think maybe it is fine to just start with those, and ;) maybe that will bring the one essential piece along sooner.

It’s weird to think that four years is nothing in MLC terms, but I know that’s true. I’ve seen it often enough, in retrospect, in other older couples/persons, and I feel like if I just had one more browser window available in my brain, I’d be using it to analyze some of those older examples. Not that it would math out to any schedule or possibility h might confirm to, but just because I am turning out to be kind of ;D nerdy, about how long does anyone take to ...grow up? maybe?

I loved that dream this morning because it was just all kinds of satisfaction. Saying no to the wheedling ow, even though it was “her” house and her “right” to sort of try to boss me around — like h might. Saying no to h, as if it was actually *my* house and *no* one had that right. Coming out of the room I’d had as a teen, and seeing that quartet of First Lady portraits, and just instantly doing exactly what felt like justice. Dismantling it, trashing it very meticulously, then setting it on fire. Then walking right back into their house because really, it’s *my* dream, so it’s *my* house, so what are you going to do. Nothing.

And then the good old dog with his gentleman ways and the weight of his head on my heart. I woke up with that somehow and it was just such a good feeling, like no matter what h ever did or does or who with, I have the very best of what we were.

This is why I love my dreams and write them in so much detail. Some of these things I don’t feel, awake, or think about in quite the same way. The sensation and body sense of a big loved dog’s trust, right there where so much has just *hurt* for so long, that was something. I really needed that.

In some ways I guess it was a political dream too, which, I wasn’t aware I was thinking or perceiving much about that yesterday. But I like how the dreaming brain sorted it all out.

We really are living wonders, I think.

*

I have been at email and on the phone today and still can’t reach or get response from the people I usually talk to about employment. That’s bugged me for a while and I notice it’s tangled up in all the stuff about h. Like ...people are there where they’re supposed to be, and making some sort of invitation or promise, and then ...they aren’t there anymore. And I don’t know why. They’re just gone.

It took me literally nine months to connect with my tax person. That’s never happened before C19. Too much happening everywhere this year, to everyone.

I spent today trying to be productive but also feeling pretty clueless. Just trying to get back to some even slight sense of normal.

Tomorrow will be more phone calls and drilling down to find out what has happened to one of my primary employment contacts. If it’s personal, that’s none of my business, but I hope they’re ok. And regardless, just connect me to the person who can help me.

It sort of feels like all the usual channels have narrowed a lot, like you have to know a secret something to get the doors to open or the calls to be answered.

That’s new in 2020 and I don’t like it at all.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 01, 2020, 09:41:08 PM
:/

I just figured out that one of the jobs I was looking at close to home and outside my usual career requires for some reason a valid drivers license, current insurance, and good driving record.

That rules that one out. I was going to renew my license last year and someone said not to, to just wait until whatever changes in 2020. !!

What changed was a traffic violation, a job loss, C19, financial rock bottom, unpaid traffic violation, lapsed car insurance, and ?? not qualifying for extension on drivers license renewal.

So I won’t go for that job, instead will stay along usual career, where passports are acceptable identity documents. And now will add that many more things to do, to the long list of many things to do.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 02, 2020, 07:56:33 AM
I was looking for cardinals, but found these instead:

https://medium.com/personal-growth/the-7-cardinal-rules-of-life-ba9f5458d3c9

The article could be written to a younger audience; I notice I understand the cultural reference namely through both S and D, when they were both much younger than they are now.

These make sense to me today. These will do.

*

Still trying to find the keys to closed doors, wondering when they will just open. I dreamt last night of the incoming First Lady, and she was much different than I expected. More austere, better boundaried, friendly, clear, and no nonsense.

*

I notice my “things” searches always are a means of soothing the younger selves of me, the ones whose needs for regard and simple pleasant attention or acknowledgment were often or always overlooked. It’s why I am good with children and love them, maybe. And why the kids always said I was the best at giving gifts.

Sometimes children just need little things, not even kid things. Things of realism, natural beauty, factual shapes with a little added magic, respect. They don’t even need to be functional except to be held in the hand and treasured and not worried about, no rules. Just little gifts.

My stepfather once gave me a live praying mantis the size of my littlest fingernail. And once, brought a tiny green tree frog to the living room window screen.

D’s dad once gave me a round white spider cocoon. It turned into hundreds of tiny golden spider babies all suspended from the bedside lamp, on filaments neither of us could even see.

I pick feathers up from pavements and walking paths and have bouquets of them all over the house. Once, for years, I lived in a converted garage on a property not far from here, and on my lunch breaks, the cat and I would patrol the deep backyard together and find all the shed feathers of the peacock that belonged to a neighbor who lived in a similar little house on the other side of the old wooden fences. The long elegant tail feathers, and the tiny ones too, all jewel-like and each a treasure.

I saw a thing today that reminded me with some hurt, of a thing I think I had pocketed from a summer friend’s room when I was very young. It wasn’t especially special. It was just a thing that nobody had thought to give me even when it would have been very easy and inexpensive to do so.
 
That made me almost cry, this morning, silently at h. How much does it even take out of any person, to just be kind. Not to an under-attended child, but to every person you encounter.

It’s not required that we give gifts of things to everyone we encounter, or even those children who need something.

Just, how hard is it, really, to just be *kind*.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: OffRoad on December 02, 2020, 08:39:38 AM
It's  amazing, how in the hustle and bustle of life, people can be so unintentionally self involved that they don't even notice those around them. That though they are not unkind to others, the very fact that they do not notice others is a sort of unkindness. I found this in myself early in my life, that in my hurry to get things done I might not see someone who just needed to be acknowledged that they existed. 

Maybe the question is how difficult is it to be presently aware rather than walking through our lives on auto-pilot?
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 02, 2020, 10:08:40 PM
OffRoad, I always appreciate your perspective. I think in terms of kindness, or attention, maybe, I vacillate between attentive/kind and ...just a really strong totally checked out. That is, I’m good one to one, or with a small group. But then I go into autopilot outside the home and/or in work environments and (heh) as far as anyone knows, I could be the only person on the planet. Not that I’m rude to others? I just don’t see or notice them until for whatever reason they are right in front of my face.

The good thing is that when anyone is, for any reason or none at all, I’m usually kind.

I don’t know if that was always true; I don’t think it was, but I don’t remember when it wasn’t. Now it is, so, I’m happy about that. Consistency is good. Plus kindness or random pleasantry is usually just fun.

*

I got the phone bill and internet paid today. I received a utility bill that is a whopping $$$. That’s what I get for wondering when I last paid it, I guess. There’s an invitation to “Pay someone else’s bill!” and if I had the means I would. I don’t, and can’t pay my own, so I’ll call them tomorrow and find out how it all works. Maybe I will check their careers site too, for kicks.

BIL person texted “Talk to me terra”. I was in the phone store parking lot and it scared me; I thought it was h. Then remembered h had blocked me and I had blocked him too. So I sent BIL a music video and said I was out but play that one on loop and I’d text in about 15, when I was home again.

When I got home, I texted D instead and told her I love her, just saying. She texted that she loves me too. Then I sat down with leftovers and fed myself.

BIL derided the music video and I laughed. D and I like it so no one else’s opinion matters. BIL sent a short video of what was cooking for dinner. That looked (and sounded!) fantastic. He said if I didn’t feel weird about being over there, he’d ask me to come over for home cooking. I realized he really was saying to come and be with the family, three generations of my own soul-kin.

I had to think about it a little while. Maybe I still do. But I told him I don’t feel weird about being over there; just, long day, so definitely next time and thank you.

This year is so weird. Ordinarily I’d just get in the car and go commune for a few hours.

*

Bleh.

I realized tonight that I can see part of why h is being horrible to me. Aside from any alliance to ow, his dad is dead and I’m pretty sure it’s one of those things where he doesn’t exactly want my um, expertise or career in father loss/grief. Likewise the part where now it’s just his mother and the siblings and their kids, in his FOO. He doesn’t want anything to do with his mother.

I kind of think he doesn’t want anything to do with *any* mothers, right now.

So that kind of rules me out, because it’s the one role I know I’m fulfilling 100%, in my own life. I am being good to D because she’s my kid and she’s awesome and I love her, am thrilled and grateful to be her lucky mom. He’s far, far away from his own awesome beloved child and hearing about mine, or my relationship with mine, makes him mad.

Probably guilty, too. Definitely aggravated. And he takes that out on me because a) anger management is not a strong point and I don’t know the workarounds or how to kid-glove WHEN I’M NOT RELATING TO A KID, and b) he can’t afford to mess it up with ow.

I can’t do anything about it. So.

This evening and at several points today, I just breathed in the *full feeling of peace* and noticed I feel so much better now that he isn’t haranguing me daily. I forgot I could feel that peace. I feel like I must have felt it at least once or twice in the four months that he was blocked, over the summer. But there was so much else going on, that if I did I don’t think it lasted very long.

It has lasted through most of today, and tonight. It’s nice.

IT’S FREEING.

I notice, too, that I didn’t especially feel peaceful or even safe, when I opened the line just in time for his dad’s last days.

And right now I see I keep calling FIL “his dad” — that’s to ensure I stay in the lines and keep that father loss separate in all ways from my own. About h’s dad’s life and death, really the most important grief is h’s. To me, FIL was a love, but not family, not the way he was to his son. To me, he was a dear and very good friend.

When h and I connected over that, several weeks ago, I felt still a bystander, and really unsure of my role. Very unsteady. I’ve gone a few rounds with myself these past few days about whether I firetrucked it up somehow and that’s why I got blocked? But no. I mean maybe, here or there. I wasn’t 100% “oh h tell me”. There’s way too much going on in this house where I live. Plenty of my energy needed to be here just for me, just for all of that.

But really, no.

*

LOL

A SMALL FOREST-Y QUADRUPED JUST RAN ACROSS MY FEET AND OFF INTO THE DARK.

How did that whozit get past my dog??

*

I didn’t firetruck anything up. What’s to screw up? It’s screwed up to begin with: his dad died. Someone he has known all his life, just passed away.

Sometimes I’m glad I got that life event over with very early in my life. That’s not to say it’s better or preferable. I’m just glad it’s not on my list of things I will have to experience directly ever again.

On some rainbow I think it means h now has more opportunity to become the man he wanted or wants to become, irrespective of whatever FOO wanted or expected of him. That’s how I usually see a death or bereavement time anyway: a doorway, for survivors, to pass through and to integrate qualities of the loved one, or to pass through and leave behind the expectations that person embodied or kept trying to enforce.

I still don’t think h will be back. It’s ok; I have plenty of becoming to do, myself. And I get that his absence means I can shed some of the weird or unpleasant expectations he tried to enforce.

I don’t know why I ever let him do that.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 04, 2020, 03:29:37 PM
Well, I probably won’t be visiting with family friends very soon. Our county is going ahead with new orders and will stay battened down until early January.

I found one of the lost things I was looking for, this morning when I started a spontaneous laundry task. It feels like I should feel lighter for having got that off the list, but, it just made me think of the other things still to find.

I answered a recruitment email for a position I’m plenty qualified for, but they want a college degree :/ so it will be a no-go. Glad to make the contact anyway.

I am torn between having this dog’s awful mouth seen to, next week or so, or just not spending that credit line. But it’s ghastly being stuck in the house with it and I can’t imagine it is any good for him either. I just want something to be fine. D and I agreed earlier this year that a dental surgery for him would be an adequate Christmas gift for all of us. I wonder if she remembers that and if she still feels the same way. All I know is it’s not cheap, it’s the last of my credit, and if I have to sit another x weeks or months in this house with truly awful dog breath and knowing he needs the health services, oh, man.

I just want something to be fine.

*

This morning it occurred to me softly that maybe h just never meant it, when he loved me.

Maybe he just never loved me, in the ways that would stick.

I’m tired of having those alignments, those starters or nonstarters or allegiances that seem like they really mean something important but turn out not to mean anything, especially when the chips are down.

I thought about that today and although I’ve cried fresh tears about it, I don’t feel as gutted as I did last year. Today I can’t really remember when I last saw him? Technically two years ago, just over two years ago. Today my mind insists it was four. So whatever my perception or memory, that’s just a long time ago. That’s a long time to pass, when someone doesn’t care to see me daily or even monthly or even just a few times a year.

How did ow figure so strongly that he maintains there? Over me, over S, over D?

I mean, I don’t care. I’m just surprised, and at loose ends with myself. Local friends, siblings, tell me h is not the last or only person who will love me; h is not the last.

Typing that just now, it’s sort of horrifying. It always is, when I think what it would take for me to be open to any sort of intimacy or routine with another man. How could I ever, if I don’t understand wtaf happened here.

I know it wasn’t/isn’t my fault. But I feel like, if I were just smarter about what it looks like when someone is egregiously disrespectful, a liar, adulterous — it just seems like if I had understood more about how to identify, state, hold, enforce a boundary, or when or why, then maybe I would not have got this hurt or shattered or confused.

Or overwhelmed. I feel like if I had just been smarter about something, I would not have got this overwhelmed. Not exactly self-blaming, but just feeling like other people would have known better than I did. Some did try to tell me they didn’t like the way h treated me. I didn’t understand that they meant it was categorically wrong or even reprehensible and that other people wouldn’t do it. And I don’t mean that he was awful all along. Just that there were signatures I couldn’t exactly read, and still can’t unscramble.

I don’t know whose fault that is. I just have not enjoyed this learning curve. I don’t know if it is going in circles or cycles; I just know it feels like it’s been going on forever and like it’s never going to stop.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 06, 2020, 07:49:11 AM
Wow.

Remember when you knew how to do things?

When sitting in the living room alone early in the morning felt just fine, because it was ordinary and quiet and there weren’t any cataclysmic criticisms coming at you, from any angle, even from voices imprinted in your own mind?

Remember when there were turnovers still warm in the oven on a Sunday morning?

And when Christmas was just what December was about?

Remember when it was quiet because everything was *normal*?

*

Nothing is quite normal, in 2020. It’s all the new normal. People in my circles are starting to really flip out about the stay-at-home measures. Maybe a values difference; maybe not. I got mad at hearing the dog *breathe* yesterday, so, I know even *I* need a break. Not doable at this time; all non-essential outings curbed.

And at the same time, it all *is* kind of normal.

Like, peaceful.

That’s been coming at me repeatedly the past few days, and it’s strange, because it’s always on the heels of my crying genuine quiet hurt again about the recent on/off from h. Almost like the hurt just gives way to recognition that there kind of isn’t more hurt coming.

I don’t know that I think I’ve got to the bottom of any of it. I do think I’ve accepted the part where he’s well enough committed to his post-BD life that they may as well keep it, marry it; our m as it ever was is very much over. The funny part is that if he ever did come back to be my own h again, and only mine, none of the trauma that happened before even matters much anymore. I feel it less and less.

And that’s not to say I’d be open or willing or even happy to see him. Last month got as cold as ice and just as hard, and maybe ...fragile, too? But the only ways I knew or know how to defrost and warm up and revive, those are all cushioned quiet ways, and they only work when we are both in at least the same area code. We aren’t and it’s not my doing. I’m confused why he didn’t see me last month or why he didn’t even really seem to think of it. I mean I’m not: there was a death in the family, of course that’s the biggest reason of all. Or it would be for me. C19 too, a definite factor.

The other part of it, though, seems that just too much time and life has passed since the last time I saw him. Oh and also that if we had seen each other, that would have brought up all kinds of questions and quandaries. Most of them moral and financial.

He’s bound somehow to ow and to “there” and it’s fine if there’s no room for revisiting moral quandaries. There isn’t any room *here*, even if he arrived on the doorstep today.

So instead there’s just peace.

No one is hassling me today. No one is taking issue with anything here. No one is taking issue with me, my person, my persona, how I am.

That’s nice, because it’s Sunday morning. And December.

It’s time for finals and Christmas and end-of-year considerations. It’s time to stay home more deeply. It’s time to keep getting rid of the old. Not even to make way for the new, but just to make things lighter and cleaner and more spacious.

Is there regret. There is a little of that. I think, though, that when my role isn’t defined or especially when it’s not been valued, it’s reasonable that I say things a bit wrong or don’t have a ready stability in which someone else can roost.

The chickens, I mean. I noticed the other day that the way the dog smacks his lips sometimes sounds just the same way my mother did when I was living at home. When the dog does it — he’s just making a sound, a statement of something, an acknowledgment.

When my mother did it, it was a superiority and punctuation to let me or any of us know she had been watching our every single move and judging it.

The dog is probably not judging me. He is *watching* me, 24/7/365, which is driving me crazy.

Once I spotted the connection between the two, I stayed mad for a long time. There is an anxiety level or expectancy that I recognize in both — not to compare my mother to a dog, but.

H had that too, that strange acute tension. And then, finally, so did I, with him.

It’s funny because my response to it is a whole-body “God! Leave me *alone*!”

And then I realize oh. I *am* alone.

And on a Sunday morning in December, finally, I see that it is very peaceful.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on December 06, 2020, 08:48:10 AM
Terra, beautiful words and images. I think there’s a lot to be said for finding peace, even when things are not quite normal. Maybe especially then.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 15, 2020, 06:59:12 AM
Curiosity, thank you.

It’s been a little while I guess; I don’t know how little.

I texted the Bible study ladies last night to let them know I was down with migraine and overwhelmed and wouldn’t be able to make the Monday night call.

That was how I found out I literally couldn’t.

My phone service has been suspended for non-payment. I am sort of surprised, because I feel like I just paid it. I emailed the ladies instead. They suggested connecting to the call through a different device. That made me understand these women are financially secure; I don’t have that kind of device.

I have no idea how anyone can ever afford what they afford. They have zero understanding of my financial lack, and maybe that’s a good thing.

Good for them, at least.

The one consolation last night was that if h tried to contact by phone, he’d get the message that it’s that stark here. And also it was nice to have that possibility just removed. I haven’t heard from him since last month. I mean I guess that’s only been two weeks of silence, but, it feels like forever, feels like months have passed.

Christmastime is weird without him, still. It’s less anguished this year, thanks to the passing of time since BD and also thanks to all the outrageous scary events of 2020. I guess I should say for the record here that when I look back on what the past 12 months have been, locally and worldwide, I am very glad we all have managed to live through it.

This morning I poured a cup of tea in absolute darkness and remembered the cool of the stone countertop in our old kitchen ages ago, when h and I loved each other and nothing had come between us. I marveled that I could be there, then, and here, now, all in the same moment, and that I could pour boiling water into a cup in the dark.

It made me wonder about the kitchen where he lives now, does it have nice countertops. And does he ever pour himself a cup in the dark, without spilling and without hurting himself, while anyone is still asleep. And does he think about then, sometimes, when he does.

I’ll go down to the phone store after the sun comes up, and will make some sort of payment arrangement. I don’t know if I will have phone service in the interim; I don’t now.

It’s sort of novel but I don’t really appreciate the timing too much. And I don’t see how it will be any different next month. Some people would say a man wouldn’t come back to a woman who isn’t caring for herself.

I think that is some real crap. I don’t know who makes up any of these rules. So I’m mad today — at God, at “society”, at husbands. But the tea is good. And it always is, here.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on December 20, 2020, 10:56:04 AM
This might *be* a golden thread.

I have spent the past week working on getting work, and it may come through. More promising and secure than anything offered thus far, and the kind that can last the rest of my working years. Valuable. Purposeful.

I realized last night that I do have realistic hopes and faith about being happy, being well positioned and financially and otherwise stable in the coming years. It’s kind of an odd feeling in 2020, but I do feel I have started to cleave to real purpose, and real promise. For me, that is. Nothing to do with h, and in fact better to leave that where it all is now — in the past.

I didn’t know I could do that.

This morning I thought, thinking of the photo I found of him among scattered things in my room a few days ago,

You have no right to feel angry at me. And no right to ever mistreat me.

That part is done. It’s Christmastime in a pandemic year and it’s cold here. But D and I are fine and happy, and even if finances are bare and still falling, the love in this house is really, really rich and warm. There are friends here who love and respect us, who freely engage and are never unkind. No matter how long or well they know us, they are *never* unkind.

So that part is really, really done.

I looked over old emails from the year h left with ow, the year my relationship with my mother bottomed out. I feel better and more whole now; maybe 3.5 years is the trick.

I don’t regret my choices or reflexive responses to any of it. I secured peace for myself and for D, and I see my decisions have been good.

That’s not to say they feel rewarding? Except in some way, they really do.

I think that when a spouse leaves us this way, leaves the family, yes it shatters us and feels harrowing and desolate for a long time. What h did gave me more pain than I had ever felt in my life; I would rather give birth to a million babies or even be physically beaten than endure that series of errors ever again.

But the cool thing is that ultimately we do rebuild. Maybe not the marriage or spousal connection or even any friendship with the person who betrayed us, but just our own Self and personhood and the ways that we are and that we like.

I see who I am, who I’ve been, how I am, and what I like. And I feel really joyous at the self-reclaiming, at reactivating the parts of me that he never encouraged or valued or even allowed me to much express.

I’m grateful for the community that I have, and the opportunity to share Self truths and be well received. If that is the only or deepest gift of whatever life was before all this, or of the painful loosening or discarding of love I thought was good and worth continuing and preserving,

Well. This is good enough. It has the capacity to be the best of all possibilities. It is factually present and attentive every day, and it grows and serves others, which fulfills me.

Everything is fine, here. There are people who love us and it is just good, and at this time I don’t see any other scenario as better.

Let me secure this employment, though, and then IT’S ON. Bright and steady and full steam ahead.

Thank you for reading; I hope you and yours are staying well.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on December 21, 2020, 06:18:15 AM
Hello,

Quote
I have spent the past week working on getting work, and it may come through. More promising and secure than anything offered thus far, and the kind that can last the rest of my working years. Valuable. Purposeful.

It will be there. You have to keep pushing and keep your optimism high. I know you will get what you need for both you and your daughter.

Quote
It’s Christmastime in a pandemic year and it’s cold here. But D and I are fine and happy, and even if finances are bare and still falling, the love in this house is really, really rich and warm. There are friends here who love and respect us, who freely engage and are never unkind. No matter how long or well they know us, they are *never* unkind.

Christmas hasn't always been about being a huge extravaganza. My grandmother's gift when she was a little girl was an orange. I myself was happy to have my stocking and one toy under the tree. Christmas was about family and love. Just being with the people you care about. In a couple of days, I am going to drop off gifts for my parents and daughter. Nothing big, just some of my homemade peanut brittle and apple pies. I won't go into their house and I will social distance myself so that we are all safe. Just doing my part out of love.

Embrace your daughter and your friends during this time. They are the true parts of your life and bring warmth and comfort.

Quote
I secured peace for myself and for D, and I see my decisions have been good.

Yes, they have been good and as you look back, focus on your good decisions. What prompted you to make that particular choice? What was your mindset? What made it a strong decision? We spend a lot of time focused on our faults that we rarely look at what we do well, to appreciate our strengths and focus on them as well.

Quote
Let me secure this employment, though, and then IT’S ON. Bright and steady and full steam ahead.

Yes, I will be praying for you and full steam ahead!

((((((Ready)))))
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on January 12, 2021, 02:49:34 PM
Terra, just wanted to check in and see how you are doing as we make our way through a new year.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on January 19, 2021, 06:39:52 AM
Curiosity and Ready, thank you. I guess it’s been a little while since I last posted.

Still unemployed; still in debt, still broke. I have under $100 to my name at all times, but, somehow I always have at least enough to feed my D and myself, and the pets. Not poverty foods either; fresh produce and meats and the occasional pleasures from good restaurants, or, a few times a week, the teas that D likes. So it is a revolving not quite $100. I bought a bakery cake the other day. It’s not like not buying cake was going to make the finances here notably different. The cake is in the fridge and it’s sweet and each bit of it reminds me of years ago when life was less concerning.

I’ve been reading racist tracts on the recommendation of a friend for whom “know thy enemy” is vital. That was the reason for the cake, because the reading has been so ugly and I needed visible physical sweetness to offset it. Last night the report from the departing political administration made me horrified at the continued wrongs in this country — my country — and then, once more, relieved that at least I have cake.

This has not been a much more stable year, so far. H closed out the previous one by texting acknowledgment that papers have been served here. I haven’t received any. He hasn’t communicated since.

I was watching the election certification proceedings the morning that the Capitol was breached, and I couldn’t speak until days afterward. I reached out that day to people where we live, but answers were flippant or terse, no comfort. I was and am traumatized from it. D is the only person who actively discusses it with me. I’m grateful that she is aware and opinionated and responsive and willing.

The dog has some sort of malabsorption problem that doesn’t change his temperament or make him unpleasant to be around; whatever it is, it just makes him skinny. He was trim to begin with, so very ribsy now, and that’s hard to look at. I took him to the vet for exam and tests and listened to impeachment proceedings out in the empty parking lot while I waited. I carry a small ball of good yarn with me when I know I will be waiting somewhere, and just plait in patterns and knots according to whatever is in the air. The vets don’t know what has caused the malabsorption; tests ruled out certain expected causes and so the next step is a GI panel.

It will have to wait, and they assured me it’s ok and waiting won’t hurt him. They didn’t say it that way outright; it was how I asked. If I have to wait to do this next step, will that hurt him. They said it wouldn’t and so I will trust that and ...wait.

