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

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My Story Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
OP: May 19, 2021, 02:55:15 PM
I was talking to a friend of mine and saying if it weren't for the MLCer showing up for the dog the other day, things might have been quiet for awhile. I have moved so much farther away from the nonsense that any interaction with the MLCer disturbs the peace. Even when life has been chaotic, etc - it is not the same as MLC chaos.

Xh's appearance doesn't rattle me in the same manner it once did. Problem is, it does rattle D and now S. I am witnessing them go through some of the same steps I had gone through. The processing and trying to learn to know what healthy boundaries are for each of them. I can't really help them, only be supportive and understanding, as they are adults. But it is difficult to witness.

I am looking forward to the end of child support, TBH. Xh can slide on his responsibilities to D's college and medical expenses. I just don't care anymore.

And, maybe more so now, I am really of the mind that I just don't want to battle him for the money. It is not worth my energy. I know that seems to some like I am afraid of him or being a doormat. That is fine for other's to have those opinions. This is my reality and I know myself. I just don't care about it and it sucks valuable energy from my own life and moving forward. It just keeps me tethered to the MLCer and at what cost?

After dealing with Xh on Friday, I know he is stuck in his weird world of MLC.

Now, is it fair or just that he is somehow getting away with not paying for D? Yes. But, I know what battles to fight. I would rather battle something that makes sense and pour my energy into more positive things. Xh, just based on Friday's interaction would mean more of the same that I had before when we were in court. He seems to want the drama and the need to be a victim. I am not giving him what he wants. I am done playing his games and I know it will cost money either way. I can pay my attorney to chase after him and to try and recoup money. I won't end up that much ahead if he were to cough up the money, but I am keenly aware he is also avoiding the IRS at this point. They will no doubt take their cut before I ever were to see any money and even if I did, it is going to just be time and energy wasted at this point. And from a mental standpoint, I want nothing to do with him.

I have said it a million times, I know - but I believe in regards to Xh - "what is the price of my peace". I know it is not how other people would approach it. I know this is what is right for me.

When I had that moment painting a couple of weeks back, I know that I would lose that if I go back into this mess with Xh. I cannot say I will never sacrifice passion again, because I don't know what life has in store for me. I do know, I will never sacrifice it for Xh again, nor will he benefit from it either. That is for me and anyone who chooses to decide I am worth being with.

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11717.150
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#1: May 20, 2021, 05:36:07 AM
Is it fair or just that he skates off? Not really BUT if the consequence is your own peace of mind and the ROI (Return On Investment) is basically nil, then it can still be the right decision. In this case, not only does it grant YOU  a bit of peace, it denies the GPWELF of something he is SO desperate to have and that is the


Quote from: MourningDove
Xh's appearance doesn't rattle me in the same manner it once did.
Although, I have to say, an ex looking like Lord Farquaad would normally rattle most people (his "appearance" - get it? <snort>)
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#2: May 20, 2021, 09:13:55 AM
UrsaMajor - I actually at one point ran my synopsis by my BIL, who is a CFO for a corporation. He said my calculations make sense and cutting my losses is probably wise. Who knows maybe the MLCer will leave D money in that mysterious account. IDK. I am not holding my breath and if D benefits somehow, good for her. That is the thing that makes me laugh the hardest about all of this.

Xh is about control and he hated the fact that the money that was supposed to come my way for D in particular was not something he got to dictate where it went. I get it - it has to be hard to be on the other end of things if you have an Xspouse that doesn't put the money where it is supposed to go. Like using CS to go on shopping sprees or whatever and not for the kids, but I was never that way. And, Xh is rewriting all of the divorce decree in his head or putting a spin on it. His interpretations of what he thinks should happen ultimately punish me and they punish D. On the flip side, really at the end of the day, he is only hurting himself. D has said she won't be bought and if the money does come her way, she won't turn it down, but she won't fawn all over Xh either like that just clears the tally board and wipes out some tab he has run up.

I am doing what I said I would do. I am making sure the kids have a stable home environment so they can focus on starting their own lives. Had I not had kids, I might not have stayed in the house. I might have fought Xh more - IDK. I just know that I can sleep at night knowing I am sticking to my promise to myself to keep things afloat.

It is not always pretty. I find myself embarrassed at times, considering prior to MLC, when Xh and I worked together, we had things pretty well under control and took expensive vacations and had all sorts of material things. It isn't the material things or lavish vacations I miss at all. It is the security I miss. I have never been materialistic or motivated by money. I enjoyed the wealth, I am not going to lie, but I don't miss it per se, except when the emergencies roll in and I have to dive into my savings or figure a way out of the situation. And, I can't just go out and buy things I need when I feel like it. I have had to go back to budgeting like I did when I was first married.

When I find that I am beating myself up, I stop and remind myself what I have accomplished.

In part, the whole mess with the screw in the heat line and the damage that occurred, followed by the surgery, followed but the septic, etc have been a lot to navigate. I am not entirely sure how I have managed beyond a whole lot of laughing and acceptance. I suppose it is why the toilet being back in working order is such a big deal for me right now. It sounds so incredibly basic and who should be excited about that, but I really think it is why the battle with Xh is not worth it to me. I would rather pour my energy into my own life than to put anymore of that energy towards him in any way.

And, I remind myself that any energy I throw Xh's way, takes away from my kids or anyone else I care about. And, I am not about to trade that for chasing after money I may never see anyways.

Of course, I am not getting rid of my evidence box. Xh may piss me off enough for me to strike back or maybe OW - IDK. It is there for my protection only. Beyond that, it can collect dust in the back of the closet for all I care. I have no desire to open it and use it. I will simply think of it as if it is a grenade I can always pull the pin on if necessary.  ::)

As for the Lord Farquaad look - it might not be as bad if he wasn't trying to cover up that his hair is thinning and he is going gray. And, if he wants to color his hair - fine. It is the highlights that throw me way off, considering his hair is almost black, and the highlights are bright golden blonde. It is not somehow blending away grays. His stylist needs to be slapped - LOL. I am sorry, but a man that is trying to rock a comb-over type of style is not sexy. Nope. Cannot convince me of that at all. I have no opposition to long hair, short hair or bald. Comb-over, I draw the line there.

I sound so shallow - LOL. Maybe I would have grown to love it if the Xh weren't deep in MLC and still a monster.  ::)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#3: May 21, 2021, 12:40:36 AM
I sound so shallow - LOL. Maybe I would have grown to love it if the Xh weren't deep in MLC and still a monster.  ::)
^

If GPWELF didn't have his head shoved so far up his .... fog... he wouldn't HAVE the "Lord Farquaad with highlights" haircut in the first place!
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#4: May 21, 2021, 06:17:48 PM
UrsaMajor - you make a valid point. LOL

It was incredibly hot today and I was so grateful to be working at the gallery during the hottest point of the day. I spent hours focused on fine-tuning the new inventory system. While I am not a fan of paperwork, I do like solving problems and making things work properly.

D was off with her BF for the afternoon, as he had gone through his graduation ceremony and then had a game to coach. D gladly went along to keep the books again and the head coach commented how grateful he was that she was there. She has caught on quickly and is very good noting plays. The other day he was especially glad she was there when their scoreboard went down and things needed to be tabulated manually.

Next week, D is off to a tournament all weekend with BF and his family. I am not sure what S is going to be doing, but I am going to try and at least sneak away for some day trips. I need the break from it all.

They had called to let me know that the dog's ashes are ready to be picked up. I have been missing the sound of her barking and hearing her nails on the floors in the morning. It is very odd not to have her here now.

When I came home, S was all smiles. He had met the head technician. Everyone had warned him that the man is a harda$$. He is known as the "old guy" in the shop. I happen to know who it is, but didn't let on as S relayed that he broke the ice rather unintentionally and asked the guy about a picture of an antique tractor. They had quite the conversation it would seem and S was asked to assist on a project with the tech. The younger techs joked with S, but in typical form, S rolled with it. He has learned that usually the "old guys" are just not there to fool around. S said the tech started quizzing him about the machine they were working on and S answered every question accurately and it made the tech stop and ask S about his family. He wanted to know if S's parents were mechanics, etc. S laughed and said that no, but we never discouraged his interests. As the conversation progressed, the tech asked S a question which opened up that it would seem the tech remembered my sister and he admitted he had a huge crush on her when they were in high school. It was then I told S that this guy was my cousin's best friend growing up and yes, he is a hard-working guy who takes pride in his work. S smiled and started laughing when I said that "old guy" is younger than I am. LOL. S was quick to backpedal and explain that this is coming from the newly minted 20 year olds.

S's GF was showing me the baby bunny that she has had for a week. The mother and siblings had been killed last week and she rescued this one and has been caring for it. She has been able to get it to eat from a bottle and had researched with the help of the vet, how to care for a wild bunny. It is not an easy task. She was so proud of herself and I know that she is now on the right career path.

This opened a discussion about GF's career path and her long term goals. She mentioned she was discouraged because she had made some decisions a few years ago that have created a financial mess of sorts. She wants to get on the right track and S piped up that Xh had offered to help her out. I was ready to ask WTF that meant and then S said Xh thinks she should claim bankruptcy, and blah, blah, blah. I was glad I had my back to them at the time as I was washing some dishes, because my facial expression would have given me away. I wanted to laugh at first, but I was careful.

I know S and his GF are talking about a future together. His GF is a couple of years older and they aren't in a rush, but it is pretty apparent that they are in it for the long haul. S has learned from his financial hiccups from when he was younger and he knows that his GF has to get a handle on her side of things and they need to work together. So, it would seem Xh has offered to help GF figure out where her money goes.

Now so much of this is beyond amusing at the moment. I am sorry - this is coming from the MLCer version of Xh who not only ripped through money and nearly left us destitute, but is still not operating in a responsible manner from what I can tell.

Not only that, I know Xh in MLC land. He is not kind nor is he easy to work with in any financial conversation. He would be judgmental and share with others what GF spends on. She is a kind young woman and does not deserve that type of "help". And I didn't offer to help her either, as that might seem like I was trying to win a battle.

I laughed because it would be a good project for my M, as she is really good with finances and has managed my F's business, as well as other accounts for different organizations over the years. My M loves a financial challenge. But, I thought better of that as well.

I chose my words carefully. I told S and GF that I felt it was a bad idea for her to work with Xh or even myself. I suggested that she work with a counseling service for credit and I could call my BIL, the CFO or my accountant and get a reputable company to help her out. S asked why and I said that makes it much more neutral and won't cause issues. I also pointed out that bankruptcy should not be a go to considering if they are looking at getting married some day, starting out with that against her makes it potentially more complex. S agreed and said that she should at least get professional advice and maybe she could get some help first.

S and GF went out for ice cream and I called my sister. BIL was in the background. I ran the scenario and my BIL, who is not one to voice an opinion without careful thought, was very quick to react with a "oh, hell no" when he heard Xh offered his financial advice.

When S came home I mentioned I had spoken with BIL about a credit counseling service recommendation and said BIL told me that was the best approach for GF. S, knowing my BIL is no slouch with finances and that is his area of expertise, said he thinks GF should go that route.

I shouldn't be somehow shocked that the MLCer thinks he is the person who should be giving financial advice. I sort of laughed recalling how much money he wasted during the divorce alone and how he tried to hide money. The crazy schemes to hide money or convince himself that he was investing when he was spending all of our savings. Of course, I was stupid and just convinced myself he needed it and I was so distraught and trying to save the marriage that I let it happen- I was not blameless in that respect.

The MLCer giving financial advice. LOL. Maybe in a scenario of "this is what not to do". LOL
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#5: May 21, 2021, 09:52:15 PM
Quote
The MLCer giving financial advice. LOL. Maybe in a scenario of "this is what not to do". LO

Dear god....what next? Setting up as a marriage therapist? Or a hair style advisor?  ::) ::) ::)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#6: May 22, 2021, 08:37:26 AM
Treasur -
Dear god....what next? Setting up as a marriage therapist? Or a hair style advisor?  ::) ::) ::)

The sad thing is, I think the MLCer would actually believe that about himself as well in his current "warped state". If for no other reason I can see the MLCer doing just that because FIL believed he was the epitome of wise advice for marriage. It used to upset my Xh when FIL would give marital advice because it was never how maybe FIL took any blame for the downfall of his first and second marriages, it was always about how he did things right. Xh used to tell me later that my parents and grandparents were who he looked to for how to make marriages work, not FIL.

The kids and I laugh all the time whenever I make cornbread. FIL one time was sitting at the kitchen bar as I was baking and he stopped me and asked if I was putting sugar in the cornbread. I follow different recipes, and I can't really recall which one I was using that time because it was FIL's next comment that I clearly remember and the kids were sitting at the kitchen table during the interaction. FIL told me he could never "train" his second W to make it without sugar, because that is the way he liked it. The kids now recall my reaction and always laugh. I had said to FIL that maybe he should have realized his error in trying to "train" his W like a dog or perhaps learned how to make cornbread himself.

To this day, the kids will laugh and say how many times I walked away and bit my tongue when it came to FIL. It was usually because I just knew that was him and I wasn't going to ruin my day with his BS. But he really must have really gotten me aggravated by then. So, of course anytime I make cornbread now, the kids will change their voices and go into how they need to train me to make cornbread the way they like it. Funny now, not so funny back then.

And, I hate to say it, but Xh has in fact taken over parts of his F's personality and I don' think this is just a case of him becoming like his F in the sense that society likes to label it. This goes beyond that because it was such a radical change in him and counter to who he was. Xh was more like the BIL who I still speak to and they are very similar. BIL sees it too with the MLCer and it is as if Xh is trying to somehow work through some weird FOO issue regarding his F by becoming like him. It is so incredibly bizarre.

Last week, there were little bits of Xh that emerged that seemed like who he was before all of this. Luckily, it is not as confusing to me or at least didn't lasso me back in to somehow think he is making some miraculous turnaround. Maybe I am just too far away from it now and too much has happened, IDK, but I do know that it was like watching him suppress those parts of him and he would fall into the other persona that was more reminiscent of FIL.

I used to wonder when all of this MLC garbage really took hold what if Xh had gotten help? What if these people who Xh needed to work things out with hadn't died and things could have been mended? I sometimes might have a fleeting thought about that, but it is no longer obsessive like it was around BD. Now, those thoughts only occur when I encounter Xh and see how incredibly screwed up he still is. Otherwise, I really don't think about it much at all. For one, what if's that are based in what has already happened and can't be undone really don't help in any way that I can see. Now, I just watch as my Xh is on a mission to recreate his own relationship with his F through the kids. I can't change that either, but I can continue to try to be true to my own character. I can also use my MIL, before she got her act together and started to make amends, as an example of what not to do in this dynamic.

My sister mentioned that what would be my anniversary is coming up and if I am okay. I laughed and said TBH, I only realized that because there is an annual event that always coincided with our anniversary that Xh went to with my blessing. It was a once a year event that he used to attend with my F - an antique car show. I just saw a sign for it yesterday and how they are having it this year.

I think I shocked XH on our first anniversary when I told him to go and enjoy himself and we could make plans another night if need be to celebrate. If I recall though, I made a romantic dinner for Xh when he got home. It was never a case of dismissing our anniversary, because it was a special date at the time, but I have never felt the need to put pressure on things having to fit a specific day. He had acknowledged our anniversary for years as did I, we just realized that trying to for instance go out on a date night once we had kids might take a bit more navigating with babysitters and the like on the actual date.

Some people thought that was such an odd thing and I know it shocked some, but it worked for us for many years. Once FIL moved in the anniversaries came with little more than a card or my favorite phrase - not - "wow, you made it another year". And that was from Xh. He was well on his way into the crisis by then.

Strangely, he could go the other extreme and I still don't know entirely if it was genuine, guilt or some combination of things once the crisis crept in. Xh would take me out to dinner and wine and dine me. He would take me on a weekend away and it was like we were completely back on track. This was just as the EA was starting is my best estimate. Pre MLC Xh was notorious for buying me custom made, handmade pieces of jewelry on a whim or when we were on vacation he would find something he wanted me to have. I laughed not too long ago when I realized the last trip we took together he wanted to buy me a necklace at an art gallery. He had already bought one for me when we had gone to a wedding out of town that I simply said was pretty. I had no intention of buying it. He went out and brought it back for me. That was a pre MLC Xh move, so when we were on this other trip, I told him it was not necessary. Now I am sort of regretting it, only in that I know what it cost and I should have let him get it for me considering it would be later that I found the receipts for al of the hotels and dinners for OW.  ::) But, I am not that person - I am not that materialistic.

Just now, I realized something and maybe this is coincidence, but IDK. MIL gave me a ring when I got married that was given to her for her 25th wedding anniversary from FIL. It would be a month later that he ran off with OW1 and started the divorce. She told me at the time that she wanted me to have it as a wedding gift. I always felt odd about it. The strange thing is, right before BD #1 and having been together about 25 years at that time, Xh had a custom made necklace designed by a jeweler he met through a client. Her work was in several art magazines and he took me to her studio as a surprise. X-BIL happened to be visiting and went with us and I thought we were just on a tour, when X-BIL informed me that Xh had been working on this for months. It was a lovely piece and I do still wear it and not because of some connection to Xh. It is just a beautiful piece of jewelry.

It would be a month later that BD#1 came. 

Oh well - LOL. Doesn't change what happened. Certainly, doesn't change my feelings now. Just one of those "huh" moments.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#7: May 24, 2021, 05:10:12 PM
I have had a couple of nights of dreams with Xh starring in them and they are just annoying. They are not memorable dreams nor are they troublesome or at all titillating. It is like being asleep and hearing a mosquito buzz by your ear type of dream. I know why he is in my dreams right now and it is because he disrupted my routine. And, it is the recent request via S that got my dander up.

In reality, it is the fact that S was told by Xh that he would like some of the dog's ashes. D is not happy about this at all for a variety of reasons. I told both kids I was not going to have the discussion right now, as I haven't even picked up the box yet. I am not sure what I am going to do, TBH.

I spent the weekend working on the house and was invited by D's BF to go to dinner with his family to celebrate the end of the school year. I was really not wanting to go at all, as I had a good rhythm going with the projects. BF had brought me flowers earlier in the day and thanked me for being in his corner, so then I felt I should accept the dinner invite when it was presented. I knew it was important to D and her BF that I was there. It was a nice evening, and it felt to be out.

When I came home, S was home and his friends had come over to help plant the garden that they had mapped out. All 5 of them worked together and then spent the remainder of the evening having a cookout and sitting around the fire pit.  I was mildly annoyed I couldn't just go out and sit on the back deck to relax in peace and quiet. Don't get me wrong, they were very well behaved and having a good time. They invited me to join them, but I have to admit, I didn't really want to be around a bunch of 20 somethings all evening. I know I should be grateful they are a good crew. I think part of it was I was a 5th wheel at dinner and came home and felt mildly out of place even though I get along with all of S's friends. I just didn't want to be a "mom" in that moment.

I talked to a friend of mine who was telling me about her weekend. We got on a conversation about relationships after being a LBS. It started because she mentioned one of her friends is happily single now and doesn't want any relationship at all with another man. She said she no longer has to be physical with a man and that makes her happy.

My friend and I said if that works for her, great, but that is neither of us.

Of course we have friends that are stuck and fear relationships all together, yet they are not comfortable being single. Or the friend of mine who has been in two relationships but purposely blew both of them up right when she was really happy and things seemed good. I am convinced it is out of a fear that she breaks up with these men before they do because she fears they might leave her.

On my side of things, I have a friend who is happy being single, but prefers casual companionship with no real commitment. She says it works for her. IDK.

The friend I was having the conversation with dated for awhile and was content with that at first. Then she met a man that I now like to kid her about. I could see it unfolding and kept telling her she was falling in love and the man was just head over heels for her. They had some hiccups along the way, but it's been 2 years now and it's a solid thing.

We laughed about all of the tears along the way and not because it was funny. She was joking that she would call me and I would talk her off the ledge, but I never blew sunshine up her backside. She knows I am not that friend. I just could see that this man was a good man and knew he had stumbled upon a woman that is worth cherishing. It has blossomed so much that she admitted the idea of him moving in some day didn't scare her, which made me laugh a little considering months ago had I suggested that is where things were headed she would have been angry with me or thought I was kidding her.

