Midlife Crisis: Support for Left Behind Spouses

Archives => Story Threads 2021 => Topic started by: MourningDove on August 09, 2021, 09:24:26 AM

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 09, 2021, 09:24:26 AM
I don't feel like the storm is over in my life. There are too many loose ends with what has gone on in the past few months. Some are just life events, like unplanned pandemics and my own health issues that arose that have created some hiccups in life. Others parts are still disrupted by the MLCer, although they have become less frequent. The biggest problems with Xh arise when it comes to the kids and while they are adults, it still does affect me on different levels.

I am always going to be their M and I can't shut off the protective, loving side. I have had to learn when to step away and let them deal with things and when to just be there for them to give them support and a hug. I can' fix the relationship Xh no longer fosters with the kids. It is his choice to dismantle those relationships all on is own and for the kids to decided how they want to handle it.

This morning, a quote popped up on my Facebook page that really seems to be resonating with me.

"Not all storms come to disrupt your life, some come to clear your path".

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 09, 2021, 03:08:04 PM
Coming along for the ride.

I know they are not my monkeys, but I can hear that circus down the street and I know my kids have tickets.

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: FaithWalker on August 09, 2021, 06:13:52 PM
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: stillbaffled on August 09, 2021, 08:45:50 PM
Also following along, MD.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 10, 2021, 11:06:33 AM
Thanks Dumbfounded, FaithWalker, & stillbaffled.  :)

Well, I over did it. My doctor warned me. Luckily, it is just a warning shot from my body telling me "um -- no". I lifted something that clearly my body is not ready for and it wasn't like I was trying to break some world record, but it was probably 75 lbs. I only lifted it enough to get it off the floor and move it just a smidge. Yah, bad idea.

Fortunately, I know when to quit. The problem being, it frustrates me.

What is amazing is those who know me realize I just am trying to get things done and I don't have the luxury of having anyone around who can help when I need it. And these are in the moments that I really can't just wait. It has nothing to do with somehow wanting to control things. I end up trying to figure out how to do it on my own, not because I am trying to prove something. I simply want to make progress. Yet, now in my search for progress, I have set myself back a little. Not enough to have to go to the doctor or be put on some type of bedrest, etc, but I know when my body is telling me to knock it off and it is usually when that stubborn side of me in my head is not listening.  ::)

I found myself really upset with myself this morning. My sister called and as we talked I told her I would love to just be able to not have to be rebuilding facets of my life. These unplanned projects have been hampered by delays and it is wearing me down. Even if I could just hire a contractor to do it all, it would be months to find a contractor that has time to take on such things. And, the supplies I need are not readily available.

In the grand scheme, it is nothing. That is, I could be dealing with far worse. I realize that. This set back is temporary and I will have to adjust my expectations for now.

I guess in some ways the heat is a blessing, because it is making me very lazy, but I know sitting around is not good for me today. I am in my head too much today. And, it is not about anything in particular, just so many things going on that I have no control over and conversations I have had to have with my M the past couple of days.

My M's surgery is coming up. She hates the idea of laying flat again for 5 days. She did not enjoy that. My F laughed at me when he heard me laying it out for my M. He knows I am very caring and loving, but I know I can be blunt. This called for being brutally honest. I simply told her it was well within her right to cancel her surgery, as it is her body and she is of sound mind, BUT her eyesight is getting worse and she will go blind. That is the harsh reality. If she loses sight in that eye, her days of driving are done and she will be incredibly frustrated, as she is frustrated now. She gave me a look of shock and said she knew I was right and 5 days of laying flat is better than not being able to see. Then she tried the other approach of what if it doesn't work. After running the scenarios and what the doctor told her, she agreed it has to happen.

This morning, my M called to tell me her best friend died.

I called my sister and said I need her help. I can't do this on my own all the time. It was great that she and her family had a vacation with my parents, but I need her to step up for the hard stuff. And, my sister is good with these things. She just has to be asked. My M does not tell my sister things because my sister lives farther away and has younger kids. I was willing to accept that answer when my niece and nephew were little. Not anymore. And, my sister will come and help. I just have to ask, which is not easy for me. Just like moving that stupid thing that I shouldn't have, I just want a solution and sometimes it is quicker and easier for me to address it right then and there.

Asking for help, has become much harder since MLC. I didn't want to burden people. I had a need to feel strong on my own - that I could do it, because Xh had me convinced I would fail miserably. Now the problem is, I have perhaps overcompensated there. I do like when people help me. I am not that stubborn, but I am not good about asking. I learned in MLC how to survive on my own as part of my mirror work. Now, I need to go back and try a different approach and do different mirror work and retrain myself.

So today, instead of lifting heavy objects and doing things I should now hold off on, I will finish installing D's closet, which is all light weight and she will be home in awhile from work to help me put the shelves up. I will behave.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Tornup on August 10, 2021, 11:45:57 AM

It’s frustrating when our minds want to do something our bodies no longer want to do. I have struggled with those moments of the need to get things done and disregarding what my body can handle. Thank goodness there is enough things we can do, so we don’t get discouraged on what we can’t. Sounds like you have many projects going a d keeping busy.

I need to get some of your motivation and get some things done.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: FaithWalker on August 10, 2021, 06:26:33 PM
So sorry to hear about your M's friend, MD.  That has to be hard and I'm not looking forward to the days when I am older and I start to lose many people that I know and love.

Good for you to realize your limitations, and take it easy!  Also great that you called your sister for support with your M.  Definitely a good call.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 11, 2021, 07:22:40 AM
Thank you, FaithWalker.

My M's friend lost her H in the spring, and I believe that is part of why she herself died. She was down and missed him terribly. Because she was not able to get around on her own any more, they moved her into a nursing home closer to her S's house, but it was away from all of her lifelong friends. Her S and D went to see her, but I know she had a horrible time adjusting to this new situation and I am of the belief that when she got sick recently that she really just had no fight left in her.

I spent some time with my M last night. She seems better realizing that her friend had some big health issues that she knew about but in many ways ignored. It was perhaps a good reality check for my M, in that she did admit she is in really pretty good health for her age and she has a lot to be grateful for and to live for. She wants to be around when her grandchildren graduate high school and college. She wants to enjoy the time she has with my F. I reminded her that she comes from a long line of women who lived well into their late 90s with their faculties in tact and in good health. She laughed saying that might not be her. I came back with, but it might be and so she could get up every morning and focus on dying or she could focus on living it was her choice.

My F, he has found something to motivate him with this news. He was in a creative slump and it was concerning my M. He has not been out in his studio for what seems like months. He has had no desire to create, which is a big shock. Last night, he was sketching out a new idea for the upcoming exhibit in September that he has been avoiding doing any work for. He seemed excited last night about it. I didn't ask what prompted this spark, but my suspicion is he realized he thought about how this friend of my M's spent many months sitting in her chair and not getting any real exercise. She gave up months ago, TBH.

It brought about a conversation with my F about his parents and my grandmother in particular. They were fighters and overcame some pretty big life events. My grandmother outlived my grandfather by over 30 years. I often wonder if his doctor had not dismissed his shortness of breath and gotten him to a heart specialist if he would have lived longer. Or was it just his time? My grandmother just kept going and laughed right up until the end, even when she could no longer form a full sentence. She had a twinkle in her eye the week before she died and the last time I would sit with her for a couple of hours while my F sang to her and talked to her. It is that same fight my F says he sees in me even though I have days I want to just curl up in a ball and give up completely.

S came up and went outside with my F while I sat with my M. I went outside to check on what they were up to and S was working on my F's MG. It had quit a couple of weeks back and when he tried to restart it, there had been a small fire that my F quickly put out before there was any damage to the car or anything else for that matter. F had joked that is why he always keeps a fire extinguisher in the car. S laughed and said that is where I must get that idea from and why he too has one in his car. S had it running last night, after pulling the wires and ignition, to find the wiring was original and had a bare spot. S was able to get it all back in order and my F was like a kid. He took it for a spin around the block as soon as he could.

When S came home, he brought up my grandmother. We hadn't been talking about her when S was there, so IDK if my F brought it up or what, but S was old enough to remember my grandmother when she was lucid. He smiled and told me last night that he can still vividly picture my grandmother at my F's age now, sitting down on the floor with S in her living room and rolling a ball back and forth between them. He also recalled sitting at my grandmother's kitchen table and eating cookies and the adults including him in conversations. I have some of the same memories growing up.

I am realizing more and more my grandmother's wise words really ring true. She lived her life. When people would joke about another year passing and her getting older she wouldn't be upset. She said she had two options and that was to get older and live or to not get older and, well there ultimately was only one way to stop time, so she would go with the option to get older. She really did not focus on that at all.

When I came home, I began thinking about Xh a bit. Just in the sense that he has not dealt with all of the death around him. I get it - it is not easy. But, in not dealing with it, he chose to run the opposite way as if to avoid the pain or perhaps his own mortality. The reality is, you can't outrun those things. They catch up to you one way or another. And the fact of the matter is, you can dye your hair and have botox or any number of things to make you feel younger or look younger, but you can't change that eventual outcome either.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 12, 2021, 10:35:49 AM
There are moments where the dreams I have just seem so out of reach. Things I long for. Some are simple, others seem like impossible wishes. It is not like me to let these things somehow weigh me down. I can't claim that today. I feel as if I should just wipe my board of dreams clean and just accept things are the way they are and settle. Would that be the worst thing in the world?

I was looking out the window of my kitchen and noticed the sunflowers in the garden have emerged. They are S's GF's favorite flowers, as they were MIL's. S had seeds left over from that came from the original flowers planted by MIL.

There is one sunflower looking as if it is hanging it's head, sadly and just beat down. I laughed and wanted to say "yah, I get that today". But the rest of the flowers are standing and it seems almost impossible that these flowers are standing at all on these thin stalks, especially since there was a storm last night with high winds. Somehow they survived.

MIL, when I first met her, had so many issues. I will always give her a huge amount of credit though, as she owned her own failures, although it was when she became a grandmother. She and I became quite close later in her life and I realize Xh became jealous of that. It was only that she was very creative and at one point wanted my help learning how to paint.

MIL often told me to not waste my life like she did. She quit living when FIL left. She gave up on any dreams she had maybe this is a gentle reminder for me. A little tap on the shoulder.

Even the sunflower hanging it's head low today is in fact standing. It is not laying on the ground. It is just having a day.  ::)

And, I am going to allow myself to have this day. I know that some of it is just the weight of this week. And the oppressive heat is exhausting. It sucks all of the energy from me by midday.

I won't think about dreams today. I will focus on just being okay with settling - that is, just getting through today and not worrying about anything else. I will table those decisions I have to make by next week for just today because I know I will question everything today.

I did laugh last night, when S came into the house with a jar. He had found it in the garage. I knew what it was immediately. It was something Xh acquired early in the MLC from a family member he had met that summer. It was a pepper onion relish that was homemade. Now, I know things can be preserved for a very long time, but this was easily 8 years old, if not older.

What had me laughing is just like the MLCer himself, the outside looked fine. That is, it didn't look like it was spoiled somehow or bad. None of us plan on eating it's contents, so I decided to open the jar and dump it out. I loosened the ring and then pulled the top off. When it didn't make the tell tale popping sound, I figured it was not good anyways. It didn't smell bad, although I was prepared to have an immediate gag reflex, but the center of this relish was clearly no longer fresh. It made me laugh a bit, thinking that is pretty much a visual of what Xh is like. Looks fine on the outside, but pop the top and the insides are a mess.

S and I laughed as we ended up with a really cool older mason jar that I will use to put a tea light in out on the back deck.

Huh - the sun came out and that little sad sunflower has perked up a bit. Maybe I need to take in some sunshine too. Hmmm.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 13, 2021, 05:39:40 AM
People mean well. At least, I would say most people do. But, when they don't really know you or understand who you are it can be very aggravating and actually cause stress when they try to help.

This morning, I opened up my emails and there was an email from a guy I knew from high school. Had he tracked me down through something like Facebook, I wouldn't have been as shocked, but this was my personal email. Not my work email, which would be public knowledge. I am very careful about giving out my personal information and always have been. So, I had to process for a minute how this would have occurred. Hmmm.

Then it hit me. Last week at the garden party my friend's mother was there. She used to work for this guy's F many years ago and brought up how I went to this guy's junior prom with him. Yah, I did. I was a sophomore at the time. We were friends, but only friends - at least that is how I saw it. That night after the prom, I was suddenly showered continually with gifts and flowers, etc. He was trying to buy my affection and we quit being friends. He came from a very wealthy family and he had some insecurities for a variety of reasons, one being he was not the favored S. He was the oldest, but his brothers, particularly the youngest, everyone knew was the kid that just shined all the time and was doted on. I had tried at the time to be this guy's friend and tell him to quit trying to buy people and just be himself. The gifts, although thoughtful, were also very clear that he didn't really get me at all. That is, I don't like to be just given gifts just because. The ones with meaning behind them matter more to me.

The best example I can think of right now would be to say one of my favorite gifts was from S. A rock he brought back from the field when he was 15. We had seen it on a walk and he remembered I had said that would be great in my gardens. He went back months later and dug it up for part of my Mother's Day gift. I had forgotten about it. The fact that S remembered was what touched me. It was the sentiment.

Had that been this guy, he would have seen said rock and might have gotten me a rock, but would have gone out and bought me some store bought version that was all sparkly with some crazy certification noting it's value.

It is not that I don't like nice things or sometimes have gotten things that are of monetary value that I somehow have thought less of the sentiment, but my point is, this guy was always buying me things to try and impress me. It was exhausting. I was never going to be, nor am I now anyone who would date anyone just because they were successful and had money.

The sad thing is, he was a nice guy underneath it all. He didn't outgrow that need to show off from what I know. I know that his F, in order to maintain this guy's standing and popularity at his college bought a house for a fraternity so the guy could belong to the fraternity. The guy never had a role model to show him that is not how you make and maintain true friendships or relationships. You don't buy them.

So, must be last weekend, when this friend's mom found out I was now divorced that she should try and reunite us somehow.  And she is one of those moms who likes to play matchmaker. I have no doubt it was her because looking back, when she realized I was the one who had gone to the prom with him, she spent an awful lot of time telling me about what he was up to.. It hadn't clicked with me at all at the time what she was doing. She was sharing and grabbing intel. I was just having a conversation. I had heard through the grapevine he had a very good job and is extremely successful. I am not surprised, as he was always very smart. I learned that he never married. All of this in our conversation never made me stop and think that I should walk away from this woman. There was nothing suspect in that exchange that made me think she would step out of bounds. And there is no other way that this occurred. There is no coincidence here, based on the timing, considering this woman is still very good friends with his M.

So, there this email was. Oh sure, I could tell him I would have dinner with him. I am sure I could probably, if I were a different person, weasel my way into his life again and become a woman who is very well taken care of, as that was what he was honestly always after. I could retire completely and play Bridge or be a fixture at the country club. I know this because while I haven't seen him in years, I still stay in touch with people who do know him.

I called my friend this morning and told her. She was very calm and said "well, he was a nice guy" and then she laughed. Not at him, but at the thought of me entering into even a dating situation with this man. I told her that would be the end of my working on projects and running around covered in paint. She told me I might have to learn how to also play Canasta.

I started laughing because I asked her if she could picture me standing next to this man like his M did with her H. Dutiful W, who just smiled and never expressed herself at all. My friend giggled. I clean up really well and can do the whole black tie affair behavior, but never would I ever be one to not have a conversation and express my own opinions and thoughts.

I am not so upset with this man. He was given my contact information. It is not making me feel weird in that regard. It is, however annoying me that people think that just because I am divorced, and technically single that it means I am somehow looking. I don't share what goes on in my life with just anyone.

My simple answer to this man is I am flattered, but it would be unfair of me to go out on a date with him, as I have feelings that reside with someone else.

I wish people would stop trying to think for me or believe I need that type of help. If anything, it is causing me stress. LOL.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: OffRoad on August 13, 2021, 08:38:47 AM
Maybe you could reframe it as they are supplying you with options that you are not obligated to take? I don't understand why people cant just ask if you'd like to connect up with, say, Prom Boy.  I definitely would be upset with people giving out my contact info without my permission. That is just not ok.

It's strange, but what you describe about the gifts didn't strike me as "buying affection." It struck me as showing he was interested with gifts. Maybe his love language was gifts? That could be what he saw in his parents relationship. Was it really excessive? (edit here: I mean that as "really excessive" , not as in "really" excessive. I have no frame of reference for overly excessive.)

I'm sorry someone gave away your contact info without asking, forcing you into having to turn someone down. Just another thing you didn't ask for to have to deal with.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Dumbfounded on August 13, 2021, 10:40:03 AM
Now I have to get up on my soap box.

I am so sick to death of people that decide that I am unhappy or incomplete or pathetic or lonely because I am divorced/single. What is that?  Am I telling you I am sad or lonely or unhappy? No. Then your judgment of me in that light is totally disrespectful of me and my life choices.  It tells me that you don't really like me as the person I am.  Or it tells me that your efforts to make me just like you (which is usually the case) make you feel better about yourself and your life choices.  Stop trying to fix me.  My mother is famous for this.

My last therapist told me I had to stop hanging out with my married friends and to go sit by myself at a bar to meet new people. I don't really drink. I am introverted.  Why in God's name would I want to go sit at a bar and meet new people who drink and hang out a noisy bars?  I like my married friends who have the same values as me and like to Netflix and chill and play board games with their kids.

And excessive gift giving and the flashy life style ... oh heck no to that.  These are not your people MD.     
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: OffRoad on August 13, 2021, 11:25:25 AM
My last therapist told me I had to stop hanging out with my married friends and to go sit by myself at a bar to meet new people.
There is nothing to say to such crazy.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 13, 2021, 02:20:15 PM
OffRoad, the biggest issue was that this woman doesn't really know me and to overstep that personal information was not okay. The only reason she had it was because many years ago she had set up a surprise for my friend and used that email.

There is gift giving that one could classify as someone's love language. I have no problem with that. I had a boyfriend many years ago that it was clear was his love language. He bought me a necklace that was not my aesthetic as such, but I know he must have saved up for it and I wore it daily when we were dating, because I knew it was a big deal. The situation with this other guy was never that.

There is a difference when phrases were attached to let you know where it came from, etc. It was no secret that his family modeled the sort of behavior I am talking about. The one son was not good enough to make the team, then suddenly he was on a sports team and there was a new scoreboard that had been purchased. And they bragged about how they just had to throw money at things to get what they wanted. That is how every gift I received was presented. I should want to go out with him because, well I would be lavished with gifts if I did. The thing is, I found myself liking him less and less even as a friend. It destroyed the parts of him that I did care for in that those other behaviors eclipsed the good parts of him. The fraternity house, that was just one of many times that this family paid their way to popularity. I didn't want to be part of that. I know all too well what the dynamic was in that family.

Dumbfounded - I am right there with you. I will tell you though, be careful, as I discovered that "chill and Netflix" among the younger crowd definitely does mean something completely different than most of us think. I made that mistake early on with my former coworker when he asked if I wanted to go to the movies and "hang out". Back when I was in my 30's that meant "hey let's go to the movies and a cup of coffee and talk afterwards". Um, no. That is code for after the movie there will be different action going on.  ::) I laughed and asked him if this was standard operating procedures. At then 30, he looked at me like I had an extra eyeball in the middle of my forehead. I have since learned to be mindful of how I answer things - LOL. Fortunately, he had a good sense of humor about it and didn't make me feel ancient. LOL.

But, that nugget aside. I am perfectly content, like you to do other things with people I like whether they are married or single. I did my stint at a bar with a friend of mine for months. It got really old, very quickly. I like my inner circle method of choosing who I hang out with. I am not going to go and hang out at a bar by myself. I have gone to the movies or out to dinner, or gone places on my own, but a bar. IDK - that seems like looking for a hookup more than anything else, so I am with you. LOL

I had to work today and it was a hectic day. I arrived at work to a ton of messages and things I had on my list that I wanted to get done. I was in the middle of my list when the phone rang and it was the owner. She was not feeling well and asked me to cover her class. It was decided to close the gallery for a few hours so that I didn't have to run back and forth and try to manage both the front end of things and the class. I was grateful for that option, as it has been busy as of late.

I was getting ready to go teach, laughing as I had worn a skirt and heels today. I was grateful I had chosen to not wear my white dress pants instead. That would have been a disaster with oil paint. As I was preparing, one of the students came into the office and brought me a bouquet of flowers from her garden. She wanted to thank me for helping her last week with something. They were absolutely stunning.

Class went incredibly well and a couple of students told me that they would love to have me teach a class of my own. It felt good to be appreciated and frankly, I miss teaching. It gets me excited to see people improve with their techniques and sharing what I have learned over the years. It is not some ego trip for me. It is all about that sharing of knowledge and other people getting excited as well. It is what draws me to people who find the same things interesting and exciting. Or the same sense of humor.

I really am a nerd at heart. I accept and own that.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 14, 2021, 09:41:19 AM
I have been thinking about guilt this afternoon that comes with this whole MLC process. And it is not the same guilt that creeps in now, but like it or not there were some moments of guilt that hung on me throughout this ordeal.

I remember feeling guilty initially because I so wanted to help Xh somehow. And, the guilt came mainly with the gaslighting. I realize that now, but at the time, Xh's complaints fed that guilt making me feel like somehow I was to blame for all that was wrong. Once I realized it was gaslighting the guilt didn't just lift. It took time to work through it.

There was guilt when I decided I could no longer stand. My own feelings that were rooted in my strong belief in vows and commitment. The feeling as if I had failed at marriage. Failed Xh. Failed myself. And failed my kids and family. Those feelings were often fueled when other people sometimes felt it was necessary to stoke that fire and make comments. More often than not, those were people who didn't really have a clue as to what I was dealing with nor did they really, in the grand scheme, have an opinion that should somehow have affected me. They are now people I realize didn't understand me or know me well enough. And it is not as if outside advice isn't helpful sometimes, but that is not what these were. They were unsolicited opinions that merely fed my guilt.

I realize that some of those feelings of guilt made me not do things to rectify the situation for myself. I let myself stay in limbo longer than I should have when it came to Xh. I let him drag me farther down, financially and otherwise. And this is not about blaming Xh - that decision to hold on is on me. I have to own that. His crisis and crazy - that is a different story.  ::)

I had someone who kept telling me, when I finally started to push forward to protect myself and the kids. That was all I could do and should do. And it was what had to happen, in spite of my guilt. It was something that became a bit of a mantra and the guilt that sometimes came with that decision to protect myself and the kids was a tough one to accept. The reality is that some of the steps that had to be taken were the best for all of us and were going to temporarily hurt.

I still am protective of my kids to a degree. I no longer carry the same guilt I did early on. I have forgiven myself, but there are moments that I feel that guilt bubbling up. When D has a meltdown that is a direct result of the pain she has experienced from Xh's antics. Guilt for taking part in the MLC nonsense and creating this truly F'ed up financial situation that has put stress where there never was stress with college and the like.

When those feelings creep in I remind myself I did what I did to protect the kids and I and things would be much worse if I had not made those decisions. These are the consequences of some of those decisions. But, in those decisions and moments I realize that there are positives. It also makes me really think about some things that have crossed my mind.

I realize that life is full of hiccups and due to a conversation with S last night, I realize that in my quest to protect the kids, I have sometimes had to expose them to changes that may have stressed them out to a degree, but they have watched as I have modeled the values I have always stuck to. That is, I am staying true to who I am. I am modeling behaviors. S had a situation where he works and he has watched me work through some tough moments which he said helped him yesterday.

There have been times I have been afraid to make changes or do things for fear the kids might get mad at me. Even having the dog put down was so incredibly difficult. And, that event is stressful to begin with, but for me, it was so even harder considering the dog was there for us when life fell apart. I wrestled with knowing it had to happen and I didn't want the dog to suffer, but I was wrought with this guilt of the kids not being able to deal with it and being angry with me. Most of the thoughts that came with the guilt were really unfounded. But they existed.

It was tough, but the kids and I pulled together.

I realize after talking to another friend of mine that some changes are important and part of life. There are things I want in my own life that may impact the kids. The adjustments might make them angry at first, but I also want to model healthy behaviors for them. I want them to see that it is not selfish to want happiness, but it is equally important to not be self-absorbed. I want them to see healthy friendships and relationships and that might mean introducing them to new people that enter my own life. And, I don't mean like my one friend who has had a revolving door of friends and boyfriends coming in and out of her life.

Protecting my kids is not about sheltering them from all of the evils in life. Nor is it about somehow keeping them from hurting or wrapping them in bubble wrap. I know that Xh may even rattle his cage if for instance I were to decide to sell some things that were "ours". I have been contemplating letting go of a piece of artwork he bought - a portrait of a woman that I love. He originally bought it on a trip because it reminded him of me. Of course, he left that here - LOL. It is of significant value and I am not sure I need to hold onto it now. I am torn. But, if he gets wind of me thinking about letting it go, it will twist him in knots because it has increased significantly in value and he will want his cut.

There are all sorts of scenarios where Xh could create unrest when it comes to changes in my life. He doesn't like knowing I have been out with another man. He knows enough from S to know that nothing about it makes Xh particularly happy. So what. S has learned to handle Xh's little outbursts in that department. S has made it clear that he doesn't want me ever getting back together with Xh. He has stated that our last few months together were toxic and that is not me. He wants me to be happy and for someone to value me for me.

D, she is more complex, but I am realizing in her case, I cannot stop doing things so she doesn't get upset. In fact, "protecting her" comes in the form of actually sometimes challenging her or pushing back. Her abandonment issues are there and there are other issues that arise, but if I tip toe around it all the time, I will not really being protecting her. In fact, I am enabling her and not showing her how to work through these things. Protecting her may mean sometimes having to work through some hurt and confusion on her end, but necessary for her to grow.

I am not running around feeling guilty today. Back in the MLC era, had what happened this morning gone on I would have run right away to fix it for D because I could hear her panic. I am not a fixer by nature, but in the MLC time period, I was guilty of that.

D has been dog sitting and staying at the house with the dog. This morning, she woke up and the kitchen was flooded. Now, don't get me wrong, had it really been an emergency, I would have run there to help her. But this was a time for her to deal with this on her own and my job was to help her figure it out on her own. I stayed on the phone with her as she went through where the water had come from and I worked her through how to check for shutoffs. She found them and then proceeded to mop up the water. It was not fun for her, but she was pretty proud of herself for fixing it herself.

Had it been MLC, the feeling of guilt of not going over to the house right away would have weighed on me. Protecting her would have meant that I take care of it for her. Sometimes it is okay to let the kids struggle on their own. There is no guilt hanging on me today for making that decision. Feel bad for D, as it was a mess, but I am proud of her.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 15, 2021, 08:52:26 AM
I am looking at the calendar and just wondering where summer has gone. I have been wanting to grab a day or two to myself for some time away and it seems impossible. It is not that I don't have time or can't make time for myself, but where I wanted to go is not going to be able to happen at this rate. I just don't know how. I had so wanted to drive about 12 hours away for a vacation and it is just not feasible at the moment.

S starts school the week after next, which means he moves in in Saturday. He cannot bring anyone with him, but I will be busy helping him pack his car. I may still go that direction and stay over night somewhere just to take a break. IDK.

I have my M's surgery coming up at the end of the month, which means I will be sharing time with my sister over 5 days to navigate those days where my M has to lie flat. It won't anchor me completely, but I already know due to my sister's work schedule that I won't be able to take a block of time away overnight, at least too far away.

So, I am adjusting my thoughts and trying to figure out where I can go for a day trip here and there. Even if it means going to somewhere nearby and just shutting myself off from the daily grind of things. And, maybe it is as simple as telling everyone to leave me alone so I can just work in my backyard gardens and prepare for spending more time out there for the fall. There are certainly things I want to do.

I am looking into going back to figure drawing sessions and finding other things to do besides the continual projects. D's room, I should be able to finish today or early tomorrow. I was so close but then the supplies I needed were back ordered, so it just added more time to actually being able to move all of her things back in her room so that I can reclaim other parts of the house. Between her possessions and S's college boxes mixed with the other ongoing bathroom project, I am ready to have my downstairs back to being a usable, livable space where I can curl up and relax. Once D's things are out of the hallway closet, I can put the bathroom back together and use the hallway closet as a linen closet.

I keep saying equating my unplanned projects as if they were a sliding tile puzzle, where in order to solve it, you have to slide the tiles around. D's room is really the first part of solving that whole puzzle. Once she is settled in, as she needs her space back, the other things, at least on the first floor can go back into some semblance of how I would really like things. The only big project that would remain is the basement repairs, mainly the laundry room, which is functional now, but I do miss the tile flooring and all of the cabinetry that was destroyed in the disaster earlier this year.

My sister said to me today, she doesn't know how I have kept my sanity. I told her I have had lots of practice dealing with crazy - although it was in the form of the MLCer. In truth, I don't hold it together all the time. I have moments where I just want to burn the place down and run away. Of course, that is never something that takes hold and I realize it is just a feeling that is not anchored in any reality. It wouldn't solve the problem, for one. The other is, at the end of the day, I am pretty happy where I live for now. I don't know down the line what I will decide to do, but I have a pretty good situation here.

The other thing that struck me was I am not alone in some of the crazy things life has put in my path. The pandemic has made it much harder to get supplies or contractors, etc. It is not like this is just happening to me. I can't get mad at the contractor for not being able to suddenly drop everything to finish up some of my work. And when it comes to supplies, I can be patient or possibly change my plans, but I am still not going to make things appear magically that are just nowhere to be found at the moment. It is not optimal, but it is the reality. Losing my patience over it isn't going to solve it any quicker.

I know that is going to have to apply to my desire to get away as well. I am going to have to be patient and I will just have to adapt my plans or dreams of where I want to go. It is okay. Maybe there is some reason I am not meant to go there right now.

The one positive I see is I have several days during the midweek that might be time to sneak off when the rest of the world is working. I have an art exhibit I am wanting to go to and it would mean about a 3 hour drive, but I could do that in a day without any problem. I have done crazier things than that before.

Today, I am going to focus on working on D's room and then perhaps reward myself with a drive this afternoon to get out of the house.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 17, 2021, 11:45:16 AM
Yesterday was one of those days. Just a mood that hung over me and I guess I didn't even realize it until I answered a question that was posed to me.

I had run into someone I haven't seen in years. It is the type of person where I feel comfortable sharing certain things but not quite at the level of details, etc. I trust them not to judge or to share secrets, etc and they have a funny sense of humor. When they asked me how my "H" was I made light of it, but it is in how I phrased it that I realized I pinpointed my own mood. I was feeling less than yesterday.

I normally would have joked in this case, not that it is funny in the grand sense, because that time in my life was incredibly painful and sad. The undercurrent nearly dragged me under and Xh seemed determined to attach any weight to my feet to insure that I couldn't swim to the surface. That type of destruction is not funny in reality. But, I sometimes find that humor now helps to diffuse potentially uncomfortable situations like this one for the person who is asking.

Normally, I might have said something like "he traded me in for a different model". Instead, my phrasing was very telling and the other person didn't catch it per se, but I did. And it is how I was feeling and not so much about Xh, but it was my mindset. I phrased it as Xh felt he deserved something better than me.

I said the kids and I are doing well and we talked about both kids starting back at college and about their kids. It wasn't awkward. Yet, when I walked away there they were -my own words biting me.

I was feeling that way yesterday. I was overwhelmed with all that is weighing on me right now. The projects that are being held up by materials and supplies that are backordered, which hamper my ability to actually have a fully functioning house at the moment. I am fortunate to be able to go to my parent's house, but let's face it - it is getting really old and I am not asking for a whole lot.

S's tuition is due and there were questions with that yesterday, but I couldn't get through, nor could he. Answers that today make things easier to digest and get a handle on. He moves in on Saturday and that brings other stresses, even though my formerly unorganized kid is really very organized now with college bins he kept packed and will just have to put them in his car along with any clothing and the like he will need. But, there are still things that need to happen, like making sure he has the paperwork filed to take the health insurance fee off, because he has his own health insurance. And, little time-sucking aspects.

D's room - we at least moved her new bed frame to the house from her BF's house. They picked it out and had it delivered there. Now it will be set up at home, but it is in my living room at the moment and it is stressing me out.

I found myself just feeling so incredibly unattractive yesterday. So much so that when my sister called, I bubbled up and said I needed to get away for a day or two. Trouble is, I had mentioned it to my parents that I had wanted to go to an exhibit that is several hours away. My parents have already been, but my M didn't want me going alone because of the drive. My sister paused and said that was it. She and I were going on a road trip this weekend. She knew full well that now that my M mentioned it, there is no way I would be able to sneak off on my own. She would take it personally and she would worry about me. My sister giggled and said we should make it a girls' adventure. That made my M happy, hearing my sister would be going with me. And frankly, she and I will have a ton of fun. As long as my BIL agrees to take care of the kids for the day, my sister and I will take off on Sunday early and won't plan on getting home until late in the evening.

I couldn't concentrate and didn't want to ponder this whole mood I was in. It was not time to go into that thinking mode and dissecting my thoughts. I am pretty sure my mood was just exhaustion setting in and not making any headway yesterday. I accepted that my day had honestly not gotten off on the right foot anyways. It wasn't bad, just off. Maybe it was the universe forcing a time-out from working on projects.

I went to another home improvement store in the opposite direction of the one I had gone to earlier in the day. I accepted it was possible they too would not have what I needed, but it was okay. I was going to just go and look and not worry whether or not they had a thing. I borrowed my F's truck and meandered. I ended up stopping at another store just before and found a patio table on sale. I hesitated, as I felt like I should not spend on myself at all. I turned back around and decided to not be that way this time. I had the cash on me and I reminded myself I haven't gone on a vacation in forever. We had put the old patio dining table in the bonfire this past spring and it needed to go. I could have repaired it, but the truth is, there were too many bad memories that outweighed the good with that table as that was purchased just before MLC rolled in and it hadn't been properly cared for during the MLC era, so it really was going to be a big project.

I had the salespeople help me load the table, which weighed quite a bit. When I got home, I was going to wait to take it off the truck and then thought out a plan that would make it work so I could assemble it. I knew better than to tempt fate and have to visit the doctor, so, I backed up to the back deck and slid the box onto the deck. It took some doing, but I had it assembled and was able to tip it up carefully, without stressing my body. It was all about the leverage.  ::) Oh, sure now I need chairs, as I forgot those too went away, but I have this new table that made me smile. Both kids came home and laughed.

As I was working away, I had considered not going to my painting group. That mood, in spite of the new table just was hanging there. It was until one of my painting buddies texted me and asked if I was going to be there. It is not like her to do that. It dawned on me, that the anniversary of her H's death is right around now and she and I have this habit of kicking each other when we need it. I had pushed her to get back into painting a few months after her H died and I offered to go with her to a workshop to be her support system. I realized she needed me there last night and frankly, I needed it too.

I showed up with some photos that I had printed out to paint from. It was too hot to paint outside last night and I wasn't in the mood to try and finish a painting that I had going. I wasn't in the right mindset for that piece. If it had been client work, I would have figured out a way to struggle through it, but this was for me. So, I picked a foggy, misty morning photo bordering on gloomy. The thing is, I found myself lost in painting last night, and again, I threw a couple of people who had seen the blank canvas at the start of it all and I had it completed last night in a couple of hours. Not every painting comes together that way, but I have had years of training with client work, which has to have a quick turn around, so working at a pace isn't foreign to me. But, the bigger part for me was, I had no expectations. I was simply determined to enjoy the process of pushing paint around and if it was a mess in the end, I could just scape it all off or put in drawer number 3.

It is not what people are used to from me. D told me it was a moody painting. Hmmm, wonder how that happened.  ::) LOL. D said she quite liked the painting.

This morning, I had a call that made me laugh a little. It is really very stupid, that is why it makes me happy. My propane tank is peeling and I hadn't gotten around to calling about what can be done about it. It is really an eyesore. The company that maintains it called and they wanted to know when they can deliver a new tank, as the service tech noticed when he was delivering propane last week that it is really not how they want their tanks to look, even though it was safe. I giggled when I told the woman on the phone that it has come to that - a new propane tank makes me happy. LOL.

Frankly, it is not the propane tank, as much as I was honestly grateful that I didn't have to chase after that and the company was being proactive.

I was able to get answers from S's college regarding the tuition bill and that eased some stress. His tuition will be manageable for both of us after his loans kick in and Xh can suck it. I will make this happen in spite of his attempts to derail things. It is not worth the fight with him.

I think what bothers me more than my initial response yesterday was Xh felt like he deserved better. Thing is, he didn't just think he deserved better than me. He felt that way about his kids too. I have to remind myself of that when it still affects me. He didn't just leave me. He left two really good kids and he had access to them. I never kept him away from them - ever. He chose that.

My mood is better today. Rest helps. Pushing through helped. Having friends that look out for you helps. And, the promise of a day away is helping me as well. I need something to look forward to this week that isn't all about responsibility and being the only adult in the mix.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 18, 2021, 08:19:32 AM
D has enough of Xh in her to sometimes push my buttons and trigger me. It is something I have to work on, TBH.

Xh had a way of phrasing things and approaching certain topics. It is not a bad thing, so much as I have become hypersensitive to it when it comes to D. D phrases things in the same manner and I can feel myself just bristling. And, it is not something she has to change about herself. For one, I can't make someone else change and it isn't that she is wrong in her methods. It is my own reaction that I can control.

In part it is because D is a morning person. And, I don't mean she is just up early, she is on full tilt in the morning. Ever since she was little, she wakes up and within a short time her brain is usually going full tilt. My M is the same way. And, I admire it on many levels.

I am not that way. I have always been one who can get up and focus on my day ahead and if I am working, I am usually thinking about work and the immediate things in front of me. I am not focusing on all of my list for the next few days. I like doing this, when time allows, by sort of easing in to my day, fixing my cup of coffee and being relaxed, not buzzing around like a hummingbird. D is a hummingbird. Once I get going, I can work non-stop, but I need that little bit of time in the morning to just truly wake up. And, I know that it has become more important for me ever since BD.

I was used to having to run around and get the house moving before BD. The kids off to school. Helping Xh get to whatever he had on his list. My schedule depended on what was going on for work, as I often had more flexibility and it was a good thing. It worked for a very long time.

By the time BD hit, I was running around trying to adapt to the constant changing landscape of MLC. Xh barked orders all the time. Nothing I did was right. And, his former normal approach started to then wear on me. The rattling off of questions, by then were accusatory or demanding. Yet, he didn't necessarily change his tone or approach early on, it was simply the line of questions changed. Slowly, the tone changed and it wore me down.

The problem being, D is not being accusatory or anything like that. She is operating the way Xh's brain used to prior to MLC. I have no reason to necessarily be triggered by it, except I feel myself tense up waiting for it to go into that next level of behavior.

I have explained to both kids that I no longer can handle the onslaught of lists first thing in the morning. At least not right away. The year they were both away at college, I found I worked through a great deal by being able to calm my brain in the morning and just have my coffee if time allowed. And, once they moved back, we had an adjustment period, but it wasn't bad.

The problem this morning, I realize is there is full on chaos this week. D has needs and questions about college. Things that she needs help with from me. S is in need of my help with tuition questions and the like. He is moving out this weekend. D mentioned my M's surgery and trying to figure out that schedule, as D has classes. I have to work as does my sister and D wants a full schedule, so she knows where she has to be and what she is doing to help out. All good things to be on top of, but when she came at me this morning with the list, I felt myself just want to scream at her and tell her to stop. I didn't.

All of those things need attacked. Problem is, I am not in an attack mode yet. The weather is making me sleepy and I hadn't even looked at the calendar this morning to see what is looming today. Forget what is going on a day or a week from now.

I realize it is that time of the summer. The normal chaos that kicks in before colleges start back up and everything piles up. I have my own list written out that I was pouring over as I made my coffee. D came in and just started with questions and I just wanted my coffee and 15 minutes to sit at my kitchen table and stare out into space.

What some people don't understand is I am not grumpy in the morning. It is not like you have to avoid me. I am also able to get up and say, like this Sunday, get out the door early and be happy about it. I don't need to sleep late, etc. It is just that I have found I need to sometimes have a breather before the day goes into overload, as it has been the past couple of days with all of the moving parts. If I say anything, I am accused of being grouchy. Nope, I realize it is a bit of a trigger for me. I can't handle that approach and I need to learn how to work with that and accept that D is okay the way she is and not going to turn into the monster Xh was.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: OffRoad on August 19, 2021, 11:29:24 AM
As a suggestion of what works for me with my D, I will look up at her (with usually a blank or empty stare) and say "I really want to help you with this, but my brain is not functioning on all cylinders right now (or I am not capable of processing this right now). I really want to give you what you need so I'll get back to you when everything is engaged." I can now say this without even thinking about it when I am not functioning enough or don't want to function enough at that moment.  Then, of course, I make sure I follow through and come back to her when brain is engaged so she knows I'm not just blowing smoke.

Being a person who always did multiple things at 100 mph and they all came together at once, and no longer being able to do this after BD, it took me a while to accept that this is just as it is going to be for as long as it takes, and in fact may never get back to old levels. Most people don't function where I used to be, and that is OK. I lay my cards on the table now. "I'd like to but can't right now." "I will get back to you when I can process." "I'm not ignoring you, I simply have no bandwidth at the moment."  It's hard for the other person who really wants to make their own plans RIGHT NOW, but since it was usually that my D had plenty of time to ask about it, but waiting until her own last minute to ask me, that isn't on me that I don't have bandwidth when she wants it. I used to get cranky in my responses, but a desire on her part is not an emergency on my part.

We all need a breather now and then, even if it isn't convenient for someone else.  :)

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 20, 2021, 12:45:05 PM
OffRoad - I employ that same strategy with my D and others. It usually works. The reality is right now there are so many things firing from all directions and I am exhausted and that is when I am open to being triggered.

It is actually very odd, TBH. I have had a great deal of solitude and life isn't necessarily busy in the moment to moment. It is the so many unknowns and things flying around that are making it harder to manage. I am used to this time of year being chaotic in terms of both kids preparing for college and all the hiccups that arise each semester. Those occur no matter how well we have prepared. It is a given.

Normally I am really good at navigating the unknowns, but right now, there are too many, even for me. And I am having other hurdles thrown in the mix. My M's surgery is hitting right as school will be starting up. IDK what my semester looks like at all or even if it exists. A huge unknown, so when my sister is calling to ask me what days I am covering my M's recuperation, I have limited answers. D is part of this coordination effort. Everyone is pitching in, but now in the mix, is my F's eye shot, which is a monthly event. It is falling on one of the days during my M's recovery, which means we have to split duties.

My M and D are wanting firm answers I just don't have. I know it will be figured out, but in the mix are just all of these crazy things hitting at once and I am the one taking on the bulk of the problem solving and responsibilities. Xh is completely MIA now that he has decided to no longer pay for S's college. Big surprise. And, it is not that Xh was a help in terms of support beyond financial for S, but now that is falling on me.

Support for D is done. Of course, that makes me laugh a little, as technically he should have paid this month, but whatever.

I am honestly grateful that those strings are gone, but it is still a huge adjustment to my own finances. Like it or not, that money coming in was at least a buffer. Thing is, unlike Xh, I am not cutting support to the kids while they are in college. I had always promised per the MSA to cover their cellphones, health insurance and to carry life insurance on myself for them, among other expenses. S pays for his car and car insurance. D's car insurance is minimal. They both help out at home with things like laundry, the lawn and dinners. And they don't ask me for money most of the time. But, my commitment to them was to get them through school and cover those expenses that help them succeed. They both understand that once school ends, I am not covering the cell phones, etc. and neither have a problem with it.

I am not feeling like a victim. I know I could go take Xh back to court and know how that would end - probably with me just spending time and money that won't really make any real difference in the long run. It is really not so much about Xh and his inability to adhere to the MSA and it isn't fair to the kids or to me for that matter. I don't care about the injustice. But, the reality of it is right now it is putting a whole lot of pressure on me that I knew was coming, and prepared for it, but no matter how well I prepared, I am feeling the initial gravity of what that means. I will manage, but right now, I am not feeling terribly confident and am scared. How the eff is this going to play out? And, I know I will figure it out. I always do.

D's car needs some repairs. Nothing major, but it just piles on. She paid all of her tuition, so I will help her with repairs.

I know that the biggest issue in my exhaustion right now is that I am so tired of being the responsible parent. And, the projects to get our lives back in line are wearing me down. And, people don't get it. My M brought on more stress yesterday when she lovingly suggested she and my F could pay for a contractor to come in and finish the bathroom. Nice of her. I am not being ungrateful. What she didn't quite grasp is the issue is not finding a contractor or paying a contractor. I tried gently to explain to her that the reputable ones are all booked way out. She was so trying to be helpful so she went ahead and called a bunch of them. Surprise - she called me to say they are all booked until after the new year. And, I will readily admit, that pissed me off. Again, I know she was trying to help, but it made my blood boil. I have already accepted this reality and to have it be stirred up again and questioned, even though she was genuinely trying to help me was truly aggravating.

It is exactly why I need this escape on Sunday. I was even on the fence about that at one point, thinking I don't deserve to go or I shouldn't take the time because I have too much to do. Then my sister called and said both of her kids had expressed wanting to go along. D heard and she thought maybe she might like to go. I put my foot down and said no, I really needed this to not be a family outing. I felt so selfish stating it at the time. My sister knows that is not like me, and she agreed, that this was a time for just the two of us and we can plan a family trip another weekend.

I woke up this morning and wondered if this is my life now. I feel like there are these odd gaps in my life. I crave more than what I have right now. I realize that there are some holes in my life. Things I want long term and I have to figure out how to fill those vacancies. My soul needs recharged and I am tired of being alone. I can be alone, I just don't want to feel so alone anymore.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Reinventing on August 20, 2021, 11:41:17 PM
MD, I am trying to remember, does S graduate in December? And D next May (2023)? I'm just trying to remember where they are in the timeline to graduation.

Did you file a financial exigency form with financial aid to give them additional info on the change in your finances? That can help financial aid give additional funds. Also ask if there are forms for students to fill out regarding COVID unexpected financial changes. There may be some federal funding that can be added to S's and D's accounts due to your changes in finances.

I know you have it under control, don't get me wrong. If there are ways to reduce the bill and increase aid, they usually don't then decrease that in the next year, which would help with D beyond this year. She is nursing, right? Look at the DHHS HRSA web page for grant funds directly to and for nursing students.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 21, 2021, 10:57:28 AM
Reinventing - S will graduate in December, as long as things go as planned. D will finish this coming May and then she is planning on working a year before going on for her Masters degree. She is going for Physical Therapy. So, both kids will essentially be done this year, just at two different times. Although, I am betting graduation will occur at the same time.

I did file a financial exigency form with both colleges. It has helped some.

I appreciate any ideas and have knowledge of some scholarships, etc, but particularly nursing and in the medical fields, I am at a loss.

Last night, S and his GF went to the bank to look into getting a credit card for S. I am not at all concerned with his desire to do so. Xh has had his account hacked 3 times on his debit card when he travels and S decided that maybe a credit card would be safer for travel, like when he was at the trade show. S pays his bills on time and has spotless credit. He came home and said the lady at the bank was stunned. She said she has never in all of her years seen a student be able to get a card that easily nor with such a high limit. In fact it is higher than most people get in general. It was because S has had loans in his name since he was 19, a loan Xh screamed at me for allowing, which was terribly amusing, since I had nothing to do with it. The only loan I have ever cosigned on is for S's current vehicle and that was only to get him a lower percentage rate. He is refinancing that as well without me on the loan and it will drop it more with a deal from the bank.