Tired of waiting. After all the waiting, too tired to surge up and do anything else, too.

The pandemic is tiresome. Sibling let me know our parents both have had their first shots, as they are in the senior age group and also because of the nature of their volunteer work. I said something polite superficially but was instantly aggrieved, angry. I am the last in queue for these vaccinations. The only one in the FOO who will not receive the vaccine anytime soon.

Since January 6, I feel angrier than I have ever felt in my life. It is continuous, like a slow and steady volcanic flow. I’m not communicative when it’s like this. It’s stultifying.

We had summer weather here recently and a beautiful day out. But D and I both now don’t like sharing even outside spaces with very many people, even if everyone is masked. I’m not sure what I think of that, for us. We miss our people and community and at the same time, will drive up winding forested roads to the peak, to stay away from them. The view is lovely up there and the other day, we could see clearly for miles. More visibility than any other time we’ve been up there.

That morning, I had received messages from the landlords, who I am not paying anymore. I always avoid the landlords, but especially now that I’ve been unable to pay them. We correspond through formal documents and are doing things the COVID way. I know nobody means anyone any harm.

When I did telephone them that night, after such a beautiful intentional day, they let me know that they will be ceasing to rent the entire premises by early summer this year. All tenants on the premises will be receiving a notification letter “sometime”. It isn’t just us or just me; the landlords are changing something in their own existence and maybe they are selling, or foreclosing, or repurposing, or who knows.

But now I am grieving all the loss that is coming. I don’t know how to say it to D, so I haven’t, and I think probably I just won’t. Not for a while yet. Wait until the landlords send the letter. There’s no reason to burden D or confuse or stress anyone else (her dad, who will flip out) with it otherwise, or in the meantime.

It does feel like mean time. And I’m surprised, because I thought this year and the transfer of power would mean some level of healing, stationing calm, and reasons for joy. Instead it feels like an actual mountain of stress landed here this past weekend. Tomorrow is the inauguration and — lol — I broke out in hives last night, which, it feels like I have been bitten all over by hundreds of hateful invisibilities, which, I guess this is my body’s version of death by a thousand cuts, only, just kidding. Or maybe not — just wait and see.

Tired of waiting. Tired of seeing, too.

The stress response is probably sugar-endorsed. I still figure it’s been better for me to have the cake and eat it, during this transition. I mean if h has done it all these past four years, I think it is just fine for me to celebrate the END of at least one aspect of them. Even if it doesn’t nourish me and in fact maybe makes my body/nerves upset.

I figure I will probably hear next from h on a particular calendar date, this month, and again on same date next month, and so on. Or not at all. With the tumult of moving somewhere ahead, and no real option or choice, it’s ok if there’s no word from him. I am probably looking at moving across the country to harbor with my brother and the family he has made there. D will not want to move. I don’t want to be away from her. It’s not a good situation and even if I find a way to stay in our current area, there is just loss and change and grief ahead. Please pray for a way to be made, for me. I am trying so hard to just remain stationed and stable here, and I can’t see any path or even potential at this time.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on January 19, 2021, 09:08:00 AM
Terra, I am sorry for all of the continued turmoil, in the world at large and in your part of it specifically. We have all been living in varying degrees of unease - mere discomfort for those whose daily life is not drastically dissimilar to what it used to be (albeit more isolated and masked); severe trauma for those whose physical, emotional, and financial security are compromised by this pandemic; and those who are somewhere in the middle. Underneath the pandemic with all its trauma is the fundamental trauma that results from the MLCer’s words, actions, inactions... all of it. And then on top of all of that, there is this violent polarization that has always been a part of our national identity, but which has been stoked to the level of an inferno. We have to care for ourselves as best we can, to soothe and heal ourselves - it doesn’t fix all that is wrong in the world or even our own little piece of the world. But it lets us get through one more day, and maybe if enough of us try to heal or soothe ourselves, that will spread out into the world. And if self-care takes the form of a bit of cake now and then, that is absolutely fine.

I have thought of you periodically during this time, with the holidays and the general tumult of our world. Please feel free to reach out if you need an ear. I am hoping that you are able to find a path that allows you and your D the comfort of each other’s presence.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on March 15, 2021, 02:32:03 AM
Hello folks, it’s been a while since I last posted on this thread.

Just stopping by in the middle of the night here because tonight something jarred me into looking for actual facts. I searched and found, and within minutes of that, h was in my SMS.

It wasn’t a terrific conversation. I hadn’t initiated or asked for it. It did not go well. And rather than say he is still in MLC, I am going to say he was very much the negative aspects I had seen in him from day one and had chosen for years to overlook.

He said the usual ugly unkind stupid stuff. I let him; he can say whatever he likes, from the house where he lives with the woman he left me for in 2017. The one he betrayed me with, who he then cheated on and betrayed, with me.

He said the usual garbage and I let him; I was busy zeroing in on actual facts.

Without asking him a thing, I now know where he lives, how much he bought the house for, when he bought it, what the ow’s phone number is. What her mother’s phone number is. And it isn’t for any purpose that I know those things; I am just saying it because tonight I finally made fast work of finding these facts.

Kind of proud of myself, honestly, because it was that fast.

I didn’t say any of that to him. I said most simply that he had every right to make the choices he’s made, but no right at all to lie.

It just was not a good conversation. But I did not initiate it or ask for it, and honestly, I am proud of myself for that too.

I am still having to move in just a few months, and don’t know how I will do that with the credit history now so botched. It will be maybe a challenge and maybe an adventure and maybe I will write about it here when it is all over and we are stationed safely and well. Tax refunds will help; what I need is employment. I am in process of being formally diagnosed with PTSD and/or C-PTSD. That actually helps a lot as well. It gives formal recognition to my facts that nearly everyone in my intimacy circles has tried to negate, diminish, deny for most of my life.

H still does. Oh well.

The main thing I’m here for tonight is to say out loud that in the Bird Box days, I wrote a few posts about terrifying dreams I’d had, that hurt and scared and mystified me.

Tonight while h went on in his now typical icy way, I went after facts and found them. And those facts line up EXACTLY with the dreams I wrote here, last year.

I don’t know how we know things in our sleep. And I don’t know why we do.

I do.

And as much as I have mixed and hard feelings about knowing in my sleep, I am proud of myself for that too, the unasked and unsolicited and even unwelcome full knowing.

Living with a liar’s lies for so long, we lose our trust in our own intuition, our means of knowing without knowing how or why we know. My intuition was injured early in life when adults insisted I couldn’t know something if I couldn’t explain how I knew.

Bull$h!t.

Your intuition knows and you don’t have to explain how. Truly.

I was floored tonight when I zeroed in on fact after fact after fact. And floored again at how his timeline I didn’t know anything about then, matched EXACTLY with detailed dreams that showed I knew *all of it*.

I’m exhausted. But I have key numbers, now, and also the knowledge that my own awareness can be trusted, as if literally informed directly by God.

I am pretty sure whatever h was feeling at the time, last year, he wanted me to know it. And like it or not, I knew it. I didn’t like it. I still don’t. And I don’t understand why I am made to know things in my sleep or at all, if it is just havoc and unkind. I don’t know why he seems to have a vengeance thing at me; I know I didn’t do anything to deserve it.

D and I are ok leaving here, when we do. My hope is that when we do, much of this history and hurtful memory will just be left behind.

An aside: I also saw current photos of h’s ex-wife, tonight.

It was like looking at my own face. Color me absolutely shocked. I don’t know what it means, and, we aren’t that much alike, similar faces but different physiques and different approaches to life. I saw with gratefulness that she openly presents as a good mother, a thoughtful one who loves and respects her child. There’s a level of that, in writing, that just can’t be faked or pretended. I actually felt a lot of love, toward her, seeing it.

It made h’s communication style seem that much lesser and just repellent. And I don’t think, tonight, anymore, that a person can compartmentalize so finely that hostile, icy, or disrespectful tone is kept to only one or two “boxes”.

He isn’t a nice person. He wasn’t and he isn’t now.

I’m ok with that. And by that I mean, we are moving away from here, soon. And it will be a challenge, and probably also an adventure. And there are facts, I know that now.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Treasur on March 15, 2021, 02:55:51 AM
How good to hear from you, Terra.

Unless you have had PTSD, it is hard to explain how incredibly grounding that feeling of 'well, those are real facts and that is real and that is not, and I was right before even when I doubted myself' is. It's a strange feeling, isn't it? But a good one mostly. Freeing. I am very glad that you have got to where you are now. It isn't easy, but things will start to evolve differently for you after this imho. And I hope your move will also be a chance to experience some new good facts in your life too. A chance for you and your daughter to root yourselves in good soil. x
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on March 15, 2021, 09:09:19 AM
Terra, I’ve been thinking of you and am glad for your update. I’m sorry for the conversation you had with your h, and I’m sorry that he is either still in that place or that this is just who he is. You seem to be very much in a place of acceptance; of focusing on yourself and D.

Having a diagnosis is sometimes a really helpful step, I think. Even when you know in your soul that this is what has happened, this is what is true for you - having a name for it, a label, feels like another level of validation. And even if you don’t need that external validation; just knowing that it has a name and that other people experience something like it, that can offer some comfort.

I hope that your upcoming move will offer some newness, cleansing of the past, for you and for D.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on March 15, 2021, 12:08:04 PM
Treasur and Curiosity, so good to see both of you. I’m grateful you *get it*, about facts and about formal diagnoses.

I’ve needed the formal acknowledgment for a long time. I’m pursuing it now in part so that I can register our dog as an ESA, but the very quiet bigger benefit is that once formally diagnosed, I don’t know I don’t have to explain any of my trauma history even once more, to anyone. From now on, it’s between me and the diagnosing therapist, and/or select emotionally safe people. So it’s a smidge less about the comfort of the label, and more about the part where nobody gets to mine me for details or argue with me when I say those.

:)

I don’t have to say them. That is such a weight off of me, I don’t even have words for what a huge relief that finally is.

This morning I am really happy that I found the facts. Among those, more glaring lies, which is just another fact, and maybe not even a surprising one, although admittedly disappointing.

This past week, something struck me oddly and I couldn’t help but think to him for the rest of the day, and even out loud, “Wouldn’t it be nice, if *today* was the VERY LAST DAY that you *ever* told another lie. Imagine how much better life would be, if you just STOPPED LYING ALTOGETHER.”

I think I have thought it before? But not with such ferocity. I managed not to confront him directly, and knew that even if I did, it would just be defensive tactics and bullying from
him.

But it was amazing, while I thought about it. How it has to be a relief for the liar, when they stop lying.

So, facts. I like and value facts and so does D and this is clearly one of the reasons I am a good mom for her and a lucky one, too. We do enjoy our parent-child dynamic, even now that she is basically a young adult. Integrity is important in our house and I’m glad to say it: our close friends and my siblings and our extended family on one branch all natively understand and exemplify that.

It’s ok that h doesn’t and so, it’s ok he’s not here.

And Treasur you are so right — it’s a deep comfort when we know that we know what we know. I know that sounds nonsensical the way I’ve written it, or maybe just playful. I also just know that it is true. For me at least, and probably for anyone who suffered under lies and gaslighting or other mental abuse.

I need to say this out loud to myself here:

When I said he said ugly unkind stupid things, and when I said it basically twice when I wrote last night?

It was because I couldn’t bring myself to say the simplest fact, in simplest words.

When I said ugly unkind and stupid, rubbish, what I meant is that he is a racist.

It doesn’t even have anything to do with me or D. Not with the ethnic blends of my family, either. Like, he mouthed off last night about a group that doesn’t even exist in our lives really, but for years he insists that it does. He insisted last night, too.

H is an openly hostile and overt racist. For no good reason and not even any at all. Last night, that didn’t trigger me, finally, but I did still see it. Maybe just now with clearer clarity, perception finally internally flawless at least at that level. His inclusions and occlusions just eye apparent, glaring. Bruises, cavities, chips, and clouds. And not my job to parse why those exist in him or who cut him wrong. It wasn’t me, I do know that, and it isn’t reasonable to have this set of defects anywhere near my daughter, my nieces or nephews, their peers, or even the neighborhoods we live in.

I’m ok with that. With not knowing or having contact with someone who routinely targets any other group because of skin color or faith or cultural differences. I’m also excusing myself for having excused it or for making unsteady peace with it for as long as I did. I just had no idea he was ever serious, or even, that none of it was the least funny.

I know plenty enough now and am not congratulating myself. I just know it now, when I see it, and am grateful that finally I can say what it is, not even 24 hours later.

This kind of thing used to take me weeks, months, years to identify and articulate out loud, even to myself. I can’t say enough about how the terms of abuse really do a number on our cognitions and verbal ability. I write all these words and sometimes in too ornate language and I know that is my brain trying to get to the core of something I was long ago trained not to say out loud at all.

Guess what!

He’s a racist.

That’s overt racism and it isn’t funny or acceptable or even the least excusable. Ever. It’s sad and it’s gross.

I don’t mean I hate him. Last night I was up all hours reviewing the emails of 2020, and the texts too, and my writings here. I don’t feel sorry for him either? I don’t know exactly what I feel.

He has been very mixed up and he has lied a LOT and is still at it. I think his life would be more restful and peaceful if he would stop and just station in truths, facts.

Facts are great. He lies and is a racist and no matter when he bought the house or what he has ever said or done for ow, he has lied a lot to her as well. It doesn’t make me feel (much) better, or better than. It does tell me I wouldn’t be happy there.

He asked me week after week after week, last year, to move there and please displace her.

I said that wasn’t my role and that it also wasn’t any of my business.

:)

It still isn’t. It never will be.

That’s a fact. And I am so glad I know it.

Thank you for reading and hellos and good input; I’ve missed you guys. (((HUGS)))

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on April 05, 2021, 09:26:30 AM
It’s Easter Monday and h has texted a few times this last week or so. Vague, one or two words, and I have too much on my plate and these texts are not enough to go on, so I haven’t answered.

Easter Sunday was hard. Harder than I expected. D was at her dad’s and we had already agreed between us that we’d skip the holiday this year. So it wasn’t exactly about her or the holiday. I spent several hours in a prolonged panic attack. Those are still really new and unfamiliar to me, and in any case, absolutely not anything resembling ok or fun. What I can say is that at least I do know my own mind and baseline, and that ultimately the panic would pass, and eventually it did.

The Happy Easter text from h made me feel better? And at the same time, I couldn’t reply in kind, or at all. There hasn’t been any change in his circumstances or I’m pretty sure he would have called to say so, or to say something, anything. I think it’s been five months since we last spoke. It’s going on three years since we last saw each other.

My life is a pure mess. We have to move house in June and so I am packing boxes, but I have no idea where we will reside or how I will make it happen. H and S were active in our move into this home. It’s sort of just estranged and strange and really sad that they aren’t active in whatever the next stage is.

I’m having trouble doing it alone. Not because h and S aren’t here, but because nobody is. D and I are both looking forward to leaving this house behind us and never returning to it, but there is so much else going on that it’s hard to keep track and to get anything done in a clean or linear way. It feels like nothing, no task, ever gets completed in full. Something else interferes or takes priority and I have sort of lost my thread enough that on any given day, I just stop everything and figure that’s it, that’s all I can do today, it’s time to just surrender and rest.

I feel like I don’t get anything actually done. The one thing I seem to have a handle on is getting info to my trauma therapist for the PTSD or C-PTSD diagnosis. That will come in handy down the road but I’m not sure how or for what. It feels like the process is a cleansing though. Saying it all in a structured way to a clinician I trust feels like getting it all out of me finally in one go. It can stay on record with him and in a paper file at home and just be the past.

Holy Week seemed markedly about my need of forgiveness from h and also my wanting to forgive him completely. I’ve asked my God and all my ancestors to help us in this manner; this morning I wrote a long letter of love and apology to h’s dead father.

I don’t expect anything has changed for h, or that anything will. At least in that respect I’m surrendered to what is. A lot will be, is, changing for me and for D, and so soon already that I feel whiplashed and spinning. The world is opening up again and I’m not at all ready for that, no matter who or how many around me or all over the country are excited about it.

I know our moving will ultimately be a good change and full of new opportunities and different experiences. So I am also praying for resilience.

There’s just so much to do, to sort or pack, and to get over or through.

I hope everyone here is well. Thank you for reading.

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on April 05, 2021, 09:49:35 AM
Thank you for visiting and updating your story. I think of you often when I visit the board, and I look for your thread. I know that sometimes there is nothing to say, either because there is not much movement or because there is too much movement to write it all down.

I am sorry that there is so much upheaval, with the move and the reopening (which is scary even for many who are also looking forward to it) and then also the contact from h. That’s a lot for anyone, even without accounting for the PTSD or C-PTSD. Being able to have a trusted professional take in your experience, document it, and seek to better understand it must feel like a positive thing even if it doesn’t resolve the underlying trauma. It is a difficult cycle - finding and getting settled into a new home will likely go a long way toward giving you resilience and healing and renewed strength, but you need to heal and have strength and resilience to get to that new home and through this uncertainty. I hope you are able to find the healing you need... through prayer, therapy, the support of your d, this forum, and friends.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Treasur on April 05, 2021, 10:03:18 AM
I'm sorry about the panic attack, Terra. Yup, nothing good about them. And bc it is a surge of adrenaline and cortisol, you may find that you feel very tired afterwards. Perhaps for a couple of days even. Which is normal and for good physical reasons.

I'm sorry too about that feeling of not quite getting things done or only half or quarter done. Know that feeling all too well. Also very normal for PTSD. Your brain and body just have less bandwidth. And imho a lot of folks are rather nervous about being released back into the world.....there are benefits to a smaller slower life with less moving parts, particularly for anyone grieving or healing.

Do what you can. Ask for help from friends and acquaintances more than you think you should.
I suspect that leaving this house will be a good shift for both you and your daughter bc I think it hasn't been a happy or easy place, has it? I wish you well with your search for the next place and applaud your wisdom for seeing that your h sends words across the ether like metaphorical farts....nothing useful for you in them, nothing to be said. Let us know how you get on and know that we are all cheering you both on xxxx
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on April 08, 2021, 08:18:55 AM
Curiosity and Treasur, thank you. I saw on social media recently an illustration of what ADHD paralysis looks like vs. what ADHD paralysis feels like, and ...well, it was accurate. It definitely looks like that and feels like that, 24/7/365 here. I wondered if maybe I should have that looked into also, but then realized I’m seeing more people feel that way this year than don’t. And as an older friend said accurately the other day, *every person alive* is facing some huge problem right now. It may be different from our own huge problem, but everyone has at least one and is mightily struggling to bear through it.

The really cool thing about this unwanted and untimely move is that it is all a new beginning.

I realized last night that this is a time for me to brush (ALL the DUST) off my resiliency and organizational skills and inspiration, whatever tools I have in me to rise up and meet challenges the way I have continued to do in my sleeping dreams all along. Time to shake off the shroud, I mean, and just push the weights that block the exits. There’s so much to get rid of, in this house, and among it all, the self-doubt can be got rid of. There’s no choice but to really believe in myself, and honestly, I don’t know why I ever *stopped* believing in me.

My credit score keeps tanking and I almost think it might completely bottom out before I get a handle on it again. It was like this the year before h and I met, so, for some reason now feels like then, like before he existed in my life. Like he ever happened. And I find that mystifying but also a strange relief, like — finally — some breathing room, again. I dreamt last night that I had done or was doing something ordinary (to me) that he didn’t want or like or expect me to do. When I woke up this morning I felt the freedom and liberation of that, although also the part where I hadn’t been doing it to hurt him.

This could be as simple and beneficent as taking D to a sushi dinner after work and daycare on a Tuesday evening. Or scheduling and then benefitting from a routine therapeutic massage instead of taking a pill or going to a doctor. Things that were really basic care, for me, that he just had never seen a woman value or insist on, before me. Not like I was doing anything wrong; just that I was doing things differently or that he’d never seen before, or that didn’t fit in his files about what a woman or a young child’s mother would or could do.

It wasn’t like I was cheating on him, in the dream or in any reality. But I woke up this morning feeling like I had got away with something like that, and that I wasn’t actually very sorry for what I’d done (whatever it was). Instead I was wholly in the right, and maybe 2 or 3% of me was 100% sorry he’d been startled or affrighted by my doing.

The truth is that for reasons outside my control or choosing, I am moving away from him for the first time in forever. And because there isn’t anyone here to help me, I am doing it of my own efforts. Because finally there’s no choice, and no one to confer with or get help from. So, we’re moving on. And I don’t even know where to, or exactly how.

I only know it will be about 8 weeks from now.

To be honest, it’s actually starting to feel really exciting.

Sometime this summer everyone will have been vaccinated here. We will live in a new place that isn’t presently known or even loosely identified. D will be on summer vacation and heading into her next to last year of high school. I’ll turn another year older and we won’t be close to wildfire territory anymore. We’ll settle in, wherever we are, but knowing that it is only for a few more years at most. Fewer than half the years we’ve lived in this house we are leaving.

The thing about collecting all the historical trauma into one document is that it does resolve it somewhat: all of it goes into one box, like, and is contained. It has been scattered about like the leavings of a hurricane almost all my life, in my heart and sometimes abrupt reactions in my relationships, and across boxes and boxes of handwritten journals and stacks of cluttered pages and things unfinished. Completing the PCL-5 — a three-page document, two pages of which are just checklists for Xs and Os — did a lot to contain the pre-BD and pre-pandemic traumas. I really wish any therapist had ever presented that form to me, before now. So I was glad and proud of myself to find it on my own, after a month of concerted frustrating attempts to summarize all that old harm.

The betrayal trauma and pandemic psychology really is not addressed in any way on that form. At this time, I decided it’s ok to just let the historical stuff be reason enough for the diagnosis. If I try to summarize what I’ve been through either since BD or just since last year, that’s another twelve pages just in the first sitting. I don’t have time.

If I survived everything before 2020, and survived 2020 also, I can survive whatever I’m up against today.

Right?

RIGHT.

Treasur, I laughed at “metaphorical farts”; h was so lovely a conversant and writer before all the OW stuff sneaked in. I’ve found his clipped communication really distressing, these last several/many years, and I’ve called it that to him directly a few times. Like rabbit or deer pellets, or something constipated. Which I realize may be preferable to or a bit cleaner than the steady flow of pure bullsh!t that happened there for a long time before he just left.

On panic attacks — I received a newsletter the other day that recommended a book “Anxiety: the Missing Stage of Grief”, by Claire Bidwell Smith, LCPC. I don’t know what an LCPC is, but I’m pretty sure this book is timely. ;) It’s on my list for light summer reading, for some summer evening when D and I are secure in our “wherever it will be” new house.

I know I have grown a lot and even mastered some things and also *healed* considerably in this house. We still will be glad to leave it behind. In some ways, this time, I think I most look forward to looking back at it all someday, and remembering only what happened that was good. I understand h may have felt the same way just before he left with ow. It’s strange, understanding that. But finally I also understand that sometimes we just do move on.

Thanks both, for encouragements and for helping me see myself just a little further forward each time, with your words.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Treasur on April 08, 2021, 10:00:41 AM
RIGHT!  :)

I can heartily recommend this book....one of the best, most useful I have read https://www.amazon.com/Anxiety-Rx-MD-Russell-Kennedy-ebook/dp/B08L8BTJYW
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on April 17, 2021, 09:39:52 AM
Thank you Treasur, it’s on my list for summer reading!

I feel like I haven’t updated here in a long time but it’s only been about a week, I guess. Still sorting boxes and things to get rid of while navigating the strange of “reopening”. D’s dad scheduled her for vaccination a few weeks from now. From what I can see on the roads and in grocery stores and in front of other people’s houses, apparently a lot of my community has been vaccinated already. I haven’t been and have no idea when I will be.

I texted the landlords this morning almost involuntarily to let them know I have been looking for a new place for months since their verbal notice and am not clear that we will be able to move by the date they expect. I asked for negotiation for a later move date.

I don’t remember when h last contacted me, but there has not been good communication now for nearly three years anyway.

Catching up on other threads, I remembered the times prior to BD/MLC, when h was at the center of some fracas at his work. Complaints from subordinates, something to do with workplace harassment, the same kind of harassment I had been on the receiving end of in my own workplaces for decades. And how h somehow could not understand the very simple rule of don’t fraternize with subordinates: stay in your lane.

Sometime this past year in quarantines and 2500 miles apart, he texted flirtatiously and under the circumstances I rebuffed him. He said if I wouldn’t participate he would go find someone else for it.

I blandly told him that if that was his default solution, it wasn’t exactly special or meaningful that he’d tried to get that attention from me.

This past week I have considered throwing out absolutely everything and starting over from scratch. There are boxes long stored that contain old photo albums and holiday memories and things having to do with h, and I have both avoided those and also felt ruthless toward them, as if they are just uninvited and unwelcome garbage. And at the same time, I also have felt so much love still existing, which is strange, because nothing loving has been conveyed in a long time.

It’s weird to hold these contradictory emotions all at once, and so often. When I look at everything on my plate, I don’t think anymore that he would or could help any of it, even the parts that technically were caused by him. That’s weird too, the releasing of accountability. The releasing of the notion that he could or should or can be held accountable for what he’s done or not done. I’m not favoring a world or life where that’s the norm.