I am happy for her, but it lead to her asking me what I want. I told her that I am not sure about the marriage or moving in part, because I am not in that headspace. I am not in some rush with an end goal in mind. I told her I like feeling love and being in love. I like monogamy, that I know. I like the sense of security and commitment. And the more I hear from my friend how things are going with her BF I realize that I want someone to love me back in the same manner.

All of the other scenarios could easily be me. I could jump into relationships and ditch them before it gets too serious, but that is not my nature. I could become stuck and decide I don't want to even attempt it. I am a physical person and while I am not one to run around just hooking up with anyone, I am not sure I could go without human contact in the long term. Companionship with "benefits" is an option and I know that is available, but I know the fact that it is not the love I crave, even if this person loves me on some level, it is not the same.

This whole conversation was going on as my S and his friends were sitting outside around the fire pit. S and his GF have been discussing their future together. They have been talking to me about buying houses and so on. They are in no rush, but they are asking responsible adult questions that certainly point to a future together.

At dinner the other night, D's BF's brother and his GF were there and they are getting engaged. D got all excited and mentioned to the GF about my wedding, as it is what she wants to do. She asked me a ton of questions about how I planned and about designing my own invites, etc. And, I was glad to help.

D and her BF have been discussing their long term future. They are planning on getting through school, but it's pretty clear they too seem to be headed towards getting engaged down the line.

IDK - it made me very happy for both kids, but incredibly alone at that moment. And, I miss being missed by someone, which seems really very silly when I say it.

S picked up on my very thinky mood this afternoon. It might have been that I was pulling out a support beam from the bathroom that is not structural, but was left behind from the wall that separated the bathtub and the linen closet. It wasn't really in the way, but I am of the mind that the bathroom, being gutted as it is needs to be like a clean slate and that beam no longer made sense and I figured it could not only be reused somewhere else, it was just adding weight. Truth is, I needed to just do something that required no real thoughts and only physical energy.

This weekend D had joked with S that I needed to find a man that has a boat. I shot her a look of "huh"? Then the velociraptors started a lists of what they think I need. It was funny - I admit, but part of me just sighed and wanted the conversation to end.

S and I, when we were talking today, he said that he knows he just wants someone who treats me well. I did laugh when he mentioned someone in particular and told me that he would not allow someone that was "too vanilla" though because I need a little bit of flavor in my life. I knew who he was referring to and said that was not a worry and never was an option.  And then out of S's mouth came something I have never shared with him and it made me laugh. He informs me I am an enigma and some lucky guy is going to see that I am not nearly as complicated or as confusing as some might think. As S left the room, he turned around and told I deserve better than the MLC Xh. S said he loves his F for who he was, but he is a foolish, broken man now.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#8: May 24, 2021, 10:47:15 PM
Someone else said on a post that, with hindsight, they realised that they went through a series of mental shifts as they recovered but sometimes they were almost unnoticeable at the time. I wonder if your reflections are part of that kind of process perhaps....a desire perhaps for life more than survival, idk.

I don’t know what you want to do about your lovely girl’s ashes. Or indeed what the kids want to do.
Maybe it’s just me but my first reaction was hell no. Your dog was part of your family, the family he left in painful chaos and uncertainty....he has no right to pick and mix through the literal ashes of what he tried to burn to the ground so long ago. Or for anyone to care much if he wants to be sentimental about what he abandoned. Adult consequences and all that.  Grrrr. But that is maybe me being rather projectingly petty  ::) and of course, the ashes are not her.....in my head, she is in a field of alfalfa someplace else, collecting toys for repair, sneaking onto sofas and with an endless plate full of cheese and melon  :)
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« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 10:52:24 PM by Treasur »
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#9: May 25, 2021, 12:59:32 AM
The MLCer giving financial advice. LOL. Maybe in a scenario of "this is what not to do". LOL

Uhmmmmmmm ... Wait a second... is this not the same GPWELF that is getting love notes from the IRS? Is THAT what he feels qualifies him to give financial advice? That, so far, he has managed to avoid the tax man? 

In what universe does THAT make any sense? 

Oh! Right!  The universe of Schmoopieland where there are unicorns that fart clouds of rainbow glitter and lots of pink cotton candy fluffy things floating around....



And Treasur already said what had come to my mind about the dog's ashes.... He has MORE than enough ashes of his own to sift through with everything that he's managed to burn to the ground without having literal ashes.. Maybe he might want to consider the ashes of his R with his daughter before he worries about the ashes of the dog... that he left too when he ran off into the tunnel
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2021, 01:20:44 AM by UrsaMajor »
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#10: May 25, 2021, 04:27:49 AM
I´d be tempted to send him a zinger about keeping the ashes whole in that you are not one to break up a family and the dog was a member of the family. Really, he treats D this way but wants ashes, what the H?//. Hmm, maybe put a turd on a bonfire and let him have the ashes of that. Oh, my dark side is awakened by the idiocy of your ex. Once again he puts S in the middle. At least you have strong signs that ex has not made any progress.

Glad that your plumbing is humming, nothing like the miracle of the flush.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#11: May 25, 2021, 05:47:08 AM
Hmm, maybe put a turd on a bonfire and let him have the ashes of that. Oh, my dark side is awakened by the idiocy of your ex.



Oh man, FTT, your idea is even better than mine.... Must be the full Super Moon tomorrow because someone else posted a wicked evil idea on DF's thread regarding the Pineapple Queen...

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#12: May 26, 2021, 11:12:29 AM
Treasur, UrsaMajor & forthetrees - I am having a hard time knowing what to do. I am conflicted because, I too have had the thoughts that one might deem petty. I hadn't even considered Xh asking about the dog's ashes at all. D happened to mention that she finds it really fascinating that Xh is willing to split up the ashes because he and his family threw such a fit over his M's ashes and his now deceased B's - the one he drove around with his ashes in the center console of his car for the longest time and would tell people his "B" was in the car with him.

For one, it for me is about what one thinks philosophically about what happens with one's body after they die. I have no issue with the concept of spreading ashes, etc. For D, it bothers her because it is more about what this represents and that is Xh left and the dog part of the family he abandoned. Now he suddenly wants part of that and she is not liking it.

I mentioned it to my sister and she is in agreement with not giving Xh any of the dog's ashes. We joked about just giving him a vial full of ashes from the fire pit and calling it a day. I still haven't picked up the ashes and will probably do so on a day when neither kid is with me. We will come up with what we want to do when we are ready. I am just not in that place yet, I guess. Perhaps by then Xh will just let it go and that will be that. It is a no win situation. If I don't give Xh some of the ashes, S will be upset. If I do give him some, D is potentially upset. Somewhere there has to be some compromise. IDK what the answer is at the moment.

I walked today with D and my sister. We covered 6 miles and right towards the end of the walk we encountered a storm that rolled in. It was one of those in the forecast yesterday, but then they backed off and said it was going to miss us. The sky was blue and clear most of our walk, but then a haze set in, which was a sure sign the humidity was increasing and the temps dropped 10º F in a matter of minutes. And then the clouds turned a deep purplish blue and the wind kicked up with the dust from the trail just swirling. Within a very short time we were feeling the large rain drops. D started laughing when my sister and I said "oh man, we are in for it" and then it started pouring. They both started running and I just kept walking. They were standing under a gazebo not far from there and were laughing at me. They said I was insane. There was no thunder or lightening and when I pointed out that they weren't really any drier than I was they laughed. It did make for a very uncomfortable drive home and I have decided in addition to my emergency sneakers, I am going to now add a t-shirt and shorts at the very least.

D is supposed to be going away for the weekend and S is planning on going to the lake this weekend. He joked he would see Xh, but he really was going to take advantage of Xh's location more than anything.  ::) My M was concerned I was going to be alone for the holiday weekend and was quick to say I could come there for the weekend. I told her I would pop in, but I am not making any plans and am going to just roll with it. I have plenty of things I can accomplish without any interruption and I think I might hang some new lights on the back deck and just relax. With it being the first big holiday since the mask mandates have changed, and add a dash of full moon, I anticipate this being one of those more insane holidays. With people being a bit more out of control and I really don't care to participate and think I will be quite content staying close to home.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#13: May 26, 2021, 12:12:39 PM
D and I were talking to her BF about former pets. We were laughing about how Xh, the former cat hater was the one who brought home or invited strays to stay with us over the years. Of the 7 cats that were pets, Xh is responsible for 6 of them. He used to tell us every time, "no more cats" and then he would adopt a new one. It never failed. And, I didn't object to them, that isn't it. Why this is funny is there was one cat that Xh had one in sideways about for years - D's cat before George. And originally, George was Xh's cat and never left his side. George simply has claimed D as his main human now.

The cat that came before George was D's cat from day one. How we even came to own this cat was because D was about 4 years old and at the time we had one cat, which was older. She was a very lovable cat, but she didn't want to be picked up by a little girl and hauled around or dressed up.  ::) Xh told me that if I found a cat that was that amiable, D could have it. Well, it would happen that the kids and I had gone to visit a friend of ours when Xh was traveling. This friend had invited us to let the kids ride her Shetland pony and it turned out she had barn cats. Now, this friend always made sure her barn cats were socialized with humans and she had them vaccinated and well cared for. These were not like feral cats. This one kitten kept following D around and D would pick it up like a rag doll and the dang kitten would come back for more. I called Xh and he said fine. D was gentle with the cat and we taught her that the cat needed to be treated nicely, but didn't this cat allow D to put hats on it and push it around in a stroller. For years, Xh was fine with this cat, but then MLC hit.

The conversation today was that the cat was then about 10 years old by this time and MLC started to roll in. D reminded me today that Xh suddenly would get ticked off and say that he never said we could have that cat. Or he would get upset because he didn't choose that cat. He wanted that cat gone. He went so far as to offer, unbeknownst to any of us, the cat to his friend's kids because they wanted a cat that would put up with kids. He came home and said he was going to give the cat to this friend. That did not go over well. He could not give me any good reason as to why this needed to happen. It got so bad that the kids and I decided to move the cat up to my parent's house because we feared Xh would just give the cat away.

We joked because that cat loved being at my parent's house and my F in particular loved the cat. But, it was always a bit of a sore spot with D.

I had forgotten this whole thing. Now looking back, Xh was at that point already dreaming of moving out and starting a new life. It would be the same time he started giving other things away.

D did have good memories about the cat moving up the road because it would be part of the reason D would continue to get off the bus at my parent's house from time to time. The cat lived a very long life and D said she got to really spend time with both of my parents as a teenager and that might not have happened if the cat hadn't been rehoused.

But, it makes me look back now and see how funny the MLCer mind was working and makes this request for ashes even more bizarre in many ways.

And now that I think back I should have strung this together before. It is a repeat of Xh's experience. I had forgotten Xh had a dog that he loved. Xh was away at military school with his B. They came home for a break and for hours they were in the car and there had been no mention of the dog. Xh would have been about the same age as D was when he wanted to give the cat away. Hmmm. At any rate, Xh and his B went in the house calling for the dog and it didn't come. It was then that Xh said his F announced that they had gotten rid of the dog because the boys were out of the house. That had been the family pet for years and it basically got sent away like both boys. The military school was BIL's idea. He thought it would be cool and so Xh followed his older B. This left FIL and MIL alone in the house, so they figured they would send the dog away too.

Gotta love those FOO issues and MLC. Amazing how some of these things now make sense - well MLC sense and maybe explain some of the sudden decisions that the crisis brings on. Very odd.
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« Last Edit: May 26, 2021, 12:43:20 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#14: May 26, 2021, 11:45:59 PM
I wish I could blame my inability to sleep tonight on the full moon, but that is not the case.

The whole evening just somehow unravelled into an odd mess and that is now weighing on my mind. In part the timing of a communication came when I was trying to light hearted to cope with something else.

I am not a worrier by nature. I won't say I don't have my moments, but generally, aside from the occasional things, I process and remind myself what I have control of and try to think about the positives. But, I am really very worried right at this moment.

Within the worry is gratitude and knowing that there are good people around who care.

A couple of days ago S's GF and I were talking. I had noticed she has been losing weight and has been incredibly fatigued. She looks pale and she mentioned some other symptoms. As we talked, I had suggested she should get some up to date bloodwork. S has been concerned as well.

When he came home from work, I knew something was terribly wrong. He was distracted and not his normal self. He said that his GF was in the hospital. Her boss, luckily had noticed she was so tired midday that she was nearly falling asleep. Being a vet, he has medical knowledge but he also suffers from diabetes. He suggested they check her blood levels and when the reading came in he immediately sent her to urgent care. She hesitated and he said he wouldn't take no for an answer. After urgent care took her readings, they sent her to the hospital where she was admitted and is being held there at least overnight.

It has been hours and they have gotten the numbers down some, but it is still no where near where it needs to be. S knows enough from when FIL lived with us that those numbers are not healthy. S said to me was at one point the numbers are dangerously high and he looked at me saying he had no idea what the actual number meant other than it is not good. Last I heard it was down some before midnight, but it isn't good.

S could not go to see her, as they are limiting visitors to one and her M was there.

I am grateful that the vet is a caring individual and looks out for his employees. I had always thought highly of him before, but now I have a whole new appreciation for him.

S and I had joked earlier about what is going on. It was not the same as Xh's method of coping. S and I both would not have joked had one of us needed to cry, but I think we both needed to be a bit light hearted right now because we are both really concerned.

I have prayed and tried to read, but I have read the same page of my book over and over for what seems like a thousand times now.

Add the other things that popped up earlier in the evening and I just cannot sleep. Thing is lying awake is not going to change anything. And with this worry, then the rest of what had happened earlier just enters in to mind firetruck territory. If only there were a switch to shut off the worry that is going on in my head right now. I am hoping that just writing it out will help dump the thoughts out of my head temporarily. Meanwhile, I will just let the tears roll and hope that at some point I will just fall asleep.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#15: May 27, 2021, 12:34:05 AM
With "the numbers" and the mention of the vet having diabetes and her being admitted on an urgent basis to the hospital, I'm guessing that it was her blood sugar levels that were out of whack?

And, if I recall correctly, didn't GF have a bit of an issue or 2 with her mom (I could be mixing threads/stories here too) that came out after the fire?

I really hope that the docs can find out what is going on and get it under control, for her sake and for S's as well....

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#16: May 27, 2021, 01:23:40 AM
I’m sorry to hear about GF and I hope that things improve soon. It sounds as if her going to hospital was just what was needed so thank God for everything that made that happen.
And I hope too that splurging here got some things out of your head in a helpful way.

I’ve been reading a (very good) book called Anxiety RX. It talks about anxiety as a malfunctioning alarm system and the difference between a background and foreground alarm. And how extended trauma can reset our background baseline alarm system to a higher level even without us being entirely conscious of it. And that what helps most is to do all the things we learn that soothe our background alarm to a lower level when, quite sensibly, events trigger our foreground alarm system as it did with GF’s boss. That made a whole lot of sense to me when I was trying to unpick why my reactions to things were so different than they had been for the first 50 odd years of my life  :) it’s a shame bc I quite liked some of my old unexamined assumptions about how safe i was or how life and the humans around me would work when difficult things happened  :).....but we see things differently of course now bc we had a very different experience over an extended period of time.

So I hope your background alarm system has dropped back a bit, Mourning, and that you got some sleep  :)
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« Last Edit: May 27, 2021, 01:26:54 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#17: May 27, 2021, 05:11:13 AM
Treasur & UrsaMajor - I did manage to sleep for a little bit and will take a nap this morning, otherwise I will be worthless all day long.

This GF is not the same one that had the house fire. She broke up with S in 2017 or so. They had been together nearly 5 years by then, as they were best friends in high school and beyond. She was a very sweet girl and I still see her from time to time, but S and that GF just outgrew each other. Her M was guilty of over-compensating at times, because that particular GF had a F that was legitimately mentally ill. He is being investigated for setting the fire at their house.

After breaking up with that GF, S had brought home a few girls to meet me that I have to admit that I had the reaction of "OMG, No - please no" with a couple of them but kept those opinions to myself because I had hoped S was smart enough to figure it out on his own, which fortunately he did - LOL.

S and this GF have been together just shy of 3 years and she has a F that did the MLC and has a similar situation to D with her F. Her M is wonderful and she has an uncle nearby that is her F's B and he is very supportive of her. She has her issues, but all in all, I really like her. She is kind and a good match for S. She hadn't been working for the vet for very long, but I know from the other vet in the practice that they are so impressed by her work ethic and her compassion.

The vet, he had been concerned about her recently as had one of her coworkers. The vet recognized some of the symptoms as potentially being related to blood sugar and he was right. Now whether or not it is diabetes, that has yet to be determined, but her blood sugar was in the 400 range consistently each time at the different places. They hooked her up to IVs and around 11 pm last night they had been able to get it to drop to just below 300.

S, he was up taking care of the adopted bunny for her this morning and then he left for work. I didn't get a chance to talk to him yet to find out if there were any updates.

I was considering my morning cup of coffee, but I am thinking that nap is in order. Back in college I could function on 2 hours of sleep, but I am not capable of that anymore.  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#18: May 27, 2021, 05:56:04 AM
400?!?!?

That is WAY out there.... When getting it down to 300 is an improvement, that is saying a lot. I have some friends with Type 1 Diabetes and if they go above about 150, they are worried and jab Insulin... ...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#19: May 27, 2021, 07:38:47 AM
UrsaMajor - I thought S was mistaken at first, but that number is correct.

I am just grateful the hospital is keeping her today and that the vet was paying attention enough to recognize that she was not well. Had he just sent her to urgent care would have been enough, but to have the forethought to check her blood sugar tells me he what I already knew based on my experiences with him. Now of course my experiences with him have been with the dog, so that sounds a little funny to say without explanation.

When the dog woke up acting like she was paralyzed way back, after having gotten into liquified manure, we were concerned she had ingested it. It turned out to be that when she rolled in the grass, she had pinched her nerve between her shoulder blades. I recall this particular vet being so gentle and caring with the dog, but he called to check on her the next day and when I happened to run into him at the grocery store several weeks later, he asked how the dog was doing. My impression was that he was a person who not only cares for the animals he treats, but is an overall thoughtful person.

S is at work and said he is trying to just keep busy since there is nothing he can do as it is he can't go sit with her with the visitor restrictions. Working is what he needs to do today anyways. His GF needs rest and like S said to me earlier, he feels better knowing the hospital didn't just release her and are taking this seriously. In fact he said he was a bit grateful this unfolded this way only because he had been after her to get a new primary care doctor and she had been procrastinating about it. He mentioned had she kept delaying and the vet hadn't pushed the issue she would have perhaps  ended up in a worse situation. Not how he wanted it to happen, but he said he is grateful that she is where she needs to be because of how things happened. S is just focusing on the positives.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#20: May 28, 2021, 12:02:55 PM
S tried to go visit his GF last night at the hospital after getting out of work. He wasn't able to go in as they have adapted the visiting hours to end at 6 pm. He was upset, but not angry at anyone. He did mention to the attendant that he was a bit surprised they didn't close at least at 7 pm just because people like him have to work and can't get there during those hours. She said she would mention it to the higher ups and it was a valid point. He is going to try and leave work a bit earlier today since he doesn't have to work the whole afternoon.

I have been texting S's GF and checking on her. Her numbers finally stabilized and they are going to keep her another day, which is the best thing for her right now. Even yesterday those numbers were hovering around 200 at times. She is now back to about 130, but they have diagnosed her with type 1.5 Diabetes, which I thought was some typo, but it is a more rare form. She is overwhelmed with the changes that will have to happen, but she knows she feels better and is happy to know that it wasn't in her head. And it turned out I knew who her dietician was as she is my sister's best friend's daughter. The young woman lit right up when S's GF asked her if she knew my sister. She has known my sister her entire life, since my sister and this woman have been best friends since they were 8 years old and see each other often.

Life is full of surprises. The situation with S's GF is not what anyone would want, but I know that she was so fortunate to get the help she needs. And, she will learn to manage.