Then S embarrassed his GF. He pushed her while they were there to ask about what I had suggested weeks ago. GF still hasn't been able to get a new vehicle. She feels bad, but I have been taking her to and from work right now. I know she has had medical expenses hanging over her head and I am able to help her out. It is not a big deal. But, I know she wants to get her own car. Her truck is beyond the point of making sense to repair. Her parents, divorced refuse to help her cosign on a loan, which is within their right. She was told at one point her credit score was too low by someone and she was embarrassed. She had done some stupid youthful things at one point, and has grown up, but she was sure that was still the case. I had suggested she ask about what the same bank did for me after the divorce screwed up my credit scores and had them all over the map. The bank gave me a low interest loan if I agreed to have the money automatically withdrawn every month. So, S said she was sheepish and figured they would just tell her no. Turns out, her credit has not only recovered, but she wouldn't need a cosigner at all for a car, even a new one. And, if she does and automatic payment, the rate will be really decent. She was so giddy when she came back. And I am happy for her. She works so hard and in all honesty it wasn't even the approval of the loan, it was more that she needed the boost in her self confidence - to show that she has learned from her mistakes.

My M invited me up to have lunch today. I arrived at the usual time, to find my F was nowhere to be found. I asked what that was about and my M laughed. He had eaten lunch earlier than normal so that he could take a nap and then return to his studio. I had told my M once he found a subject that inspired him he would get over this funk he has been in. She laughed and said he has been going full tilt on this new project. I went out to check on him and he was whistling away and was excited to share his plans for this piece. It will be a welded horse with hammered copper and steel. He hasn't done a horse like that in ages.

I went back inside and was telling my M that I had an opportunity to participate in a 4 day Plein Air event, but I opted out because it is the same week as her surgery. She is so funny and said she would be fine. I laughed and reminded her that no, she will not be left alone and the last time she was supposed to be flat for 5 days we caught her up and sweeping the floor. I won't be on for the full time, but I am not going to commit to the four days to paint when I know I have to step in some of the time. And it is okay. With the weird weather, I am not really thrilled about the idea of painting after it has rained. The mosquitoes would be horrendous.

It was then my M handed me a list. She had apparently planned my itinerary for tomorrow. I didn't give her a hard time. I know she is excited about my sister and I going. She had maps out on how to get there. I reminded her I didn't need a map, as I traveled there for work for several years for work conferences. There are only a couple of ways you can get there. She then proceeded to tell me all the places I needed to go. I thanked her and then came home and called my sister. I listed all the places on the list. She burst out laughing. I said we are going to have 5 minutes at each place to fit it all in, so she had best put on her best running sneakers. And, I informed her there would be no stopping along the way because apparently the rest stops are closed or in sad shape at the moment, per my M, who showed me online to prove the point. My sister said she will make sure she brings a cup with her for any emergencies. I told her I would be nice and stop along side the road if need be. We both were cracking up and agreed that we will take these things into consideration, but we are okay if we don't do everything on this extensive list.

I have to remind myself sometimes that my M means well. She is so used to managing things and her love language is acts of service. She likes helping people. Sometimes she oversteps, but she never does it to be controlling and it feels that way once in awhile. It is rarely the case. And right now, I know she is having a really hard time because of her eye sight. She actually tried to wiggle out of the surgery again yesterday, but D laid it out for her what delaying it will mean. My M conceded that this has to happen now. With the poor eyesight, she is limited in what she can do and so she is looking for things that make her feel useful. It isn't easy to stop and remind myself of that when she tries to help me or solve things for me.

I was nice. I took the maps and the list with me and thanked her. I am still laughing though at some of the things. I am supposed to stop at a particular bakery and have a donut and a coffee. I know that I will have to do that, as that is my parent's favorite place to go when they vacation and it means bringing back a donuts for them. LOL.

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 23, 2021, 11:41:00 AM
My sister and I left bright and early yesterday for our "Girls' Getaway". My sister laughed when she said her H was shocked that she and I were going on this trek, since he knows I am not afraid to go it alone. And, my BIL was happy we were going together, but he is an only child, so sometimes this bond my sister and I have perplexes him just a tad. But, he is a really good sport and didn't complain. He knows my sister and I missed our opportunity to spend time traveling together before Covid hit.

My BIL is a good man, but I also know he was not sure what to do with his teenagers all by himself. He has always been good about spending time with them, but he hasn't had much time alone with them this summer with his work schedule and my sister has been around them all summer. He was funny, almost behaving at first like he had been left behind with two infants with absolutely no instructions or experience with them. My sister told him what would probably occur. My nephew would ask to ride his bike to his friend's house and they would want to go to the country club to swim. It isn't far and my sister reminded my BIL what they have my nephew do - check in when he gets to the friend's house and then again when he arrives at the pool, etc.

My niece, she is at a more difficult age, only in that it depends on her "high school" mood. She would sleep really late, no doubt and since she has a busy week coming up with sports practices coming up, twice a day, she would be a lazy bum most likely. My sister simply told him to just make her roll out of bed by noon, even if she didn't get dressed all day and to make sure she took care of a couple of routine things. Beyond that, she said the only thing she could see my niece doing is wanting to perhaps bake. That is her usual Sunday routine.

When my sister hung up, she sort of laughed. She said she was betting the day would play out almost exactly like that and my BIL would decide he doesn't want to bother cooking and they would go out to dinner. She had it pegged right down to where they went for dinner, which made us both laugh. BIL only checked in twice. Once when he was concerned that my sister hadn't told him we had arrived, which made us both giggle, since she had literally hung up the phone with my niece, who picked up when BIL was outside and didn't bother to tell him that we had arrived. My sister rolled her eyes and commented that is typical teenager. Forgot to share that little bit of news.

The weather turned in our favor on the way up. There had been rain in the forecast, but that changed in the early morning and the drive was fantastic. We stopped once on the way up, which made us both laugh as I had threatened to not stop the car the night before. Yah, I am not like that.

The traffic was a bit heavy the first hour, but once we got past that point, the highway was really very quiet. We arrived in time to stop and get coffee and pick up the donuts my sister and I had promised to bring back for my parents.

There was no push to go anywhere and the day just rolled along. We knew we wanted to go to the exhibit, but we had all day to see that, and so we simply meandered and did whatever we felt like doing. We hit the exhibit around lunch time and we were the only one's in the gallery at that moment. The woman said that it would be very busy after lunch, on a Sunday, so we had picked the right time. It was stunning, but it was too nice to spend too much time inside, so we walked around the little village shops and then had a late lunch.

We drove around and were both disappointed neither of us had thought to pack proper shoes for hiking. With the earlier weather forecast didn't cross our mind and I had just cleaned out my car the day before because I had D drop off some donations and didn't want my good sneakers to disappear accidentally into the mix.

On the way back, we decided to forego the toll road and go the back way home. My sister was hesitant at first, as she thought it might take way longer, but I have gone that way before and it is not a heavily travelled road, the only drawback is the speed limit is not the same as the toll road, but I reminded her that we would hit the traffic at the large event going on about midway anyways and that is miserable.

We stopped at a gas station that is near a casino and we both burst out laughing a couple of times because the clientele were definitely dressed for the casino and we had just left an area where the standard dress code was beaches and mountains, so very casual wear. We weren't quite prepared to see the extreme change in clothing. There seemed to be an overabundance of gold and leopard skin tops at this particular gas station.

My sister got out of the car and I had to answer a text from D. All of a sudden the back door of my car opened, but I didn't see anyone at first, until a little figure peered into the back seat. I was already feeling uneasy, having the back door open and wondering what was going on. This little 4 year old started to crawl into my car. I was telling him no, he was in the wrong car and his grandparents were giving me this look as if I somehow had something to do with it. I had visions of OMG, I am going to be on the news for attempting to take some kid. I laughed when they finally realized he thought it was their car, which was parked next to mine and was a similar model and color. When I told my sister, she was laughing saying that would be unnerving, but she can assure these grandparents that no, I was actually already attempting to get away from my own kids for a day, there is no way I wanted more kids in that moment.

We had a good laugh about it and I told her that the thing was, my first fear was not that, TBH. I was more worried that the kid would run out into the parking lot, which was so incredibly busy. The M part of me was kicking in.

The rest of the drive was perfect. We drove past the house my sister and BIL lived before they had kids and moved to where they live now. It was in the completely opposite direction and farther away than they are now. My sister and I got all nostalgic about her time there. We drove past the Dunkin Donuts where she got coffee every morning. She actually sold her little sporty car to the kid who worked there, when he just happened to ask her if she would consider selling her car, because he loved it. What made us laugh was the timing of it all, as the day he asked was about a week after she called to tell me she was pregnant and would have to get a bigger car so she needed to sell that car, and hated doing so, as she loved it.

My M and kids left me alone for the most part. They checked in a couple of times, but it helped that they realized where I was, there is horrible cell service, so they didn't really attempt it. I was grateful for the break.

I wasn't home for 5 minutes when reality struck. My M bombarded me the minute I came through the door. D fired off a couple of texts about my plans for today. S, he just checked in to let me know he had laundry in the washing machine and he would switch it over when he came home.

I got up this morning and it was like I hadn't gone away at all. I was feeling a little bit of resentment towards Xh, TBH. I was angry that I don't even get to take a day away without coming back and being the one having to deal with all of it on my own. I felt like I didn't really have a choice in any of this. Which is not entirely true. We all have choices. Xh simply chose to not be a F or H anymore and left me holding the bag. I too could have walked away from it. Instead, I picked up his load and my own, because the kids are the ones that really didn't get a true say in it.

It is hard not to feel that bitterness and resentment bubble up at times. I just refuse to let it take over. I changed my thought process a little this morning and realized that the kids are going back to school and that is going to really ease the pressure day to day. There will be other stresses, but it will level out some.

The reality also is, I am very fortunate. I live in an area that allows me to do a lot. Financially, it is affordable and I can go places that are completely different pretty quickly. Yesterday, we were in the middle of the mountains within 3 hours and it was an easy trip up and back. It can be done in a day or overnight and my car gets really good gas mileage, so it wasn't outrageously expensive to take those types of trips.

We noticed the leaves were already starting to change some in that region, so a return trip seems like a good plan.

It made me think in the grand scheme though. I just need to reset my own brain again. I shouldn't feel bad about taking a day for myself like yesterday. I started to feel a little of that resentment this morning when it was the line of questioning coming at me. It was in part my own feelings of guilt that really came from Xh in MLC initially. Those words that I didn't deserve to go away or I shouldn't do this or that until I had done something. I was treated like a little kid who needed to finish their chores first in MLC by Xh. Looking back it was his way of controlling things and keeping me from doing things on my own or with him, because he was sneaking off with Schmoopie. I have to continually remind myself of that little bit. I work my a$$ off and okay, sometimes, I need to stay home and finish this or that. But, it is equally important for me to give myself time to do things that fill my soul. I need play time too. I shouldn't feel guilty about that.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 26, 2021, 09:32:01 AM
Tuesday was a busy day for me. I drove S's GF to work and then came home and dove into working on the house. And, I had a bit of a change of heart by then and was actually enjoying myself. Maybe the time away on Sunday helped, but in part, I also changed my whole attitude for the day.

I moved the mitre saw outside under the back deck awning, where it is cool and realized quickly that for now, I can leave it set up with a tarp over it and it is protected from any rain, so it can remain there for a bit while I work. It is not my dream to have the saw become a permanent furnishing on my back deck, but it made life that much easier. And, frankly that part of the back deck remains shaded most of the day, so in this extreme heat, it made for a rather enjoyable experience being outside.

By late afternoon, I had to stop and pick up my framing that I had done. It had been completed the week before, but with all of the rain storms we had been having the frame shop asked if I wanted to wait to pick things up, which made more sense. When I arrived at the shop, the owner laughed and said my two pieces got a lot of attention. One gentleman saw the one print and wanted to know if I wanted to part with it. He left his business card. The other one, the bull fighting poster - well that was a whole other story in and of itself.

She said one of her regular customers came in and saw the poster, which looks stunning all framed. He is an older gentleman and a bit eccentric she informs me. She said he immediately got an edge on him and asked where she got that particular piece. She said it belonged to a customer. She said he got this look on his face and said it was his. She knows me pretty well and said he had to be mistaken. She was laughing telling me about this story because she wondered how she was going to get this man to realize that this was not his poster. He went on to say he had that poster and loaned it to someone years ago and they never gave it back. As luck would have it, another customer had come in who knew the gentleman and told him he was mistaken. He remembered the poster in question and it was not as large as that one and the stance was different, etc. It had hung at a local bar for many years and when it closed no one knows what happened to the contents, but he knew the owner and perhaps they could reach out to him and track his.

I had no reason to feel uncomfortable about this, but I did. It is the reason I would never make a good criminal - LOL. I laughed and said I was going to run to my car and drive home with this as quickly as possible before more trouble erupts with this poster. She laughed.

I thought on the way home how I had the kid nearly get in my car and now this. What is going on? The universe is testing me. LOL

The poster though, OMG. I am so incredibly happy with it. I had to put it in a safe place, because the space I want to hang it is in the line of traffic with my reconstruction and I don't want to damage it. My F has not seen it yet, but he is going to just love it.

When I came home my phone rang. It was my coordinator at the college. I had two classes lined up for Fall. Things seemed to be going in the right direction. Hah. Nope. The college decided to cut classes where the numbers were not quite at the level they wanted. It is still early in the final push for class registration, and my coordinator is livid. There are students needing classes and she wants me back on campus, but without these classes - I am SOL. She has my back though and I respect her for being honest with me, unlike the other situation. She said she is still going to push to put them back on the books because there are students who need these classes for their degree to be complete. I could feel myself just feeling sick and defeated. WTF is going on.

This isn't new. The waiting game is something I have been used to with registration and enrollment. The problem is, I always had other things going on to supplement and to ride it out. Surgery and the pandemic really derailed things. And, yes, I know there are lots of jobs out there. I am not afraid to work. I have no problem taking a job just to pay the bills if I need to, but right now, I need that mental stimulation that teaching provided. And, frankly, it is working on my insecurities at the moment. It is making me feel like I am back at the point where I was when BD hit, where life suddenly felt upended. It is not a good feeling.

I woke up yesterday and tried to remind myself that I have things that have to happen right now that I can't change. I need some flexibility right now and so that means I will have to figure out some solution that can work. I fought my emotions yesterday morning. I knew a walk would not calm me down, as I was in the type of headspace that a walk would in fact make it worse. So, I threw myself into working on the house and doing something physical where I needed to concentrate. It took me way longer than it should have, because I had to fight to keep myself from thinking and needed to focus on my measurements and the like. By the end of the day, I didn't have any answers. I simply felt better.

I won't lie. The first thoughts I had yesterday morning were how much I resented Xh in that moment. He has so cavalierly walked away from this in his MLC. All the responsibility and I was angry that I am in this position, largely because of this crisis BS. I had paid S's tuition that he needed help with. The portion that Xh was supposed to pay. I had to deal with D and what she needed help with. The ongoing repairs that were MLC induced. And on and on. I was angry at Xh and I felt like a failure across the board.

But those were simply my emotions running amok. In reality, I cannot blame Xh for all that is wrong with the scenario. It was easy to put the blame there. His MLC has created some of these issues, but it doesn't matter. The real truth is, blaming him for any of it is far from helpful for me. It might be part of the reality, but it doesn't solve anything. I am someone who likes to find solutions. I was wasting too much energy starting to fall into that victim, trapped mode. Self pity was not going to change a dang thing.

This morning, I felt better. I am not blissfully unaware of the fears I have at the moment. They are there, but I know in my heart that I will find some solution, even temporary if need be to get over this hurdle. My sister shocked me when her suggestion was she thinks this is a sign that I need to focus on my painting and being creative. I laughed and asked her if she had been drinking Mimosas this morning.  ::) She laughed and said that no, but with the day she had ahead of her she might need one by of the day.

Right in this moment, all I can do is focus on my immediate short term goals. I need to get past this week before I focus on solving my problems. The primary focus for this week is to get through Friday night and make sure S is ready with his college gear. This weekend, I plan on just shutting down my brain and regroup. I am not going to solve anything if I can't quiet my brain with jumbled fears.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 28, 2021, 06:40:52 AM
Anyone who truly knows me well, knows that I never resented stepping back from my career and being a M. It was never expected of me. That is, it was a mutual decision made when after S was born and I went back to work full time. Xh was building his business and it was taking off and S was being watched at SIL's house by her nanny, while I was at work. S was in good hands, but it made little sense. After nearly a year Xh and I sat down and looked at the finances and laughed. By the time we factored in travel and paying for a nanny, etc, I was clearing only a small amount of money that made no real financial impact on our life and dropping S off at 7 am so I could be to work and then by the time we were home, it was already 6 pm. It was then when Xh and I said something had to change. With Xh's business, he had some flexibility, but not enough to make it work, so we decided I would stay home.

Of course in MLC, that was thrown in my face. Apparently, I was the one who decided that all on my own.  In MLC it was twisted that I was so fortunate to have all the time with the kids and blah, blah, blah. A whole new spin from the man who made time for us to spend time together during his day and would tell everyone how fortunate he was. That I was a great mom and on and on. He was very proud of what we were doing as a family. And, he had plenty of freedom. So much so, that many of his married friends would say they were jealous. But, we were a team. When I took on teaching night classes at the college, Xh was the first to step up and make it work. He gave me time to paint. When the kids started school, I would volunteer at the school from time to time and then started helping Xh with his business, doing illustrations for his projects. It wasn't perfect, but it worked for the most part for both of us.

I am grateful I had that ability to have my primary job be a M. I don't regret it and most days loved being able to be a parent. But, I am not going to go around and say that every day was a joy and perfect. It wasn't. There were days I just wondered what life would have been like if I had kept up my career path. Usually it was on those days when life just went into overdrive and I needed a break from the 24/7 M role.

I never understood those people who would tell me they could not wait until their kids were 18 so they could push them out the door. I still don't. I love my kids, but I am ready for them to leave the nest. I miss them when they aren't around, that is not it.

I was trying to explain it to a friend of mine. I have been a single mom now for a long time. When FIL moved in, my Xh became less of a partner for me. He was involved with the kids, that isn't it. There was a shift though in the mentality and FIL is the changing factor. FIL's influence changed the dynamic. If FIL had his way I would have quit driving and been barefoot and pregnant for years is my guess. He liked independent women on the one hand, but that was only when it came to women who weren't his W. Xh was never like that prior to all of this, but it changed over time and then MLC kicked in. Suddenly, my job teaching, because it was a couple of classes was frivolous. My painting, suddenly was not viewed as a money maker, but as a hobby. Funny, considering at that time that was expressed, I had just completed a series of paintings for labels for one of Xh's clients that showed up in a magazine article.

I chalked it up to he was "going through something" and was jealous of the attention. Stupidly, as MLC rolled in, I gave up my painting for a time. I found myself trying to become the version of June Cleaver Xh suddenly wanted. Something he would have never wanted before. It's easy to look back and shake my head at how incredibly crazy it all was.

Xh pretty much became a bachelor in MLC leaving me to not only for a long time deal with his F, but also the kids. My sister said it the other day, I have been playing single parent for a long time now.

Trying to explain to my friend that it is not like her situation. She is not looking forward to the kids moving out at all. But, it is different. She has an X that is involved in her kids' lives and hasn't had to suddenly do it on her own. Something she recognizes. She has had more freedom than I have had when it comes to her kids. She has had breaks and still help on some level. I am frankly, just exhausted.

Yes, my kids are young adults. They do an awful lot to pitch in and they are pretty self sufficient. I was an empty nester all at once the one year when both kids decided to go away for college. It was an adjustment, but I found that the time alone helped me grow more. It gave me freedom I hadn't had in such a long time.

This is not about being completely independent. It is not about me not wanting my kids around at all.

Part of it is me being happy that they are growing and getting on track with some sense of normal in their lives. Between Xh blowing up their world and then the pandemic, life is returning to semi-normal for them. I want them to become productive adults. I will admit though, that this morning as S drove off, I will miss him, but I felt relief.

Now, what confuses people is, today, I have S's friends who are probably showing up to work on a truck that I gave them permission to temporarily store on my property. Temporarily - LOL. I love having kids around. I just think what I need a break from is the houseful of 20 something year olds that have been here since the pandemic hit. I am tired of being M right now in the sense that I am it.

I try very hard to make the kids work things out, but D came in and started venting about something in regards to S. She had a valid complaint and I was probably going to have to referee this one, as it impacted me. But, I found myself wanting to tell both kids they needed to find an apartment and move out. I was over it last night. And, the thing is, I have had it pretty easy. I just wanted to come home from a long day yesterday and sit on my back deck and decompress.

I will look forward to having some sense of space. D will be coming and going and S will be here on the weekends. Maybe that is really what this is about. I have been holed up with these kids and being the sole parent for such a long stretch that I am just wanting to be a bit selfish. I shouldn't feel guilty about that, but I do right now.

I will ponder that as I drink my cup of coffee this morning in silence on my back deck.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: FaithWalker on August 28, 2021, 07:27:08 PM
Our backgrounds are similar with being at home M, and feeling like a single M for a long time.  I feel ya.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on August 29, 2021, 01:40:39 PM
FaithWalker -  :)

It has been such an odd experience, being shoved into the single parent role, with not only a former spouse who doesn't want to co-parent, but he has done a remarkable job trying to derail my attempts with his antics that it is mind-blowing.

I worked on D's room yesterday for the bulk of the day working on those final little time consuming details. It has been such a long process with these renovations. The delays in finding materials has been a hurdle and there were so many hiccups with that particular room. It is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I have learned a great deal and am pretty proud of what I have figured out on my own. Yesterday's great accomplishment was repairing the window in D's room.

The windows in the house are all new, having been replaced over the years we have lived here. The ones in the front of the house though, had one area that has rotted out in the corner. I was grumbling about it, but my sister, who lives in a newer home and built by a very good contractor informed me that she has had to have a contractor out several times to repair a wooden door with the same issue. So, I felt better. I pondered what to do with this corner on the window. It is not terribly large, but the wood was definitely soft and needed to be addressed. It is a perfectly good window otherwise, so replacing it completely seemed silly. So, I did some research.

My solution, I laughed when my sister informed me it was the same one the contractor used for her door finally and there haven't been any problems for several years now, was to fill it with fiberglass and paint the outside. Heck, I have used fiberglass many times and although I am a bit of a purist, the windows are painted on the outside anyways. So, I spent a good part of yesterday, building up and sanding the small 1/2" by 2 " area. D was shocked and sent S a picture. Both laughed at me. I would have painted it today, but the thunderstorms rolled in.

While I was waiting on D's window to dry in between layers, I would work on the trim and touch ups. I usually plan these things out, but I realized very quickly that I had literally painted myself into a corner. I was alone, so I sat and laughed at my stupidity. I decided to take the opportunity to just sit and think about my next plan of attack and enjoy the silence. I would have sat for a very long time, except I had made the mistake of drinking several glasses of water and of course that meant having to figure out a way to make it out of my corner without disrupting the fresh paint. I am grateful neither kid was there to not only witness it, but to document the absurdity of it all.  ::)

When I went up to my parent's house to shower for the second time yesterday, my M was waiting. They had been very busy the past couple of days and my contact with them had been pretty minimal. I was ready to run back out the door. My M was in overdrive. She had a huge list of things to cover with me, and none were pressing matters. I was under siege though. I was getting aggravated and it is pushing me to really go into lockdown and get the bathroom finished next. It dawned on me on the walk back to the house that this whole attack mode my mom was in made sense. Her surgery is Tuesday and she is nerved up and worried about being laid up for 5 days. She hates being in a situation where she is unable to do anything at all. And the other thing was, S had left for school. My M loves all of her grandchildren, but we all admit, she has a very special bond with S and that is because when he was first born he was colicky. He had his days and nights flipped and in order for me to get some rest so I could go to work, she was there to give me time to sleep when Xh was at meetings. She spent hours with S and he was such an easy baby otherwise.

One of the things that got my dander up was my M babying my sister and saying she didn't have to drive down to help out this coming week. Oh, hell no. I told her that I was not going to be the only one pitching in. I have my own things that have to be addressed and I am happy to help out, but there was no reason my sister cannot come to help. I didn't want to hear how busy she is, or how it is too far for her to drive. My sister was not the one saying these things, it was my M. I told my M that my sister goes out to lunch with her friends at least once a week and goes to her one friend's house which is nearly 2 hours away at least once a month. I didn't want to hear it was too far or too much for her. I called my sister when I came home, who laughed. She is busy this week with her D's practices, but she knows my F is going to need time away as am I.

My M had gone so far as to suggest she could manage on her own. That made my sister and I laugh. Um, no. The last time she was dizzy with her changing eyesight the first couple of days. Then there was the incident where we caught her sweeping the kitchen floor when she was supposed to be resting. Her excuse was she was bored. So, my sister will come down over the weekend and help out. It will give me an opportunity to go hiking at a nature center and check out an art exhibit at the nature center that a friend of mine is participating in.

I slept incredibly well last night. The house was quiet with everyone gone. I miss having someone around, I won't lie, but the break from the kids was a nice change. I was able to get up this morning and not worry about who was downstairs and I could walk around half dressed if I wanted to. By the time I was dressed, D came through the door. She has changed her mind about the bed that I set up. I agree with her, the bed overpowers her room. Of course, she was also trying to figure out how it got up there in the first place since S was not home. Yah, I misbehaved a tiny bit and figured out how to slide the headboard and footboard up the stairs without damaging the furniture or myself. It was rather stupid - I admit it, but I was frustrated and want my house back. It was one of my very stubborn moments. I will fully own it. After all of that, we are going back to the idea of a platform bed for her and put this one in storage, as it is a really high quality frame and she said she would like to keep it for any future apartment or house for herself.

D asked if I wanted to with her to a farmer's market that is held every Sunday. I have never been to this particular one and I didn't tell D why I haven't gone. She thought I didn't know about it or where it was. I most certainly did, but I didn't tell her why I have essentially avoided it for years. In fact, I have avoided that particular road it is on for years now. At first, I purposely avoided it and after awhile, I just found other ways to go places if I was near there. It wasn't something I thought about anymore.

D gave me directions on how to get there, but I already knew the route all too well. I had travelled it for years because a friend of Xh's and mine lived on that stretch of road. Later that friend moved away and I would only take that road on occasion. It would be when Xh went into MLC when this road would make me physically ill to go on. The public market is held right across the street from the mediator Xh hired for our initial split. I sat in that office staring at the parking lot across the way where that market is held and would just cringe. Today, I wasn't apprehensive. In fact, I saw the sign for the office for the mediator and just shook my head thinking how grateful I actually was for that mediator, who kept throwing me hints to get an attorney. They were professional, but when Xh tried to pull things and I was just shell shocked, the mediator said several times that they would suggest we both have our attorneys review the documents before signing anything. And when I was leaving one afternoon, Xh had already gone to his car, the mediator told me that they had been through a similar situation as mine and were happily remarried and life would get better. Looking back, I know they realized I was dealing with something other than an unhappy spouse.

Today, none of that really filtered in. I noted how life has gotten so much better in many ways. I would have been so incredibly unhappy living with this version of my Xh. It has been difficult and sad at times, but I am in a much better place in so many ways, even though I am facing challenges.

The market was really lovely and D and I took our time driving home. I passed by a couple of places that made me smile, as I thought about the last time I was there.

I was cleaning off my desk in the library and there sat the last envelope from Xh's last support payment. It had gotten stuck to a notebook I had been using for notes for the house construction. I paused before shredding the envelope. The extra bit of money is certainly going to be missed in the sense that the timing sucks. But, that is not a huge concern. I have a sense of relief, TBH that I no longer have to deal with Xh in that regard. It is another thread cut away where he can't jerk me around.

Part of me laughed though, as I watched it go through the shredder. I am going to miss making the ladies at the bank laugh. Laughing through the whose name would be on the check was about the only way I survived the insanity of that experience.

I am no longer going to avoid that road, BTW. I think it is time to rediscover that route. I need to take back those remaining areas that were once off limits. There aren't many, as I have conquered most of them, but a handful remain. There is only one place I will probably always avoid, and that is the restaurant/hotel where Xh and OW would meet up. I don't think I can stomach that place. And not because of OW or Xh, as much as I don't want remember the hurt. But, then who knows? Life is unpredictable.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: stillbaffled on August 29, 2021, 05:38:17 PM

I was cleaning off my desk in the library and there sat the last envelope from Xh's last support payment. It had gotten stuck to a notebook I had been using for notes for the house construction. I paused before shredding the envelope. The extra bit of money is certainly going to be missed in the sense that the timing sucks. But, that is not a huge concern. I have a sense of relief, TBH that I no longer have to deal with Xh in that regard. It is another thread cut away where he can't jerk me around.

Part of me laughed though, as I watched it go through the shredder. I am going to miss making the ladies at the bank laugh. Laughing through the whose name would be on the check was about the only way I survived the insanity of that experience.

MD - I'm also going to miss reading about those checks and what name would be on them.  But, hey.....another hurdle cleared and you're still rolling forward. 
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on August 30, 2021, 08:15:00 AM
Oh! What a pity! No more "Name du jour" for us to laugh about....

But somehow I can imagine how satisfying seeing that envelope being shredded was, especially if there was no check inside... ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 03, 2021, 01:17:34 PM
stillbaffled & UrsaMajor - The "name du jour" was fun to laugh at and the only way I knew how to cope with the insanity. I know some would say it is somehow cruel or it means I don't have any compassion. It is difficult to somehow make sense of the whole thing. So many emotions were wrapped up in that support check over the years.

The end of support came on D's 21st birthday. Technically, there should have been a support check for August, but I am not going to somehow pursue that. It isn't worth the heartache that would come with it, TBH. D had said to me recently that she is sad and glad about the support ending. Sad, because it was the only thing that was her "contact" with Xh now. Yet, she is glad that the control part is gone. He cut all the other ties by himself. This is the only control he had left.

My M had her surgery and I spent the entire day with my parents. My F and I found a place nearby and had coffee while the surgery being performed. We had a nice visit and my F said he was nervous, but the surgery needed to happen. He indicated that my M has been keeping from all of us how bad her vision had become. It was making her very depressed. I told him I knew that she has not been herself at all.

Later, we checked in and my M had gone into recovery, so we went back out, as it was already way past lunch time. My F usually takes a nap after lunch before returning to his studio. He looked exhausted. I was shocked he suggested McDonald's as he was thinking about a vanilla shake. It is not his usual fare. But, I soon realized it was because that was closest to the surgical center and he didn't want to go too far away.

The young woman that waited on us was very pleasant. My F went to sit down as I waited for our order and she asked me if that was my F. I responded it was and she got tears in her eyes. She said she is used to seeing little kids come in with parents, but it was so rare to see an adult come in with their parent and it made her miss her dad. I had to smile and think about how lucky I am.

I convinced my F to let me drive home so he could rest. He didn't argue with me and he was grateful I drove as there was a huge traffic jam and I knew a couple of alternate routes that got us out of long wait.

When we arrived at their home, I was scolding my M, not in a nasty manner, but being tough with her. She was wandering about when she needed to be lying down. She told me I could go home, but I said I was staying so my F could go rest. It was a good thing I stayed. My M ended up getting sick from the anesthesia and complained about a headache. I figured it was from being dehydrated, but called the doctor much to my M's chagrin. The doctor was concerned about the headache as well and had us meet her at the office late in the evening. When all was said and done and we were back home, my M thanked me for taking her because if nothing else, it reassured her and the doctor gave her some different instructions to help her relax. The doctor called later that evening to check on her. The doctor told my M that she was glad that we had come in, because she would have felt horrible if my M had been sick all night long and not bothered to call her.

It would be the next morning when my F and I were sitting at the kitchen table. He paused a conversation we were having, about nothing important and told me he is amazed by me. I had to laugh. I wondered where this was going. He said that he knows my M and I butt heads, but he watched me take care of her. Yes, there were moments I was tough, but he said he saw me help her walk, realizing she was incredibly shaky. He saw me wipe her face when she was so weak that she spilled her drink on herself. He said I never complained and in those moments I didn't somehow make her feel embarrassed. It is clear how deeply I love people who I let into my life. He then laughed and asked if he has recently noted what a fool Xh is and the next man in my life will be a very lucky one.

And, I know I can be tough or blunt. But, yes, I am a big softie underneath it all. Xh, when we had been together for several years told me he had never met anyone with as big of a heart as mine. It would be the same type of sentiment that would come back and bite me in MLC. In MLC, I cared too much about others. LOL.

I spent the following day mowing just wiped out. My sister and D took turns caring for my M and took her to her follow up appointment. Afterwards they "Nana-sat" and spent the day with her. It gave my F time to work in his studio and for me to get some things done at home.

I spent the entire day mowing the lawn. We have had such a consistent pattern of rain and sunshine that the grass has been too wet to mow and the grass was so thick and lush that I had to cut it twice. It took several hours. By midday, the Fed X driver stopped. I know him by name, as he is in the neighborhood a great deal. He knew from the package that it was an order for S, so he was walking towards the garage to put it inside the door. I was walking back to the house and he was shocked I was mowing the lawn. I laughed. I asked him who should be doing it. He said my S. I cracked up. No - it is my house and if no one is there to help me, I am it.

I wasn't offended. It made me wonder though why it is so shocking to see a woman mowing the lawn. Is it glamorous? No. But, then I have never been one to shy away from getting things done. Yup, I might break a nail or two. Some days my nails are long and polished and then others not so much. I am not exactly losing sleep over it.

I mentioned it to a friend of mine. We both miss having a man around. She admitted she now owns a step ladder and jar opener. I laughed. I told her I have the same issue. But we both said it is how we survive and our reasons for missing a man being around really have nothing to do with chores. We both miss the companionship and having a partner.

I don't mind mowing the lawn. I never have. I used to do it before the kids were born. Xh took over when the kids were little. It was never and "assigned" task somehow. I had at times mowed the lawn and he made dinner.

Frankly, I was rather enjoying it the other day. I left my cell phone in the house and checked it once in awhile, but the rest of the time, I put on S's headphones and just listened to music as I tackled that task. It was a nice escape. Oh sure, I forgot about the one garden hose that was hooked up to the irrigation system for the garden and ran over it. Never liked that hose anyways.  ::)

The house is overwhelming at times. But, I accept that I wanted the house because I was trying to keep part of my life. With that has come all the responsibilities that owning a home has. I have been fortunate in that I have people who have helped me out. Yet, I realize that I have had to fight through some things on my own. I have had to learn new things. It has helped me grow and survive.

Part of the reason these thoughts are rolling through my head is because I have been fighting a huge trigger, TBH. I don't really think too much about BD 1 or 2. I don't know the exact dates, but Xh was consistent and chose both times to be the first day of school which was always around Labor Day. He made it hard to truly forget. And, I don't usually get too upset anymore. But, between my M's surgery and knowing someone wasin the flood zone the other night has made for some sleepless nights. I am tired. Which is a big ingredient for a trigger.

What almost pushed it over the edge was a Facebook post. A friend of mine and Xh's posted an anniversary wish to his W. It was the last event Xh and I attended together. And, I have seen this friend's posts before. I recall the event pretty vividly and it doesn't upset me normally. But, in this post, were pictures from his wedding and there in the background were Xh and I. Seeing Xh didn't upset me.

I have been fighting my insecurities a bit. It is normal. I had to dress to adjust my attitude a little today. D was not impressed by my music selection this morning, which was a lot of songs that make me feel like I can fight the day. I guess battle cries of sorts.

What I have come to realize over the past few days in particular is that I spent so much time of the MLC worried about Xh and his feelings. I realize how much now that I neglected myself. That is, I felt feelings, but I didn't really focus on why I was feeling the way I was. I too quickly, was worried solely about Xh. How he was falling apart.

When I saw that picture on Facebook it was hard to see my own image. We had fun that weekend, but I knew something was terribly wrong but I had no clue what would follow. Within a couple of days I would know. I can recall the moment Xh came out as I was eating breakfast out on the back deck. Both kids had left for school and I was thinking about my classes that were to begin that morning.

I am allowing myself to feel whatever I need to. I am fighting the insecurities and being told by the MLC monster how undesirable I would be to another man. I am laughing. Well, I guess whatever man comes along had best be okay with me mowing the lawn and a woman who like her friend, has a jar opener and a step ladder on hand as well.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 04, 2021, 12:06:45 PM
Well, if anyone needs an example of a MLCer cycling and spinning still after all of these years, look no further. I have quite the tale to tell from not even a full 24 hours.

I came home last night after working a bit later than normal. S had just gotten home and we were catching up in the driveway. I mentioned I was going to my parent's for dinner with my sister, and we were going to order take out, so if he was hungry to let me know what to order. He paused and said he had dinner with Xh. The pause was a strange reaction. S knows I have never kept either of the kids from seeing Xh and I don't make any big deal out of S's now sporadic contact with Xh - as it is their relationship, not mine. I won't say I don't get annoyed at times, but I keep those thoughts to myself when it comes to the kids, unless they want to talk about it and even then, I don't go to happily bash Xh. I try to be mindful.

The pause, it was because of what had been shared at dinner.

The timing, is significant. It is not lost on me. I have seen Xh cycle this time of year since BD. Every year before school has started for the kids there has been something, for whatever reason. I knew it had been too quiet - I am sadly jaded in that regard - I know, but maybe it is a way to prepare myself for what always seems to come and makes it easier to navigate.

So, Xh called on a whim. He has taken time off from his one client, as he has, according to him, vacation time he has acquired. Now, that seems to me in his wording that it means that it isn't a client, but an employer and the details in this case do matter.

S went on to tell me that Xh had decided to drive around the neighborhood for the day. He went so far as to stop at an art antique dealership and saw one of my F's pieces for sale and asked S to tell my F, in case my F wanted to buy it back. My F doesn't, as he told me the pricing on it and he said it is more than he wants to pay for his own work. He had a good sense of humor about it. But, S thought it was a bit odd that Xh was so concerned. I just shrugged.

S then relayed that it would seem Xh is either going to be fired or will quit - Xh's words - from this particular company. Xh wants to start another company and it is in direct competition with this company. Thing is, he signed a no compete clause. I don't know the details in his contract, but I do know that company. Pre MLC Xh would have not only thought out that contract and signing it, but would know you adhere to the parameters and maybe find a way around it, but you don't go challenging it. There usually is an expiration date on those contracts - but not always.

Now, to be fair. Xh had a really good business sense and was incredibly talented. I can't speak for his business sense now, but if it's still in MLC land with the rest of him - heaven help him. I watched him over 20 years build up his company and start a second one that was taking off. He had a knack for coming up with ideas and implementing them. His last company was a cutting edge concept that took off. Problem is, he hit MLC and FIL became his sounding board. I had been the person he came to for input for years. But FIL figuratively and in reality replaced me even before OW showed up in the picture.

The second company, Xh in MLC suddenly decided he was working too hard and had many offers to buy the company and the name. The offers would have made him a great deal of money and in his MLC mind he simply said he was not selling his idea to anyone else and instead of rethinking it - as there were some options, he shut it down almost over night. Classic MLC thought process and maneuver. It would be a few short months later he would go on to fire all but one of his long term clients and told me he was done with it all.

This "new" company idea is very telling. And, I won't say he isn't very capable of making it happen. He has the know how and the talent. It does however explain his decision to completely drop paying S's tuition and D's support, etc. He needs cash flow.

My sister noted that it is interesting that he chose to drive around this area on his "vacation". Hmmm. Yah.  ::) She said she figures it is because he knows the truth underneath it all. That first jump into a similar venture was in part successful because I was involved not only artistically, but I was always honest with him and pragmatic when he was in overdrive. I was the one that helped hold it together, etc. He no longer has that, by his own doing. And the particular company is very telling, as it is part of the great downfall that led to MLC. That project was always a hard thing for him to forgive himself for. I never gave him grief over it, as we got screwed by a client and it nearly decimated his company. That is a long story and not worth recounting, but suffice it to say, this is him trying to no doubt somehow fix that mess - a do over.

The issue for me is it makes me have some sympathy for him, but the bigger issue is more selfish. This means that Xh is burning bridges in the very close knit network of artists and that reaches farther than just locally. My married name is not a common one in the area and I already have had situations where people ask if I am related to Xh. I can usually navigate it, but now, if I am going to go about reigniting my own professional career, I am going to have to really rethink using my married name professionally. I kept it for the kid's sake and because it is what I used for years professionally. It doesn't bother me and set me apart, but now, I have to think of myself because I cannot be somehow going into places and having Xh blow up that part of my life for me just because of a last name.

I was not upset, nor am I now, but it is just more of an annoyance TBH. I thought I was done with Xh when support ended, but I had to remind myself that it was not going to magically end with that last check. I should have known that Xh was not going to adjust well to this current change. He was going to have to figure out a way, maybe subconsciously, to keep keep that one remaining bit of attachment because he cannot stand I am not just sitting in a corner rocking back and forth and waiting for him.

Last night, I just sighed and told my sister that I am not interested in reconnecting or staying attached to him in any way. It is too much work and I don't love him anymore. I have grieved, and I wish he would let me go so I could put all of my energy where I really want to and continue to build my new life.

But the weird couldn't end there. Oh no. See, because it was this afternoon, when D went up to her room to measure the area for her dresser, when she came back down the stairs partway and called out to me. Her tone, was similar to S's last night - a pause and not sure what to think tone. She asked if I knew anything about a pillow. Hmmm. No. I walked upstairs and just stood in silence.

Now the thought any other time might be sweet. The sentiment behind it might have been well received if Xh really knew D anymore. But, it was a powder keg about to explode. Xh has not seen D in months, and the texts ended months ago as well. No call for her birthday. Support ended. And years ago, when MLC hit, Xh bought D a pillow for her birthday the year he moved out. It was a white, fake fur pillow, but it was decidedly juvenile, as in it was the type of furry pillow a 6 year old would like, not a more refined version teenagers would like. D and S nicknamed calling it sometimes "Bumble" after the abominable snowman in Rudolph or "Yeti" which is the name that stuck in the long run. D kept that pillow, but it was always hidden behind all the others. Now, a new pillow for her bed was there. And D's response was confusion.

She didn't know S had seen Xh yesterday. I had no clue there was a pillow or any gift. There was no note or text. It is a pillow with our former dogs' full body on it. Bigger than life-sized and D laughed and said it looks like something you would get at a carnival. She was laughing about it, but I know all too well, she has been struggling to grieve the dog still. We haven't pushed her and she is working through her grief slowly. But, this - even if he meant well was not the way to go. D right away laughed and said "way to read the room, dad". Yah. I said nothing other than I had no idea it was there. She mentioned that she is ticked that this is his way of suddenly trying to make peace, when it happens to just miraculously fall right after the mandated support ended. It makes her angry that there wasn't even a note or an attempt to communicate and while she understands he is struggling, he can't buy his way back in. She is ticked and hurt, but she is also just shaking it off. I didn't push to make her decide what to do. I stood there and let her process.

In the end, I don't know if she will acknowledge it. What can she possibly say to him? Thanks? IDK but it is not my decision to make and I will not criticize her approach nor will I somehow coach her. She decided to put it in storage and see how she feels down the road, although right now she said she would like to burn it like the hand sculpture Xh gave her years ago. I told her that was up to her, as it is hers to do with what she will.

I am not suffering from any triggers after this. I certainly haven't been keeping tabs on Xh and his antics on purpose. I really would rather he ride away in the sunset and leave us be. His swirling head is not fun to be part of. I like amusement park rides, but I dare say I no longer find this particular one enjoyable.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: OffRoad on September 04, 2021, 01:01:54 PM
So wait, did your S put it there with no warning? That is beyond odd and not something I would have thought he would do. It's not mindful of your DS sadness about the dog, or lack of relationship with her father. (Maybe he thought it would be funny, in that crazy kind of way?)

Or did he let his father in the house while you were not home at some point? Or does your X still have a key? (which would creep me out )
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 04, 2021, 01:44:48 PM
OffRoad - S put it there this morning. He had left it in the back of his car yesterday and forgot about it. He assumed that Xh had texted or put a note on it. S had an early morning appointment and with my M's surgery there has been a lot going on that has really put many conversations on hold. It was an oversight. And S doesn't truly understand the dynamic with Xh and D. We don't discuss it simply because in the past Xh has twisted in knots and created discourse with D and S. D is of the mind that S will see it on his own and that seems to be the case, as is what is happening.

Xh gave the pillow to S while they were at dinner. S knows from one of the past times that I don't want Xh here in the house unless I invite him in past the driveway. As for a key, I changed all of the locks and the spare key is in a locked container with a combination that Xh would never, ever guess. I made sure of that.

I would not feel comfortable with Xh in my house now. The last time he was physically in the house, I had no idea he had come in the door and I was getting ready to go out and was half dressed. It was so odd as I felt so exposed and uncomfortable and the man had seen me that way countless times in years past, but it now felt like I should be running to cover up and it was not for his eyes at all. I am not a prude, and pretty comfortable in my own skin, but it shocked me how much it bothered me, but I suppose by then my emotions had shifted somewhere else anyways and it felt wrong to be exposing myself to some other man, even if it was my Xh. When I told a friend about it, she too is a LBS and she said she had a similar experience and now is never comfortable with her H around her at all. She said the intimacy is gone between them beyond even physical and it feels like she is with a stranger or a long lost relative.

The pillow - well that it seems D asked S if he would like it for college. S was happy to take it and D simply said that it didn't go with her decor in her room. S accepted this answer, as D is in the process of really making her room like something out of a design magazine and it doesn't fit into her scheme. He didn't ask about whether or not she responded to Xh and they went about the day. The cat, she has clearly taken a liking to having this replication of her former snuggle buddy, as she quickly curled up next to it, as she would have if it was the dog. I have no idea if she recognizes the image or it is just a new place to curl up against.

What I do know is S jokes with D, but even he has his limits as far as he will push the envelope. He would never knowingly play a joke on D if it was about the dog in particular. For one, I would not be chill, calm mom at all and he hates when D hurts. And, D is at least old enough to understand where the blame lies in the end - it is square on Xh's shoulders - he can't fix it in this manner. He has done too much damage to fix it with a pillow or even begin to make an inroad with D if this his approach. I can't and won't help him fix it. Not at this point. He lost that offer many months ago.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 06, 2021, 04:08:11 AM

There is not a whole lot more to say about the whole "pillow incident."  GWPWELFV really IS a couple of cans short of a 6-pack, isn't he?


As for mowing the lawn...
(https://media.giphy.com/media/1mAtj4ozIBRZK/giphy.gif?cid=ecf05e47dgprt8ehdj7smgaufj99ytnsbu74lz2ky8cst5ra&rid=giphy.gif&ct=g) done to the tune of "Whoops! There's the Hose! Whoops! There's the Hose...."  ;D
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 06, 2021, 09:28:30 AM
UrsaMajor - Where do you find these clips? LOL

S had his second dose of the vaccine and it hit him pretty hard yesterday. He commented a few moments ago, after finally waking up that he felt much better, but he cannot imagine what Covid must feel like if this was just a sample. He slept all of yesterday on and off and was officially in for the night at 7 pm last night. He looked awful yesterday, and was frustrated at first, but knew he needed to just rest and take it easy. This morning he is still a little achy and tired, but is more himself.

So in essence, it was almost as if S wasn't even here yesterday. Aside from a couple of his friends coming to check on him, the usual garage activity was non-existent and things were pretty quiet.