The point being, while he remains on my mind in some weirdly leveraged way, I don’t think of him much. When I do, it is to notice that that is a person who has no clue or even solid interest in who I am or how or if I have survived a year plus of unprecedented collective chaos.

As I move through the boxes and things in preparation for leaving this tenancy, in which he has been physically gone and involved with whoever else almost the entire time, it feels like closing the doors finally on an old and broken system. The kind that the man I married would have done everything diligently and intelligently and with a sense of pride and honor to fix.

Maybe old and broken systems just need to be junked. I don’t know what life will look like, or where it will be, for me and D by summertime. Maybe the landlords will give reprieve and we will still live where we live now. In the meantime there is no room for any thought beyond sorting things and finding a new place to live. Things like vaccinations and jobs and other major learning curves have to wait or be handled by some other adult.

I had an unexpected small amount of money come in the other night, from sales, and was able to turn it around to a small thing D had shown me she wanted, just a little joy. I turned the money into that order and the thing arrived almost instantly, to her surprise and delight. And that small giving was such a big enjoyment that it was just *good*.

So as much as things aren’t different and are still difficult and burdensome and overwhelming, and frankly, frightening — there are also significantly special moments. I’m kind of living moment to moment for over a year now, so when the good ones come, no matter how small, that’s a big deal.

Thanks as always for reading.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: OffRoad on April 17, 2021, 03:00:24 PM
I blandly told him that if that was his default solution, it wasn’t exactly special or meaningful that he’d tried to get that attention from me.
This is gold. I'm going to remember this one.

Moving is difficult at the best of times, but when you are forced to moved, it is so much harder. I hope you can hang on to anything with photos or special memories. Those aren't things you can get back if you change your mind. And by the same token, in this digital age, sometimes you can just take a digital picture and let the item go.

When you look at everything on your plate, it's not really a matter of accountability. It doesn't really matter how you got here at this point. You are here, and now you must find a way to deal with what you have. It sounds like it can be very overwhelming at times. But in truth, I think you are correct that moving to another place might be what you need, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. Sometimes the universe sends us what we need whether we want it or not.

Virtual Hugs.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: sachertorte on April 17, 2021, 09:40:53 PM
Hi  Terra,

I want to say that if you live in the US, the CDC has imposed an eviction moratorium until June 30. They may even extend it. Some landlords have tried to get around that by not renewing leases, but it takes time and effort to get a marshal to come out, and you can always let them know about the moratorium and your situation.

The housing market is insane. I stuck by my agreement to sell the house, and it was only because a friend's tenants separated that I was able to get a place. Three kids! I pray their marriage would be restored.

Best wishes to you! As vaccination spreads let's hope the rental situation would improve. There is much hope.

And thank you so much for being a beautiful ray of light. Your experience has offered me so much understanding and clarity. Bless you and your child. 
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: sachertorte on April 17, 2021, 09:55:34 PM
I can't seem to send you a PM, so this would have to do. Thank you so much for your message. It means a lot to me. I took heed and reached out. I will try to care for myself the way I have cared for others. And you take good care of yourself too. I hope the heavens rain down many golden occasions as you had with your gifting of your daughter today.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on April 25, 2021, 04:06:08 AM
OffRoad and sachertorte, thank you. I’ve tried to respond here since you wrote but this week has been hell.

I had our dog euthanized about two hours ago. D is at her dad’s and devastated. We’d had conversation about it earlier this week after an emergency vet visit on Monday, but neither of us expected there would be even an ordinary vet visit again anytime soon.

His decline was impossibly rapid. I am not even sure what all changed; I just know it *all* changed, and changed fast.

I didn’t expect anything like it tonight. I notice I am feeling alternately nothing, then varying levels of sorrow, sadness, and shock.

He was such a good boy, and so much love. It was the right thing to do. But it was unexpected, or, we weren’t prepared, and it hurts.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Nas on April 25, 2021, 09:15:43 AM
No matter how long we get with our pets, it’s never long enough. I’m so sorry for your loss, for you and your daughter. ❤️
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on April 25, 2021, 09:35:36 AM
Terra, I am so very sorry for your loss. We experienced both a rapid decline and a slower one with your two elderly kitties in the past few years, and you are never fully prepared either way, but the rapid decline has that added element of shock that is so very difficult to navigate.

It does hurt. And whether they live an all too short life or we are blessed with many years with them, it never feels like enough. The love that they bring into our lives is incredibly special and wonderful. I am very sorry that you and your d are experiencing this.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: readytofixmyselffirst on April 25, 2021, 03:24:21 PM
Hello,

I am so sorry for your loss. It was a tough choice and there are no easy answers sometimes. I was talking to my dad the other day and knowing his eyesight is going is just sad. Nothing that can be done. I worry how he will take care of himself and I see early signs of dementia in my mom as well.

I read earlier what you wrote about getting a small gift for your daughter with some money that came into your life. The first thing you did with your money was for your daughter. Just a great way to show how you have your priorities in the right place. Your words made me smile and it brought some warmth to my heart.

But, just hang onto the good memories and how you made a difference in your dog's life. You. That you are special.

Like you wrote, it seems everyone is dealing with something. Just need to get it right and we will.

(((((Ready))))
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: FaithWalker on April 26, 2021, 07:57:22 PM
I'm so sorry for you and D's loss of your precious pooch.  I lost my dog a few years ago and it is hard.  ((((HUGS))))
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 01, 2021, 08:20:27 AM
Hello all and thank you so much for condolences and warm words. It has been a heck of a week here.

The loss is hardest on D and yet by the almost end of first week, we seem to have both found our footing in grief. There are natural and human synchronicities that keep happening one after another, in ways I am accustomed to but still surprise, and so it seems very clear to me that God and all our dead are present and attendant for us both. That’s a deep comfort although if I described any of it (or all, as I usually strive to do), I know my living parents and h and, say, the landlords, would say to my face that I was crazy.

I don’t care. I don’t see how other people move through their lives good or bad without these elements of visual and psychological poetry.

In the end, D had three days off school this past week and I phoned a school counselor there to make sure someone on staff understood why. Having grieved h and the loss of our family together for these last five years, all the years we’ve lived in this one house, I find the pet loss grief to be more capable, competent, and succinct. This is after five years of grieving something hidden and lied about, though, something/someone that willingly confused me, every day and night, and who was deliberately mean. Our dog’s death resembled that only in that he is now gone from our physical house. Of him, we have only the happiest memories, full of joy and love. But the loss of physical companionship and routines is the same. D is devastated and her heart cries out for our good boi in the same manner mine did about h until, really, our dog’s final exit.

What I mean is, it’s impossible to focus on stupid things like trig assignments or literary coding when there’s suddenly a huge unwanted unexpected void in your rooms.

I felt disrespectful about my dog grief being comparatively so quick, until this morning when I realized there are big differences. In this loss, there was no spite; there was no machination, no manipulation, no lying. I think there was incompetence but I’m not going to shake down the veterinary office for it; we were a profit for them, that’s all. This last month I have also been a pain in the @$$ but they deserved that; it was life or death. More importantly, in this loss I had choice and *agency*. I had to advocate for a peaceful, gentle, dignified end to a loved one’s loved life. I had to make and take and decide actions at every turn.

I didn’t like it. It hurt. But I did it, and I did it with so much sorrow and real love.

And that’s a huge difference. It felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants but it also felt resolute and well considered, well investigated first. I knew what I was doing and that I was obliged to do it.

H did fly by the seat of his pants and although he put it to all of us and everyone else that his leaving was something he “had” to do, it never was that.

Now that we are awaiting the ashes of our good boi here, in my mind and carriage h is definitely obliged to stay away and to stay in the circumstances he chose over us and to build on every day. The hundreds of thousands of dollars he spent in his venture, those were needed here and would have made significant difference for the better and best, for all of us, and I think it would have been better too, with him here, even if he had been awful and undecided every single minute.

Instead he wasn’t and isn’t here, and we are leaving here, and I don’t want him here now or when we move to the next wherever place.

We are due to move out in a month and a half, six whole weeks and counting down, and I have no idea where we will move to or what it will even look like for us.

So he needs to stay away, because none of his dramatics or judgment or circumstances can help us or me. They and he can only get in the way.

It’s sad because we used to work so seamlessly as a team, and even when we moved here after ow1, he was of immediate and all the deeply necessary helps. This time I do it by myself. And I am so mad and resolute that however messy it goes, it will go well enough.

And once it’s done, I can breathe and rest, and keep going.

I see that, and it’s different from how I grieved him or the loss of us. I put down the dog last weekend and it was A COMPLETION.

So that’s what I want to say for the relative newcomers here — grief gets really unruly if it or the loss cannot be *completed*. This may be the reason some of us divorce rather than keep going along with the MLCer or abandoning spouse. Sometimes the brain needs a clear ending, in order to keep processing or to move forward into a clean life, lighter or less burdened heart, or fewer days of that devastating crying every hour.

Don’t be afraid to decide. Trust your reflective responses, and follow those through. The longer it goes, the more gaslighting you get; the longer you are manipulated or mistreated, the less your own decisions make sense.

Trust yourself and trust your intuitions and reflexes. I don’t know that I’d warn that it’s life or death, but in some ways, it is. So choose you and your heart, you and your children, you and your own peace of mind.

I dreamt last night that h was with me and arguing for something that before the dog loss might have made a good deal of sense. But the point of it all to me was whether really was it a good deal.

And the dream was short because I knew from the start that that would be inconclusive no matter how long I weathered his pitch. He groused at me in his lofty luxurious place and I kept moving along, a rolling target, a rolling stone. Because come on. Hasn’t this all been already long enough.

I woke up: Rabbit, rabbit. May Day. Rent is due here and won’t be paid. In six weeks we’ll be gone.

*

I got vaccinated yesterday and my arm is sore. There is Thai food in the fridge, a massive spread from the other night in case the vaccination left me tired. It did and so did the week of dog loss and dog grief, and last night I also heard from D’s dad that one of his oldest friends, D’s godfather, passed away a few days ago. So it’s been a tough week.

It sounds trite but I am secretly happy that old friend is now eternally with our good dog.

Life goes on. I sometimes resent that a lot, but as with the veterinary quality of life questionnaire, if there still are more good days than bad, there’s still so much to live for. Grief is a process and it hurts like hell but it is asking you for acceptance, authenticity, to feel all the love, and to have a completion. It probably also goes underground so that we can survive it and keep doing life’s things, like moving or wearing face masks, and maybe another hard wave will topple me in the weeks to come. But there is still beauty and love and much to live for, so let’s keep doing that as we feel it through.

Thank you so much for kind words and encouragements. I always have at least hours more of things to say and talk about here, and I guess some (or a lot) of it will just have to wait.

I know this good dog is still with us and will always be. That isn’t the same as how I feel about h. This morning, May Day, I dialed in on one of our May things, and I realized that this one thing would make a difference if he shows it to me again. In the grand scheme it is very small, and in the context of all the work I need to complete before next month, it is even smaller. So this morning while honoring the losses we’ve been struggling with, I know to trust my reflexes: Not Right Now.

You get to say that, over and over again. Apply liberally, because it’s your right and your life and your heart and your time, your peace of mind.

Thank you as always, and doubly, these days, for reading. I hope each and all of you are well.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 01, 2021, 07:14:34 PM
One thing I clearly understand now is that if not a narcissist or a personality disordered person, h was a serial cheater. I am not the first woman he disgraced; he admitted early on that his flirtations and “business partner” had been one of the issues in his first marriage. So I am not the first woman he disgraced; xw was. And I know I’m also not the last woman he disgraced. I know it, because he disgraced ow2 with me. And he would have continued on and on, if I had been willing to participate, which I never was, and still am not.

One of the secondary reasons I was never willing to participate in his cheating on his replacement of me, is that it was so easy to guess that even in *that* sense, I was not the only one.

I have a huge problem with that — the disrespect of being just one of God only knows how many. H told me he didn’t do this with anyone else. As if having only me on the side was some kind of special.

It’s been a long time since I last heard his voice, and it was only through his voice that I could tell whether he was telling the truth. But it’s been so long that I’ve forgotten how I knew, or how often even in voice he still lied.

Really it’s all fine. I just wanted to say that to myself here tonight — that he was a serial cheater, and likely still is. I think I was fooled for a long time because a work crush or appreciation of the beauty of some grocery store clerk or waitress or office intern didn’t seem like it was going to be big trouble.

It was.

I am just not a person who is ok with cavalier ogling or “honest” admissions about what you think of a waitress’s bosom or how nice so and so always is, or furtive glances at same when I’ve told you it bugs me, what you do.

He compartmentalized. He didn’t always, or, he didn’t always *that I knew of*. What I know since then, I don’t care for, and I suspect there was much worse than what I knew.

To be honest, I don’t know anything at all, about the one he’s left all of us for. And it’s been long enough that I just. don’t. care.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: xyzcf on May 01, 2021, 07:28:04 PM
I just read about your dog terra. I am so sorry. I said goodbye to my dog  5 weeks ago and then my sister died 4 weeks ago.

Grief is real and it is messy but in both cases, it was time to say goodbye...even though I didn’t want to.

The last year of my dog’s life was difficult but like you, the end came suddenly.

These loses I can comprehend.

The house is really quiet now and “empty”.  I remember my pup with many smiles and so much love and  she never gave me anything but sheer joy.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 02, 2021, 07:59:38 AM
xyzcf, thank you. I remember reading about your good dog and your sister and knowing my time was coming up for loss as well, so, really attuned to your words. My own sister broke her foot right after the next to last vet visit and has had to go to hospital for startling complications and all I’ve been thinking is oh God, don’t you dare. Her daughter is graduating final lofty university levels this week and so there are all kinds of major completions happening; it makes me realize that those happen in families all the time and I have very much mixed up what completions represent — and maybe I always have. I’m scared of them, the finish lines and graduation stages and ends of things.

I’m sure sorry for your losses, and I think of you often when I pray.

*

Today it has now been a week since I came home from the vet to this now quiet house with no dog. D and I both have passed the first hurdle of all the hours-long crying. She sleeps in my bed because hers is still rumpled in the shapes that he last made there, on a good day. I let her sleep in the mornings. She’s sleeping pretty hard.

Today we will focus on knocking out a few of her missed school assignments. She is so over all that, thinks school is stupid, and stupidly complicated, and it is.

I feel the same way about all the vaccines. Like why are there as many as brands of toothpaste; couldn’t we have had a universal solution to all this? So that everyone on earth got the same basic thing. We all were pressured by the one virus; why are there three and four solutions even within one household.

Ours will have two different vaccines. I received the same vaccine as my niece but ours is different from the one my daughter will receive, and her aunt and uncle received something entirely different, and their son hasn’t decided which to get yet. In another family, a multi-generational household, each generation received something different from the rest.

It feels not political but like we all are :/ being separated by this thing. That’s how the worried inner child in me sees it, and it’s confounding. I can’t get back to my adult scientific medical mind about any of it. The inner child mind is really young and fretful, suspicious, angry, aggrieved.

Today we will center for the schoolwork. On Friday I cold-called a science company related to the veterinary upset and let them know I am interested in working for them. In 44 days we will leave this property and phase of life for somewhere else. So today I will center also to push forward in packing the house and moving things out. Tomorrow D will resume remote instruction and I will go back to the vet to collect our dog’s ashes and find out how much it cost me to let him go.

Last night after we said our goodnights and I love yous, I had the strangest dream. All the completions all at once in one place: deaths graduations funerals and house moves to other states; hosting all the family of origin and choice and the friends all made; caring and being hospitable while also just doing all the things that needed to be done. Doing all the things that needed to be done, and needing help, but not getting it. And remaining competent and still of happy disposition, feeling celebratory for all the family passages even while the visiting family in my house sat about feeling sorry for themselves for having abandoned me, again and again.

In the dream in one alone task, some distance from the house called “Beautiful”, where all these abandoning family just sat about and grieved, along the side of the road I found the left wing of a raptor. I turned around, then turned back, and found the rest of the large bird. And I slowed and stopped the car, collected up both the parts, got back in the car, and continued on my errand.

When I woke, that was a completion too, having to do with h. I don’t know what it was but an honoring and the best I could do.

He won’t know D and I have moved; he won’t know to where, or that the dog has died, or how.

He was one of the abandoning family that sat in the house called “Beautiful”, in the dream. And it was his way, somehow, that I knew his return even on a celebratory day of completions and neccesary tasks would mean doing much of the heavy lifting myself and also consoling his grief over the years of harms and losses he had caused me.

This morning it strikes me as stupid and stupidly complicated.

It’s funny, somehow, to think that we can bear the brunt of someone else’s weird actions and meanness and then have to also give them comfort after we’ve managed despite all odds to survive it.

I mean, I will, if that’s presented to me. But it seems very backward.

Thank you for reading.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 10, 2021, 10:14:46 AM
Sometimes I am pretty sure the end result of all of this will be a near-fatal heart attack.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 14, 2021, 06:59:28 AM
Just checking in. D is in finals and I am still and more concertedly packing the house important things for storage and unimportant or obsolete things for disposal/donation/resale.

Xh, her dad, has helped financially here and there during COVID straits and kept promising to get us into an apartment, with his credit score and employment status. But now is hassling me to get rid of everything and move alone into a furnished room in some stranger’s house. This would mean limited visitation with D and she and I are both livid about it. I’ve had to ask myself if maybe my anger is actually fear, but it truly isn’t. I’m still mad at xh for divorcing me and for the costs of his divorce, and mad at him also for some of the problems he has posed for her. Devaluation of the feminine and the lack of safety a feminine (especially a young one) feels at being subjected to that.

Anyway. Xh is twisting this way and that now and I understand it’s partly natural discomfort at the scenario I’m in, which does impact his D. But she rightly mouths off at him that in their discussions about it, his feelings about it aren’t what matter — hers are.

Somehow it’s become a conversation that now includes my ex in-laws. They were actively hostile agents of/in that divorce and so I am sort of at a loss about why they’re included now this long later. Pretty humiliating. Also just an interesting opportunity for me to size up whether their witnessing or opinions count, and to notice that no: I did well, despite all the odds, for a long time. If xh or his family are wanting to sit by and provoke and eat popcorn while I exit this property in whatever — nick of time, slinking disgrace, financial astonishment? They can. Ultimately their witnessing or big opinions don’t matter; I already went through this with them, and I know what their big opinions of me and D are.

I decided not to make any decision about where to live and instead to take a hotel suite for the first month off this property. D is absolutely thrilled at this solution, because it is new, very much controlled/safe, air-conditioned, and relatively autonomous. It’s *our choice*. And it may seem vagabond, but corporate travelers do it all the time. So she and I both like the idea, and after the loss of our dog last month, it’s nice to look forward to something that feels like a relief, reward, novel experience, a “soft” transition after so many harsh and hurtful ones.

The house is a wreck. But last night I surveyed the objects and furniture all over the living room and saw my oldest and most treasured pieces, and seeing them all featured this way, even scattered or out of place — just... TOGETHER in one room — I suddenly felt far more whole than I’ve felt in five years.

Today I’ll be calling the storage place ahead of driving down to it. I made the trip twice last month or so ago, and no one would believe it but both times for whatever reason, and even though I was on the premises for over an hour each time, ready to move things in, *both* times, whatever weird meant that I couldn’t. It’s hard to explain and it wasn’t my fault, or anyone’s maybe, just ...weird. I had intended to go again a third time that week but woke up so depressed the third day that I just didn’t. It shouldn’t be that difficult. And sometimes it is anyway and requires several attempts before I get what I want. I’m tired of that. Like beating my head against a wall. But today I’m aware the clock is really ticking, and newly aware that the beautiful old loved things in my life are important to preserve and keep safe while I figure out where we are going to live next. So I will call the storage place first and then go down there and try again.

My credit score is the biggest obstacle to any new apartment. I just don’t even know how to get around that. It’s weird to get to this age and find out that I still don’t get how things work.




Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 21, 2021, 07:59:24 AM
Checking in.

Had a brash and unpleasant notice from h this week, and a lot of very intense ugly dreams about him before it. Nothing official although I suspect that’s probably under the surface.

What I’ll say about it here is that I’m pretty busy with house packing and end of school year; I kind of don’t have time to dwell on his news. I am well open to the possibility that it is just manufactured drama meant to draw me in, or draw me out, and... Well. I don’t have anything much to contribute mentally to it, so if it’s to entangle me, that’s probably not going to happen.

I spoke with an old family friend from my childhood yesterday, who connected me afterward to people who may have employment possibility for me. With the caveat that projects have been fewer since last March and that there are other contributors before me in queue waiting to be put to good work. So that’s a step forward and while I am waiting, I have plenty of work still ahead in the few weeks before D and I move, and although it isn’t paid in dollar income, I think it can and should still be considered good work. Maybe the best kind.

H’s message was harsh and abrupt, and unexpected. Or, sort of expected. The dreams have been intense and I know this is a family time of year for us all. Despite the message, he claims life where he is is good.

I think if it was, he wouldn’t be saying what he said.

I’m definitely sick of his ow and misplaced loyalty. Some very minor part of me considers that maybe things aren’t so great where he is and maybe that will mean a return. But he acknowledges that he’s cut us all off and I think that when someone affirms that, it probably means they’ll hold to whatever they chose instead for at least a few years more. Because if they don’t, what was that terrible set of choices and love endings all for?

I did respond but I’ll keep that to myself. It was neither here nor there, mostly just brief acknowledgement of what he had said and that he’d said it expressly to me.

I did not say, because I don’t think I need to again at this point, that you don’t get points for any of those choices you made until after they are each fully dismantled and sown back out into the benefit and provisioning for those of us who loved you and whom you trashed to do all of it.

This week I have listened to a lot of survivors and couples who made it through infidelity, affairs, betrayal trauma. I don’t know anymore whether I believe in us or in him. I still love the kids and at some point will be happy to not have to deal with their other parents so much, and yet also am grateful for what those other parents have done well, by the children. If not in any way otherwise benefiting me.

I’m surprised at how midlife challenges even and especially the relationships of children. How midlife selfishness or selfhood takes over so that the needs of the kids of whatever ages take a back seat or are thrown aside entirely. I dreamt sometime around Mother’s Day that S’s mother — who is neither my friend nor h’s — made a point of telling me how genuinely she felt I had done a good job by both kids, especially my own D. And I couldn’t figure why that particular figure, who had been an enemy of h and sometimes not effective with S either, would come to me in my current pressed circumstance, which she herself had never been in, to tell me around that time of motherhood recognitions that she recognized me especially.

Her own mom is gone now, maybe that was part of it. But maybe part of it too had to do with S, who I still love.

I don’t know anymore if I believe in h or in us. I do still believe in both kids, and in their needs and needfulness as young people, as children. And so I do believe in h’s xw, because mother to mother and woman to woman, or maybe xw to xw, on some level I understand that somehow she believes in me.

At this point my circle of affirming and supportive persons is so small and tight that I’ll take the validations where they’re given.

What h recently messaged means that he is all the way out in left field, still self-obsessed. Does it mean anything that he sent that message to me? No. Not really. He knows my values and value in this particular theme and he knows that in person and as a wife, I’d have a lot to say about it.

But I don’t at all, under present circumstances. And I already know full well how this story had already played out before he made these choices. So that’s all old news, I’ve already watched this movie for years, it was boring and stupid and needlessly fractious, and I’m kind of busy right now, understand.

If h and I were ok right now or at any point this past year or five, I’d just say,

https://youtu.be/HKybDdGHZHE

Undo your rotten destructive choices and then maybe I can make time for this. Otherwise no.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 21, 2021, 08:07:23 AM
Also I just want to say, to anyone reading and maybe also writing anywhere on this board, I deeply value your story whether we’ve commented on each other’s threads or not. You all keep me going with your expressions and perceptions. So, even if you feel alone, you aren’t. It’s just that sometimes there is too much to say and not enough time or words for saying it. I’m still here reading often and just keeping my mouth shut and prayers up.

Thank you so much for reading.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on May 21, 2021, 08:25:18 AM
Terra, thanks for the update. There’s so much here, and what it really amounts to is that he clearly is still in crisis and you clearly see that and are continuing to work on you and to do the best you can for you and the kids and all of your life that does not directly involve h.

There’s so much variability in how MLC goes - from in-house to clinger to vanisher, from monster to depressed and ashamed and compensating for that; from a quick marriage to the AP, to numerous touch and goes, to eventual reconciliation in some cases. And beyond that, there is so much variability in how we respond to their actions, based on our own histories and personalities. One thing that is consistent, though, is that until MLCer is able to communicate openly and honestly and in a real, reciprocal manner (talking openly, but also truly listening and hearing) - they are still broken. Maybe they’re not all still in the throes of crisis; some of them were broken in that way before MLC and fixing it will be a more involved process. But I think for most of us, even if we were okay with avoidance and a superficial level of connection before BD (or if we didn’t like it but were willing to accept it before), we won’t settle for that again - in reconciliation or in a new relationship. We know that is the path to eventual betrayal and abandonment, and we can’t trust someone who is disingenuous or avoidant or who plays games in the way they relate to us.