My weekend took very different path and it is a good surprise with a visit from someone I haven't seen in what seems like an eternity. Sometimes life throws surprises your way that just make you smile.  :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#21: May 29, 2021, 01:54:45 AM
MD, this is a lot for your S to absorb, I am sure. Type 1.5 diabetes if where GF has autoimmune antibodies to an enzyme called GAD – glutamic acid decarboxylase. Glutamic acid is an amino acid (aka glutamate) and the antibodies her body makes to that enzyme that is involved in breaking down glutamate lowers her insulin producing cells in the pancreas. It often shows up later in life as compared to Type I diabetes.

Once her immediate medical emergency has been addressed, it would be good for her to be proactive in getting tested for other autoimmune diseases so she is armed with the information she needs for her health.

I'm glad that she seems to be in good hands and it looks like she was tested for antibodies to GAD since that's one way to diagnose 1.5. If she could ask for all her test results so she can start to have her own records of things to keep with her along the years, that would be helpful for managing her health.

Best to you (and your son), it's been a lot of change and stress to both of you this year with the house, dog, and this. You are all showing remarkable resilience (sans exH--he is clearly still misfiring all over the place).
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« Last Edit: May 29, 2021, 02:03:04 AM by Reinventing »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#22: May 31, 2021, 01:31:31 AM
I'm glad that her numbers are getting back to the "realistic" range and that they have an idea of what is happening. With that kind of diagnosis, plans for going forward can be made. It sounds like she is in good hands at least.....
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#23: May 31, 2021, 05:25:15 PM
Thoughts and prayers for GF as she navigates this diagnosis.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#24: May 31, 2021, 07:45:14 PM
Thank you, Reinventing, UrsaMajor, & FaithWalker.

S's GF is out of the hospital and it is a big adjustment for her in terms of diet, etc. Because of S not being able to see her while she was in the hospital, some things were missed in the communication, but in some ways that is good just in terms of the stress it would have brought on. She was in the ICU the whole time and they kept her until late Saturday watching her and having her work with a dietician to start. She sees a specialist on Thursday to address some of the concerns that in fact Reinventing mentioned. So far people are really being wonderful and helping her. Her boss, even though she has not been at the job very long, called her and told her that the other staff members have agreed to help out and she won't lose any pay this week for the time she needs to take. It is refreshing to see people who work as a team and care about each other.

D helped S's GF with some of the dietary things once she was home and fixed a couple of meals for her over the weekend, which was good for both of them. D needs feel as if she is helpful.

I had spent a good portion of my weekend actually being able to leave the "mom" role behind for at least a good portion of time, although it certainly crept in more than I had wanted just because of some of the things going on at home with D and S. Both kids were stressed out from some things that have been going on and it seeped into my plans.

When I came home tonight, I was actually a bit shocked by D. She and I had a rocky weekend at times because she was moody and she and I had started the weekend with a complete miscommunication that really should not have brought on her weekend long mood, but she had what was the perfect storm for a meltdown. I had made time for her and that helped but this evening she was really angry with me. I assumed her mood was because I was out longer than I planned with someone. But, it turned out to be something that sort of threw me.

I have not been off dating, etc, but there has been someone consistent in my life. I don't see them often, but they have been around for quite some time in my life. Both kids have met said person and have said that they like him, but I have been very cautious about letting anyone get too close to the kids. I have feared it only in that I know some people the kids know have a revolving door with boyfriends and girlfriends coming in and out of their kids' lives. As it is I am not one to date in the usual manner it hasn't been a problem, but I also was careful for a variety of reasons. For one, I also didn't want to put additional pressure on that person. I am not pushing with some agenda. The thing is, it would seem it has in some ways backfired on me. D was angry with me because the whole weekend I kept this person away from the house.

Now, in my defense, I didn't want to be around the chaos in the house. It is overwhelming at the moment for me and I needed a break. I also knew that S's GF was going to be trying to adjust. And, the usual things might be going on. Add that D's mood was already mercurial, at best and I just compartmentalized it. And, maybe I have been doing that more than I should. I have kept some things, too separated.

D's gripe was not about me spending more time away but she wanted to know why I hadn't brought this person around. She was wanting to be able to just get to know this person better and it had nothing to do with somehow putting a label on it, it was really as simple as her on the one hand trying to understand when I need to have time to myself, but how to strike a balance and get used to me having someone around potentially. Her explanation was that it is in some ways like when I wanted to get to know who she and S were hanging around with.

I hadn't considered this at all. Oh sure, there is the fear of full on velociraptors appearing and scaring someone away, but I realized that the kids want me to be happy. It just is weird when I was meeting their friends, I had Xh here already, so it was never something I had to worry about, that is, having this situation where the roles are a bit flipped.

It is not changing where I am at, but it is something that I am processing. It is a good thing, but it shocked me. I am realizing it is a big leap for D.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#25: June 01, 2021, 12:24:48 AM
Ah yes... The Kids and the date scenario... What fun... NOT!  ::)

Been there, done that.... In fact, in one situation, it was the fact that we both, by mutual agreement, kept the kids out of the mix (both hers and mine) that I believe led to the downfall of the relationship...

In my current situation, my kids already knew R's kids so that wasn't an issue

But, if the person is scared off by the velociraptors, they may not have been a good choice to begin with... Velos need to be handled with a good deal of humor and maybe the occasional zing back to keep them off their game.... I mean, those who dish it out, have to be able to take it too, right?

I'm REALLY glad that S's GF is on the mend and that D could be of help. GF's job sounds like a really nice place to work - a very supportive environment...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#26: June 01, 2021, 11:49:23 AM
UrsaMajor - this was such a shock to me. And, it is D's issue to resolve, but because of the conversation she and I had, I told her I do understand. She was in full mindfiretruck territory.

D was having a full on trigger and it had nothing to do with who I was with or the possibility of me someday having a relationship with anyone. This was the perfect storm in all honesty.

We had started our weekend out on a rough note with a disagreement. She had an argument with S later in the weekend, which is so rare, and it was something in regards to S being aggravated about something that really was about me. To be honest, he had a reason to gripe. I had forgotten something was still in the garage and he tripped over it. And, S and I are enough alike, that I know that he and I would potentially butt heads, but it was really not about me at all or the thing he tripped over. It was stress rolling in. D was angry he was upset with me. But, I also knew better than to call him out on it and it was their issue to resolve, or at least the disagreement and I told D that. I wasn't playing referee over something that as young adults they needed to figure out.

The thing is, I had made time for her over the weekend even though originally she was supposed to be away all weekend, so I had not factored her into my plans at all originally. But, I knew if I didn't at least give her some time we might be dealing with abandonment issues, which she has really come a long way on. Sunday morning, she was actually very good and had sent me texts to check in, but they were all upbeat. It was yesterday she called me while I was out and she was miserable and clearly had a whole different mood going. I just wasn't going to get into it with her.

When I got home, it was not fun. She didn't speak to me at first. Oh, the move her F used to make. I have learned from that I am not engaging. Fine, ignore me until you are ready to break the ice. I am not playing into that mess. Been there. Rarely productive and usually I get met with the complete wall. D has not done this to me in months. It is something she has worked on and is aware of. So, I went outside where S and his friends had been having a cook out and had saved food for me for dinner. I sat outside with them and then D came out and gave me the laser beam glance and I knew that meant she was ready to let it all spill out.

So, I went inside and was met with tears and a whole lot to process. Out it all fell. D had been worried about S because he was clearly upset about his GF. She had been good to GF and that was not the issue, but it was stressful and a lot to process. I knew that D had heard Xh was telling S how much he misses the dog and that had her aggravated. Heap on my BIL had fallen and split his head open, which she was very worried about but hadn't really let on it was bothering her. So, all of these feelings bubbled up to start and cue Monkey Brain 101.

My compartmentalizing was really in some ways about me wanting to have a break and just be an adult. It had nothing to do with hiding anyone from D or S. Or this person from my kids. It was really just being mindful all the way around in part because I knew the chaos of the construction was going on and there would be extra chaos. It was a lot and both kids know that I would have dropped everything if it was necessary.

What I didn't realize is D had gone into this trigger and the problem was her BF was out of town. My sister and her family were out of town. My parents were busy most of the weekend. S was preoccupied. D started missing the dog and then in her moment of having this trigger emerged this feeling. Now, D realized it is totally irrational, but then triggers often are.

D said my compartmentalizing made her feel like I was hiding and that is what Xh did with his life and OW. And, unfortunately, D knows the gory details of the affair thanks to Xh's carelessness and giving D the evidence on his old phone and not unlinking the emails. Something he never dealt with, in spite of him saying he would when I told him that D saw all the emails on that account. I know what I saw and D and I have never really discussed all of it, but she knows I will let her talk about anything she wants. I just know the emails were graphic and I had a hard time with them.

D realizes it is not my issue nor should I tiptoe around her. And, I told her the best way to deal with this is to communicate with me. While I cannot solve it, I told her I do understand triggers and it isn't exactly the same, I can help her try to navigate it a bit.

D was still edgy last night, but better. This morning she pushed a bit and I told her that was not going to fly. She could talk about it, but I wasn't going down the path of circular talk where it is just an endless loop and her tone was not acceptable. And, the tone she took with me was she questioned something and I told her she had best back off because I had a bit of a migraine starting from her meltdown last night and I wasn't wasting my day diving into a stupid argument. It was immediately then she changed her tone and said she was sorry and I am not Xh.

The truth is, as I told her that no matter what, I am not a mind reader nor am I super human. I make plenty of mistakes and I hopefully learn from them.

I am not going to be able to solve D's triggers. What I think my lesson is and D and I discussed this. Relationships of any type can be hard. There are those that are toxic or not worth working on because they don't serve us. And there are those times where you can't save a relationship or have to put it on a shelf, like hers and Xh's currently and hope Xh does the work he needs to. But any relationship, be it family or otherwise that is worth anything requires work sometimes and figuring things out and at times might mean compromise, etc.

I was thinking this morning about seeing several old barns in my travels this weekend. I spent a lot time trying to fix holes in the walls of my relationship with Xh. It was not really surface things. It was the quick fix and easier route to take in many ways. The thing is a barn can have the sides missing and still stand and be saved if the foundation is solid and the roof is maintained. Xh was chipping at the foundation and ripping the roof off and it didn't matter that I was trying to fix it up. I told D, who understands old barns and this concept, that it isn't always fun putting the work into those parts of any relationship, but if you have a foundation worth saving then you make sure the roof is solid as well. Then you can worry about making sure the sides are all painted and pretty. D said she understood.

Things are better now. My job, I realize as M right now is to be aware that my kids want me to be happy and I don't need to be as protective or worried. D and S both mentioned to me that they know I will never have some revolving door and if I ever get to a point where someone is around more then it means I trust them. With that we all know that it might not always be happy and perfect and that it might take work on all of our parts to adjust. I just need to trust my kids now and realize I don't have to protect them at every turn and I know that the whole MLC experience made me much more protective of them. Time for me to let go and we have to start talking like adults with one another.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#27: June 02, 2021, 03:10:15 AM
Talking to our kids like adults I think is one of the hardest things a parent has to learn sometimes... I still get it from my own mother and I am 57 years old for crying out loud...

But, it sounds like you got things straight with D in a good way...

Now, about that thing in the garage that S tripped over... Is it still there? <snort>
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#28: June 03, 2021, 08:05:43 AM
UrsaMajor - It is a fine balance still with D. She has always been very mature - since she was little. I have to remind myself that she is still a younger woman and has moments where she behaves like a normal person that age. While our talk helped, it is not going to magically change over night. At least we both seem to understand the path we both need to take and there may be some times we stumble. It's a start.

D is better, but she was in velociraptor mode and it wasn't light joking. It is poking as if to see if I am going to react. Little barbs to test the waters.

I get it, although I am not that way myself. If I get that angry, people need to leave me alone and then I work through it. Once I have moved past being really that upset or triggered, I typically am one to move past it quicker - as long as I have been given my space to let it out or be left alone. I don't respond well to poking or prodding.

D operates differently and I have had to learn to understand that is her way. It is not somehow the wrong way, but it is her personality. This too we had a discussion about and how we don't all operate or communicate the same way. Some things are not okay and you don't just give people a pass and ignore bad behaviors and enable it - like I did with the MLCer during all of those months, but you do have to accept on some levels that people are all wired differently. It is a simple concept that isn't necessarily easy to put into practice or remember in the heat of the moment.

D went with me to meet my sister for what has become our Wednesday routine. My sister had an arborist coming to the house to look at a tree and that meant our usual spot was going to make the walk shorter or we would have to rush. We would have met earlier, but she needed to make sure the kids were up for school. So, we opted for a walk around her neighborhood instead. We managed nearly 5 miles before the heat rolled in. It was a good walk and more hills than our regular route.

We stayed at my sister's for awhile and then D and I stopped on the way home to pick up some things for dinner. We were in the grocery store when I ran into my department Coordinator from the college. We had a nice chat although very brief because she was on her way out and had to get back home. She mentioned an event tonight that I may try to go to for just a bit if I can get through what I need to at home.

I hadn't planned on going anywhere but home, as I was really looking rather worn out after the walk. I dropped D off to pick up her car at her BFs and then went to put gas in the car. As I drove to the local gas station, I realized I should pick up the dog's ashes, which I had meant to do last week. As it is S's GF was back at work, I wasn't worried anyone would actually see me since they come out to the car and she would be the one to bring the ashes out with the flea meds I ordered for the cats. The gas station is usually quiet that time of day, so I thought I was in the clear and could avoid anyone seeing me - LOL.

Of course that would not be the case, as the universe likes to play games - LOL. I was just finishing up when along side of me another car pulled in. I looked over and it took me a minute to realize who it was. I didn't recognize him with his sunglasses on and as I was processing he smiled and said I was just what he needed in his life. I asked if that line actually works on anyone. The lady next to me laughed and said if a good looking young man pulled up and said that to her it would have her giving him her number. I turned to her and I had his number. ::) It would turn out it was my former coworker and he has never actually used that gas station, so it was funny to find me there.

He has been struggling with work and so when he saw me he knew I would get it. I pulled my car over and we talked for about 5 minutes. He texted me later and just thanked me for being his friend and letting him vent.

Seeing my coworker and talking to him about what is going on at the high school made me realize I don't want to go back to that. It is the same issues that haven't been resolved and Covid just made it worse. I miss my students and I don't mind high school students, but I don't want to deal with the bureaucratic BS that is in that particular program. It is the same cast of characters saying they want change but not actually doing anything other than talking about it and fearing that they might make a mistake, so instead they stay stuck in the same place never really trying something different or seeking solutions. I can't do it, at least not on that scale. It is not a new problem for this particular school.

I think I needed that reality check for myself. I don't want that anymore. I miss teaching. I miss my students. That I know, but hearing my coworker vent, it is the same problems still going on and they would greatly impact my program. I don't mind fighting for certain things, but I think I realize I don't want to have to battle for basic things, like my coworker is doing still. Nothing has changed on that level and he is much younger and to see him that beat down - no thanks.

I came home with the dog's ashes. I put the box in the library and decided I am not dealing with this right now. At some point I need to talk to both kids about what we want to do. D is still too wound from the last trigger. I won't avoid it completely, but for now, since it is not critical or priority it can be tabled for a time when we are ready as a family.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#29: June 04, 2021, 08:43:28 PM
I went to an art opening yesterday with my F. It is the first public reception at this venue since the pandemic. They had been doing some Zoom receptions, which were well received, but for me it just wasn't the same. This one was now a ticketed event to help with the crowd control and unlike in years past, they didn't serve any food or drink this time and masks were required for all. In some ways, the controlled situation was nice since it really allowed you to not have to battle people to look at the work and to talk to the artists.

I wasn't supposed to go. I had secured tickets for my parents for the early time slot, but was not wanting to go that early and before I knew it the tickets for the event were all gone. And, that was okay, as I decided I would just go over to look at the work on my own at a later date, as the exhibit it up for the entire summer. But, my M has been keeping a bit of a secret from us and it would seem that she has been in excruciating pain as she had hurt her knee a few days ago. Instead of resting though, she has been powering through. My F was so worried about her today, he sat by the phone and answered it immediately any time in rang because she had finally fallen asleep in her chair and he didn't want to wake her. It was strange enough that my sister, who discovered this called and let me know. So, yesterday, my M originally called and told me she thought I should go instead, and skirted the fact that she didn't want to go because she was in pain. It was half an hour before my F was ready to leave, which meant I had to be a quick change artist and change out of the clothes I had on to work on D's room.

My F and I had a wonderful time and the exhibit was absolutely exquisite. In the past we would have gone out afterwards, but my F was concerned about my M, so we headed for their house, where D met us for dinner. I found myself really seeing how my M's love language is acts of service. She loves waiting on people and not out of some need for control. We all had to convince her it was okay for her to sit and be waited on. D and I took care of the dishes after we were done and that was a battle, as my M insisted we could leave them for her to do.

Today, she was back in her chair, relaxing and insisting she was better. I don't believe her one bit, nor does my sister.

D went to spend some time with my F when my M and I were in the kitchen alone. She reminded me what tomorrow is. I paused and I think it surprised her when I had to think about the date and couldn't automatically recall how many years Xh and I would have been married as of tomorrow. She was worried once she brought it up that I would be bothered. I was shocked myself, only in that when the crisis rolled in had anyone said I would get to this point, I would never have ever believed them. It doesn't hurt or upset me. Do I still think it was foolish when maybe therapy would have solved the bulk of the issues - yes. And, I hate the mess that I still have to clean up at times.

Tomorrow is a day in history. It is not the same reason to celebrate nor is it a somber day for me any more. I cherish the good years - even when times weren't perfect. I am grateful my marriage brought two wonderful kids, who I sometimes want to string from their toes, into my life. I am even sometimes grateful now for the OW. Yah - I know - crazy. Do I want to go and thank her? No. But, the truth is, had things continued down the path I was becoming a person who enabled my Xh with his crisis. I needed a good hard slap. Maybe it is I have somehow convinced myself that for me the OW was the universe giving me a good hard slap and telling me to snap out of it. IDK.

My M's question did have me thinking, but more about looking back and wondering when the pain stopped exactly. It wasn't like one day just waking up and feeling better. It was gradual and then suddenly I realized that things have felt different for some time.

My M was worried this morning that because she had asked that question it had me in a deep, thinking mood. I had honestly forgotten about it. Her phone call came in at 7 am and it was almost comical as from then on, my phone rang non-stop up until I had to go to work. I would hang up and another call would come in. It was starting to aggravate me. One call came in and I ignored it, as the number was not one I recognized. After they left a message I called them back to find out that it was one of the local stores and I had won the top prize in their contest. I had forgotten that every time you buy something your name goes into the box. I have done more shopping there for the house recently with the pandemic. Seems the universe is giving me an anniversary gift in the form of a $500 gift certificate. LOL. It's better than the last MLC anniversary gift I got from Xh which was a weekend away at a lake cottage - oh wait, that was just Xh and OW. LOL.

See, I can laugh about it now. I told the kids I am having way too fun with this win, because I was looking through the catalog from the store and felt like the little kid when the Christmas Catalogs used to come out and circling the things you wanted as a kid. What can I say, I am easily entertained and it is kind of fun to not have to worry about what I blow this money on for once, even if it ends up being something really practical.  ;)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#30: June 05, 2021, 12:06:25 PM
Again, it took someone else to say something today to even make me think about today's significance. My first thought this morning was about what I my game plan was after having coffee. It was my sister calling me and she mentioned my M had brought it up. Apparently my M is confused by my indifference to it all and had expected me to be more melancholy or anything but how I am.

Sometimes other's expectations of how I should act after all of this makes me wonder if I am not behaving how I somehow should. Which in reality is ridiculous, as I have grieved and move on. But, in those moments I find myself wondering, I have to stop myself from going down "Monkey Brain Lane".

Some of those steps that lead to that lane include wondering if I really didn't love Xh enough somehow. Like he wasn't important enough for me to feel the pangs of loss every time an anniversary or event drew closer. In part, it is because I am one to really feel so very deeply so it seems illogical that I could put those feelings to rest so easily. But, I know that while I have a huge capacity for love, I also am able to cut away toxic things in my life and sew up the wound. It still takes time to heal, but it doesn't sting as much.

What does hurt still sometimes is when the triggers remind me of the pain or when I feel my self confidence become shaky.