D, on the other hand, she was miserable on and off. It was expected after "pillow gate". She tried to shake it off and focus on college. She has plenty to prepare for with her first day back on campus tomorrow. Unfortunately, she and I just seemed to rub each other the wrong way all day long.

I had to bite my lip a couple of times so that it would not escalate. And, I won't say that some of her complaints aren't valid or at least I understood how she could feel that way. However, she and I operate very differently and I am not one to hang onto things for long. That is, I don't see the point in talking it over all the time. Express your complaint. Hopefully we can find a solution or at least vent our feelings, but then I want to move on - that is usually my approach, especially after the MLC time period. It is not to say I don't hang onto being upset or might not return to a topic, that would be a lie. But, D is very much one who wants to talk about it over and over. It is not the wrong approach, simply one that doesn't work for me most times. I had to tell her that I was not going to spend the entire day in a loop, since I was trying to actually finish a project that impacts her and would solve some of the complaints she had. I wanted at one point to snap and tell her I heard her the first 10 times she said it. I am glad I didn't voice my frustrations.

After a very long day, I walked up to my parent's house. It was nearly dark, but I needed the walk and decided to shower while I was there, even though I had one earlier in the day. I had paint all over my arms because one brand of paint has changed their formulation and this is the second container I have had that is not nearly as thick as I would like.

It would seem my M and D were on the same wavelength. My M is feeling better, but lying around has her thinking - way too much. My F rolled his eyes when she didn't greet me with a hello, but had a whole list of things she was wondering if I had done yet. I lost it. I admit it. I told her that she needed to stop with this approach. I told her I realized her intentions were genuine and she isn't trying to control me, but frankly it makes me feel as if she feels I am not capable and in fact makes me react a couple of ways, that are really not good. And, I will admit, most of this is from MLC - that is it stirs up emotions in me and insecurities.

I know that my life is a chaotic mess with all of the renovations that I hadn't planned on. I know that there are things that I have to deal with - like what is my next move for work now that the classes are not going for the college. It is a huge concern. I have money yet to keep going for awhile, but I really don't want to find myself in a financial bind. I have the gardens that I want to work on and things I need to address. I know what has to happen. It is not like I am avoiding it. In fact, I am in the process of addressing a whole lot that I just don't share with my M in particular, because she doesn't like unknowns and I have no concrete answers yet.

I explained to my M that her line of questioning in fact makes me dig my heels in and not want to do it at all. And, I know that is stupid and juvenile. I always walk back on my own stubbornness, but when I have been beat over the head with the same concerns over and over, it makes me react. I have that trait to begin with but have always kept it in check. With Xh in MLC, I did everything he asked and it was never good enough, so I know that part of this is my own subconscious fighting against that now. I recognize that it is a trigger for me. It is not something that happens every time, just when there is a repeat of the same thing over and over as if I somehow am failing.

I also know that my M has no clue what it is like. If I express it, I sound like a victim. I don't feel like a victim, but when I tell her that she has no idea what it is like to try and do it all on my own, it is frustrating. I am it. I am doing my best to keep things going and it isn't always how I want it to be. For instance, if someone were to comment on the driveway needing to be sealed this year, I know all about it. It is on my list. I don't like the way it looks, but it is far down on my list of things to address.

I explained to my M that her "help" is actually making me feel as if I am somehow a disappointment. It makes me have to work harder to remind myself what I have accomplished. Her words are not somehow saying she thinks I have failed or disappointed her, but her "reminders" make me see what I haven't accomplished and it is overwhelming.

Then out of her mouth, she shocked my F and I by saying mentioning how she didn't think I had it in me and was surprised by something else. A situation had arisen over the weekend with a document that came in the mail regarding their house and some work they had done. It requires a visit to the zoning officer. My sister had opened the mail for them and was all wound up. When she called me I quickly came up with a game plan and solution where I said I would go into the office and talk to the one officer, who I know very well and resolve it with my F in tow. I attacked the problem. That is what my M was surprised about. My F said he didn't know why that shocks her, since he is the same way. I may seem like I just float through life at times, but I don't. Those lists, they exist for me, I just move the items that need attacked based on what needs priority.

Today, my focus is on D's window seat and the cat door that goes into her room. It is not a traditional cat door. Xh installed a miniature door for the cat she had years ago and D wants it back in. It is a very elaborate archway and tunnel through the wall. It was the one thing that he did spend time on and was not crooked or crazy, but it needs some repairs since the rest of the room had to be rebuilt. Aside from upholstering the window seat, and hanging her closet doors, I am hoping this is it for that room. I am ready to just move on to other things.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 06, 2021, 10:48:15 PM
I find myself in this very odd place right now. Feeling strangely guilty and as if I have done something wrong, when in reality there is nothing I have done wrong at all, or at least not anything to warrant this overwhelming feeling of shame.

I went through the day on a bit of autopilot. Not all day, but there were certainly moments. Some that made S pause and tell me he thought I should just find projects that were productive, but not involving the table saw or other potentially dangerous power tools. I conceded he was in fact right. I was making silly mistakes and my focus just wasn't there at all.

Yet, taking time to relax was not possible, as I knew sitting around was going to result in me thinking too much.

I am rather shocked at how I am feeling, TBH. BD #1 & 2, haven't gotten to me in a very long time, but tonight I found myself feeling this complete sense of being alone and defeated. It is not the affects of BD in terms of I am not somehow reliving those moments in my brain. It is that the timing of those BDs were always the first day of school.

Even the first BD, I remember clearly in that I somehow found a way to go and focus on my classes. The second BD, it was the same thing. I pushed through and had that to keep me going. And I had both kids to help with the distraction. S was signing up for a couple of college classes and D was finishing up high school. Then came full time college for both of them, so this time of year has always been hectic and chaotic. I had my own prep to do. Somehow it all fell together eventually. Covid certainly changed things and then last year I was in many ways grateful the classes didn't go, as I was not feeling well and everything seemed just out of whack. I was looking forward to getting back to normal this year. But it is far from it.

Today, as both kids were getting ready for their classes this week, I felt lost. I have been pulled in all sorts of directions this past week with my M's surgery and other responsibilities, that I have had little time for myself. I wasn't terribly upset about it, as it almost felt like a normal before the semester begins type of chaos. But once the house was empty, I found myself just feeling numb. There are no classes starting for me. I suddenly felt this complete feeling of loss.

The BD aspect just filtered in, because it is the same feeling of suddenly feeling terribly alone. There is no one to hold me and tell me it is going to be okay. The dog is gone. The kids are gone. It is just such an odd feeling at the moment.

I will somehow figure out how to push through this murky territory I am in. It is not about having an empty nest. I need the kids to move on with their lives and to grow. I don't want to keep them tethered somehow to me. I like some of my independence and the relationships with the kids are in some ways closer than we ever were. I don't need them here all the time. We spend quality time together and make efforts, so I don't fear them being gone. I just am noticing the loneliness of it all tonight.

The guilt and shame is a byproduct of the mind firetrucking that has begun. I have no reason to feel that way, but somehow I am carrying it around at this crazy hour. I am feeling like I have somehow done something to have earned this situation, and in reality it is just the world we are in at the moment and has nothing to do with anything I have somehow mucked up. It is circumstances. And like MLC and BD, maybe that is what I am feeling a little of - the same feeling of things are out of my control and seem to be spiraling and I have to step back and figure out a new plan. Neither BD was anything I could have seen or prevented, anymore than I could have somehow prevented a pandemic and enrollment not bouncing back.

I am not liking how it feels, that I know.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 07, 2021, 01:54:25 AM
Sounds like a "perfect storm" of many things coming all together at the same time...

It also sounds a bit like a kidney stone.... It is painful but they do pass in the end...

Of course, you could always approach Mom like Santa Claus... "Making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's working or not.... MD's mom is coming .. to town... " <grin>
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Treasur on September 07, 2021, 03:06:26 AM
Mourning, I am going to suggest that you respect how the effects of trauma work.....which is probably a reminder of what you already know but maybe we all need a reminder sometimes. As Bessel van def Kolk says, it lives in our body, under the skin until it is triggered. And when we are triggered, it feels as if the then is now even though our rational brain knows it isn’t.
Why the reminder? Bc it has absolutely nothing to do with who you are, your character or how you go about your life. Nothing. Your unconscious and your autonomic nervous system doesn’t know these things; it just feels the trauma echo. Hence the logic gap bc it isn’t about logic and tbh it’s not even about the trigger really.
Which is also why calming your system and body in the here and now is more useful as a way past it than problem solving in a different way or criticising your character.  :) Jmo fwiw.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 07, 2021, 11:43:10 AM
Thank you, UrsaMajor and Treasur.  :)

I am marginally better today. Not being able to get to sleep before 2:30 am did not help me in the least.

Today, I am being kind to myself and try and find things to keep busy, but nothing that is going to require a lot of thought. I know that I am just in a fog today. I allowed myself to take a long nap this afternoon, after going with my F to resolve the zoning issue, which was an easy fix. My F is more than capable of taking care of these things but he said he was grateful I went along with him, as I asked questions he hadn't thought of asking. I have had a lot of dealings with zoning over the years with all of Xh's projects.

Yes, logic left me for a time yesterday. It was a PTSD type response that occurred. Because so many things were coming at me at once, I felt very much like BD, where life felt like it was spinning out of control. I logically knew that yesterday, but it really was the perfect storm brewing.

I am not a puddle on the floor today, nor was I last night - not like BD. It is a different feeling in that regard. I am tired though. I am worn out and feel very much like I am recovering after having been sick - that point where your body is weak and telling you to rest still, even though you feel better. Drained of energy.

I communicated with a couple of friends - fellow LBS - last night and that helped immensely. The one's BD was a similar time period as mine. Both friends assured me that they too experience this odd funk that sometimes sets in. It helped knowing that I am not the only one that has these moments, even though I have come so far from that initial BD. I haven't had an actual BD reminder that has rattled me nearly as much as this one.

I realize that Xh's behaviors recently have not helped. This pillow appearing and his timing. His travels in the area. Maybe it was all just too much right now. The weather was also eerily similar yesterday to BD, with a cool breeze and the sun streaming all day long. It simply triggered feelings that I haven't felt in some time.

I had to pause and think about when my divorce was finalized. It was 4 years ago and the copies of my documents showed up the first day of my classes at the college that year. I had laughed about it with my friend saying at least Xh was consistent. Even on that day, I didn't feel the way I did last night.

I have had a few triggers that have crept in. They have lessened and I just think because of the timing of this particular one it jarred me more. I was angry with myself for it appearing this time of year, and somehow reminding me of BD, when I have worked so hard to move past it. But, the mind and body are funny things.

Calming my system has been the order of business today. And you are right Treasur - it is a way more useful way past it, as opposed to beating myself up or trying to solve it. I have allowed myself to feel and just let it go, accepting it is just a trauma response as opposed to some misdeed that brought on these feelings.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 10, 2021, 01:45:41 PM
Last night I had gone out to dinner with a friend of mine. She is always so incredibly upbeat and relaxed about life. She doesn't seem to let anything get to her at all. Even when life is rough, she accepts the kick to the gut and then picks herself up. It is not that she doesn't allow herself to feel. Yesterday, she shocked me when she said she had a day this week where she stayed inside all day and just binge watched Netflix. It is rare that she does it, but I laughed and told her I was glad to hear that she wasn't some superhuman who is able to be so positive. She has however, almost perfected how to process and how to move forward. And, she had some difficult patches in her teen years and twenties. She has dealt with them through going to an IC early on and finding healthy ways of coping. Spending time with her is always helpful in terms of she is easy to be around.

I needed that type of interaction yesterday. The week had been wearing me down with all of the responsibilities that kept creeping in. I have been pulled in a thousand different directions and at least this morning, my sister voiced it. She sees that her not being available had put more on my shoulders. It wasn't about making her feel guilty, but I will admit at least the acknowledgment was nice. I needed to not feel like I was just somehow in a loop of self-pity and oversensitive. My sister talking to me made me realize I had a valid reason to feel worn out and it was okay to be a bit cranky about not being able to do anything in my own house to move forward. I was frustrated, yet, I also was trying to balance being patient and knew I was needed.

Yesterday, my M was given the okay to do more, so that helped immensely. I only had to go and check on her at midday today, when my F had an appointment.

I did laugh when a conversation my friend and I had last night sort of came full circle. It was about how one can plan all we want but sometimes the universe has other plans. The plumber came today to look at the heat run I want moved. It is not going to be cheap, but it will be less than what the heating company will charge me. My friend's H, who was going to help S has just been too busy and I can't put this on his shoulders right now. His business picked back up and he is working non-stop. I know he would help me out, but I am not about to put that type of pressure on him. I have accepted that this will cost money and it isn't an inexpensive endeavor. Fortunately, I know where I can make up the difference in my own renovation budget to make it feasible. When he said he couldn't do it for awhile, I said it was fine, as I know that is how things are.

I think what I found a bit amusing was I have waited months for this all to come about and then it is now just going to come at me a little quicker than I was originally planning. He had figured it would be at least a month before he would be able to fit the job in. When he came back with the estimate in hand, he said there had been a cancellation while he was on the phone with the office to schedule my original time and was I interested in moving it up. I now have 10 days to get the bathroom prepped for that move. S is back at school, so that is where I will have to think out my plan of attack. I need S around for some basic electrical and to help me hang the wallboard. The rest, I can do without his help. I will also have to find out about what window will be going in and get that at least ordered. I could have pushed it out to the original date, but laughed saying to myself - "you are clearly insane". Then again, what else do I really have to do  ::) Oh wait, I know - plenty of other things. LOL.

Maybe this is what I need. I work well under pressure and maybe it will honestly re-ignite that spark in me to figure the other things out that need to happen.

My friend did make me promise though to make time to do something for myself each day. That is a walk or paint or something to decompress. I have not been doing my "homework" regularly and taking that time - or at least not the proper type of decompression time. I have found myself in front of the TV at night, which is so unusual for me. It is okay from time to time, but I know for myself, it isn't good for me in the long run.

Tonight, I will take time to just sit out on the back deck. Last night when I came home, I noticed the sky was incredibly clear and the night sky was this beautiful shade of dark violet blue with twinkling stars. There was enough of a breeze and a chill that the mosquitoes were not out. I should have grabbed a blanket and stretched out on the hammock or lit a fire in the fire pit. Instead, I came inside and did nothing. Maybe I will luck out tonight and the evening will be just as pleasant so that I get a do-over.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 11, 2021, 11:21:55 AM
I have my fingers crossed right now. S's tuition bill came through yesterday with the remaining balance. S has taken out loans, and has paid some of the tuition over the past few years from his savings. Yet, there is the portion I said I would make sure was covered no matter what. Oh sure, Xh was supposed to pay for part of that as well, but I know that would require the fight he wants me to have. It is not worth my sanity. So, I opened the email statement sent out and was scratching my head. It was far less than it should be. I had a moment of thinking perhaps I had misjudged Xh and he was at least changing his mind. Yah - that was a short lived moment.  ::)

S came in from his errands. Among them, he had gone to the bank and successfully was able to convert his car loan I cosigned for. I have never worried about S and payments, as he has never missed a single payment on any bill, including his first truck loan back when he was 19. This transfer to being the sole signature on the loan now was suggested by the bank manager who said S has such good credit, he could now get an even better percentage rate due to a promotion the bank was having. It will be good for both S and I, in that he is building really good credit and it takes this loan off of my credit report completely.

When S came in, I asked him about the mysterious change in tuition. It would seem that amount is also wrong and S may be getting a refund. The summer internship required him to fill out a form for additional financial aid and there is residual left from that the financial aid office said could carry over onto the fall bill. Even if that is not the case, the new amount is a huge relief for me and for S. It no longer means coming up with a considerable chunk of money and is less than $500 after his scholarships kicked in. S sort of laughed and said I told him things would somehow work out or we would figure things out.

D was exhausted from the week and I had decided to take on the task of washing the dog's toys. D had me pack them away for the next dog, but I knew she is still really struggling some days with the dog being gone. I figured while she was at school, I would take them out of the bag and sort through them. I washed some and tossed others. I had most of them put away, but there were a couple still out on the back deck, drying in the sunshine. D took one look and burst into tears. She had a good cry and maybe it was what she needed. I am just grateful she doesn't keep it all bottled up like Xh. I felt so incredibly bad though.

Both kids ended up going out for the evening. I was left alone to work on the one thing I have avoided in D's room. That final task of rectifying the one tiny wall of the exterior of the closet that Xh had mucked up. I was able to pry the one edge of wallboard after finding all of the drywall screws and shimmed the wall out. I was quite pleased with myself and D was shocked this morning to see that the wall now is straight and there was very little damage to repair to the drywall itself.

After I made up my mind to deal with that wall, I took advantage of the solitude. I would have gone outside, but the mosquitos were making up for their absence the night before. So, I opted for curling up on the couch and reading a book while I enjoyed a small glass wine.

I have spent my day checking in on my M a couple of times and then made my way out to the studio, where my F has been working on his latest project. I had to laugh because my M commented she wished my F would have chosen to do a drawing instead of working out in the studio, because he seems so worn out. I told her he is tired, but I haven't seen him this fired up in quite some time. He is loving the challenge and frankly, yesterday, a couple of his former colleagues came to take him to lunch and I noticed that my F looks easily 20 years younger than his friends. The work keeps my F young. Oh, sure he spits and sputters sometimes when things don't go the way they should, but he sits and sketches and thinks it out. Besides, as I pointed out to my M, it has kept his mind off of his B, who is not in good health. That has been making my F very depressed to see his younger B suffering.

I hope to go tomorrow to pick up supplies to start on the walls of the bathroom this week. I am so anxious to get to a point where I can crawl into a warm bubble bath after working all day and relax instead of having to go to my parent's house to shower. With the kids back at school, at least I will have more time to work on that room without worrying about the traffic in and out of the house.

Little bits of progress keep me from going completely bonkers.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 12, 2021, 10:18:23 AM
A friend of mine was talking to me about this whole return of Steve from "Blue's Clues" and how he just reappeared after being gone for years. She said it was rubbing her the wrong way and she wasn't sure why. She too is a LBS although her H is a clinger - he hasn't totally disappeared, but he certainly hasn't been a spouse for years and she has moved on. I sort of chuckled and said well, the abrupt disappearance of the character of Steve is a bit like a MLCer, who simply came off as "hey, I am outa here and going out to discover life. See ya". And the return many years later - well, that is even more comical in the sense that MLCers might pop up years later and simply say - "hey, I am back. What did I miss"?

Now, don't get me wrong - it is a TV show and my kids were huge fans of "Blue's Clues". I have no beef with Steve or anyone else on that show. It just made me sort of laugh when my friend said she is really annoyed with the way this was handled. It has made me think about how at one point she and I both would have sold our souls for our MLCers to return and probably would have accepted a simple "hey, I am back" response. It would not have been a healthy or good thing if that had happened and that was the mindset. I know from experience that accepting the broken MLCer back after BD#1 and deluding myself during a time when I was very broken myself from the shock and pain of the MLCer's actions resulted in a more excruciating BD#2. I think it made me realize how important that mirror work is during all of this.

It is not about standing or not. It is about being able to be secure enough in your own skin to be able to make solid decisions that are done that are not reactive.

It took me a long time to accept certain things and to let go of some of the feelings I once had. For one, the OP may be conniving and have their sites set on a MLCer. My Xh's OW was very much a person that would fall into the category of she wanted something and would stop at nothing to get it. But, make no mistake - she did not feed Xh some magic potion or hypnotize him. I do not call her names, even if I have no desire to spend time with her or to somehow give her some blanket forgiveness. I simply accepted that Xh made choices as well. He chose OW. He chose to break vows and leave. That is on him. He played a part. It is not all the OP's fault.

I wanted to blame her at one point, because it was an easier pill to swallow. The truth is, once I accepted that it was a "it takes two" scenario and let go of blaming OW, I found more peace. I no longer feel the rage towards the OW. I don't really care whether or not Xh is with her or not. That is their choice. It has had consequences.

Xh, if he were to come back like Steve on "Blue's Clues" now - I think it would upset me. It would be dismissive of any MLCer to show up and pretend it could be swept under the rug. I don't want apologies or explanations. I don't want to punish Xh. I am at the point where I would like to be left alone and allowed to move on with someone else.

It took time and patience to get to this point. Now, I can laugh at so much more. Even the once painful stuff.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 13, 2021, 02:05:08 AM
GOOD news about Mom being given "permission" to do more things. That will help in several ways...
First, you won't have to ride herd on her the whole time, and second, she'll have less time to think of stuff that you need to do or to worry about your future...  ;) <snort!>

Also good news about S's Financial Aid. Every dime helps when you have 2 in college and having him get some extra financial aid, is a blessing.

There are lots of stories here about AD's, Toxic Friends, Enablers, etc. and many of them hold those people responsible for the actions of the Mid-Lifer but you rightly pointed out, it takes 2. NONE of those "external parties" were holding a gun to the head of the Mid-Lifer and telling them that they must now stick their heads up their collective ... fog... do run off helter-skelter into the tunnel. THAT is 100% the choice and decision and action of the Mid-Lifer... NO ONE ELSE bears that responsibility nor is anyone else responsible for the results/consequences.  The MLC'er CHOSE to do what they did. They are NOT criminally insane, the DO know "right" from "wrong." They just choose the "wrong" because they get a kick out of it, they get their shot of "happy," their endorphin rush and that rush was the most important thing in the world to them.

Finally (but not least), regarding that small glass of wine...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 13, 2021, 12:04:40 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL. I won't say there aren't some days that a glass of wine that big isn't tempting.  ;) I do have to say though, that if I need that big of a glass, then perhaps just a straw in the bottle would do the job. Or maybe boxed wine as an adult juice box.  ::)

I am still waiting on the final number from financial aid at this point. Even if it turns out that we still owe this residual it is a blessing compared to the original numbers. Having both in college at the same time and no help from Xh and having to reconfigure my budget was making me terribly stressed out.

Life is very funny though. I had told my M that I was trying to figure out my employment situation and to trust me. The reality is something I haven't really run by anyone. I have no problem working a job that just pays the bills. It isn't a matter of pride for me. But, I have been thinking about what I want. My coordinator believes the spring semester is going to see an even bigger increase in enrollment and things may start to level out. It is a gamble, I admit, but my position there has been a very good situation for me and I think it might be worth the risk to at least wait until things stabilize a bit. And, I have been really thinking about my current situation and what I want. I have spent so many years working around Xh's business and the kids, etc that I haven't really focused on some of my own dreams.

So where does that lead me?

I have a fortunate situation in that I own the house outright. Oh, sure - Xh obliterated our financials and left me in dire straits. I let him get away with that and I shall forgive myself because I was operating under a sense of shock and my judgement was certainly clouded at the time. And, I have to forgive myself. I spent too much time beating myself up over what I allowed happen. It hasn't been pretty rebuilding and getting out of debt. I am not where I would like to be and the pandemic, my surgery and the disaster at the house all derailed things again. Yet, I keep reminding myself that I have maintained things. I had savings to draw on. I will just have to keep working on rebuilding and reconfiguring.

The thing is, I realize that I also want other things. I know my personality. I don't care about money. I like it and it takes pressure off, but I no longer care about luxury cars and black tie events or fancy resorts. I never really did. I enjoyed them, but I don't crave them. I have my own things I am a bit of a snob about and won't sacrifice, but they are not outrageous items.

I also came to the realization that I really want to try and pursue my artwork again. Not necessarily heavily client based commissions, but they factor in there. I don't want to go full tilt freelance work. That has never been a good thing for me in that it creates a lumpy income, which I truly hated from the beginning. So, it made me think about my life pre-marriage and when I was "on my own". At that time, I was building a freelance base and showing at galleries, but I took on a part time job to cover my bills, and still stowed away plenty into my savings.

It sounds a bit ridiculous if I say it this way, but I am looking at things right now, at least in the short term as if I just graduated college in terms of what I want. That is, I am essentially kid-free, in that both kids are in the final leg of their bachelor's degrees. D will take time off and while they both may live at home for awhile after they graduate, they are not needing my constant help or attention. I will be a semi-empty nester at the very least.

I have a house that really doesn't cost me all that much - that is once I am over this renovating hump. My bills are less than rent would be, even with the yearly taxes. Owning has pitfalls, but it also has advantages right now. It makes no sense to up and move yet. It is not beyond the realm of possibility down the road, but I am not going to consider that at this point. I have it pretty good at the moment.

So, that has made me think some. What do I want and what are the realities I have facing me?

Like it or not, I am not going to love draining my savings and having nothing left. I like that security of a buffer if I can. It may not be possible, but I would like to avoid that completely. I need a job that can at least cover the expenses.

I want to work on my creative side and I do want to be able to get back to nurturing my soul. So, I don't want to go back to anywhere that sucks my soul dry. I had one of my former employers contact me about returning as my former boss retired. That job, I had when I was going through the divorce. It was a negative environment and I know from talking to my one friend who still works there and is essentially trapped there at the moment due to her circumstances. She told me that I would not be coming back to any new great changes. It was never my boss I had an issue with, but the toxic work environment set up by the owners. So, that is not even a consideration for me.

I know that one of the realities I am currently facing is that my parents are getting older. For now, unless something changes, they want to stay in their house and they are more than capable of that. As much as I grumble, I also remember being so grateful to have my grandparents nearby and caring for them with my parents over the years. It wasn't a burden and my parents aren't either. They are very self sufficient, but little things like yesterday, they needed the septic tank uncovered. My F was having a hard time shoveling and S ran up to help. I was there today helping my M for a little bit. It isn't usually a daily thing with my parents. My sister is often oblivious because she isn't nearby and my M babies her. I have decided that I just need to ask for my sister's help more and I am okay with being the primary person who looks in on them for now. I will just grumble from time to time. In general they do leave me to my own devices most times.

I know that I want to travel again. Short trips. Longer trips. IDK.

None of these thoughts are MLC-like in that I am not looking to up and just take off. I know I have responsibilities. But, I realized today that I need to go back to that after-college model of employment for at least a bit. That situation allowed me serious flexibility. I travelled a whole lot for about 3 years after college and still worked.

IDK - it seemed rather silly at first. Then the phone rang an hour ago. I laughed when I got off the phone. It was the local high school where my kids had attended. There is a new woman working in the administrative offices. She said my name came up in conversation in the office when one of the teachers mentioned they wondered if I was still subbing. I had covered for that particular teacher countless times over the years while my kids were in school and I had a rotation of teachers who would specifically request me. It isn't going to make me rich, that is for sure, but they are desperate for subs at the moment. And, it turned out that the person needing a sub next week happens to be the art teacher. So, I agreed to go back and take that on. I know with the new requirements with masks, etc it will be an adjustment, but I found myself mildly relieved. I have at least a little money coming in and I know that subbing can be an almost guaranteed daily thing with just this school. It is not perfect, but it is something to give me time to at least be able to finish up the construction on the bathroom and such with maybe some time for myself to really figure things out.

It has bothered me at times that somehow I should be able to just focus on rebuilding my career, but I have to remind myself that not only did Xh blow up life, that it is okay for me to feel like life has really kicked the crap out of me on several levels. I am doing the best that I can and it is okay if I allow myself this little bit of down time to really regroup. I know from an outside perspective because I haven't really worked a full time job in nearly a year and a half with all that has gone on, that I have been on some vacation. But, it hasn't been like that at all for me. And, I keep telling myself that it is okay for me to give myself time to just be for a bit and put more focus on my own needs. That is a hard thing for me to allow myself, especially since it is what the MLCer did. But, I keep reminding myself it isn't the same thing.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 14, 2021, 05:17:14 AM
It IS kind of ironic that things fall into place just at the right moment sometimes, isn't it?  The whole Substitute thing does seem like a blessing from the Universe that got dropped in your lap. I remember how enthusiastic you were with some of the classes you were teaching with the kids where you felt you were able to reach one or the other and really make a difference.... Good for you!

Did you mean like this with the wine?
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 14, 2021, 10:35:50 AM
UrsaMajor - Ironic is a good word for it. Hopefully, it is a blessing from the universe and not the universe jerking me around - LOL

That is definitely an adult juice box. I see the flaw in her plan though - that straw will never reach all of the wine - LOL. And, if I am going that route, I am going all out and getting one of those swirly, silly straws my kids used to love - the ones that loop around and around before it ever reaches your mouth.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 15, 2021, 02:44:28 AM
UrsaMajor - Ironic is a good word for it. Hopefully, it is a blessing from the universe and not the universe jerking me around - LOL

That is definitely an adult juice box. I see the flaw in her plan though - that straw will never reach all of the wine - LOL. And, if I am going that route, I am going all out and getting one of those swirly, silly straws my kids used to love - the ones that loop around and around before it ever reaches your mouth.  ::)

Oh yeah... Crazy Straws....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 15, 2021, 08:36:33 AM
UrsaMajor - you know, I think a Crazy straw would work for wine or certain cocktails. I am not sure I could get myself to use it with say a glass of Grand Marnier. That just seems wrong. LOL

Yesterday had been one of those days where I just could not find the right rhythm. I had stayed up later than I planned the night before and it would have been okay, had I not been startled by a loud clap of thunder in the middle of the night. It was not a frightening storm, but simply that the initial boom of thunder woke me. The storm itself was not interesting enough to make me want to go to the library and watch the lightening or even to listen to the sound of the rain, which was inconsistent. It was not a soothing shower. Just sporadic thunder, lightening and a bit of rain. I found myself not listening to the rain hitting the roof, which often relaxes me, but instead being jarred. Strangely, the storm, it too seemed out of rhythm. Maybe it is what set the tone for that morning.

I walked around most of the day feeling as if I was walking in this field covered in a thick fog. I was functional, not quite zombie-like, but I couldn't see what was right in front of me half of the time. I decided after about an hour or so of attempting to do some more complex things around the house, to accept it was just one of those days. I wasn't tired and feared going back to bed or napping would throw my whole schedule off anyways and then find myself up all night again. If it were just me, I could adjust to being a night owl, but I know that is not possible and knew that most people operate on a more normal schedule and would assume I would be doing the same.

I opted to work on doing some demolition work that was not heavy duty but necessary to make progress. The bathroom was stripped bare from the disaster, but there were still some straggling pieces of lumber that remained, as the redesign hadn't been decided at the time of the tear-out and these sections are not structural, yet were in the way now of my new plans.

Midday, my M called. She had called the night before having been concerned about a notice on her computer. I knew better than to put it off any longer. Neither were difficult tasks, but time consuming. My M and F are both very good with the computer and I marvel at how well they navigate it all, considering my F refused to even touch a computer or cell phone until he was in his 70s. My M, she figured out how to send texts in invisible ink, which really confused the heck out of me one day. My M, she likes the tech challenge. But, there are some things, my sister and I have told them not to mess with, because the one thing they are not always up on are all the scams and phishing attempts.

I spent about an hour and a half updating all of the software on different devices, along with some other tech issue and then tackled some medical forms. We needed to reset the login information for my M and it would mean waiting for the practice to send out an updated activation code through the mail, as they do not email those things for security reasons. I am not convinced that is the best approach, but it is their normal way to function. However, I have friends - LOL. I rarely ask for favors, but I called this friend who works in that office. She said the letter would be going out, but she could read it off to me with my M's permission. Then I set up my F's activated my F's account and had a good laugh at some of the questions - standard questions that I joked I could really mess with if I wanted to. My M giggled saying I certainly wield a lot of power, knowing full well, that in fact, I was being very thorough and making sure every bit of information regarding family health history and the like were accurate.

D had driven up and offered to drive me home, but I said I was going to walk out to my F's studio and then take a slow walk home. It was far too nice out not to enjoy the weather.

My F, normally has music playing and the doors are often closed to the studio in the summer with the air conditioner going if it is hot out, but yesterday was that perfect time of year where there is a warmth in the air, low humidity and fall is trying to push in. There was a slight breeze and as I approached the studio, I could hear that instead of his regular music, my F was whistling away. I turned the corner to see the doors wide open on both ends of the building and my F was sitting there, working on his project as the breeze passed through the studio.  The lighting - the sun streaming through the windows - some of them stained glass panels and landing on my F and the piece he was so focused on. It made me smile, as I never have gotten tired of seeing him work away and how he just knows how to take a piece of straight metal rod and bend it in the right manner to create something magical. I know in reality it is because of years of practice, but he makes it seem to incredibly easy, but I know even now he has challenges. Some new, due to his body not always behaving the way it once did. Age and wear and tear will do that. But, he has adjusted somehow and may grumble but it doesn't stop him.

I was at the end of the driveway, ready to begin my walk home, when my sister called me. She was just leaving work and just wanted to check in with me. I said I had addressed all of the tech concerns for our parents and then I told her her portion of the tech support bill. It took her a second to realize I was joking. She asked if I wanted to walk this week and how about she buys coffee in exchange for all of my hard work. I laughed and told her I was a push over and it just had better be good coffee.

We are walking on Friday and changing it up this time. We have missed our walks and since she has an appointment in the afternoon in the same city where the gallery is, we decided to walk around the lake. As it turns out, it is also where the best coffee in that city is. ;)

When I finished my conversation with my sister, I began my walk home. I turned off the ringer on my phone and decided to just allow myself to enjoy the moment. The farmers had been harvesting the corn at the opposite end of the road. As I approached my property, I was nearing the orchard. I could hear the truck with the harvested corn coming over the hill and smiled. I love this time of year. I don't get tired of the sounds, sights and smells of when fall is upon us. I could smell the fallen apples in the orchard. The warm air made it smell like baked apples. As the truck drove by, the air carried the smell of the field corn. The corn in the warm sunshine had a distinct kettle corn like smell to it. I thought if I closed my it would be easy to believe I had stumbled into some carnival.

I know that today, those same apples will have a more boozy smell after today's rain. Yesterday though, the orchard was magical in the dappled sunlight. The little circle of mushrooms that springs up from time to time was visible. The lady who owned the house before us told me those circles of mushrooms were fairy rings. My kids loved thinking the fairies danced in the orchard when no one was looking.

D used to run through the orchard in a pink gown that I bought one year after Easter on clearance. It was too big for D when I first bought it, but I knew she would love it. She wore that darn dress everywhere and I let her play in it. I remember my MIL saying I should make D save it for best, but I didn't care if became tattered and torn. It was never meant for special occasions. She would twirl around for hours. To this day, she remembers that particular dress.

S, made a track around the orchard with ramps and jumps. It was where he later would break his leg. But, even after that incident, I accepted he was all boy and I couldn't protect him from bumps, bruises or breaks. Until recently, that track was there. Now, after S did some maintenance, the track is covered in new grass.

The dog, she loved this time of year. What more could she ask for. She would play fetch with pears and would go so far as to select her own from the pile. And of course there was always the alfalfa being harvested.

What struck me when I arrived home was how much I love simple pleasures.

It also dawned on me this morning, as I thought about yesterday, no where in those memories or thoughts did Xh enter my mind. It is not as if I have erased the happy memories or even some of the bad ones, it is more that they don't come to the forefront of my thoughts like they once did. What did come to mind was other memories. In fact, one September in particular that made me smile when the weather was very similar. The company I was keeping then, that popped into my head yesterday. Those memories seem to have pushed Xh way to the back of my mind.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 16, 2021, 02:11:54 AM
Sounds like a lovely day actually...

I too was awakened by rain this morning at about 05:15 because one of our bedroom windows (roof windows) was open a bit and if it rains hard, the water will come in. Since that window is over R's desk (read "computer and printer"), I got up to shut the window and then had the devil's own time falling back asleep... Pieces of a conversation I had with xW last night before bed about S14, his whack-job GF and her somewhat dysfunctional family ("somewhat dysfunctional" is like the Pope being "somewhat Roman Catholic") - dad is an alcoholic with anger issues and rich parents, mom is very passive-aggressive and controlling.... Long story short, I was awake until 06:30 when my alarm went off so today is my "fog" day.... 
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 16, 2021, 11:56:21 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. You know, I am having a hard time wrapping my head around a having a conversation about dysfunction with an MLCer who is still deep in crisis. That alone had to make for a need for a Crazy Straw and an adult juice box.

Okay, in all seriousness - I have been down that road with kids and the dating aspect. It was a delicate dance. When there is a crazy, whack job GF in the mix, it is often hard to know how to navigate. I tried very hard not to step in too deeply with my kids, and just prayed that their upbringing would somehow guide them. I knew watching other parents who tried to control the situation by saying the person wasn't good enough or crazy, etc, then the teenager often dug their heels in. It was not as if I didn't on occasion express concern or opinions, but I bit my tongue a whole lot. It has worked and S and D have both admitted dodging a couple of bullets over the years. I won't say it was easy sitting by and I too probably had some nights where I didn't sleep. But, to have that particular conversation with a MLCer - Wow.

It rained most of yesterday, so the farmers are at a standstill today. It is too wet to harvest the corn, so the road is very quiet today, unlike most warm days during the harvesting season.

D called me when she arrived at the college. She was not off to a good start. She couldn't find a parking spot and she had arrived half an hour early to make sure she had plenty of time. It would seem there are more commuters this year than in the past. She ended up skipping class, which is something she never does. Ever. But, I told her to take a deep breath and just go get coffee, as she was way late for class anyways and it is with a teacher who knows her well - so she will be able to go to a make up session.

On her way back to campus, she called again and was clearly in tears. Sigh. Now what? There was a light on the dashboard she had never seen. I told her to pull over and to explain it to me what it said. She did and I laughed telling her it was okay and to push this little button on her gear shift for the overdrive. The light went off and I explained to her that she must have accidentally hit the button. She felt foolish, but I told her it had happened to me a couple of times as well.

When I hung up the phone I realized why she is so wired and what today is for her. It is a massive trigger day for her and these little things just pushed her over the edge. It is not something that she won't get over and frankly, a good nap will help her out. She has been pushing herself all week and had a job interview yesterday, which she was offered, and accepted. She will be working in the financial aid office. It is a job similar to the one she had at her former college and she realizes that working in those administrative offices are often good ways to network and having those connections in the college were good for her before. It was how she was originally asked to be a college ambassador at the last college. I think she is excited about it, but she was clearly drained from the week already last night. But then, it is only her first full week and she is readjusting to the rigors of classes and homework.

I took a walk and tried to clear my head a little after the meltdown.

I made note of some of the things I need to list out. Yes, I know - I too have lists, like my M. The difference though is they are my lists meant for me - not to give to anyone else and try to choreograph anyone else's life. On my list at some point in the next couple of weeks, I am going to need to put the netting over the pond to catch the leaves that will fall. I failed to do it properly last year and I really don't like having to drain the pond and clean it out every spring. The waterfall will still work with the net over top and I should be able to enjoy the water lilies that keep blossoming as well.

On my walk, I thought about how much I enjoy my solitary walks, but I crave long walks and sitting on the back deck with someone. It seems like this impossible dream at times. 
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: OffRoad on September 16, 2021, 02:23:44 PM
Get yourself a glass Krazy straw to go with your wine....https://www.arlie-glass.com/products/glass-silly-straws (https://www.arlie-glass.com/products/glass-silly-straws)  ;D
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 17, 2021, 12:42:37 AM
Well then, here you are:


As far as the discussion about S14 and the GF (actually the GF is a good kid - but the FOO Poo behind her would fill this and more: (https://farmingbase.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Why-Are-Grain-Silos-Round-And-Tall-03-1024x576.jpg)
so she's off to a bad start - include teenage hormones and puberty and ... well, you get the idea), it seems that xW only gave me about half the information so I went into the parents evening last night in true Papa Bear form (even drove my Motorcycle and wore my black leathers - Intimidation 101).... Totally unnecessary ... S14's teacher pulled me aside to ask about him because he hasn't been in school at all this past week and missed several days the first week as well.. all due to "stomach cramps and diarrhea" according to S14 and MLCxW but she hasn't taken him to the doctor - "There is a stomach virus going around..."

Anyway, I call S14 after the meeting because xW says I really need to talk to him and just when he finally decides to start talking, she comes in and says we have to wrap it up so he can go to bed...

So, we'll see what happens next....

Mid-Lifers... Can't live with 'em and you can't hang 'em by their toes form the ceiling fan either, especially when one is supposed to "co-parent."  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 18, 2021, 10:05:29 AM
UrsaMajor & OffRoad - You know, I was really kidding the other day about Krazy straws, but after this morning, I may have to take the idea more seriously. It has been a rocky start to the day.

Yesterday, I laughed as I was reminded by a woman who is an elementary school teacher that  the full moon is approaching. She had come into the gallery to check on a materials list for a class she signed up for and she mentioned her students had been off the wall yesterday. She has taught for years and laughed saying she is convinced that the full moon does stir things more. And, as she said it, I thought to myself maybe that would explain the extra drama that had been brewing at work as well.

Miss Management and one of my coworkers, someone I really admire and have known for many years had a blow out the other day. I was made aware of it and my plan was to just stay out of the line of fire. Oh, I have my side I would pick if need be, but I really didn't want to get into the middle of anything, especially since I was not there to see it unfold. I really want to avoid any drama at all - especially in this case when it is about the two of them specifically. Sort of like a divorce situation. I am staying out of it, even if my coworker is my friend.

It had also been a busy day, so by the time I was working on locking up and shutting down the gallery and trying to decompress. I was incredibly worn out. I had to stop at the home improvement store to pick up things and then wanted to go home. It was a gorgeous evening unfolding and I really was envisioning getting home and working outside for awhile.

I never had a problem with letting people know where I was or when I was going to be home. IDK, I think I have sometimes become oversensitive since MLC. Xh before MLC would on occasion get annoyed with me, or I with him about these things, but it was rare. If I was working, he would know that sometimes I might not be home right at a specific time because maybe a student stayed to ask questions, etc. We used to just check in and give a general sense of when to expect one another. We tried to be mindful of keeping some sort of communication on the matter or to respect that perhaps the family was expecting dinner at a certain time. But once MLC hit - wow. Xh would go out and I was not allowed to ask who, what, where, why, when...basically - it was none of my business and he would be home when he damn well pleased. Yet, if I even was 5 minutes later than I said I was going to be, I was suddenly met with accusations that I was having an affair, or I was thoughtless, etc. I became conditioned to be stressed on my way home if I was at all late and ultimately it didn't matter if I was even early. There was in the MLC "New World Order" an ever changing set of rules. Rules I seemed to always be breaking.

I have had to really work on that aspect of striking a balance with when someone has a legitimate complaint. When I should let people know that I am somewhere, so that they don't worry and understand that they are not trying to control me somehow. And that it is okay for me to need time to decompress or be allowed to have some say in my own day.

D had called me at work, as I was trying to lock up. She asked what my plan was. I told her I needed to stop for supplies on my way home. She seemed annoyed. At the time, I had no idea she really just needed a shoulder to lean on. She said she would make dinner and I told her I wouldn't be long. The mistake was neither of us coming up with a specific time frame.

When I arrived at the store, if they had what I had needed - which were normal things they carry - I would have been in and out of there in no time. But, the options were not there. I needed these items to complete the project and to be able to move on. I had to rethink my solution. It would be when my phone rang 3 more times. They were short conversations. D called again to ask a question. My M wanted to chat about my day and I tried not to snap and say I couldn't talk in that moment. She wanted to know where I was - not in a controlling manner, she just was having a conversation, I knew that, but it was starting to aggravate me. My sister, she understood when I said I would talk to her later. I had only answered both of those calls because earlier in the day, my sister informed me my M had called and my F had burned his arm quite badly. My M had not mentioned it to me at all. My plan was to quietly go up and check on it later.

I stood there in the store and tried to think things through but the disruptions threw me off. Enough so that it took way longer than it should have. It was like taking a test in school and suddenly having a complete mental block on material you know by heart and none of the answers on the test sheet made any sense. I finally figured out a solution and drove home. D would call me 2 more times on the way home. When I came through the door, I was beyond irritated, yet tried to hold my tongue. I did joke that maybe I should be microchipped. That did not go over terribly well.

My M, when I went up to check on my F, could tell I was aggravated. I tried to explain to her why I was edgy. She said I should have just told her I was busy. I had said it, but she didn't hear me. She nor D quite understood what the problem was at the home improvement store was, considering I only came home with a couple of strips of moulding. I realized I had to think about an example they would understand, since they do not do any type of those types of repairs. I explained it would be like being told you need to plan an impromptu dinner for a group of people and there are certain perimeters that need to be adhered to - like someone having allergies, etc. So you come up with a meal plan that is going to be perfect. Yet, when you go to buy the ingredients the store is out of the main ingredient and you have to find a substitute, yet, as you stand there, you realize that you have to be mindful of those perimeters. They both understood my point, that it was not as simple as swapping out one variety of apple for instance, for another in this case.

Needless to say, I was ready for the day to just be done by the time 7 pm rolled around. My plan changed and I went and hid in my bedroom, saying I was going to bed early. I went upstairs early, and read for awhile. I couldn't even tell anyone what I read. I was just worn out from it all.

This morning, I was still reminding myself of some of the positives that had happened yesterday. I hadn't shared it with anyone, but I had opened my FaceBook feed after receiving a notice I had been tagged in something. It was from a former student and I was curious why I was tagged. She was a student intern of mine nearly 10 years ago. I have kept in touch with her and written recommendations for her, but I didn't see this coming. She has started student teaching and wanted to thank a group of teachers who inspired her. She listed 6 of us. Most were from her grade school and high school experiences. There were only two of us from the colleges she attended. I was really shocked at the acknowledgment and humbled.

The thing is, I know that I was part of the issue yesterday. I was mildly agitated by this shout out. And it really sounds so terribly like self pity. I don't like feeling that way, nor behaving that way. I know better than to let myself play the victim. But, I am embarrassed to admit that part of me was angry that it feels like lately that I have done a remarkable job inspiring others and giving of myself willingly, yet I am in this very odd place in my career and life.

I had a good cry and beat myself up a whole lot. So much so, that S's one friend happened to come in the house as I was falling apart. He didn't ask what I was going on about, just gave me a hug and said I was only one person and trying to hold it all together has to be really stressful. I needed to hear that, but I am still struggling to accept that.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: FaithWalker on September 18, 2021, 07:23:28 PM
Ahh MD, since you were lacking silly straws and boxed wine, sounds like you needed to pull out the ripped jeans and have a ripped jeans night.

You did know that's what they are for, right?

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 19, 2021, 06:52:34 AM
FaithWalker - See, you taught me something. I have used my ripped jeans that way. I just had no idea it was a thing. LOL

Yes, I could have used a ripped jeans night. Instead, I took advantage of the house being quiet. D and I had a disagreement and I am clearly in the doghouse. She refused to answer my texts and her voicemail was full. I ended up texting her BF to see if he had heard from her. He said she was with him. He is a good guy and knew I was just worried. He knew I wasn't going to push things with D, and I simply wanted to know she was okay. It is not like her to ignore me, but I know she probably needed time to cool off. And it is okay.

S had a friend visiting from out of state who was staying here for the weekend. That is part of the disagreement with D, TBH. S had called me a couple of days ago and asked if it was okay if his friend came and crashed on the couch for the weekend. I had said it was fine, but I didn't want any bonfires or the usual crew around all weekend because I had a lot to accomplish and I was not up for even a small gathering of people. Problem is, I failed to mention any of this to D and she walked in the door and saw this friend's car in the driveway with the out of state plates. Usually when he is here, there is a get together and a bonfire. It is always low key, but it set D off. She too needed to have space after her week.

I found myself just falling apart on and off all day, but I kept going.