It is sad to see so many MLCers for whom this becomes a way of life - the perpetual search for momentary, externally provided happiness or pleasure, the perpetual lack of true contentment or joy. And when that path is being followed by someone who shows glimpses of being a loving, caring adult - someone with whom you built a life... perhaps one of the hardest things to do is to figure out at what point they can no longer overcome what they have done to you and to that shared life.

And to your post about other threads, I wholeheartedly agree. I post sporadically, often just journaling on my thread, but I do read many threads, and I do check them often. Despite the differences (or maybe because of them), I so appreciate everyone’s perspectives and openness and experiences.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 26, 2021, 07:36:08 AM
Curiosity, thank you. I am so bad at responding timely, right now. I’m hoping for that real, reciprocal manner of communication from h, but I think it will be a long time yet. I really appreciate your clarity about that.

A dream snippet:

“It glows in the dark.”

The woman who said it, in the store in the dream, was returning a “lesser” floor rug that we both had had high hopes for. She was someone I’d worked closely with a long time ago, and liked.

It was eight years ago, when she and I worked side by side. That was only 2013, but 2013 was still eight years ago. That’s almost a decade ago. That seems really astonishing to me.

She said it about glowing in the dark and I protested. And then she showed me and I woke right up, in the dark.

My phone vibrated with an incoming message and I looked at it. Not even an important message, but, the time was exactly right to go out and look at the full moon blood moon super moon flower moon eclipse.

The universe conspires to keep me aligned to many things.

I consulted a star app and saw the moon was already near horizon. That meant it was probably behind the hills and not visible from the house.

I’ve seen plenty of full super blood eclipse moons, and plenty of flower ones. A whole bouquet of flower ones. This one was highly visible from h and ow’s house, I knew. And since lunar eclipse can mean the eclipsing of the female, feminine, important women in our lives, this morning I gathered that where he lives now and how he lives, the important feminine addressed or eclipsed is probably me.

So I stretched and rolled over and just stayed in bed, focusing on money matters here and how to approach the day.

His news last week was maybe minor in my own circumstances but maybe also an invitation to engage more deeply and meaningfully. The problem is that we aren’t on that level anymore or anywhere near it mutually. Financially and otherwise, I am in real crisis and at crossroads, too many things to make happen or to correct, and all of it needing done by a drop date that is coming way too fast. So there’s that part, and the part where he has profited and made good to anyone but us for a long time makes me still resentful. Although not half as much as I was maybe even just last week.

At any rate, I can’t dial into his channel right now or for maybe months yet. If he were here side by side and working with me to do all these things, or if he were providing, maybe then any of the latest could be talked about and sorted out alongside each other and everything else. That’s not how it is, though, and no part of me can see “how it is” changing anytime soon.

I need to keep putting one foot forward, and then the next, and so on.

Later this morning, that unbidden and sudden felt sense:

“I didn’t mean it.”

Anguish: his.

I’m never sure what to do with those message bursts of felt sense. But this morning it did sort of make good sense, and seemed true.

On some level I know he didn’t mean it. There’s a lot to be undone, though, in order for that message to feel proven and accurate and to stick.

It’s something that will have to be said in person, by him, and not just to me.

On the felt sense, I responded with equal energy. I know you didn’t mean it. I understand what you were coping with was really, really hard.

But you have an impulsively mean mouth and mind, and you are profiting the wrong people. Those things all need to be all the way undone. We need you at home, with us.

It’s probably all imaginary but I put it here in case it’s not.

*

An imaginary conversation:

“You know what I really miss most?”

“No. What?”

“You.”



Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on May 27, 2021, 08:21:04 AM
Need to put this here so I remember it:

When I come out to sit in the mornings and create the starting list for the day, now, without the dog anymore, I’m often in some pain or consternation or sometimes even panic. It’s hard for me to understand that soon we won’t live here anymore, or ever again.

But each morning, when I come out to sit, just as I am settling into my page and my pen and my body,

A solitary hummingbird thrums in, hovers above me where I sit, and then rises and flies off again, toward the sun.

That little bird’s thrumming sound energy vibrates in my heart and places peace where panic was taking over. I’ll miss these visitations.

*

Last night just before a bad news item that happened only minutes from the house, I remembered a time of my life which had felt very unsafe, and I realized this long later how genuinely protected I had been then. It felt like all the love of God just poured into my heart, endlessly for an hour, so that I just cried at the overflow of it all, decades of love and care and persons who had looked out for me in ways that families ought to but don’t always or at all. The countless persons who had been my good community even if we were only neighbors or just passing through each other’s lives for a moment.

I cried for an hour straight as all the decades of forgotten provisions and care coursed through me. What a wonder, that love of people and the instinct to protect and watch over each other, and how many of us did that just because it was right to do, human.

Then sometime later last night, a friend across the country posted a news item and I just gaped. It had happened very close to here and affected people I know. Friends. The new normal looking more than a little problematic, and here we are, about to leave a space that has been not newsworthy for a long time.

The remembrance of protective community was a blessing, last night before that item.

This morning it strikes me that old words make more sense now that I am my current age and passing through all these passages. Like each day there is some realization or remembrance that ends in my heart and mind feeling less burdened, even as it still is burdened day and night. Each day some small thing is shed from my concerns or hard memories, like old feathers dropping, or scales falling from my eyes.

This would be a good weekend to get a lot of stuff out of the house and out of our lives and future. I know that and yet I am not handy at coordinating those departures. There’s nobody near to ask for help, and to anyone else, it’s a celebration weekend.

I guess I could make it that here too, and just celebrate by getting rid of everything, all weekend long.

I’m to have my second vaccine shot in the next day or so, though, so it feels like I should just conserve the time and energy.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on June 10, 2021, 08:03:00 AM
Just sitting here with an energy drink and awaiting the truck delivery of a rented dumpster. I’ll be emptying the house these next five days, getting rid of ...well, just about everything.

The most precious sentimental and dollar-valuable stuff went directly into a storage unit and D and I are still adapting to the spaces where those things are now not. I’ve really hated that, the part where body memory or natural rhythms are interrupted by a thing’s sudden and unwanted absence, but I also find it is a familiar feeling or experience. Sort of a minor and less painful example of what was felt gut-wrenchingly each time I turned in the dark to find no comforting warmth where h had once always been. I have to laugh, too, because the thing that is missing most here now is a simple inanimate thing, a glass nail file, the one I have automatically reached for as many as ten times a day for the last 20 or now maybe almost 30 years.

That glass nail file has outlasted two marriages, lol. I’m doing ok without it but I miss that good old reliable simple thing.

Last night I finally — after five years of his absence — pulled a pair of h’s shorts out of the drawer and wore them to bed.

This morning I woke up before sunrise to move the car out of the driveway for the truck delivery. And when I dressed for the day, I took those shorts off and threw them out. Don’t ask me why I let them be here so long or why I finally wore them, the elastic band folded twice and rolled to fit me, to sleep in. Don’t ask me why I finally just threw them out, either. I’m not sure I know the answers or why it could be important; I don’t think it is, anymore.

I guess the big answer is I’ve just finally had enough.

I’m expected to give over the keys to our rental next week, but instead sent formal notice to the property owners that their notice to terminate was not valid. So today and the next x days, I’ll be emptying the house of everything in it, and getting rid of h’s clothes was somehow a good start.

The phone is still blocked because we are now in our anniversary time, and no way in hell can I take any news from h while I’m preparing to leave here. I set an agreement with myself that I won’t check filters or anything else until after D and I have been stationed well in our next place for a while.

I might have thought last night that wearing his clothes to bed would elicit something of him in dreams. I didn’t sleep long, though, and I don’t remember any; I don’t think it did. And that’s not why I threw them out first thing this morning. The truth is they were left here almost five years ago, and we both have changed considerably since. I haven’t seen him in three years but I’m pretty sure whatever he left here is functionally obsolete.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on June 10, 2021, 03:32:04 PM
Terra, much transition is going on in your life. As some of the physical remnants of the past are cleared away, I hope that some of the emotional burdens are also eased. I wish you peace and comfort as you move forward to the next stage in your journey.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on June 11, 2021, 08:11:09 AM
Curiosity, as always, (((HUGS))) and thank you. I’m challenged but taking each day as it comes, and adjusting minute by minute as needed.

*

Last night D and her dad came by to pick up textbooks to be returned to school. I had picked up one of the Lit class novels months ago to parallel her reading and when she collected the book last night I kind of laughed at how I hadn’t been able to set apart time to finish reading it, although her class finished months ago.

The book was “Lord of the Flies”, the well-known and pretty tragic island story, of children unsupervised and left to their own decisions and devices.

I think part of why I couldn’t finish it was just ...how the story seemed starkly alike h somewhere else, left to his own machinations.

Anyway.

Standing in the driveway at dusk last night, I saw again how the three of us, the family that was before h, got along cleanly and well and without any weird power trips. D’s dad had some sort of major crisis or break from reality around age 40 and that’s when he divorced me in a pretty cruel and prolonged set of actions. I couldn’t deal with him for years, like, filed for restraining orders because he was so aggressive then. But after I countered his divorce with a church annulment, everything got peaceful somehow, as if that had been the only right action needed.

Last night xh bent toward a stack of kitchen things out in front of the house and said “Is this... [brand name]?”

I said that it was. And he laughed and said he just made me $$$. “This stuff is worth a small fortune.”

It was and it is, it’s beautiful and it lasts forever. It’s quality cookware and I’ve had it since just after he left us. And h had been a cookware snob and for some reason h also had stiffly avoided ever remarking on the value of my stuff.

Xh had been that way too, during his midlife ...”business”, whatever that departure had been from being a present reasonable husband or person. And last night he wasn’t. I’m not saying xh was suddenly a new option again, or anything, but just ...it was nice to witness someone who had devalued me or my choices coming around and seeing the value in what I alone had chosen or made.

D and I aren’t moving into any sort of permanent place. I honestly don’t know how these next challenged weeks will go or where we will end up. So although one of those pieces was a $$$ gift from my now totally estranged mother years ago, and another was a deliberate $$$ purchase back when I had a new higher salary and the conviction of a years-long employment in just the right role, I told xh he could take them. They need to be washed well because they are full of dust and spiders. But there is no more kitchen to put them in, and they are for winter soups and heavy duty cooking, and I anticipate this summer will be hot and a bit weary, so I am hoping to just travel light.

At the end of the visit, D said “I forgot to hug you. It’s ok, we can hug over the gate.” So we did and as we did, her dad said, “:o BUNNY!”

And I wasn’t really listening because I was hugging my kid. “Do you see it?!” she asked me, and I hadn’t — so we looked and there it was, the cottontail on the driveway, just watching.

I will miss the rabbits here. I will just really, really miss moments like that.

It’s the second time her dad has seen the cottontail. I’m glad he has seen them here. They lope around easily and unafraid. I’ve been a good presence to them, just quiet and natural, and their proximity in turn has been like heaven to me.

Then the rabbit and the child and her father all went away, and the sun went down behind the hills, and it was just me again.

Sometime hours later last night, done for the day, I remembered what day it was and what time of year and I thought of h.

And I’ll tell you, the difference between h’s temperament and D’s dad’s, I instantly recoiled.

H’s behavior and approach these last 12 months have been so aggressive and cold that I can’t bear the thought of him ever being in front of me again. Like, the thought of him returning scares me to death; I can’t take even one more aggression from him.

I tried to think how he would have witnessed any of the interaction with D last night, because although it’s clear I am pressured and working hard alone to sort and parse every object and thing of value or sentiment or scrap that we own, and also handling legal actions or responses and using every part of my addled brain, D is ragging me about something she feels very passionately about. She’s good-natured about it, but persistent, and ...I’m having difficulty finding right words to tell her I can’t attend that right now. That I respect her but I need help doing this other more pressing stuff.

If h were here I think it would be calamitous. If S were here, or if S were presenting same challenge, I know D and I would be on his side and also buffering so that the critical work and deadlines still are safely met — or else if S weren’t presenting same challenge, he’d be on D’s side and yet also buffering between her and us two adults.

S and xh are actually similar, although I can’t say that to anyone. Xh also, I know, would just love S the way D and I do, even though they’ve never met. I think S would appreciate xh too, partly because that is D’s own dad.

So that’s all weird and out of nowhere really. I put it here today because maybe some new reader has blended family or second marriage and might be trying to normalize or figure something out. I don’t know what my story gives to you but just know your family is not alone in the morass of midlife challenges.

I cried a lot this morning when I woke up. It’s funny because sometimes it takes nearly an hour for me to find the right train of thought to get out of bed and start moving through the day’s actions and needs, and often, it’s the hour of mental sorting that is needed first and foremost, and it can’t move forward until there has been the hard release of memory, hurt, and a LOT of hard tears.

For anyone newly arrived to the board here, I’m just telling you this is normal. You’re not crazy. This passage is hard, harder and more painful than childbirth, and it’s you giving birth to a new stronger more tender and wise You. It’s a grief process and a monumental effort and the result, whatever result, is going to be good.

You, I, we all, just need to keep going.

*

I am still upset about h being willfully gone.

I am still upset that he gave our whole life and future and profit to someone else.

I think it’s important to note that here; he’s been gone nearly five full years, with the person he hid and then left us for.

Last month he contacted me to acknowledge that I am the last person he severed ties with, and that he has now also disowned S.

So we are moving forward here, and I feel mentally and financially crippled and abandoned, but ...we are still moving forward.

Because in all of this, you kind of can’t just sit still. We can stand, for our spouse or marriage or family or kids, but it’s imperative that we keep progressing.

And for as much support or clarity we might receive or find on boards like this one and in other stories or even churches or therapist offices, a lot of the work we have to do, we do alone. We sit alone. We sleep alone. We move alone.

This is ok.

I want you to know that: it’s all ok. No one can do the inner work for us. No one can decide what is important or valuable to you or in you. You decide that; you’re the only one who can.

I’m saying it to you because I have to say it to myself, because not many others say it to me out loud.

I’m saying it out loud to you, because I’m there and I’m sure of it. This is a hard passage, harder and more painful than childbirth, more painful than gallstones or broken bones, and still you will get through it all and it’s going to be ok.

Notice where you are right and I promise there will be proofs down the road that you are and always were. You’ve got what it takes to get through every second of this long unwanted challenge. It may take ages but the hard times are going to pass, and you get to come out of it lighter and stronger and it’s just going to be ok.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: Kimber on June 11, 2021, 08:34:40 AM
I am still upset that he gave our whole life and future and profit to someone else.

Phew, that is a rough way to look at it but it really is the truth, isn't it?

As my D says, this should be criminal. At minimum anyone that does this to their family should have to get an identifying marker to warn society of who they are. I recommended a scarlet letter, she went further and said "face tattoo". OW too.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on June 11, 2021, 09:09:21 AM
Kimber, YES. I’ve said similar! Only for me I’d like it to be a neon or fluorescent yellow, like a highlighter pen ink or police caution tape or the “slow down” stoplight, and really, I think a scent signature would help too. Something in the air around them that tells you in one whiff, “This stinks”. Because it really does!

And the weirdest thing to me is that even if there were this kind of blatant recognizable branding, honestly I probably would love h anyway.

What I can say about it all is that at least now I know something more about recognizing the negative potential in any other potential suitor/partner/intimate. And have promised myself concretely that h is the only and *the final* person I will field these challenges with. Anyone else who presents with even a hint of these traits or issues is an absolute no-go, an instant “walk away” or “RUN”.

Several people in my life, when all of this first showed up, exhorted me to date around and find someone new. That whole bit about “you just haven’t met the right person yet”. I don’t know what kind of fairy tale they were trying to direct through me, but I didn’t and don’t have the capacity to do someone else’s idea of what my life ought to look like. It’s weird how anyone wants to direct someone else’s intimacies, I do realize that now.

This long later, those persons all are gone from my life, which feels weird also but feels right, safe at least. Quiet. And when I think periodically about how it might be healthier to enfold into intimacy again, I just don’t see how that is even possible. For me at this time I don’t think it is. I worry that it will never be again. Then I have to stop and redirect and do something else to shake the train of thought, because it just sucks. Not like “I don’t feel ok”, either, but like quicksand, the kind in old movies where it just swallows you alive.

Occasionally I look around at how others couple up or how they offer themselves or what is their current “branding”, and man? I just back away from all of that. If I couldn’t identify at the start that there would be something really impossibly wrong with this person or that one a decade or more down the road, at *least* twice, I think I just need a time-out. For however long it takes to get clear of the damages.

It was, I still think, less about trusting my instincts than about how much we none of us still don’t understand about how trauma works and seeds astounding behaviors that spring out like a jack-in-the-box horrorshow in midlife or later adulthood. And h would say this is me blaming anyone but myself, but guess what: nothing anyone else chooses to do is my fault. I still think it’s pretty weird that anyone would accuse me of blaming when this is just a fact across the board.
 
This is me riffing and free-associating off of what you’ve said, and I think I might have got off into left field here, but yes and thank you, I am so in agreement, stick a visible signal on anyone who is going to go haywire so we don’t ever put so much love and trust and good commitment into those persons, or so that we do so only with ample precaution and a solid plan B, checks and balances, and the right consequences fairly applied at the right junctures.

*

A second thought on second marriages:

I think I am one of the only contributors I’ve read here who is stuck with the stupid challenge of what does it mean for LBS when first spouse is showing up better than MLC spouse. I know some of our members here are LBS in “new” relationships that are better than MLC, but I’m not sure who else is LBS with second spouse in MLC.

Over the past year or two, I know I’ve worried that what if xh is unfinished business or the spouse I’m “meant to” be with. I just want to put that here for posterity; xh showed up and came through, during most intensive pandemic moments, in ways that h really didn’t even offer or suggest.

Xh did it because of our D, and because he actually is a nice person. His divorcing me was really ugly, but the truth is that we’ve known each other for *ages* and in some way it feels we’ve known each other for centuries.

If it were a conversation between me and Christ Himself and God asked me which spouse I prefer or feel most aligned with? That’s still h, even troubling and in MLC.

But last night I saw how toxic that all is, and how the representative of my first marriage is not.

Just needing to say that for the record. I’m not for coupling anymore or at this time. But if made to choose, last night I saw how viscerally I am misaligned with what little I know or remember of h now.

That’s a hard place and I’m saying it’s normal.

I don’t think — on some Biblical and way out level — that we are supposed to have more than one spouse unless first spouse has factually died. Not judging any of us here for having more than one, or for moving forward, either; just saying, for me it’s really difficult to unhook from and release that commitment made in total faith. So I’m challenged too, by this errant wondering if the first marriage we have is the one that is supposed to stick, for better worse richer poorer sickness and health.

I don’t feel dismayed by my second marriage; I loved h more than I ever knew possible, and with more forgiveness than I ever knew existed in anyone.

I don’t feel I transgressed at xh, either; I wasn’t the one who broke our marriage apart and I would never have chosen the end that he chose. Xh isn’t sorry about it either, and he never makes moves to reconnect in any marital or intimacy way.

We just know each other, is all. I can be grousing to him about something present and random and xh will spark up about one of my beloved dead, someone important to me that he knew at least peripherally before they died. This acknowledgment, whenever it happens, is always unexpected and comforting. To be known is a gift.

H wasn’t and isn’t like that; the important dead in my life, he never knew at all. So in some ways it’s like showing up at an important party and finding out you’ve been assigned to a blind date, for the duration.

I hate that difference.

And I’m not in love with xh and sometimes I think I never was. We do things utterly differently. He is structured and busy; I am nebulous and an artist. We have different values about a great many things. I don’t like or love or respect his family, because they don’t like or love or respect me.

H was different: he was structured and busy too, but also attendant for the longest to my ways and needs, in the ways I most needed. I don’t understand why he was the better match, and he was deeply, until he wasn’t.

It’s weird to notice that even in conflict and through anything horrific, xh still knew who I had been — and, like, h just denied and rejected all of that, finally. All of me. Enough that finally he just recommitted elsewhere.

And xh still comes around on proper parenting schedule like clockwork and if things are in havoc or fearful here, for his child’s sake he offers to help make things better.

I’m saying all of it because someone else out there has got to be troubling over all of this in similar ways. You’re not alone. I don’t know how it all finally shakes out, but I have these questions and quandaries too. And I have faith in us, you and me. I have faith in you.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on June 16, 2021, 07:12:06 AM
I’m awake too early and waiting for the truck rental to open so I can drive over and get the truck for loading up the majority of house things today. I didn’t put the rubbish bins out this morning, because there is still a dumpster in the driveway, the day after I was supposed to return it. So today will be all day full of mercenary decisions: keep or toss, keep or toss, and the prevailing idea is TOSS IT ALL.

I won’t, I know, because I am a sentimentalist and also a bit of an emotional hoarder; everything I have ever brought forward in my years has some emotional significance and it all means something to me. Good or bad, everything is a writing prompt and full of story. That’s been true since I was D’s age, and after decades of it, what a seriously daunting task, to get it boxed neatly and safely stored, or instead to rip it out and throw it away, breaking all the roots forever.

I’m aware that the stories and prompts all are probably still in memory, and also that some of them need to be ripped out and thrown away there too. So I have hope that ditching things today will mean a clearing in my psyche? I think that would be really great. Some of it has been root bound for a long, long time.

That expensive rented dumpster isn’t even half full yet. It needs to be fuller than it is and to get out of here *today*.

Having spent a huge amount of cash already on this move, I am resisting the purchase of two planned art pieces that have been on my list since before the move was thrust at us. There isn’t presently a place for the new canvas except in storage along with the couch and the two living room canvases that feature the same colors. The other piece, smaller, was planned for featuring as the one piece of art for carrying us through any transitional “home for now”.

I haven’t secured hotel stay yet, because I had no idea how this move would even happen or when we’d be ready to leave here. I wrenched my clavicle Friday night while heaving stuff into the dumpster and lost almost three full days to the round-the-clock pain. So I sure didn’t anticipate even thinking about some of the things I did yesterday, let alone actually powering through and doing them all. We won’t be out of here tomorrow or Friday or maybe even next week? But a lot of our stuff will be, and some of it out of our lives and future forever. That will be a blessing, and a real relief, I know.

I figure I will move things forward and out until it all is out. Then on whatever day we do hand over the keys, I think I will just take the final carload to the storage unit and drive us straight to a yet unselected hotel that has a swimming pool, and stay there at least the first night. A transition space before the intended longer-stay transition space. I just want to shed and *swim off* some/all of the energy or memory of this particular era that is coming to its final end. H’s continued willing absence, the year plus of pandemic quarantine in isolation, the death of our dog; the bad way the landlords went about ousting all of the families on this property.

The other night I woke three times from three separate nightmares all alike, in which someone — h — was actively trying to kill me. I don’t usually dream anything like that. It’s sad that this past year, when I have, it’s h who is featured. Unlike the last time, though, this time in each dream I wasn’t afraid, just surprised. Like, are you serious? Now is not the time. If you have beef with me it’s just going to have to wait; I’ve got way too much on my plate to have anything to do with you right now.

If you really want to kill me, you’ll have to do that later.

Whatever. I said it to him in the dream, in three separate dreams in one night, and when I woke after the final one, I laughed. In the dreams he was astonished and dumbstruck, which made me realize I’d hopped somehow to a different level without even noticing. And I really am way too busy, enough that antagonism from him doesn’t scare me anymore. This move is way worse.

Last night in my short sleep I dreamt a blander nightmare, this time of the guy friend who had presented last winter as sure to hire me for a permanent employment at a solid workplace and role. I still am angry about that; he subtly switched gears pretty quickly and it turned out he was actually trying to position me as girlfriend. Not ok. So this morning I woke too early and you know? I have no idea how I will ever return to my former career, like, ever. His bidding for basically marital intimacy last year was unexpected, unwelcome, unconscionably inappropriate, and just distressing. I won’t have anything to do with him again after that, and ...whatever. I don’t have time for that either. Hoping something I throw out today means that all goes away too.

I am thinking of trashing my entire career portfolio. I’m sure several people in my network would caution against that, but those work pieces haven’t netted me any employment in well over a year. I think throwing it all out forever would be exhilarating.

These days, I have no appetite at all, eat well anyway, and always feel like I am physically starving. I’m not, so, it’s an interesting paradox. I know once we are fully out of here, something in me will settle down.

But I also know that at least for the next several months, nothing will be setting down or taking root.

Wish me luck, if you think to, and thank you for reading.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: 3longyrs on June 16, 2021, 08:32:32 AM
Never doubt Terra,that all of your memories(good and bad) are real.always will be...he cant take that from you and don't you dare let him try...

Way back when my w first left,I went on a cleaning spree...as most lbs's do..threw a lot of things out ,,,and one thing I dug back out was a "friendship plant"Something someone had given her...3 shoots of bamboo or cane in an elongated ceramic pot...it was all but dead,wife had left it to wither in the weeks before she would leave...just as she did our marriage...It had on slightly green tinged leaf left and I took it back out of the trash and watered it....it was a long time before it began to grow again...within the first 2 years I had to transplant it to a bigger pot...it was close to 3 ft tall then...Not sure why I brought that up...just thought I needed to say it if that makes any sense...