But, the love I had for Xh - hmmmm. I think in my case it has become easier to grieve him. As much as, I don't want to see him, the fact that the monster has popped up ever so often, reminds me he is not who I once knew. It is easier to see him as someone who doesn't interest me in the least.

I think in part it is easier now that time has passed and I have come to realize what I had is no longer what I want. I no longer wish for that or sigh and wonder what could have been. It doesn't matter in that this is where I am at. I am not waiting for him to change or miraculously come back.

It seems strange to gel it down to this thought I had, but it is in some ways like driving by my grandparent's house last week. I am sad by the state it is in. My grandmother and her sister saved up and bought the little house and then when my grandfather and grandmother got married my aunt sold her share to them, as she was also getting married.

It was a cute house, but not any house that somehow would have been in Architectural Digest. But, they were so proud of that house. It was spotless and the gardens were meticulously kept. It was a house full of love and laughter. And, somehow the outside being cared for made it look alive. Now, it just looks like a little nothing house that is starting to be neglected and no one really cares. My grandfather, if he were alive would be mortified at the paint peeling and the unkempt shrubs. My sister had mentioned the other day how she never recalled seeing a single spider web in the basement workshop or even the cold cellar. And every year my grandfather patched any holes in the garage floor or painted any peeling areas on the house.

That sadness I feel seeing the state that house is in is a bit like where I am at with how things used to be. I may sometimes shake my head and think about what was, but there is nothing I can do about it. Like the house, I am not sobbing over what was, nor am I melancholy. It is more of knowing it used to be this way, and sometimes it is too bad it changed, but life has moved on and I will just remember the good things and move forward.

And, I won't lie. Part of it is having found that there are other men out there. Good men with a lot to offer, who maybe have their own things to deal with but are willing to potentially meet you part of the way and see where it goes. I wasn't searching for that when I first arrived on HS.

I think what bothers me still is that there are those who somehow think that I gave up and didn't fight for my marriage hard enough. I would argue they don't know me at all. I am fiercely loyal and stubborn. I don't give up that easily on anything worth holding on to. It is not possessive or controlling. This is just if I am invested, I put my heart and soul into it. But, I have also learned when to let go when I see it is not good for me or I am losing a battle I am never going to win.

Today, I won't be pulling out wedding albums or playing "our song". I also won't be setting up a dart board with Xh's face on it. I am not celebrating the anniversary, nor am I dancing because of the divorce. It has and will continue to just be a day where I am enjoying my life as it is now.

On another note, things this weekend with D are different. We have worked through the issues some more. It isn't to say that they won't reappear some other time. I wish it were that easy - LOL. But, D asked several times when I might see the visitor that was here last weekend again. She mentioned I genuinely seem happy when he is around. I don't know and we will see, but I did have a bit of fun at her expense. Her BF picked her up for a date. They were going out to their favorite place to eat that has not been possible since the pandemic and they have moved locations. As soon as she left, I texted her and asked her some dumb question. It was a bit later that I called her and gave her a hard time. I knew she would see the humor in it, which she did.

Oh, don't think I don't know how they learned to be such good velociraptors - LOL  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#31: June 05, 2021, 12:25:29 PM
When you spoke of some people maybe thinking you didn’t fight hard enough for your marriage, what popped into my head was an image of a lone person standing on the battlefield. When you are the only one to show up to fight, the only person you can fight with is yourself. I think we've ALL done plenty of that, thank you. Cheers to the back seat drivers who never had to navigate this road.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#32: June 05, 2021, 03:47:11 PM
OffRoad - that is really very true. And I find even within our individual situations that we can't always just make a blanket statement and compare.

While much of what we see with the MLC script and the like is almost identical at times, it is easy to forget that our own MLCer may not behave the same way in each case. For instance, I am not sure if my Xh had been a vanisher I would have been able to work my way through this in the same manner. I can be sympathetic, but in reality my point of reference is very different. I can give advice to someone with a vanisher, but I cannot be so bold as to assume that I truly understand how they might feel. I can only attempt to understand what that would be like. It is like the difference between having a wallower or the monster.

So for someone in RL who has not experienced this type of reality it is sometimes in those moments where their opinions are really pointless. They are basing it on a normal divorce or successful relationships. My favorite is when someone will tell you that marriage is hard and you have to work on it. They might mean well, but they are clearly clueless and there is rarely any point in explaining it. And then there are of course those who are just judgmental and jerks. My responses depend on when they hit me with that one. I will admit the adult velociraptor can strike with precision.

Now funny enough, that was not the case this afternoon. I had a very impromptu event I rushed out to and happened to run into the woman who hired me as a teacher many years ago. I loved working along side of her and I haven't seen her in nearly 20 years. She hasn't aged at all and is still a stunning woman. When I walked in she recognized me immediately and we gave each other a hug.

What had happened was an oversight and not one that has me terribly upset. I understand how it happened and I suspect the mistake is more upsetting to the event planners than it is for me. The one woman was absolutely mortified they had overlooked this small detail. But, they have been renovating a space, and it is the first big event after having been shut down with pandemic restrictions.

There was an art opening and my M mentioned my F had been told he was getting one of the awards. Now, that alone should have made me pause, because they never let winners know ahead of time, but then this is post-Covid and I figured they were just making sure the artists were there for the opening reception. I said I would go another day to see the exhibit. My F getting an award at a group exhibit is a nice accolade, but I didn't need to be there.

My M called about an hour into the event and I could hear her tone and she was in shock and giddy. My M is not used to getting public recognition in the same manner as my F. So, she told me what happened and I paused and said I would throw something on and show up. Apparently the call to my F was to make sure both of my parents were there and an organization that they have been involved in for probably over 30 years decided to acknowledge their dedication by naming the main gallery space after them. I found myself throwing on a dress and some heels and flying out the door.

Neither kid was home and my sister and H were too far away to get there in time. I called my sister and told her what happened and she was annoyed and embarrassed we didn't know. I told her I was on my way and at least there would be one of us there. She is not mad at me or at the situation, but called me later to thank me for coming to the rescue, as she knew I was working on the house and trying to make progress.

When I walked into the space, right away someone I know very well came up and said they were glad to see me and commented that they were shocked no one was there from our family. I simply said there had been a mistake made and it was all good. I changed the subject.

My sister is funny and afterwards said I should have really gotten upset. I explained that I have learned to pick my battles. The objective was to let my parents know how proud we all are of them and they understood that we didn't know, but had I blown it off, the one who could make it there in time it would have been a slap in the face to them. For the organization, they are trying to do something good. They didn't have some malicious plan to leave us out. It was a mistake. I know that the one woman was so apologetic that it was bothering her immensely. There was no reason to make anyone feel bad. Hopefully, it is a learning moment and they make sure in the future they have a check list or someone on that task. It happens.

I am immensely proud of my parents. They deserved the recognition. I know how hard they have worked and fought to keep that place afloat. They did not do it alone, but anyone who knows my parents knows that they put in time without complaint. My F, everyone knows his contributions, but my M, the people who haven't worked with the organization as a whole would not know that behind the scenes my M was the one often making sure the not so glamorous side of things was done. She would go help set up events and was the treasurer for years. She didn't get some gold star for that and she never wanted one.

I have to admit, it is well deserved, but I never saw it coming. I laughed and told my sister that we have some really big shoes to still fill.

As for the woman I ran into. I had to laugh, as she asked where my H was. The answer with her was way easier than it might have been with some people. I shrugged said I had no clue. We talked a bit and she knew my Xh very well. I started by telling her how his appearance changed and she could not believe it at all. Being who she is and knowing me very well, as we shared an office for years and were close, she said knew I probably held on and tried my best.

We did not hover in that topic very long. She is a very positive person and we had way more fun catching up. I hope to see her again very soon. I had forgotten how much I truly enjoy spending time with her and how much she taught me. In some ways, some of the very things she mentored me in when I started teaching really applied to my life in ways I hadn't considered. It was nice way to spend part of my day.  :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#33: June 05, 2021, 04:16:57 PM
Dove -
Congratulations to your parents for such a huge honor.  That is truly remarkable, and so proud for them and your sister and extended family.  Must have been nice to be there for them, especially with the advanced notice (not).  Glad you were able to pull it together to get there.  Funny circumstances.
And so nice that you were able to catch up with your teacher/mentor of long ago.  I hope that you have the opportunity to see her again.

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#34: June 07, 2021, 02:55:51 AM
Sing after me (and only some of us will even know what the tune is) to the Tune of the Mighty Mouse Theme...

"Here she comes to save the daaaaay.... Mourning Dove is on her waaaaaaayyyy..."

"Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of the hat!"



VERY impressive exercise in the fine art of flexibility that you were able to pull off the ceremony despite all the advance notice you got!

And Congratulations to your parents!
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#35: June 07, 2021, 07:59:54 AM
How lovely for your parents, Mourning Dove. And especially for your mother bc often the behind the scenes do-ers don’t always get the public recognition. (Do you think we should have put your mum in charge of sorting out the covid response?  :) )
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#36: June 08, 2021, 10:20:59 AM
Seahorse, UrsaMajor, & Treasur - Thank you.  :)

The timing of this event for my parents was probably needed. My M has been really struggling as of late with feeling "old". I have never heard her talk this way in my life until recently. Many of her friends have not been well or have passed away during Covid. It is only recently that she has resumed a bit of a social calendar with her close friends, who are actually younger than she is. The isolation was not good for her in any way. She has been watching too much news and she has been aware of her aches and pains more. In the past, she fought through them. My sister and I have maintained that she has been in a depression, something neither of us ever saw her go through.

Last weekend my sister invited my parents up for a breakfast and she said how much better my M seems when she is out with people. I agree completely and we have both said we will be making more efforts to get her out and about. And, my F is in on the plan as well, encouraging them to take drives that allow for social distancing, as that still concerns her and yet gets them out of the house. There is no reason for them to stay boarded up all the time.

My M and I have our mother/daughter dynamic that goes on. As much as I may complain about my M, I have the utmost respect for her and she is a really loving, wonderful woman. I am very lucky to have her in my life. I know that, but I think our problem is really MLC based more than anything. That is, prior to this nonsense, she and I had few disagreements. She was there for me and helped me pick up the pieces and the biggest thing I see is she is having a hard time letting go and sometimes treats me like I am 15 now. And, I gave her plenty of reasons to treat me that way. I was a mess at one point early on in the MLC game. And, I have to remind myself of that now.

My M needed this acknowledgment. She has quietly been the glue that has kept things together for me over the years. She has been there for my kids and my F. And she has been there for the places she has worked over the years. People who know her will tell me all the time they marvel at her abilities and she never asks for anything in return. I tell my M all the time that I am impressed by her. She runs circles around people who are way younger. But, my acknowledgments are not the same as those that come from others. She has never wanted to control things, she just would see something that needed done and do it. She is the ultimate worker bee. She never wanted to be the Queen Bee. And, often times those types of people don't get recognition or go unnoticed. My M didn't ask to be acknowledged, but I think it made her feel really good knowing that yes, people did in fact pay attention. Right now, she needed that to feel like she is still viewed as useful.

It was amazing how much her spirits lifted after that event. The accolades poured on her came from people that said they marvel at how she can recall dates and information quicker than they can look it up on a computer. Her M was the same way, right up into her late 90s. My grandmother would get confused sometimes, but then it would kick in and she could recall things with such clarity it was amazing. I only saw my grandmother's memory slip when she was entering the end of her life, at nearly 100.

My F, he is humbled by this honor, but he said yesterday that he was more than happy to share that spotlight with my M. He has often said she has been the best partner and he chose well way back when. My F is the first to acknowledge while he can handle money and run his business, my M excels at it and she likes it. He never worried about bills being paid or anything like that. Because of her, he said is why he was able to focus on his work over the years and be as successful as he was as an artist. And, my M, she has managed the daylights out of their funds. My F laughed telling me that they met with their financial person the other day who said my M should have been a financial advisor. She has done very well on the stock market over the years.

As for my F, he also has quietly supported my M in her endeavors. When she wanted to go back and get her college degree, he stepped up and helped make sure she could do that. She took a few classes at a time where he taught and he was beaming when he was able to be on stage with her the same year as I graduated to present us each with our degrees. When she wanted to go back to work when my sister and I were in high school there was no battle. They didn't need the money, it was about my M wanting to explore her own abilities. We all adjusted and she didn't pull the MLC version of a "me, me, me" life change.

My kids have both said that they want a relationship like my parents have. They have seen my parents argue and know there have been struggles that life has brought on, but they just figure it out. They have things that they just accept about each other. And there are funny things that happen. My F will sometimes get in his little MG and go for a spin around the block without saying a word to my M. (I don't know where I get it  ::)) My M will call here and ask if my F drove by or is here because she has dinner on the table. It frustrates her sometimes, but she just knows he needs that decompression time and while she may grumble, she never tells him he can't do this or that. Nor does my F demand my M's time. She goes out to lunch at least once a week again with friends. My F does his thing. And, they spend a lot of time together in between.

The kids both said to me last night what they realize is Xh and I had that type of relationship for a long time. The pre MLCer wouldn't have put demands on my time. We had our spats, but it was only after crisis rolled in. Xh didn't want me going anywhere at all, yet he would disappear and we weren't allowed to ask a word. Looking back, I now realize it is in part because he knew he could rely on me to pick up the pieces. But, he also didn't want me to be happy because he really wasn't happy underneath it all.

Sunday, S and I happened to be discussing his summer and fall tuition. He has to pay the tuition for his internship. I simply asked if his F was helping at all. Out of S's mouth came that Xh is done paying. He told S he agreed to pay only for last year because S should have been done.  :o

D was standing there and she noted later that just when we thought there was no more straw, that might have been the final straw that broke the camel's back. Yah, that probably did it for me completely. LOL. And, it has nothing to do with standing, reconciliation, etc. That had to do with being the final straw in terms of how August cannot come quick enough for me. I want to be DONE with any ties to Xh in terms of support.

As for S and the tuition. I bit my lip. I told him not to worry, we would figure it out and his job was to complete his degree.

Now the divorce decree says Xh pays for 60% of a four year degree for both kids. Well, we know that D is supposedly getting some payout from him in this secret beneficiary account. Both D and I believe magic beans exist quicker than this account. Maybe we will both be shocked and that would be a nice change, although I think it isn't going to magically fix things with D any more than magic beans would.

So, Xh has avoided paying for D. That is more about reliving his own childhood and punishing me in the process. Whatever. Don't care beyond he has virtually destroyed his relationship with D. That bothers me and I pay with the problems it creates.

Now, what has me laughing is the MLCer math is off or he thinks we are all that stupid. My guess it is a combination of the two. S is finishing his degree early. His first year, pretty much came out of my pocket in the form of he had free tuition because he took classes where I taught. He transferred and will be finishing a semester later than he planned, that is true, but that is because he changed his degree slightly and needed a couple of additional classes. No matter what, he is completing his 4 year degree in 3 1/2. So, if my math is correct, Xh has only contributed for 2 1/2 years of a 4 year degree. LOL

Before anyone asks if I am going after him. No. I don't care. I truly don't. I still would break even after hiring the attorney again and figuring in the hours lost dragging him back to court. I don't want to go back to fighting him and that is part of what his game is. He knows he is losing control over me in August. I know my Xh well enough to know that this is his inability to face his demons. This is how he is going to behave.

How do I know this? Beyond knowing how he is wired and how the monster behaves - the monster is pretty consistent and predictable at this point - the recent behavior with the dog, combined with a comment was made this weekend tells me he is not happy about that support being the thing he holds over me. He commented to S that I loaned the tractor to S's friend and he wasn't happy. S did just what I said to do - tell Xh if he has an issue he is to take it up with me, not the kids, because I will be very clear - it's not his concern what I do anymore with anything. He gave that up in the divorce and that tractor is no longer "ours", but "mine" and he doesn't get a say at all.

The tuition issue. It is going to cost Xh dearly. It is not about the money for S either, but it simply punctuates the lack of support Xh gives either kid. And, that has very little to do with the finances. The money simply highlights the bigger issue.

The truth is, this is exacerbated by the fact that the trip Xh had S all excited about. Yah, that isn't happening now. Xh found another solution and well, S is now disappointed. Big surprise.

I am not upset, and I am taking all of my energy and placing it my life. My kids, my house, my own career and on my own relationships. Xh can go play MLC victim somewhere else. I will get more out of it solving it myself.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#37: June 09, 2021, 03:32:53 AM
The GPWELF strikes again......



Will he EVER learn to STOP sticking the Bar-B-Que fork in his nose? Doesn't seem like it
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#38: June 09, 2021, 05:02:21 PM

Now the divorce decree says Xh pays for 60% of a four year degree for both kids. Well, we know that D is supposedly getting some payout from him in this secret beneficiary account. Both D and I believe magic beans exist quicker than this account. Maybe we will both be shocked and that would be a nice change, although I think it isn't going to magically fix things with D any more than magic beans would.


Say what?!?!  Magic beans don't fix things? 

UM's panda gif says it all when it comes to your MCLer, MD! 
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#39: June 10, 2021, 03:20:57 PM
UrsaMajor & stillbaffled - My Xh's antics certainly elicits responses similar to the panda's. Of course, there are some other responses that I have, but I try to temper myself.  ::)

I met my sister for our walk yesterday. Somehow we managed to add another mile to our usual route - and no not magically. We just took a slightly different route than usual to get to the main path. We finished our walk at the 6 mile mark and it was brutal, but not because of the distance, but because of the humidity and heat. I am glad we started early in the morning.

D bowed out of joining us, as she was waiting to hear from the manager of a resort about a job interview. She is hoping to secure one of the jobs on the lake at the resort for the summer. The manager had contacted her to come in, but then was called into a meeting, so D decided to be available just in case.

My sister and I were glad to have the time alone. I had been to her house on Monday with D in tow to help my niece with an art project she was confused about. It turned out that she really didn't need my help, but it was fun, none the less.

My sister and I were close growing up, but we went through our phases where the three year age difference sometimes seemed like decades. As adults, we have grown even closer. We respect each other's strengths and know when to push each other. We drive each other crazy sometimes, but at the end of the day we are the best of friends.

Even before MLC hit, my sister has been more than an aunt to the kids. They know that without any question, they can rely on her for any emergency or advice and they think the world of her and now my BIL. When Xh became the crazy mess, the kids both asked me if it was okay if my sister was the alternate emergency contact on any paperwork after myself. They both expressed concern that Xh might not be capable or willing to really be there if it were a true emergency.

Yesterday, my sister asked me about my Memorial Day weekend. She knew D had a meltdown, but I hadn't shared any of what I had done with her. And, she didn't need to know every detail - it isn't like that at all. We never pry or ask to somehow reveal things we might not want to share.

She was laughing at me, telling me I clearly had a really nice weekend. She was right. I had told her about taking a drive past our grandparents' former homes. Or my huge error and missing a turn onto a road which took us on a very different adventure. Hiking was not my original thought, but it was, at least for me a very welcome surprise.

We were walking along when we passed a gentleman who had earbuds in and he was singing at the top of his lungs. My sister informed me that was her H's go to song to sing for karaoke. I nearly stopped in my tracks. My BIL sings karaoke? I knew he liked to dance, but sing? Apparently, he sings quite well, but only when he has had couple of drinks in him. He won't admit to it otherwise. I laughed and said I clearly have to see this sometime, but until then, I know nothing of this secret. ::)

I came home and thought about my walks with my sister. My sister and I both notice things in nature and she is an incredible photographer. I have pushed her to take more photos when we are out. It is an interesting mix of social interaction, comparing notes about life and just noticing things in nature. Of course, we laugh probably 90% of the time - usually about stupid things that we notice.

The walks that I used to take with the dog are very different. I miss them so much. Okay, I miss the dog. I am going to readily admit to that. I don't miss the hair or wet, smelly dog after a rainstorm, or having to rush back home to take her out or feed her. I admit, not having the responsibility is a nice change. But, I do miss her companionship. I keep waiting for her to come greet me at the door or to drop her toys in my lap. It is an odd change. And, I miss having her to walk. She was there for me throughout this whole MLC mess.

I was in a rather contemplative mood last night when S came in the living room. He paused and was staring at my recent painting. He said to me that I should go back to painting and creating full time. It prompted D to get excited and they started talking about how they used to watch me work and were talking about me as if I wasn't in the room. They were full of praise and it brought on an odd feeling for me.