When someone commented to me how strong I am, I wanted to truly scream. Yes, I am strong. I know. What bugs me about that comment sometimes is when I am feeling vulnerable inside and wanting to just fall apart, I don't feel particularly strong. Furthermore, I don't always want to be strong. I would like that option to be a damsel in distress sometimes. "Please, someone come rescue me - I have had enough". I realize that I would not fit into that role all the time. But, there are times where I feel like because I am alone and the only responsible parent in the mix that I really only have 2 choices some days. I can curl up in a ball and rock back and forth, but then when I get back up the problem is still going to be there. So, I really only have one option and that is to push through and be strong. I get tired of it.

I told my friend yesterday that I sometimes fantasize about Xh coming out of this MLC and wanting to ask him one question. There is nothing else I want from him. No reconnection. I don't want to be best friends again. I would like to ask him "was it all worth it". It is not a need to punish him and I know that no answer he would give me would fix it all. I know that he is a mess and in crisis, but when I feel like life is kicking the crap out of me and some of it is directly related to MLC nonsense, whether it's repairs from the MLCer BS or financial, etc, I get aggravated.

It is not bitterness bubbling up. It is a moment of anger. I have no desire to walk down a different road than the one I am on. I worked very hard to get out of that victim pit and walk on the high road at times when Xh made me want to do the exact opposite. I have fought to try and stay positive most times. But, I am not perfect. I get angry. I have moments of resentment. I work through them, but I won't lie and say I never feel these things. I don't think it is normal to not have those feelings at times when it comes to dealing with MLC, because so much of it was foolish. But, I know the argument is they are not strong. I have to remind myself it is okay if I have these feelings - I am human.

S and his friends had gone out for dinner after having gone out hiking. They respected my need to have quiet. I worked late into the night. I pulled out the boards that needed to come out in the bathroom and then put up sections of wood for where I would hang the towel bar, for extra support behind the drywall between the studs. I stopped short of fixing the subfloor last night where the laundry chute used to be. I will deal with that today.

S and his friends were up early and off to go hiking again. This time they are going where I had been in May. S hasn't been there since he was a toddler. S's friend from out of state, it turns out had discovered the spot one of the last times he was up and he had arrived way early when the rest of the crew was working, so he went out for a random drive in the area. He had me laughing this morning as he mentioned a particular monument he wanted to really look at closer. He said he knew he was a nerd. Thing is, as I told him, I totally get it and not to be surprised, but S likes history, something this friend would not know about him. I will be anxious to see if the leaves have started to change in that part of the state. They have been way behind this year here as the night time temps have not dropped enough for that process to happen.

I may take advantage of the beautiful weather and have ripped jeans night tonight.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 20, 2021, 02:15:35 AM

Here you go..... <snort>

Or the ripped jeans... works too....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 20, 2021, 07:17:35 AM
UrsaMajor - Now I could be really upset by the Calgon reference, considering I don't have a bathtub at this moment to soak in. But, I can dream and after last night, I feel like maybe it can actually happen sooner rather than later. LOL

S came home and told me how he had forgotten how much he liked hiking. He said he would really like to start hiking more as it was relaxing and it allowed him to explore. He felt the fresh air and change of pace was good for him physically and mentally. He said he can see why I like walking, although he doesn't think walking up and down the road will do it for him.

D and her BF came to the house for a couple of hours and things were better between D and I. It helped that we gave each other time and space to just decompress and the disagreement was no longer existent. We both acknowledged we both were to blame and wrong about certain things. It doesn't mean there won't be other arguments down the line, but this one has passed.

Late in the afternoon, I mentioned to D that I needed to run to the store and get some basic groceries for the week. D decided she would come along and the time out together did us both some good. There was no pressure to talk about anything other than what we were doing. And although it was rather boring in terms of it was only the grocery store, the routine was a nice change.

S was back working in the garage and preparing his GF's truck to be sold. She decided to pursue getting a newer vehicle last week and she is over the moon, having been able to find something she likes. She loved her truck, but it is really not something that is economical or practical for her anymore.

D fixed dinner while I unloaded the supplies that have been on the back of my F's truck for nearly a week. I normally don't leave things like that, but my F said he had no need for the truck all week, since my M cannot drive yet. It allowed me to leave the supplies there until I was ready to get to the bathroom work.

As I was unloading the truck, I noticed the neighbor was outside. He and his youngest S, the one who always was here as a kid, were working in the garage together. I meandered over to say hello. I haven't seen either of them in weeks. They had just picked up a new camper. It is smaller than the previous one, which he is giving to his eldest D to use for her growing family. He told me that he wasn't going to invest in a new one, but after traveling to see his BIL with his W, he realized he wants to take her more places and to make the time to see his BIL, her B - more often. He said she likes camping still and the camper is somewhere she feels comfortable. I had to smile. He so adores her and likes being married.

I asked how she was doing and he said she has good days, but there are little things that are appearing. She has trouble spelling her own name some days and will ask him to tell her the letters. Problem is she knows she "should" be able to spell her own name. It of course upsets her and frustrates her.

He teared up and said that is why he is planning on taking her places she has wanted to see. I gave him a hug and told him he knows that I am here, if either of them need anything. They have been here for me countess times. He then asked if I wanted to see the new camper. He was so excited to show it off. I did joke with him, telling him he may find me hiding out in the new camper - away from my family. He laughed and said it was mine anytime.

I walked back to the house and somehow found the motivation to start work on the bathroom. I realized that it is okay to have those moments of self pity, but my neighbor's condition made me realize I don't have it so bad. I am lucky. Her health will not stabilize and it will only get progressively worse. I know from watching my grandmother slip away when her Alzheimer's hit that this will be similar. But my neighbor is so terribly young. I am just so grateful to have my health and it gave me the kick I needed last night.

I finished putting up a large sheet of drywall around 10:30 pm. S helped me lift it into place. I was so excited to see that first piece on the wall. He was cracking up saying it takes so little to amuse me.

This morning the plumbers are here moving the heat run.

Maybe, just maybe Calgon will be in my future soon - and a glass of wine.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 20, 2021, 07:57:11 AM
I know, I know.... A First class seat on the bus to Hades has my name written ALL over it....

I have to admit, I did consider for about a nanosecond whether or not you'd find the Calgon GIF amusing, considering the situation but then I thought....
Your seat is right across the aisle so .... <snort>


Glad to read that the spat with D is sorted and the camper idea DOES have merit..... It might not be "Cal-gon" but it could just be "gone!"
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 22, 2021, 10:50:18 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL - I figured I was already driving that bus to Hades. I will gladly call shot-gun. I don't always have to drive.  ;) Thanks for saving me a seat though.   ;D

The heat run has been moved, which is a huge blessing. The plumber had sent two of his technicians to install the new lines and it made things go that much quicker. The two guys were really very efficient and kept me in the loop as to what was going on and double checked on placement. I was grateful that they were so conscientious about the small details.

I am not entirely sure if all of the lines to the boiler and furnace were replaced when we put in the furnace or if some of them were part of the older lines. I am betting by the looks of things that the sections in question were installed when the new furnace went in. It doesn't really matter, other than they used black iron pipe in some areas, which used to be common practice. Problem is, with hot water heat, that is a big no-no, as the water corrodes iron over time. The one tech wanted to show me an area of concern. I sighed and knew he wasn't trying to rope me into unnecessary changes. I saw the 3 small sections that were connecting points that were rusting. One area was leaking a tiny bit and had been based on the rust stain on the floor below. He said he could do a temporary fix, but I told I'm done with half-a$$ed and these types of situations. I know that the little leak could lead to bigger problems and these repairs are above my DIY pay grade. I could tell he felt bad. I explained structural and infrastructure repairs are never sexy, and a vacation is way more enticing, but I don't want a repeat of earlier this year where I am dealing with some major disaster. It isn't something that is going to burst in the near future or an emergency, but the way I looked at it, I would rather repair it now than take that chance. It would be something easily forgotten if not addressed now.

I am not discouraged by this news. I have accepted that it has to happen and really am not terribly upset. It is not going to be an inexpensive endeavor, but I was lucky with my window order, with a discount on the order, so I had money I can allocate to the repairs and I can adjust my laundry room budget to make this happen without dipping into any other funds. It is a skill I learned when I worked for clients and having to adhere to their budgets. Sometimes it meant creative solutions.

In all honesty, maybe it gave me some confidence in myself. I have been fighting dreams of Xh and his words still lingering in my head as of late. The whole "you will never be able to manage on your own" has been a common dream the past few nights. The MLCer really did a good job chipping away at my self-confidence with statements like that. Words he never would have uttered prior to when he went off the rails, but it started before BD. It doesn't matter when it occurred at this point. I simply now recognize it as gaslighting and I often think he wanted me to fail because it would be easier for him to justify why he left. It was part of his narrative.

The trick is for me not to fall into the story he has woven. And, it is not to prove him wrong that makes me fight back. I have no illusions of somehow being someone that doesn't mess up and can do nothing wrong. I do have to remind myself that whether or not I fail or succeed are not based on his predictions. He did not have a crystal ball, nor are his words based on who I am now. I cannot say for sure whether or not he was right back then, because I was a victim of his gaslighting at that point. But, that was then. I am not that woman anymore. I just have to keep reminding myself that when his words echo in my head, that his opinions of me do they matter any longer.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 23, 2021, 01:30:07 AM
Here's one for the GWPWELFV -


And for the bus....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 23, 2021, 09:40:01 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. I needed a good laugh.

It may be the weather. It may be the time of year. IDK. I feel somewhat melancholy today.

I noticed a post on Facebook from my very first BF's sister. It was a picture of her and her B from when they were kids. It would have been his birthday earlier this week. I hand't forgotten. That day never passes without me realizing the significance. It brings a sadness always for a life that could have been lived so very differently and the cruel twist that just as he was getting to a good place in his life after many years of struggles, and he seemed to be getting a second chance. But, he would not see that success.

I think what always comes back to me is what a good person he was at his core and it just makes me sad to know that he wasted so much of his life. I cared about him deeply for many years and it was a hard thing to detach myself from him, knowing there was nothing I could do for him.

This morning it was lightly sprinkling outside and the air was rather warm. It felt like being on a beach with the morning mist spraying on me. I decided to walk to my parent's house to take my shower, since the rain was light. I haven't done that since I had the dog. I used to walk in all sorts of weather. Being a Lab, she loved any rain or snow. It made me miss her terribly too.

When I arrived at my parent's house they had gone out to a morning appointment. It was quiet in the house. I was grateful for the solitude with my mournful mood. I can't really describe it as depressed or out and out sad. It wasn't pining for what was. I wasn't really sure how to pinpoint what I was feeling. Maybe just deep in thought and feeling this bit of emptiness.

I was fully dressed and preparing to walk home when I looked outside to see that the weather had turned and it was a full downpour. I looked at my weather app and laughed. I wasn't going to wait this storm out. It would be here for hours at this rate. I laughed thinking I could have probably showered in the rain on the back deck. Or I probably wasted time drying my hair and should have just stepped out of the shower and played Lady Godiva on the way home. Funny thought, but I am not going to get more rumors started about the divorcée in the neighborhood.  ::)

I was soaked to the bone in short order. At least the rain was warm. I laughed thinking about how I had told someone once that I can deal with rain. I can deal with cold. But cold and rainy keeps me inside.

I thought about how I embraced walking in the rain in the first place. The dog had torn a ligament and part of her recovery was walks 3-4 times a day. I made a commitment to nurse that dog back to health and at the time, I too needed a different type of therapy, as it was in the time period between BD#1 and #2. I needed those walks to clear my head and decompress. I prayed a whole lot and found my spiritual side again. When it rained, it was a bonus in that I could cry and no one would ever see any evidence of tears. I was able to hide some of those emotions that I couldn't always control and would aggravate Xh. In MLC, any tears I shed Xh would accuse me of trying to manipulate him. I had never attempted to manipulate him and he knew that prior to MLC. Tears - he knew I felt very deeply and in the past would have hugged me and understood sometimes I just needed a good cry. But, MLC Xh, my tears, even at my grandmother's funeral were somehow meant as some form of manipulation. It is almost comical now to think that he could have accused me of such a thing.

Slow tears started to form as I walked. I began to think about what things have been rolling around in my head the past few days. I found myself thinking about the relationships I had over the years. I had dates here and there, but I had a couple of long term relationships before Xh came into the picture. One was an engagement that never happened, brought on by my BF's grandmother and M at the time. I loved being around them. The BF - he was someone I cared about, but love - that was not what I felt for him at all. Certainly not like the type of love that should lead to a commitment. We had been friends for some time and then fell into a relationship. His M and grandmother decided after a year of us dating to bring his great grandmother's engagement ring down to show me and to hint that maybe we should set a date. Looking back, I knew it was wrong for me to follow through with something as important as that. My BF, I honestly think he would have entered into a marriage simply because he cared for me enough to somehow make it work. But for me there was never the connection I truly craved. It would have been unfair of me and I suspect I would never have been happy. We broke up shortly after that ring being shown and the idea as out there.

The thing is, even my first boyfriend, who I think of often - I didn't love him either. Not in the truest sense. I cared for him deeply. I still do. I think for me he just holds a place in my heart for being that first BF and a very dear friend in those early years. I feel sadness because I was one of the few that knew who he really was at his core. His sister has said many times that he realized that I always believed in him and prayed he would find his way somehow. I wanted him to be happy. But that type of love with him was also different.

I have only ever told 2 men that I loved them. Those words do not roll off of my lips easily. That is not to say I don't say them. I use them freely with those I do love. My kids, even when I am upset with them, I will tell them I love them and I mean it. But, I am not one to just throw the word around lightly. I have to mean it.

D laughed at me when I came in and was stripping off my wet clothes. She asked if I had showered with my clothes on. I pulled a towel out of the freshly folded laundry and dried off a second time. She had no idea I had been crying. She began telling me about her anatomy class and what they are learning about. I will admit, I was pretending to listen intently. I know she was very enthusiastic. I did remember her saying she starts her job today. Beyond that, I couldn't begin to be able to recall what she had just told me.

Part of my mood is in regards to a wedding that is coming up. I am regretting saying I would go at all. Originally my friend and her H were both going and my invite had "and guest" written on it. I didn't want to go alone to this particular event and then when my friend's H had a work related excuse we decided to go together. I could have begged off had her H not been called out of town. I hadn't sent my RSVP back at that point, but now, I have committed to it and I won't be that guest who just bails after saying I would be there. But, I am really not looking forward to any part of this. I have been to a couple of weddings since the divorce and am not anti-wedding. It was just an odd invite from someone I haven't really seen in nearly 20 years.

The other part of my mood is due to the kids being back in school and out of the house. It is not an empty nest type loneliness. It is more of feeling unsure of what I am supposed to do now in terms of what does the universe have in store for me now. I know what I long for, but that seems to elude me. It is tough listening to my one friend, who I am so incredibly happy for, talk about her BF of 2 years. She has her ups and downs, but for the most part she has a partner in her life.

My former coworker stopped to see me on his way to work. He had called to ask if he could borrow one of my art books I have to show one of his students. D had left for her classes and when he arrived my hair was still wet from my walk. He picked up on my mood and asked if I had been crying. He looked at me and told me I was a goddess. I burst out laughing. He was clearly incensed that I was laughing at him and told me he was being serious. I said that yes, I was the goddess of home disasters and that walk in the rain this morning was to appease the other gods. He asked me if I ever see myself for what I truly am. I had no clue what he meant. He said I am a warrior and a remarkable woman and I deserved to be cherished for that.

I honestly did not know how to take that compliment. I know he was sincere. He was not feeding me some BS line. It was not meant as a come on. I told him that I don't feel that way about myself. I feel less than more than I let on. Thank you Xh and MLC for that. I have days of being very confident, but when these moments strike me, I feel beat down and wonder what life has in store for me.

The rain is supposed to let up in a couple of hours and I think I am needing to just take a drive somewhere. They have been harvesting and there is something lovely about the fresh cut fields. The air smells sweeter right after they harvest and there is a rain shower. I know I need something to clear my head and dust off this  dreary mood.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 23, 2021, 01:41:34 PM
Sometimes talking to a friend can unearth what is at the root of feelings you can't quite uncover on your own.

The thoughts of my former BF's death haunt me. Not going to lie. When his birthday rolls around it makes me sad on a certain level, but today's feelings and thoughts in general are not really what is truly bothering me. They are merely things that have piled on top of the true issue.

My friend made a comment about limbo. And that really was the word for what is bothering me all around. I am in a state of limbo at the moment. Every facet of my life is in a sort of limbo. Waiting on the house projects have left me suspended at times. The inability to just complete these tasks due to delays and hold ups for whatever reason are weighing on me.

Not being back at work full time and figuring out my next move is in the mix. That too is in limbo.

My feelings are in limbo only because I don't really know what I am supposed to be doing about them. Letting go or holding on.

Nothing is really making a sense most of the time. I am feeling like I am just wandering on a path but I have absolutely no sense of where I am supposed to go.

It is not that I am really down. I am existing at times. Not in a way that is somehow hopeless.

I was thinking about this time of year and going sailing with my F. The winds were sometimes inconsistent on the lake. We could be going along at a good clip and then the sails would just drop and the wind would die down. We never minded it terribly since the wind would pick back up, but sometimes you could find yourself just waiting for that little gust of wind to push you. That is how I feel right now. It is not necessarily horrible in that it is a sense of calm on the one hand. On the other, it sometimes feels like I am not sure when the air will change or what shore it will send me to.

I personally found limbo almost worse than BD. It was a long drawn out not knowing and while this is not the same, the feeling of not having a sense of direction is bringing back those MLC feelings of limbo. And with those feelings the other little blips of thoughts are simply piling on.

Maybe knowing what I can label it helps. It gives me the feeling of knowing that just like the MLC limbo, eventually something will move forward, but I may need to push myself in a direction. Any direction to get out of this limbo mentality. It is one thing when limbo shows up for a day or two, but the longer, lingering sense of limbo is not enjoyable at all.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 24, 2021, 02:07:16 AM
I wonder how much of the "Limbo blues" gets hardwired into us after dealing with a BSCMLC'er and all the limbo that produces?  It seems that the trauma of that event and the resulting "Limbo" burns a channel into our souls that takes a VERY long time to recover from....

I get that way occasionally myself... It is a time of wistful contemplation and more than a bit of Navel-gazing, an itch to "do something" without really knowing WHAT it is that I want to do.... Usually, it ends up with me doing ANYTHING just in order to DO something.... Wind therapy helps or going running (my leg hates me when I do that though and tells me in no uncertain terms that this was NOT a really good idea). Home repairs or cooking are also outlets for me.... It is, honestly, a bit more difficult when one has an SO hanging around as they are also impacted by something that I myself can not fully explain...

But, as you also noted, it is a matter of time and then it all passes.....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 24, 2021, 11:16:43 AM
UrsaMajor - I think you might be right. Limbo does feel like a channel in the soul. Maybe a wound that just takes longer to heal. IDK.

Funny, last night I was watching TV and stumbled across some show, I didn't watch the whole thing, so I couldn't really tell you what it even was, but they were discussing being out in the middle of the ocean on a ship and finding themselves in the doldrums. I had heard that word used countless times by my grandmother to describe someone feeling down. I hadn't connected the root of where that term came from. I decided to look it up - because I am a nerd. LOL. It is exactly that point when the wind dies down and ships could become stranded for sometimes weeks in the ocean waiting for the wind to catch their sails.

Limbo. The doldrums. Whatever it is, I really was in a weird mood and it was too similar to those moments in limbo. I know it will pass and I will push through. I just can't get too frustrated with wanting some type of resolution in a specific timeframe. The only control I have is how I navigate this and keep moving in some fashion. It boils down to a whole lot of faith and not getting sucked into a victim mindset.

This morning, D went to PT very early. When she returned I was just getting out of bed. She laughed at me because it was nearly 9:30 am. I was exhausted, as my TV break last night was short lived. I found myself not being able to turn my brain off. Instead of lying in bed waiting for sleep to come - which rarely happens, I found something to do. That little task did wear me out, but I realized it was 1:30 am by the time I was preparing for bed. It is what I needed though. Something to tire me out enough that I wasn't just staring at the dark ceiling and searching for answers that wouldn't come. I find that when I can't sleep, and desperately want to, rarely are my thoughts productive.

In all honesty, I had been awake since about 7:30 am. I had left the window open in my room a bit and the cool morning air was rushing in and the sun was streaming in the skylights. It was quiet initially until I heard the farmer passing by. They were on their way to harvest the fields further up the road, so the sounds were more muffled. It was a rather pleasant rhythm that was happening as the combine chopped. Then the Canada geese flew overhead. They were flying low in the sky, and I know that means once the farmers leave the fields, the geese will be landing to eat the corn kernels missed. For me, there was a sense of calm and familiarity that I needed this morning. So, I snuggled under the blankets and just enjoyed the morning. I wasn't going to feel bad about spending a couple of hours doing absolutely nothing and just "being".

When I went downstairs, D was smiling like the Cheshire Cat. It is was a big difference from the day when we had our argument. This is more like the D I am used to. I know she is the more ferocious velociraptor, but she also has a very giving heart. She handed me a latte. She had stopped at one of my favorite coffee shops on her way home and had them make one of my favorite seasonal lattes. She had also packed a lunch for me to take to the gallery. Because D comes off sometimes as intimidating and guarded, people assume she is cold. D is a caretaker at heart and that side of her just oozes kindness and thoughtful gestures.

We discussed our plans for tomorrow. D had suggested we get my M out of the house and it turned out that the stables where my niece rides has Percheron foals. So, we have convinced my parents that we should go watch my niece and will take them out for breakfast before we go. My M hesitated because they have a wedding to go to, but my F laughed telling her that he doesn't recall her ever needing an entire day to get ready for a late afternoon event. And the wedding is only 20 minutes from where they live. So, we promised to be home no later than 1:30 pm. D and I have been laughing a little wondering what they think we have planned, since my niece rides at 10 am and we are eating before then. Maybe they plan on meandering home.  ::)

I arrived at work and was only here a short time when one of my regular visitors came in. He just turned 88 he informed me. No one would ever believe it if they saw him. It has been awhile since I have seen him. Most months I see him at least a couple of times.

He is part of what has helped me steer my mood into a more positive place today. He loves to laugh and tell stories. No topic has ever been off the table with him and it is never a debate so much as we share experiences or stories. Our friendship doesn't get into debates, yet we can discuss religion, etc in part because despite the difference in age, we had a similar upbringing.

He had shared he and his second W of 10 years just returned from a trip. When he told me where he had been, I laughed. I haven't been there in years, but I know the region well. I told him I used to go there regularly, often getting in the car on a Friday after work and driving the 8 hours to get there just on a whim. It would seem he and his W go there every September. It was nice to think about that place. While I spent many times with Xh there, I wasn't really thinking about that aspect. My memories include him but that is not entirely what makes that place special for me.

We had been visiting for a bit when other customers came in. They stopped and listened to him talk about the marathons he has run and they were enjoying his stories. And he is an avid art collector and he lead them to a couple of paintings by one of his favorite artists. I laughed when they left and said I was going to have to be careful or he may take my job from me. He laughed and said he would not let that happen and I am very well liked and respected here by my boss and by the customers. He has known my boss for many years, so I know that comment was genuine.

He was showing me a painting he quite liked of the Eiffel Tower. He told me he ran a marathon there once. He then mentioned that he and his first wife, who died nearly 15 years ago, had sponsored an exchange student in the early 80s. He and his W went back to tour Paris and it looks very different when you aren't running around it. It made me laugh. But, it was then our conversation turned to where this exchange student was from, as they had gone to visit them. He was so excited to tell me about his time in Belgium and the city of Ghent. Did I know it? I giggled. Yah, I think I know it pretty well. As we spoke, he told me this student's family took them places that only locals knew about. I said clearly he had the tour most people don't get. We shared the places he went and most I knew well.

I needed this type of interaction this morning. It reminded me of the good things in life and simple connections. It was a good way to start the day.

Part of me is thinking about what he and I talked about. I have to find some ways to reignite my own spark. It is something that in limbo can nearly get extinguished. It doesn't mean I will find answers, but it will help to help me find that faith that I so desperately need at the moment.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 27, 2021, 12:34:02 AM
The doldrums.... Yep... THAT is even a better description than "limbo" I think for that weird place.... Nothing to propel one in any direction at all so one is a bit at the mercy of the currents unless one manages to get their own engine started and go forward under their own power....

The visitor sounds like a great boost - ironically, S14 and I had a similar bit of experience yesterday - our church is slowly returning to "normal" with being able to have real live services int eh church itself. Since I was preaching yesterday (first time in the church itself in almost 2 years), S14 went with me and was immediately recruited (OK, he immediately volunteered) to be an acolyte (for those unfamiliar with the Episcopal tradition, there are normally 2 acolytes that carry the candles and assist on the altar along with the Crucifer that carries the cross). Our Priest, Steve, was OVER THE MOON that he had a "full" party on the altar for the first time since he arrived in Frankfurt, 18 months ago. We are still NOT passing the Chalice (the wine) so that part of the altar party wasn't there but since I was, that made up a bit for it.  But Steve's joy was really infectious and S14 was glad to see some of his church friends too again after so long.... A bit of wind in the sails to begin moving out of the doldrums....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 27, 2021, 07:28:44 AM
UrsaMajor - I tend to agree with you that doldrums suits this mood better than "limbo". Thing is, if I say that to most people they think that means I am in some state of complete sadness and that is not it at all. I have had a couple of good cries, but that is how I sometimes let go of frustrations.

I know in part I am just tired of unknowns and delays on projects. The inability to finish some of these things due to not being able to get supplies or contractors is making it difficult and it impacts my own energy. I struggle with what to do next and make any kind of progress. It is zapping my energy and I think that is part of my overall mood.

D came down with a seasonal cold and decided with exams coming up this week, it was best she rested this past weekend. I would have gladly stayed home to work on things, but I knew my parents were excited about going to the stables to see my niece ride and they were convinced I was the one who wanted to desperately go. They would have stayed home if I had bowed out as well as D. It was honestly a good decision to take the time on Saturday. The weather was spectacular and my niece had her lesson in the outdoor ring, so we were able to be in the fall air.

I came home and found some renewed energy to focus and pushed forward on the house. I worked until very late into the evening and by last night I paid for it. I was wiped out. I crawled into bed at 8:30 pm and fell asleep sometime before 9. I didn't set my alarm for this morning and woke up at 9 am this morning. Normally, I wake up every morning right around 6:30 or 7 if I don't have an alarm. The dreary morning rain didn't help matters.

I am still pushing through these doldrums. I had a conversation with someone yesterday and they wondered how I knew the difference between just life plodding along and feeling like you are on the right path. I can't really describe it to someone who hasn't experienced it or knows the feeling. It made me think about my own understanding of it. I have always had those moments where I just felt something was right or when it wasn't. I will admit though that after working through both bomb drops, the worst of MLC and the divorce, my own sense of it developed. I tend to think it is because I spent so many days walking and clearing my head. I allowed myself to just be and shut the rest of the noise from the outside world out. I noticed more around me, but also seemed to clear enough out of my head in those moments to allow for those instincts to set in. I had way more faith.

The person I was talking to, still didn't understand and I am sure if I were to continue the conversation that they would think I am crazy. If I said I am more spiritual than I used to be, they would picture me rubbing crystals and reciting incantations while I run about the orchard in the moonlight. I would just bolster their own preconceived notions of someone who is an artist. So, I didn't bother pursuing that avenue and realized it was a waste of my time to try and explain.

I don't know if everyone knows how to follow their intuition. Maybe that is not a skill each person has developed. IDK.

I think my frustration is in part due to during MLC, that I doubted my own instincts. I questioned too many things. I ignored that "gut instinct" more than I should have. And, when the dust settled a bit, I doubted it still. It took me a long time to trust myself. So, when I feel a bit rudderless it makes me feel more uneasy. It stirs those past feelings of doubting my own self.

But, I know that right now even if I am feeling very uncertain about so many things it is more the circumstances than anything else and I have to just keep myself busy. I will slowly accomplish those things that need done and clear my head. I do know that getting out for more regular walks or time away is necessary.

I was able to schedule the repair on the boiler pipes and that is going to happen quicker than they anticipated, as long as the materials are available. If that falls into place, that will be moved up by 3 weeks. I am hoping this is the pattern. I could use a bit of a shift in that direction.

If that repair date holds, then I am going to clear some time for myself. I am seriously considering a couple of days away. I had put some ideas on the calendar on the summer, but nothing was going to work for me. It just didn't fall into place the way I had wanted and I couldn't afford to just take the time, primarily because of what would pop up. They were not things that I could afford to just blow off, as much as I would have liked to.

S's tuition has been resolved or at least that is what we have been told. S's summer financial aid covered the remaining funds. That alleviates a huge burden off of my shoulders and it means I am not on the hook for the remaining balance that Xh should have paid. Part of me was annoyed it isn't fair, but I let go of that aspect.

D ended up with another $2K scholarship and the funds I put in came back to her. Her tuition is covered in full for the semester and I told her to just deposit it into her account for expenses during the semester. She has a couple of loans, but she has worked so hard to earn those outside scholarships and to actually apply for them. That news also came this weekend and my stress level went down some.

Now that the kids are back in college and those financial questions answered, I may be able to do just that - get away. My work schedule is currently open. Maybe it is how things are supposed to be for me right now and those unanswered questions are a blessing. Perhaps I am being given a bit of time to just be.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Treasur on September 27, 2021, 07:43:38 AM
It took me a long time to trust myself. So, when I feel a bit rudderless it makes me feel more uneasy. It stirs those past feelings of doubting my own self.
Ah yes, know that feeling.
I tend to call it PTSD residue. It is hard to explain. And it tends to go along in my case with a fear of it, a fear that I will never be ‘normal’ or without that unease again. And the fear of that tbh is worse than the unease in the moment. I hate that bc I know I didn’t used to have it. Tbh it is the worst bit of damage from it all, maybe the stickiest bit of damage.
And although intellectually, now, I understand it and it is less frequent and less extreme, and I know what works to get past it, the effort involved in doing so is a bit wearisome. I accept it but I really don’t like it  ::)
So, no magic wisdom from me, just hope it helps to know that it isn’t just you who feels this way even years out x
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 27, 2021, 12:01:39 PM
Treasur - It does help knowing someone else understands and has experienced similar things. It is incredibly hard to explain to someone who has not felt the same way.

Now that I have a real handle on where the word doldrums originated from it has helped my thought process. It has allowed me to give it another name that may be similar to limbo in many ways, but has created a mental shift. The problem is, limbo now is so deeply associated with MLC and the after affects that even calling it a state of limbo makes me uneasy. IDK, maybe calling it doldrums just helps me to disassociate it with that whole MLC experience.

This morning I went into my F's studio where he had completely scrapped his original horse sculpture he has been working on for this upcoming exhibit. It was not going the way he wanted. This piece is welded and one can modify some things but the particular process he was using to fabricate it is not as easy as cutting away areas. He had expressed frustration with it on Saturday when we were at the stables. I had asked him during that discussion if it was a case of needing to just cut his losses and quit fighting this particular piece. It was something he had taught countless students, including myself over the years that if the foundation of a piece was not quite there you can't always save it. Today, he had said looking at it, while he likes a challenge, there was a flaw in the horse's stance that was going to be monumental in changing so I was right to suggest he just start over.

What struck me is he had told me when I divorced that it was okay for me to cut my losses and start over. I don't know why today it really sunk in with me that Xh's foundation was like that horse sculpture. We had experienced times when we were married where it was more like a clay sculpture and we could cut away any problems and fix the foundation. It was never an issue. But, with MLC it was a game changer. Xh changed the material we were working with and the flaws in his own upbringing, his "foundation" were not something I could repair and it affected the overall structure in our marriage. Looking at it in that context, maybe I am truly realizing that I should not be somehow embarrassed by a divorce. Starting over was really the best thing for me in this instance. It has nothing to do with me somehow failing at being married. It was Xh failing to do any of his own mirror work and repairing his own part of the foundation, even when I would have helped if I could in any way get him there.

It was when I came home that something came up with D that I answered in a very direct way that shocked me. I hate credit cards, but I know it is something I needed to rebuild my credit, since moving forward we live in a society that so much requires a credit history. Once I had secured the loan for my car, I had gone after a couple of credit cards. I have used them often and pay them off when the bill comes. It's the same process I used when I was in college. D's bank card is not working and I didn't want her being without access to money this week. She had some cash, but I told her to take my card. I joked not to spend any more than x amount. She gave me a look and was shocked that I have had an increase in my credit line in a short time. It was then I felt a bit of snark coming on. I admitted to her that I allowed Xh to blame me for the financial mess because in my own mind it is what he needed. I enabled it his need to blame someone for the mistakes.

I laughed and asked her if she knew that it was because of my spotless credit that the house was financed originally me? Xh had not built enough at that point. Or that I made the mistake of letting Xh use my credit cards for his business when he couldn't get enough credit. I said it was stupid of me, but I did it. At that time he ran my cards up and would have paid it off. I trusted him, and I had obscene lines of credit at that point and I never would have used the amounts extended to me. I only used them when we would travel or in an emergency. I didn't use them to buy anything we couldn't afford. When a client screwed us over, it was on my cards and for years Xh would say it was my fault. I used to just shake my head and think if that helped him cope, so be it. I knew the truth. It was my fault that I used my cards and didn't think about the possibility of a client taking advantage of us in the manner that occurred. But the financial fallout was not my fault, even though Xh told everyone in his family or my family it was.

D stood there and asked why I had never told her and S that. I told her I didn't want to demonize Xh and somehow blame him for all of it. I allowed it to happen and I have to own it. But, I told her that I struggle now with the embarrassment of being in this mess, because I did allow it. And, it does hurt when people have this perception that I am the one that blew through our finances and am bad with money somehow. I even have had to remind myself that I never had issues managing money. I was pretty good at it for many years. I may not have had big investments. D is very good with her own money and she said she had no idea and she has a new appreciation for all that I have accomplished what I have now.

Of course, I laughed to myself when she told me how much she appreciated my accomplishments, because based on our disagreement last night, I was an idiot. Typical M/D type disagreement.  ::)

Since I was told I wasn't a complete idiot today, I found the bit of sass I have been lacking and decided to see if I could resolve the issue with the pond pump. The pump quit awhile back and I thought for sure I was going to have to replace it. I had pulled it out of the pond last night.  I decided today to take it apart and see if I could at least see if the impeller would turn. I figured what was the worst thing that could happen - I break it?  ::) It was stuck at first, but it was from sediment over the years. After some fiddling with it, it was working, but still wouldn't pump the water up to the waterfall. I was ready to give up but after about 10 minutes I thought about maybe it was air locked. Unfortunately no one was around to share in my absolutely giddy moment when the waterfall started working and my suspicions were correct.

I so needed that little win.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 27, 2021, 08:18:35 PM
D left for her late afternoon/evening classes around midday. I was working on tying up loose ends on a couple of projects. Normally, on Mondays S leaves around midday as well, but he stayed later to wait for the man who bought S's GF's truck.

I made S a nice dinner with potatoes and carrots from the garden he and his friend planted. I had gone to the store to buy a steak to grill as well, considering when D cooks beef is never on the menu. She is not fond of the flavor of beef, so it is very rare that I have it on hand. S is happy with chicken, turkey or pork, so he doesn't complain, but it was a nice change for both of us.

It has been a long time since I have cooked a meal. D likes cooking, so she often is the one preparing meals. I had forgotten how much I enjoy cooking for others. There was something very relaxing about being in the kitchen by myself and preparing the meal.

After everyone left, I decided that I was going to take a break from it all and go for a ride. I haven't really taken that many backroad excursions in recent months. It was a perfect fall evening and I wanted to see if the leaves were changing further north.

I found myself taking some roads that I haven't been on in ages. Single lane bridges and over railroad tracks and various bodies of water. I had no real plan as to where I was going. I had a general idea of where I was headed in terms of direction but no particular destination in mind. I found myself driving by the church that sits in a little hamlet. It is one of 2 in that small spot on the map. They sit across from one another and there is nothing else in that area aside from a handful of houses. I have been in the one church twice.

Once when my cousin was getting married and before that, the same cousin and I were in a Christmas pageant together. It was a happy memory, but I recall being terrified. My parents were out of town for a week and I stayed with my aunt, uncle and cousin. It was before my sister and his brother were born, so I had to be about 3 years old. He would have been about 4. We had gone to church the week prior and they needed additional participants for the Christmas event that they were holding ahead of the actual Christmas holiday. I remember my cousin and I both were dressed up as little lambs. Funny how I haven't thought about that event in ages.

I then drove down a road where as a middle schooler the same cousin and I went on a bicycle ride on the country roads. As I drove by this one house, I recalled the end of that trip. We had travelled around a country block by then, which was several miles. We were headed back to his house, when a German shepherd came flying out of this exact house and bit my thigh. It was in the fall, so fortunately I had jeans on. The bite broke the skin but not enough to require stitches, but it hurt like a d!ckens. My M came and took me to the pediatrician, who quickly called the owners and asked if the dog had it's rabies shot. They were insistent that "Satan" would never bite anyone. I recall thinking at the time that perhaps that dog was well named. They gave him a hard time and he said they would produce the proper paperwork or he would be showing up with the sheriff in tow. That pedestrian was not kidding. The sheriff confirmed the paperwork was in order, but their beloved dog had a history of nipping at people, like the mailman. It wasn't funny then, but I now laugh thinking I guess I can honestly say that Satan bit me.  ::)

I was enjoying my bit of nostalgia, when I decided to stop several towns over from my own house and put gas in the car. I was filling up the tank, minding my own business when I heard someone call my name. I knew the voice right away. I turned to see someone I haven't seen in easily 25 years if not longer. We used to see each other at different events since my cousin and he are best friends. But I rarely see my cousin much anymore. Once my grandfather died and my grandmother went into assisted living, those family events were often held at the facility more and more. It was rare to have a get together at my aunt and uncles or my cousin's house. But, I have heard over the years bits and pieces about this guy.

The minute I turned I saw an older version of that tall, dark and handsome farm boy I once dated. The man has not aged terribly much and has the same twinkle in his eye and dimples. He sauntered over and asked how I was. He brought up our first date and I said I recalled it well. It had been a blind date my cousin set up. He had dated my best friend a couple of times and wanted to go on a double date. My first boyfriend and I had broken up, as he had left for college. I was all of 16 or 17 at the time. This guy walked into my parent's house and I recall thinking OMG. He stood well over 6 foot and at the time and had that whole country farm boy charm going on. I didn't tell him about that part though. LOL. I told him that I remembered we had gone bowling and played PacMan at the bowling alley for several hours. It would be the first of several dates that followed.

He asked if I remembered him picking me up in his car. I said that it was incredibly difficult to forget. It was a Chevy Nova that had white bench leather seats with no seatbelts. He looked at me stunned that I remembered that detail. I said of course I did because he was so dang tall that he had the seats pushed back to reach the clutch and he had the back axle higher than the front so the car sat on a slant. Every time he hit a bump or had to stop quickly, I practically slid off the seat. My considerably shorter legs made riding anywhere extremely difficult to keep on that stupid seat. He laughed.

I was enjoying just laughing. He is still handsome and charming, but I didn't feel that same spark immediately. I have outgrown that. He paused and asked me why we ever quit dating, as he always enjoyed being around me. I laughed and told him it had a lot to do with some other girl tempting him and the back seat of his car. He sort of blushed. Ah yes - it all came back to him. She would go on to get pregnant months later and they were married right after he graduated. They are still together, although I know from my cousin that it has not been an easy marriage for either of them.

When I continued my drive home, I really thought about my short time with him. I learned so much in that short time about myself. I had always been controlled and level headed. I had crushes on and off and had dated, but even with my first serious boyfriend, I was not one to consider a physical relationship that would have possibly lead to sleeping with someone before marriage. This guy - holy moly. His touch and kisses at the time made my head positively spin. I turned to absolute jello around him. I realized that I could have very possibly broken my own promises to myself back then, had we spent more time together. And it is not because he somehow pressured me and our dating was casual at first and not exclusive. His now W, she did me a huge favor.

That moment in time with him lead to a very frank discussion with my F's M. My grandmother saw I was really experiencing something powerful and sat me down. She didn't give me the "talk" as such. I was close to her and she asked me what my dreams were in the long term. She then told me that she understood passion and desire all too well. She also knew from experience that life can change in a second. She had to quit school when she was 14 because her M had died. She went on to raise her siblings and then had my uncle at 17 herself. There was no option to finish high school or go to college back then. I remember her simply explaining that in that moment of passion things can happen that could result in a pregnancy no matter what precautions one might take. Her question was at 17, would I be prepared to possibly have to make an impossible decision? She was very clear that no options were going to be without consequences - whether one should keep it or don't were not the discussion as much as, realize that those decisions would never be easy no matter what.

It would be that moment that made me hunker down and make sure that I refocused on my own goals and desires. I wasn't going to let those feelings get in the way. But, I also know it made me realize things about myself that helped form my relationships that came after. It had to do with those connections and what I need and want.

I realized at that point in time I am a very physical person. I could have been very capable of letting go and dropping my own morals. Had I let them, I could have dropped those boundaries. I knew from then on it might be a battle I had in future relationships. Yet, I knew that I didn't want to ever base my relationships on physical only. But, I also realized for a full relationship I was not going to be able to just have that connection that was a friendship solely. I think now that I look back, that was the problem with many of my connections with people like my first boyfriend. I was attracted to him, but maybe in some ways he was safe.

In college, I had a guy that was in my life briefly. He probably could have fit the bill in terms of having both that friendship first and then the physical attraction. It was a relationship that was blossoming when I thought Xh had decided to dump me. He had gone away for several months to help his brother and it was after we had been dating for about 6 months and had been friends for about a year prior to that. At that point I hadn't heard from Xh in easily 4 months. I was attracted to Xh and had a connection with him, but I figured it was done and over with. This other guy, it was just getting to a point where after several months, I was thinking maybe I should allow myself to move on. It didn't get far. Xh showed back up and wanted to see where things went. I didn't want to string the other guy along, so I let him go completely. Xh realized he had messed up and he knew it. Five years later we would get married.

The thing that I kept going back to tonight was as I have gotten older, I still crave that physical aspect. I have had my experiences since the divorce with the possibilities of one night stands. I have a friend who had no problem adopting the attitude that it works for her or in her case not having the relationship aspect beyond the physical. She has just one man she is companions with. But, that is not me. I won't criticize her for it - it is her life and she is a good person. It is not my place to judge her. Thing is, that doesn't work for me and I know it. I need that friendship and I don't give myself over to just anyone. That, I realized way back when I was dating this guy that was something I didn't want to just give to anyone.

I am not swooning over him now. Yes he still looks devilishly handsome and is charming as all get out. But I wasn't looking at him like that 17 year old girl. I now see that he is just part of my story and helped me figure out some things along the way. I have no desire to go drive around in his car and be nostalgic. I am not going to dream of him tonight. I am happy to return him deep in my past and as a memory of a time in history.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 28, 2021, 04:22:43 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
He asked if I remembered him picking me up in his car. I said that it was incredibly difficult to forget. It was a Chevy Nova that had white bench leather seats with no seatbelts. He looked at me stunned that I remembered that detail. I said of course I did because he was so dang tall that he had the seats pushed back to reach the clutch and he had the back axle higher than the front so the car sat on a slant. Every time he hit a bump or had to stop quickly, I practically slid off the seat. My considerably shorter legs made riding anywhere extremely difficult to keep on that stupid seat. He laughed.



Oh, and one other thing...

Quote from: Mourning Dove
The person I was talking to, still didn't understand and I am sure if I were to continue the conversation that they would think I am crazy. If I said I am more spiritual than I used to be, they would picture me rubbing crystals and reciting incantations while I run about the orchard in the moonlight.
You forgot the "naked" part about running round the orchard in the moonlight


Seems that you got that wind back in your sails (and the sass to back it up!)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 28, 2021, 02:25:50 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Yes, Ghost of Christmas Past, indeed. Fortunately, he won't continue to haunt me.

As for my sass returning. Hmmm. It did for a bit, but I must admit I have been out of commission today.

Yesterday, while I was out I decided to get my shingles shot. I have been avoiding it and twice last week I heard from friends of mine who came down with it and said they were both in excruciating pain. I have had enough fun with pain and the like prior to my surgery, so while I was out I swung by the pharmacy. The pharmacist said the vaccination can make some people very fatigued, achy and sometimes a fever comes with it. My sister confirmed she had that experience. Last night, I took some ibuprofen and put ice on the area. I felt fine. And, first thing this morning, I was feeling okay.

I was up early and walking around the kitchen at 7:30 am when suddenly I felt as if my legs were weighed down by cement and could have curled up on the floor like the cat in the sunshine and just napped. I was overcome by fatigue and a headache that came on. I drank lots of fluids and tried to ignore how I was feeling. After about an hour, I gave in and realized that I should just listen to my body.

I slept for hours. D came home from her classes and she was concerned. I hadn't told her about having gotten the shot, so she was worried I had caught her cold. She was feeling much better and took to taking care of me, even though I told her I was fine. She went to the store and picked up makings for a pot pie for dinner. That is her go-to fall/winter comfort food.

I was going stir crazy just lying around, yet I had no energy. I gathered up some files out of the file cabinet and purged the paperwork that no longer is necessary. Warranties that no longer apply, etc. I needed to accomplish something.

My M called a short time ago. She was telling me about a friend of ours whose W fits the MLC script to a T. It has been quite a long time since the W up and left. It would seem that the Xh has finally decided to move on. My M is upset that the Xh has a GF now and I asked why it was so upsetting, because the man waited for his Xw and wanted to work things out. He just decided he wanted to move on. My M's response was "but I so liked his W". I told her I did too, but that was a different person and it's okay to feel bad about the situation but she shouldn't be upset the man is moving on with his life nor should this GF be somehow disliked. The GF, it turns out is a friend this man has known for years. She didn't break up the marriage. She is widowed and was a good friend to him.

The question I had for my M was did this scenario apply to me as well? Because I haven't had any notion of reconciling with my Xh for a very long time. It is not in the cards. She paused and thought about it. I asked her if it bothered her that I want to move on. Strangely, it didn't bother her in the same manner and it shocked me after her earlier response, since she and Xh were so very close. She said that no, she has seen what Xh has done to me and to the kids, so she can understand why I would want to move past that. And, she would have no problem with anyone I get involved, even if they have been in my life before all of this, because she realizes it was not a factor in the demise of my marriage.

I hadn't mentioned seeing that former BF last night to her, but it would seem she found out. I know how. My cousin still sees this guy regularly. I anticipated it would come back that we had run into each other. Seems my cousin had lunch with this friend today and then my cousin mentioned it to my aunt. I sort of laughed to myself. It wasn't some big event or newsworthy. My M had all sorts of questions. I knew she was potentially concerned. She knew I was smitten with him back then, but she also knows his more recent history. It is no secret that he and his W have both kicked over the traces several times. I assured my M that I was not all doe-eyed and it was not going to go anywhere beyond a moment of reminiscing so she need not worry herself, even if the man is still very easy on the eyes after all of these years.

I didn't give him a whole lot of thought after journaling about it. I went on to other thoughts last night and for me it was more of a moment of just thinking about where life has lead me. He is part of my past and helped lead me to who I am now.

I know I am not built to just run off and flit around. I feel too deeply for that, even though I miss the physical contact with someone immensely. I also know that I need that in a relationship and I need that physical chemistry as part of that overall connection. I have experienced it and yet, it somehow that next progression seems to elude me. Just when I think I should throw my hands up and settle for companionship and less, something stops me.