Quote
I am thinking of trashing my entire career portfolio.
  Please don't do that Terra...Something tells me it will come in handy someday...

Hang in there Kiddo...There is a friend in Ohio pulling for you....(((HUGS)))
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on July 02, 2021, 09:01:04 PM
thank you 3, and hugs back;

i find ahead of independence day that i am saddled still with all the memories of the ones before, that i don’t love independence day and don’t naturally celebrate it, with anyone,

and somehow i have got the thread lately of :/ whatever ow is having now with estranged h, and i don’t like it at all, am full of resentment. because why should i have any inkling?

d and i have another 60 days here in this house, enough so that i can write for a summer writing class. the instructor is not sure what i am getting at, in my prose so far, and would like it to cohere.

how can it when i still, four years in, don’t understand it myself?

i am tired of not understanding what happened to me, to us, and tired of trying to phrase it, even to myself.

i didn’t understand until about forty minutes ago, that this is independence day weekend. and i kind of hate it.

i’m not sure why: i don’t even know that guy, anymore.

this has been a test of the emergency broadcast system.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Treasur on July 02, 2021, 11:32:08 PM
Test worked  :)

Fwiw....maybe you need to meet yourself where you are....write a story you don’t understand. Or write multiple versions of the same ‘story’ with completely different lens or focal points or players. Or a completely different story altogether. More play than work perhaps?

You have word skills, Terra. No need to be afraid. So perhaps the problem is the story not the words.......
Hug from here.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Nas on July 03, 2021, 07:06:52 AM
I’ve recommended the writing exercise book Writing Down the Bones here many times. It’s no secret I am a hard-core fan LOL.

When it comes to writing, and especially when it comes to writing a difficult personal autobiographical story, it never hurts to keep the phrase “kill your darlings“ in the back of your mind. We all love when we come up with beautiful metaphors, turns of phrase and imagery, but none of that helps if no one understands what we’re trying to say in the first place, and when trying to write about a subject we don’t even understand ourselves, it’s often best to just write it in the most simple language possible. Even if it feels plain and ugly to you at first. Just write it with as few words in an almost instructional, scientific way. “This happened. Then this happened. Then that happened.” Create what I call your story skeleton.  You can “pretty” it up after. First draft, just the basics, or as the old saying goes, “just the facts ma’am.”
My writing advice, fwiw 😉
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: OffRoad on July 03, 2021, 11:28:31 AM
You know, terra, most people think writing should be somewhat linear. Often instructors think that way. You are not a linear writer for the most part. I have no trouble understanding what you write, but it often wraps around upon itself.  That is not a criticism, just an observation in case it might help you. Nonlinear is very much harder for a lot of people to read and cohesion is often hard to glean unless it is written from the point of view that the reader knows absolutely nothing about what you are writing.

Are you writing for yourself, for your instructor or are you working to allow understanding of your writing by a majority of people? It matters, and once you know it might enable your instructor to help you get to your goal. (Or not if he/she only likes a specific style).

As to the holiday, is there something specific about this holiday that especially affects you, or does this feeling happen at any holiday?

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on July 05, 2021, 07:21:14 PM
Treasur, Nas, and OffRoad, thank you. The quick of it, about the holiday, is that in my life it does have two meanings. As an American I have never much celebrated it except with h and the kids when the kids were young and hadn’t schooled us adults yet. As they matured, their world concepts did too, and I’ll just say here only that there are family branches in colonization and D and I are the only ones who acknowledge it. I spent most of the holiday in community who recognize the date very differently, and it was better? And at same time, this is just one of those years where I am reflecting again on how much or even am I representative of or bonded to the country in which I was born. I don’t pass for native much, in this country, even though I am.

Oh well. So there’s that part. I don’t mean to be oblique but I feel like saying more is too identifiable.

I *really* appreciate the input about writing. The course comes at a time when I do need some kind of structure, permission, prompt, and expectations set by someone else. Trying to rise up out of both the quarantines and also out of the last six months, which have been turbulent right here at home. I still don’t know exactly when we will move or where to or for how long, just that eventually and soon enough, we will move.

Treasur, I feel like you always get it, get me. I love all those suggestions and I’ll tell you, I have the worst time giving the narration over to a different character or voice. So I’ve had to ask myself a few times already, why is it so crucial that I do it “this way” — my way. I think it would be grand to tell it through some other perspective. So I am ...waiting to see if that happens. Which sounds silly maybe, but I know that’s how it works sometimes.

I think I am just striving to do something a little different than my usual way. This pandemic isolation has been for the birds and I kind of feel like the writing course is about me clawing my way out of stuck-ness. Both in spirit and in my thinking habits. Sort of like getting out of almost-set concrete. And yes there is definitely a bit of existential desperation in it all!

Nas — Writing Down the Bones is still with me I think decades after I first bought it. That book is just treasure. I don’t know where it is in all the boxes but when I find it I will pull it aside. Plain language “this happened, then that” is actually how I write when re-summarizing old journals, and I see where that can make a big difference in readability for this course. And for all writing, really! Thank you for putting it kindly and clearly!

OffRoad, honestly when I signed up for the course, I was pretty sure it was unattainable (money, house havoc, notable school). So I kind of splashed into it without a clear idea of what I would even do besides listen, consider, and then write. There’s a big deep story to be written, and I think I (or anyone) would be courageous to write it. But it’s the FOO trauma and when I’m not struggling to articulate that in actual human language, in ways that someone new to the story can “handle”, I find I am gatekept by the old programming, which was to never, ever even mention it. Any of it.

So I’m kind of writing my way out of the dark, for discovery, and for myself I think? And yet here are these other folks on similar paths, and what’s nice is that everyone is very much wanting to understand each other and to collectively draw any individual story out into the light. I am pretty sure most folks in the calls are struggling with similar gates.

One nice thing also is that each writing for the course unlocks something in me so that at least three other writings come forward. That’s been remarkable, and I’ve written for hours at a time, and unlike the first writing, the one that didn’t cohere and won’t (because it doesn’t want to), the other pages all connect and are far clearer. I am learning a lot in the process and finding parts of me that were long suppressed, because ...we don’t talk about that.

Well guess what, lol: now we do.

I like that opening up, but I am still getting accustomed to it. That ends up being a surprisingly somatic experience, and by the end of any writing day (most of them lately), I’m exhausted. By the end of the day, though, I’m glad to have got it out of me.

I think my main goal in enrolling was just to do it, to completion, and to see what was any good in the final body of work. Some of the writers are reworking existing manuscripts. I have decades of writing I could work with, but finally, that isn’t me — I recently threw about two years of old (pre-marital, pre-motherhood) writing into the dumpster. For the course, I committed to only all-new material. Eventually maybe it is for others, or for some kind of publishing? I think it’s worth that. But it remains to be seen, how the intended story tells itself. ;) I’ll know better at the end of the course.

Oh: was it just this holiday, or is it really any holiday. I think it’s just this one, this particular way. This one asks that we celebrate America as Americans, not usually something I do, but especially this year, there have been (in my worldview) a lot of reasons to reexamine nationality as an identity aspect. Plenty to change, I think; ancestral family history stuff to dig up and look at. I don’t feel it as much at say, Christmas or Easter. That was a really important question, so thank you for asking it.

*

I noticed on arriving to this thread tonight, that this page shows up for me with the bit about our dog up at the top.

If this were a poem, maybe I would end such a page with this:

Today after picking up D and groceries, I came home and spent hours dwelling on and then finally submitting an application to adopt a new kitten.

We’ll see if that happens. I told D, I notice I am pretty intensely resistant to submitting any completed form that might result in any kind of rejection.

So if it doesn’t happen, we will pore over more little darlings, and I will just do it again, as many times as it takes, until there is finally a kitten in this house.

*

I hope the holiday was sublime for all who do celebrate it; I haven’t got misgivings about anyone who does, I have just suspended that aspect of my own identity. I slept with the windows open last night and the faraway rumble of celebration elsewhere honestly was a comfort, felt like home in early July. It was just a different way and day, for me, but not negative.

Thank you again as always, for reading, and for good input; (((HUGS)))
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on July 05, 2021, 07:29:00 PM
Oh and not to say any of it is a poem; just that when I write those, sometimes it’s effective to echo the start of a page with something “alike” at the end of it — in this case, dear old dog, future new cat.

I am not so ready for a new cat. But I am also strangely ready for whatever comes next, and I don’t have a clue what all that might be. A kitten would be a lovely change of pace.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on July 06, 2021, 09:41:30 PM
Thank you for the discussion of your writing. It’s such an interesting pursuit, and I feel like it colors everything else in life. I suppose that’s true for anything creative, or maybe any pursuit about which one feels passion. This course seems like a really good opportunity to evolve or at least explore within writing - letting someone else plot the course but you still get to drive.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on July 09, 2021, 10:47:31 AM
Thank you, Curiosity — it’s definitely a comfort and relief to have the light structure of *something* positive, progressive, and within it plenty of room to discover and establish new narrative or maybe just re-examine and revise ones that already existed. I find a lot of stuff is coming up for me in the writing, and after everything that’s happened in the last few years (especially all the pandemic), I am astonished at some of it. Like so much has happened that I don’t really recognize the woman it all happened to, or especially, who she was before it did.

That’s kind of a relief too, actually. That the me I am now is pretty separate from the me I was even just 18 months ago, or, six. I can’t say that the current me is in any great shape, but at least she’s clearer on what’s ok and what’s not, what we put up with and what we don’t, and why, and what is important to bring forward and what can just stay behind in dumpsters and donation trucks and burial places. It’s not exactly an all-new me, either, but ...some of the clag or slag has been burned away, sand-blasted off.

I never want to go through another time like this in my life, ever again.

Anyways. I sat down to write this morning and what came out was remembrance of a time h had been really awful, in public and in front of the kids and before I understood that it was just going to be like that with him from then on. It probably wasn’t the first or worst time, either; it was just, for some reason, what manifested on the page today.

He did send a message before the holiday, this month. I haven’t answered or even opened it yet; I can see it is only just the one line, and, it doesn’t offer or explain anything. Just sort of a penny at a window, pitched by someone who is either making a hopeful bid for connection or else is feeling insolent and taking it out on a favorite neighborhood target. My inner response to that one penny has changed day to day since receiving it. I haven’t answered or even opened the message, because no response yet seems like one that would be well met or worth putting into even just a few words. And also because I can’t find the part of me that recognizes him, anymore. That’s sad and/but there’s so much else going on here where D and I live, and it’s all so big, every else, and so a penny at the window is ...underwhelming.

A million years ago, one night I pitched almost $50 in pennies at a wall, cent by cent. It was stupid but I was pissed and trying to break through ...something. And if that’s what h has in mind when he sends the one-liners, what I can say is that it will take far more than one cent to break through.

He doesn’t even send two, like, “just my $0.02”. What am I expected to do with that?

I wind up thinking about it for much, much longer than I should. Days. And I think that’s his intention, that I should. That he should be on my mind even as he isn’t anywhere near me, during holidays or anytime else.

I resent that.

I sent the latest course assignment to the group for review and comments. No one has commented and it’s been sitting there two days. I’m glad I had spoken about any of it here and that the question of audience or purpose came up — I am writing for myself, really, and because I am asked to, so it’s not a big deal to me how it is received or perceived by the people in the course. I do notice, though, that I feel a lot of apprehension about it, after submitting the pages. Rejection-sensitive, and like I am saying anything in an alien language, or like my focus or subject or perspective are irrelevant, unwanted, weird, objectionable, rejection-able.

Sometimes I think even other writers think other writers are just narcissistic. That bums me out. There’s a passing thought that instructor and other students in this course will read what I submitted and think (but not say) “Wow, what a boor, what a bore. This one is completely full of herself.”

That’s a bummer too. And then I think, well? What *else* is anyone full of, if not itself?

After my writing this morning, which wasn’t for the course but could be, I felt sad and dragged, that it was so specifically and negatively about h. I don’t like writing about his negatives, or anyone’s, really. But especially not about his. Still in that in-between where I haven’t confidently divined whether he is a good person who loves me but has difficult flaws, or a flawed person who does not love me and who uses his flaws strategically to cause me hurt and harm.

And about what he wrote? If it was invitation to anything, it was only one cent out of so many dollars needed to buy this back.

I realize I am still writing to find my way back to any moment where I could should or might have seen what was coming. And even this long later, this morning after several pages of painful remembrance and truth exposure, I see that I’m still wide of the mark. It feels like there just wasn’t any indicator, that it was going to twist in the directions it has.

I find I still am seeing what happened with h as less MLC and more, and more probably, a hidden medical event. When I look back and bring it to the page, in the most accurate language I can manage right now, it’s startling how weird and mean he became. Mind-bending. The only signal was really just that maybe I should get away from it, but still no idea why except that he was suddenly markedly, committedly different, and that it hurt.

I still have that cliche bit about “Hurt people, hurt people”, stuck in my psyche. And he had been plenty hurt, I know that, but I had been equally hurt, and the hurts I endured did not result in me being bad to anyone else, for the most part. So that cliche bit still in me still needs revising, I know. H does what h does on purpose and for fun. Something about it used to work, but not anymore.

Lately I understand that most of the time, I just don’t know what to do.

*

More legal papers served by landlord here; a drag. There’s reason all that shows up in the Stress Index. We’re still nowhere near moving all the way out (to where? exactly?), and it’s not clear even now, when we are actually supposed to do so.

I have trouble completing the applications to adopt a cat. One place required a home visit, and I just looked at D and said “I’m so not open to that.” There was a time, a cat needed adopting and you just showed up, played with it, paid a minimal fee, and took it right home. I don’t remember when that changed, really.

So, no kitten here yet. We are trusting that the one that is ours will just present itself at the right time and in a way that flows smoothly and well.

I don’t know what this life is about, lately or now. Just taking it day by day. Thank you for reading along.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: FaithWalker on July 09, 2021, 06:13:00 PM
Hello Terra!  I've been catching up on your journey and am now caught up.

We got a new kitty back in 2017 and we just found an add on social media for a free kitten.  A multi-generational family was living in an apartment and ended up with their cat being pregnant.  No home visits and no payment, just a free kitten.  That might be an option where you are at?

With that being said, you might want to hold off until you are in your new place?  Just in case you have to temporarily stay somewhere that doesn't allow cats.  It might be a good new housewarming pet once you are in your new place, and might be less stressful than getting a kitty only to find out that you have to stay somewhere that doesn't allow cats (or pets). 

Good for you on not responding or looking at the Holiday message. 
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 10, 2021, 10:00:55 PM
Faith, thank you — it’s been a minute and busy, here, and it took almost another full month, but D and I finally found our kitten and brought him home. He is still very much a baby, and definitely Siamese, and just the nicest, sweetest, most gentle boi. We are smitten and so glad that he is openly so happy to be with us. I had to drive two hours north to adopt him from shelter, then back again, and :O I am pretty sure the transmission in the car now needs some sort of attention, but in all other ways this kitten was a breeze to adopt, and is a blessing for us.

We’re down to the wire at this home and will likely be moving at the end of the month. I have a second dumpster rental arriving tomorrow and will spend the next x days throwing things out without looking back. I keep dreaming that h is present and trying urgently to tell me something conciliatory or explanatory and I also keep dreaming that I have no idea who he even is, and no time to be invested or engaging or even very polite. So it’s a strange time, an ending time, and :/ I’ll be glad when D and the kitten and I are securely stationed somewhere else.

However it happened, I have somehow got really sick, and had my first and hopefully only COVID test yesterday. Add “waiting for results” to the top of the pile here. I had to reschedule job interviews to next week. I will have been emptying the house for several days before those happen, so I have no idea what even will be in the house then. They will be videoconference and I dislike those, but I’m keen to get back to paid work and some sort of structured routine, team dynamic, team effort.

D goes back to school soon and is excited about it. I can’t get my head around any of it right now so I’m grateful and I think lucky, too, that she is so proactive.

That’s about all I’ve got, for updates. I fell behind in the writing workshop I was taking, because — well, a lot of other things happened all in a row, and I went mute, and in muteness realized it wasn’t just that I couldn’t put words to any of it. It was finally because I no longer wanted to. I still don’t. I am seeing more clearly how painful it is when the chips are down and people we love don’t step up or step in. Not that I’m not capable of handling stuff myself, but that it doesn’t sit right, that this or that person isn’t at all involved, may as well live on the moon.

I’ve kind of had enough of that. There’s a tiny baby in this house, and soon it will go with us to whatever next home. So life goes on. Thank you for reading; I hope everyone is well.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on August 12, 2021, 10:36:49 AM
Terra, thank you for updating - I am always happy to read your updates. There is so much that is raw and non-linear in how we all experience this, and you capture that in ways that I feel very deeply even when I struggle to express it.

We have… well, let’s just say that we have a lot of cats. Among them is a 3 year old Siamese girl, whom we adopted at perhaps 2 months old. She was barely one pound, tiny and pathetic but so sweet and beautiful. Now, at all of 8 pounds, she absolutely owns my heart. I look at her now, perched on her cat tree in a patch of sun, and the love just swells within me. I know there’s a lot going on with your living situation, but there is so much simple joy in having a beloved pet, and I am happy for you.

I hope you are well and think of you often, especially during this time of change in so many aspects of your life. I wish you well as you continue to navigate it all.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: Milly on August 12, 2021, 02:15:08 PM
Hi Terra, just catching up all around, haven't been on much lately. So pleased you found your loving cat and that she's giving you so much joy. I do believe a pet is very helpful to us and the kids during this awful, awful crisis we are thrown into.

Great that you hired the dumpster and will start to de-clutter. It will certainly make the obligatory move easier when it happens. I hope you find a new little nest for you all, kitty, too.

Regarding your writing class, maybe you knew deep down it was time to stop that class. Sounds like it wasn't giving you the support that a writing group is supposed to give. I do believe there is a lot of competition amongst writers. Maybe you could just get writing the story you have in your head. Don't let others stop you. You write beautifully on here. Just do it!

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: FaithWalker on August 14, 2021, 09:08:17 AM
Congrats on the new kitty.  We had a black cat that gave birth to 2 Siamese kittens, one black kitten and 2 tiger striped kittens.  The Siamese kittens were adorable.  All of them were, but I remember those kittens still to this day.  We named the Siamese kittens Feisty and Buttermilk.

Kittens bring so much joy!

Thoughts and prayers for a Covid negative, improved health, and strength as you find your next safe place to land.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 23, 2021, 07:03:11 AM
Faith, Milly, and Curiosity, thank you. So much kitteh joys here; he is growing by leaps and bounds every time I turn my back. This weekend he got very clear that there is a world beyond the “safe kitty room” and I have to say, it was exciting and heartwarming to see D collect him up quickly from my own bedroom after he sprinted into it — the house still all full of boxes, and that mama’s room housing a big air bed, which I don’t think would last long past his tiny claws.

I tested negative for COVID. Then, when I picked D up from school on Friday, we weren’t even halfway out of the campus when word from school came that someone who’d been there the first and second days of instruction had tested positive. So the weekend began with a rather stunned discussion of what do we do now? In the end, although D has close contact with a friend who had close contact, we still are just awaiting notification from school on next steps, if any.

A friend on the islands was in hospital over the weekend for breathing difficulties post-COVID. That was fixed with a breathing treatment apparently consisting of albuterol and informations. They are not yet vaccinated — not politically refusing, just undecided — and their post-COVID symptoms have maybe persuaded them to get vaxxed, I don’t know. It is such an individual decision. All I can say is that I deeply value this person and I hope and pray they will stay well and live a long time. And really I hope that for everyone alive, regardless why or why not about vaccination.

We are near both the expected end of tenancy and h and my birthdays, and over the weekend my legal counsel sent the property owner’s extremely long and crass legal response. I am chagrined at being called names by someone I’ve given a lot of money to; beyond that I am just surprised at how ugly anyone can get. But as anyone here might expect, I’m familiar with it, at least.

I did hear from h, after I’d deliberately tossed some previously loved parts of our history into the dumpster. His message was sharp and snide, grasping, and I let it go unanswered. The timing was really stunning though; there’s no way he could know I’d done that, and yet it’s almost like he always keenly knows. Or maybe not: we are approaching birthdays and maybe it’s just key season for hearing from him anyway. He wasn’t nice, though, and with just days left on the rental agreement I have not forgotten or forgiven his property ownership with the ow. I’ve known about that for over a year now and still can’t get my head around it at all.

The writing course is a pure bust and I haven’t had a second free to even tell the instructor I can’t complete it. I don’t care, either. I actually went all weekend without writing even to myself, which is unusual. Too much going on here and all about survival mode. Legal letters sent at 8pm on Saturdays, when Saturday nights should be all about kittens and children, or plain rest.

Yesterday when D’s dad picked her up, he let me know he’d spent the day at her godfather’s memorial. Her godfather died the same week I had to put down our dog. I’m glad the memorial finally came together; I’m not sad that I didn’t attend. Enough going on here and I know the friend would understand. Still, it was strange last night standing in the driveway and realizing again that this jovial caring person was permanently gone.

I slept in the kitty room last night, all night, and dreamt of someone like h intervening with this upcoming expected move. When I woke, the room was still lit against dark morning and it felt warm, with a kitten carelessly dozing at the foot of the “bed”. He is such a blessing. When I went out to the rest of the house, all other rooms were dark and significantly colder. It feels like winter. I am still floored at being expected to leave this property at this time and I’m trying not to get too deep in thinking negative (but true) thoughts about these property owners. All I know is that their needs do not trump my own, and that this isn’t the first time they’ve been untrustworthy, and that if I don’t stand up for myself and my daughter at this intersection, I will regret it.

I still feel mind blown at how impossible it would be now, to explain any of it to h if he wanted to know. Like, what kind of person leaves loved ones in the dust just when they are most needing a vital assist or even just basic help? I could list the timeline in bullet points and even one item is overwhelming.

I should say if I haven’t: the reason I threw out previously loved proofs of our history was that I dreamt one night, all night, that I was stuck in the house with h and ow. She was overly hospitable, all to get on his good side and prove to me that she was, and to inform me that she had been in his life for some 8 years or more. That morning I decided it was probably best to assume there was truth in the dream, which meant more dishonesty and deception in years I thought had been safe and good. So I threw things out, meaning to put it all behind me, and just hours later, there was an abrasive email from h, questing about my new rich boyfriend who does not and will never exist.

We are in our 50s. What kind of jackass has a boyfriend or girlfriend at that age — that’s for when we are boys or girls, and I am neither anymore. I told a friend “he has been saying that same stupid line forever”, and he has.

It would be nice to feel a man had my back right now, but if one actively did in the ways h assumes or accuses, I doubt I would be learning as much. So, even when the chips are not just down but have indeed fallen to the center of the earth or farther, I guess I prefer the gold in what is learned, to the easy free skating the surface of it all.

I do wish this hard time were over already. In the meantime I am just trying to make sure D is well, nourished and nurtured and safe, that this little cat is securely loved and fed and suitably cared for, and that no one I’ve given time or money or both to calls me names anymore.

Sometimes I think this life is really stupid, but I’ve got it still, so I’m living it the best I can.

I hope you all are safe and well, and thank you as always for reading and inputs. I find I post and then days just get away from me before I can station to answer again; I would have thought the early days of BD or breakaways were the hardest, but the fallout continues well beyond that. For whatever it’s worth, I hope any new reader will build into their survival structures a provision financially — long-term, the stress of weathering or surviving a spouse’s MLC errors or attitudes can result in needs long afterward. This weekend when the property owner’s legal representative called me names in print, I noticed I lost almost 24 hours to remembering all the times h has done same, and reflection on how much his insults had cost me in work hours, sleep, therapy, mental and even physical health. We aren’t born into this life for abuse and neither do we marry for it. In some cases it’s possible to sue for damages, $1K per incident.

Think about that. If your MLCer’s mouthing off has been anything like mine, that’s a lot of money. And you’re deserving of the payout, just as they are deserving of that significant consequence.

I wish none of us had to learn any of this. And of course, I wish everyone well. Thank you for reading, and ((((HUGS)))).

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on August 23, 2021, 12:17:50 PM
Terra, I am always happy to see an update from you. I know that so very much is shifting in your life, and with the recent contact from h, there’s always the potential for turmoil. And baby pets are the best kind of stressors, but they add tumult nonetheless. I don’t know what it feels like to you, but in reading your update, I feel like you have a sense of calm acceptance that maybe wasn’t always there. I’m sure what you’re feeling is a lot more than just that; I’m sure the whole gamut of emotions remains present within you. But you are doing the work, moving forward, and that is what we all strive for - even if sometimes that means that now is not the time for writing, or meditation, or whatever else.

Thank you for continuing to share your story here. I am thinking of you often and wishing you continued strength and peace.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 25, 2021, 07:32:36 AM
Curiosity, thank you so much — I feel certain sometimes that the only reason I’m able to continue is that people outside the situation are caring about how it goes, and that it should all go well. ;) It goes how it goes, but knowing you and others are out there holding good thoughts for us gives me strength and much-needed peace. And I’m hearing a lot lately, that I seem to have reached a calm or acceptance, that I seem to be doing ok, and hearing it (or reading it), I realize that yes, I think you’re right, I think that’s true.