It is silly. I wasn't sure how I felt. Xh had said those words to me before hitting the MLC wall, and then he did a 180 and hated that I spent any time on my own passions.

I stopped short of having a full on trigger, but I wavered a bit.

I don't know that I want to go back to working for clients full time. I am not sure I have it in me to chase after money and jobs full time. I know the level of marketing I would have to do and the work involved that isn't the creative part. I can do it and have. But, part of me is intrigued by the idea of going back to selling in a gallery and doing work I want to do. It would involve some commissions at times, but not the same as full on going into the commercial business again.

Oh, I know, people tell me to set up my own webpage or go on Etsy to avoid paying a gallery commission. That still requires some work that I am not sure I want to take on right now.

I wondered if I was talking myself out of it completely. I felt the stinging words of MLC Xh rolling in. I went to bed, telling myself to stop letting Xh get in my head. I was able to push the thoughts away, but I was left with this desire to just be held. It was hard to fall asleep. It was not just some need for human contact and that is the conversation I had with my sister today. It was just knowing someone is in my corner and would push me or let me have my moment of feeling insecure.

It is tough being on my own and being "independent" all the time. Yup, I am resilient and strong. I fool a lot of people into believing I don't need anyone at all. It is not my intention. I just know I have to do whatever it takes to keep things afloat. I can't just run away and avoid responsibilities, even when I really want to sometimes. I am it.

What most would not know is sometimes it is the smallest things that bring me back to a sense of security. Things that bring a smile to my face that make life just a little bit better.

Today, I had to resume working on D's flooring. I am 95% finished. The closet - where all the problems originated nearly kicked my backside, but I figured out all of the intricacies. It was there that I decided on how I am spending my $500 prize. The kids are laughing at me. There are a whole lot of things that would be fun to buy with the prize money, but I decided to put it towards a table saw if they will let me supplement the cost difference. Xh ran off with the good table saw that was mine in the first place. And it is fine, because the new one I am looking at is better for what I need anyways. D stuck her nose up at the idea and S gave me a look where he was wondering how I came up with this decision. I said it was simple. I have a lot of projects that still need done and I am tired of running up and down the road to use my F's table saw, which is not exactly portable. I would save a lot of time and heartache if I didn't have to run. Besides, it would also allow me to start stretching my own canvases again and do my own framing. S smiled and sees that his words did not fall on deaf ears.

Yah, I guess I am considering seriously about diving back into that part of my life. Maybe not full time, because I don't like the "lumpy income" aspect. But, I think I need to take a leap of faith and not let Xh's MLC words creep into my head any longer.
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« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 04:17:03 PM by MourningDove »

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



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



Did D get a call back?
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#41: June 12, 2021, 12:02:29 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL - See this is a problem. If I get a new table saw and then work with S who has the mechanical know how, I may find myself designing a "Whack a MLCer" game. I know - I am packing my suitcase now for that trip to Hades.  ::)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THAT I'd like to see...

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

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

And I could go on...
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Me - 58, xW - 50
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 ;D ;D ;D

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

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

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

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A REAL friend will sit you down and tell you to your face to stop being a firetrucking idiot before you ruin your life and the lives of those around you.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, the acknowledgment is nice. It is a form of validation and maybe I need that sometimes. It hasn't been easy not being in the classroom. This whole shutdown and my situation has made me wonder what is next and sometimes I question my own abilities in that arena. I think sometimes I still fight to hold onto that self confidence that Xh in MLC crushed. I have had to really dig deep and dust it off, but sometimes I still struggle a little.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#50: June 19, 2021, 12:05:44 PM
I am having a very odd day. I have been busy, but I feel like I am not really accomplishing much of anything.

My morning began with calling the sheriff's office again. They sent an officer out and based on his assessment, we are pretty sure the "batting practice" scenario is accurate. The officer was very pleasant and I apologized for having him come out for something like a mailbox, but he laughed and said he sometimes like these types of calls since it is a break from some of the more stressful situations.

After discussing some options, I chose to just have the incident noted in a manner that didn't require a ton of paperwork and a full on report. The officer also had them put in a request that my parent's property is checked periodically for the next year, so when they are out on patrol, they will make sure an officer comes through.

I came home to change for a memorial service that my friend asked me to attend with her for someone we both knew very well. The memorial service was a bit more formal than some, so I got dressed up with makeup and jewelry along with a black dress and heels.

When I came through the door, I saw I had a message on the home phone. It was to let me know that my table saw was in. I decided to just swap out my car for my F's truck and go pick up the table saw. I was going to have to have someone load it on the truck, as I was told not to do those things by the doctor the other day, so I didn't bother to change my clothes.

As we walked to the parking lot and towards the truck, the one young man asked if I owned a convertible. He used to live near my house and knew Xh from the auto parts store. He had moved away a few years ago and has moved back to the area. He right away mentioned that he loved the car my Xh and I owned. The other young man asked what type of car and he got so excited saying it was this beautiful convertible and had all of the specifications noted. I was cracking up. Yup, the kid was definitely a gear head. I laughed and said I no longer had the car and it suffered a horrible fate - which was a very long story. He asked if I missed it. I had to pause and think. Hmmm. I do miss the convertible some days.

That car was so much fun to drive, as it had paddle shift option. But, I said that no, I don't really miss the car, as it was obscenely expensive to insure and the repairs were ridiculous. What I didn't say was I also don't miss it because it has some pretty upsetting things associated with it - like finding OW's clothes in the backseat at one point and Xh coming up with an excuse that I convinced myself was the truth at the time. And, that it was on OW's insistence that Xh should buy that car. Yah, I don't miss the history of that car. And, I am pretty content with my car that gets insanely good gas mileage. That convertible was not exactly economical to drive. My backroad excursions would not happen as quickly if I still owned that simply because I would not be able to justify the cost of filling the tank.

I didn't mention that Xh and I weren't together. It didn't matter. And, I was not upset when the other young man made an assumption. One that made me laugh.

I was not offended at all when the other young man said "wow, this is a really great Father's Day gift. That is one lucky dude". I burst out laughing and said "oh, no, that is my table saw - my gift to me". He started apologizing and I assured him it was a pretty reasonable line to draw. I explained the other kid and I had been talking about my now Xh and I owning a vehicle and it wasn't noted at that point that he was not in the picture. It is in fact Father's Day tomorrow and I showed up to pick it up dressed like I was going to a cocktail party. When we arrived at the truck, they both laughed more when they said they expected to find me driving an SUV and not a truck. I told them I was glad I could keep them on their toes and that in fact, my F's truck is actually really fun to drive.

I came home and told S and D about my experience. They both laughed and said that I always keep people guessing. One of S's friends was here and he too was a bit shocked. S laughed and said that was nothing, as he came home one day to find me shoveling snow in stiletto boots. What can I say, the sidewalk was covered and I wasn't going to trudge through snow banks to my car and I had places to go and wasn't about to waste time changing.

The humidity has set in and it is downright oppressive. I changed out of my dress and heels and was trying to motivate myself to work on D's room. Instead, I am going to go get groceries and run some errands that need addressed. Not what I want to be doing, but if I am honest with myself, I am not going to be able to gather up any type of motivation to do what needs done.

Tomorrow, my sister and BIL are booked all day long having to attend my niece's field hockey tournament, so they are not coming down for Father's Day. My M was more upset than my F was about the whole lack of a Father's Day "event". So, I offered to take my parents tomorrow to an antique market. My parents don't need anything, but my F was excited about going to look around. He has gotten so he likes to show me things and Covid shut that down. We always went once a year at least and had breakfast along the way. It is a good way to start the day. I haven't been to an outdoor antique market in so long. I have missed those types of adventures, as it always reminds me of the markets in Belgium that we would go to. As a kid, that was great fun. And, it may be that I just come home with a memory of a nice morning, which is okay.  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#51: June 20, 2021, 11:52:05 AM
S informed me last night that he in fact was going to visit "Lord Vader" - his words - today. He had wanted to try and meet my parents and I for our excursion, but by then the plan to go to the antique market was scrapped. My parents were exhausted from their travels and were tired of eating out. I considered going alone, but the forecast was calling for very hot and humid weather, so I am going to go another weekend.

D was at a party with her BF for one of the teams he had coached. It was held by the head coach and D wasn't originally going as she didn't think she was invited. She and I had gone to run to pick up some supplies for her closet when her BF called and said the team was wondering where "coach's GF was". D had gone to several games and been the book keeper so the boys had gotten to know her and felt she should be there as she too was part of the team. Besides, they liked asking her questions about her BF, their coach - LOL. They ended up staying until 1:30 am and D it was fun to just decompress and have fun. This wasn't a party where people were drinking heavily and out of control. She was tired though.

Ah, yes - the perfect mix for D. I knew what I was going to be encountering. D is and has always been the kid who needs sleep. The recipe for grouchy would be lack of sleep as a primary ingredient. Add she isn't feeling well with allergies this week and then add in that it's Father's Day and well, I knew I was going to be seeing an overly-sensitive D this morning.

I should have bet money on that, because OMG. I had told her that we were not planning on doing anything special with my F on Father's Day, as the plans changed and my sister and BIL were dropping my nephew off early in the morning. I was going to go up and give my F his gift from all of us that S had picked up for me and then I was coming home. There were no plans on the calendar.

Life doesn't always go the way you plan, as we know. This morning, I went up to my parent's house and took a shower. When I got out of the shower and was drying off, I heard my sister's voice in the dining room. My nephew had been dropped off earlier, so I was confused. By the time I was dressed had exited the bathroom, there stood my sister, BIL and niece. It would seem that two of her games were rescheduled for later this afternoon, after she had played her first game. There was a 3 1/2 hour break and it is only 20 minutes away, so my sister and BIL figured they would come and visit with my parents. S was already off to see Xh and D was still sleeping when my sister had arrived. I didn't think too much of it, as this was not some party we planned and somehow kept it a secret. Then the phone rang and it was my cousin, who wanted to come visit. As it is he has grown closer to my F since his own F, my uncle passed away several years ago, I anticipated he might show up.

Before my cousin arrived, I was helping my nephew by teaching him about his drawing pencils and what each grade on them meant. And then I showed him a trick for transferring sketches onto another surface using the same pencils. His reaction was priceless, as it is not a complicated thing to do and from his reaction you would have thought I had just taught him some elaborate magic trick.

My sister, BIL and niece left right before my cousin showed up and I decided to hang around a bit longer. My nephew had decided to go watch some cartoons, as he had been up really early and was tired. D had called when my sister was at the house and asked what was going on. She thought she would come up and bring my F a card and I said I was still up there. When she arrived she saw my cousin had just shown up and I could tell she was already grouchy. She wanted to know when I was coming home. I told her not for awhile, as I was going to visit with my cousin, who up until recently, I hadn't seen in years. Now that he has moved back, I have seen him twice in the past few weeks. D has only met him once in her whole lifetime up until today, so she doesn't understand he and I were close growing up. And, now, he and I share the unfortunate experience of having spouses who decided to jump on the MLC train. I was laughing because his choice of GAL therapy is a combination of mediation, yoga and baking bread. He makes amazing bread and I have a weakness for fresh baked bread. LOL

D stayed and visited with my parents for a bit and with my nephew and then came in to ask me if I was coming home. She had an edge. She started to bring something up about her college financial aid needing addressed because she got an email. I was not going to have the conversation in mixed company and told her it was not the time or place to discuss it and furthermore I had that information at home on the computer. She started to keep on her path and I told her no, to which she stomped out the door. These would be those moments where the kid in her still appears and it always throws me because she has been so mature all of her life. Her teachers would always comment that she never behaved like a typical kid aside from wanting to play princess dress up or had her dolls, etc. But this type of behavior was so rare.

I came home and let her spew a bit. Yup - so she was hurt we had an event for my F without letting her know. I was laughing inside, but didn't show my emotions, because I knew that would have been bad in that moment. She knew the reality - that it was an impromptu thing. I waited until she took a breath and told her that she needed to not interrupt me and to listen very carefully. I explained I shut her down because I didn't want to discuss the financial aid things there amongst people that didn't need to be included in that conversation, not because I was trying to just shut her up and didn't care. It just wasn't the right time or place. She was ready to debate that, when I held up my hand and said that is not what this whole outburst was about and she knows it. I wanted to know what was really bugging her. Ah - the root of the issue.

She is not upset that S was at "Lord Vader's" - funny she called him that as well. I tried not to laugh as she had no idea S had used the same phrase. I knew better than to laugh. She would not have seen the humor in her mood. She thinks the world of my F and had we had an event for him, she would have wanted to honor him. After she was done, I said that her grandfather knows the way things unfolded. He was not somehow hurt she wasn't there or we didn't exclude her on purpose. It really was that impromptu. And, I get it, she felt left out and today of all days, she is probably struggling a little with how things were. I get it. Father's Day and Mother's Day were always a big deal for my kids. I didn't really care one way or the other, but Xh did and he wanted the red carpet rolled out and we were okay with his whole breakfast in bed to start the day, etc. The kids loved it and they did the same for Mother's Day. They made cards and it was a whole production. Not necessarily about expensive gifts, but they put thought into every gift they gave us.

It struck me this morning a conversation that D and I had about her and baking. I baked plenty for people and I made efforts to make things I knew people liked or requested. D, when she started baking it was because it relaxes her. She also bakes as a bit of a love language. She will bake muffins for S to have for breakfast so that he doesn't go without something on his way out the door. He doesn't ask her to. She likes doing it. She used to bake for Xh. She bakes my F's favorite cookies all the time. Birthdays roll around and she is making sure that the person whose birthday it is has a special cake - in a flavor they would like. But, FIL he would come in when she was making something for someone else and tell her he hated that flavor and he wanted something else. She would always politely say that it was some one else's birthday and it was their favorite. FIL, every time would tell her he wanted her to bake something and demanded it of her. Xh once told FIL to back off and we would make sure he had his peanut butter cookies, but to let D do her thing. She was learning and it was her hobby. Xh also said to FIL if he backed off maybe D would make it for him without being told to.

D had told me she was going to make cookies with my nephew today for my F at my parents house. But, when she arrived, the whole day had been changed and now that couldn't happen. It just triggered all of the feelings of how she would like things to be. She started crying and saying that she isn't looking for what was, because she accepts that, but she wants some type of normal family life - that is, she gets that there are boyfriends and girlfriends in the mix and life isn't always going to fall into place they way we envision, but she really is craving those normal family dinners and events and it hasn't happened in some time.

She is right. Some is because of just life events. But, some is just we need to make more efforts. We lost some of the routines that are not bad things to reinstate. And, the truth is, dinner every night together is not going to happen at this rate. it would be too difficult to juggle everyone's schedules. But, as I told her that maybe we all need to just coordinate our schedules a bit more and make time to do things together, just the three of us. Family events, those come along as well and there is no reason we can't make time for those. I said dinner with my parents or time with my sister's family, my sister and I have been discussing as well. What we don't want to have happen is where it becomes some expectation that it has to happen every Sunday with my extended family and then it creates bad feelings. We never operated that way and I know that with all everyone has going on, it would create stress and needless drama. So, holidays, we will do our best, but my sister and I have said there is no reason we can't get together more, even if it is a call in the morning to one another that says "hey, I was thinking it is nice out and if you want to, come have a BBQ on the back deck". That I can handle as can my sister.

I know it is tough for D. She is a planner and likes her time planned out. I know Xh and my M are wired that way, and I can respect that and I can work with that. But, I also know that part of the issue Xh ran into was he would be thrown off balance completely when life threw a monkey wrench in. What I told D was I don't want to change her, but I do want to help her deal with the anxiety she experiences when her plans are blown to bits by life. That she has to somehow learn to cope with better, because life doesn't stick to the schedules we sometimes plan out. She has been working on it, but she agreed that she has to take certain things and realize that those simple moments don't have to throw her off completely. There was no reason for her meltdown today because it is not how she envisioned it unfolding.

She calmed down and said she was going to embrace the day and she and her BF went off to do her normally "scheduled" grocery shopping today instead of her normal day. I laughed. This is a big deal. D rarely varies her grocery schedule, as it often piggy backs her PT appointment, etc. She relaxed and laughed saying it wasn't a bad thing and sometimes maybe she does need to just embrace the day for what it is and not how she thought it should be.

I pointed out to her that today my F really didn't want a party anyways. He was having his type of day. In fact, when he was informed he was going to go sit and watch my niece's last game, my M's idea, he grumbled under his breath. He wasn't opposed to going and watching her, he just didn't want to go today, as it is so incredibly hot and humid and there isn't any shade where they are going. I giggled and told him "Happy Father's Day - you enjoy that". I then told him I was betting he could twist my M's arm on the way home and get some ice cream. He liked that idea and my M, her one weakness is ice cream. LOL. I know - I am devious.  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#52: June 21, 2021, 03:03:17 AM
"Lord Vader Farrquat" - I am now picturing Rick Moranis as a Darth-wannabee in "Space Balls"

Ah yes... The old "Life is what happens while one is busy making plans" thing....

Also know as "Flexibility is the key to air superiority... and indecision."<snort>

Yeah, if I were any more flexible, I'd be green, have a slopey head and my name would be GUMBY!

Seriously... "Plan" is that S14 shows up Sunday afternoons from xWs for dinner and then stays until at least Wednesday... about half the time, I'll get a Watcher-style text "Oh, I'm not coming because...." last night it was because he and xW were having a horrible time putting together the cheap new bed she bought for him...

So, it was R, myself and RD20 for dinner last night and I changed my plans and we had Picnic food (because it was incredibly hot and humid while waiting for the rain to show up) - Bockwurst (a sort of over-sized German hot dog), homemade Italian noodle salad, and an ice-cold watermelon...

So, yeah, one needs to have some flexibility... after all, the bamboo and pine tree bend in the wind while the brittle oak (even if it is stronger) breaks or is uprooted)
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« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 03:04:31 AM by UrsaMajor »
Me - 58, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 14, D - 10
2 Dogs
BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#53: June 21, 2021, 09:53:42 AM
UrsaMajor - Thanks, now I have that mental picture of Rick Moranis in "Space Balls" stuck in my head. LOL

As for your Gumby reference, I now want to know if you are Gumby, then who plays the part of Pokey in your life? And, again - thanks. Your bit of nostalgia for characters of the past has me suddenly thinking about "Mr Bill", which perhaps is a deep desire to make claymation version of "Lord Vader Faarquad".  ::)

Okay, I will behave myself. I have projects I need to focus on which are more about my ability to move forward and worry about my life and not so much the MLCer and some twisted fantasy that pops up when he annoys me. He is so very lucky that these thoughts only ever exist in my mind and make me laugh. I have never acted on them.

It is hard sometimes to not have those moments where those thoughts occur. If I were to actually vocalize them in front of some people I would be potentially be accused of being bitter, or perhaps evil. Funny thing is, I may think these funny thoughts, but I try to operate from my core character, which really is more spiritual and more about happy things. Like it or not though, I do get frustrated and these little moments where the devil on my shoulder pops up is not always bad. It makes me laugh and perhaps it is because MLCer chose poorly. The laughter has kept me sane.

It is the ultimate irony of the whole OW aspect. I might think things and laugh, but OW, different story. And, Xh used to say how wonderful she was and she is all about embracing everyone, etc. He went on and on about her "Buddist" beliefs and how she did yoga. Funny, clearly he missed the emails where she told him she was an alpha female and would stop at nothing to get what she wanted. He was too dazzled by her to believe that she would do anything to hurt anyone. Yet, she was messing with our kid's lives and mine all along. She was injecting herself into his business for her own gain. Xh chose a woman who would in fact act on her inner devilish thoughts, and I haven't ever gone down that path. If I had, I would have blown her world apart ages ago. It would have been and still would be very easy to do. I just didn't want to become like her.

Now, I don't care what she does as long as she leaves the kids and I alone. I don't hate her, but I certainly don't want to go hang out with her. I know that at some point, her world will unravel and the ugly will come to the surface. I don't need to witness it nor do I wish it on her. I know from running into her with her H, that when she sees me, she has a look of panic that I will upend her life.

Xh is in fact responsible for his behaviors, even in crisis. He chose her and he now chooses to still distance himself from the kids and that is not her doing. I cannot and will not blame this mess all on her.