Even if that former BF were available and didn't have the history of bedding other women down during his marriage, I don't think I would have been tempted. He was someone I knew when I was all of 16 or 17 and I am not that young teenage girl at all anymore. It is not like we were a couple for months on end and had some deep connection. He was probably just what I would categorize at that point as a crush.

If anything, it was nice to perhaps be recognized and have the trip down memory lane. Beyond that - he is just someone I used to know.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 29, 2021, 04:51:11 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
The question I had for my M was did this scenario apply to me as well? Because I haven't had any notion of reconciling with my Xh for a very long time. It is not in the cards. She paused and thought about it. I asked her if it bothered her that I want to move on. Strangely, it didn't bother her in the same manner and it shocked me after her earlier response, since she and Xh were so very close. She said that no, she has seen what Xh has done to me and to the kids, so she can understand why I would want to move past that. And, she would have no problem with anyone I get involved, even if they have been in my life before all of this, because she realizes it was not a factor in the demise of my marriage.

I guess the obvious question then is what is different about his situation as compared to yours? I mean, at some point, one can either decide to get on with their lives or one waits but either way, that is not going to bring the Mid-Lifer back any sooner if at all.... and that is one of the consequences the mid-lifer has to accept... that the LBS may not be there waiting for them, sitting on the porch in a pile of used Kleenexes and crocheting lace doilies waiting for them to get their head out of their .... fog...

As far as the Ghost of Christmas Past goes, news sure travels fast, doesn't it? I guess that means that you do NOT want to be dancing around the apple orchard in the moonlight in your birthday suit or mom will hear about it... <snort>  and someone with a history of .... well, let's just call it "serial indescretions" is probably NOT someone that is going to be of much interest....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 29, 2021, 10:10:54 AM
UrsaMajor - do not give me any ideas about running around the orchard sans clothing. It would have to be at night considering the bees are way too active right now. I am sure the deer that show up at night would not be terribly happy with me though.

As for my M knowing about something along those lines, it is actually funny. Because she checks in with me, and finds some things out, the proximity of our houses isn't the reason for that. She knows far less than she realizes and frankly, she doesn't really get involved in every facet of my life. The news about my former BF I knew would get back to her rapidly. I just didn't think it would be that fast. Had my cousin not had lunch with him yesterday, it would not have gotten back as quickly. My cousin, who is nothing like his M, is the son of Toxic Aunt. If you have ever seen the show "Bewitched" from many years ago my Toxic Aunt is a whole lot like the character Mrs. Kravitz - the nosy neighbor. My M seems to know this, but then because it is her only sibling she sometimes fails to see my aunt's desire to stir the pot.

My M has this seemingly endless supply of wanting to believe everyone can change and sees the potential for goodness almost to a fault. I often wish I wasn't nearly as suspicious of some people. But, I will also argue that for me, cutting toxic and negative people from my life has been a good thing.

If I were to run about my orchard in my birthday suit, my M would not be upset with my actions per se. She would be more concerned about how my neighbors would react than with me running about nude.

As for the friend and this reaction from my M - I am really not sure why she reacted that way. I suspect in some ways it is because she doesn't know as much as I do about the situation with this couple. I don't know all of the details but I have a better understanding of why the man decided he wasn't waiting around. It is not like he didn't give himself time to make that decision. This woman he is dating was a friend he has known for a long time. She didn't swoop in and have any intention of luring him away. And I also understand it from her perspective. I have found myself in the same situation. I feel bad for the XW if she decides she screwed up and would want him back, but that is on her. Her now XH shouldn't be criticized for moving on. Only he knows how much he could take.

I finally feel better after my vaccination. The fatigue lingered as did the mild headache into the evening. I went to bed early and this morning I felt considerably better. I was making coffee and D wanted to talk. I listened, but in all honesty, I really wanted a quiet morning so I could somehow think about my plan of attack for the day, since yesterday was lost.

D, she is loving being back in on campus classes. The problem is she is having some issues that are all too familiar. D is an extremely driven student. I was the same way - self imposed expectations. I understand that part well. And I was a good student. D though she has been a mature and brilliant student since grade school. Her teachers all have said from day one that she is extremely smart. It has been a blessing and a curse on several levels. She doesn't always know how to allow for failures. And others try to take advantage of her because she is the smart one in class. It makes it hard for her to know who really wants to be a friend or who wants to get to know her because she takes amazing notes. Or the ones who resent her because she truly understands the content. She is frustrated. She wants to help others and she doesn't brag about her work. And, to be clear - she works her butt off. She puts in countless hours studying on campus in the lab. She thrives in that academic environment. It is nothing new.

It started when her lab partner, who D likes suddenly is asking D for her notes because the lab partner doesn't understand the content. D would tutor her and help her, but D said it is starting to feel like she wants D to do the work for her. It would seem that in Anatomy, the others are struggling and barely passed the last test. D, she got a perfect score. And, to add to the mix, D looks like several professors favorite, because she has a good rapport with them, but she makes efforts to go in to their offices during the day to ask questions about content, etc. She is a sponge.

I was grateful that she said her one professor talked to her about all of this yesterday. He reminds me of the professor I had who told me about the concept of the "three drawers". He told her that she is in a tough spot, but she will find friends who don't see her as a threat or a free ride. He said she is a tough nut in that others see her as incredibly intimidating due to her knowledge. He said he too was much like she was at that age and it can be isolating.

She left for classes and she seems okay. I told her that I could only give her so much advice, but it dawned on me that the one she should talk to is probably BIL. I can relate in some ways, but I was in such a different field of study that it was harder for others to use me - my art projects couldn't be shared like notes. BIL, I am sure could help her. D has mentioned going to visit he and my SIL over break and I think I am going to encourage that.

She has a busy weekend and is going with her BF to a college football game. His college and her college are playing each other, so that should be fun. D needs something social to do.

I am going to take advantage of my weekend and find something fun to do - that is if I can make up for losing yesterday and knock off some more things from my list.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 29, 2021, 11:55:03 AM
I believe Treasur calls them Post-it Notes from God…

It is no secret I have been struggling on and off with where I am at in my career and what I am supposed to be doing. It has made me question at times if I somehow was not good at my job in the past, which is silly, but sometimes those monkeys come along and play games with your own mind.

I had answered a message on Facebook earlier when one of my former students reached out. He has been a bright spot quite often. I had given him my FIL's antique camera when he was a student. He had so very little and asked for nothing. When I found out he loved old cameras and was taking photos with film, I knew that camera needed to go to him.

He had taken a trip earlier this summer across country and had taken some photos with that camera. He is never going to be another Ansel Adams, but it doesn't matter to me. He truly loves that camera and it is a great hobby for him. He had told me about the trip earlier this summer. Today, he wanted to share some of the photos and to catch me up on how he is doing at college. He said I was one of the people who pushed him and he is so grateful. It was then he mentioned one other student that I have often thought about - his very best friend and a young woman that I will never forget.

She had come into my class that very first day I was teaching at the high school. Man she had a hard outside shell. She informed me she hated art and failed at her other school. She was tough and determined to give me a hard time. My gut told me she was hiding something behind that hard exterior. Thing was, I knew the other art teacher quite well. I frankly believe that teacher should never have gone into teaching at all. She was rigid in her approach and pretty much hated any kid that might be a challenge. She didn't understand that some kids come in with baggage even most of us adults don't carry around. This young woman, she had every reason to hate the world for her circumstances. She was raising herself for the most part.

M lived across the street with a BF who was abusive. M left the young woman to fend for herself, often without food in the house. The young woman was not even 16. She babysat and saved up money. She shopped at second hand stores and had a good sense of fashion. One day though she showed up in her sister's maternity clothes. It concerned me, but I didn't ask. She offered up that her M had come and stolen her clothes from her. It was confirmed it was the case.

Of course, people would ask why CPS hand't been contacted. They had. There was little they could do. She had a roof over her head and she was almost 16 and the laws were murky.

Over the course of several months she would begin to drop the attitude with me. In part it was because I discovered she was incredibly talented and art was actually her escape at home. I found out what she liked doing and I tried to incorporate it into her assignments. I also realized she didn't always like producing in class in front of others. I knew she had very little access to materials, so I would give her my own supplies from home to borrow. I knew she would have been offended if I had given them to her. I didn't want her to ever feel like a charity case. I knew she needed that confidence. MLC taught me that I too needed that personal success sometimes to grab that self confidence.

It would come out in a very odd place - one of my college students happened to know her and told me a story that made me want to take that kid in and keep her safe. I was so angry. The young woman had been raped a few years before. This student only told me because she cared about her friend. It was in fact something I went to the school counselor about. The story was known and it was true. The mother had found out but refused to take the young woman for medical care and  my student refused to press charges out of fear. The friend who told me had been the one who rescued her from the situation in the first place. I remember, as a M thinking I could not fathom not getting my D help. It made me sick.

But, I knew I couldn't treat her differently as a student. I didn't baby her. I didn't tell her I knew her secret. I pushed her like every student I believed in, but there has always been a special place in my heart for her. It does happen. And maybe part of that is she always had a sassy spark. One I recognize. The difference was aside from MLC dropping on my doorstep, I had a pretty idyllic life. I made it my mission to help her harness that spark and work on getting her to realize that not everyone was out to get her, even those teachers who challenged her - to look at it from a different perspective.

She would go on to take my class two more times, just because it was a time when she could be creative. Some times she would show up during my other class and just hang out doing homework.

After the Covid shutdown, I lost track of her. Today, I had a message from this young woman after I asked her friend, my other former student to tell her hello. She and I messaged back and forth for a bit and then she said she wanted to thank me. She mentioned she knew she was really tough to deal with at times and she knew I cared about her like I did most of my students. She then said she wanted me to know that it was because of my kindness and treating her like she mattered, even sometimes challenging her attitude and not letting her get away with $h!te, that she sometimes came into my classes extra times. She wanted to thank me for letting her just be in a safe environment and it was then she sought out help from the counselor and now a therapist. She said she didn't want to be angry anymore.

She found her own apartment with a boyfriend, who I know. He is a good kid. She is working but wants to save up and go to college. She said she saved up to buy a car to get to work. She is still doing artwork and wants to show me some of them sometimes. It turns out she now lives not terribly far from one of my places I like to go driving. I told her to let me know her work schedule and I will make time to stop and see her. It was funny because she couldn't believe I would do that for her.

I wanted to cry. I assured her I not only would be honored to do that, but she had given me something today too - she returned the favor and let me know in her kindness that I mattered.

It doesn't answer my question of "what now". It does help me move past my wondering if I wasted my time doing what I had done - particularly at the high school.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we do matter. It is not a quest for constant validation, but like it or not those reminders do help. For me it reminds me that my own actions also affect others and makes me want to continue to be a better version of myself.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 30, 2021, 02:40:49 AM
I'm not cryin' YOU'RE Cryin'!

seriously, that kind of feedback makes up for a whole lot of (https://smileyshack.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/spoop_stagnetpileofpoop_100-1001.gif?w=545) sometimes....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 30, 2021, 08:04:17 AM
UrsaMajor - You don't know how glad I am that you chose an emoji over a GIF this time.  ;D LOL
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Tornup on September 30, 2021, 08:43:06 AM
Wow, what a gift that was shared with you. You truly never know the impact you make everyday. I can’t imagine how emotional and gratifying to hear that. Thank you for sharing. It made my heart smile reading it.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on September 30, 2021, 08:58:17 AM
UrsaMajor - You don't know how glad I am that you chose an emoji over a GIF this time.  ;D LOL

Aw come on, you mean you didn't want a real picture of a steaming pile of ... Nahhhhh.. don't want to go there...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on September 30, 2021, 12:50:08 PM
Thank you Tornup & UrsaMajor.  :) I will admit - I did cry and smile. I used to have more of those moments and reminders when I was in the classroom. I was grateful for the nudges those moments provided to remind me of things that were positive and good in life. The past year and a half have been much more isolating between Covid and the other hurdles. I needed that reminder yesterday.

My sister called a short time ago and is semi-laughing and yet annoyed with a situation that came up. She started her conversation with she now understands how I felt a bit when rumors would pop up about me after Xh left. She said she can see how stories get started very quickly.

Two people had come into her place of work from her neighborhood. They are usually very friendly, but they were a little standoffish today, not knowing how to quite act around my sister. Then one of them finally told my sister how she was so sorry and if there was anything she could do just ask - it is hard when a spouse leaves. My sister paused and thought a minute. She was nice and didn't laugh at the poor woman, but explained the situation. My BIL is not moving out.

They are having work done on their garage and everything has to come out of the garage and must be out of there for several days while the work is done and they had nowhere to put some of these things easily. So, the opted to rent a UHaul truck to store things in. The smaller truck would have fit everything inside, but it didn't come with a ramp and the company offered to give them a price break to rent the larger truck. My BIL said it made life easier to roll some of the items up the ramp and he could do the work himself that way.

I had joked that with so much left over room, they should decorate and make it a staycation and have a quiet adult evening.

My sister drove into her driveway and saw the giant U-Haul and started laughing as her H was loading up things. Yup, she could see how they got that idea. She asked me though why some of these people, who she knows didn't just come and ask. IDK. People don't want to appear nosy perhaps. The funny part about that to me is instead they will come up with a random story in their head and then spread a rumor instead. I am not terribly sure which is worse in some instances.

I know for me, I had to start laughing at some of the rumors. Some hurt. Most of those were because I was pretty sure who the sources were - OW and/or XH. Those stung the most.

Now the rumors make me laugh a little. Most of them are really comical. Because I have 4 twenty somethings living with me at various times, there are extra vehicles here. It is no secret to those who know the situation that S's friends in particular come here to work on vehicles. There are 3 in particular that do not have parents around to whip them into shape and I have become a surrogate mom to them. They are often here and ask advice or decide to help out just because.  They know my rules and respect them.

The neighbors next door often laugh because even when there is a bonfire with several kids, they have always been respectful of my neighbors and my conditions. When a new friend has shown up the regular kids will recite what those rules are and make sure everyone adheres to them. There are some who they still hang out with but have quit inviting because they don't respect my house or rules. The rules are pretty simple. No underage drinking. I don't want to have any visits from any first responders for any reason. Don't tick off my neighbors - I actually like them. If anyone gets intoxicated, they are to stay over night.

I have rarely had any issues with anyone. In fact, the one neighbor laughed and said they don't even hear the music being played. The drinking - it doesn't get out of control.

I get tired of having so many kids around sometimes, but I know where they are and they are safe.

S's friends have been known to check on me when he is away at school. There have been people who have seen young men or vehicles that aren't S's at the house. They have seen it when there are several cars here all at once. I might be outside with the kids when they pass by.

The rumors - oh my.  ::) If I were to believe the rumors, I have been a very busy divorcée with lots of young male suitors. Or I am partying it up with the younger crowd. And on and on. It really bothered me at first and on occasion still does.

The reality is far from the rumors. S's friends are often stopping in when S is at school because S asked them to check on me and help out from time to time. If there has been a big snow storm, they sometimes come and borrow my tractor and plow out the driveway. They stop to borrow tools from S or to work in the garage. When I had surgery, they would come walk the dog for me knowing I couldn't.

As for hanging out with them. Sometimes, I have grabbed a chair by the fire and have indulged in some time with them. Yes, I behave relaxed around them, and we joke. I genuinely like the crew of friends S and D have. But, I don't want to date any of them or anything else along those lines. Besides, my kids would crucify me - they are way below the age limit according to my S and D's age threshold. It was made very clear that I am not to drop below 20 years younger than my own age at any time, because that would put someone else way too close to their age.  ::) They know in reality - I am not interested in that age group in that manner.

So, my sister - I laughed and told her to shake it off. She asked how I survived the rumors. I told her it really came down to realizing the people who usually gossiped and made assumptions really are people who don't truly know me. It doesn't matter to me what they ultimately think. Doesn't mean that it doesn't upset me at times, but I try and laugh it off. Sure - my house is the party house on the corner. ::) Not. You can find MD with a glass of wine in the back yard sitting by the fire pit, hiding from the band of 20 something year olds discussing trucks and girls in the garage nearby. That is usually the reality.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 01, 2021, 02:05:37 AM
Yeah yeah... We know....



THAT'S how rumours get started <snort>
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 01, 2021, 10:36:09 AM
UrsaMajor - What rumors have you heard? LOL
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 03, 2021, 08:58:30 AM
Well, here I am joking about rumors…

I worked yesterday on the house and had plans to meet a friend of mine to go to a farmer's market and do some shopping. We had decided to go in on a gift for this wedding we both agreed to go to. Because we were both perplexed as to what to get the bride and her fiancée we thought a gift basket would be a good idea, as they have merged households and don't go out to eat very often, etc.

We were looking forward to spending time together and I needed the mental shift. The weather was perfect for this particular outing.

We met midway and she offered to drive. I was getting ready to get into her car when the wind kicked up and the gust caught the car door just as I was getting in. It landed across my cheek and nose. I didn't break anything but suddenly realized after the initial shock that I had been cut. Fortunately it was not something that needed stitches, and won't scar but it was very noticeable and bled for a very long time. My friend was so concerned and I was laughing at one point.

Now, I don't find it funny when someone has been in a domestic dispute of any type. But, I know that this particular injury was going to look like I took a hit from someone. I said to my friend that this is the type of injury that people will make assumptions and rumors could fly.

She wanted to know if I wanted to cancel our plans, but the bruising hadn't appeared and the cut looked like a scratch at that point. We pushed on and I told her if I felt uncomfortable we would leave. I knew that it would be today where I would see the results of the injury. We struggled at first to find something and then came up with a good idea and built on it.

This morning it wasn't horrible. I applied ice when I got home and that helped with any swelling. I have a bruise for sure, but nothing makeup won't cover up if I need to go out.

Aside from trying to fight with a car door, I had a really nice time with my friend. She said yesterday that we have had moments where we had grown apart some during college and such, but we never quit being friends. It was more life circumstances that came into play. She thanked me for being that one friend who has always been in her life and even in those more distant times we could count on each other. She is right. I have known her since 6th or 7th grade and have a long history.

As we drove home, she told me that she is so proud of how I have pulled myself up out of this whole mess and dusted myself off. She said it was nice to see that part of sass in me left and that plucky attitude that was lost for a time. Yup - not even a door hitting me was going to stop my fun yesterday.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 04, 2021, 02:47:58 AM
Whoops! <BONK!>


I hope that you heal quickly!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 04, 2021, 08:56:53 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. I have yet to step on a rake and smack myself.

I am better. The cut, fortunately looks more like a paper cut type slice and won't scar. That is a plus. The only amusing thing is of course life likes to pile on…I ended up catching a cold. I have been so careful. Fortunately, because I have been really taking care of myself and getting rest, I seem to be getting over that fairly quickly. I will admit though sneezing and coughing are a challenge with my cheek and nose being tender.  ::)

I have been asked to contribute to two different art auctions. Apparently, I am supposed to be honored. Hmmm. Part of me is, but then there is another part of me that is mildly annoyed. It is mainly because I have contributed several times without being asked and every time have brought in very good money for these organizations. This year, I am donating to one and only because the person who asked me has been a very good friend to me. She has asked for nothing. The other organization, I am mildly upset with. Due to some strange politics and inner workings, their request has become a bur under my saddle. I feel a bit taken for granted TBH. It is not sour grapes, but I am not feeling terribly benevolent at the moment.

Part of it is I am needing to look out for me and these requests both came very last minute. The auctions are at the end of the month and that means in order to advertise and market them it means I have to have these pieces in a short time. As it is I am in the middle of painting some new things for a show coming up. This show is one where I could actually make money and restart my own artistic career. So why do I feel like a jerk saying no?

I have had to wrestle with this a bit. I have to not feel guilty about saying no. For one - ask some other artists. I know I have made that organization significant money over the years. I shouldn't feel bad about saying no this one time. And, when you start to feel like you only exist in this group's mind when they need something from you it gets old. Telling me it would be good for my resume - and telling me it will get my name out there is not a selling point for me right now.

I have found that especially after MLC, and being told by Xh during that time that I was this horrible, selfish person, over and over is hard to shake. It is a big departure from how things were before then. Xh encouraged me to paint and to take time for myself. It is odd that I still find myself feeling bad about wanting to nurture my own needs or to say no to something that maybe doesn't feel right for me. That bit of guilt sometimes remains and often at times when it has absolutely no place. I have no reason to feel bad about saying no this time.

The one donation is very specific and won't take me long to work through, as it is a theme based project. The biggest part will be preparing the surface.

I picked up more hours at the gallery this week, but the hours are consolidated so it won't disrupt the day with a short midday shift or that type of nonsense. I did have to laugh when Miss Management contacted me today with a list of things that need done today. I replied to her I wouldn't be in today. I was waiting to see if she caught her mistake. She got annoyed with me and told me I was on the schedule. Hmmmm. I told her I was on the schedule for tomorrow and we are closed on Mondays. I laughed when she didn't admit to her mistake. Nothing new. She glossed over it. I really have no patience for people who can't admit they messed up. It wasn't a big deal - we all make mistakes, but it is just how she operates. Yes, I will be there tomorrow and will happily address those things.  ::)

Both kids have a long weekend coming up it seems. D is considering going away. S is going to be working with his friends in the garage. If the weather is decent, I may plan a hike or some time to myself. The cooler weather that settled in really jumpstarted the fall colors. The trees are really quite spectacular and by the weekend it should be very pretty.

I was out the door early this morning and indulged in a fall themed latte. It was a nice break, but I am honestly looking forward to making coffee at home and sitting out on the back deck next to the waterfall when the sun returns. Fall on the back deck is particularly lovely.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 05, 2021, 02:01:34 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
It is odd that I still find myself feeling bad about wanting to nurture my own needs or to say no to something that maybe doesn't feel right for me. That bit of guilt sometimes remains and often at times when it has absolutely no place. I have no reason to feel bad about saying no this time.

But you still do feel bad about it, right? Oh girl, I can sing the bass line to THAT tune from memory.... Been there, done that, got the T-Shirt and it STILL FITS..... R gets on my case about it quite regularly that "it takes an act of God before I'll do something for myself." I'll fall over dead doing stuff for others but taking time for me? Nope.... Can't do it.. Too busy, too many responsibilities, too much to do....

Sound vaguely familiar?

Probably a wee bit of FOO Poo there for me.... And a lot of xW2 conditioning....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 05, 2021, 01:54:28 PM
UrsaMajor - Hey, where do I get that T-shirt? Yes, it is more than vaguely familiar - that often self-imposed guilt.  ::)

I could spend more hours deciphering why I feel this way in the first place. I have decided instead to just go with my gut and celebrate saying the word "no".

Last night, I took some time for myself and cooked a nice dinner. Both kids were out of the house. D was in classes until late last night and S was driving the 3 hours back to his apartment. I could have kept working on projects, but opted to pour a glass of wine and slow the pace down.

On her way home, D called to let me know when she would be back home. It was then that she mentioned her car had a warning that the tire pressure was low on all 4 tires. I assured her that it was the cold air, but we needed to address it, as it was lower than she should run them for a longer time. She then asked if I would show her how to put air in her tires and how to check them manually. My answer was yes, but when I hung up, I was mortified. How did that happen? I pride myself on having made sure my kids had some basic skills and that would have been a big one when they learned to drive. I didn't beat myself up too much, as looking back it all fell on my shoulders. Driving - Xh had promised to teach D and took her out twice. So much fell in my lap. I have to be kind to myself and instead, I ran down a list of things I need to make sure she knows about her car.

This morning I told D that we would go and use my F's compressor. S has a new compressor, that is much more complex to operate and I didn't want to overwhelm D. When we arrived, my F was on his way to the studio and when I mentioned D's issue, he said he would drive with D down to the local garage and they would use the one that you can set the pressure. I mentioned she wanted to learn how to check it manually. He said he had it covered and they would review the different scenarios. I smiled and said it was fine with me if he wanted to take on this task. D was tickled. They drove into town and picked up a coffee on the way. My F and D both had huge smiles when they returned. My F enjoyed teaching D and feeling needed. D liked the male attention and she needs that - the positive male role model. S has stepped up sometimes, but it is different.

I thought about this small interaction between the two of them. It is the small things that matter in the end. The time my F took to share such a simple process. D feels safer knowing how to take care of this on her own now. It is something I maybe take for granted - the knowledge that my parents passed on to me. Small things that have helped me cope with some of life's bigger things.

I got ready for work and decided I wanted to embrace the bit of sass I had this morning. So, a longer sweater, leather leggings and a pair of heels with minimal jewelry, except for a pair of bolder earrings. When I arrived at work, I had several compliments and the owner being one of them. She smiled and was glad I was covering the gallery today. The students filtered in and it was a nice afternoon.

Part of my need to embrace the sass was feeling better after my car door experience this past weekend and the stupid cold that seemed to linger. I actually felt good this morning when I got up. I am still tender, but the bruising is no longer as visible - nothing a little bit of concealer didn't camouflage.

I needed a bit of sass today. The funny thing was a friend of mine brought up a topic that is an unresolved issue. It was something that I had concerns over and basically felt like my concerns simply were given lip service. At first I felt like a fool even bringing it up, but then I realized that my feelings and concerns were not only well founded but it was okay that I made some waves. My answer to my friend today was if this particular thing happens again, I might respond very differently having just enough sass today. I laughed and said I may find myself channeling Clint Eastwood and saying "Go ahead, make my day".  ::) It made us both laugh.

But things have been relatively quiet today, so I am honestly hoping the evening will be uneventful other than listening to the geese fly overhead. Their numbers have increased significantly and they are scouring the fields for corn so they are flying really very low. It is one of my favorite sounds in the fall. Add a gorgeous sunset and I am easily entertained.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 06, 2021, 04:15:56 AM

Somebody's in BIG trouble!

As far as the geese go....



Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 06, 2021, 11:11:17 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Yes, someone is in BIG trouble potentially. I have a great deal of patience and can put up with a lot, but I will admit my ability to tolerate and ignore being jerked around no longer exists.

As for the geese - I will admit there is that part of the equation. The geese do not come on to my property. I know from experience that if that were the case, I would not look so fondly on them. We have enough ponds and fields nearby they are not a nuisance. I used to work somewhere where that was not the situation and the geese would settle in on the lawn and were very protective and would attack. Not to mention the mess they made. But, in my situation they are a lovely sign of autumn that simply pass overhead and on occasion bomb my car or driveway, which is annoying, but most times they seem to mind their manners.  ;)

I am in a bit of a mood today. I am decidedly aggravated. Stupid things. I wanted to know how it is that the garbage can only seems to need to be emptied when I put that final piece of rubbish in the can. It is truly remarkable that happens every time. It seems my sister has the same super power  ::)

I never was the mom that ran around like a screaming banshee, but this morning I wondered if perhaps that is what I should have been.

I am working out of the mood. Based on some small things just piling on, and requests from people, I am really feeling I need to just embrace the word "no" fully and tell everyone to "F - off". I won't and it is not in my nature. But this morning I feel a bit taken for granted.

It might have been the call from my Toxic Aunt to my M that tipped the scales this morning. My Toxic Aunt called my M with some question she needed to know the answer about regarding me. It seems her good friend (I know the woman - her D lives not too terribly far from me) wanted to know if I got a settlement from the company that had the accident on the corner of my property. My M called and mentioned that my aunt inferred that apparently if I did that I should have had all sorts of landscaping professionally done, etc and not had S's friends pulling stumps out for me. My M is worried what this particular woman thinks. It is just my Aunt no doubt, stirring the pot and wanting intel. I said I didn't care what anyone thinks and it is not anyone's business what did or didn't happen in regards to that company.

Now, I did get a settlement. It was a pittance of a sum, but I also knew I needed to just take that amount and not drag it out. They took months to remove the tractor across the way and it is still not settled, since the company is fighting it. I didn't want to play those types of games. I cleaned up the corner and it is not how I envision it, but it is not some eyesore. I have a plan, but seeings how that happened when I was still in a lot of unresolved pain and right before the heating pipe disaster happened, I am not going to beat myself up. I have been kind of busy this past year  ::)

The thing is, I keep my lawn mowed and am doing the best I can right now. I got snarky with my M and told my M to tell my aunt and her friend that they are welcome to come grab some shovels and perhaps do some landscaping if they are somehow offended by the bare corner.  ::)

I am just in no mood to put up with people who want to make comments and don't really know me that well. I don't get up and worry what every person thinks about me. If I did, I wouldn't leave the house ever out of fear that every little movement would be evaluated. I don't live that way. Yes, I do worry what others think. I value my reputation. But, I have also learned to form a much thicker skin since MLC and the rumors that floated around. I have learned that I really only concern myself with those people whose opinions matter because they know my character and maybe understand what has gone on in my life. This is not a victim, Boo Hoo cry. It simply is accepting, even for my own benefit that I am making progress, but it is taking me time and I remind myself that I am doing it all on my own for the most part.

Rebuilding my life after Xh left me with messes to begin with and life giving me a couple of good hits, has been humbling. I have to be honest with myself sometimes and give myself a good kick. And then there are times where I have to remind myself that I am also not full of endless energy and money to make this all magically turn around. Yup, this morning I walked out and saw that the weeds have come back in the front gardens. With all the rain and harvesting kicking up seeds, the weeds have flourished again. It is making it look like I have in fact neglected the gardens. It is aggravating, but I also know that I can't address that today or tomorrow. So, I have to accept it is going to have to wait. I keep hoping at some point I will be able to tackle these routine things more quickly, but until then, so be it. So, again, then I want to tell my M to tell my aunt and her friend they are welcome to come weed the gardens, or they can keep their opinions to themselves.

Yah - I think I'm in a definite Clint Eastwood mood still. Go ahead - see how pushing me ends. - Of course, to those who don't push my buttons, I shall remain nice and offer them coffee and kindness. They don't deserve the attitude.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 06, 2021, 03:46:55 PM
Okay - so I needed an attitude adjustment.  ::)

Two things helped me work through my aggravation.

One was my F stopping by to help me move a bed frame into storage. Both kids have expressed interest in keeping an extra bed for when they move out someday. I am happy to store it since it is an incredibly well made bed frame and it doesn't take up a lot of space. My F offered to put it in his garage where there is some space for storage. I was hesitant but my F insisted it was perfectly fine.

When my F was here he sat and drank a cup of coffee and we talked about his sculpture and the upcoming art opening. He is working away and seems happy to be back in the studio.

As we were talking, I mentioned I was frustrated with the guides for D's closet doors. My F said he would help me adjust them and it helps having two people to do that. He hadn't been in D's room since he gave me advice on the window sill and whether or not I should rip it out. He stepped into the room and smiled. He went around looking at all the areas he knew had been a problem and said he was really proud of me. No, they are not perfect like a master carpenter, but his approval meant I had done a decent job. He said the room actually looked beautiful and when he opened the window seat he laughed. Yah, I didn't just build an inner box. I made it more complex.  ;)

I know people say they don't need validation, but I am truly not convinced of that statement. I wasn't looking for a pat on the back, but it made a difference for me today.

Maybe after feeling like I had somehow been put on the defensive after that whole episode with my Toxic Aunt, I needed the reset. It doesn't matter what others think. But, I do put a great deal of stock in what my F thinks. He is never one to blow sunshine up my backside. He would not be unkind, but he wouldn't sell me some BS. His smile was genuine and he was truly proud of me. I can't say that didn't make me feel better.

Then S called me. He had heard from his friend whose F died not long ago. The young man seems determined to change his life's trajectory. He told S he doesn't want to continue down the path he was on and he has been sober for 6 months. S had avoided him for some time with the issues he was having. He has been a supportive friend, but he refused to enable any of it. When S asked me if it was okay if the kid came around again, I said I was his biggest cheerleader and he is welcome to come here, but I would treat him like any of the other friends and he had best plan on a kick in the butt if need be. S laughed and said he hoped I would say that.

I am hoping this young man is able to work through the tough stuff. S has such a soft spot for this friend. They have known each other since grade school and he had a rough start to his life. But, I had never met such a kind hearted kid who would never hurt anyone else. He, himself was fearless and full of adventure.

I know that S was just happy to hear from this young man since no one has heard anything from him since his dad died.

Who knows what his future will hold, but like S, I am at least filled with a little glimmer of hope.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 07, 2021, 04:55:57 AM
So, for Toxic Auntie, we have....

As far as the Window Seat thing, there is a mile of difference between needing external validation and getting an unsolicited compliment. Having someone that one respects or whose opinion matters/perspective is valued tell us that they are proud of us or that we have done a good job in something that they are fully qualified to make such a judgement call on is quite motivating/rewarding. The difference is that whether the person (like the MLC'er) uses that as their sole estimation or basis of their own self-worth and their entire self-esteem is based on the external validation or, like most "healthy" people, it is a booster shot in the arm and reinforces our own internal self-esteem.... Knowing that we did something to the best of our abilities and then being told that it really WAS well done by someone who means it and is not just trying to blow sunshine up our wazoo is .... Well, there is something to be said for that....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 07, 2021, 11:14:31 AM
UrsaMajor - Oh, Toxic Auntie made my F's list as well with that interrogation. LOL

I went to check on my F's progress on his project this morning and he was clearly frustrated. He had torn part of the body off of the horse, after realizing that the copper he was using was not going to work. The gauges of copper make such a difference and the metal sheets he normally were not available. He usually uses a much heavier sheet, but he had to settle. He selected a couple of different sheets and it is clear the thinnest he bought is just not going to behave the way he needs it to in order to hammer it. He is concerned he is pushing his deadline and tomorrow he has an eye injection which has to happen. That means tomorrow is a lost day. I said I could come and cut patterns later tonight if need be and S will be home. My F only has allowed S or I work on his projects. My F paused and said that maybe that would be a good solution - to have S weld the sections on. I contacted S and he was mildly concerned as he hasn't welded copper before, but my F was in the background, seeming to be excited about this idea.

I know it is difficult for my F to give over a project so personal. Yet, there is part of him that I know likes sharing his skills with people who appreciate it. S worked with my F from an early age, just like I had as a kid, but I never dabbled in welding. S - he blew his instructors away in his program with his knowledge, since he has never had "formal" training. And welding sculpture is not the same as industrial welding, but S somehow has a handle on both situations. When S was hired for the last commission by my F, I recall laughing. There were people lining up to have my F hire them to do the finish work, but the 15 year old grandson won out.

S mentioned he too was really upset D didn't know how to check her tire pressure. He right away said he couldn't believe he sent his little sister out unprepared. I laughed and said he was in good company. We both agreed that this weekend she is getting a crash course in checking various fluids, etc. It would seem we found out it was my sister that taught her how to put washer fluid in. Smack my head. LOL. My sister, of course thought this was really quite funny since I am usually so on top of these things. But, what I was happy to realize is D and S both really have a good support system and people they feel comfortable going to.

My F asked me to join him for a slice of pizza in town this afternoon. He was dropping my M off for a luncheon at her friend's house and someone else was bringing her home later. I decided I would indulge and we had a nice time talking. My F mentioned how angry he was about the whole exchange with Toxic Auntie. Out of his mouth came the same sentiment - he said if she and her friend don't like that I didn't put shrubs back on that corner and do some fancy landscaping maybe they would like to pay for a landscaping company to come or perhaps they could bring their shovels and get to work. I burst out laughing. I said there is no clearly no denying whose daughter I am. My F grumbled he has never understood how my Toxic Aunt is able to get my M to bite on these conversations. He recounted when my aunt was in her twenties and a story that simply underscored that this is just who my aunt is. My M likes to blame my aunt's medications and ailments. I have always maintained that I always remember her being this way. My F said my assessment is accurate. He tolerates her. And it would seem someone recently made the comment to him that they would have never guessed my M, who people really like was related to my Aunt. They joked with my F that he chose wisely. LOL

The weather is just perfect today. My F drove the backroads home and we took some time to look at the leaves that were changing.

When I came home, I decided to top off the pond. I still have one area at the top of the waterfall that is letting water seep through that I have to address, but it is not a huge undertaking. I noticed the waterlily is going to need cut back for the fall, but there are still blossoms that may open and one beautiful flower floating on the water. The sound of the water falling on the rocks and the warm weather made me rethink my plan for the afternoon. I realized that I can still stick to my project list and move things out onto the back deck. I am just going to ignore the weeds for the day and embrace the sunshine. The weeds should be scared though - I plan on attacking them soon. They will be the victims of my sass.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 08, 2021, 01:55:35 AM
The Weeds are running scared....

Interesting that F sees Toxic Auntie the way you do.... and Mom doesn't....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 08, 2021, 12:13:20 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Hmmm. I am not sure I am thinking about mowing the weeds down with a lawn mower. I have a real need to be a bit more physical. I am thinking hedge trimmers and shovels might be involved at the very least.

As for my M and Toxic Auntie - my M sees that my aunt has her good parts. Yes, they exist, but I am afraid my F and I have a more realistic view of my aunt and that is she thrives on drama and negativity. My F and I believe people can change and both had faith in students, etc over the years. The difference is we also believe that people are only able to change if they see that there might be a problem or want to change. My aunt never admits she is wrong or sees how she might approach life differently. My M - she sees the good in people to a fault sometimes. It is one of the things that makes her so wonderful on many levels, but it is not always to her benefit.

My sister and I were going to meet up to walk today, but life intervened. My niece came home with a migraine last night and it was hanging on first thing this morning. My sister ended up having to bring my niece to school a bit later than planned. So, we opted to meet for coffee instead. We both miss our walks and I am hoping we can figure out a new routine, since her work schedule changed, as has mine now. We may have to do a more week-to-week plan than a set day.

I had a gift I had picked up for my niece and originally had planned on giving it to her as part of her Christmas gift, but after hearing about her week this week, I decided she needed a smile. I handed it to my sister and she gave me a funny look. I hadn't wrapped it beyond the packing wrap. She pulled back the paper and started smiling. My niece has loved the character Stitch from "Lilo and Stitch" since she was a toddler. We always joke that she and D are like that character - cute until they are grouchy. Most things I have seen with that character on them are decidedly juvenile. And, I am not one to usually buy that type of thing, but this was an oversized mug - the type that can hold a huge amount of hot chocolate or a bowl of soup, etc. It is actually nicely designed and caught my eye. My sister said my niece has another large mug that she uses all the time, but this one will certainly put a huge smile on her face. I was glad I decided to give it to her now. I used to like getting things for people I care about just because I was thinking of them. It is something I guess I forgot how much I liked doing since MLC. It could be something as simple as seeing a cookie that I know S loves. Or a succulent for D - her new obsession.

I was telling my sister that last night D came into her room, which is done to see me pulling off a piece of moulding. She walked in as I had a small pry bar on an 8 inch section. She gave me a complete WTF look. I know that piece of moulding always bugged D and it drove me crazy. I know why Xh put it there and it is not the worst solution, but now it really has been driving me crazy. D wanted to know if I had a photo shoot for Architectural Digest I was planning for and had to make it all perfect. I laughed. No, this is just one of those thing that is going to be like having a pebble in my shoe. The moulding serves a purpose, and it is in the transition to the other section of the room. Oh sure, I could argue it a variety of ways, but I wasn't going to convince myself it made sense. Instead, I came up with a different solution that is more complex to execute, but from a design standpoint makes sense visually. D was cracking up. She wandered around the room and reminding me that there is one area that still needs addressed. She had her helper - George the cat - with her and it was like she has him trained. He was sitting looking at his cat tunnel through the wall. Xh had designed a cat door - archway that her cat uses. It originally had columns and an archway like a little architectural detail. It was destroyed when we had to gut that part of the room. The tunnel is still there and I have to do the finish work. Funny thing is, the cat can travel through the wall still using this small tunnel, but it just needs the detailing to finish it. He refuses to use it as is. ::) This weekend I will work on cutting out a new archway, but instead of how it was constructed before, I have been researching bending wood into an arch. I am intrigued. I know - I need a social life - LOL.

I wondered if that moulding just bothered me because it was a reminder of the MLC version of Xh. It was sort of a slapped together solution and it probably wasn't an eyesore or even noticeable. I think this room of D's has been a huge cathartic event for me. The whole MLC funhouse construction project needed to be stripped away and that one piece of wood just needed to go. It is honestly probably the last piece of original moulding left.

It is funny because it is not like the other things Xh worked on before MLC bother me. I don't get all nostalgic about what was but I also don't want it gone just because his hands touched it. Somehow it is not something that haunts me the same way the other things have - the MLC projects that went wrong. Maybe because it is because he cared back then about the house and other things. It showed pride in what we had. We had done a great deal to the house and appreciated what we did have. Maybe for me it is that sense of pride overall and it doesn't matter that Xh was part of that. I don't stroke door casings and think about Xh. That is far from the reality, but I also don't feel the need to rip everything out of the house. It is now my house and I would like nothing better than to be able to enjoy it or even maybe someday share it. Or who knows - sell it. IDK. For now - I am able to see more clearly the possibilities than I was able to see before the disaster happened. I have a lot to do to catch up and get it where I want it to be, but I feel like somehow I have made it over one mountain. That last bit of moulding made me feel that way last night.

Of course, we will see what happens when the real construction begins again on the bathroom - I may be wanting to hide in a cave then. LOL.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 11, 2021, 09:34:33 PM
D has not heard from Xh in months. Not even on her 21st birthday in August.

S - he saw Xh back in August, but the contact has been sporadic at best.

With support ending, I have had little, to no knowledge of what is going on with Xh.

The support ending was a strange transition for me. The monetary change certainly made an initial impact and I found myself aggravated with Xh's ability to just wash his hands of any help for the kids. It is not like I have somehow kept him away from them. It is not like both kids haven't taken out loans and gotten scholarships to help out. Xh deciding to cut the threads really has not set well with me.

I have been wrestling with Xh's ability to just walk away from the kids. It is not a new thing with D, but the change in Xh's decision to stop paying for S's tuition, while not a real shock, brought out some strange emotions for me. It bothers me immensely that he chooses not to be a F. It is not because I have made it difficult for him nor have the kids. He is just walking away from it all for whatever reason.

Today some things happened that have me feeling all sorts of emotions - none that are particularly positive at the moment. I have to shake them off and work through them.

S was outside working on the garden shed and the lean-to all day. He took on repairs that I have wanted to do, but they are just so far down my list right now. He didn't ask me about doing them, but decided he would help me out. When I had gone outside early on, I mentioned my M had made his favorite meal and was going to drop some off for dinner. He was elated. There was no mention of any plans.

I had been inside working on different household projects and feeling a bit better about how things are finally coming together, when S came in. He looked a bit frazzled. He sighed and said that he was going to Xh's for dinner. I paused and asked if S had forgotten or was this new. I told him I didn't care, but it was a bit of a shock. S, exasperated, said that Xh just invited him and GF down for dinner, because it would seem Xh is going away and needs a dog sitter. Xh wanted S's GF to come stay at his cottage for a few days while he travels. S said his GF was willing to do it, but he was mildly annoyed with the last minute request. At first S thought it was because Xh might be traveling to see his oldest B, whose health is far from good, which would explain why Xh waited so long.

S came home fairly late and clearly was not thrilled. Xh, it would seem is going on a pleasure trip. I felt my whole body tense. I didn't let on, but I was angry.

It seems stupid. Why was I so upset? My sister and I talked about it and she sort of laughed at me when I said I shouldn't feel this way. She knows I don't want to be bitter and I know Xh is a mess, but she said of course I am mad. I have been holding things together - basically like the sole parent while Xh is off flitting around. My responsible side doesn't allow me to just go running off. Part of me is mad at Xh and the other at myself. I am mad at myself for not sometimes just being a bit more reckless.

My sister said it has to be difficult when I have been focusing on getting the kids through college and I haven't been on a vacation in years, aside from a couple of weekends here or there where I have gone with my sister or parents. And here is Xh just going wherever he pleases because he has no responsibilities it would seem. And, no - I certainly don't want to live like Xh. It just rubbed me the wrong way.

Part of my anger is that Xh is making sure he is getting on S's GF's good side. He has made sure he puts on the charm when she is around. It is not lost on S or myself that Xh is "adopting" GF and replacing D.

After all of this hit, I went for a drive. I had to let go of the resentment starting to build in me. I had to remind myself that this is not a surprise or anything new. Xh has been so self centered for so many years it is just "normal". How many times did I stay home while he jetted off during MLC because he "needed" time away by himself. I enabled it because I knew something was off with Xh and I thought it would help him somehow. It made me think though about one of the trips I bowed out of. My parents wanted to take my sister and I to visit our great great aunt in Belgium. They offered to pay for the entire trip and in the past, prior to MLC, Xh would have told me to go and wouldn't have let me stay home. He was unable to go and the kids had school this particular trip. I was considering going and could have taken the three weeks easily from work. But, this was during MLC, so I found myself saying no and my sister travelled with my parents, while I remained stateside. Xh, on the other hand, took off for a trip for a couple of weeks instead.

So, tonight, maybe it is really about me being mad at myself right now. Upset with myself for enabling the madness. It was okay for me to be kind and try to help Xh, but my selflessness merely allowed him to be more selfish. He didn't care at that point about anyone but himself. Just like tonight was all about his needs.

And, the schmoozing of GF is troubling for me. I don't want to see some weird wedge being driven between the kids. D knew that S was invited to Xh's for dinner. She didn't know why and didn't seem terribly bothered.

I will push forward and let it go. I have too many other things to focus on in my life that matter. Xh's trip to who knows where - it ultimately doesn't affect me and I have to remind myself of that. And, I have decided it was okay for me to feel some anger and resentment for a little bit. The trick is not to hover in that realm too long.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Trustandlove on October 11, 2021, 10:58:25 PM
Hi, mourning dove,

I understand the feelings.  Very much so.  This is something I have been dealing with for years; to the point where that behaviour is "normal" for him; I, too, have been the responsible parent while he does what he wants.  What angers me is that he has tried to turn the blame on me, saying that he doesn't do things because "I" don't "let" him, or that "I" have somehow not behaved the way "one should in this situation". 

In my case this has got worse as the years have passed; possibly because his life hasn't turned out to be the brilliant success he thought it would be when he left. 

He now only sees one S; the other two don't have anything to do with him; like you, I worry a bit that he is trying to get that S "on side", but I have to let that go. 

I now haven't seen him for a number of years, but the last time we spoke about the children he accused me of not cutting apron strings -- so making it that my concern for/responsibility for our children was somehow "wrong", while he was in the right swanning around doing as he pleased.    We have special needs children as well, which he has conveniently sidestepped.  They are doing extremely well, by the way, but that is because I have been the responsible one, or rather perhaps because they have had a stable place to call home, not because they don't have those issues. 

It took me years and years to learn to calmly say "no, that isn't true" to his accusations.  Getting defensive obviously doesn't work, as we all know.   Calmly speaking helps, even if it doesn't change anything. 

My H has also occasionally done something nice, when he feels particularly guilty I think, and then uses that to say that well, he's been good, who why don't I (or the children) do as he wants. 

I think you have every right to be angry, and as your children get older and become young adults I also think it's OK for you to explain why.  Not to "bash" your H, but because you are a person too.  I'm not saying you "should", just that it is OK for you to do so IMO. 

When children become young adults they don't just magically not need us any more; the way they need us changes, but IMO we are still very much their parents, and they look to us for guidance.  It's hard for them to look at one parent and want very much to respect that parent, but when they see behaviour that doesn't fit with what they believe is "right" it's confusing and hurtful. 

I don't have any magical answers; I've been dealing with this for years and the main thing seems to be to keep up the communication with the now young adult children.    When they were younger it was vitally important for them to have the stable place to call home; I've found that in essence that hasn't changed, even as they are finding their own feet in the world. 