It might just be that all the “stuff” has hit the fan so much that I’ve quite run out of extreme feelings about it, lol. Not that I am surrendered to it, but just, no time or energy for specific feelings now. I do still grieve and worry — for me, for my family circumstance more than for h or marriage — but I also have peace and joys amidst those concerns, or other concerns like how to engage kitty calmly
so that I can clip his claws, which, new this week, are suddenly verrry sharp. I used to do this for our previous cat, but that was such a long time ago and I’m amazed at how I both remember exactly how to do it and also don’t remember how to do it at all.

Job interview videoconference went fairly well yesterday, I think. Recruiter asked if I would like to send a thank you letter, and you know, by that point I had already moved on to some other focus. My
mind seems to have two modes: “Yay, that was great!” and “Huh, that was not great”, and that’s it and then it turns to a completely different focus. I don’t know what that’s about, it seems new, and I am looking forward to some future time when there are fewer things to keep track of or focus on.

School reiterated mask mandates this week. D and her friends all have abided by anyway, resolutely and without a single gripe. The COVID exposure in first week of school felt precarious, and I don’t actually know what the rates are in our county. But we are seeing language about vaccination change a lot in home community on the islands; many community and cultural leaders are stepping up even before FDA approval news, to urge the community to stop divisiveness and align with what is right for all. Still maybe a touchy topic but the new direction gives me hope there.

H’s birthday is right around the corner and on waking this morning I sort of studied our history of birthdays, together or apart. He really has done a number on me and I still don’t know whether it was a lack of perceptiveness on my part or exceptional manipulative talent on his. Either way, the why doesn’t really matter much anymore, by now, and I feel relieved about that, at least. I do wonder what it will ever feel like, to be held by a partner again, and how I might ever get to the point where I am ok either inviting that or allowing it. I actually meant a few weeks ago to budget for a therapeutic massage, the first in now maybe three years? two? But with the recent COVID exposure in first week back to school, I have a feeling that’s going to have to wait a while longer. At least I’ve identified the place where I will go, for the massage therapy; it’s a long-established beautiful place with gentle lighting and ocean-themed art, and solid reputation throughout the decades, a place I know is trusted and trustworthy. Kind of expensive but I know it’s self-care in several levels, and worth every dime or dollar.

The weather is cool and gray this morning, like winter almost, and while writing this I watched a lone hummingbird thrum into the tall weeds a few feet away from where I sit. The tiny bird sampled nectar from a barely opened flower at the tip of one of the weeds. I know those flowers are closed until the sun coaxes them fully opened; I also know those flowers are so, so tiny. Tinier than kittens or humminbirds or even the eraser on a pencil. They are literally no bigger than maybe 1 mm. And this tiny bird just collected nectar, even from something so small, and ;) if that’s not peaceful, I don’t know what is.

I also watched a long line of geese flying north, noisy but beautifully aligned. And a squirrel bounding in hilly languid leaps, along the north fence and into the walnut tree. I noticed this morning that the weather change this year makes me miss our dog; this is the first late August without him joyfully present in my hours. I have to go let kitten out of his big crate and feed him and love him and play; D and I both feel good about having repurposed our good dog’s old crate for our new kitten’s new safe place.

All of the animals, birds, pets, wildlife, and seasonal changes in nature insist that some parts of life are always full of positive continuity, things we can look forward to, anticipate, plan for, and rely on. Things that signal it’s time to adapt again, in the ways we always have. I don’t know what I would do if we lived in a city, although D and I both think about that a lot for the near future. I’m jealous that h lives in a location that sees the Milky Way, the moon, and rainbows all the time; I wish I lived there too, except I also love living right here. In a more urban place, where D and I both think we might go after she graduates, I already know around this time of year I might hear the season changing when the foghorns sound, all hours, especially at night. And that might be very fine. We’ll see.

It’s ok that today is so far cold and grey. No wildfires here this summer, no lightning strikes; that’s a huge blessing and relief.

I imagined this morning what I might say, if h contacts again on his or my birthday.

“Happy Birthday”

Is it, though?

It will be fine. If he contacts, I will not send him the notice of termination, with its specification that our last day in this house will be exactly my birthday. For one thing, I don’t know if that will be what happens. If not, we will still live here the next day, kitten and all. Or if so, we will have relocated that same night into a hotel suite with a loft bedroom, kitten and all.

Either way, it will be fine. Because it has to be.

Thank you as always for reading, and as always, I hope everyone is safe and well.
Title: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: terra on August 28, 2021, 06:15:32 AM
H has been away living with ow2 for almost four years. They bought a house together just prior to pandemic, so I have been *really* NC for a little over a year now. The house thing really hurts; I am currently being forced off a rental property and will be moving into a hotel, just zero security or stability here.

I didn’t acknowledge his birthday this year. I think I haven’t since he left with ow2. But he always acknowledges mine, and has this year also.

Aside from D and my sister, h is the only person who remembers and always wishes me happy birthday. To be honest, his simple acknowledgement this year was the only thing that suddenly made me feel calm again. Not happy, especially, but ...calm again, for the first time all year.

I don’t feel bad about not acknowledging his; I don’t feel *good* about it, but I don’t feel bad, for once, because I know I am really challenged with everything right now. But it feels like it would be nice to at least acknowledge receipt.

The truth is, I don’t exactly have time to get into anything with him, especially if the birthday acknowledgment is just routine nicety. More than nicety, I need actual physical and financial help, and he’s too far away to give either, even if anyone were inclined. Plus I have only just recently conceded that he’s chosen life with ow for a reason, committed significantly, and isn’t coming home.

I know it’s up to me to decide whether and how to respond, or not, but I’m looking for community wisdom.

How do you respond to Happy Birthday, when MLCer is still away, still with AP, doesn’t appear to be coming back, and is still static (nice/mean/nice) in communications? Or when you’ve been NC awhile and not answering their random (inessential) communications?

Or, do you?

Title: Re: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: Milly on August 28, 2021, 06:58:18 AM
Terra, why not send him birthday wishes? Sounds like you would like to this year so go ahead. I really don't think there's a right or wrong thing to do. You said yourself, that receiving the birthday wishes from him did feel good on your day. x
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 28, 2021, 07:07:51 AM
I started a discussion topic here re: responding to birthday communications. That can be folded into this thread if that’s where it belongs, but today it felt better to post it for response from all the community.

I haven’t answered h in months; there is way too much going on locally and almost none of it is any fun or anything I think he would help with. I can’t afford to get tangled in any discussion of our past, his present, or his criticisms about my own, and I know that. So the phone and SMS are blocked since springtime and I figure that’s a good boundary: he can text, but I won’t see any of it, and he can call, but I don’t see any of that either unless he leaves a message and that shows up in the blocked voicemail. He generally doesn’t leave messages (since leaving with ow2 a few years ago) and so I figure unless he does, any non-message call is a drunk dial or butt dial or some call he makes on the sly when ow isn’t around (or even if she is) and just for selfish reasons that don’t benefit me.

He did email Happy Birthday and the way he addressed it was direct and, well, previously, special. But I’m in the middle of massive changes in life here and I just can’t, and also, I think the last time he emailed, he mouthed off about my new boyfriend (fishing or baiting, because no such man exists), and the time before that, he said he wondered if I was still alive, or had found a man I love.

I can’t answer any of this; if you want current news, send better, or make the voice call and leave a message so I know you’re genuinely making the effort.

I am not a fan of NC, but it’s kind of the only way I can handle anything anymore. This week after heady discussions with legal counsel about our housing situation I got served with a lawsuit by a credit lender I couldn’t pay after pandemic began. So add that to the list of stressors; I have another legal conversation scheduled for next week, about that. And sometime between now and then I am supposed to empty this house and get my child and pets and self out of it into somewhere else, which will be a hotel suite. Nothing h can help with except financially, and I know enough that he is paying through the nose for the life he lives. I’m not down for a conversation about how I will have to man up and take care of everything on my own because he can’t or won’t or doesn’t feel obliged. That discussion can come later, once I’ve got D and the pets and me out of here.

All that to say,

When I received his brief and simple email, I felt ok again. Not about him, especially, and not necessarily about us either, but about me. I felt cared for again. Not especially by him
in particular, but by *someone*, and not out of politesse and not in passing.

I spent his birthday this year in hectic and stressed focus on things here where I live. It wasn’t that I didn’t think of him; I did. I carried a small gem-encrusted black stone on my person all day, all the way to sleep, so that I didn’t have to think anything. By bedtime it was warm, a living thing almost, and then I tucked it under the woolen topper, along with the phone, and went to sleep.

Maybe part of feeling calmer at his Happy Birthday message was the part where I had safely made it through his own celebration day without losing my head.

On his day, in between logistics and kitten care and D’s schedule, I remembered other birthday times, our times together, and for once this year they didn’t stack up against or fall short of whatever he is doing now. Who knows what he is doing now. I am overwhelmed in life events here and can’t wonder what his is like. But I did have mild and quiet remembrance of the Before times, and this year they were ok to remember.

I don’t remember them very well anymore. It’s been a long time, that he’s been gone.

Some part of me wonders that this ...leavening... is maybe how partners forgive, forget, and someday if both are willing, reconcile and reunite to build love together again.

It’s a nice new thought, for me, but I don’t count on it, and I think any such possibility is a long ways off.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 28, 2021, 07:53:35 AM
One thing I can say about 4 years past BD — I no longer keep a log of his communications. It’s all a foggy soup but I am not compelled to keep tabs on it or remember precisely anymore. That’s progress, maybe, and it’s surely helped by the onslaught of wtf throughout a pandemic that none of us really have any control over.

My weird way of saying, if you’re new to the MLC tragedy, the past year and half or so of pandemic and associated stressors and other tragedies might be a strange help.

I used to remember everything precisely and if I thought I might not, I dutifully wrote it down. So up to a certain point, everything of the MLC was well-documented. And this year, that’s eased off. And honestly I am kind of glad.

Life is very precious. Ideally we spend it all with those we love, those we know are really dearly worth it. The pandemic has taken that away from untold numbers of people of all ages and stations. So again, if new to MLC tragedies, at least recently we all are in good company. The whole wide world has become that much more familiar with loss, direct loss, vague loss, disenfranchised grief.

That doesn’t necessarily make it any easier, but at least we know loss is a human thing and that grieving is too.

I miss the Before times. And h, and S, and when summer and the start of school felt like big family joyous events, full of possibility for a new year. The season still feels that way, only smaller or distilled and this year more fraught. D and I know what’s coming will be whatever it is and that we will like it even if we also don’t. And I’m glad we had the Before times, even if h and S aren’t with us anymore.

That’s all.

I have a lot to get done today and I don’t think I will be very productive. We’ll see.
Title: Re: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: Thunder on August 28, 2021, 08:14:20 AM
Why not just a simple, thank you?  You acknowledged he remembered your day and thanked him for it.

Or ignore it, it's entirely up to you.  Which ever makes YOU feel better.

It's all about you, not him.  Just don't stress over it.
Title: Re: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: Milly on August 28, 2021, 09:03:47 AM
Sorry, Terra, I read it backwards. I thought you meant should you wish your H a happy birthday. Regarding answering his birthday wishes to you, I agree with Thunder. Just say thanks if you have been thinking about wanting to answer.
Title: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: Treasur on August 28, 2021, 10:23:05 AM
Fwiw.....
Rule of 3 is good bc you have a lot on your plate right now.
Say thank you if it will make you feel good to do so.
Words are sometimes just words...for both of you....and that can be a good, bad or neutral thing depending on your POV.
If you have even a sliver of caution that responding might encourage him to follow up communication that might be a distraction or hurtful BS - and iirc he has a track record of that - say thank you in your head, send it out to the universe but do not reply to the email.
Jmo.  :)
Title: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: OffRoad on August 28, 2021, 10:44:06 AM
I just say "Thank you." There's nothing more to say, really,  unless there was a question included with the wishes. You could also not reply if it were important to you to do so.

What else do you think you need to say? Happy Birthday is not usually a request for a dissertation on your life. It doesn't mean anything other than Happy Birthday in most cases.
Title: Re: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: terra on August 28, 2021, 02:59:10 PM
I just say "Thank you." There's nothing more to say, really,  unless there was a question included with the wishes. You could also not reply if it were important to you to do so.

What else do you think you need to say? Happy Birthday is not usually a request for a dissertation on your life. It doesn't mean anything other than Happy Birthday in most cases.

See — why bother saying it, then? If it doesn’t mean anything other than that.

It sounds like in most cases Happy Birthday, then, is said so the sayer approves itself for having done the least effort possible to maintain whatever etiquette. Sounds pointless.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: OldPilot on August 29, 2021, 05:48:51 PM
I merged these together and unlocked them, let a moderator know if you need something else done.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Tornup on August 29, 2021, 09:25:09 PM
Terra-
I just had this happen in July. My XH sent me an email from his work computer that said “ wishing you a Happy Birthday” he left is name and company signature on it, so not even signed. He sent it first thing when he got to work. I thought, well it is the first thing he did, but yet it was so non-personal that it almost started my bday off bad. So, I did not respond.

We did have business 2 weeks later and it was brought up. I said after 30 years and everything you couldn’t at least taken the company signature off? Or better yet Text me from your personal phone? I’m pretty sure their will be no email next year. 🤐
Title: Re: How do you respond to birthday wishes?
Post by: OffRoad on August 30, 2021, 12:04:37 AM
I just say "Thank you." There's nothing more to say, really,  unless there was a question included with the wishes. You could also not reply if it were important to you to do so.

What else do you think you need to say? Happy Birthday is not usually a request for a dissertation on your life. It doesn't mean anything other than Happy Birthday in most cases.

See — why bother saying it, then? If it doesn’t mean anything other than that.

It sounds like in most cases Happy Birthday, then, is said so the sayer approves itself for having done the least effort possible to maintain whatever etiquette. Sounds pointless.
This is interesting to me. I often have people send a Happy Birthday, with nothing else and I expect nothing else. It's simply them acknowledging that they note that my birthday has arrived, and wish me a happy day of celebration, ostensibly because they are happy I was born but often only because it is a polite societal norm. I surely would not have a single free second on my birthday if each of them called on that exact day and wanted to talk for 15 minutes to an hour each and they know that. They also know it would not be my preferred way to spend my birthday, so there is that.

So now I am curious and this is a real question. Was there an expectation that his Happy Birthday meant more than "I hope you have a Happy Birthday?" Have I missed some unknown to me secret signal that Happy Birthday means something else or maybe should mean something else?

I'm seriously wondering if I have insulted people.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: Ready2Transform on August 30, 2021, 11:19:11 AM
If you're friendly with the people, OR, it's probably customary to acknowledge with a thank you. Depends on the level of relationship, I think. In the Facebook age of posting a birthday message on someone's wall whether you really know them or not, the line can be a little blurry between friendly acquaintance and total stranger. ;) If no one has told you they are offended, I wouldn't really worry about it.

On the last birthday I had with xH still in the house, he gave me a card signed, "[his first name] [his last name]".  ;D ;D ;D Probably the funniest, most impersonal thing I'd ever gotten from him, or anyone else! The following year he came to my house on my birthday because, and I quote, "I (meaning him) could use pizza and beer." He didn't wish me happy birthday even though he consumed said pizza and beer at my cost.

Do what makes you feel right about it, but if I got a birthday wish from someone whose actions put me on the street, it would be a hard pass to thank them. This stuff is crazy enough as it is. I know people encourage to "treat them like you'd treat anyone", but with particularly nasty MLCers, you have to work in, "...anyone who is abusive to you." IMO, anyway. I turned myself inside out for this monster of a person, and he didn't change. Wish I'd put myself first earlier.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on August 30, 2021, 03:52:57 PM
Hey all, thank you for good points. OffRoad, I always have so much going on that if Happy Birthday comes from an intimate or formerly intimate, I do expect/guess there is more to be said or shared by us both. I don’t generally announce or let on that it’s my birthday otherwise, really, because ...kind of, who cares. Not who cares about me, but rather, who cares about otherwise uncalendared and personal holidays.

I do not recall being born. I do have “womb memory”, of fluctuating light, comfort, sensation, and muffled but resonant voices. I don’t care if anyone thinks that’s nuts; I think others who were born into fraught conditions probably don’t think that, and may “remember” also. At times in my relational um... career... I have wondered that that’s what all the sexuality or or relational pursuit might be about, at root — trying to get back to that sense of safety, 100% attachment. Maybe it’s just that way for me, and it’s important to say, it’s not always that way, in any way.

I also remember what I was born into, acutely if I give myself room to reflect. But I co-exist with that unless I’ve EMDR-ed some aspect to extinction.

The point is, and it’s just my experience and response, dear OffRoad you are good in your direct language and approach and I honestly have zero idea what is “normal” or even “basic” etiquette anymore — I don’t typically broadcast my birthday, and so if a person acknowledges it at all, usually it is someone who has known me directly and deeply and for a long time. In those cases, most of them are so mutual and agreeably deep and attentive, so a quick “Happy Birthday” from either side just sounds cold and weird.

H knows this about me and about himself too; we celebrated each other richly, in the Before times. Not in lavish material gifts but in presence and quality time, often low-key, deep, and pretty. I did respond to his initial message, friendly but reserved, and he continued the conversation and I took my time but I did too.

I am *only one sample* and according to all kinds of other people, I am a pretty weird example with some outrageous or outdated expectations. For a person whose social network you know might be very small or maybe compromised, I would say it’s worth anyone’s while to converse for a while, find out how the birthday celebrant is doing, and what they’re doing, and how is life treating them. Especially while we are all still managing pandemic stressors, which — those are still big impact here where I live.

This might sound nasty but if a Happy Birthday wisher isn’t aware of what’s going on or how pandemic restrictions have been in our county/state/region (extreme)  8) :o I (case of exactly 1) am sort of impatient/intolerant. And I do think that’s obnoxious, my expectation there. But D and I have weathered a lot and kept apprised and cognizant of friends’ and loved ones’ local situations from January 2020 on, so ?! I guess we feel sort of entitled to more than just two words?

All to say that I responded to h because that felt right, and *thanks all for good input*. I had to lock threads in order to sort myself out, and I feel gratified by h’s timely contact and what dialogue I allowed. He is still funny and dear and I still miss him. But I also am so burdened that I know 100% I can’t take him up on even mild invitations. Now isn’t the time, for me.

I have a history of misreading or misperceiving his approach, so will also say now isn’t the time for me to be subjected to unwanted new information or input, which is why I stayed standoffish. I get that he either wants to know my details or wants me to know his.

I kind of don’t want to know his, just now, thanks. And I feel sorry about that, but it’s the truth, and I don’t feel anywhere near as sorry about it as I used to, before All This.

OffRoad, you are likely just fine and not insulting in your ways. I am definitely different from the majority of people I’ve known or read and I both don’t have a good explanation for that and don’t apologize for my difference, either. I value your input, always, and if it strikes me hard or unfamiliar, it does also always give me food for thought, which I think you see I like. No worries here.

RTT, that’s the crux, isn’t it. When someone else’s actions or choices have basically put you out on the street, how much politesse or consideration do you owe them? None, I agree. And at same time, this time it felt reasonable and fair to meet h in the middle, for now, so I did. I don’t presently regret that and God please, I hope h will not give me any reason to.

Thanks all for solid inputs and for reading along. I am aware I will probably have to start a new thread soon and gosh, as with everything else going on in my world right now, I really wish I could just wrap it up. I hope everyone is staying safe and well, healthy and with each day bearing some fruitful joy.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: OffRoad on August 31, 2021, 12:17:12 PM
Thank you for the explanation, terra. Once again, I see that your reality and mine are different simply because we have our own previous experiences, expectations and interactions. Which also means the people we interact with know who we are and what we like and often what we expect. Since most people who wish me a Happy Birthday are people I converse with on a weekly ish basis, I don't have to catch up when the birthday wishes are given. For those who are no one I keep up with, I simply say Thank You, because I was brought up to be polite and that is the polite thing to do. It does make me think that maybe sometimes I am still polite when the other person does not deserve my politeness, so that is something for me to think on.

At the very least, it looks like your experience was that Happy Birthday wishes would have or should have led to a conversation. I'm sorry something that should have been a comfort (well wishes on your birthday) should have been something that made you unhappy.

I do wish you many Happy Returns for your birthday. Hopefully, much happier than this one may have been.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on September 27, 2021, 10:36:10 PM
Hello folks, it’s been a while. Thank you for input on stuff last month. D and the pets and I have moved since, and although the new place is temporary, it’s so much better than where we were. We are adjusting really quickly, although definitely still rocked by all that led up to it.

Kitteh is twice as big as when we got him last month, but still also really small. He is so sweet-natured and calm. A little or a lot more independent than our good dog, so I am still getting used to that. It’s different having a cat. I realize I don’t remember how to speak cat language. Overall, he is just a sweet, sweet change, and he reminds me of a marshmallow. Definitely a happy addition; we are so glad to have him with us.

H pings every so often and wants to know what my boyfriend’s name is. I am not answering, because a) I’m busy, b) I’m kind of off men, since BD, and c) I’m tired. There’s no point in engaging when he is like this, and unlike the kitten, it isn’t funny or cute.

D’s dad has been adamant about not providing D with something she validly needs. I had words with him about it and he sneered at me for the first time in over a decade, and threatened me with his lawyer. So that’s new and weird. I’m fine; he can lawyer up if he wants to, but it would be easier and far cheaper all around to just behave in best interests of child.

I’ve had a few odd events come up in which I am so tired that whatever someone is throwing at me, I respond sensibly and do not “react”. So all this heavy change and upheaval has served to weed out much of the emotionality of the Before times; people are weird and they are hung up on weird sh!t and I just ...they can do that. I don’t have to love them or live with them; I have D and the pets and our stuff in a good enough place, and my life is separate.

The thing with her dad, though; this child is really a young adult, and won’t live at parental homes much longer. I don’t see why a parent would resist giving what the young person needs, and then, I wonder if — at such time as she chooses her own ways and rooms — will there ever come a time when I no longer have to have interaction with her dad. Because he is *really weird*, and his perception of me is cemented in distortions that aren’t anywhere close to reality.

I’ve given up the thinking that I could/might ever change his views of me, and that’s great. But the way he talks to D about who he thinks I am, is pretty harmful. She counters him solidly every time he mouths off, and with each incident, I realize he is no match for her clarity and emotional intelligence. She knows our flaws and the difference between us is that when she calls me out, I acknowledge the truth and accept her perspective as valid and good, and make room for what she needs.

Tonight I told her that whatever his reality is, we know neither of us might ever get the full picture: it’s his, and it’s locked in his inner world, kind of a black box. But it isn’t about her, or about who or how she is, and I will always compensate for his lack or insult the best I can.

I hadn’t given much thought to what it would be like when she leaves the nest. She might not leave mine; she’s said that a lot this past year or two. And I’m ok with that; I had always intended that the kids should have Home wherever I am. S is safely with his own mother, last I heard, and D is safe with hers, here with me. Wherever I am. But after that out of nowhere sneering from her dad, man. I just would like someday for him to be no longer a factor in my life at all, or if he continues to be weird or sneering, in hers either.

It’s weird when there’s divorce and family rupture and then the other parent turns out to be actively negative. I lived through that as a child and young person and even so, I’m not sure how to contend with it as co-parent and a direct provider/protector of a child, a young adult.

It will be fine. He will either drag me through court again or not. In the meantime, D and I are enjoying where we are, and that’s solid.

One of my siblings and their kids came down with C19 but all are on the mend. We’ve had several exposures at school campus and have got sick, tested negative, have got better. And we keep moving along, always still wearing masks in public and staying pretty much to ourselves. The new normal is sort of tiresome but it is what it is. Looking forward a bit to winter and staying mostly at home.

I know this is a somewhat strange update. Thank you for reading, as always; hope all of you and your families are well.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 28, 2021, 03:21:11 AM
Sounds like D's Dad is still trying to find ways to make you responsible for his shortcomings... His problem... Good that D shuts him down....

You may very well get your wish (that he disappears) after she reaches the age of adulthood where he no longer can factor into her life.... One can always hope, right?
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on September 28, 2021, 11:51:57 AM
 ;) Thank you, UM; I hardly know what is reasonable to hope for, about that situation or future. I’d always hoped for ...you know. Sanity, safe and sane dynamics. But when I look over that connection as a whole, now into almost a quarter century (!!?), it’s always been difficult and (for me) pretty deleterious. It’s so weird to be a generally good human being and to have to deal with that black box kind of person who ...has you 100% framed as somehow the most despicable person that ever lived.

That xh had a fridge magnet all the years, of one of cinema’s most recognizable villainesses. She was ugly and still is. I weathered it in the marriage because he had told me years before of how that character scared him to death when he was young; I sort of understood that it was his way of keeping his inner child safe, and I don’t know, I guess I thought that was nice, or somehow culpable, responsible, or something.

What I didn’t get then, but definitely got the other night after he blasted me, is that really it’s a loud signal of how he views every female that ever lived. If I had understood that back when, I would have got out of there quickly and completely, like a bat out of he11, and there would not have been a marriage, a lovely D, or a divorce or any of the shenanigans since. Knowing what I know now, that’s one part of my life that I would do differently. But we can’t change the past I guess. I’ve been as positive, gentle, careful, respectful with this person regardless of my feelings about anything. On some level I know my high road counts for something; I sleep ok at night, haven’t antagonized the guy. He clearly feels antagonized anyway, which, I can’t do anything about that, that’s him.