Most days I don't really give any of it much thought or if I do, it is a fleeting thought.

Yesterday's bit of drama that D brought had me a bit knotted up. I worked through it, but it bothers me that I have to deal with the aftermath while Xh is getting to spend time "visiting" with S and GF. Then I remind myself, he also is just experiencing what he wants, but at a very large cost and the problem is it is not something he can just buy back into.

I went to bed last night and fell right asleep. It started to storm around 1 am, and it wasn't the type of storm that normally would have kept me up. When I mentioned it had stormed last night, I wasn't imagining it, as they reported on the news that there had been thunderstorms and pouring rain. And, there is the evidence of that with the plants on the back deck being tipped over from the wind and there are puddles on the sidewalks that weren't there yesterday. But, everyone else in the house slept through them. IDK why it woke me up and kept me up. When I finally fell back asleep I had some really odd dreams.

The one part of the dream I was looking over the fields and watching as a plane flew very low. It looked as if it was about to crash near the house and it was very vivid. I was frozen in place and I felt like I couldn't move, like my body wasn't listening to my brain telling it to run and move out of the way. What was more memorable for me though is that someone came up behind me in the dream. I wasn't scared, I didn't see his face, but I could feel his chest against my body and he reached for my hands and simply intertwined his hands in mine and held tight. The feeling is what stuck with me as we watched the plane somehow regain altitude and fly off without incident is I felt incredibly safe and secure. I cannot even explain how real it felt in terms of feeling like someone had been there holding my hand.

It was such an overwhelming feeling that this morning, I felt like I could take on anything. Of course, life could throw me off somehow, but right now, I feel this strange comfort and security. The very odd thing is, I know the hands that I was holding. I never saw their face, but I know that feeling and those hands. That part is a bit scary, if only that I never thought I would feel that sense of security ever again. I haven't felt it for a long time. It doesn't change how I am approaching things in my life. I am not reading too much into it beyond knowing that I trust this person. I know no matter what the future holds, they are not out to intentionally hurt me and do in fact make me feel secure when I am around them.

Can't say that for the MLCer. Looking back, I can't even begin to recall the last time I felt that way. The reality is, I know that I would never feel that ever with the MLCer again, no matter how much work he did on himself. I know myself enough to know that is one of my own dealbreakers. I have known this for a very long time, but the dream, that confirmed it. I know I want that sense of security from a partner, no matter who it might be.
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« Last Edit: June 21, 2021, 09:57:31 AM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#54: June 22, 2021, 12:27:09 AM
MD (upstairs): "Hey, Lord Vader Faarquad, are you getting stabbing pains in your lower back?"
GPWELVF (I have to keep adding letters...) (downstairs) : "No, why do you ask?"
MD (with the voodoo doll): "Hmm... How about now?"

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#55: June 22, 2021, 01:02:37 PM
Oh, UrsaMajor, I am going to need a bigger suitcase for my trip to Hades. I might be there awhile. All I can think now is Xh is some type of MLCer royalty. All I could think was he is now known as Lord Vader Faarquad of Golden Phallus with Ears. I will admit, he has certainly earned his royal title.  ::) Hmmm, on second thought, I may need a steamer trunk.

Okay, in all honesty, I don't go around calling him this on a regular basis. I think the name only applies when he is truly behaving like a complete a$$. Even when we were married I did not go around calling him names. Now, I don't speak poorly of him to people I don't know. I will admit I will spout off to those who know me well and I can trust them to understand I am just needing to rant. They know that after I spew, I calm down and find my center.

To my own detriment sometimes, I take the high road with those who truly don't know the situation. I refuse to demonize the man that was and is still the F of my kids. He does a good enough job on his own to show his true colors. He doesn't need my help. And, while I do not want him back as a H and can't even picture being friends with him, I would like to see him be some type of father to the kids. They didn't ask for any of this and at one point in time he was a good F. Sadly, I don't see him figuring that out any time soon or at all. I can hope, but I don't have a lot of faith it will happen and it simply based on how much time has elapsed and how he isn't making any efforts to change his behaviors at all. He is stuck in deep victim mode. He keeps spinning his wheels and the tires are nearly buried in mud now.

I am looking at my calendar and trying to find a day to sneak away, even just for a day. I need a day or two away to recharge. D is away for several days with her BF and his family after the July 4th holiday weekend. S has no time off at all, and neither does his GF, so I don't have to worry about anyone watching the house. I don't have the dog to worry about and the cats aren't as much of a concern.

I mentioned it to my M who was all worried about me going somewhere alone. I laughed and reminded her that when I worked for the one state company for several years I was traveling all over the state by myself and no one worried. And I went to some pretty remote places. Or the conference I had to go to every year that was a several hour drive one way. We will see. I know she worries and that is not my objective to somehow give her a big FU. I know some of it is age related and I understand her concerns. That said, I am not going to somehow stop from going places.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#56: June 22, 2021, 03:24:07 PM
"He does a good enough job on his own to show his true colors. He doesn't need my help."

Truer word were never spoken.  And I thought the Pineapple King and Queen were insane.  Your royal title take the cake!

I had to chuckle. My D is a stress baker too. Our house was filled to the brim with goodies the first few months of quarantine.  I am still working on getting rid of my 12 quarantine pounds.       

My Mom also gave me grief over mentioning solo travel. I thought it sounded like a great idea after all those years of travelling with kids and the xH.  Sleeping in, make my own plans, nobody but me to get hot, tired, hungry, bored, etc. I think she said I was talking nonsense.  Oh well - I am going to see the world one of these days and if there are no travelling companions I am going anyway.     
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#57: June 23, 2021, 01:17:56 AM
It's a parent's job to worry... <snort>
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#58: June 23, 2021, 07:35:42 PM
  Oh well - I am going to see the world one of these days and if there are no travelling companions I am going anyway.     
Heck yeah!!! It's awesome. There are some things that are better with a traveling companion, but a lot of things are great when you can go as slow as you'd like.  Or "waste" half the day sleeping. Or hike half the hill, then decide you don't want to finish and the world won't come to an end. Or eat dinner at 3 pm. Or 11PM. Or take picture after picture after picture of every pictograph or petroglyph. Or go from dawn until dusk in  any place over 47 N degrees latitude. Or go through all the kitschy souvenir shops. 

It's a fun time, with or without traveling companions. Don't pencil that in, write it out in bold marker!
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#59: July 01, 2021, 12:44:22 AM
Going solo also means being able to change plans as you wish or as things come into view during the trip... without having to ask or discuss with anyone...
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A "friend" will not "stand by you" no matter what you do. That is NOT a friend. That is an enabler. That is an accomplice.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#60: July 01, 2021, 12:02:28 PM
Thanks Dumbfounded, UrsaMajor, & OffRoad.  :)

I am fortunate in that D has really gotten into making scones and muffins. I eat them once in awhile, but I don't crave them, so it makes it way easier to stay away. I will admit, she has really come up with some good variations.

As for travel alone - I know there are some people who prefer to travel alone. I know some people who love family vacations or renting out a place with multiple families and friends. There are those who like tour groups. I guess I am a bit selective.

My parents dragged my sister and I places that sometimes we didn't want to go, but I always recall they were not so rigid that they wouldn't adapt. When we vacationed with my dad's parents it was really relaxed. I became used to that.

I don't like tour groups and I went on a cruise once that was a nightmare. I generally don't like being shoved into places where there are groups of people. I think part of it is during my regular work day, I was always surrounded by students. It is not that I don't like being around people at times, I just don't like the whole tour group aspect at this point in my life. If I find something I deem interesting, I like to veer away from the plan at times.

Xh used to embrace that pre MLC. We once drove for nearly a week to get to Florida. It was not because it was terribly far, it was simply we left with a general plan on when we would arrive and decided to stop along the way. If it hadn't been for that loose plan, we would have never stopped in Savannah, Georgia or other places along the way. We would take side trips down less traveled roads.

Not all of our trips were like that. But certainly before MLC they were a little more relaxed. We had our "must see" things and then if we were exhausted, we might sleep in, etc.

I have found that I can go on trips with other people, but it depends on where and who it might be with. I know that years ago we went camping with Xh's sister and family and that was fine. Camping was a different pace. The following year, we rented a beach cottage together. Both of us vowed to never again do that. My SIL was much more intense and had a tight schedule. So much so that it didn't go with our more relaxed approach. It was nightmare. I never went again with Xh's family on those family reunion events. I always had to work when they continued with them and I was apparently fortunate as Xh would come home and say "never again" - LOL.

I have learned I am one who loves my family and I do enjoy time with them, but then I need a break. As for friends renting a house for a week, etc. No thanks. I love my friends, but they have very different ideas about vacation than I do. I am not a woman who is going to spend a day soaking up the sun on the beach drinking all day long for a week. But, I also am not one to cram as much in as I can on a vacation. I don't want to come home exhausted after what was supposed to be relaxing.

I have done my treks places alone and I enjoy them. I traveled through Europe in my twenties. Xh had been abroad for 9 months, working and I met up with him, but he still had a couple of weeks left to work before he could really travel. I went all over by myself. I don't mind some travel alone. It does have it's benefits.

That said, I must admit, I really prefer a travel companion. I can adapt to certain aspects of how another might want to travel - within reason. Or have in the past gone our separate ways for a few hours if need be and meet up. I know that the last trip Xh and I took with the kids to Key West, I couldn't climb to the top of the lighthouse. I have developed I guess what is like vertigo with heights where there are open steps. I get lightheaded. It pisses me off because I never had that before. I don't seem to have it when I climb a hill or am in a building, but it does happen at times. But, I didn't stop them from going. I sat and drew in a sketchbook while they were exploring. Or when Xh wanted to go deep sea fishing and D didn't want to go out on the boat. We found our own thing to do, which was she wanted to swim in the pool all day.

I guess I am not one who needs to be attached at the hip at all times and I don't want someone else to feel like they have to entertain me. I am more than capable of doing that.

However, I know that even earlier this week, I found myself seeing things that I knew someone else would appreciate. For me, that is truly the best thing - being able to share those moments that other people may not see. I like sharing those moments.

I love vacationing with my kids and family, but I will admit, I am in need of a break from them. I have a couple of day trips that I am looking to fit into my calendar once I have a handle on some things here. Yesterday, I had to pay my property taxes and a couple of larger bills. It was expected, and I had it planned out, but it still made me sick seeing that large chunk come out of my savings. I honestly think it is a bit of a trigger for me only in that since MLC those big payouts always seem to be the start of a series of unexpected larger expenses. I am not paranoid about it, I think it just feels like I have finally gotten the holes patched in the boat and then someone drives by and creates waves that make the boat rock enough that it takes me a little to realize it's okay and we are not going to have to bail water again.

Next week D goes away for vacation. She is going to be gone at least 4 days starting Wednesday and maybe longer, depending on the weather, etc. S is at work and without the dog to worry about I am in good shape, TBH to have some time to myself.

I have been looking at the different events in the region and even if I can't go away for an extended vacation there are some things coming up that have caught my eye.

I installed the wind visor I decided to splurge on this morning. I love having the sunroof open, but at certain speeds and on the highway it is a bit too loud. After months of telling myself all the reasons not to get it, the week of extreme heat and having gone on an impromptu long drive down along the lakes the other day convinced me that it was okay for me to indulge a bit. It arrived yesterday. Oh, S was going to help me tonight with it, as I opted for the better quality one. They recommend two people install it.  ::) Yah, his height and help finding the center would have made things easier, but I figured out a way to make it all happen. I marked the center points with painter's tape ahead of time and had to figure out a way to attach the sides temporarily before bolting it down without breaking it. It was not so much difficult, but cumbersome, especially when I don't have the reach S would have to apply the proper pressure to bend it slightly. It took me a bit longer than it would have with help, but I had it on the car by 7:30 this morning, after having dropped S's GF off at work. My F stopped by as I was throwing away the box it came in. He laughed at me seeing what I had just done and asked how I had managed that on my own. He was rather impressed. Unfortunately the rain has been falling all day, so I am not going to be able to test it out just yet.  :(

I figure next week with D gone, if I cannot get away for a day or two, my worst case scenario is not really looking terribly bad. I can spend my days and evenings on the back deck with the waterfall, twinkle lights on the back deck, a glass of wine and a fire in the fire pit. Not too shabby.  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#61: July 01, 2021, 03:05:30 PM
I figure next week with D gone, if I cannot get away for a day or two, my worst case scenario is not really looking terribly bad. I can spend my days and evenings on the back deck with the waterfall, twinkle lights on the back deck, a glass of wine and a fire in the fire pit. Not too shabby.  :)
That sounds like Heaven to me, but substitute the wine for an Iced Tea. I should ask you to help me design my back yard..... ;D
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#62: July 02, 2021, 01:59:16 AM
That sounds like Heaven to me, but substitute the wine for an Iced Tea. I should ask you to help me design my back yard..... ;D

Long Island Iced Tea? <grin>
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#63: July 02, 2021, 07:05:01 PM
And after you finish with OR's back yard you can come help me with mine in Colorado.   ;D
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#64: July 03, 2021, 11:17:48 AM
OffRoad, UrsaMajor, & FaithWalker - LOL. Seems to me a year or two, possibly more - it is all a blur now, UrsaMajor asked me to come help him fill a hole in his former yard that his dog dug - or something like that, when I was doing some gardening. Maybe I need to change my career path -  ;)

As for Colorado and a trip there, one never knows. I have a friend who lives in Colorado who has been trying to get me to come and visit her. Once I get my bathroom back in order, I am going to start looking into going on some trips along those lines. So, who knows what trouble I could get into.  ::) It might be a backyard deck consultation. It usually just takes a person with a lot of enthusiasm and willing to think way outside the box for me to be accept the challenge.  :)

As for the beverage choice on the back deck - it wouldn't have to be alcoholic as far as I am concerned to make it a relaxing event. I am quite content in the morning with my cup of coffee, or a glass of iced tea, lemonade or even water.

Now, as for Long Island Iced Tea - that is potentially dangerous. There is a country song by Joe Nichols - "Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off" - that is probably accurate when it comes to those types of drinks. Sweet enough that you don't realize how much you have had to drink. The two times I ever have been drunk involved Cape Codders one time and Long Island Iced Tea another.  ::) Vodka gets me in enough trouble. Long Island Iced Tea is a concoction with a whole lot more than vodka in it - vodka, gin, rum, tequila, Triple Sec or Cointreau, and lemon juice. If I go the Long Island Iced Tea route it could easily result in me ending up skinny dipping in the ornamental pond. It would easily become a backyard swimming hole. That would get the neighbors talking - LOL.  ::)

I will admit, I have been in the pond this week. And, for the record, I was wearing shorts and a top - not skinny dipping. I had to tear out the lily pads , as they had gone a bit crazy this year. They had spread and also decided to take root in the bottom of the pond as well as attach to the rock walls. I decided to put them in a planter to coral them a bit and contain the root system.

This weekend, I will be going back into the pond to pull the pump out of the water to try and figure out why it is turning on but not pumping the water to the waterfall.

With the extreme heat, it has not been beyond the realm of possibility that I might consider putting on my bathing suit and enjoying the cool water. There aren't any fish in the pond yet. There was one large frog who jumped out when I was dealing with the water lilies, but he abandoned the pond when he saw I was in the water.

Work was incredibly quiet yesterday. Normally July 4th weekend is a busy time in the gallery. People traveling, etc. but this year, people were anxious to get to the lake and set up for fireworks this weekend. The grocery store was insanely busy as were the streets along the lake fronts. I ended up meeting my parents for dinner and then taking a drive on the backroads. I wanted to try out my new wind visor, which S helped me adjust the other night when he got home. He stands enough taller that he could see it was not quite straight and off by an eighth of an inch. It drove him crazy and I had to laugh as I am the same way. He was able to push on it ever so slightly and properly align things.

D called me on my way home last night and asked what my plans were this weekend. Hmmm - Let's see, in the past, I would have gone to see the fireworks on the one lake, only because it is a perfect spot where you can sit and watch the sunset and watch people light fires along the lake before the fireworks light up the sky. But, this year, I just don't want to deal with the insanity. People are really very excited, understandably, about wanting to celebrate. I get it, but I don't want to fight the crowds. And in the past, this particular location was one of the lesser known places to view fireworks. I anticipate this year that won't be the case. Instead, I plan on sitting on my back deck and just enjoying what I have. I can usually see fireworks from the surrounding communities from my yard, if I want to partake.

Once D found out that I didn't have plans she wanted to know if I would go with her for an adventure this morning. I was a bit surprised with where D wanted to go, as it is not exactly around the corner. So, I agreed, half figuring that this morning I would hear that she was too tired and had changed her mind. I was up at 6:30 am and D checked to see if I would be ready to go by 7:15 am.

We stopped and picked up coffee and she tried to tell me it was okay if I got a cookie for breakfast, which made me laugh. I knew why she was saying that, as the cookies had just come out of the oven and it reminded her of the time when she was a kid and we stayed at a resort that always had warm cookies available in the main lobby. I assured her that I didn't need a cookie and selected a peach muffin instead.

We were on the road by 7:45 am and drove along one of the lakes to a flower market that D had discovered online. We had a wonderful drive along the winding backroads and she had her phone map turned on, but was laughing as I was not listening to the directions. I knew the general direction and used to cover that territory for work many years ago. I just needed to get my general sense of where we were along the way.

It was early, so it was nice and quiet. We found all sorts of flowers and some herbs for D's expanding love of gardening. I was willing to spend on those things as it relaxes D and she needs those outlets. She needs to find her passions that help elevate some of the stress she has.

We were having a nice morning when her phone rang. It was the manager of the store where she recently accepted a job. She is excited about this whole concept of working at a real job and making her own money. She was considering a job in her field, but she decided for the summer she would like a break from the medical aspect and it might give her some other skills. They called this morning to see if there was any way she could come to their orientation session because there was an open slot today instead of next week. So, that ended the adventure for the morning. D was worried I would be upset and I laughed. Nope. Life sometimes is like this - and doesn't go the way you planned. We had a good morning and I would go find something else to do.

I found myself delivering a plant to my mother from D and my M wanted to show me something. I went inside and found my F was sorting through one of the cabinets in the storage area under the stairs. My parents both were smiling and handed me something I had no idea they had. I knew they had my baby book and some things they kept from my sister and I, but never had I seen the envelope with every card I ever made my parents. Every report card, and tons of other things. It was not every scrap of paper I had drawn on, but pieces that were very selective. I laughed when I pulled out a picture I had drawn of my M back in kindergarten. It made me giggle. I went through and threw out some things that weren't things I needed to keep. My ACT and SAT scores, etc. Yah, I didn't need to hold on to those. Could care less. LOL.

Then my F brought out some items he had from his travels before he and my M were together. They were from when he lived and studied in Europe for several years. He had one poster that was incredibly cool and we all decided it should be sent to the museum in that village, as it was from the first year that his friend held what was small festival. It is now a huge event and is one of those things that mushroomed.

And then came this treasure that I am over the moon about. Something that my sister would think was interesting, but she won't want it.

Xh had reproductions of travel posters framed before he moved out. He had me remove several pieces of original artwork from the walls during MLC. I loved the travel posters, but looking back, they are rather telling. They are huge and take up a lot of wall space. He had 6 framed and placed all over the house. Some are in the media room and they look good, but he wanted some in the upstairs as well. The timing of these posters being framed all line up with when Xh went into full MLC. When he told me he never wanted to get married in the first place and he was going to go and travel with OW around the world.

Now, I don't mind the posters. They are really beautifully designed and high quality reproductions of the originals. But, I have been thinking about moving the posters all to the media room and I have been replacing photos and other images with things that mean something to me, whether they are original pieces of artwork or the poster I have from an exhibit in Belgium I went to during my trek around Europe. I have a stunning landscape photo that D took that I enlarged and framed. I guess in many ways, I have been applying my "Three drawers" method to most things in my life.

As I sat in the living room with my parents, my F got this huge smile on his face as he unfolded this item for me to see. It was a poster from the late 1950's that had been printed in a traditional method. I knew immediately what it was from. My F had been in Spain at the time and had gone to several bull fights. He had been studying movement and form during that time period. I can recall at a very young age knowing that it was never the red cape that made the bull charge.