I think you are doing brilliantly from what I see written here and it absolutely makes sense that his behaviour rubs you the wrong way.

I think it's very hard to remember which way is up when we get hit with things like this, I think you are doing great, and I think the anger and resentment are real, to remind us that what they are doing isn't right, no matter how it's spun.   

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Treasur on October 11, 2021, 11:12:03 PM
I wonder, Mourning, if some of your feeling is rather deeper than some kind of FOMO resentment? If the anger is when you see some of xh’s twisted dynamics still spilling over into your life and your kids’ lives long past the point when you chose to shut the door on it? A kind of life version of black mould that you think you have cleaned from the tiling grout and then spot a bit popping back up?

I suspect that, long after we have let go of them, we all have moments of emotion about the after effects when they pop up to impact any of our day to day lives now. As you say, best to feel it, give it a nod and then let it go. File in the appropriate drawer. And remind yourself that Then is Not Now. Including blaming yourself....imho the problem lay not with our generosity of spirit or kindness but someone else’s sense of entitlement and imbalance once they imploded in their own individual way. Still not about you, dear girl. Pearls before swine are still pearls  :)

I suspect your son may reach a point when he needs to say No to some things to protect himself, gf and the rest of you from the mould spores. And I guess he will see that when he is ready to see it and act on it.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Trustandlove on October 12, 2021, 01:02:29 AM
As ever, treasur says it so well! 

I feel exactly that -- that I, actually the children and I, have let go of him quite a while ago, but things still pop up to sully our lives.

Even now I still sometimes need the reminder that
he problem lay not with our generosity of spirit or kindness but someone else’s sense of entitlement and imbalance once they imploded in their own individual way.

Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 12, 2021, 01:49:25 AM
I suspect your son may reach a point when he needs to say No to some things to protect himself, gf and the rest of you from the mould spores. And I guess he will see that when he is ready to see it and act on it.

I had the same thought... At some point, S is going to need to discover the use of the word "no."  He has nothing left to loose now. What is GWPWELFV going to do? Stop paying S's tuition? Oh! Too late...

imho the problem lay not with our generosity of spirit or kindness but someone else’s sense of entitlement and imbalance once they imploded in their own individual way. Still not about you, dear girl. Pearls before swine are still pearls
Exactly.... and conversely, no matter how much lipstick we put on the MLC pig, it is STILL a pig...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 13, 2021, 09:53:41 AM
Trustandlove, Treasur & UrsaMajor - I had to reread all of your responses again this morning. They all helped immensely yesterday, but after this morning, I found myself feeling conflicted again. It all was because of a disagreement with my M over this whole situation.

I had neglected to post prior that I have a couple of other layers of emotions going on that maybe factored into the mix.

One is, when S said he was going to Xh's, I gave him a box of things that I had decided to give to Xh to deal with. I usually don't like using S as a delivery person and frankly, most of the things that Xh left behind I have dealt with. But there were a couple of binders with his family genealogy that FIL had printed up and bound for each of his kids. I have digital files of all of it, in case the kids ever want that information or for whatever reason might pop up. In addition to the binders, I had also come across a scarf that MIL had given Xh the winter before she died. It was not something she made. It was a simple fleece scarf, but she bought it because it was the color of Xh's eyes. He wore that scarf faithfully every winter right up until MLC. It was left behind and abandoned like every other thing that once meant something to him.

D wants nothing to do with it and S doesn't wear scarves because of the dangers they pose working - he wears neck gaitors in the winter instead. I was considering donating it. But, something in me felt odd about doing that. I had a complex relationship with my MIL out the gate, but over the years, she and I had become very close. She confided in me before anyone else that she was not well. She owned her mistakes from the past at that point and I respected her immensely. Her actions over the years were a clear indicator that she was genuine in her desire to make amends with her kids. So, I think part of me was feeling that I owed it to my MIL to make sure Xh had this, TBH.

And, the other layer is I have found myself, as I have been doing these ongoing renovations, wanting to get rid of more things that really have no place in my life anymore. Part of me is thinking about as I am moving on and wanting a relationship that there are some things that are too recent in my history that are connected to Xh that I need to really let go of.

One item in particular is a painting Xh bought a couple of years before MLC. It is an antique and it is a beautiful painting of a woman that I do really like, but he bought it because it reminded him of me. I have always liked the painting, but somehow knowing this little bit of information is starting to bother me a little, in that it has that personal connection that is not something like wedding photos that are maybe easier to put in the past. And, I had been pondering selling it. It turns out it may have gone up in value and I am having an art appraiser do some research.

So, when S came home and told me that Xh was literally gushing over the scarf and wanted to thank me, I was really on edge. I wasn't looking to hurt Xh and skewer him with that box of things. I just was trying to be true to my core. My initial feeling was literally "oh $h!te" I have done it now and he might think this is a peace offering and thinks we are now buddies. I can't even begin to voice how far from that I am. It is due to self preservation and not out of some need to be bitter.

But the resentment and bitterness did bubble up a bit. Luckily, those feelings never take hold for long. I was upset though that after having helped both kids yesterday financially a little and with some problems that arose, I was agitated that Xh is off on another pleasure trip. Yup - the green-eyed monster came out in me. Not proud of it. Not going to pretend it didn't though, because it would be a lie and lying to others is bad enough. Lying to myself is certainly never good.

Last night, I went to return the casserole pan my M had delivered S's meal in the night before. I was not in a good frame of mind. I tried to avoid the conversation, but my M was poking, knowing I was not myself. For one, I was tired from the day, but I was also wrestling with the storm brewing inside of me.

I explained the scenario and being aggravated that I am always responsible and Xh just blows in like he is going to a high school reunion when it comes to the kids. My M didn't quite understand the problem. She thought I was being overly dramatic and sensitive. I dropped it.

This morning, my M called and asked if I was still depressed. I snapped at her and said I wasn't depressed, I was upset and angry last night. Clearly that was still not going to fly with her. I told her I was better and trying to just get on with my day. Thing is, my M is one who feels the need to talk everything out. I don't. I feel. I might write it out. Sometimes I talk about it, but I don't hover over it most of the time. My M, she rarely stays mad about much at all, but she does hang on to things for days and analyzes. She doesn't understand me in that regard. I might get quiet and think, but if I am really upset and angry, I may need to vent or to get it out some way - but, I don't necessarily want to talk about it over and over. Especially if I have moved from it. That was this morning. I had moved on or at least was pushing forward. I didn't want to review and relive. As far as I was concerned, I was upset. It was okay I was upset and I spit and sputtered and now I have just accepted it is the way it is and there is not a thing I can do to change it, except to understand in part what made me so angry and what I can control and change for myself. It has nothing to do with Xh in the grand scheme.

My M and I did not exactly get off to a good start at all and when I tried to express something, poorly, I might add, I tried to use my sister as an example. That was not a good avenue to go down. I was trying to tell my M that part of my frustration is that I don't have the luxury of just doing these things when I feel like it and sometimes it weighs on me - those things I can't change that are dictating my life. My example was that this week my sister, who works, manages her house and runs the kids around is somehow able to still go away for a vacation coming up and this week was shopping with a friend and going to spend the day with another friend today. My M right away decided I was jealous of my sister. UGH. No. Not the point.

I called my sister and explained all of the mess to her. Now my sister and I are close and I trust her to tell me when I am being a knucklehead. I told her the example I used and before I was going to explain where I was going with the example she laughed. She said she totally gets what I was trying to tell my M - and it was not some jealous aspect. My sister said she knows I am not jealous of her in the least. I was trying to explain that I am trying so desperately to get some balance back in my life, yet again and everything is controlled by other factors. I can't seem to catch a break. And, I haven't been lingering in the victim arena, but I have to admit Xh's pleasure trip - that stung. It feels all so unfair.

The best part was my M telling me that I got to spend time with so and so for a weekend - that was like a vacation. When I told my sister, she burst out laughing. Yes, it was incredibly enjoyable, and I would give anything to have more times like that, but that was not where I was going at all with my complaint. My sister said that spending time and meeting someone every day over several days is not vacation per se. My sister asked me when the last true vacation I had was - as in getting away for several days with no concern with what was going on at home. I said I went away a couple of years ago with my parents for a weekend. Nice, but not a vacation as such. Hmmmm - I won't count the MLC BS trip we took. Or the wedding  we attended right before MLC either. Vacation - yah, well that would easily be 8 years ago. She sighed and said "yah, M doesn't get it".

What did not help AT ALL was the comment "well, you should be grateful you get the kids and get to see the kids". OMG - Yes, I know and I remind myself all the time. But, to me that is a whole lot of guilt and not a true understanding of it all.

So, that is why I had to reread the comments from all of you, because I had to talk myself off the ledge again. My M and I - I told her the conversation is over and I am not going to back track on it now. I may be wrong in some areas and for that I am sorry, but she doesn't understand the situation and I don't think she ever will. It is okay. Just accept that is the case and I have learned that I really can't talk to her about it and need to bite my tongue when it comes to those topics. It never ends well anyways.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Tornup on October 13, 2021, 10:29:49 AM
Mourning Dove- I has a complicated relationship with my mother. She is no longer here, but when she was and she just didn’t get me I would tell her that I needed a break from her for a while. I would not talk to her for weeks and sometimes months and then I would reach out. I would never rehash the reason we stopped talking. I would just move forward. I always did it for my sanity.

Also, on your previous post. I totally get the frustration on being
left behind with the kids, dogs and life and they can just go wherever they want at anytime. My XH worked all weekends and never took vacations and now he does all that. That has been devastating. He does pay for things for the kids out of guilt. But has not spent time with them in a year. When you are the sane on their insanity can make you feel insane in moments 
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 14, 2021, 09:12:52 AM
Tornup - The relationship I initially had with my MIL was complicated. Luckily, because my MIL stopped drinking and owned her failures that helped. Once she started being a M and grandma in the truest sense and her actions aligned with her true core, then things changed for the better and she and I became very close.

My M - that is a different story. Our relationship was always very close. I admire my M and always have. But, MLC certainly was a bit of a game changer.

Part of this goes back to college. I suffered from a severe bought of depression brought on by what took them months to figure out. I had a severe B12 deficiency that brought on exhaustion and it created this vicious cycle of me going from a student who was used to taking 19-21 credit hours a semester, working a job and carrying straight A's in my classes to not being able to get out of bed and go to classes regularly. The depression came from suddenly functioning the way I was used to and not knowing why I was so tired. When they couldn't find anything wrong for months, I thought I was going crazy. They didn't test for B-12 on 20 year olds back then. When they figured it out after months and months of testing, I finally started to feel like myself. But in the interim, they had me in seeing an IC, who said she didn't believe my issues were mental by any stretch, but I saw her faithfully for months to keep myself from falling deeper while they tried to figure it out. I fought my way back after that was figured out and still graduated at the top of my class. I have always had fight in me.

For my parents, this was a horrible time. My F let go of it. My M, I know that bubbles up for her if she thinks there is any sign of me being down. She worries. Unfortunately, when BD hit, it brought back those protective instincts in her. And I think sometimes when I show any signs of being down, or aggravated, even for a short time, it brings out this fear in my M that I am going down the rabbit hole.

The truth is before MLC, I really only had "normal" ups and downs.

After that college experience and prior to MLC, I vowed no matter what, I was never going to go down that path again. If I felt down for any reason for an extended time, I would seek help. I didn't like feeling that way in college and so, for me BD really took me down. Especially the second BD. I did seek counseling and they put me on anti depressants for a short time after that, but it was different. I am very regimented about my B12 and knowing my body etc. - BD was a whole different situation and it has taken me time to realize that. I don't think my M understands how incredibly different it is - it is not the same experience at all and I wouldn't wish it on her to truly grasp it, TBH.

From my M's perspective, I can see why she has these what I would say are "knee jerk" reactions. She watched me be mentally be beaten down and even I didn't know if I could get through an hour of my day some days.

The problem lies in that I am not that person at all anymore. I have done the work I needed to do to move past that and have faced my own issues. I have made changes and embraced who I was before BD. I am back to being more true to myself on many levels.

I have changed and my M has changed some. I can't control her behaviors, but I can work on modifying mine when it comes to her. I realize that because she is in part overly concerned and will never grasp my situation with my Xh. I am going to have to adapt and try not and share some of my frustrations. It only creates problems for us and it is in part because it is something she can't possibly understand. I have to change what I share with her.

I also know that the pandemic and the time up until the surgery for my M were very difficult on her. She lost a great deal of confidence in herself and her personality changed some. But, in the past month, now that my M can drive again and her sight has improved dramatically, both kids noted, as did my F, my sister and I that she is starting to act more like she once did. I don't expect it to magically all go back to the way things were, but she seems more like herself too - so maybe that will help level things out between the two of us again.

As for the BS with Xh. I am over it - LOL. I am on a different path and it was like tripping and falling into a bush with prickers on it along my path. I have regrouped and am going to enjoy my little part of the world.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Tornup on October 14, 2021, 12:04:36 PM
 Sounds like a lot of love from your Mom. Also, very few get the MLC aspect and I wouldn’t have either if I hadn’t tried to figure out the crazy behavior and change, so I can see why people want to shake us and tell us not to be fools. It has taken me 10 months to get to a place where XH every actions don’t throw me into a downfall. Finally, starting to let go. Still have some bombs that have set me off, but I no longer linger in pain.

Thank you for explaining. Makes so much more sense!!!
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Reinventing on October 15, 2021, 07:20:19 PM
And a B12 deficiency in and of itself can cause depression even if your grades and performance didn't change because of some other reactions in the body that are dependent on B12 and affect the brain. All the more reason for her to not correlate the B12 deficiency time with depression due to life circumstances.

But sorry to hear that she is still concerned.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 16, 2021, 11:28:53 AM
Reinventing - That was certainly my experience and it is something that seemed to come out of nowhere. I had a really balanced diet, even in college. When they finally decided 6 months or so in to add that to the many blood panels I had taken, it was a shock. That test was literally one the doctor figured while they were at it, to just throw it in because everything was coming back completely normal. I recall the doctor being shocked that my number was in the 20's when normal ranges run about 200-900. Fortunately, for years I have been able to regulate it orally and haven't had to rely on injections. Once it leveled out, it was amazing how much it had been affecting me. Things I hadn't realized, like my hair had become brittle, joint pain, etc. Those things that we chalked up to stress. I now can tell when my levels might be off ever so slightly if I have gotten relaxed about taking my B12. And, I have it as a necessary routine check in my files.

Logically, I think my M knows my depression was rooted in the B12 deficiency and really more of a physical response, than MLC BD type of depression, but it is hard to sometimes separate those things out when you worry. And my M is a worrier as it is. I suppose it is a bit of PTSD on her part. And, I am not going to change her perspective or get her to relax about it. She is going to be 80 next month and I think it is probably easier for me to adapt my approach to this situation. It isn't that I can't talk to her about things, but I think I need to be more mindful of when I have those moments and not necessarily share some of those things with her.

Last night I attended the first college art show there has been in over 18 months. It seemed so weird. By the time I had gotten there the event had cleared out except for a handful of students and my one colleague. In the past we would have all gone out to dinner afterwards, but everyone was busy. Frankly, I was grateful to be in and out of there for the night. I was distracted anyways by someone else. And, in all honesty it was nice. I was having fun and would have chosen that fun over going out last night.

What did happen though at the art opening was something that really took me by surprise. I walked in to see a young woman who looked familiar but I couldn't place her. For one, the mask threw me, but it was more than that. She was one of my former students from about a year before Covid struck. She was talented, and quirky, but extremely meek and timid on many levels. She truly was very naive and behaved in some ways socially as if she were in early middle school. And, I remember she wore pajamas to class most days. No make up and her hair was just pulled back. She wasn't depressed, but looking back now, I think she was just afraid to be noticed. Yet it was funny, because in many ways she was noticed more for her dress in her "comfy clothes" than she would have been if she had even come in costume. And, she wasn't the only kid who showed up in PJs or sweats. It was just that was her "uniform".

Not last night. There she stood with a new hairstyle. She had dyed it to a lovely color and pulled back. Full make-up and dressed up in a manner that was really very age appropriate for a 20 something year old, yet, she had her own style - it was not a trendy mall look. She looked fantastic and then when she spoke she was outgoing and social. She was giving people tours of the work and explaining things. I looked at my colleague and he saw the shock. He asked me if I knew her. I laughed and said yes, but I would have never ever guessed she would have blossomed like this.

My colleague went off for a bit to answer some questions, but he wanted to catch up and I had a package for him from my F, so he asked me to wait for him. I sat outside and the student came out. I told her how impressed I was with her and she was so excited to tell me something. She started out with something along the lines of "do you remember a conversation you had with the students about when you were in college and forcing yourself to get up every morning and making yourself put on makeup and dress clothes, even if you had been up all night"? I had to laugh to myself. First of all, I can say that during that whole B12 episode that was part of what had me reeling - when I did get out of bed for classes, it was something that tipped off the one professor who saw me falling apart - it was that I was showing up to classes in sweats and no make up. It was a shocking change.

I don't recall the exact conversation I had with that student or others. I am an open book with most of my students in terms of not being afraid to share with them things I have learned. The dressing up part was no doubt a discussion about treating my school like a job and it was in part a mindset for myself. I felt better when I put the effort in. And I found my professors took me more seriously when I presented myself differently than the average college student rolling in after an all nighter. But it was more than that for me. I found that sometimes dressing up, and I still do, can alter my mood and sometimes allow me to look confident and fool even myself sometimes, when I am not feeling terribly confident.

And, I am sure part of the conversation I probably had with these students, because after this student mentioned it, I recall the makeup of that class and one student in particular would always very sincerely ask me about my clothes choices. She was always commenting on how put together I was. That always made me laugh because that class timing was an early morning after teaching a night class, so those mornings were often rushed and my choices were often on the fly. Along the lines of "yup, those shoes will work" today, as I ran out the door.

What came after the initial question from this student was her telling me that there were many times she took my advice to heart. Artistically, as well as those seemingly just extraneous conversations that I often don't think are terribly important in the grand scheme of teaching my students. But, it would seem this made some impact on her I never could have predicted.

She had once told me that she was afraid that dressing up in any manner would call unwanted attention to her from men. She liked men, but she was afraid of them. I never pushed her as to why. I am not sure if there is some very deep reason or if it was my gut telling me that based on what I did know, was that her M was very protective of her and kept her very sheltered for whatever reason. Apparently, that topic had been covered after class one day in a conversation which I vaguely recalled and it was after I had a problem with a drunken idiot at Walmart, who was being rather fresh in line and getting too close. I stepped back and put my weight down on his instep with my stiletto and told him if he came any closer that my aim would be somewhere else. His friend had apologized, etc. My response to these young women who had hung after class was something along the lines of there are always going to be idiots - male or female and not to forget that there are as many if probably not more really good people out there who would never behave that way.

This student informed me that during Covid and the shutdown she really started to think about being isolated because of the pandemic and for her it really wasn't a huge change. I wasn't sure what she was getting at and then she said it dawned on her she didn't really care for being alone and isolated in that manner, but it was no different than the isolation she created by hiding in PJs and in her own shell. She said it was then she decided to go out of her comfort zone and she is loving this new version of herself. She is still shy and yet, she exudes this confidence now that is just amazing. I told her as much.

It is one of those moments that made me perhaps push myself out of my own comfort zone and be more forward. I know - people often think I can be very blunt and straight forward, but there are parts of me that are still incredibly shy and fearful. I have been afraid to maybe know the answers to things. That fear of rejection bubbles up more than I care to admit. Funny thing is, I am now mad at myself for not trusting my gut and allowing those monkeys to play with my thoughts the past few months.

I came home to find S's current roommate and his former roommate standing in the driveway with S. The current roommate, I had not met, but had been assured by S's former roommate and S, whose opinions on people carry a great deal of weight, was a really good guy. The amusing thing to me is that these roommates of S's didn't know each other before college, yet grew up a couple of towns away from one another. Now the one lives near us and this one is looking to relocate here.

S had to work this morning, and his GF was off to get a manicure. I came downstairs and the roommate who I have only briefly met the night before was here by himself. I asked him if he wanted coffee and he lit up. We sat in the kitchen and had a nice talk and I can see why S and his former roommate like this guy. I warned him that D is the velociraptor to watch out for. She had gone to her BF's last night, so she didn't encounter him. S's former roommate was coming through the door as we were discussing D and he laughed. D likes this young man and he is like a second B to her. He laughed and said that if D likes someone she is sweet as can be but will also mercilessly joke with you sometimes. It was about an hour later D showed up with her BF and she clearly was doing a quick assessment and made her decision. It turns out that this young man also wrestled in high school and D's BF did as well. They hit it off immediately. The whole scenario just made me smile. This house used to be filled with laughter prior to MLC where both kids had friends that they both got along with.

Next weekend, S will be traveling with both of the "roommates" back to their home state. I asked what was going on and they are picking up more things for the one young man who moved here, but they have a plan to visit some creamery that is supposed to be fantastic.

I am glad for the group today, but I am liking this idea of having a weekend where the kids are off doing other things. LOL
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 17, 2021, 07:36:05 PM
I was a bit shocked when S asked about the wedding I was invited to. He knew the invitation had said "plus guest" but he hadn't asked about it since the invite had come in the mail. I was getting ready to change my clothes for the event and S paused. He asked why I hadn't invited someone very specific. I explained they were busy for one, but I had also considered it would be very overwhelming to be brought to an event where I wasn't even sure what to expect. S hadn't realized that my other friend who was invited was going alone, as her H had to work most of the day and we decided to go as one another's "plus one". Before I explained that was going on, S right away said he would go with me. I thought he was kidding. S hates getting dressed up - especially for weddings. I wondered what had brought this on and he was worried I would feel weird being the only single woman at the table. After telling him my friend was going to be there, he laughed and said he was glad, but he would have gone. He said he even would have danced, which made me ask him if he had been sniffing diesel fumes. He gave me a hug and said no, he was just being a good son.

The weather cleared up, and the event was lovely - I will admit. My friend and I were seated with another couple. It was kind of funny in that my friend knew the W from years ago and she didn't know the H. I knew the H, as he was my cousin's best friend growing up but I didn't know his W. Yet, we all hung out in the same circles of friends back then. Not sure how we all didn't somehow know each other.

After all of the ceremonial things and dinner, the DJ started up and my friend and the W took off for the dance floor. My cousin's friend gave me a look and said I was always out dancing when we were growing up - what was going on. I explained that I love dancing, just not necessarily at weddings that play the "Chicken Dance" or the "Hokey Pokey" type music. In fact, I tend to not be one who wants to just dance to the traditional wedding playlist. I was content sitting and watching. It was at that point a man came over and asked me to slow dance. I declined. My cousin's friend gave me a look again. I laughed and said he clearly had not been paying attention. It was a relatively small wedding. That man - yah, he was not a wedding guest, but a hotel guest that had just shown up at the open bar and slid into the room when the lights were turned down for the dance floor. I wasn't terribly comfortable with that situation. When my cousin's friend's W and my friend returned to the table, he asked if they knew the guy. My friend laughed right away and said she saw him when she came in and he was asking the front desk if there was a wedding going on. She was pretty sure he wasn't on the guest list and then asked why. She laughed and said it was probably a good call on my part.

It was then someone else I knew came over. I haven't seen them in a long time. Not a good friend, but an acquaintance. They stopped and said they had just heard I was divorced. My friend, who doesn't particularly care for this person and who always has my back, snapped back, saying that is really old news. I wanted to burst out laughing, because this person likes to stir the pot. It was then she made a snarky remark before seeing someone else she just had to talk to - the comment was along the lines of how I must really never want to get married again and inferred I had my one shot. I gave my friend a look and rolled my eyes. We laughed as she walked away and my friend was looking at me to make sure that I was really okay. She could tell I really was not phased by the woman and her idiotic statement. She and I have never really talked about how I feel about marriage as a whole. She wasn't prying but she asked me if the wedding was difficult for me. It wasn't. A few years ago, the first wedding I attended was brutally painful, but it was for a young woman who had been the flower girl at my wedding to Xh. Since then, I am usually happy for the people getting married. I like seeing happy couples.

The conversation turned to my friend asking me if I would consider getting married again. I wasn't upset by her questions, simply because I have known her since we were in middle school. Her questions are always from the heart and never any malice or just to be nosy. She and her H are so well suited for one another and she said to me a couple of weeks ago she so wishes I could find that happiness and someone worthy of my love. I didn't hesitate to answer. I told her I thrive in a monogamous relationship. I like commitment, but I would never just commit to someone to have someone. That person would have to be very special and want the same thing. As far as marriage - that made me laugh only in that I said to her that there was no way I was ever going to be convinced to go the route of this wedding, which was small, but I told her I would not want the grand fanfare again, that is for sure. She laughed and said my first wedding was very small and intimate and would I go smaller than that? I have no clue - for one, I explained to her that marriage is not off the table, but I am not sure it would be on the table. I think that confused her at first. I said I couldn't answer that because it isn't even something on my radar as such. Would I marry again? I am not opposed to it, but it depends on so many things. One being, it would depend on that other person. I told her the only thing I really wanted in the long term sense is a partner and a commitment to be partners. Beyond that, I can't say yes or no to that question. She smiled and said that was a fair answer.

I drove home and thought about the wedding. It was the right thing for this friend. She and her H are clearly in love and it was what she had always wanted - a big party. I am happy for her. That was never me and never would be me.

When I came through the door, S asked how things went. I relayed a couple of funny things and said it was a nice event, but I was frankly happy to be home. When I mentioned the wedding playlist - S laughed and said he is glad he didn't have to make good on that offer to take me.

I was honestly happy to be home and had it been earlier, I would have lit a fire in the fire pit and then perhaps danced in the moonlight. Luckily, the forecast looks good and maybe in a couple of nights that can happen.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 18, 2021, 10:34:22 AM
I was on my way to the wedding and chose to drive by a family friend's house, as I hadn't been that way in a long time. I saw she had put out her array of pumpkins and smiled.

I have run into the M over the past few years and she knows all too well what went down with Xh. Her kids and mine were thick as thieves for years. S is still very close to the eldest S. D's BF is friends with the other S and coaches the youngest S. The daughter, she and D were close growing up and have drifted apart in terms of interests, but they get along very well.

D had just run into the M a few days ago and she sent her regards.

As I drove by, I thought of the many parties we attended there. D had gone to countless tea parties and the like. S had gone to birthday parties and then of course came graduation parties for all but the youngest, who is in his senior year this year.

I thought about how things changed drastically with Xh. He used to go and have a great time, but then MLC hit and he refused to go to any social event with me. I struggled through several of them on my own or with the kids during the hardest months, but this family always just gave me a hug and welcomed me and tried to behave as normally as possible. They made huge efforts to not somehow make me or the kids feel like life had to change just because our lives were imploding at the time. And the M knew I needed those moments where I could just exist without people asking me if I was okay. She had encountered me on and off during MLC and knew there were times where she rushed in and gave me a hug as I was clearly going to fall apart and cry. I never felt uncomfortable around her, where as with some people the tears would bubble up at the worst times and it felt like they didn't know how to react. She just did.

With the kids going off to college, etc, life has been hectic. The last Halloween party they had I couldn't go and both kids were at college. Her own kids were all over the state and life just changed for everyone. Covid just made it even more difficult.

As I drove by, I smiled and thought about those Halloween parties. They were so simple. They held them in the barn and would have food and hot apple cider along with adult beverages. There was always a bonfire and a hayride through the fields. I was thinking about how much I missed those little social events.

I know from the last time that I ran into the M, that her two boys moved back and the D is looking to possibly buy a farm around the corner from my house. I am tickled at that idea since I know the owners are at a point where they can't maintain it. It is the right owner for that property.

This morning, I had a message waiting for me on Facebook and I laughed. There was an invite to the rebooted Halloween party and a note that they would so love to see me and to bring a guest if I like. I responded that I would put it on my calendar and at the very least make an appearance.

I need this type of normal. I like running around and exploring. I like my projects and keeping busy, but I have been craving some simple things. And honestly that was part of the conversation last night with my friend. She was talking about how she and her H just like spending time together, even if it is in the back yard working along side of one another. She is well aware of my former social life with Xh and some of the events we went to. She asked if I missed those things. I had to laugh and told her that no, honestly they are fun to do once in awhile, like the wedding was, but I really would like to get to a point where time with anyone special could include things like making dinner and just simple things. She laughed and said I was getting old. Yah - perhaps.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 19, 2021, 02:26:40 AM
This morning, I had a message waiting for me on Facebook and I laughed. There was an invite to the rebooted Halloween party and a note that they would so love to see me and to bring a guest if I like. I responded that I would put it on my calendar and at the very least make an appearance.

Ironic how the universe sometimes steps in and seems to know what we are thinking and needing and drops it on our doorstep, all wrapped in a pretty ribbon, isn't it?


I need this type of normal. I like running around and exploring. I like my projects and keeping busy, but I have been craving some simple things. And honestly that was part of the conversation last night with my friend. She was talking about how she and her H just like spending time together, even if it is in the back yard working along side of one another. She is well aware of my former social life with Xh and some of the events we went to. She asked if I missed those things. I had to laugh and told her that no, honestly they are fun to do once in awhile, like the wedding was, but I really would like to get to a point where time with anyone special could include things like making dinner and just simple things. She laughed and said I was getting old. Yah - perhaps.  ::)

Oh yeah..... I know EXACTLY what you mean.....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 19, 2021, 11:50:35 AM
Yes, UrsaMajor - the universe does sometimes give us good surprises.  ;)

These parties were always fun because they weren't some forced situation where people felt pressure to dress up in costumes. If you did - great, there was a costume contest for the adults and kids, but no one gave you a hard time if you weren't dressed up. TBH, it was a way for many of us back then to allow the kids to get in their costumes and to play outside or in the barns. The parents would set up games and had spooky areas for the kids who wanted to be frightened and other areas safe for little kids or those who preferred a more sedate event.

For the adults, we could visit and the adults that were there were all good about keeping tabs on all of the kids. We took turns and knew each kid there.

Some of the best times S had were playing amongst the hay bales that they had in the upper barn. D remembers the bonfires and s'mores.

I have no intention of getting into a costume for this event - at least not right now. I am honestly liking the idea of putting on a pair of jeans, a big fuzzy sweater and some boots. If required a pair of gloves and a jacket - IDK. Or maybe it's jeans, sweatshirt and sneakers. Either way, it is more of a country fall gathering the way I am viewing it.

I often found that those events took so much time to get the kids in costume that I had no energy or desire to put on any costume of my own.

But, who knows. Maybe the creative mood will hit and I will do something unexpected. LOL

The thing that made me laugh was S asked if I had been invited. I said I had and he told me he drove by there the other day and had such a huge smile on his face recalling those parties. He said he was excited to see the invite come in as well. S then remarked that he is glad I am going and am not avoiding places just because Xh used to be part of that mix many years ago. I told him that I have nice memories from then, but I really want to make new memories and am not going to somehow grab some of those old memories of Xh. In fact, if anything, the best memories I have of those events are more about the kids all having a good time and I more specifically just remember the autumn air and being on that farm. I didn't tell him, but I honestly don't really recall many things about Xh at those events. There are other places I can recall snippets, but I think the only thing I remember about Xh at these parties was he liked this one dessert someone always brought, although I can not recall what it was.

For one, I blocked some of those Halloween memories with Xh from my mind. There were some Halloween moments that I put on a good facade. In fact, the one year I did dress up when MLC was on our doorstep, it was a night when Xh told me - after BD 1, that he was going to divorce me. I came through the door from work and the kids were getting ready to go out trick or treating. He just hit me with that nugget and all I could do was go into autopilot, because in the next breath he was on the opposite side of things and wondering if I was going to be ready to go behave like a family, as it had been our tradition to go out with the kids for years. I came up with an impromptu costume only because I needed to hide my tear stained cheeks. I can remember that night so incredibly vividly in terms of the weather and the smell of the leaves. Every step between each house seemed like miles. The small village blocks with 6 houses felt more like walking a NYC block.

One of the last Halloweens, right before Xh moved out, D was invited to a party for her cross country team. Xh went out in costume for the first time ever to meet up with Schmoopie at a hotel party. I can't tell you when he dragged his butt home. I know I took D to the event and picked her up. I don't know what happened in between. I was a shell of myself at that point.

I don't get upset now that these holidays roll around. I thought at one point that the holidays would always be ruined, as Xh liked to drop little bombs along the way and holidays were big days for him. I have slowly adapted to the holidays and the changes that have been made.

It dawned on me today though, that I am really ready this year specifically to put those past holidays far behind me. I want new memories and to share them with someone else in some capacity. It is not even about the specific days. Maybe it is just a desire to move on and not force the holidays as such, but embrace the changes that may come and holidays are part of the changes. IDK. There is definitely a different shift in my mentality this year more than the past couple of years. Maybe it is just because I am that much happier. I can only see what I want and not what I had.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 20, 2021, 04:29:48 AM
Here you go....

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 21, 2021, 09:18:53 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Well, Xh did use that reference to me, along with other choice words when MLC hit.  ::)

I don't know. I think I am really still leaning towards the idea of fuzzy sweater, jeans and boots - no costume or spells. Just a nice night out in the country. Of course, at this rate, the weather is very unpredictable and if it is cold and rainy, I am not going to enjoy it. LOL.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 21, 2021, 02:11:02 PM
I don't like asking for help. I know people often assume it is because I have some need to do it all on my own or because I am a control freak. That was never the case, nor is it now.

With these projects I have had going on, I have had a harder time with the help aspect. I realize that part of it is my need to fix the MLC BS projects on my own. Another part it is to rid the house of the MLC memories. I have found it both maddening, but on a certain level therapeutic. And part of it is a need to prove to myself that I am capable. Xh so beat into my head that I would not be able to manage on my own along with telling me all of the things I did wrong, that I know that bubbles up, even subconsciously. I have been more aware of it, and working on letting go of those words.

The truth is, I know I can't do certain things and there are things that I not only need help with, but I really would like to be able to have help sometimes. My struggle is often now with asking for help from say my F, because he (and my M). have helped me so much already through this nonsense.

Today, I needed an extra set of hands, at the very least. I was installing D's closet doors. It should have been an easy install. I had put in the new track for the bifold doors. Her original doors, luckily did not suffer any damage, and are heavy hardwood doors, so I was happy to not have to replace them. I put new hinges on them and painted them. All was good, except they weigh a ton because of the sheer size of the opening on her closet. I couldn't manage on my own. And, then it got even more aggravating when I realized that with fixing the crazy crooked closet walls, that it had changed some of the opening enough that now the doors did not just go up the way they used to. I wanted to cry. It should have been at best a 15 minute event, but it has taken all day and is nowhere near done.

I called my F who came down to the house and he too was perplexed at first. After some initial fitting, we realized we were going to have to now plane the doors down. Now that the doors are planed, I now have to repaint parts of the doorway and the baseboard had to be adjusted some in the closet.

I moved on to the window seat and the rain has made the wood swell just enough that it is tighter than it should be. It is a good thing to find it out now, but there too, I felt like I was just having one of those days where I was back to square one.

Having my F there to help me was a godsend, TBH. I needed the help, but I also needed the moral support. He happened to see my solution for the linen closet in the bathroom hallway and smiled. It is nothing special, but he now sees what I was going for, making it possible for the shelves to be adjusted if needed.

My neighbor happened to pop over, as he has been hearing the chop saw going on and off for weeks. He said it is so weird to think of me doing this on my own, when he remembers Xh and I working side by side on projects many years ago. He was always envious, since his W wanted nothing to do with things like yard work or gardens, much less construction things. The two of them found ways to cook together and do other things. I told him that I frankly miss that part and while I don't mind working alone, I don't love it all the time. The sense of satisfaction, I miss sharing.

I am working through my frustrations and realize I have to start reaching out for help more often.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 22, 2021, 03:53:57 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Well, Xh did use that reference to me, along with other choice words when MLC hit.  ::)

I don't know. I think I am really still leaning towards the idea of fuzzy sweater, jeans and boots - no costume or spells. Just a nice night out in the country. Of course, at this rate, the weather is very unpredictable and if it is cold and rainy, I am not going to enjoy it. LOL.

Well, these ones are bada$$ and decent looking to boot.... GWPWELVF was probably thinking more along the lines of
but what does HE know?

As far as preferring to have our squishy bits pounded flat with a ball-peen hammer before we will ask for help - I have NO idea what you mean.... <snort!>  Something along the lines of "I'll be darned if I put myself in a place where someone could let me down again so if I don't have to ask for help or rely on someone else, so much the better...." I have been ... uhmmmmmm ..... I won't say "yelled at" but certainly "given a stern talking to" about doing it all alone and not asking for help....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 22, 2021, 12:30:36 PM
UrsaMajor - I am sure Xh pictured the latter or worse.

I try not to think about some of the things that came off of Xh's tongue during those moments. He was certainly capable of spewing toxic things that clearly were meant to inflict pain. It was evident at one point that it wasn't just his frustrations and somehow he was off on some out of control rant. There was a time when he returned to OW that second time, right around BD#2 that he wanted to break me.

If I look back now, I realize that he was trying so desperately to get me to throw him out. He wanted me to do the dirty work and make the decision. He didn't want to be perceived as the one who left or the "bad guy". He tried to get me to engage and be that raving "b!tc#" he painted me out to be with his "followers". OW tried selling that bill of goods too. It infuriated her when I would just hunker down and keep staying true to myself. It wasn't easy to keep from lashing out and cutting her off at the knees. I wanted to at times. It would have just fueled their whole narrative.

Those words cut deep. I know that is part of my struggle with asking for help now. He had me convinced I couldn't manage on my own. Or I was told every little thing I did wrong. It was such a switch from what I had known for a long time. But, looking way back, that began when his M died in 2004. He was starting to get a bit odd back then about certain things. Jealousy, I suspect and that feeling of not being able to somehow stop his M's illness - created moments where he tried to control things. Yet, even then, he never called me horrible names.

Someone asked me at the wedding how long Xh has been gone from the house. I really had to think. I only recall the date specifically because it was the July right after S's graduation ceremony from high school. But, I had to pause and think about the year. It still surprises me that I now have to think about those dates to retrieve them. Had anyone said that when I was desperately trying to save my marriage, I seemed to know the exact particulars of everything that day. Date, time, location, etc. And they felt like they were seared into my soul forever. I won't say that there aren't things that pop up or that there aren't some moments I can recall pretty vividly, but they don't hurt so much to talk about. I think what has remained and does sometimes sneak up on me is the damage those horrible words did to my confidence. It is not nearly as bad as it once was, but when I find myself doing something in a "I will show him" mentally it shocks me. It is not something I do consciously, but when I see it, I am embarrassed. Or when I stop myself from doing something because I hear Xh's words in my head and I question myself.

I know it takes time to flush those things out of your system. In part it is being aware of it when it happens.

The closet doors were a good example. I was a fool to think I could do them on my own and I did need the help. The funny part of the whole end result was D coming home and being excited about the doors closing properly. I wouldn't have been able to accomplish that without my F helping me plane the doors down and adjusting them. What made me really laugh was D telling me that she hadn't expected them to close because they never closed before. I had to stop and ask her what she meant. She asked me if I recalled she never closed the one side. I laughed and said clearly I didn't think about it, but back then, I know D was going through the phase where she would put something on for a nanosecond and then decide she didn't want to wear it, so it would end up in the hamper. Back then, a closet door not being closed would not have been even on my radar. I was just happy to see something hung back up back then. But, D said those doors have never closed. Xh hung them up and in frustration never addressed they would never fully shut. And, D remembers when Xh would never have left doors that way.

D is planning on being home all weekend. Her BF has "Family Weekend" and she was invited, but she decided she didn't feel like watching football in the rain and after having midterms, she is looking forward to baking all weekend. S leaves this afternoon to go on a trip out of state with his former roommate. It should make for a quiet weekend.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 23, 2021, 01:48:04 PM
S left very late yesterday for his road trip. His former roommate ended up delayed at work, having been called out on an emergency repair on a piece of farm equipment. It is the nature of the business he is in, so S was trying to roll with it. This had my parents a bit nervous about S traveling, as the deer are running. My F was pacing it seems, which is so unlike him, when they hadn't heard from S last night. S hadn't arrived until 1 am and said he wasn't about to bother them at that point. My M was texting early this morning wondering if I had heard anything. I hadn't, but I woke S up and told him to just send her a text to let them know he arrived safely. He did just that and it made all the difference in the world. I later spoke to him and thanked him because I would have been text bombed until I had tracked him down. We both laughed, but we also understand they just care and weren't asking for much.

When I came home last night, D was sitting at the bar. She had been home for quite some time and had a long day at college. I too had a very busy day. I was not so much physically tired, as it hadn't been a day I was running around, but I had been chasing after artists and lining up sales, etc.

I had customers come in 10 minutes before we closed and I didn't push them out the door. They weren't just popping in to kill time before a dinner reservation. They had just moved to the area and were genuinely interested in the work and buying, but had something in mind. I worked with them to determine which artists they liked and I knew from that short list who I could contact that had larger pieces in their studio. The couple was so grateful. My sister later said it was too bad I didn't work on commission. Yah, yesterday would have been one of those days I would have pulled in a tidy sum for myself. I had been working with a woman who had requested some specific types of work a few weeks ago and tracked down the artist we had in mind. The artist had been out of town, but I lined up a sale of 7 more paintings to this individual. My boss, needless to say was very happy.  ::)

By the time I came through the door, D and I both decided we would go out for dinner. D suggested the grocery store that has a cafe and then we could get a few items on our grocery list. I will now admit it was a good choice. I can't say it was on the top of my list originally, only because the idea of running around afterwards was not at all appealing.

As we sat, D started reminiscing about when S and Xh would go on road trips when D was really little. She had often wanted to go along, but we knew that she would have been bored in short order at that point in time. I didn't mind those times Xh took S on those trips. They checked in and we had plenty of family trips or times when Xh and I went away by ourselves. Xh would make it up to D by taking her out for father/daughter adventures. He would take her his one client's boutique for an afternoon where the ladies would fuss over her. Then they would go to dinner or lunch. He even took her for a dress up tea party, even though he was not loving the idea right out the gate. D was all "little princess" at that point. She wanted to wear the princess gowns and such. It wasn't until later she discovered she liked getting dirty in the garden and as a teenager, kayaking and the like became her go-to activities.

D started giggling last night reminding me what would happen when these trips happened. D and I would plan our own weekend. It might be she wanted to bake all weekend. Or it might be a trip to the zoo. She started recalling a couple of movies she and I went to see. I had forgotten them up until now, but she was right. We went to the movies and she dressed up in her pink princess gown for the occasion. But, there were times she just wanted to go to Target late at night. That was fun for her - because to her late meant it was dark out. We probably were out around 7 pm, as it was this time of year, but to her, it felt like midnight. When the kids were little, I would let them get a bag of popcorn that they could eat while I shopped. They had to share, so of course, when D was by herself, it was all hers.  ::)

We laughed about it last night for quite awhile. She then paused and said that it seemed like a lifetime ago and she will never understand what happened to Xh. I had no answer for her. What can I say? I can answer for myself the parts about him leaving the marriage on a certain level, but the change in how he behaves with the kids is just not something I will ever comprehend. He has had free access to them. Had I made it difficult in any way, maybe one could argue it was too much for him to handle, but I allowed so much access that if often affected me - I didn't put up boundaries to protect myself so that he had those opportunities to see the kids. He just has chosen to not take advantage of it.

The morning was quiet, other than the text from my M. D has been settling her room. She is just giddy to be finally putting things in the closet and setting up her "George-friendly" space. That cat has a regular spa setup in her room. He seems to be very happy with his newly renovated accommodations. The other cat, D let in the room as well. I caught her talking to the older cat, who had been Xh's and telling her that she was welcome to hang out and she knows what it feels like having Xh abandon you. I wanted to cry. I half expected her to be down, but I came around the corner and she was happily putting up her pictures and asked me to help her with the blanket box my F had built for her. It was originally a toy box, but he designed it so that it would grow with her.

I have been helping her when she needs it, but she seems to be content working away and organizing her space. It freed me up to work on some of my own things. And, having D move her things out of the dining nook is making me feel like I can finally see some more progress.

The other big event today has been revolving around my M and her upcoming 80th birthday. I was thinking back to when my FIL turned 80. OMG. SIL organized it. It was what she wanted. Every aspect of it. My sister and I know my M does not want a big party. She has insisted on paying for whatever my sister and I plan, and she had mentioned going out to dinner. We were fine with that, but my M is funny. It was during a conversation yesterday when I realized that my M doesn't want that either. I knew why. A restaurant with all of us is too loud for her. She likes being able to talk to her grandchildren and spend time with family. The last time we all went out it was difficult for her to hear. It was for my F's birthday. He had a ball. My M enjoyed herself, but she felt a bit lost at times. I started to sense this restaurant idea was coming up because she didn't want to inconvenience my sister or I and she figured everyone else enjoyed the event. I called my sister and we made an executive decision. We have nixed going out and formulated a plan. One that we knew would make my M happy, and frankly is in many ways easier for all of us to enjoy. For one, it takes the pressure off of whether or not S's GF is available or D's BF, etc.

So, we decided with D, who loves planning these things, that we will have a brunch, which my M loves anyways, at my sister's.  It will allow people to watch football if they want. We can all visit and have a leisurely brunch and if we have it at my sister's I can help her cook, etc and keep my M from organizing her own party. We have two cakes on order, as it is also my parent's anniversary a couple of days later.

I laughed when my sister just called me and she said she told my M. My M was at first worried it was too much for us, then my sister told her the plan. She said my M actually sounded excited and really likes the idea of just having a nice event. We told her to let us know if there was anyone else she wanted to invite. She made some references to not minding if people tagged along, but she hesitated at one point. My sister laughed and said to be clear, she and I had already decided that Toxic Aunt and crew were not coming, nor were any other extended family, as then it becomes a family reunion and overwhelming for my M. She said that was a good idea because she is on the outs with my Aunt right now anyways. That was a new one. My M is never on the outs with anyone. Seems my Aunt pushed a button she shouldn't have. My M said she would just plan on going to lunch or something with her another day. Then she added - maybe. Okay then. LOL.

My sister and I are much happier about this. It allows us to do like we did for my parent's 50th anniversary. They still talk about that party we had. It was just a small group at my sister's. We decorated and surprised them with an anniversary cake and sent them to an event beforehand. It was a nice relaxed event and my M will be happy to not have to have all the hoopla, like having someone bring out a cake at a restaurant and sing "Happy Birthday" to her.

It also give D something to focus on. She pulled out her recipe book and is on the menu planning with my sister. I stepped back and said I can participate, but I can play sous chef and go up earlier in the day to help my sister set up.

Xh was around for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. He was half out the door by then. I don't recall much about him being there TBH. I only know he was there because he helped me secure tickets for a sold out event for my parents. He had a client who had an in with the venue. I do know at that point, I was well on my way to accepting he and I weren't going to make it to 25 years married, much less 50 years. I am okay with that now. I wouldn't have been happy living with what Xh has become.

D informs me she is making dinner tonight. She said it is a surprise. I am just happy to not have to figure that out today. LOL
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Reinventing on October 24, 2021, 12:57:55 AM
MD, so nice to hear about D's room being complete and so improved. A closet door that doesn't close is a real pain because you use it every day and leaving it open can make a room feel messy even if everything else is "put up" and the bed is made.