I just don’t get living in fear or antagonism if that’s not necessary. This morning I thought about his lawyer and that old blowhard has got be retired or dead by now. But I recognized that xh threw it at me to unsettle me — which didn’t work — and I noticed I resent that he tried.

I went to the storage unit for the screwdriver set from the junk drawer. D and I need a $2 window lock for the upstairs window so kitteh doesn’t sly his way out when it is partly open. I know I have window locks in the neatly packed junk drawer bag, so I don’t have to do the hardware store run. But I couldn’t find that crucial bag, which should have been in the front of the unit.

I stayed there for a while, because the weather is nice today and I love all the stuff in that storage space. For once, finally, with this move I managed to get all the dear things into one safe place where they wait for new life, really deliberately well-organized. And that junk drawer full of the key tools and hardware was one of the first things I packed, and I know I told xh more than once that it wasn’t rubbish, it was crucial helps for me and D, and don’t go throwing it out.

I sat in that unit this morning and looked through at least 20 boxes and three bins, then in everywhere in the car, and didn’t find it. I’m hoping it’s up in the suite kitchen although I know on day one there wasn’t a drawer for any of it.

D’s dad has a predilection or a perverse aptitude and preference for doing the exact opposite of what is asked. This is one of the very least fun things about him, crazy-making, and I don’t know if it is involuntary or his brain miswired, or categorically done on purpose, passive aggression. I notice it’s pretty important to me today that I give him the benefit of the doubt (that’s such a weird phrase), as if the crucial things being already housed where we live and just forgotten about will mean that on some level he is still trustworthy enough and can be relied on not to inhibit or impair our good lives and abilities just out of ...whatever dislike or misperception or misgivings he has about me as a person, xw, coparent, mother of his only child.

That sneer and threat the other night was right out of my FOO’s playbook, and it was so bizarre to hear anything like it after this long. Life truly is better when we exclude people like that from our time.

Thanks for reading and inputs and encouragement. I have it firmly noted to self, that even if the hardware and tools made it into the suite safely already, that doesn’t mean xh is trustworthy. He’s suspect right now and the two incidents are separate and different. But the tools were hand-selected by me a long time ago, before any marriage or motherhood, and they’re of heirloom quality. I don’t favor having to find and spend on replacements, and I also don’t favor seeing, if it’s true, that he went against my clearly stated directive. It’s clearer to me since the other night, that this guy has devalued me as hard as he can in the most insignificant and petty ways possible, for nearly the entire time I’ve known him. That’s weird and my lack of clarity there stopped the second he said it anew, about talking to his lawyer.

Like, just shut up, guy. Why make anything stupid or difficult, for anyone, when the path of peace is so much simpler.

Anyways. I hope in the next half hour I will find what I need already safely stationed up in the suite. If not, I will find the replacements, spend to purchase them, and just move on.

Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on September 28, 2021, 12:22:23 PM
Terra, thanks for updating. Transition is such a tumultuous process - I’m glad that you are adjusting to the new place, even though it’s just a temporary one. You are lucky to have a calm kitty! Ours are as sweet as can be, but I wouldn’t ever think to describe them as calm. If they’re not sleeping, there’s a decent chance that one of them is chasing another throughout the length of the house. It’s lovely and joyful to know they are happy and healthy, but there is a lot to be said for a calm pet.

I am sorry that you and your D are having to navigate an ongoing relationship with a person who is trapped in his own rigid views of women, the world, and you in particular. Good for your D, for having the insight to see the truth and the strength to speak the truth. I don’t understand a parent who would not seek to act in the best interest of his child; sadly, it is too often the case.

I hope you are successful in finding what you need - in storage and more generally.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 02, 2021, 03:48:32 PM
Thank you, Curiosity — and I have to say, I am continually surprised by kitteh, because he is the calmest one I’ve ever met. Truly endearing and sweet, and really unproblematic. When I wake up in the dark on the nights I’m alone here, he’s right there too, just purring along. After a decade of canine epilepsy, I am not sure what to make of this little light thing that simply hangs around and miaows and purrs and occasionally actually gives gentle pounce hugs.

D texted her dad the other day and asked about the utility drawer stuff, and it arrived at the suite straightaway. No more talk of lawyers and as though everything was just fine. He capitulated somewhat and did give D what she had been asking for, so that item is now off our mental lists as well. Good.

H wants to know if I am dating. I don’t have a thing to say to him, or to anyone really, about anything like that. If I can’t judge a man correctly, and, I can’t! — I am not going to go have coffee or a movie or a museum walk with one, any one, and forget about sussing out whether any new “he” is worth a second look, forget kisses at the door or whatever it is anyone thinks about when they are dating, forget what I ever thought about marriages or mortgages or all those dating-type considerations. This week was he11 and the day after the utility drawer was sorted out, I honestly slept 14 hours straight one night, and then another six later the next day. I don’t have any interest or room or even lazy curiosity about dating; I feel like I am expending all effort just to climb back into my own skin, finally.

After he asked that, I reverted to watching old Bette Davis films. It was something I promised myself way back when, during divorce from xh, and that I never actually did. Thanks to the time that has passed since, I can now access most of the movies online and I don’t have to drive over to the old theatre that sometimes features them. I can watch “from home” and that’s better for me. But man, these old films. They were ones that were in theatres when my grandparents were young, and I find I’m sort of viewing them through that family lens. It’s a trip.

An old friend survived COVID; I’m glad of that. A close friend had excellent news about her health as well, and that’s miraculous; that is the best news. I’m still triggered by employment considerations and this morning I realized it’s partly because of how h was, around his own workplaces. I don’t know how I will get past that and back into my own career again. It’s weird that his behaviors in some completely different and separate workplace have darkened my perception of my own abilities, or worth. My friend whose health news is so good, is moving out of area soon. We had been colleagues and friends before I was ever divorced and before h, so ...I don’t know. I’m rambling.

I’m noticing the things that made it into our living space here show me who I am, who I’ve always been, and what I like. Yesterday I wrote a list of those things that are still true, and that was weird too; I do like me very much, and even so, I don’t have a secure read on who I am exactly, anymore. And that’s tiring.

D is at her dad’s two extra days this week because she is doing things with friends nearer there and it means I don’t have to drive to and fro. But I notice that when she’s not here, I have zero structure or reason or impulse to do anything. Bummer. So that stupid dating question sounds like it’s reasonable, except I am still so mind-blown that really it isn’t reasonable and won’t be for a long time.

I’m mad about that. Mad that I can’t even see why it would be a normal thing to do. And even if it were suddenly a normal thing to do, I’m so mad still and I would say no just because.

I like my own time, and space, even if I don’t know what to do with it.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 03, 2021, 12:06:47 PM
I couldn’t figure out why h had anything to do with my aversion to returning to work; I’ve been stuck and stumped by that for a while now. Just, every time I look at employment listings for my career, I almost physically recoil and just feel like throwing up. I can’t stand the physical reaction and so I don’t look at new opportunities for very long.

This morning I knew my writing yesterday was pretty disjointed, and, I didn’t exactly care about that, it’s representative of how my thought processes are lately, or, it always is. But I kept returning to the tangle of h and my career, and finally it occurred to me that oh:

Last year when his dad died, h went ape and ice cold, a really strange combination. He attacked via several channels and his whole focus was my professional talent, which he apparently felt entitled to. I remember how he both expected it and devalued it and me at the same time, and how many angles he tried to get me cornered in some public way. For blaming, maybe, or scapegoating at the very least. He threatened to sue me and to show up on my doorstep or see me in court.

The timing was all he11, because there was so much havoc elsewhere and none of it avoidable. I spent a lot of time talking to law enforcement, because even if h was far away, he was really constant with harassing me.

Some short while after the most dramatic brute display, I told my trauma therapist I wanted a formal C-PTSD diagnosis. So now I have one. For whatever reason, that’s made a good difference, is a protection of sorts.

This morning after I finally pieced all of that together, I bought myself a beautiful smoking accessory, and I am just not at all sorry.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 04, 2021, 01:52:04 AM
Actually, the information that he is fishing for (whether you are dating or not) is really no longer any of his business.... He's left the building and abandon his responsibilities so, by default, he has also given up any right to that level of information about your life.... Whether YOU are ready to date or not is, to be honest, irrelevant because that is YOUR thing, your life, not his.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 04, 2021, 09:15:06 AM
Thank you UM, I agree on all counts. It finally came to roost, over the weekend, that on some level this is some guy who has been living with his partner for some four or more years, and all that time they’ve had a 24/7/365 in-person relationship and she and he know each other far better than I know him. And whatever their daily and nightly and ongoing in-person story? This guy is showing up every few weeks in my inbox asking me bluntly about what I am doing and who with.

That’s stupid. A normal person would at least start with Hello or How are you.

So I don’t like his approach with me, and I’m clear it’s not the one he uses with the person he’s ...using. Also clear that I don’t have to be a person he uses, not for anything. Even if I were open to his connection attempt, which I’m definitely not, I wouldn’t even know where to start. He’s 2500 miles away. I am reticent even with reconnections in my local area or zip code. And most folks where I live actually give plenty of good communication to coax me when I’m reticent; they are at least attuned to who and how I used to be, in the Before times. And they’re respectful for sure, and kind. The one or two who want to know whether I am available for anything resembling closer intimacy at least have the sense to bring that up only after long voice contact.

I chalked it up the other night to the moon transiting our shared natal Mars, lol. Supposedly that happens only every two years or so, which doesn’t sound right, but/and supposedly also it can bring up irritation with a woman and summarily a fight with or about that. And that sounds like a good enough explanation to me. I don’t need to hear about that woman, and I also don’t need to be her. Go take it out on the one who benefits from you.

Anyways. This morning I took D to school and then spent 20 minutes in front of the spice racks at grocery, trying to figure out whether to let go of and replace my old spice jars that I’ve filled and refilled repeatedly over the years. Trying to see whether I liked the idea of dumping them all, and renewing only the spices I habitually cook with now. I don’t know why it took such a long time to think about that, today. In the end, I walked out of the store without buying anything.

D asked for a favorite spice blend last night and so while she stirred, kitteh and I sat on the bare clean *level* kitchen floor and opened and sniffed literally 30 bottles of spices. “He IS a spicy cat,” said D; this is what the shelter staff told us when we first phoned about him this summer. So that was happy times, last night. I love that this little cat is pleasant and curious and engaged even with these human things; he’s fun to share with. I found the spice blend easily; those glass jars are among my favorite possessions, and were the first things packed neatly from our old kitchen.

But there’s about 10 of them I never use anymore, not even enough to refill them. Those can go. I no longer remember what I ever cooked with those; clearly not anything D or I crave. The jar of Hungarian paprika beats heck out of paprika. This morning in the store, I saw that they don’t call it Hungarian anymore, and I wondered why.

I meant to bake a pumpkin pie from scratch today but I need to decide whether to refill the original spice bottles with whatever inexpensive brand or just junk them in favor of all new spice in all new glass. It’s a micro detail but :/ I’ve used the same jars for years and they’re one of the only aspects of my adult life that has remained uniform, consistent, visually reliable.

Each morning since moving to the suite here, I’m aware h has no idea where I am or even who I am, and it makes me wonder what he ever knew of me. D’s dad disclosed a truth to her last week that meant I didn’t have to carry his secret anymore, and I know that unburdening after so long contributed heavily to my exhaustion these past several days. Since, I’ve thought about the secrets I’ve had to carry for or about h. It occurred to me that his about-face and commitment back to ow pre-pandemic could even have been because I outed something to his parents? I can see him being angry or pained about it; in that small way, I did let them know he wasn’t perfect.

In first marriage, that honesty got me a creepy divorce. I know some parents won’t tolerate anyone badmouthing their golden child, even if what’s said is plain true. And I don’t really understand that; I have room for opinions and perceptions and, you know, listening to what anyone thinks. I don’t get why it ever needs to proceed to divorces or cheating or abandonments. But whatever.

What I got this weekend was that h is mad about something or someone and wants to tussle about it, for good reasons or bad. But I’m super clear about the money disparity and the level of interaction he has here versus there, and that if it had or has anything to do with me actually, he can say that more directly and respectfully rather than coming at me like a thrown rock.

My life and my approach to life is different than his, enough that no response makes any sense. So there isn’t one.

Lately in this new clean uncomplicated place, I am watching my felt sense responses to things in our home. Clothing, spice jars, kitten toys, whatever. Watching for things that are from the Before times and truly obsolete, even if they represented Me the way I’ve always been. Some things, I instantly recognize and throw out. But there’s a lot of it to weed through, and I do get tired of it, even the things that are definitely Me from Always.

Change is ok. Even significant or unwanted change is ok.

It’s nice to have a choice, though, and to make it deliberately.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: OffRoad on October 04, 2021, 10:05:23 AM
Funny you should talk abouts spices and jars. Just a few months ago, I let go all my old spices (they were at least six years old). Replenished my favoritest and the specialty ones I know I use for once a month dishes, and put them a in identical square jars with bold white lettering. The fit perfectly in the spice rack I built 20 some years ago.

It was very therapeutic. Getting rid of making due with old or substandard spices. Organizing for ease of use. Everything easily identifiable. Neat. A small thing, but completely mine and my way.

Sometimes it's the little things that help us along the way.

Glad to hear kitteh is enjoying being an addition to your family.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 05, 2021, 01:53:10 AM
Quote from: Terra
This guy is showing up every few weeks in my inbox asking me bluntly about what I am doing and who with.
And the answer is.....
(https://media.giphy.com/media/1Ygh2vFhbUSglKddMo/giphy.gif)

Getting rid of old herbs and spices is therapeutic not to mention that, with age, a lot of spices loose their aroma and don't taste nearly as good or strong as  they should or did when they were new. Even dried spices will loose a fair amount of their flavor over months....

One thing that I have found that has NOT lost its punch though are chili peppers... Evidently, the Capsaicin oil (the stuff that makes chilis "hot") isn't as volatile as some might think...
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 06, 2021, 07:15:53 PM
OffRoad and UM, thank you — ;) D and I love old spice, but only in the form of antiperspirant and deodorant! I did sort out the “probably will never cook with this” spices and those are bagged to go away. On the drive to school the other morning, I told D I was struggling with it: I can’t tell if this is about good reuse or just hoarding. She said instantly and emphatically that those older jars are about good reuse: preferring the older style packaging was perfectly fine, and refilling those still good jars is just *Resourcefulness*. She said it in the tone that sounds like the woman I named her for. I just about cried.

So with her clarity, after I got her to school, I purchased fresh spices, drove home, emptied the favored older bottles, and replenished them with new content. With a nod to my inability to know whether I will really use up a whole bottle of this or that before the spice ages out, I did buy smaller volume of each replacement, this time. That felt wise and :) thrifty.

While I emptied cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, kitteh explored the counter stuff around me. He is smitten with cayenne, old or new. I set the refilled jars away and then gutted a sugar pie pumpkin, and put it to bake, then set aside all the ingredients for a from-scratch pie crust. Brought D home from school, prepared pumpkin for filling, pressed the pie dough into my grandmother’s etched plate, baked that and set it to cool. That tiny pumpkin made filling enough for two pies; the first is nearly half gone; the second will either bake tonight or who knows, maybe the first was enough. I hadn’t baked that recipe since years ago so I am relearning how to “know”.

The suite smells like holiday, wintry and homey.

This morning I kept remembering some key things I’d said to h pre-pandemic, which hurt. I know what I said hurt him; I know it hurt me to say it. But I checked my archives and saw it right there and I also know what I said *had* to be said, because it was truth.

Regardless, it hurt me again, remembering his stunned hurt voice then, and I ...wished today that I hadn’t said it. We both cried then and this morning I cried again; I don’t know why I can’t forget that sad conversation. I feel like if he had said it to me, I would have promised everything and come right through, come all the way through, to restore and repair and make things ok.

It was tough, this morning, to realize maybe he hadn’t because maybe he just couldn’t, can’t.

I find I still have a slender thread of hope or something, that whatever he then felt he “needed to do”, will eventually be all the way done, and then he’ll come home.

I also find that I don’t favor any kind of closeness with any new potential partner until after I feel I understand what happened to my last one. Not like until h tells me everything in reasonable ways that are safe for me and that I trust — but that I need something in me to click or chime, like the oven does when it reaches the correct baking temperature.

I personally am not yet fully cooked.

Pie from scratch is really a beauteous thing, though.

Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 07, 2021, 08:46:54 AM
Woke this morning feeling so much better than I have in months, ages. Got D to school and while driving back, it occurred to me finally that it is ok to let the past be in the past.

We had driven around in circles a bit yesterday on the way to a grocery over here, in an area we’ve never traversed, and found a really charming neighborhood full of really old little houses. I checked for rentals when we got home, and there’s one that might suit us. Listed by the owner, so maybe possible to work around the pandemic credit score with the story, promise to commit to a long lease, proof of having done that well even through pandemic, and just solid cash. I am a little risk-shy right now but weighing the realities of staying at expensive hotel suite for the rest of the year, versus getting everything out of storage and us into a landed single-family rental. I’m not employed still and ? am still wondering how I am going to correct that; if we land in a less costly rental, it means the money stretches further and I don’t really have to.

If I land us a new place, like the one I’m looking at, it means we can set roots there for the rest of D’s school years. But it would mean dealing with one individual property owner/landlord and I am pretty sure I said firmly as recently as last week or so, that I never want to do that again. I guess every day is a new day.

If we moved into a place like that, there might be a garage but there won’t be a swimming pool. HMM.

I like the pool here; I really miss the ocean where my parents live, and I treasure my daily swim here. Last year would not have been nearly so damaging if we’d had a pool. At hotel I do feel a bit restored to my own element, and my own body, brain, natural and native balance. It’s nice having nice neighbors and seeing people every day.

I miss my couch, though, and all the good things packed in storage; I miss our wall art.

I asked D last night if I should just commit to us living here through January and maybe as far as March. She thought for a second and said No, not really. But neither of us said much after that, because whoa: we still are clearly in limbo, safe and secure but with no idea what future looks like, or where it’s supposed to be.

I find I’m familiar enough with that uncertainty that I’m ok with it for now. Watching money and kind of wishing I had a reliable monthly income here, for all the reasons, and ...eyeing a different car, the same make and model as the one I donated pre-pandemic. Not sure if I am doing nostalgia or just aiming to correct decisions I hadn’t wanted to make “back when” and never felt happy about.

After yesterday, which was kind of oppressed and tough, I’ve decided I think Venus at 29° Scorpio is just a rough degree. Disregard if you think that sounds like hooey.

Today is a different day, a 0° time, and good enough; I got back to hotel and a woman approached me in tears in the parking lot — she was unable to connect to internet and trying to head out to an appointment at a location she’d never been to, and couldn’t map it. I held her off for a second while I got mask out of car and put it on, and then we stood together with my phone and she snapped photos of the map. She was so agitated and I’m glad I was there when she needed both the connect and the help; I’m not saying I made a new friend today, but I know I made a positive difference.

She drove away happy, as though we’d known each other a long time. And that’s the kind of neighbor and human I like to be — the kind that other people feel ok approaching, and that they smile and wave and say nice things to happily as they go on about their day.

I hope y’all have a good day. Thank you for reading. (((HUGS)))
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Tornup on October 07, 2021, 10:00:32 AM
Quote
She drove away happy, as though we’d known each other a long time. And that’s the kind of neighbor and human I like to be — the kind that other people feel ok approaching, and that they smile and wave and say nice things to happily as they go on about their day
Such a little thing to you most likely, but changed her entire day and frame of mind. It’s all about this!!!!  When you can appreciate these moments. Connection with people and the human spirit. It is what is sadly lacking and can’t be reached with the MLC’r.  It is this realization that stops me from being hardened in this crisis we are thrown into.

Have a great day!!
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 13, 2021, 02:01:40 PM
Tornup, thank you! I had a good day and since have had some ups and downs. I notice a LOT that since h’s last (nothing, obnoxious) email, I look for another email from him every dang day. Several times a day. So that’s been bugging me a lot, a pattern I fall into really easily. Meanwhile he has likely just gone about his business and isn’t thinking about it or me at all. *sigh* That bugs me too, that I am so easy to condition.

I have a ton of mail to pick up at the offsite mail place here. Normally I just pick it up after taking D to school in the morning or just before or right after picking her up in the afternoon. This has been a trying week, though, and the weather is turning cold and grey, and I find I am trending down into winter mode — in this place where we live for the first time and where we don’t know where we eventually land “for real”. I like it here and we could stay until as far as next spring without any money concern, but ...it’s meant to be temporary. I just don’t know *how* temporary.

Honestly I have naturally made a few strong efforts to make it feel like home, and so to me it does. But I’m used to being flexible or fluid about where I live; that was the nature of my life prior to any marriage. D is less familiar with this nomad lifestyle or temperament, though, so she is expecting we move into a slightly more permanent place at some point.

But. Which point? It’s up to me, and I am looking, every day and night, but the place for us hasn’t turned up yet. I adjust my standards daily, up and down, and at the end of the day I am just glad to have a secured set of rooms that are high quality and safe and good. Sometimes I think maybe it would be best to just commit to reemployment and to being stationed here for a year or more.

She’s at her dad’s after school today. So instead of picking up all the mail, I stayed in bed and listened to a trauma treatment seminar and actually fell back asleep. Then got up and played with kitteh, who is rather bossy when he wants “baby” food — the expensive kitten formula stuff that comes in a tiny can. When he wants that, he races in front of me yowling and swatting at my feet.

I still am not keen to be the primary owner and caretaker, as he was meant to be D’s kitteh and responsibility. And as much as I know cats treasure routines and schedules (don’t we all, kind of), today I told him “You’re bossy and I’m just not going to do it when you talk to me like that”. Like he understands.

He will come to understand, I think. Or, I hope. Dogs are better at knowing when to quit, and I miss that. But this little guy is still bebe and he’s pretty smart. I think he will learn, if I stay consistent.

In the end I have sort of scrapped today. I might go for a swim later, but I also am allowing that I don’t have to.

Uncharacteristically, I threw a catnip sushi into the bedroom and shut the cat in, went to the kitchen and cracked a cold one (something I bought like two months ago, before we even moved?!) and just came outside to sit in the cool grey sun for a while. It’s too early for that but no one is here, and the can looks like an energy drink, and I figure I’ll have it today so D doesn’t accidentally take it to school, lol.

This morning I recognized that when I wake up, I go right into tech browsing — email, social media, news, house listings, job listings, and that it often ends up with me overextended somehow. And that when I woke in the physical warmth and presence of h — which is now a REALLY long time ago — I lived an entirely different and more natural, natively happy and simple way.

The two ways of me could NOT be more different. It was the first time I had really examined that there *was* a difference. And I think I still prefer the waking with, to waking alone. But I realized this morning that I am so accustomed to the present way, that I probably wouldn’t know what to do with the previous one if it turned up again.

I have been reading back in the site archives here, other folks’ stories from ages ago, from before I even landed here. Wondered if I was looking for hope, and decided I wasn’t, really; I’m not. For what it’s worth I’m pretty certain I might never actually see h in the flesh ever again. He might offer or extend some sort of invite. But I don’t favor a brief visit or any comparison of what he had vs. what he chose.

Today I looked at a public figure I admire, and saw that she is several years older than me. I somewhat resemble her in physical age, visually, and although that means the years without h have changed my face and physique a bit ahead of schedule, which, I know he would say or think unkind or unfair things about that or about how I have or have not “handled” my life — I looked in the mirror, then at the older woman’s photograph again, and decided you know what?

I am ok with that.

I will be a regal old woman. Sovereign in myself. And that will be just fine.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 13, 2021, 02:10:33 PM
Oh I should say too,

First thing this morning, one of the counselor/coaches I follow on social media posted about people who read your every post but never comment or like anything. I messaged her privately for the first time (in over a year of following her daily content) and told her in a brief but sincere paragraph how I privately loved everything she posted, every time, and how grateful I am for the good work that she does for so many people, every single day without fail.

Then I absolutely cried, like a child. And I’m not even sure why.

It felt so good and important, to tell that one woman directly and honestly that her works have made such a vital and positive difference in my life. And I didn’t feel vulnerable saying it; I *say* stuff like that, to anyone, whenever I see opportunity. So I don’t know what the tears were about.

Just release, maybe.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: 3longyrs on October 15, 2021, 04:46:00 PM
You sound good Terra...Keep it up....(((HUGS)))
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 18, 2021, 12:43:03 PM
Hello 3longyrs and thank you! HIGH FIVE!!

I spent yesterday playing with the cat and assembling — with his “help” — a considerable LEGO project. That project went much more quickly than I expected and when I completed it, I set it atop the shelf above my bedroom window. Am kind of hoping kitteh forgets it existed and that he doesn’t get ideas about leaping to that high place. D came home last night and was startled by the new addition there, which made us both laugh. While she played with the cat, he stood on hind legs with his front paws and little face peeking over the top of the bed and she remarked how big he’s grown, even just since last week. I can’t get my head around that: it’s true. He is now six months old and so much bigger than the handful of kitten he was when we got him. Time flies.