I am beyond excited about this new acquisition  ;D
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« Last Edit: July 03, 2021, 11:23:09 AM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#65: July 05, 2021, 03:52:34 AM
So, it was a poster advertising a Bull Fight fro the late 50's? Sounds cool!

The travel poster thing is just .... well ..... when it is a sudden change like that, it screams MLC...
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#66: July 05, 2021, 10:45:50 AM
So now I am curious. Paper or canvas? Lithograph? Four color letterpress, maybe? That would look so fantastic. I've actually done four color on a Miele Vertical. It was an experience.

More details for the artistically inclined, please.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#67: July 05, 2021, 03:09:42 PM
UrsaMajor - The travel posters at first didn't strike me in the way that they do now, in that Xh always loved old travel posters. But, he used to search for vintage posters- that was part of the fun. And more than that, he would collect them as he traveled places. What is truly odd to me now is he had many pieces of original artwork from his many travels. He left all of those things behind. I have beautiful pieces from Costa Rica, Thailand, Ireland, and the list goes on. Those were all trips I was unable to go on with him because of timing. It is not like I kept him from traveling if I couldn't. I was 8 months pregnant with D when he went to Thailand for work. He had a photoshoot for a magazine to do. Deadlines and clients. I wasn't upset that he went. So, to buy these posters at the time that he did was a little odd to me. And then to leave them all behind along with the momentos he did have is truly perplexing.

I do like the posters. They are good reproductions and do add a great look to the media room. The two in the den are lovely, but they are part of the series that I have in the media room and I will just put them all down there.

OffRoad - LOL. It is printed on paper. The lithograph was printed by Ortega in Valencia. It is a full color poster and it is about 24 " x 40" - vertical. This is the closest I could find online without tons of research - https://i.pinimg.com/originals/7a/cb/46/7acb46264057bc45059cbc9ebc82b6e6.jpg

I like the fact that the poster I have is very powerful in the movement of the bull and matador, it is not showing as much of the gore that is truly involved in that sport. And, for me, I know which bull fight this came from and the story behind it.

Someone suggested it might be worth quite a bit of money and I laughed. I don't care. I am not selling it and am going to have it preserved properly, which won't be cheap.

What is cool for me personally, is I have other artwork that my F did in this time period and sketches from those bull fights, as well as access to his journals from that time. He is so thrilled I am keeping it and going to hang it up.

I should have been at home doing work today, but my whole day has not worked out at all the way I planned. Aside from my appointment at the the hair salon, I had other thoughts about how the day would work out. Things changed. I stopped at my parent's house, where my F was preparing to leave for a meeting. My F knows I have been in pain the past couple of days. I strained my back doing work on D's room and really need to take it easy. He was sitting at the table with my M and I when she asked me if I needed anything at the outlet mall. I really didn't want to go, but I could tell she was wanting me to go along. My F, he piped up and said I should go along because I need some time away from the housework. My M was thrilled and I gave my F a look and he laughed. I said to him I saw how it was - this got him out of going. LOL.

We had a nice time, I will admit. My M's eye is getting worse and the second cornea transplant cannot come soon enough. She is very unsure of herself and it is hard for her to see the small type on the tags. We found her some new shorts and she wanted to look for some new sneakers. She kept pointing out things I might need or want. A couple of times I just told her I was "all set" because I was not going to explain that it wasn't my aesthetic or how I don't wear pajamas. That would have been a fun discussion  ::)

Then came a the question on the way home "do you need any bread or anything from the grocery store". I knew that meant she wanted something but didn't want to intrude upon my time. I took a right turn onto a road and she asked me where that road went. I honestly said I didn't know, but it is between the two main roads so how lost could we get? I don't think she liked that at first, until I was able to point over her shoulder and show her where you could see the main highway. She then relaxed and watched the scenery.

Several times she was worried about backtracking or putting extra miles on the car. I get it, but I told her to embrace the adventure. So what if we had to backtrack possibly - we weren't on a tight schedule. I joked and asked her if she had a date I was unaware of. I reminded her that my car gets really good gas mileage, so it was not a big deal.

My M has never been terribly adventurous at home, but I recall her being pretty fearless when we lived abroad. She had to figure things out on her own when my F was out for the day doing research. She immersed herself in the language and navigated getting around. But, back in the states, she was never one to just get in the car and travel. IDK - maybe it is because she had to in Europe. She didn't have anyone else around except for my F. Here, she always had a support system.

Yesterday, my sister invited my parents and I to dinner. I was alone, and enjoying my solitude, but I decided to tag along. My sister, M and I sat outside on the patio and had a nice visit. It was the first time in a long time where my M didn't want to discuss the news or all of the ugly things in the world going on. She was actually relaxed.

My niece and nephew came out with a new game my sister's inlaws sent. As they unpacked it and set it up, I asked my sister to really stop and look at this new game. I asked my nephew to bring me the box. Ages 8 and up. Out of the box, labeled "Lawn Cup Pong" came the pingpong balls and solo cups. My sister and I burst out laughing as my BIL came out. My sister looked at him and said he needed to thank his parents for thinking ahead and preparing the kids for college. He studied the set up and started laughing. Of course, we then had to explain the rules of the game to my parents and Beer Pong actually works. I sent a picture to both of my kids who thought the whole thing was hysterical. My niece and nephew thought this was really funny and then my nephew announced that college students are actually really stupid because you could get really drunk that way. Hmmm- yah, that is the truth.  ::)

My sister and I were reminiscing about my M and when she was finishing up her degree. My sister reminded me of when my M took a karate class for a physical education credit. We both burst out laughing. My M smiled and said she had forgotten that. What got us laughing was my sister recalling my M practicing her moves on us when we came home - she never hit us, but she would count and show us her moves the minute we came through the door. I told my sister it was like coming home and being in a "Pink Panther" movie, waiting for her to jump out at us. Of course this meant my nephew wanted to know what we were referring to, and he was introduced to Peter Sellers yesterday afternoon.

D has started her new job and they loaded her up with hours. She then leaves for her vacation Wednesday. I am not used to not having her around. S is back to work tomorrow as well. It should be a quiet week for me.  ;D
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#68: July 06, 2021, 08:52:49 AM
Beer Pong for beginners.... Yeah, what could possibly go wrong, right?

Enjoy the silence!
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#69: July 06, 2021, 11:02:40 AM
I visited with a friend Sunday afternoon as D was off working and S was at friend's BBQ. I told my friend as much... the house is so odd without D around. She has been talking about applying for a Spring internship that is 4 months long and I am silently panicking while outwardly supporting her desire to go out and explore the world.     

I can't help but wonder how much they paid for a few solo cup and couple of ping pong balls in a box.   
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#70: July 07, 2021, 02:31:30 PM
UrsaMajor & Dumbfounded - I too wondered how much this boxed version of the game cost. Oh sure, it came with a couple of triangles with holes in them to hold the cups, so I guess that makes it more of a "beginner" version of the game. LOL.

"Beer Pong for Beginners" became considerably funnier when there were no instructions/rules in the box, so of course, my nephew being a resourceful 13 year old decided the internet was a good place to find them. The only rules that came up were of course for Beer Pong.

I spent Monday with my painting group. I nearly forgot they decided to meet this week and I had made a promise to be there. I remembered that morning and had it on my calendar alerts, but I was so engrossed in my project that I suddenly looked up at the clock to see it was 6:20 pm and we meet at 6:30. I called my friend and said I was on my way. I grabbed my bag with my supplies and really had no clue what I was going to paint or even if I had everything I was going to need.

Flying out the door and shifting gears would not work for everyone. There was a time when I used to set long term goals and planning was so important. I won't say that it was how I was wired, but I didn't fly by the seat of my pants all the time. Xh accused me of that when MLC rolled in.

I have had to really separate out the reality of some of those accusations. I look back to before Xh and I even met. I could procrastinate. I hated time management and wasn't one to put everything on a timed moment on my daily calendar. Yet, I could manage my time pretty well and made deadlines. I was very driven when it came to my own goals, etc. I planned out saving money for college and applied for countless scholarships. After college I planned out my trip to Europe and still saved for a new car when I returned. I mapped out vacations and how to pay off my college loans. I was good about that. Where I always faltered was sometimes taking on too many things and overcommitting. It is still a problem and makes me run late sometimes. I don't like it. It is something I really work hard to manage.

On the flip side, I was always able to adapt when clients would throw a monkey wrench into the mix. I would work late or could come up with solutions quickly. I think on my feet. Over the years I have honed my ability to roll with things and accept certain realities, like life probably is not always going to fall into place the way I expect it too. And sometimes those are the best surprises - other times, not so much - LOL.

Life doesn't always work exactly the way you planned. I "planned my kids" - that is, I knew we wanted to start a family and we figured it would take some time. Ha - I found out I was pregnant with S the same day I was done with my teaching for that year and would be off for the summer and it was the same day Xh officially quit his corporate job to focus on the business he had just started. It was not exactly how we envisioned that falling into place. It was a shock, considering other people I knew told me it would take months to get pregnant. Hmmm - guess not.

D, it was also a similar situation and I ended up being 2 weeks late with her. Xh was traveling a great deal for work and rescheduled a meeting out of state 3 times because D was on her own schedule. He flew out the day after she was born, feeling incredibly guilty leaving my M to pick me up from the hospital. It would be something he would bring up and in MLC accused me of making him feel bad, but I never gave him a hard time about it. We joked about it, but I knew what he had done to be there for her birth. The truth was, he had guilt because at a week old I was taking her to the hospital for her to have an upper GI because she couldn't keep food down. He wasn't there because of the circumstances, not because he didn't want to be there or somehow made light of it.

This is all sort of rolling around in my head because I heard from the MLCer last night. Yay.  ::)

Xh was always the one who had every aspect of his life planned out. Goals and very regimented schedule. I admired it in some ways. It was part personality. Part of it was his parents having run a very regimented household. There was no room for error and everything ran like clockwork. And part was his time in military school. He relaxed some over the years. In fact, for a long time he began to embrace the balance of having no routine on a vacation for instance or allowing for weekends to be filled with some down time. Not everything needed to run on a continual schedule.

In MLC he was a very different mix. He became hyper controlling and regimented about how the rest of us operated. He on the other hand, was all over the board. His goals kept changing and he would go from being a working fiend and taking on more work to then just blowing up client relationships right and left that had been stable for nearly 20 years. It made no sense.

His need to control things became unbearable. I couldn't do anything right. I was told about all of my flaws and there was no room for any life situations to filter in. He would scream at me I was making excuses when life sometimes stepped in. I felt like I was constantly on the defensive. The thing is, it also made me rebel and completely go the other direction when it came to Xh. Fortunately it didn't affect my teaching and my commitments there. But, with Xh - I was at the point where I felt like it didn't matter what I did because it would be wrong, so I didn't follow any schedules with him. I was like a rebellious teenage. Not the best approach, but it did happen. I can't lie about that.

It dawned on me that Xh is late with his support check. Not a surprise. He had completely missed June.

He sent me a text late last night saying he forgot to mail out the check and he was sorry. He would stop by and drop it off this morning and he would have another check for me next week for July.

D stopped by the house before her trip. She had gone to run some errands late last night and dropped off a bouquet of flowers for me this morning and brought me some fresh blueberries from our favorite local farm stand. She gave me a big hug and was laughing at my new "friend" - a Killdear that has decided to nest in our lawn.

I mentioned Xh and D promptly looked at her BF and said they were going to hit the road before Lord Vader showed up.

My sister called and her schedule opened up and she wondered if I wanted to walk. I hesitated and said no, but then called her back. It would have been something that Xh would have freaked out about in MLC and there would have been no reason for it, TBH. I had already been up this morning very early working on some things and I had some errands I needed to run anyways that could be done on my way home from where I meet my sister for our walks. But, it dawned on me how I would have not gone at one point at all because the MLC version of Xh would have made me feel as if I was doing something terribly wrong.

The truth of the matter is, he had gotten so he didn't want me spending time with any of my family. He had become insanely jealous.

On the way to meet my sister, I found myself in a traffic jam on the toll road and then again on the expressway. It is never busy that time of day, but there were a couple of accidents.

I called my sister and let her know I would be about 10 minutes late. I had left plenty of time, but life stepped in.

It dawned on me that if this had happened in the MLC months, Xh would have screamed at me and accused me of not managing my time well. It would have been an excuse as to why I was late. There was no room in the MLCers world for things not to run the way he wanted life to run.

I had a brief moment of feeling this residual guilt or I guess, a mini trigger. It was a moment of feeling like I was a horrible person and was in fact proving the MLCers accusations. I laughed when I arrived at my destination and thought there was no way I would have known that instead of my 15 minute buffer that I should have planned for an extra half an hour or 45 minutes for my 20 minute commute. There were no alerts at that point on the radio or on the highway signs. I couldn't have predicted that.

I confessed to my sister that I was having these feelings. We talked about it and it was very soon I was okay with all of it. I needed the walk and the exercise. We put in our 6 miles and I took the time to decompress and press reset. I felt more energized after the walk and was able to accomplish way more than I had planned on the way home.

I have yet to see MLCer or see any signs of a check. It wasn't on the front door or in the mailbox. Hmmm, maybe he hid it under a rock somewhere. LOL.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#71: July 07, 2021, 06:57:57 PM
My sister and I had already completed over 6 miles today, but I found myself adding another mile and a half later this evening. I needed to clear my head and really be rational and pragmatic.

I am going to be very clear and state that this is really all very unfair, but I know the realities of my situation to know dragging Xh back to court will be a waste of my time and money. I know that he hides money and I would have to hire forensic accountants and other specialists to really unearth this stuff. I know the IRS is probably going to be going after him based on the past "fan mail" that was being delivered to the house before I put a stop to that. So, that alone tells me that any money would go to them before I saw a dime. Add that by the time I pay my attorney to spearhead all of this and then I could take time out of potentially work to chase Xh and really end up with very little.

This is what Xh wants. The MLC monster wants me to play like his parents. I know the scenario all too well from the way he behaves and how his parents behaved. I witnessed enough years and heard enough to know the depth of the FOO issues. And I know why July is a month that has always been a rough one for him. It is steeped deep in that FOO stew.

I will not give him a fight. I cannot stress enough how I want nothing to do with the monster. And, for any newbies, I was willing to stand for the man I married, but my Xh has managed to keep his monster alive and well now for a long time. My guess is his monster is needing fueled and he is depressed. Depression for my MLCer means he wants a fight to feel alive and fired up. It is a passion that is not about love, but one that drives him. He needs something to be "excited" about. The stupid thing is he fails to see it as anger and there are far more productive ways to fuel passion and feel alive.

My guess is in part that he has heard that I have truly moved on and am struggling at times, but I am doing it on my own. I may feel like I am failing some days, but truth is, I am fighting and while I may not have the house and gardens all the way I want them, I am doing incredibly well considering I am doing so much on my own. He is not happy that I have not fallen into a heap and given up. He is not happy that I am not falling into the narrative he expected - the role his mother took of bitter, lonely woman. I am not pining for him any longer. I have grieved my H. This MLC monster - yah, don't know him and have no desire to somehow reconnect at this point. And it is because he is still a monster.

Having a monster MLCer is exhausting. And having kids with one is probably the harder part because when the LBS says "enough" they often shift to one or both kids if they don't start doing the work on themselves. Unfortunately, that is Xh. Now, could he miraculously start doing work on himself and come out the other side? I personally have little faith he will, but I hope he does. For his sake and for the kids. I don't hate him and know he isn't well, but I don't have it in me to try and somehow help him. He doesn't want my help. What he wants is for me to be part of his story - he wants me to play a part in his theater of the absurd and I am turning down the part.

So, the reason for my additional walk was because there was no check for me. No. Instead he showed up at S's work and brought him lunch. Aw, wasn't that sweet. Yah, I wish that was a genuine "hey kid, I was thinking about you and was in the area" visit. It wasn't. Pre MLC, that would have been. Now, it is all about the manipulation and games. It was also a place where Xh knows S is not going to show emotion and get upset. S is very professional.

Xh informed S that he has in fact closed the joint account that they shared for S's education. So, he is moving forward with his plan to not pay for S's education. Not surprised. Then he informed S that he is on the fence about giving S money for expenses as well during the school year. His comment was he would have to see how S manages his money this summer. So, in other words, we can just assume that Xh is done helping S out at all or there are strings attached.

Now, I know, one could say I am jumping the gun. I am jaded. Yah, I wish I was and part of my walk included shaking all of that out. By the time I had gotten home, S was aggravated. It would seem I am not so jaded and I know my MLCer all too well. Xh took the time to mention to S that he didn't get to see S's tool box at work. Now, why would that matter? Well because S bought a very expensive toolbox not long ago. He found a refurbished one for significantly less, but a new one goes for about $10 K. And, he needs a professional level toolbox for his trade. It has chargers and high security locks. He has one tool that was nearly $1,000, but it is needed for his profession. I don't know why this somehow is an issue with Xh. It is no different than when Xh started his business and it required we purchase certain pieces of equipment to function. Xh seems to forget that our initial outlay for equipment was sizable and that was not like S's tools which he will probably never have to replace most of them and the toolbox has an exceptional warranty. So what is the problem?

The truth of the matter is this is Xh being sneaky. He doesn't want to pay any more money. The funny thing is both kids are both really very good with their money. S, when he was 15 or 16 - yes, he bought some stupid things. Now, he on occasion spends on something ridiculous, but he pays for his car insurance. He pays for a large portion of his tuition. He has had a retirement fund set up since he was 18. He has had multiple loans on cars and has never missed a payment. His credit rating for a kid his age is outstanding.

Xh - not so much. He is a hot MLC mess financially. I know this.

S was hurt. He doesn't care about the money, but it stung. And he is in fact worried. I came back from my walk and told him that I was going to be brutally honest. I dove into the parameters of the divorce decree. I told him that I am keeping my end of the deal and it is not a competition. I simply am not going to play the games. I signed an agreement and I am going to adhere to my end of the deal. I will continue to pay for his cell phone and health insurance as long as he is in school. He will finish out his final semester and I will make it happen no matter what. He is not to worry. He started to ask about D and I said I will handle that as well and she has amazing scholarships so that will help.

Part of me was beyond furious. But, now after my walk, I am sad. I am not shocked and I wished somehow I had been happily surprised and somehow some miracle had come about. But, unfortunately I know how it played out with Xh and his F and Xh is determined to play that out. I witnessed the effects on Xh over the years. I was around when Xh used to hang the phone up on his F back in college. I know the games. I also know how his parents behaved. I refuse to go that route and it is in part because I know how that has turned out. I don't know if my actions will have a different result, but I do know that I am being true to myself. I will not behave differently.

As for the money. Yup. It is unfair and shouldn't be this way. I am not a door mat. I am not afraid of Xh. I simply want my happiness. I will not give the monster what he wants. He doesn't get to inject himself in my life. Support ends in August and it can't come soon enough. That final string will be snapped in terms of his control. He knows it and he is not liking it. Too bad.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#72: July 08, 2021, 05:08:20 AM
Hey GWPWELF.....

Nothing more to say...

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#73: July 08, 2021, 07:38:43 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. That is a much kinder response than I had rolling through my head last night.

I had called my sister last night after all of this went down. I can count on her H, my BIL to give an honest, neutral opinion. He loves me, but he is able to look at things from a purely business perspective when I need it. His reaction was very clear. He said that clearly Xh has already decided in his own mind that S is not getting any more money, otherwise why would he close down the bank account. That account could have stayed open and no more money deposited. It wasn't like it was attached to some account that Xh had that S could just tap into. Xh had to physically move money over for S to access it. So, BIL said that clearly Xh has no intention of giving S money for any expenses and has made his mind up. His comment that he will see how S manages his money is just smoke and mirrors.

My BIL and sister both asked "what happened to the man who was such a good father"?. IDK

The thing is, I never expected Xh to somehow fund all of the kid's college or anything like that. We had decided long ago together that the kids would have to help fund their education. We never were of the mind when they were growing up to just give them money whenever. We wanted them to understand that we were not some ATM.