That has got to feel good to you. What is the next space you're going to tackle?
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 24, 2021, 11:16:09 AM
Reinventing - D's room just needs a couple of areas finessed now that she is moving in. When we hung the doors for the closet, the baseboard had to be modified and her window seat needs some tweaking, but those are all little things that I can do when she is off to school. The cat door/archway will take a bit more to figure out, but that too can wait a little bit.

I am happy that it is finally for the most part - done. I beat myself up so many times over how long it was taking. Some of it, I realize was delays in being able to find materials and when this all started it was just before my surgery. I have had to gently remind myself that I have had a lot going on that have dictated the pace. But, I do realize some of the issues I encountered were mental on my part. I had to really struggle with that particular room because of all of the MLC related renovations Xh had done. There were so many times I had wished that D's room had just fallen off that side of the house completely. Her room suffered the least amount of damage and yet because of some of the things I encountered it is probably the hardest to rectify. The bathroom, that is down to the studs and original construction I am dealing with. There are bound to be a few hiccups, but more along the lines of it's an older home and having to possibly scribe some of the floor tiles to fit properly.

D has been settling in and this morning she was putting pictures up on her built-in shelves. She was singing and had her earbuds in. I was able to catch her joy for a brief second without her noticing me coming through the door. I looked at her collection of pictures and there were some I hadn't seen before of her and her friends from high school. I laughed when I noticed the handful of them with her and S together. She doesn't always like to admit how much she loves S. They drive each other nuts, but it is so clear how close they have always been.

The candid shot from my sister's wedding with Xh and I pictured with the kids has been something she has had in a frame since my sister got married. It was before MLC and D was only 4 years old. She put it in a new frame and I have had the conversation with her before about that particular picture since Xh moved out. D loves that memory because she had to be carried out of the wedding at midnight. She was wanting to dance all night and she was so upset when her night out ended. We joked with her that she was like Cinderella. She didn't buy back then either.  ::)

When Xh moved out, there were many pictures D had of she and him together or with all of us. As he disappeared from her life, she began removing many of them and put them in a box. Some of the ones just prior to BD, when he would still take her out for lunch or shopping she put away in recent years. She said they were way too painful, as she didn't know that man anymore. He had changed a great deal by then, that is for sure. But, that wedding picture, she said was still one of her fondest memories.

What caught my eye was one she has added to the collection of photos. It was a photo of Xh and I remember the moment pretty well. It was our first Christmas in the house and before renovations began. The living room still had the old windows and paneling all over the walls. Xh looked content and was sitting by the Christmas tree. D and S weren't in our lives at that point. It would be 4 more years before S would be born.

I wasn't surprised D had an older photo of Xh and it isn't upsetting me. I just found it fascinating that was the one she settled on. She smiled and said somehow in that picture he just looks like his old self and just happy. Before all the madness took over. She said she remembers him being that way with us too, but there was just something comforting about that picture - a happy memory of who he used to be. I gave her a hug and let her get back to it.

My F arrived shortly thereafter with new hinges for the large glass door that we had made repairs to not long ago. He was so excited to help me put that door back up. The cats will be disappointed as they were liking the tunnel the door created as it was leaning against the cabinet in the living room.

D then came downstairs and was getting ready to go to the mall. She is meeting a friend from college and I couldn't be happier. D's friends from high school are off at their respective colleges and with the pandemic and most of the classes being online, D hadn't been able to really connect with anyone. Her BF is a great companion, but I was glad that D has found a young woman she can go shopping with and give her BF and myself a break. She needs someone her own age to have lunch with or whatever.

As for the next space I am going to tackle - hmmm. Well, I know what I would like to be doing and that might be working outside in the gardens, etc. I have the library and the kitchen that both came to a grinding halt when the disaster struck. They are what I would like to focus on. Unfortunately, the real push is on the bathroom. I am waiting on the window to come in that has to be installed. They claimed it would be in next week at the latest. IDK. That really needs to be put in before the tub. I could install it after the fact, but it would be an easier project without the tub. Once that is in, then I can call the contractor to schedule the tub and vanity, which I could do, but he was going to deal with the changes in the plumbing and frankly, I prefer he deals with that. Once that is done, I can work on the tile flooring, etc.

The laundry room, I am not in a huge hurry to deal with. It is not what it used to be like and I miss all of counter space and tile flooring, but for now, it is functional and I am rethinking that space. I honestly want to focus on some detail work that I have come across recently. Little things. Like figuring out why the pocket door always made a horrible banging sound when there was a breeze. I now know the root of that problem and have figured out a way to fix it. I also know why it was happening. That, amusingly was not a MLC fix, but that was a FIL solution and for now I am just happy to know what the problem is and it can be easily fixed.

What I am hoping to really focus on more is finding time to just enjoy life. The projects have been rewarding and I will keep doing them. I like keeping busy. I just would like to get to a point where they don't feel like they are weighing on me and have to be done immediately. D's room had to be addressed and the bathroom certainly is a big issue. I have had a sense of humor about it all, but I am ready to get back to those projects that are not so critical if they happen immediately. Just seeing the pile of D's things leave the dining nook has created a sense of feeling like maybe I can have a normal living space again and not feel like I am living in an episode of "Hoarders" where people have to navigate around boxes. It has been pretty defeating to deal with that scenario.

I would like to get downstairs and work in my art studio without feeling like I should be working on the house.

But for today, I am taking it a bit easy. I am embracing a lazy Sunday. I am enjoying the sunshine streaming through my kitchen windows and beyond that not much else.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 25, 2021, 05:04:36 PM
I set my alarm to make sure I was certain to get up early. I had on my calendar that the plumber would be here at 7:30 am. Thing is, when the plumber had to reschedule he gave me a different time. Dummy here  ::) - moved the appointment to the right day (today), but neglected to change the time. This morning was so cold and rainy it was one of those mornings where that extra hour would have been a better way to start the day. I pushed through and when the scheduler called to confirm my appointment, I laughed as the time was for mid to late afternoon. LOL I stayed up and enjoyed a cup of coffee and decided to have a positive outlook and was grateful I wasn't surprised in the opposite way where I had the plumber showing up earlier than I expected.

I have been busy doing little things today that in all honesty are the "normal" routine things, like laundry. Some of D's things that have been in storage needed just a light cycle in the wash to freshen them up before she puts them in her closet. She is still staying at her BF's parent's house while she settles in. With the boys all gone to college, she is being doted on by his parents. His M, having had all boys, likes having D around. She is anxious to get home, but I knew part of her resistance was we haven't been able to put the heat on. When the plumber was here to move the heat run in the bathroom, he drained the lines and we decided to not put water or antifreeze back in the system until the repairs were made. It seemed like a waste of money to pay for that twice. It has been chilly, but not insufferable. I suspect D will move back in fully by the end of the week. It has honestly been good for her to not be in full tilt. She has been taking breaks between studying and putting a few things away and sorting things. She has several boxes going for donations and those items, like stuffed animals she wants to keep, but asked if we could pack them away.

I was surprised to see D finally give away the giant fuzzy, white pillow Xh gave her that the kids named the "Abominable Snowman Pillow". D does love soft furry pillows, but this really looks like the creature from "Rudolph". She had kept it for some time, hidden behind other pillows and I think part of her was having a hard time letting go of it because it was given to her the first year after Xh moved out. She seemed very ready to let that gift go.

The plumber finished the repairs and even when he told me the final tally, I felt this sense of relief. He laughed when I didn't complain. I explained that I realized the one section that was rusted was in fact on the line going out of the system, which means it was the pipe that carried the hot water. Had that broken, it would have been disastrous. I laughed and said I certainly don't plan on starting out this next year with some new disaster.

S was supposed to return back to campus tonight. His early morning class on Tuesday went to a zoom presentation, so he decided to go back later tomorrow. It was a blessing, TBH. It was shortly after he told me of his change of plans, that he came inside the house, clearly troubled, but determined to help a friend in need.

His former roommate, the one he travelled with this weekend, had been living with a couple of other people. He is a good kid and pays his rent on time, etc. He was hoping to take time to find a place of his own - optimally he wanted to build his own house. He was looking for property and trying to get a handle on the different areas where he could settle. S told me what had happened and it turns out one of his roommates has done something that upset the landlord. I know this kid well enough to know he is not a problem in any way. He pays his bills and is a respectable kid. The kicker is, the landlord is pushing for them to move out in 3 days. I am not sure about the legality of that, but I said I personally would find a new place ASAP if I were this kid.

The young man showed up. Usually he gives me a cheerful hello and calls me M. Today, he looked beat down. I found out that it would seem, he had been giving his portion of the rent to the person I suspected. They have not been passing it on to the landlord every month. He felt sick. He started saying he doesn't want to move back to his home state and it is the first time since his M died years ago that he feels like he belongs somewhere. And he does fit right in with all of the people he works with. D thinks of him like B. S and I both told him we were going to help him navigate this and I know some people I can maybe talk to about renting to him. I can't let the kid stay with me, even temporarily. I don't have the space and without a full bathroom it is not an option anyways. I told him he could store his new tractor here if need be and then S just about fell over. I know this kid just adopted a puppy. That puppy from day one imprinted itself on this kid. She never leaves his side. She is all he has and I told him that I would take her temporarily if need be. She is potty trained and very well behaved. S burst out laughing because I said just this past week that I wasn't ready for another dog any time soon. And, if it were his other friend's dog, I would say no.

I reminded S that I used to dog sit for my friend's dog when she travelled and I survived that. We will see how I feel about having a puppy around. And, it may not happen. Things could work out in some fashion. But, I knew in that moment that S's friend needed some support. He doesn't have family to go to.

S assured him that we would be here to just cheer him on and he laughed and said I don't nag, but I will kick his butt and be there pushing him along if need be. S and I already had eaten earlier. His friend started to say he was sorry he was disrupting our dinner time. I looked at S and he played along. I told him nonsense, I was getting ready to make spaghetti for dinner and he was to come in and stay while we brainstormed. While he sat and ate I recalled I know a realtor in the area who would be helpful. I gave him the number and S said tomorrow he will help this kid contact the realtor and they can start there. In the meantime I came up with some names of people I know who have rental properties.

When the friend left, S gave me a hug and said he knows that was not what I really wanted to do with my evening nor am I really thrilled about the idea of taking on a puppy, even temporarily. I laughed and told him that no, I am really not, but maybe it will get me to decide if I want another dog and I do need a walking companion. He laughed. I said I just saw the heartbreak in this kid and I can't fix things for him, nor do I want to. He needs to figure some of this out by himself, but I also understand he is alone and he needs someone in his corner. S told me that he knows part of it is I believe in this kid. I do. He is a good kid. S paused and said it would have been what Xh would have done too, before the madness set in.

We will see what tomorrow brings. I may wake up and wonder what I was thinking. It could be the puppy may not need to come stay with me, but I am preparing myself for what I may have signed up for - LOL.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 26, 2021, 03:14:13 AM
The friends' roommate(s) need their butts handed to them on a plate....  >:(  When people are reliant on one another, there is a certain level of trust that is given and these twatwaffles obviously abused it....

Friend is lucky that he has S and you....

I really hope that something comes open for him quickly so he can move forward with his life...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 27, 2021, 12:09:23 PM
UrsaMajor - S's friend may be lucky to have us, but I know that the kids and I have both said how blessed we feel that this kid entered into S's life. D said this morning that he is truly a kind soul and he needs support from people who care about him. None of us are looking to "bail him out" or enable anything, which we talked about. S has been checking on him and the kid needs encouragement. He looked so defeated. His F, who means well, tried to comfort him and said he could move back home and it wasn't an issue. S laughed when I said that I wasn't going to let that happen. He knew what I meant and that it was not a case of trying to control things, but I know this kid is happy in his new life and I will do my best to guide him if need be on how to make that happen. I won't rescue him, but I will put him in touch with people I know I trust who can help him.

Part of me realizes his being blindsided made me feel a certain level of sympathy which is rooted in my own feeling of having the rug pulled out from under me. While it was not a BD for him of the same nature, it had to feel like his world was crumbling beneath his feet suddenly. I think part of me hated seeing his pain and there was a bit of "pay it forward" working. I had people who came to my rescue and helped me navigate buying the house out from Xh, etc. I had that type of support when I didn't know what end was up.

I also know that I haven't had to do as much of that as I used to, now that I am not working with students. He is very much like the kids I in my gut were worth the effort. I would like nothing better than to see this kid flourish. He is a hard worker and just needs to have some help understanding how to say buy a house, etc. He doesn't have a lot of experience with those types of "adult" responsibilities and no one to guide him. I am not some expert, but I know enough people who can and will help him where I can't. S, he has learned so much in the past few years and D is a force to be reckoned with.

I am so proud of both of my kids. They have pulled together to help this friend, by coming up with a game plan with his input on how to approach things. He checked with the landlord and he was given extra time. He will pay his portion directly to the landlord and can stay until the end of November. S said that doesn't mean sit back and wait for that time to come. So, today he was supposed to call the realtor. D is making sure that task is done. This kid is a bit shy, so he needs someone telling him he can do it. D won't make the call for him. I know that. I, spoke with my parents and have alerted them to the situation and they have said that if things are moving forward in November and the kid has done his part, but needs more time, they will let him stay with them while I take the puppy. He has a safety net, but it has been made clear that those other parts have to be completed. None of us are playing savior, that is for sure.

S mentioned he spoke to Xh and his response pissed S off. It is not the type of response Xh would have had in the past - that is for sure. Xh said "guess he will have to move back home" and then went on to discuss himself and his plans. S said to me all he wanted to do was get some advice from Xh, who used to have lots of connections and would have stepped up to help. S snarked that it amazes him that Xh has no problem on calling on S or his friends for help but can't reciprocate. He reminded me of the time a couple of years back that Xh ran out of gas way out in the middle of nowhere and called S's one friend to come bring him gas. S was at college at the time. I hadn't heard that story until recently. It angered me because this version of Xh wouldn't help the same kid out if the situation were reversed. Mind-boggling. Truly.

But, it is okay. I can't control the MLC Xh variant and there is no vaccination to ward off that ailment, so we just are at a point where we simply try to protect ourselves from that madness.

I worked all day yesterday and had probably one of the best days in a very long time. My coworker and I rarely get to work together, but had been tasked with a huge project. This morning she sent me a text and said it was so good to feel like having a team member. I agree. We ran things by one another and came up with solutions. We laughed and said Ms. Management is going to have a coronary when she sees what was done because we went full-tilt. My coworker has a long history of retail management. She and I discussed when we reset some of the gallery spaces to go about it as if we were selling to an interior decorator. It is one of those conversations some artists don't want to hear, because it "offends them". Makes me laugh. I am all about conceptual and having gallery shows, but like it or not, our gallery is in fact in a retail space and we get a lot of customers who buy things to match their sofa. As a fine artist, it might upset me on one level. The commercial artist side of me accepts that reality. And, since the object in this case is to sell work, albeit very high quality artwork, there is nothing wrong with approaching some of the space in that manner. This idea came from the conversation I had with her regarding a sale a couple of weeks ago.

My coworker is responsible for some of the bookkeeping. She was laughing at the large sale I had on a notoriously typical slow day. I said the woman walked in and literally told me she was coming in to decorate her new home and had a theme in mind. She walked through and pointed at pieces telling me which ones she wanted. She was no nonsense. Knew what she liked and had very little time to dilly dally.

It is not how we normally set up the gallery spaces, but we decided to try at least one of the rooms in that manner and see what happens. It is not unusual for people coming in wanting a very large piece for a wall and not realize that they could put say 4 together to take up the same space and do it well.

By the end of the day, we were pretty pleased with ourselves. LOL. And some of it was just because we had fun. We even lost track of time and worked through lunch. It didn't dawn on my phone had not made a sound all day. Seems the cell service was out, which is very unusual. Then we looked outside and saw the pouring rain and heard the pumps going on Main Street. Flooding had started.

It took me an hour to get home. It is normally a 20-25 minute commute. I quickly realized that the roads that were being washed out were not near the creek beds. They hadn't crested yet, but if the rain continued that too would come quickly. I analyzed that the low lying farm fields were the issue. Most have been harvested, which meant that the rain was just running right off of them and couldn't soak in. There was nothing slowing the rain down. Normally a cornfield that is still intact, will at least slow things from just rolling out of the fields. So, when I encountered the first road washed out with a good 2 foot puddle in the middle, I did some zig-zagging. I have never been so grateful for my seemingly wasteful backroad adventures. Those times meandering served me very well. I know which roads have what types of fields and where the road sits level with the fields. I thought out where each road sat considerably higher than the fields and took every road where the creeks and streams do run. Seemed counterintuitive, but it worked out. I even came up my own road the back way, which turned out to be the right decision. The fire department was in front of me and the road I normally turn off of was flooded out. My neighbors were both flooded out. I sit up high enough that I don't usually have issues beyond the orchard being flooded.

I laughed at first because the pond was refilled and I was going to top it off earlier this weekend. I figured the incoming rain would fill it some. It was overflowing when I got home. Luckily that runs away from the house.

I went downstairs to check the basement. I had jinxed myself the day before. I rarely get water in the basement anymore. I had the chimney sealed, as water used to come in there. I have had the landscaping graded away from the house. What I haven't addressed was something the plumber was admiring the other day. And, I cannot blame Xh and MLC for this at all. This is on both of us and just not putting it on the "need to address" list.

When we first moved into the house, Xh and I put in a trough that runs around the basement. It collects water. It was put in before we realized where the water used to come in. It worked really well in theory, except we never capped it off nor put a crock into the ground. We didn't get that much water after we addressed the other issues, so it sort of was one of those things that we would get around to someday. I had just said to the plumber that I really should just bite the bullet and finish that because it certainly wouldn't hurt. Hah. A day later I found part of my basement with more water than I am used to seeing. It wasn't horrible and the laundry I had sorted out on the laundry room floor had stopped it from going into the media room. I pumped the bulk of the water out into buckets, since I don't have easy access right now to the drains with the damage that was done in January and the garden hose that would be long enough to pump outside was in the garden shed and it is was pitch black out and pouring. I laughed and said to D that I was getting my workout last night. Today, the fans are going and the dehumidifier running and it is drying out.

The creek beds that I passed over did in fact crest a couple of hours later. One of the towns I rolled through was flooded and someone said that hadn't happened since the mid 1800's.

Today, the sun has been shining and there is a lovely breeze. Like nothing happened. D did call on her way to school and said she was in shock seeing the flooded areas that have since receded some. One house we pass by sits up high over their back lawn. She said the entire lawn is underwater and you would think they live on the edge of a lake.

I know where my water issue originated from and what has to happen. The gutter that hangs over the back deck needs the slope changed and needs to be cleaned out, I am certain. I won't do that on my own, as it is a bit too high to not have a person at least home. I may be a bit adventurous sometimes, but even I know that might not be a wise decision. So, when S comes home he and I will tackle that task.

What struck me as a bit odd was my own reaction to the water in the basement. Maybe it was because I had such a good day. Maybe it was because this was nothing to what I had happen in January. D was laughing at me. I wasn't thrilled, but I didn't get upset.

In the grand scheme - it certainly could have been so much worse.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 27, 2021, 09:29:02 PM
I had planned on going to meet my sister to walk today. The weather was good and we decided midmorning that we both needed a break. I had over done it last night cleaning out the basement and was just physically drained. D knew of my plans and unlike last week, when she disrupted my walking plans, she was happy I was going out to have time for myself. Instead, my F showed up. He was clearly upset and it would seem he and my M had a big blow up over stupid things. It is incredibly rare they really argue. And normally, he goes for a drive or out to his studio to give them space. This was a surprise. I listened to him and it wasn't about taking sides. My M picked the fight and I realized why it was happening. It had nothing to do with what they were arguing about. My M was not having a good day and in part had worried about my F last night when he travelled out in the storm to buy a new pump. I had to go sit with her as she paced the floors when he wasn't home after over an hour. She never said a word to him, but she nearly cried when she worried he was lying in a ditch somewhere. I knew this fight was her stress bubbling over. So, I made coffee for my dad and told him what had gone on last night. He said he wished she had told him, and he was still annoyed about the fight, but he understood what needed to occur and that was to just let the dust settle.

He left and called my sister to tell her I would be delayed, as I had to change my clothes. I was dumping out water from a bucket and proceeded to splash the water all over my clothing before going upstairs to change. I was soaked and figured I would just take off everything off and throw it down the basement stairs into the laundry basket laying at the bottom of the stairs. It was then I missed my laundry chute. It was also then I found myself completely sans clothing and realized my bathrobe from the morning was not on the hook. I didn't think too much of it. The front door was locked and I was going right upstairs. What would the odds be of anyone showing up right at that moment.  ::)

There was a knock at the door and I could see out the small window that it was the plumber. I wasn't sure why he had stopped by. I was scrambling looking for something to throw on as I didn't have time to run upstairs. I found a short dress I had ready to take up with some laundry and threw it on. Not perfect, but at least I was covered, but I was so aware of not having anything else on underneath, having thrown every piece of wet clothing down the stairs. I answered the door thinking that this was not at all like some bad movie and then the plumber started the conversation with…"I was up all night long and couldn't stop thinking about…". I nearly burst out laughing. He said he was so tired by the end of the day Monday that he now was questioning whether or not he turned the one valve on all the way and while it wouldn't have been a bad thing, it certainly would have meant the upstairs was not working at full capacity. I followed him downstairs and the fans were blowing. I was holding my dress down and praying a gust didn't suddenly catch the hem. He checked all the valves and the last one was lacking a half turn -not as bad as he thought but he was apologizing. I laughed at him and said I was honestly grateful for his admission of possibly forgetting and wanting to make it right. He was glad I wasn't upset and we started back up the stairs, but I made sure I followed him so as not to show anything I certainly didn't want to be exposed. I couldn't wait for him to leave.

I called my sister who was both embarrassed for me but then laughed with me. By the time I was able to get on the road, the traffic had picked up and my sister was having the same issue. We chose to just forget the walk and I met up with D instead to pick up something to cook for dinner.

I had shared my story with my friend. It took me a minute to process when she asked me if he was a good looking guy. Duh - yah, when I said he is, she was roaring. She said it sounded like a bad porno. I had to laugh. Yah, she was right, but I told her that I learned that while that fantasy might be titillating on a certain level, I am very certain that is not something I could act on nor really considered.

What happened this afternoon is really very amusing. I laughed about it myself along with those I shared the story with. But, somehow later in the evening I found myself being tired of always laughing some things off. I do have feelings and they run very deep. The incident itself was and is still funny, but I think it just struck a nerve later in the day after other things piled on - it is a feeling of I am tired of feeling like parts of my life are me laughing things off by myself. Experiences that start to feel sometimes like maybe people think I just roll with everything because I do laugh and joke. Thing is I do hurt, deeply when poked.

Again, the thing that happened was not the issue. In and of itself it is funny. It is how the joking progressed and some is on my own shoulders. I made light of it even when I realized it felt like this is what my life is lately - some crazy laugh fest at times. Some things frankly upset me. I am incredibly easy going, but I have my limits. And then the problem becomes when I hit certain limits I have gotten so I begin to wonder if I need to just let go of dreams and some things that I thought made sense.

I realize that part of this is coming home and seeing that water in the basement. It isn't so much the water itself. I realized after seeing some other people's houses in the area that it is nothing, but I worked for several hours by myself. D offered to help, but I refused her help, as she had a huge exam she was preparing for. And, frankly there wasn't much she could honestly do beyond make me a cup of tea later on and to keep the cats out of the basement. I was exhausted tonight and I know that is part of what is at play. The problem is, while the physical aspect is telling my body to go to bed, the mental component is not enough to make me just fall asleep.

I accomplished nothing today that I wanted to get done, but so be it. I looked at what is going on over the next couple of weeks and moved some appointments around that I am going to change tomorrow. I need to just steal true time away, even for a couple of hours or a day. I need a reset of some sort. I know it. I am not good at being "selfish" as the MLCer told me I was. It is beyond amusing when I think about that term being associated with me. But, I do look at my own needs. This is not working for me as it stands now.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 28, 2021, 03:04:17 AM
What? You mean that you were NOT planning on channeling your inner Marilyn Monroe today? <snort>

That must have been some rain if things flooded.... or is this a regular fall occurrence?

In terms of the basement, well, maybe the plumber could have been convinced to add the sink/crock if he had followed you up the stairs? <ROFL> Seriously though, I guess that you got off lightly with a bit of water that was "easily" dealt with... but getting a permanent solution would likely be a stress reliever in the log run...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 28, 2021, 11:23:16 AM
UrsaMajor - At least Marilyn had on "something" underneath. But, to answer your question, NO. If I channel my inner Marilyn Monroe it won't be for some random man. Not even my rather attractive plumber. LOL

Hmmm - convincing the plumber to put in the crock and finish the basement project? Not sure I want to play those odds. He might have done just that and I could have the one getting more than I bargained for, or he might run away screaming and never come back. IDK, I have had a hard enough time finding reliable, honest contractors as it is. I will behave myself, if only for that reason. LOL.

As for the rainfall. We have flooding sometimes of certain creeks and streams, but that is usually in April after the snow has melted. The flooding we had the other day was unusual for my immediate region. The one village noted it hadn't flooded like that since Ulysses S Grant was elected. So, it is a been more than a few years. LOL

My neighbors who sit directly behind my back yard have a low spot in their yard that has flooded from time to time, but it was 18 years ago when we saw enough water that our kids spent an afternoon splashing around in it. And even then the water was maybe a couple of feet deep and isolated to a 30x30 section of that yard. They haven't had their basement flood in all the years they have lived there. They were hit harder than I was. My neighbor said the entire basement had several inches of water. My basement only suffered water in two sections, the laundry room and at the stair landing. Even then it was about 2 inches total spread across that area. Still wasn't my idea of fun and it is a pain to deal with, but it is better than what others endured.

This morning, I took a walk up the road. I will admit I miss the dopey dog. The walk was relaxing, but there was something about having the security of the dog and she did amuse me more often than not. She would have been enjoying a morning like today. The geese were flying overhead and the air was warm from the sunshine.

The leaves are still lagging behind the normal schedule, but there were some new trees that have changed. I had just read an article yesterday about the region and the weather this year has created a very odd staggered leaf peeping season. The changes are occurring in a spotty manner. That is, normally it has a fairly consistent wave pattern it follows, with the changes occurring in a swath across certain regions. This year, they have recorded some communities with little change and the next village over that is near peak. Even my large Maple trees in the back yard have not changed. Normally by now all of the leaves are anything but green and have started to fall. They just stared with little bursts of yellow this week, but it is way off track.

I stopped by my elderly neighbor's house to check on them. They asked me if I would be willing to help them put away their front patio cushions and a couple of other things. I happily volunteered to stay for a couple of hours and just take care of things that they can't do on their own. They always insist on paying me and I appreciate the gesture, but it wasn't necessary. That said, I know better than to give it back to them. They would be so offended. While I was there, I witnessed the H's one arm is not working at all now. His post-polio is just kicking his butt. Yet, his spirits are good and he has such a sense of humor about it all. No one could ever guess he just celebrated his 90th birthday. They asked if I could come back next week and help some more. Next week is actually quiet on my calendar, so I said I would set aside time for them.

I stopped at my parent's on the way back. They were back to their normal "couple selves". They had gone to get groceries together and my F is going with my M to her eye exam. They informed me they are going to a farmer's market on their way home. I laughed and said that farmer's market is out of the way and they corrected themselves and said they were taking a drive after the appointment. LOL.

I am trying to knock off some small projects today. I accepted that the sun calling me is going to eventually win out and I need to find something to do outside.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 28, 2021, 01:59:32 PM
Well, clearly this week is not going the way I originally planned out. At all.

I was in the middle of getting back on track and had a game plan that allowed me to be outside enjoying the weather. But, a text from S has made me willingly change plans. He was in class and that tipped me off. He doesn't text during his classes. Especially the ones he is the TA in. So, I answered immediately. It was a brief conversation that ended with S laughing a bit - saying that anyone I care really has no clue what happens when my protective side kicks in. Yah, I have a don't "eff" with people I truly care about gene that shocks some people. I am easy going…until I am not. And MLC and OW really allowed me to perfect that balance. Problem is in this case, the vindictive roommate should be aware that I am in red zone. It doesn't mean I will do something to be reactive or to provoke, etc. I am not that type. But I will protect - fiercely.

S said he can't make it home anytime soon. Probably not until very late tonight. His friend is spiraling. His world is just spinning out of control and he needs a safe place to land and for someone to help him. S said he doesn't have all the details, but suffice it to say it is looking like one of the people he lived with, the one who was not being honest about paying has gotten vindictive. They got caught is my guess, so they are like a caged animal. I like this person, or did. I knew they had issues, but I never had reason to dislike them. And the financial BS, I could have just looked beyond that in the sense that it wasn't my problem. But, they have made it my problem.

I told S that my day just changed and he is to tell this friend to come here after work. I am making dinner with D and he is our guest. S said he knew I would step up, but he is relieved. He is worried about his friend and I get it. I do.

I know very little about the details of the situation at this point, but even though the kid has a month technically, he needs to get out ASAP. To start with, the vindictive roommate tried to re-home the puppy while this kid was at work. I said to S that I wasn't planning to take it this soon, but I will not let this kid lose another thing that he loves because someone is being cruel.  >:( I suspect I will be getting this puppy by tomorrow.  :o Not how I planned this at all, but life isn't always wrapped up neatly with a bow on it.

I know that part of my protective side right now is not wanting anyone I care about to experience that level of toxicity I did. I won't allow it in my house. Period.

So, D and I have a plan to talk to him about renting a storage unit for some of his things for the short term. Then he can move in with my parents this weekend. It's not the plan that was set up earlier, but so be it. He can't stay in that house with games starting, but I also am realistic about things probably won't fall into place even within a month. D will help him follow up with the realtor, since she knows her very well.

I won't wrap my whole life around this kid and helping him. I need my own life and space, etc. I want my own adult relationships. Yet, I can't sit back and watch this kid have the rug pulled out from him. And part of it is, I know is that it is also wanting to help my S. He asked me for help. He doesn't do that and it is because he said he knows I will not enable, but I will help them come up with adult solutions.

Sometimes I find myself surprised because so often I am so busy being M and feeling like no one realizes what things I have had to do on my own. It was what I set out to do, that I sometimes feel taken for granted. S sent me a text and thanked me and added he knows I have had to learn so many things on my own and he is grateful for all I have done. He recognized I have had to learn way more than I ever thought I would have to in order to keep he and D on track with their lives.

After having a good cry, I pulled myself together and have some fight in me. I know that it is the right thing to do. It is not a type of fight I would put up for just anyone. Just those who truly matter to me. That roommate who is being vindictive - I will be civil, but the line has been crossed and there is no coming back easily from something like that. Maybe they can knock on XH's door. That seems to be his specialty and maybe he would understand. But the figurative moat I have built has a new name to add to the no longer welcome list. They had best be aware the figurative "man-eating crocodile" that guards what is dear to me, is in fact me.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Reinventing on October 29, 2021, 12:43:27 AM
MD, that sounds horrible and I'm glad you'll have the puppy and a temporary spot for the young man in distress. Yes, the person who kept the money and was trying to rehome the puppy sounds like someone who is making so many really bad choices that it would take a very long time of changed behavior to trust him again.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on October 29, 2021, 05:44:24 AM
In reading the "Story of the Vindictive Roommate," I see 3 things:

1) Because the Roomie in need of help is paying the landlord directly, The Vindictive roommate has lost a source of temporary financing. He was probably playing a shell game with the money in the motto of
"I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today."

2) Vindictive Roomie is in MLC mode full blown.... at the age of what... 25?

3) The vindictive roommate is trying to pass the own consequences that he is getting and the negative results thereof on to the others by doing stupid stuff.... Sounds a bit like a Mid-Lifer, doesn't it?

Makes you want to whack him with a 2x4

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 29, 2021, 02:20:31 PM
Reinventing - I am glad I have a temporary solution for this kid as well. He was here with D and I quite late into the evening. He needs this safety net and he has in fact contacted the realtor and gotten that ball rolling. So, it is not like he is sitting on his hands and waiting for his 30 days to be up.

UrsaMajor - Yes is the answer to all three of your assessments. That is just about spot on.

The roommate in question is the eldest of all of them and is a survivor. You are absolutely correct in that they were playing a shell game.

And, funny that you mention the full on MLC mode in an in fact, 25 year old - yes. The behaviors were close enough to not only my own experience with my MLCer and my deceased BIL, that it probably set me on edge last night. But, those experiences actually were helpful in this case.

MLCer - his antics were bad enough. Before the MLCer started behaving the way he did though, I had the "unfortunate" or maybe in this case, fortunate experience of seeing my BIL behave in a manner that prepared me a bit better to help this kid. My BIL, was incredibly charismatic and had a huge heart - when he wasn't in one of his off the rails manic spells. My BIL was capable of making money, legally and doing incredibly well. He was very good at making money. He was also the life of the party and people flocked to him. Problem is when he would hit these manic phases, he would lose it all gambling or his alcoholism would go into overdrive. It would be then we would witness what essentially was a desperate man running from people who wanted money. BIL would never admit it, but he would have some scheme in mind or would play the shell game. Or he would do things like go through my MIL's money and leave her penniless. Then it was my FIL who he tapped into. I can't even begin to count the things my BIL did that just boggled the mind. Yet, he could convince people he had cleaned up his act, and would have a ton of money in the bank again he had earned honestly. It was truly something. It didn't take me too many times to make sure I had nothing to do with BIL beyond family gatherings. And Xh for a long time, agreed that BIL was a liability.

My experience with my BIL and the MLCer lead to me really think about this situation and some of the wording used. I realized that the roomie wasn't just trying to rehome the puppy. They were trying to sell it, as it is a purebred. My first question to S's former roommate was "whose dog is it"? He gave me a look. Now, I knew the answer, but he is not quite 22 yet. When he first answered his roomie knows that. I said to him "prove to me it is your dog. Where is the paper trail"? He then got where I was going. He has made all the payments on the dog's vet bills and the proof he needs. When I was satisfied, I told him if this is roomie's game we have to think like a desperate criminal.

I know the roomie. They are not stupid. They won't do anything that will get them arrested but they run right on the edge of criminal when it comes to scheming if it means saving their butt. So, I took a firm stance and we didn't discuss a plan. I did something I don't like doing. I took control of it all and was probably downright bossy. The dog was to be brought to my house either after he got out of work or earlier today. (S ended up meeting him at lunchtime and getting the dog). Then between today and Sunday he is moving all of his stuff out to avoid rent for November. Besides, since my gut now says that roomie is scrambling to cover their tracks, there is nothing preventing them from locking him out or selling his valuables. His name isn't on the original lease and there would be no recourse. D was staring at me. She said she had never seen me in "slash and burn mode".

That is just it. I was taking no prisoners. I have learned a great deal. I am not one to get into a physical altercation, but I do know how to fight or protect things. Doesn't always work, but I will do it.

I was nauseous afterwards. I know I can't function in that realm like a MLCer or criminal could. I don't even like thinking like them or playing games, but this was a necessary course of action. This is the only way I could think of to cut this off at the knees and it has to be quick.

I contacted my parents, and they were mildly stressed, but know it had to happen quickly.

D, she is giddy about having a puppy at the house.

The former roommate, S said was so grateful for me pushing this and being so firm about it. He called S when the puppy arrived at the house and said it was the first time he was able to go to work since this started this week and not feel like he had to worry about his dog not being there when he got home.

I, am having a hard time with some of my emotions. I think part of this triggered some insecurities in myself, which seems very odd. Maybe it was just feeling a bit like it did during the divorce and not liking the games. It was enough to make me behave like a dingbat on other fronts. My emotions were a bit on edge and fears of rejection bubbled up at the absolute wrong time. But, I can't undo it and I hate that if I say it, it feels like some excuse. It is so hard to explain to anyone who hasn't had these triggers.

Some of my insecure feelings I know were not even about me. They were about the with the former roommate situation being unsettled. Like it or not, his situation is impacting my life right now, and yes, I chose to help him, but it stirred some feelings of a bit of free falling. That said, this morning, I woke up and kicked my own backside. I know how I approached it and had to think - like MLCer or a criminal mindset, is what had to happen in order to execute this in a manner that will at least end the possible insanity. The new uncertainty is where this kid will go and when in the long term, but it is okay. He has spoken to the realtor and they are going to attack this next week. I also ran over to my neighbor's yesterday when I spotted their youngest S visiting. I asked him if he knew of any places to rent. He is a great kid and he asked what is up and he said he honestly wants to get a new place and would love to have someone to split the rent with. He knows the former roommate and said he will connect with him and they can maybe find a new place together. In the meantime the F came home and said he can store some of his belongings in their large barn if we need to.

The puppy is apparently adjusting well. It is a herding dog, so it loves being nearby. It is still trying to figure out what cats are, but they are used to dogs so they are uninterested at this point in a puppy. I am told the dog has a lot of energy and wants to play. So I have been told I have a new walking buddy. She is much smaller than our dog, but not so small that I have to consider carrying her in a purse which is good. LOL

And, maybe all of this is good. I need to work on my projects, but maybe I need some distractions. A needy puppy might help me reset my balance. It helped last time. That is what I am telling myself to make dealing with essentially a four-legged toddler a bit easier to adjust to. LOL
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 30, 2021, 12:35:21 PM
I came home last night to find a little face staring out the window at me as I drove up. Clearly the puppy was trying to figure this whole new situation out. She didn't bark or growl. Just took her time figuring out if I was friend or foe. By this morning, I am clearly one of "her humans" and has been very much a watchdog. She only barks when there has been someone like the mail carrier delivering mail or when the neighbor dogs were outside and started barking at her. She was very quick to make sure the 7 dogs knew she was not afraid of them. No growling, just pure little puppy barking and her hair puffed up. I am not sure the neighbor dogs knew what to make of her, TBH. My dog got so she ignored them or occasionally barked a couple of times to basically tell them to shut up.

I had forgotten how much energy puppies have. And being a herding dog, this one has extra energy. But, she is not hyper. It is just a boundless desire to play fetch or be chased. But then she plops down and goes to sleep. Very much like a toddler.

I will admit I am enjoying having the company in the house. The cats are friendly and lovable, but this is a different thing altogether. I will now admit, even to myself that I do miss my dog. This puppy, is a good distraction for me and has been helping me today in that I am not pushing myself continually to get work done. She is needing to go out and walk. And the walks have been good for giving me a mental break.

S and his former roommate both had to work half days at their respective jobs. They showed up here almost at the same time and I laughed saying I was off duty for awhile and the puppy was theirs to worry about. They didn't complain and asked if I could watch her when they went to move more things out of the friend's apartment.

They were both originally invited to a party with the roomie and crew. S also had been invited to the other Halloween party I have been invited to. S contacted the M who is hosting tonight's event and asked if it was okay if his former roommate came along and she was happy to let him join in the festivities. S told me he used me as an excuse to beg off from the other party without creating more drama. He knew that if he said he wasn't coming that they would start dividing friends as if it was some dramatic event. So, he told the roomie, who knows me and that I am not out dating, etc, that I was a bit nervous about going to this party I was invited to alone and he was going to take me. She seemed to accept that.

I have always told my kids that if sometimes they need to bow out of something 'gracefully' or an uncomfortable situation, they could use me as an excuse - as their parent and the house they lived in. Now, that was really when they were kids and they so very rarely used it, but they knew that Xh and I always had their back. But, in this case, I understood why S was being so cautious. The timing of this Halloween party and trying to quietly move out his former roommate before Nov. 1 is the reason.

S and his former roommate asked my advice about moving things out before Nov 1. I said to me, since he got duped on the rent issue, and he is not on the lease, he is really being forced to play their way. I wouldn't give them any more money. That said, I never operate this way and the whole game playing is making me sick, TBH, but I know that it is in fact necessary. I pointed out that if they tell the roommates that they are moving him out entirely this weekend there is nothing preventing them from locking him out of the house with no recourse. And considering the landlord was told that this young man was the one not paying rent it is not worth the fight. The former roommate was worried I wouldn't believe him, and he showed me the original checks written to roomie. Oh sure, he could show the landlord, but I said I wouldn't dance that dance because this roomie is cornered and it is not worth the stress. Get out quickly and quietly.

When S picked up the puppy, roomie was there. S, who has known her for a long time, told her I was very excited to have a puppy. He never said it was going to be mine, he simply let her think what she wants. And she has always liked me because I was always nice to her. I will still be cordial, but my line in the sand remains. S was just smart enough to be diplomatic about it and he did say it really was not his fight with her anyways. He laughed and said he didn't think it was necessary to reenact some version of the Hatfields and McCoys. I agree and when he told me he used me as an excuse to bow out of this other party gracefully, I was okay with it.

S went on to say he quite frankly was mildly relieved and he thinks he is getting old. I laughed and asked why. He said he was more excited about going to the party we were both invited to, which is really more family oriented and not an opportunity to watch some of his friends get completely inebriated. I told him that is what happens to some adults. He then paused and sort of laughed saying "yes, and then there are people like dad who suddenly think it is cool to revisit hanging out with the young crowd and boozing it up".  He sort of muttered under his breath as he got ready to take the dog out that he wondered if his F realized how incredibly ridiculous it is seeing a man who is not being youthful but trying to act like a teenager really looks. Clearly not.  ::)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Thunder on October 30, 2021, 02:33:57 PM
You have two really great kids to be proud of Mourning, but you already know that.

I'm just glad the sweet puppy has a wonderful place to live now. Any alfalfa around for her??  You will have many fun walks with her either way.

Now remember there is nothing wrong with you going to a few adult parties sometimes. 
Just sayin'...   ;D
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 30, 2021, 03:53:07 PM
Thunder - most of the time, I will gladly admit the kids are mine. Sometimes…well most honest parents admit there are those other times.  ::) That said, yes, I am very proud of my kids and I feel very blessed.  :)

The sweet puppy is giving us a run for our money. She is into everything like a toddler. LOL. There is not any alfalfa, unfortunately, as none of the fields nearby were planted with that crop. Maybe this spring, as it is usually part of the normal rotation. And, so far, our walks have been great fun. She is going to need to be trained in regards to making sure she keeps her herding tendencies to the field and not on the road, as she was zig zagging back and forth. Of course, it was much easier to control her 30 lbs (if she is even that yet) than the 90 lb lab.

I just finished getting changed for my adult party. I had to rethink what I was wearing. I was really very excited to dress in "proper country attire" LOL. I have been dying to wear my new boots, but the weather hasn't been cooperative lately. I have had them since the pandemic, when I decided to treat myself to a new pair after years of not having any. I don't know when or why I quit wearing the ones I had. I guess I didn't have a real call for them when I was teaching and when the kids were little I lived in sneakers. But alas, I am having to wear my new mud boots, which D made fun of me for buying. She wanted to know what fields I planned on squelching through. In fact, she used to call mud boots "squelchy boots" when she was little. I reminded her that I have in fact worn them in the pond when I drain the pond and the last time I wore them, I would have been better off going in barefoot, since there was a hole in the side of the sole and the water just ran right in. I got to test the new ones out on Tuesday with the basement flooding. Tonight, they are making a second appearance.

It also meant my whole country girl look had to completely change. No jean jacket and such. I had planned on curling my hair and leaving it down. Nope. It is pouring rain right now and so the whole dynamic changed. No worries. LOL

I am glad S will be there. I am nervous about showing up alone. I know people there and it will be okay, but it is not the same as me showing up at an art opening where I may not even know a single soul. I am out of my comfort zone a little. But, I have to do this for myself. I can't keep hiding out in my house on the weekends. I am getting tired of being chained to my projects and always being responsible. So, we will see what the night brings.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Thunder on October 30, 2021, 05:28:30 PM
Oh Mourning you're so cute...I meant an adult party with your stiletto's, not country boots.

 ;D ;D

Just kidding....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on October 30, 2021, 09:11:43 PM
LOL - Well Thunder, I needed to start somewhere and stilettos are not really farm-friendly. I would have worn my cowboy boots, which my S's GF is ready to sneak out of my closet. Stilettos would have aerated the lawn or gotten stuck in between the barn boards. Climbing onto the hay wagon would have been impossible. But, I will note your recommendation of an adult party that allows for stilettos. Maybe next weekend. I have an art opening on my list of potential plans in the nearby city, so we will see.  ::)

I arrived tonight and didn't see S right away, although his car was there. The bonfire was already lit and roaring. The barn was decorated with string lights inside as if it were ready for a prom. There were little kids dressed up, as were a few older kids and adults. The M came over and gave me a huge hug and told me to get some dinner and a drink. I recognized a few people, but most were paired off. I felt a little self conscious at first, but found an empty spot at a table in the corner. I was sitting alone and just taking it all in when a guy came over and started flirting with me. He was wearing a mask and didn't take it off or introduce himself. It was very odd. I didn't know who he was. Suddenly from out of nowhere my neighbor's youngest S, a kid that has been like a second S to me, slid next to me and put his arm around me. He announced I was with him. The guy left and I started laughing and said "um, that was not weird at all" in a very sarcastic manner. The kid is 18, although I will admit he looks considerably older and is a good looking kid, there are all sorts of EEEUUUUWWW feelings about even any concept of - gosh I can't even say it. So, I of course asked him what that was about and then didn't S come over and joke that  I am going way below my age threshold now and did we need to have a refresher course on the parameters. I started laughing and asked for an explanation. My neighbor's kid said that is the host and hostess's new neighbor and he is really kind of odd and he wasn't going to leave me alone with him. I laughed and said I would accept that answer and thanked him.

I decided to move from my little table in the dark corner of the barn and go out where other people were congregating. I found the M who had invited me, her D and her MIL, who I worked with when I had just graduated college. We caught up and they were telling me they were all going on the hayride even if it rained this year because they have missed it. The MIL, who owns the farm said she started that tradition back when her oldest S was in grade school and he is now in his 50's. It has been a couple of years since they have had a hayride event and the MIL said it has been so missed and it was time to reboot that tradition. Before we got on the wagon, the M told me she recommended the hot chocolate, but to add a raspberry liqueur her friend who owns a distillery brought. It was a 43 proof and incredibly tasty but after the second hot chocolate I decided I had best behave myself, considering I was not wise enough to come with S, who was the DD for the evening. Not that I was looking to get completely intoxicated, but I knew better than to chance it. So I drank water the rest of the evening.

It was a nice night. I caught up with a few people and met some new people. The hayride was actually one of the best ones we have been on. Their corn fields haven't all been harvested, so the deer were out eating in the fields and weren't bothered by the sound of the tractor - they are used to it. Listening to the little kids get all excited seeing the deer and then some cows at night was enjoyable. There were a couple of high school sweethearts who were obviously smitten with one another and they behaved, but were sitting so close and wearing similar colors that it looked like they were joined together. Another couple sitting nearby were an elderly couple who clearly still really love one another. I recognized them and they have been married for years.

I was there late enough to help the M clean up a bit and to take time to catch up with her. She works full time and as the kids got older she started competing in triathlons. Recently she had started leading a couple of classes at the local gym. It always conflicted with my work schedule and then Covid hit. I was just asking her how the classes were going and she got so excited. I laughed when she told me her training is actually in martial arts and she is trying to convince the gym to let her start a kickboxing class. Her kids are all done with school this year and she said she has the time now to do some of the things she wants to do. Her H walked by and laughed saying this is why he always agrees with her - because she could easily kick his a$$. I laughed full well knowing that they are good partners and always have been. She doesn't need to kick his butt.