This morning it rained and on the way to school I laughed, because I am thinking to disassemble the LEGO project today. She asked why, and I don’t actually know. Something about constructing a thing and then taking it apart and putting it fully away, now that it’s done. Like I guess I needed the action of building it and seeing it complete, and that’s all. In some way, it’s the first time in a long time, that I have the choice to dismantle a good thing I have built, no matter how ordinary it is, instead of someone else coming along and dismantling it themselves because they want to and they can, irrespective of my investment or feelings about it all.

I don’t usually overthink LEGOs, but there you go. I like that there is this intelligently designed, solidly built, finished *thing* in my space, a thing I constructed with my own will and effort and time, and that the decision to deconstruct it — like the act of constructing it in the first place — is only and solely and totally mine.

This week I think that whatever caused h to bolt and stay away, that’s layered with complexity now because of his parent loss last year. I resented that he took away the opportunity for me to be good wife and consoler and carer during his first year of grief, but I don’t think I do anymore. I don’t think we ever get that time or opportunity back again, but I like the idea of leaving room for us to have a different and maybe cleaner, clearer level of discussion if he ever does come back around.

He was so smart, back when, and so emotionally articulate. We matched in that way and I miss it about him. But I don’t mind where I’m at now, or that I’m by myself so much of the time. I spend it well enough I think.

This morning after school drop off, I stopped at a convenience store and lingered there long enough to realize every beverage was sold in plastic, when I didn’t want to buy that. I moved on to a proper grocery and ended up buying eggs in a paper carton, for a quiche, and ...a paper tub of spumoni ice cream, because the flavor was popular when I was a kid and the name still makes me laugh.

Partly because when it came up, years ago, and I said it, everyone in the family spluttered and said “WHO likes SPUMONI??!!”

I do.

I like spumoni. It reminds me of grandparents with accents and of local sweets in Europe and the name is just silly out of non-Italian mouths, and I think it would be a great name for a kitten.

Lately I am just playing with life here. A little more outward but still reticent, grateful for my vibrant D and for the rooms that presently house us. I can’t find my quiche recipe so I looked up a few online and then had to investigate using whole milk instead of cream, because ...my recipe never called for cream. I am satisfied that I can make a good quiche without it.

It’s nice not having to worry about what anyone else thinks. I don’t walk on eggshells anymore; I don’t feed them to the dog or the garden anymore, either. I just throw them out.

Thank you for reading, and (((HUGS))).
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on October 18, 2021, 02:18:07 PM
Terra, I always appreciate your updates. Whenever I read them, they always make me feel whatever it is you’re describing - the upheaval sometimes, the bewilderment at how a person can change sometimes. Today, peace and acceptance are the messages I glean. Contentment, pieces of joy here and there, real appreciation for the truly good things (and people and animals) around you. If this is what “overthinking” does for you, then… well, let’s just say that this post wouldn’t make a convincing argument that overthinking is a bad thing.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: Zion on October 18, 2021, 03:42:29 PM
I don’t walk on eggshells anymore; I don’t feed them to the dog or the garden anymore, either. I just throw them out.

^ This….A great mantra and goal for the LBS!
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 19, 2021, 01:30:30 AM
Here we go... Look out below for LEGO!

(https://media.giphy.com/media/1EuLa4HzCWffO/giphy.gif)

 ;D
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 20, 2021, 04:43:33 PM
 ;D UM, I am not going to show that to D’s cat. Our good dog used to pick up new ideas just from listening to us talk about them, so I won’t say it out loud in kitteh’s company either. He is small but he is very smart!

D has a friend over this afternoon and I am hanging out in the parking lot under a sky full of heavy grey clouds. We get more rain down here than at our old place, and it’s been very novel and restorative thus far. I miss my outside spaces up there and the privacy, but the wider and more peopled openness here has been interesting too. We are both coming out of our shells a bit — out of intensive quarantine and out of whatever armor we built around ourselves during that long time. It’s good to have the best of friends over to this place, and long overdue, very healing.

Last night I was out here as usual and one of the guys who also lives here long-term — a contractor from the middle of the country stationed out here for business — came by and asked if I’d seen anything weird here the past few days or nights. Turns out there were several vehicle break-ins and things stolen. I was surprised, but also not. The truth is, I *had* noticed a different element here over the past few days or maybe the past week. Confronted it somewhat too, or stood my ground when it confronted me. I am plenty street-smart and especially after all the hassle and confrontation of the past year or more, I don’t give way to anyone unless I can see benefit for me to do so. I’ll just say that a) my vehicle wasn’t tampered with, and also b) I am kind of glad this guy and his crew live here from out of state and aren’t shy about letting it be known that they have guns upstairs in their suites.

And that is really the first time I’ve ever said that — glad someone has guns nearby. So let’s just say I find I am now in kind of a weird place. ?!!

Different from where we lived before. We lived there because I knew in my bones it was utterly safe, even almost idyllic. Last night after the guy and his dog went back to their suite, I looked up the crime map for where we are. Right here, it’s orange. I kind of wish I’d thought to check that map before we left the old place; I’d have chosen a bit differently. But the other choices are not forest green deeply safe either, and I was surprised to find that neither is our old neighborhood. Equivalent safety is available at another of the places I was looking at then, and the main thing keeping me from moving us there is that moving is disruptive and we would be downsizing from here.

I am just getting accustomed to living in what seems a normal and adequate space. Although family and other folks would like me to be tight with money and do what is least expensive, right now I think it is really important to recalibrate D’s and my expectations and perceptions of what is normal. Because as much as we liked and relied on the old house, and wouldn’t have moved before next summer if we hadn’t basically been forced to, it wasn’t adequate. Or normal. It was old and shabby and weird, with stupefying features that made zero sense and ;D insulted our sense of design and function and good taste.

Here is different. The suites are secure; the long-term residents are nice. I just won’t leave anything important in the car, and will lock it up every time I leave it — something I never, ever did at the old house.

While the guy was telling me the news last night, it dawned on me that we are right around the corner from the holidays, so there will be more criminality here. I spoke to the folks at front desk this morning and the one gal I really like, a bit older than me, said “If you see something, say something. Just call us right away and we’ll have the police right out. Trust your instincts, because they’re good. Especially as a single woman — trust your instincts. They keep you safe.”

So even if it’s weird here, and different, I do also feel cared about and looked after, somewhat. And in some ways that’s different and novel too.

I like hotel living ok enough. I haven’t said anything to D about it and last night it was hard for me to get to sleep, but I don’t think I need to say anything to her. And I already know that if anything happens to the car, I will just laugh and deal with it and carry on. I don’t care about cars except that they should get me from A to B and back again.

I dreamt last night of h. He was telling me all about something, urgently, and it all was very like old times, even old times of MLC. Familiar. I don’t know where we were but I was only stopping by. He wanted me to know something. All I could really see or sense was that he was still handsome as heck and to me really beautiful. So admittedly I was just watching him, in the dream. Maybe the same way men watch women walking past on a beautiful beach, except we were indoors and somewhere where he was in command.

He kept talking and I know I was idle and maybe bored or aloof, the way cats are. Difficult to impress, and not even on purpose, but just because. Because I have a million things going on in my own psyche every second of every day and night here, and that doesn’t go away, even in my dreaming sleep.

He wore a short-sleeved blue collared shirt and his arms looked strong and warm. For some reason I have never figured out, he looked still somehow like my own kin, and that’s what I was thinking about as he went on and on.

“I need you to UNDERSTAND”, he said suddenly, “My life with her is becoming really DANGEROUS for me.”

I blinked and looked at him. “It’s NEVER been what you THINK,” he said, and I blinked again and woke up.

Dratted dreams. He said that a lot and for a long time, about ow. That it wasn’t at all what I thought it was; that he knew what I thought it was, and that it just was not even *close* to being what I thought.

I don’t know what I make of that now — the dream or the past or current reality. I know that there are parts of him that no one after me will ever know. Good and bad, really. There are versions of him that were only ours and the kids’. It’s weird to recognize that, because I no longer remember those very well and I don’t know if they still matter. Or if any of it does, or if it ever did.

I told the gal at the front desk about the “landscaper” who was out at the rose bushes with a tiny pair of pruning shears the other day, and when I said it seemed weird and that if you’d given *me* those shears, *I’d* have had those roses done in minutes *flat*, all the staff at the desk fell apart laughing.

H taught me years ago how to do the roses right, and we had 17 and 21 rose bushes in the yards at whatever times. I thought the six or so here looked decrepit and ignored, but yesterday morning I saw that one of them has started blooming.

So here is actually fine. And I’m glad.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 21, 2021, 02:51:34 AM
Well Terra, I guess the crooks might be having to deal with
(https://media.giphy.com/media/l41YmgdpcJwUngcXm/giphy.gif)

In the near future, eh?  And a dog to boot? A real dog, right? Not an ankle-biter....
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 21, 2021, 10:29:17 AM
;) UM, it would be like that if it were me with a gun, which is why I have never owned one and won’t ever. And really the dog that night was one of medium size? We are a large breed family so even medium sized dogs seem like ankle biters. But you know people love their good dogs, so we won’t shame them. I was so glad to have time with that one; I love our kitteh, but really miss the wonderful connection of dog spirit and soul.

This morning I dreamt of h again and it felt even more familiar and even right. 90% right. It’s been ages since I had any sense of that, about him or us.

When I woke, I determined that the previous dream, if dreams mean anything true at all, probably meant that he and ow have reached some deeper level of intimacy or knowing each other and commitment and so yes, of course that would feel very dangerous to him. I know that there are many areas and parts of him that he does not want anyone to truly know.

But that’s how we grow. Being fully and deeply known.

So it’s important to me that he is. By someone. I wanted it to be always me and I thought it always would be. Instead I am the only one knowing me and I don’t know him at all.

And as much as I would have it some other way, I find this is fine.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 22, 2021, 09:43:04 AM
Driving home after taking D to school this morning, in the first heavy rain of the season, I cried a good couple of miles. The heavy grey weather and all the water makes me really miss our good dog. I miss my writing spot up in the hills and I miss his big contented presence near me, rain or shine, but especially in rain. We lived up there through years of super drought and when the rain came, that was special time. It never mattered how much or how hard or how cold it rained; we sat outside in it, even in the dark and even in near-freezing temperatures, and then were glad to come back inside, tracking paw prints and shaking off the wet.

He never smelled like that wet dog smell I remember of childhood. A good house dog, he smelled of green walnut leaves and coffee grounds and supple weeds, and fur. And he was always good for a hug.

I miss our good boi. It’s funny how all the emotions really defy language; my feelings about him can’t be said at all, just felt and cried.  :'(

I might spend today/this weekend compiling photos of him for a memorial book for D (and myself, to the side or overseeing). It’s her birthday soon and I’d meant to do the book or collage back when he died, but life kept taking over. This will be her first birthday without him in a decade. She won’t hear of my getting another dog, so creating the gift of the one we love will help me a bit with my grief and dog longing, I think.

I went for coffee this morning at the front of the hotel. Same time as usual, but with time changes and weather changes, it was almost fully still dark. I noticed the swimming pool looked beautiful with its deep end lamp lit. So I carried that image back to my writing spot here and just stood in the rain, waiting for the sun to rise.

While we are here, I am acknowledging the negative misperceptions people in my life have thrust at me, all these bizarre distortions that have nothing to do with who or how I am or present, accusations or firm assertions of character defects that didn’t exist in me then and don’t now. Lies. I don’t know why anyone ever said what they said, to my face or otherwise. And it’s interesting to notice those come up again now that I am back in a position of real need and vulnerability — legally houseless! I notice that these now defunct relationships, if active still, would still come with all the baggage of someone else believing 100% that they more accurately judged my character than I myself do or did. As if a person is not ever able to see itself clearly and truthfully.

Well that’s just bullsh!t. Isn’t it. Who knows you better than you know yourself. Come on, now. Who.

I went along with a lot of the negative feedback because I didn’t know how not to, and loved these people, and in some cases was validly dependent on them for things like ...you know. Food. Safety. Survival.

Or because I just loved them, with all my being, and wanted to be good. I guess I perceived at any point that they knew better about the world or personhood or right behaviors than I did.

Well guess what! NOT ANYMORE. Anymore, I see full well that the majority of the naysayers didn’t and don’t have anywhere near as much life experience as I had or have. It’s not even a case of they do and it’s just different. It’s that I’ve lived a lot and have lived raw, on the farthest edges and with the least active support beyond just relying completely on God, and on my own chutzpah. I don’t like that that’s how it’s been, but for most of my years, that’s how it’s been.

Last night I thought a lot about some of these people, especially the FOO ones, and realized I am in a good place, emotionally. I am in a swell place; I like this new ground. Somehow it feels stable, secure, and pure. I wrote an idle list of naysayers who over the past 18 years are now completely gone from my life — h being the only one left, present only minimally and mostly in my head (really), and inconstant.

Then I wrote a heady list of all the things I can do now that those voices aren’t current or actively present anymore.

What a great list. Most of it is simple stuff you wouldn’t expect anyone would ever relinquish. But those negative voices were so bad and so constant and consistent, especially the ones of FOO, and they really served to limit or beat down my sense of ability to stand my ground and to do even small things that I liked or loved to do.

It’s not clear to me how we can anticipate or divine in new encounters who is on our side and who accepts the all of a person. I don’t know how we can see in any person right away that they will turn into a negative voice or committed controller at some point down the road. I couldn’t see it, in the people I loved or chose. If we’re given a honeymoon period of 18 to 36 months when everyone is on their best behavior, too, how easy is it for anyone to withdraw the emotional or physical or financial investment when the masks start to fall and the rainbows are becoming less frequent?

It wasn’t ever easy for me, and that’s one reason any relational engagement went on a lot longer than maybe it should have. I have a long history of learning the hard way, and even choosing deliberately to do that.

NOT ANYMORE, YO. Gosh. There’s no more time for that.

I woke up this morning thinking of h and then abruptly not thinking of him at all. I’m mystified at how inconsequential that all feels, now.

I miss having a big steady companion who likes to stick with me rain or shine, and who is always good for a hug.

But when I say that, I don’t mean h. I mean my dog.

That seems like good progress, today.

I am thinking to spend the weekend with that set of memories, almost all of them remarkably beautiful and happy and good, and despite the rain, I am loosely hoping I will go for a swim later today. I used to swim in the rain when I was much younger, and there’s something special and deeply natural about it. I haven’t done it in years, but I think this is the season for that to change.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 23, 2021, 09:50:29 AM
Dreamt last night that D and I were moving to or from the neighborhood we used to live in, again. Only this time was more celebratory, easier, glad — and the businesses down the hill had been wiped out, replaced by a stunning expanse of patient natural meadow. The whole block erased and taken over with green wilderness, as though the forest had crept down the hill overnight and cleansed everything in its path.

That was thrilling, and when I woke I realized that if I owned it all, up there, that’s the change I would make. Erase the human footprint and let Nature have the spaces back. So much calmer and prettier and ...normal.

We humans are collectively so overwrought and odd. Seeing the green expanse, I felt free again, relieved, able to breathe. Those buildings had been there since I was D’s age, since FOO lived there and since they moved away. The dream made them gone, and with them decades of personal history and whatever damages had chipped away at my sense of self, those were gone too, and it was just us.

No naysaying; no detractors, no competitive jealous elders, no fragmenting. Just wholeness, with grasses and birds and small natural things creeping and flitting in the eastern sunlight.

This morning I cleared one of the rose bushes of fallen branches from this week’s storms. I pricked my fingertip on one stem and laughed: like getting nicked by the kitten’s claws while we are playing, a glancing quick sharpness, light. But the rose thorn left the finest black tip in me, painful and tiny and difficult to extract. The kitten’s claw always fully retracts; roses are different, I guess. This one more like a bee sting.

This week I had hesitant news from a family member and we both understood why hesitant — because everyone knows it would and does make me mad. It’s so weird that people grow up of similar ages under the same roof and rules and come out of it and of age with altogether differing experiences. I had to sit it out overnight before responding, and when I did respond, I simply acknowledged that of course it made me mad. Mad, jealous, hurt, bewildered. And acknowledged too that I don’t really understand why. Because, really ...WHY? People are entitled to their own experiences and perspectives about anything. So I’m not mad at *you*, exactly. I just have the history and perspective that I have. That’s all.

The pandemic really did a number on anyone, I think. I’m grateful to have what I have and to have life in my body. The rest is sort of beside the point, at this point.

I know that I don’t have it in me to return to any connection in which I ever felt I had to protect myself or anticipate someone else’s feints and jabs. It surprises me who in my life did that to me, ever, and also how long I endured it and tried to get along, work around it, adapt.

Those things shouldn’t have been done or said, and those persons shouldn’t have done or said them. Ever. I know from loving my own child that there isn’t any excuse for what was done or said to me. That extends to the world of people beyond the FOO too; I don’t understand why anyone asserts dominance, control, know-it-all-isms. Like none of us are ever living in just our own skins, which naturally, is the only way we do.

I guess I don’t mind so much; in quarantine so long, I learned to steer mostly clear of other humans. But this morning for some reason when the kitten played behind me and up and down the stairs in which I sat to study breakfast, I realized his playing and proximity reminded me of friends in high school, and how we stayed idly in proximity to each other, doing each our own thing, near to each other even if not everyone was especially liked or known or understood, or favored. How a group stayed cohesive and together even in unrest or little or big misgivings, and how that was family even better than home.

We’ve operated that way in the families we made as adults, too. Everyone under the same roof and rules and sometimes just *there*, near to each other and each doing our own thing, safe in collective even in arguments or misgivings.

What I hate the most about h with ow is that he has given her both the shelter and the ongoing presence of him. We’ve missed him here more than not, and for a long time.

In the end, I finished breakfast and played with kitteh in silence, then came out and cleared brush from a rose bush, and got pricked for my doing so. Oh well.

Sometimes I think if h ever turned for home, I would have no words to say at all, about that or to him. I know I would not want to hear even one word about his time with ow, about her or the differences or similarities of what they have been. The other night I calculated how many months, weeks, days, minutes, seconds since a) their big BD and b) the moment we mutually agreed we both loved.

Their number is closing in on half of ours. I think when it reaches that 50%, that will be when I am fully done with it. With them, with him, with that aspect of my life or confusion. I feel close to done.

Waiting for something you can’t even define, is a drag. It doesn’t make sense.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Curiosity on October 23, 2021, 12:46:35 PM
Terra, as always, I find myself struck by the beauty in your words. It feels like you're in that place where there is peace and contentment at times, appreciating that you are not beholden to anyone else for your own happiness, that you don't have to walk on eggshells because of how someone else might react. The imagery of nature taking over, of the calm and green and quiet that happens when people are kept far away... there's a lot of beauty in that. And then, when in that place of simple calm, thoughts creep in, memories of how life got to a place of being neither simple nor calm. I think one of the best parts of healing is that, even when those thoughts come, it becomes possible to observe the complex chaos as it was, without having to relive the emotion of it all. Or, I guess I'm not sure you ever get to a place where you're completely an observer, but at least it feels like you become removed enough from it that the echo of the previous emotions is dampened and smoothed over a bit by time and distance.

I think many of us decide in anger that we're done, we're detached, we're not going on that ride again. It's a whole different thing to decide it in those calm moments. I wish you many more calm moments in which to move toward that decision, my friend.
Title: Re: Life goes on.
Post by: terra on October 24, 2021, 07:49:52 AM
I know that I don’t have it in me to return to any connection in which I ever felt I had to protect myself or anticipate someone else’s feints and jabs.

Need to bring this forward and emphasize it to myself, because I woke this morning to email in which h addressed me like a salty old army sergeant to a cadet still wet behind the ears, or a football coach to benched player.

Here I am trying to navigate back to myself, the full feminine in me, alone in a meant-to-be-temporary really overnight stay, and trying to remember what it is that I like, love, or want, or need — and he is barking at me like we’re soldiers or British boarding schoolboys and addressing me like I’m a man. And an inferior, at that.

It’s the way his dad addressed him occasionally, in fun or in bonded masculine spirit. But that’s not me and I find it reprehensible, disrespectful, insulting.

The funny part is that I have no response to that. And I think he does it so that it’s not clear to ow, should she ever find it, that he’s trying to talk to me — a woman, his w.

I don’t want even minimal contact with him unless he has dropped all subterfuge. Like, when you’re brave enough again to acknowledge me realistically and with ALL DUE respect, that’s when I’ll answer you.

I shouldn’t have to explain why or what this is.

I dreamt I was moving from the old place AGAIN, this morning, and that this time I had words with the original landlord, who I still feel very negatively about. In the dream, the landlord and his wife had closed our mailbox and had routed all the mail into their own, and had opened it all. I was astonished at how much of our incoming joys had been delayed and stolen. Pretty much how I still feel about everything with h, and it was strange and stultifying to see so many gifts and pleasantries that had been so carefully selected and sent by me to myself and D and whoever else under my heart’s wings, instead all crammed into that other mailbox, which was stuffed to the gills.

It wasn’t even a bad dream; we were still Home, or, Home again; I corrected the mailbox theft and had my say. That was all fine, because I corrected it and had my direct say. On my own home turf, even.

Then woke up with that middle of the night message that felt like being barked awake in a barracks.

I don’t want to be addressed as though I’m a man. By anyone, ever. Or to engage with any person who thinks it is funny or clever to disregard the core identity of another, the exquisite feminine of a woman, the exquisite masculine of a man. Gender-bending is solely an individual’s right to decide — you don’t decide that for me. That’s a new trick from him and although I understand he is asking my attention, and that I even want to communicate with him lately — I do not want to and cannot comfortably respond to this newest emotionally barren approach.

Unrewarding. What is in ANY of this, for me. What good would come of it, at all.

Curiosity, thank you for always having good words here. I feel calm this morning, but bored and somewhat dully annoyed. His timing is fine and his approach is obnoxious. I am beginning to understand that some people are strategic and canny and cunning in how they move relational pieces across the board, and then there’s me — on some level I am very black and white and limited in my ability to guess anything forward. I don’t like games much, so that’s what I’m sitting with today. What it means to be a person who declines invitations or instructions to play.
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Nas on October 24, 2021, 08:20:59 AM
“ I don’t want to be addressed as though I’m a man.”

Forgive the messy quoting technique. I’m on my phone and it won’t let me snip.

I am intrigued by this statement and wonder if you could expand more on what it means to be spoken to like you’re a  man.

To me, barking at someone is unacceptable regardless of gender. But how does him “barking“ at you mean that he’s speaking to you as a man? What would it mean for him to be speaking to you as “a woman”?

I wondered if genderizing (is that a word? 🤔) speech like this confuses things and adds unnecessary internalized feelings and ponderings (such as whether he’s doing it to mask things from OW - things you can’t know and will suck up your energy giving any time thinking about it). Like to me, we are all human beings and should speak to each other on a human level, with respect, although being firm when necessary, etc.

On the flipside of your statement, I don’t think I would ever want anyone to purposefully speak to me “like I am a woman” - but that comes from my experience with the way men and women have been viewed and treated, and my experience is not your experience and vice versa.

I also think it can go the other way in many situations, for instance where simply a compliment from the opposite sex can cause a person to think the complimenter has feelings for them. A woman extending a kindness to another woman is viewed as simply a kind gesture; a man extending a kindness should be the same exact thing, but can often be misconstrued depending on the person and how they perceive it.

I honestly think this plays a role in how affairs get started sometimes. A man in the beginning stages of MLC who feels bad about himself is treated kindly by another woman and, boom, suddenly there’s “feelings.”
Anyway I’m veering way off the subject now. But that statement really piqued my interest and has me thinking now that it would be an interesting discussion, what it means to be spoken to as if one is a man or a woman, and how much of that is to do with the speaker and how much of it is to do with how we feel internally (and I suppose how we view gender roles and a whole host of other things…)
Title: Life goes on.
Post by: Treasur on October 24, 2021, 08:37:16 AM
I will find your perspective on that interesting too, Terra. Not sure it’s a frame that has ever occurred to me.

I am curious though.....curious in the sense of understanding your POV better, not curious in the sense of requiring any justification or explanation if that makes sense....about the nature of your current available door to your h. Is he still legally your h? And if so, is that a status quo you intend to keep? How does it add value to your life still vs any say financial benefits of divorce? And what influences your current choice to still be accessible to him even if you do not respond? It seems to bring with it a kind of energy into your life that you don’t much like or find useful?

I’m not sure i’m very good at games like that either. Mostly bc I don’t enjoy them. Actually my former h used to say that about me, that I was no good at manipulation bc in his opinion I didn’t have the patience for it and was too busy doing nicer things. I thought then that he mostly saw this as a compliment in comparison to his own FOO, but also thought he saw it as rather naive. Perhaps he was right. But I am happy to refuse to waste my good time with certain kinds of games and leave others to it if it pleases them. Ha ha, maybe I am just naive by choice now  :) I know now there are more wolves in the woods who pretend to be grandmas than I thought before, but it doesn’t make me see puppies as wolves or change my pleasure in real grandmas  :)