After a conversation with the H, I thought about how glamorized farm life is in some movies, etc. There is a simplicity to certain aspects and there are farmers who would tell you they just love what they do. That is this family. Those kids all love the farm and the life it has provided for them, but with that, as the H said, they all have to get up at 3:30 am tomorrow because the rain is coming and they have to get some things done before that happens and then the cows, who don't take Sundays off, need to be tended to. Tonight was their one big night off for the month.

I know I couldn't do what they do, but it did make me think about what I want. I do love some of the simpler things more and more. I don't need constant excitement and socializing. For a short while, I was standing by the bonfire with a couple of other people. We were just enjoying the night sky and pointing out stars and there was no need for any other conversation.

Before I left, the older boys were all playing hide and seek. They are in their 20's and it was so funny to watch these young adults goofing around. Then of course, they are country boys, and that often means mud suddenly enters the mix. They were wrestling one another and running after one another. S stood with me and was watching. He laughed and said he was glad I decided to come and have a night out. I was too. I am tired of always staying home. Time to change it up a bit once in awhile.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 01, 2021, 04:33:31 AM
Gee, you mean you did not want to mimic this?


On the serious side,

I can SO relate to the story of S's friend because I had a roommate too that got busted stealing things from people to feed his coke habit and make his rent... He stole a pair of stereo speakers from me that my OTHER roommates got back from him and stuff from a storage room in the apartment complex that we lived in... BAD situation.... I came back form boot camp and he was in jail and I had a smashed windshield in my car so I guess I got lucky. I moved right after that too... At least S's friend has a support network that is willing to help him....

Quote from: Mourning Dove
Suddenly from out of nowhere my neighbor's youngest S, a kid that has been like a second S to me, slid next to me and put his arm around me. He announced I was with him. The guy left and I started laughing and said "um, that was not weird at all" in a very sarcastic manner. The kid is 18, although I will admit he looks considerably older and is a good looking kid, there are all sorts of EEEUUUUWWW feelings about even any concept of - gosh I can't even say it. So, I of course asked him what that was about and then didn't S come over and joke that  I am going way below my age threshold now and did we need to have a refresher course on the parameters.
I wondered how long it would be before the a) the "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle" factor took over and b) how long it would be before the velociraptor mode was activated... Good to know my feelings were not misplaced...  ;D I had the feeling reading this part that it would not take long before S showed up... Isn't that what ALWAYS happens? We are just <bats eyelashes> innocently minding our own business <batting stops>  and <BOOM!> Nice though that the neighbor kids was looking out for you....

Hot Chocolate with Raspberry Liqueur... Hmmmmmm .... That has potential.... Sort of like Hot Chocolate with Cointreau...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 01, 2021, 12:12:19 PM
UrsaMajor - See, people laugh at me when they find out I usually have emergency sneakers in my car, but this is the whole reason why. Or I have been known to take off heels and go barefoot if I deem the terrain not be "stiletto friendly". Oh, sure the last time that happened was when I wore stilettos to work and stopped at a farm stand. I sunk into the soft dirt and my heels were stuck. I slid my shoes off and then threw them in the back of the car. The farmer laughed as I stood there barefoot. I am a country girl at heart, what can I say. The lady in the clip - sigh - what was she thinking? Is that one of those mentalities that you suffer to be fashionable at all costs?  ::)

I spoke to a friend of mine last night about how this whole situation with S's roommate and having to behave counter to my core affected me. I told her it sort of put me in this weird place, but it wasn't a full on trigger. I was just in overdrive trying to help coordinate the quick move the one night and didn't allow myself time to really process some feelings that were bubbling up. I reacted, rather badly, and in a way I should not have. When I told her what I did, she laughed at me and said "you didn't". Oh, but yes, I did.  ::) I told her I was so incredibly embarrassed and angry with myself. And I didn't understand what brought it on. As a LBS herself, she said she suspected that this roommate thing had brought me back to a bit of that survival mode place like when I was going through Xh moving out and fighting him in court. She pointed out how I probably was feeling a bit uneasy and insecure all the way around in that moment. In survival mode, you don't really think about that. I laughed and said I was exhausted last night, once I found out everything was set up at my parents and his possessions, what little he has, were safe and he was out of that situation. Between that and adjusting to having to run around and "puppy proof", I suppose she was on to something.

I honestly began to question myself last night for even getting involved. Like why is it my problem and why should I care? I questioned whether or not I was being too giving and maybe I needed more boundaries. D told me that she watched me in overdrive all weekend, somehow say no to some things and was mindful of not upsetting her life as well as my parents. She said she also watched as I handed the puppy off to the former roommate when he was here for a bit and tell them I was off the clock. I made it clear this was a group effort and I was not going to be the only one taking this on. No one has complained, and this morning when the puppy had to go out, S was up as soon as the sun came up to take her out.

I decided after last year's fun with having surgery that I am going to do my best to not have any big events this year. So I went and had my flu shot yesterday. By bed time it had wiped me out. When I woke up this morning, it was really quiet and the sun was streaming in. I felt the stress just leave my body. Things were calm again. I don't like the drama and extra activity, but life isn't always so neat and perfect. As I went over what all had gone on in a short time period, I forgave myself for having a couple of moments. It doesn't excuse any of it, but I can see why I was just a little unsure of so much. It was a bit of fear in the mix that had little to do with anything other than the situation feeling uncertain and causing a ripple effect. Very much a bit of a trigger, that I didn't stop to fully process.

I realized that by not allowing myself to stop and process my feelings and it shows me how important it is to do that. The part of ignoring those feelings bubbled up made me more reactive than I am used to being. The positive is, the trigger didn't go completely into full on meltdown and back to square one where I was wiped out mentally and physically. But that "reactive" aspect - I am not loving that little blip. But, what's done is done. I can't go back and somehow hit a rewind button to fix it.

My phone rang and it was my M. She told me she got up very early and decided to make their houseguest breakfast. She told him not to get used to having breakfast made for him every morning, but I know my M, she likes having someone to take care of. She then said to me that if any of us had any doubts about helping this young man out, she can honestly say she knows the answer. He hadn't brought many things with him yet from his home state. He only had a mattress and a dresser for furniture. The rest is home and he was going to move it when he found a more permanent place, thankfully. He brought the clothes he owned, his tractor and some valuables, but there was one item that was the reason my M said she had the answer. Had they locked him out of that place and played games there is something so irreplaceable that I found myself weeping when my M shared. He had asked my M if it was okay to move something off of the mantel in the room he is staying in. My M said she would gladly make room for his box. She thought it was maybe things like regular valuables along the lines of watches or money, but she said he smiled and thanked her. It was the box that holds his M's ashes. My M said she left the room and said she is so glad we all agreed to help him.

I am no longer questioning my actions. I will accept the things that went down and move forward. Right now, I am being cuddled by this little fur ball who has decided I am more than okay. It is very clear when the former roommate shows up that he is her human - she positively shakes and you swear she is smiling. When he is not here she comes looking for me to hang out with, even if it means she is just chewing on her toys at my feet while I am working in the kitchen, etc. I think it is a set up and the kids have bribed her, honestly. D keeps hinting at I need a new puppy to keep me company. Uh huh. Perhaps.  ::)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Treasur on November 01, 2021, 02:46:57 PM
You did good. Imho every bit of trust offered and good help given is a metaphorical punch on the nose to MLC BS and an act of recovery  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Reinventing on November 01, 2021, 06:29:41 PM
I agree, you did good. Decent person-1 and sociopath-0.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 02, 2021, 03:13:56 AM
The story of the box on the mantel made ME tear up..... and shows that you have a good "radar" for those that are decent (so does mom)

There are those moments when we (I do see this more often in LBS's actually) go into a sort of disaster mitigation and recovery mode where we are simply "functional, no-nnonsense, no BS, just get it done and do NOT get in the way"  Later, when we have had the opportunity to maybe breathe, relax and reflect, we think "WTF did I just do/get myself into?" but, when we REALLY look at it, we know we did the right thing - we did what we felt to be right and good and held fast to our core values... even if it did/does cost us something or reignite a bit of something .... "icky" out of the past... In the end though, we know (and can appreciate) that we, unlike the Mid-Lifers or the sociopathic roomies, will be on the right side of the karma line.....

One thing that is a bit confusing though.... For S's friend..... You mentioned the "oldest" roomie as being the shyster but then you mentioned
Quote from: Mourning Dove
When S picked up the puppy, roomie was there. S, who has known her for a long time, told her I was very excited to have a puppy. He never said it was going to be mine, he simply let her think what she wants. And she has always liked me because I was always nice to her. I will still be cordial, but my line in the sand remains. S was just smart enough to be diplomatic about it and he did say it really was not his fight with her anyways.
I had initially thought that the conniving, vindictive roomie was a male.... 
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 02, 2021, 11:24:43 AM
Thank you, Treasur, Revinventing & UrsaMajor.

This whole event just brought up such uneasy feelings which affected me in way I hadn't anticipated. The unsettled, unstable situation was tough and while logically, it really had nothing to do with my own life, it filtered in a bit more than I realized. That is not to say my life wasn't being affected. Just taking on the puppy was going to affect me. The whole aspect of the unknowns for this young man really weren't the same as the MLC time period. Yet, the feelings that came on were certainly reminiscent of that fight or flight feeling I experienced with Xh's shenanigans.

To clarify, the roomie in question is in fact a female. There are two other young men living there as well. They have been friends since high school. None of them are romantically or otherwise involved beyond friends. S's former roommate was the new person in the mix. The young woman has a list of FOO issues that one can't even imagine. I honestly don't think she ever intends to screw people over. I believe she gets short on cash and then gets caught and goes into survival mode of her own, because that is what she has seen all of her life. No one has ever looked out for her and therefore even if you want to give her skills, her level of real trust in anyone is just not there. It doesn't excuse her actions, but I sort of see why she is the way she is. That doesn't mean I am erasing the line in the sand when it comes to how I proceed with her. It doesn't change that her way to survive was to be conniving and vindictive and that is a deal breaker for me. It's all about choices and consequences for me.

I am not looking to fix the situation for this kid or to enable anything. I may have had students I wished I could somehow 'save', but I knew enough to try to give them the skills to make it on their own. I learned very early on in my years of teaching that my job wasn't to swoop in and adopt every kid that needed a better situation. It was to be a supportive person in their lives, but there were boundaries even I had to keep in place for my own family and self.

Even now, S and D's friends I don't typically come running to their aid. Somehow this kid is different and I didn't know the whole story with his parents and M. I just know he and S hit it off from day one and have been like B's from the moment they met. D connected with him in that manner right off the bat too. There was just something I couldn't ever put my finger on. After last night, I think I know why this has fallen on my doorstep in some very odd way.

S had stayed home a bit later than usual yesterday. He wanted to touch base with "C" - his former roommate. C came in around 6 pm and his puppy who had been my shadow all day long, decided I was not worthy of her attention any longer. I watched the two of them just smother each other with affection. It made S and I both smile. S had to leave, but C asked if he could hang out a bit longer before going to my parent's house. He wanted to spend more time with his puppy and I was just pouring a glass of wine and tidying up the kitchen anyways. He wore the puppy out and sat down at the bar. For the first time he referred to me as M, and not his nickname for me. It sounds like nothing, but I know this a huge thing for him. It is about trust and knowing who has his back. He stayed until about 10 pm and he wanted to just talk.

He asked for my opinion and help on understanding some of the different communities in regards to taxes and so on. It gets confusing with villages, towns, school districts and the like when you are new to an area. Then somehow something came up about his parents. I asked him how long ago his parents had divorced. It was when he was quite young and he said both of them did a good job balancing the coparenting aspect. His step mom came into the picture later on and that is not a good situation, but his step dad he is still in contact with and fond of.

And then out of the blue, IDK if he felt comfortable or what, but she shared what happened to his M. I wanted to just ball my eyes out. It was an accident, but she held on for a significant amount of time, only to die right before Christmas. It was the same year that Xh was getting ready to make his exit and the divorce was underway here. C mentioned that he and S have shared moments of saying how rough that year was for both of them. That transition to this new unknown.

When he left to go to my parents I told him that I know Thanksgiving is coming up and he may not be able to afford the trip back home. My sister is not having a get together this year due to her H's work/travel schedule and my parents have decided since we are celebrating my M's birthday and their anniversary this coming weekend that they don't want to have another big get together. I have told my kids if they want a "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" I am fine with that. That isn't going to fly - LOL. So, I am having a small thing here and if I have extras, no big deal. I haven't hosted a Thanksgiving meal here since just before FIL moved in. C smiled and said he appreciated having the option of somewhere to go.

I found myself alone and thinking that maybe this is it. Maybe I am going to be like my great great aunt who was alone for years and people just came to visit her all the time. I sort of laughed thinking that I can't settle into that life yet.

I woke up this morning and the sun was shining. Darn weather forecasters really are just throwing dice it seems. I mean they were way off with today's forecast. Hmmm. I looked at my calendar hoping to find some time to maybe take a drive and plan a hike to see the leaves. This week is a relatively quiet up until the weekend and then I have a stretch from Friday to Tuesday of just non-stop activities, including extra hours at work which will be good, but it's going to be a bit of a whirlwind few days of running around. I can have a breather after Tuesday and luckily my work schedule is light for nearly a week after that. I am determined to just grab some time for myself.

My F is coming this afternoon to help me shore up the sub flooring in the bathroom where the bathtub used to reside. There are holes in the floor where the pipes were and they need to be filled before I get the tub installed. We waited until the heat run was moved before we went and did potentially unnecessary work. I called on my window, which was supposed to be in today. Hah. Change of plans. I am going to see if the contractor can come and deal with the tub/shower now because it would seem my window is on backorder now because of the tempered glass, until January. I am going to have to install that in the spring at this rate and somehow work around that issue for the moment. I was initially frustrated and then just accepted like so many other things, Plan A didn't pan out, so we are coming up with a modified plan or a whole new plan. I am not going to sit and waste time upset that my well thought out Plan A didn't work the way it should.

I have to now go find the puppy. It either means she has finally worn herself out or she is just like a toddler and into something she shouldn't be. She has been way too quiet. Hmmmm
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 03, 2021, 03:53:46 AM
Oh mannnnnnn

Talk about a Rollercoaster...

The story C related about his M got something in my eyes and then the puppy "She's way too quiet" had me LOL'ing in the office...

It is clear that he
a) feels comfortable with you all - R calls it "vice-Familie" which is kind of hard to explain... Her F was (and is) a real self-centered egocentric jerk so R had a couple of "vice-Papa's" that were usually the fathers of her friends and I am sort of filling that role for R's D20 as well. Her S18 is not quite to that point yet but D20 has introduced me to people as her dad ("My father lives in New Zealand - UM is my dad and lives with us"). In my view, it sounds as if C has found a "vice-familie" of his own - people that care and will help but not do his work for him... Not so much of a substitute or stand-in or replacement but an enhancement if you will or alternative...
b) is really doing his homework in terms of places to live and put down roots
c) is not afraid to be himself and be vulnerable with you  - sounds like you have migrated to the inner circle...

As for the roomie, well, that kind of behavior has consequences which will likely be somewhat unpleasant when the chickens come home to roost but, as you noted, it is all about choices and she has made her choices, has chosen the path she wishes to follow.... and that is all on her...
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 04, 2021, 05:32:49 AM
UrsaMajor - Yes, it has been a rollercoaster.

S said the same thing you did about C telling me so much. S and D both feel a connection to this young man that really is like what you describe - a "vice-Familie". In fact, last night he and D were with me in the kitchen and having a good time talking about physics last night.

Up until that point at dinner last night, the day had started to feel like a massive car pile up on a freeway. Where one thing that was planned out was stalled out and the rest of the plans for the day just came crashing into the one that stalled. I hadn't scheduled things back to back in such a tight manner that should have happened. My sister and I had planned a walk but on my way there, she called and said she had to go into work for a couple of hours, as her manager had a personal emergency and they needed someone to cover until he was freed up. That gave me some time to take care of something else and while I was disappointed, I rolled with it. The thing is, the whole day just seemed to follow that whole tone. Nothing went the way it should. I seemed to encounter heavy traffic and detours at every turn.

My sister and I had made plans to meet D during her long break between classes to hammer out the final details of my M's birthday party. Even that seemed to be more complex at times than it should have been. We all sort of laughed noting we all seemed to be experiencing the same kind of day where nothing was lining up with any ease. It was then my phone buzzed. It was work. Ms Management asked if I could work next weekend. I was ready to answer her right away and then I paused. I realized that I have not really had time to myself and stopped myself from immediately saying yes. I could work, but the times she needed me were for a mid shift and I suddenly realized I needed to think about it. I told her I would let her know by the end of the day.

I was glad I waited on my answer. By the end of the day, I realized I am in need of a break. I have been on this road of projects, and being the responsible adult for what seems like forever. I was too tired to take a backroad adventure, even a short one last night on my way home and the lighting was magical. I didn't have the energy in me to even embrace it. The sky was just spectacular and I had gotten to a point where in the past few months I would have stopped to just take it in. Not yesterday. I couldn't find the energy or desire and it bothered me enough to give work my answer. No, I won't be working that day. I have a run of things coming up starting tomorrow to Tuesday that are not going to allow me a whole lot of time to myself. If I commit to that day with work, I will break up a block of time that I really need off.

I am going to try desperately to keep that stretch of time to decompress. I have put a line in my calendar that looks like I have plans, just to visually remind myself to take a break from this carousel I have been on. I need to recharge and after yesterday, I know that more than ever.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 04, 2021, 07:27:20 AM
Good for you! You DO have the right to "self-care" you know....
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 04, 2021, 02:30:07 PM
UrsaMajor - Yes, that is a tough one for me to sometimes embrace. Yet, I also find it is something I have to, I guess train others to understand. I find quite often my desire to take time for myself isn't always respected. Maybe that is in part my own fault for not putting boundaries in place. IDK. I just know that this morning I had literally just had enough.

My F has been wanting to get a new cell phone as he has been used to having just a pay per minute plan, but would like an iPhone like my M's and she isn't about to share hers. She uses it a lot. My sister tried to tell my F he could get a different make of phone, but I nipped that in the bud, simply because I told her that when there are issues, since both of my parents understand the Apple platform with their iPad and laptop being the same, it makes it easier for me when they have problems - I can talk them through it. Unless my sister is offering to come and deal with tech issues, then I have a stronger say in this. She agreed. And it isn't that I would care if it weren't an issue of sometimes they need help on things. I could show them how to navigate any piece of technology, but I know from history that I am better off keeping it a bit more seamless.

The problem is, my F was anxious to change over since his minutes and contract on that old flip phone run out by the end of November. They have nothing else to worry about in the grand scheme, so my parents seemed to be a bit fixated on this dang phone and went off to investigate. And, of course didn't several friends and family members pipe in with the plans they have. Great. But, in this case so incredibly NOT helpful. Because my parents still travel, these people don't. I know what cell providers have coverage in the more remote areas near us. It is better than it used to be, but it's not like my M's one friend who lives in a large city in a different state.

This morning my M informed me that they had gone to another cell provider and gotten a very nice young man who told them all sorts of things. My alarms went up. Hmmmm. I am not exactly buying the whole package they were being told about. My first thought was "what is the catch". My M was ready to go sign them up and I told her that she was to wait until I found out how much it was to add a line for my F on my plan, since my M's is on there too. She somehow had it in her head that it was going to drive my plan way out of sight and I told her that I didn't think that was the case, but to let me check. My parents pay for their portion and my sister and I agreed months ago that it was probably wiser to put my parents on one of our plans to begin with.

After a meeting today, I could feel my stress level going up. D called me on my way after the meeting. Then S. Both had good reason, but I just wanted to decompress and think about what I needed to get at the home improvement store, as I was in the area. My M texted right about then and asked if I would go with my F to meet this other cell phone provider and see what they had to say. I found myself just deciding to ditch my whole day and take care of this before it became a daily discussion. But, I didn't go right to the one by the home improvement store. The sun was shining and I needed to get out of the area. I needed coffee and I needed a walk before I tackled this nonsense.

I stopped at one of my favorite coffee places at the mall and it was a bit chilly to walk outside with what I had on. It was quiet, as it was early and I decided to maybe just take a lap or two around the building and drink my coffee. I figured I would make it to the area where the indoor fireplace was and sit with my coffee and reconfigure my day. As I approached the fireplace, I caught a glimpse of someone out of the corner of my eye. As I turned around, I was met with one of the biggest smiles and I heard my name being called. I could feel the tears starting to form in the corner of my eyes. There, stood a man that I had worked with for a long time and a friend that was like a B to me. He was always an inner circle friend.

He was also someone Xh had claimed I was having an affair with. It was so unbelievable to anyone who knew this man and I. He is very happily married. As in the day rises and sets with his W and there is no doubt about it. Even if I had remotely been somehow interested in him, it was never a possibility. But the truth is, I never even considered that with any other man to begin with. I was committed to my Xh and I only had eyes for him. That is what happens when I fall in love and find myself in an exclusive situation. I might look at a man and say he is handsome, etc, but those thoughts just don't enter my mind.

When Xh accused me of having affairs with 2 men in particular he was just projecting and trying to make me look bad. He was filing subpoenas and had already presented my parents with one and was getting ready to call S into court. He had a whole list of people, this man included. I cut my ties with this particular friend to protect him from Xh's madness. His W had been very ill and he didn't need the extra BS Xh wanted to bring down on him. I didn't give an explanation at the time, but I know this friend guessed something was really off with Xh. They had met several times over the years prior to BD.

Since the divorce, etc I have only been in touch via Facebook. Mainly exchanging niceties and greetings. But, I have wanted to see him to apologize and explain why I just dropped out of sight. It has been over 5 years since I have seen or spoken to him. Today, was that day.

As he realized I was tearing up, he asked if I needed a hug. He had no idea how much I needed that right in that moment - for a variety of reasons. We sat for a bit and caught up. I told him the abbreviated version and he just looked at me with the look I should have expected from him. He said he and I were more than fine and we were good. We walked for a bit and he told me he and his W moved back to his hometown and that is why I happened to run into him today. He was on an errand for her. We parted ways and I told him to please send my regards and give her a hug from me. He laughed and said he always likes an excuse to hug his W.

I needed that today. I needed to know that I can really F up and be human and my true friends know what is in my heart.

It helped change my mood some. I pushed through the dread of going to sit at the cell phone place. I was greeted by a young woman who was willing to sit with me and really go over my plan and options with a fine tooth comb. I know I could have gone online, etc, but I really needed someone else to help me through this. I just don't have the bandwidth right now. I ended up making an executive decision and called my parents and told them the phone was going to be less than their plan from the other carrier, and I was able to get them a new phone if I covered the taxes on it today. Done. The phone gets delivered to my house and the young woman told me that I could set it up, or if I wanted she would be back in early next week and she would help my F transfer his phone number. Appointment made. I am not taking time to do it on my own. I am betting she can set it up in less time than it takes me to drive up there and go to the appointment at this rate. She was actually grateful she mentioned a dreaded survey. I laughed and said I would gladly fill out multiple surveys and make a phone call on her behalf for the level of customer service she provided.

Her help actually saved me time in the long run and I made the decision to get out of that area and travel another route home. There is a home improvement store along that road and it would allow me a much more relaxed drive. It was slightly out of the way, but I just didn't care by then.

The thing is, I could feel the tears coming. I just needed a good cry.

Yes, I need the "self-care". I know people rely on me and I offer to help willingly, but I shouldn't feel guilty about sometimes telling everyone to give me some space. I haven't had any real time to myself. And, what dawned on me is sometimes I think people have become so used to me always being around that they don't think about what my other needs might be. I seem content living life the way it is in some of their eyes. I even have friends who are convinced that I must just love being single and not having to answer to anyone. That is not the case.
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 05, 2021, 03:26:26 AM
Ah yes... The price we pay for being the rock in the midst of the storm... EVERYONE wants to use that rock as their foundation.... and, at some point, the load is simply more than the rock can take and it fractures.... MUCH better to recognize that the load is approaching critical mass and begin off-loading..

That may mean that an "executive decision" needs to be made or that a "STOP" sign is held up and a break in activities is planned (and held to)...

Or that other opinions (even well meaning ones) are put to bed with the option "OK, if YOU wish to deal with the results, by all means, go ahead but that I am OUT of the loop!" like with a new type of phone.

From the looks of it, you did well in protecting yourself AND getting Dad squared away...

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 06, 2021, 09:31:59 AM
Thank you, UrsaMajor.  :)

Taking charge I can do, but if it even smacks of being controlling, I have such a hard time with it. I don't like being somehow bossy or ever having anyone feel like I have some need to be the leader. I really don't like the spotlight at all. But, I also realized in this situation, if I didn't take control, I was the one who was going to be plagued with the issue for a longer period of time. I know in this case, someone had to actually take control because my parents, quite frankly, were overwhelmed with the many options and the technical jargon the sales people were telling them. My parents are not feeble, but I am finding more and more that they want simplicity when it comes to appliances, etc. They don't like feeling like they are "old" or stupid when they can't figure things out easily.

I have had to honestly keep reminding myself that me taking charge was not about controlling my parents, but controlling things that affected my life. I couldn't handle the pressure and needed to find the pressure release valve.

These little moments lately of stress or me recently expressing something so incredibly idiotic upset me. When they creep up and I just bubble over it makes me feel a little like a bit of that crazy is left over from the whole MLC experience. It truly bothers me. In those moments, which are rare, I start to feel like maybe the rest of the world must think I am as crazy as I am feeling in those times. And, once I find myself on the other side, it takes me some time to forgive myself for being a bit human. I am not by nature a controlling person nor am I a jealous person. But, in the past couple of weeks, with all of the ups and downs, there were two hiccups of coming off as controlling in one situation and a smidge of jealousy crept in in a completely separate event. I then found myself looking in the mirror and wondering who this woman was, because wow, I didn't recognize myself.

I understand now in both cases what prompted the feelings. It doesn't explain it away and somehow dismiss the behaviors. I have to live with any fall out. But, what remains is knowing that I am not happy with myself about how it crept up on me.

The bossy-like controlling behavior, I was really just pushed to my limit and I just needed something be taken off my plate at that minute. I know there is a bit of me that is struggling watching how much my parents have "aged" over the pandemic. I could look the other way and pretend it isn't happening or ignore that they sometimes need help, but that is not who I am. They have been there for me over the years, so there are times when I know that they do in fact need help as well. I am struggling finding a some balance as to where my boundaries need to be. Part of that is also being more vocal with my sister and telling her I can't do these things on my own. I dealt with the phone, she is going to have to go and help them with their cable bill, which is obscene for no reason. D went with my M a couple of weeks ago and has the information, but my M brought home the different packages to go over and she is overwhelmed. My sister can deal with that headache.

The jealousy. Hah. That was in a moment of complete insecurity on my part and has nothing to do with trusting someone else. It is so hard to explain to most people. It was more about me feeling incredibly vulnerable and not really knowing at the time what was pushing my own feelings. When I told my friend about it, she had laughed at me, but she has known me for years and said she was shocked in all honesty, because that is not me. Have I had little moments of jealousy - yes, but not quite to even this level which seems so terribly like a high school girl. She talked me off of the ledge, but I am still struggling with being mad at myself.

Those moments have passed and I am not obsessing over them, as much as looking back for a moment and wondering what it was all about, in order to try and not go down that path again.

Last night, I was on my way home and S called me. His plan was to spend the afternoon with his GF and late in the afternoon, he had a call from one of his friends. The young man was at work and a couple of hours south of where he lives. His GF, a good friend of S's from college had left college to drive the 3 hours to see him this weekend, but her car broke down in the middle of nowhere on a major highway. The young man's F was out of the area, otherwise he would have gone and this young woman's family is traveling. She was alone. S called to tell me he and his GF were going to go get this young woman, because he wouldn't want her to be alone on a desolate stretch of road at night. S and his GF borrowed a truck from the girl's grandmother and a flat-bed trailer to go haul the car and girl down here. She didn't have enough money for a tow truck, S had asked. I was happy S is such a good friend, but as a M, I was not loving the idea of it being dark and this going on, but I also understood why he was going. D, "C", who had just come in from work and I sat in the kitchen, visiting, but all waiting for S to get home. It was 6 hours before he got back home. This morning, he was exhausted and slept in. I snuck into his room, where the puppy had settled and I took her out before leaving for a hair appointment.

After running the puppy around for nearly 45 minutes, she finally came in and fell back asleep. They are not kidding when they say this breed needs nearly 90 minutes of vigorous activity minimum each day. It is not horrible. It has certainly forced me outside in the beautiful fall air and it is hard not to laugh at her when she is chasing after things. We introduced her to the pear tree, so she likes to do just what our dog did, which is to play fetch with a pear and then eats it afterwards. Watching her look at the pear after her little teeth have pierced the skin and she tastes the sweet fruit underneath is rather funny.

I walked into my hairdresser's salon and I haven't been in over 10 weeks. I don't go every month, but I try to keep it at around 8 weeks, especially now that my hair is longer. I was ready to cut it all off yesterday when I was dealing with knots that I never have. Today, I looked at her and said it was time to change things up. She had time and I decided that I was going to have it colored slightly. Nothing extreme, but my summer sun highlights are still there, and I like them, but maybe weave in some auburn tones with my natural colors. She laughed at me. I have been going to her for easily 15 years now, so she knows I don't just come in usually with this type of a "whim" request. IDK. I guess I just need do something different today.

And in that vein, Thunder will be happy to hear that tonight I will be going out to an event that is more of an adult party, where yes, stilettos will be part of the outfit. I have an art opening in the city and I am looking forward to nurturing that part of my soul. I need the change of pace.
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: Thunder on November 06, 2021, 01:15:27 PM
Oh my, a new striking hair color and stilettoes!  8)

Hope you enjoy the evening out Mourning, with no kids.  You deserve it!

You'll have to report back to us tomorrow.   ; ;D  Because we're nosy.  ha ha

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 06, 2021, 08:42:28 PM
Thunder - The kids had plans of their own and were glad I was going out.

I was ready to go solo, when my sister called to talk about tomorrow's plans. She had wanted to go to this exhibit and asked her H if he was interested in going. He had just returned late last night from a week away and this whole month he is traveling. He was more than happy to spend time with both kids, but told my sister to go spend time with me, especially considering she was the sole parent all week long.

Then we both realized that we have been so busy planning my M's birthday that we haven't thought about their anniversary, which is on Monday. My sister is going with BIL on his business trip, so trying to figure out a time to celebrate or take them out, as we usually do was going to be a bit difficult. And, my parents probably would have said not to worry about it, but my sister and I know that being happily married for 58 years is an accomplishment and we like to acknowledge it. So, as much as we thought it would be fun to have a girls' night out, we thought we would ask my parents if they wanted to go to dinner. It has been a long time since just the 4 of us went out.

It was nice to see my parents all dressed up and they were glad my sister and I decided to meet part way and we would only take one car into the city. It made it much easier to find parking on the street the gallery is on, which is nearly impossible on a Saturday night.

As we were walking along the sidewalk, my M was telling my sister and I how nice we both looked. My M was admiring my new haircut and color. I hadn't really had too much cut off of my hair, except to add some more long layers, but my M swore it looked significantly different.

The art opening was really very nice. My parents saw several people they knew went to socialize. My sister so rarely comes to art openings. We were both admiring this one painting when my sister saw someone she knew. She turned away and I found myself standing next to the artist of this particular painting. He introduced himself and we had a nice discussion about the technique he used. As I was talking, my F came over and it would seem they know each other quite well. I have been invited to come see the gentleman's studio. Afterwards, my M was full of questions, as she noted he is very handsome and we seemed very engaged in conversation. I laughed and told her to relax and the talk was professional and I am pretty sure he is married. I didn't get that "come over to my place" vibe that might imply anything inappropriate.

My sister and I walked back to the car behind my parents, who were holding hands. My sister said she knows that the conversation I was having was purely professional. She overheard most of it and she said I was right, his responses were not a come on. She then gave me a bit of a knowing smile and said she knows I have other feelings right now that I am not sure what to do with. That sums it up.  ::)

When we arrived at the restaurant my sister and I were in having way too much fun. It was a conversation that started about a particular piece of artwork that my M was trying to figure out. It was an abstract, but if you looked carefully it was very sexual in nature. My F's explanation had us roaring, as it was matter of fact and he just switched gears as he opened the door to go into the restaurant. From there on out, it was just a whole night of my sister and I giggling.

We had forgotten to make reservations, so there was a bit of a wait. We stood near the bar waiting for a table. Two men were sitting near us and they were clearly a couple. As we stood there, they struck up a conversation. We were discussing this particular restaurant and they had no idea, nor did we that it was so popular. You really have to know it is there, but clearly it's not exactly a secret. Just as they let us know our table was ready the one gentleman leaned over and in a very theatrical tone informed me that "honey, your hair, the makeup, the stilettos, the leather pants and the top - my goodness girl, you are on point". My sister was dying. I said I was going to guess that he was possibly drunk, but I would take the compliment.

It wasn't exactly the night I had originally planned, but it still was more of an adult night out than I have had in weeks. And, my M, aside from being a bit of a backseat driver, was very relaxed and didn't talk about the usual list she has for me.

I so enjoyed myself that I came home and started looking at the different events going on in the city and around the area. I need to get out more. It isn't about the socializing per se. I just realized after tonight that I need to nurture those other parts of me. I don't need to wait for an invite to do some of these things. There are plenty of things that I can do on my own if need be. Yes, having someone to come along and share in the experience is way more fun, but I am not sitting around waiting for that to happen. I am getting tired of the status quo. It doesn't mean behaving like a MLCer. I need to work on that whole self-care aspect. Part of that for me, means feeding that part of me that needs inspiration to fuel my creativity and it means nurturing part of me that has been in hibernation- that spiritual side.

Tomorrow, I am going to my sister's earlier than the rest of the crew. I am going to help set up, but before I do that, I am leaving extra early and taking the long way to her house. I think I will grab my coffee and just drive up through the orchards and then down along the lake. If I plan it right, I will bring my camera and just take my time getting to my sister's. That extra hour with daylight savings could come in handy.  :)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 07, 2021, 04:41:49 PM
The drive to my sister's didn't quite go as planned. My desire to leave earlier than the rest of the crew didn't happen, and not because I slept in. I was ready to leave by 8 am, but other people decided to change the original plans and D and her BF caught a ride with me.

I warned them that I was going to take the long way there and drive along the lake. D was actually excited about that idea, as her BF has only ever gone down the main highway to my sister's. He has never been on a drive along that particular lake.

The weather was absolutely perfect. The leaves are starting to change more and the sun was shining. The lake was a deep blue and the sky had perfect clouds that almost looked fake. The temperature was cooler, but the sunshine streaming into the car warmed the interior so much we had the heat off and the fan on low.

The celebration for my M was really very relaxed and no one seemed in a rush to go anywhere. Football was on and some settled in the family room to watch the game as the rest of us sat in the adjoining dining area and visited.

Tomorrow and Tuesday will be long days. The set up for this next show at the gallery is a big task and it will take two of us both days to really pull it together. I am looking forward to the challenge and am glad I will be working with the one coworker who I worked resetting the other rooms recently.

I had hoped today to come home early enough to work on something at home, but when I saw how much my M was enjoying the whole day and was so incredibly relaxed, I accepted it wasn't happening and embraced a somewhat lazy Sunday. Rushing home to somehow get a little thing done suddenly didn't seem so critical. I reminded myself that life is so busy that we don't often get to spend time together as a group, especially now that the kids are all getting older. My kids both noted that they too, had things to do, but somehow those things could wait. They were enjoying their time with the family and said it felt a bit like it used to for them and I knew what they meant. It was a reference to how things used to be before life blew up. It was just an ease that hasn't completely been there in a long time.

I am grateful I said no to working Saturday. I am going to stick to my plan as best as I can and give myself a bit of a "vacation" in that I am going to allow myself some time to ease up and take some breaks. I know it is a choice and there are consequences - that is, I could probably push through some things, and I might do that here and there, but I am going to allow for some fun starting Wednesday. I have to work on Friday, but beyond that, I am leaving my schedule open and have not removed the little line on my calendar that takes up about a week. That line is the reminder to give myself permission to take time for myself without guilt. I don't know what it means and I am realistic. I know that life likes to creep in and outside things are going to try to derail some of those moments. But, I am going to strive to give myself permission to not be responsible 24/7 and hopefully the weather will cooperate. So far, the forecast is looking good for a few days, so maybe a hike. If not, I have some exhibits and places in mind. Or maybe it is just a drive. IDK. I just have to push through the next two days and then see what unfolds.  :)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 08, 2021, 03:13:11 AM
"Girl, you are ON POINT!"

OK, knowing a few gay men, this made me laugh.... even if he was a bit inebriated, it was a compliment...

Our weather here has been cloudy, rainy and cold and most of the leaves have fallen now and done so quickly so it was kind aof a shame - not many opportunities for leaf-peeping and even less for some fall Wind Therapy... so you are lucky.

And hats off for maintaining the Self-Care momentum!
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 08, 2021, 05:19:10 PM
UrsaMajor - I do believe you are right. It was a genuine compliment and I have to admit it made me feel good. His presentation certainly made me laugh and caught me off guard.

The time change caught up with me last night and I found myself crawling into bed earlier than normal, even with the additional hour. It always throws me off completely.

D had a full day today at college and S normally stays home on Mondays until at least mid-afternoon, but his friend that he rescued the other night is going to be without a car for some time. She has classes earlier than his, but they live in the same apartment complex and are in similar programs. S had a meeting today to go to anyways, so he offered to drive back early and let her catch a ride. I suspect for the next couple of weeks, she will be tagging along. Her BF is S's friend and her grandmother lives nearby. S said it was nice to have company on the long commute.

I went into work and my gallery coworker and I really went to town. We have more to do tomorrow, but what we accomplished was actually pretty impressive, TBH. Normally, it takes two solid days just to reset that large space, but we think very similarly in the way that we work, and neither of us have a need to have something a certain way, so it is really very easy. We laughed a lot.

My M checked in midday and told me how happy she was having had the whole family together. She mentioned that my F had an email this morning from the artist that I had spoken to. She said he had invited my F for coffee and noted that he had spent a great deal of time talking to me and really enjoyed our conversation. I got off the phone and sort of laughed. My coworker asked what that was about and I said that my M hates that I am alone and she thinks every man that I have a conversation with might be a good man for me. I laughed and told her last week my M asked me if the plumber was single.  ::) Of course being a smart-a$$, I told her yes, that is why I thought I would answer the door with nothing on under my dress. My F thought that was rather funny. I am not sure she saw the humor. LOL.

My coworker asked me who this particular artist is that I was talking to. When I told her, I could see her eyes get as big as saucers. She said she knows his work and he is a writer as well. Yah, I knew that. She honestly was more intrigued by his technique and said he has to be fascinating. She kid me for a bit, but she knows me pretty well by now. I am not on some quest. She knows I am wrestling with other feelings that I have and I won't even consider dating anyone until I have figured out what I have to do. If I let go, it will mean I will shut that door and that is not an easy thing for me to necessarily do just because I know myself. If I say I am done, then I don't look back.

Someone said to me recently that maybe Xh and I would reconcile. They just don't believe that I don't want that relationship ever again. They based this on the past and because Xh and I were once so happy. They really don't know me at all. It may have taken me time, but I moved way past that part of my life. It is not because of resentment or bitterness or any of those emotions. I simply decided I was truly done and closed that book. The memories are on a shelf that are the one's I want to remember and I have the emotional scars that hurt sometimes, but I am okay. I want something else and this whole "never say never" belief this person has is one they shouldn't bet on. I know myself pretty well. I have never gone back, ever with anything I completely decide is finished.

I mentioned to my M that the other night at the gallery, I actually had some anxiety that crept in. I don't like crowds of people and never have loved them. It wasn't overly packed, so that was not what had my stress level up some. I had seen from afar about 3 different people I knew through Xh. I don't believe Xh has been in contact with them, but I really don't know. I wasn't really prepared for those possible encounters. I only spoke to one of them and fortunately before any real conversation could be had, they were called over by the gallery owner to introduce them to an artist. The other two, they happened to be going out as I was coming in and we simply said hello. What struck me was how much I didn't want to have to somehow talk about the divorce in any manner, etc. I wanted to just be MD and not the XW or affiliated with Xh at that point. It was a desire to move past that part of life, if just for an evening. Where MLC and the past could just be that - the past.

Tonight, I found myself greeted by the 4 legged guest. D had forgotten to lock the crate door. I half expected to find a mess of things chewed up or other types of disasters. It would seem she simply had grabbed one of my sweaters out of the laundry basket and was snuggled up with it. When I came through the door she herded me to the couch where she wanted to snuggle. I swear it is a conspiracy. The kids and this puppy are in cahoots. Oh, I know this puppy is going back with her rightful owner, but I am convinced that they are trying to wear me down. Okay - it is working. I will admit it. LOL
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 09, 2021, 01:09:10 AM
(https://media.giphy.com/media/QFSD9tGuryBHy/giphy-downsized-large.gif) (https://media.giphy.com/media/C7Gj216EwEi4/giphy.gif)(https://media.giphy.com/media/2FhASosZtLUPe/giphy.gif)

You KNOW you are just looking for an excuse <snort!>

I get the "Can we just leave the past in the past please for a while?" thing.... Had a bit of a similar encounter yesterday with the outcome that "Yes, I did end up with 2 wonderful kids out of the thing" but geez....  ::)

Sounds like you had a good thing going with the coworker - good that Miss-Management wasn't involved...

As for the reconciling thing.... Uhhhhhhhmmmmmmmm ...

I hear that.... Good memories aside, unless the Mid-Lifer really does the work they need to do, why would you (or I) want to stick that barbecue fork in our eye AGAIN?
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 09, 2021, 04:41:56 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor- you are not helpful at all. LOL.

We have discovered that this puppy is very true to her breed. They are known to be incredibly smart and capable of figuring things out - like how to open her crate. Twice now she has managed to unlock the door and escape. Yesterday, I thought it was because D left the door unlocked accidentally. I put the puppy to bed and double checked the lock. Hmmm- this morning at 4:30 am I found "Harriet Houndini" had escaped her cage and was happily waiting for me to take her out.

The past couple of days have been exhausting. It is a huge job hanging these shows and I told my coworker I can meet her tomorrow for a couple of hours more tweak the layouts on a couple of walls in the main space, followed by rearranging some of the other smaller areas. We really approached the whole process very differently and she was laughing because we both think very similarly in terms of how to tackle it. The owner came down to take a peak and she sat down. She is a tough critic and was quiet at first and then we watched a smile appear. She informed us she was incredibly impressed and it was the best show she has ever seen hung in the gallery in all of the years she has been in business. We were both stunned and speechless. The owner told me several more times during the day how incredibly happy she was with the results.

Why this is a big deal for my coworker and I is we were filling some pretty big shoes, as our former coworker was considered the expert in this area.

The pat on the back was not necessary, but we both agreed that it made all of the hard work worth it. We also had some help yesterday from someone who wanted to see what the process was like. They left saying they had no idea how a really good exhibit is set up and that there is a true art form to it. We tried to explain to them how you have to almost think of it like writing a story and organizing how the chapters transition and flow.

Of course, my day didn't exactly flow into a nice quiet evening. I had to cancel the appointment for my F's phone, as I was held up at work too late. I now have moved that for later tomorrow, after working for a couple of hours. I had to work completely around my parent's schedule, which is shockingly booked solid. My sister had offered to help, but she is out of town for the next week, so it is falling on me to resolve.

D is in a positively miserable mood tonight, having had a very long day herself and it is the end of the semester which makes for stressed out students - I know the formula. She is wanting to pick a fight. I am wanting to just run from the house screaming. I know on my way home, I was so wanting to call up Xh and tell him he needed to step up because I am just over it all.

But, I am holding on to the positives tonight as much as I can. Earlier in the day one of my favorite artists came in and she knew my coworker and I were there today. She came in to drop off work, but she had made us a special treat. She is in her eighties and this was a tart recipe that her grandmother taught her how to make. She stayed and chatted while we worked and she started talking about her H, who died many years ago. She said he was very handsome, but that was never what drew her to him. It was that he made her laugh. My coworker is very happily married. This artist and I are very similar and before she left she gave me a hug and said she hoped that I found someone like her H - someone who made me laugh every day because I deserve to have someone by my side.

I am going to try and grab ahold of the bits of my day tomorrow and embrace what I can. I am determined to try and reclaim part of my original plan to take time for myself.

Right now, I am going to focus on avoiding D. I have already told her I am not engaging in this type of back and forth. I don't have it in me. I know that if she pushes, it will be incredibly unproductive. I don't have it in me to do battle, especially when it is all about her needing to just blow off steam.

If it weren't pitch black outside, I would take "Houndini" outside for a long walk.

Maybe a fire in the fire pit and a glass of wine is in order. Hmmmm.  ;)
Title: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: UrsaMajor on November 10, 2021, 03:04:23 AM
Sounds like D should take Houndini out for a long walk and work off some of her "Issue." Picking a fight for the sake of doing so is totally counterproductive, regardless of how stressed she is.... DISengaging is very much a valid strategy at this point

Good luck with recovering the rest of your day and well done on the gallery arranging! That had to be a good feeling!

Oh, and by the way....

You need a new thread...

Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 10, 2021, 05:49:37 AM
UrsaMajor - I can always count on you to keep me in line. LOL

I took Houndini out at 4 am this morning. I couldn't sleep anyways. It was so incredibly quiet and peaceful. A nice change from all of the activity just hours before.

I didn't put her back in her crate and instead we curled up on the couch and slept for a couple more hours. She is so much smaller than my lab was. She likes to just curl up at your feet, and she won't move until you are ready to get up. When she sees you stirring, she inches towards you and wants to be cuddled like a baby. It is what she does when her owner is here. It is rather funny to watch this big, burly kid with this puppy who crawls into his arms and wants to be hugged and held like some little toddler. She is a much easier dog to watch than the other ones that I have had here in the past.

We just came back in from our first walk of the day and that now includes a stop by the orchard to pick out a pear to play with. The pears are huge this year, so she can barely carry one in her mouth, but she is determined to play fetch with it and then she plops down to rest and eat her "prey". After resting, we have been working on commands like waiting and not to chase the cats, who are getting used to her. George gave her a good swat the other night and she has a new respect for him. He is now willing to sit next to her and she is trying to make friends with him. She had another dog in the rental that she was with all day, but cats are a new thing all together.

The walk this morning did me a great deal of good. The sun is out and it rained at some point last night, so the sun was making the little droplets that remained just sparkle on the leaves and tall grasses, like little diamonds in the sunlight. I walked around the property and have accepted that my best plan of attack for now on the gardens is just to cut everything back and in the spring worry about the big plans I had to reconfigure things. Last week I was discouraged about it, but today, I have a sense of calm and acceptance combined with a gentle reminder to myself that it is okay to let go of those expectations I had. I need to be kind to myself and not beat myself up.

It was then I spotted the small Japanese Maple tree that S and I had moved not long ago and put a post next to it, to help support it. It had been given to me by my uncle, my F's B, a few months before he died. He had several saplings that he had nurtured along in his backyard and given them away to family members. Mine is the only one that has survived. I adored my uncle and that little tree always makes me smile and think of him. This morning, I noticed it has grown and is about 4 feet tall. A huge leap from the little spindly sapling that I started out with. The sun was hitting the leaves and for the first time ever they all were a stunning red color.

That little storm last night passed and today, I am going to do my best to chase rainbows.  ;)
Title: Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 7
Post by: MourningDove on November 23, 2021, 10:45:52 AM