Looking back, I remember when I saw the changes occurring with Xh that weren't so clear then. One Christmas we had done as we always had and set a basic budget. We weren't strict about it per se, but we had a ball park number we adhered to. That Christmas morning, the kids woke up to find the new Xbox - when it first came out. It had a tag on it saying it was from Xh. That part didn't upset me. It wasn't that. It was that we had already gotten them the other things on the list and he went out and felt they needed this item. Something that he would have never done without letting me know. And, to put his name on it, I realize now was so very different from Xh past. We had our own accounts, but household expenses and the like we had joint accounts for, including these types of things. And this was not like Xh had gone on a trip and brought back something.

It seems trivial, but it was the moment that this began to occur more and more. A line in the sand that Xh drew and there was this need for Xh to somehow show off. It was something that became almost a competition with him.

I am not upset today. When I spoke with my sister this morning she said Xh wasn't always this way. Without prompting, my parents echoed the same phrase this morning while we were having coffee. My parents don't understand what has happened to Xh at all.

I needed to hear that I am not the only one who sees it. It is hard because I find those who don't understand and somehow like to box this up as if it were a more "standard" divorce situation like to say things like "oh, he was always that way and you just didn't want to admit it". As I said to my parents this morning, yes there were things that were always there with Xh that I simply accepted. He was a flawed human being and had some traits that not everyone would put up with. I acknowledge that and I didn't always let him get away with things anymore than he would let me. We actually were a good team for a long time. But, something has changed in him.

I thought about stories of people who go on to commit crimes and hearing the people that loved them say they never saw it coming. This person was an upstanding citizen. Or a beloved person in the family. What is it that makes some people just snap and do things one would never expect?

Now, of course there are all sorts of answers to that in each scenario. It doesn't matter in the grand scheme in regards to Xh only because I have no control over it and it doesn't change a thing. I think for me, it was just something I needed to remind myself of this morning. Because these moments, when Xh does these things and they continue to shock me, even when they really shouldn't, I find myself questioning my own perception.

It is not a bad thing for me to pause and assess. I have had to step back and keep myself in check. Accepting when it is just an emotional response at times that I am having. But there are moments when it is still very confusing and I have to wonder if I was imagining what was or if I was deluding myself throughout the marriage.

Having people like my sister, who knew Xh so well and being one to never blow sunshine up my backside, be honest about the situation helps.

My parents, yah - Xh has now really done it. He made a fatal error in his latest move. My M, who was somewhat sympathetic to Xh's issues is not feeling terribly compassionate. He has already upset her with his behavior towards D. Now, he has messed with S as well. Oh that is not a good move. S is the first grandchild and he and my M are very close. She knows what a big heart S has and Xh has now stomped on that too. She was very quick to tell me not to worry and S will be able to finish school. My F laughed and said now Xh has done it. Nana is in super protective mode.  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#74: July 08, 2021, 08:32:48 AM
It was a LOT kinder than the response that I had rolling around in my head too but if I would have written it here, I'd have been banned for life AND gotten a ticket on the Express Bus to Hades....
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#75: July 08, 2021, 08:39:22 AM
UrsaMajor - I take comfort in knowing I won't be alone on that trip. LOL ;)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#76: July 08, 2021, 09:35:55 AM
Quote
I needed to hear that I am not the only one who sees it.

I think most of us vets will recognise that need popping up sometimes.
As you say, with time, it’s less about who they are and much more about feeling we can trust our own judgment and lived experiences, isn’t it? That we are/were not nuts or delusional. And it’s a great gift if we have others who share parts of our experience and who will be honest with us. Gaslighting has big ripples doesn’t it? One can still be a little shocked that one is capable of even being shocked or disappointed  ::)

Your bil’s assessment sounds pretty solid to me. The action of closing the account is the clear signal of intent; the rest is just embroidery. For some strange reason, your xh seems to have decided that this is his new hill to fight on....and you, wisely imho, have decided that you will not be showing up for that duel  :) Foolish of him, of course, from the POV of a sane adult, if he values his relationship with his son, particularly as he seems to have trashed his relationship with his daughter so comprehensively.. But I think you have always felt that he is playing out some old Foo psychodrama of control and conditional love in his head? Tbh less of him in any of your lives may just be a good thing so it may be an unexpected gift. And maybe your daughter needs to see that she is not the only child being devalued..... ::) it is absolutely his loss and you and your home team will find a good work round as you always do, MD, I have no doubt of that. You are all long past the point probably when you need anything from him at all.

I wonder sometimes if some of these folks, like extreme teenagers, are on some unconscious mission to prove that they can be loved unconditionally no matter what they do. Trying to fill some hole that is in RL unfillable, a series of tests one after the other doomed to deliver the very opposite of what they actually want. Actually it’s even more remarkable to me that some residue of love and good will exists for them at all with LBS and their wider families.....tbh that seems to me to be evidence in itself that most of us experienced someone quite different for a long time, someone loveable, loving and appreciated by others....as well as saying something about the character and people that these broken folks used to value and be at home with. One might have compassion from a safe distance for that, but you can’t do anything good or useful with folks who are so wedded to destruction can you?
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#77: July 08, 2021, 01:05:27 PM
Treasur - I do believe that for many of us, it does come down to exactly that. Trusting what was our truth and that means facing the not so rosy parts, as well as the wonderful memories. It is when I believe the healthiest approach for a LBS to heal is to really face the realities. After being subjected to gaslighting, you almost have to face things and some of it is very painful.

I had a conversation with my M today that had me thinking about working through the pain. My M's dear friend was a nurse. She was in fact a fantastic nurse. She was a horrible patient though and when she had a knee replacement she quit going to physical therapy because it hurt too much. This was a couple of years ago. The woman was content sitting and watching TV and reading for hours. All well and good, but her H recently died and her S had to move her into a nursing home because she can't get around on her own. He was told by the doctors that because his M has gained weight from sitting and the muscles have essentially atrophied there is little they can do.

The conversation came about because my M was suddenly feeling very old. I told her there was a difference. My M pushes through the pain and sometimes she pushes too hard, but when she has had to do PT, she does it. I told her I was very sympathetic in terms of her friend's new situation, but the truth in some instances in order to get better we have to push through and sometimes it really freaking hurts. You might cry or struggle, but it is necessary for some types of healing.

I know that looking back, there were some days I thought I would never get past the hurt and pain. My heart ached. There was this weight of hopelessness that I carried around for a long time. I never thought I would move past any of it.

But, moving forward meant sometimes really peeling back the layers and facing some ugly truths. I know that I became a victim and an enabler during the MLC. I have to own that. I never was that way before. I fell into that trap.

I had to look at all of my own shortcomings and decide what was perhaps something I needed to work on for myself and potentially for a future relationship and what might just be who I am. Sort of the idea of I know I won't be able to rewire myself completely, nor should I to appease someone else. It would mean compromising too much of myself to lose everything. It meant learning to be happy with who I was, and that was probably the toughest of all after the MLC mental beatdown. Because according to the MLCer, I was never going to be desirable again. I only heard all of the things that the OW was that I wasn't. And, it was often subtle, as gaslighting often is. It would start out as some veiled compliment that became a complete slam.

It meant looking at Xh and really sorting out fact from fiction. It meant deciding if I had been blind to who he was all of those years or was it a case of being blindsided by this crisis that took hold. Or whatever it might be in his situation - mental illness? FOO issues? A combination? IDK - and no matter what one gels it down to the reality was very hard to initially accept. That is, I was not gong to somehow be able to help him and get through to him. I was the last person he wanted to hear from.

I do believe there is some truth to the idea of an unconscious mission. I am not sure that it is a one size fits all scenario. For my XH, he was very clear over the years that he had abandonment issues. There were times he tried pushing me to leave so that he could prove that everyone leaves him. It is also why he abandons now before anyone leaves him. It is just self-sabotage.

And, my Xh is trying to find a way to get me to engage with him. I have no doubt in my mind about that. I have been witness to his MLC antics long enough now to know the monster's routine. He changes the scenario a bit, but as long as the monster is around, it really is pretty predictable.

I had said the other day that I wished he would disappear for an extended time. Become a vanisher. I never would have thought I would have felt that way. The truth is, life is calmer with him away for a time. But, unfortunately, I also know that would bring up other issues with the kids. They too need to go through the many steps of grief as far as the MLCer is concerned. As long as Xh is in monster mode and clearly not coming out of his crisis any time in the near future, I am witness to the kids being subjected to the gaslighting and games. I can only be the support system for them.

Part of Xh's monster it would seem is he had found out that I had been to a state park on a hike. It came through a conversation my sister happened to have with my X-SIL when she ran into her. Nothing was said that was private. I had asked my sister what had been shared and she said they happened to mention this particular state park and she said I had recently been there myself hiking. So, that tiny snippet of information came back to Xh and it would seem Father's Day he mentioned to S that he heard I had been hiking. S very innocently said I had a really good time and Xh asked who I had gone with. It's not some secret, and S didn't think anything of it and simply said a guy I have known for some time. S told me yesterday that Xh got somewhat annoyed and S changed the subject. My guess is based on Xh's prying he is ticked off that I am not doing what I am supposed to be doing. I am not following his script that means I should be sitting at home and just pining for him like his M did. Not happening. Sorry.

And, the real harsh reality that I suspect Xh is facing is that he knows how deeply I love. He expected me just to hold on tight to him and never get over him. He knows deep down that I had never uttered the words "I love you" to anyone but him. I had plenty of boyfriends I cared deeply about, but those words do not easily come about. Once I let them surface, and I utter them, I mean them. I will continue to say it and show it, but I was never one to just throw those words around. Xh's fear, I am guessing is he knows the other side of that equation. If I have let him go, that means it is truly done. I don't turn back after a certain point. He knows I have moved on and I was not the one who abandoned him.

Add to the mix - I am not bending and letting him have control any longer. He has lost control over D. S is learning. And, when Xh in his MLC state feels like he is losing control, he has a habit of really letting the monster surface. Or he goes into his other favorite mode, which is to pick up and try something new. New career? New GF? New persona? Who knows. I am waiting to see what materializes, although if it weren't for the kids, I am at the point where I don't really want to witness any of it. It is hard to watch and it doesn't make me feel some type of joy knowing how truly screwed up he is. If anything it upsets me in that if he had gotten therapy maybe he would be in a better place. It no longer has anything to do with my feelings for him. It has to do with the sadness of how he was a very good person at one point in time and it is sad that he is lost under some MLC debris field. Problem is, he is the one blowing up his life - a reality he fails to face.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#78: July 08, 2021, 01:25:02 PM
Quote
But, moving forward meant sometimes really peeling back the layers and facing some ugly truths. I know that I became a victim and an enabler during the MLC. I have to own that. I never was that way before. I fell into that trap.

Yup, it’s not easy, is it? The truth - or getting within spitting distance of it lol - does set you free in recovering from gaslighting. But, my word, this is a strange life experience for those of us who have never walked in the woolly wilderness of the disordered much before in our lives. And it’s painful. Almost painful enough imho to understand why running off to self medicate with other people or things has a certain appeal lol. Almost  ::)

Yup, #me too on becoming a version of myself post BD which i’d not experienced before and didn’t like much  ::) Owning the truth of that though, albeit with a kind eye, is part of moving forward from it, isn’t it? I don’t like it much but I suppose I learned how I react to certain situations.....albeit extreme ones....and tbh a large part of my desire to never be in that kind of situation again is bc i don’t like being that Version of Me. Not my best look  :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#79: July 09, 2021, 03:40:40 AM
"Facing Reality" and "MLC" go together like "Ethics"and "Politicians"  ::)

In fact, Facing Reality (aka facing responsibility / consequences) is one of the things that MLC'ers hate the worst....
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S - 14, D - 10
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Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#80: July 09, 2021, 10:11:23 AM
How awful for your S that he showed up at his workplace to discuss this issue.  My xH was cowardly enough to set his OW (the Sour Pineapple Queen) to the task of telling D over dinner that she needed to pick up more hours at her part time job because is was shameful that she was expecting her parents (Dad) to help her with her college education. The gaslighting continues - target the kids. 

I decided a long time ago that any win on my side of the fence showed up as a loss on xH side of the fence.  And, at least in my situation, that includes the kids. The only way for him to win big is to make sure we are ALL losing on our side.  Fine, the spouse is struggling and your a bit cheeky about it BUT rooting against your own kids is really despicable.     

Trying to check out his S's new toolbox in a fit of jealousy.  Oh man, look at yourself.  Lost in a MLC debris field is correct.         
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#81: July 10, 2021, 10:28:28 AM
Treasur - the gaslighting is probably one of the things that just continues to boggle my mind. One, how good Xh became at it and two, how I found myself not seeing it as it happened. It still shocks me, as I was always a person who could see those types of things with clarity when it came to others. I think in my situation, like so many who go through this is you just don't believe it because the person your spouse was prior to their nuclear meltdown would never have behaved that way.

In many ways, I think the gaslighting has been the hardest thing for me to get past. It just cut way deeper than the other hurt.

UrsaMajor - you are absolutely right. I recall my Xh saying one of the reasons he wanted to move out was so he could be on his own and have no responsibilities. Funny how that has worked out for him. As for consequences - I am sure I am still being blamed for a whole list of things that would make me laugh. I am betting that I am somehow responsible for this crazy weather we have had this week because I once dressed up as Mother Nature for Halloween when the kids were little.  ::)

Dumbfounded - I honestly can say that the reason I quit standing was because of the kids. Once Xh moved on to lashing out at the kids and using them for target practice, I couldn't handle that. It was that line in the sand for me.

Now, I have to often bite my tongue and step back, because I realized that when I stepped in Xh and OW liked to play the game where they turned everything back on me. My kids were and are now old enough to handle the situation and I have found that I am best to let Xh continue to just chip away. I am better in the support role.

It is not what I want for myself or the kids, but it is the only way I have learned to somehow navigate my way through this. The more distance I get from Xh and his MLC monster persona, the better. It doesn't mean I don't defend myself or step in for the kids at times, but I know it is more effective and does less damage than engaging with the irrational monster.

And, you are right. It is as if they are rooting against the kids. It makes no sense at all.

As for Xh checking the toolbox out is in fact an act of jealousy, but also it gives him some twisted ammunition to somehow say S is spending his money in some haphazard, frivolous manner.

I worked later than I had planned last night. A last minute customer came in and was looking for some pieces. I don't mind staying late sometimes.

After work, I went to pick up coffee beans from the local roaster before they closed. As I was driving, S called to check in. He and his GF were ordering Chinese for dinner and I said I had gotten out of work late, so to eat without me. My sister then called as I was driving to pick up my coffee and asked what I was doing for dinner. I told her I really had no clue. I was getting hungry, but wasn't in the mood for take out nor did I really feel up to cooking. She told me that her H was just on his way home, which was later than usual so they hadn't eaten yet. She said I should come up and have dinner, if I felt up to driving that far. Honestly, it truly sounded like a nice change of pace.

I stopped and picked up a couple of loaves of fresh bread, as my nephew devoured the last loaf in one sitting the last time I brought that type of bread. I was going to pick up some wine, but my sister said she had just opened a bottle and not to bother.

I had a lovely dinner and enjoyed my time with my sister and her family. I like having family get togethers, but just being there with my sister and her crew was more relaxed. It felt more like when I used to invite another couple over for dinner.

My BIL had a long week and gave me a hug before excusing himself to go upstairs to watch TV in their room. The kids went off and did their thing, so my sister and I spent time sitting in her family room, sipping our wine and visiting.

I left just as it was getting dark out and it started to rain, so the back roads were a little tougher to see, as they aren't lit with street lights. I still took that back way home, as the one road runs along the lake and with the cottages lit, the water sparkles. It still was a nice drive.

I had thought about dinner with my sister and her family. I realized there are certain things I am really missing right now. The kids and I have been on such different schedules, so we haven't had a sit-down dinner in a long time. Not like we had last night. Where the table was set and we all are together at home. But, I realized, it is not about just the kids. I miss having that routine in part. I miss cooking and having someone sitting at the bar, either helping me or just visiting with me while I cook.

I can address some of those things I miss. I can work with the kids to make those things happen. I can set the table for meals for myself and take time to cook. I know after last night, I need to make that effort, because there was a different sense of relaxation after being at work. That changing of gears from one thing to another was much more pleasant. And, maybe it was also just taking time to sit and not worry about trying to cram more in after having worked. Lately, I have been pushing myself to get projects done, which has been rewarding and good, but maybe I need to recalibrate just a bit.

Someone last night suggested the weather was nice and a good night for a stroll. Before the rain started, it would have been. But, my sister and I take walks, which is very different from a stroll. I laughed thinking about it on the way home. There is only one person I have taken a stroll with. I don't think I even ever did that with Xh. Not in the same manner.

Maybe I have lost some of those memories of Xh. I do still have vivid memories of Xh and I taking some trips or times when the kids were little. They aren't bad memories and I do cherish those times, but it is different now how I view them. I don't look at them with some longing desire. They make me smile and sometimes they make me a bit sad, but only that the man that I knew then was a good dad. Now, I am sad that he has become this person none of us recognize. It really can only be compared to someone you cared about dying and having fond memories of times together. Difference is, there is this odd version of the same person still walking this earth. They aren't physically gone, but they certainly aren't the same. Very odd.

But a stroll. That is something to me that sounded so appealing in that moment. I have come to really appreciate simple moments and times together. I don't need to be running around to events all the time, although fun, or going out to dinner constantly. Having had a lovely dinner and a glass of wine after dinner, a stroll would have really been the perfect way to spend an evening.  :)
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 11:23:19 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#82: July 10, 2021, 04:16:26 PM
This morning, I woke up after having had a very unsettling dream. I haven't had a dream about Xh in months. I don't like when he shows up in person, let alone my dreams. It was around this time in July way back when, when I realized OW was not out of the picture at all. It would be a few months before Xh would hit me with a second BD, but we had been working on reconciling - or so I thought since that February.

That February he had told me things were over with OW and he wanted to work on us. It was all I had wanted. Looking back, I should have seen the many red flags. One being when I told him he couldn't see her at all because it rattled me, he manipulated the situation and said that they worked together and she had been a good friend. He even went so far as to try and tell me she and I would get along really well. The reality was, they only worked together because she had injected herself into working along side of him with one of his clients on one project. He didn't need her help. She needed him, in all honesty. But, stupid me - I said fine, telling him I forgave him and would work on trusting him again. Looking back, how I ever allowed for some of the things that I did to somehow save the marriage were really very self-sabotaging. I didn't want to punish him, and I am one who has no problem capitulating if it is for the greater good. But then there is that whole other level of giving in and not making the MLCer take responsibility at all.

I now look back and realize at the time, I was tired and just wanted life to get back to normal. I didn't want to have to work that hard to keep the marriage together, so it was easier to just settle into that delusional time frame. And, Xh was very attentive and seemed to be trying to be a good H and F again. He just couldn't sustain it. And, I knew during times he was intimate with me that I was just a stand-in for OW. He wasn't really with me, that is, it was pretty evident that he was fantasizing about OW many times. It wasn't anything blatant, just little things. Although when I would have moments of insecurity, he would "comfort me" by telling me that her breasts were way smaller or that she had cellulite and I didn’t. It is almost comical as I write it out. The logic behind telling someone you cheated on that they find you attractive and desire you, yet using comparisons as a way to do that is pretty messed up. That took me a very long time to work through after XH left for good.

It would be July when I realized that OW had not only never really left, and she had changed phone numbers and they were using different emails, etc, that she was applying more pressure. I knew way back when that she wasn’t done. She had always said she got what she wanted no matter what. She wasn’t going to give up that easily and I knew that back when he said it was over with her and he had broken it off with her.

I don’t think about that time period all that much. And it is not like July rolls around and it fills my thoughts. I just happen to know the basic time frame, because it would be July 1 of the next year that Xh would move out completely, just days after S graduated high school.

The dream, it was set in the college where Xh and I graduated from, but a mishmash of the rooms and apartments we each inhabited at one point in time. With very strange club-like lighting. Xh was telling me he loved me and was trying to convince me that nothing was going on with “her”. Now, I never saw who “her” was in the dream. All I recall about the dream was it was pretty clear something intimate had gone on, although the dream, at least the parts I recall, started in the time period after.

Xh was getting ready to go out for a meeting, and I felt this odd sense. One of not trusting him at all and no longer wanting any of this. He was trying to convince me that I was overreacting.

I woke up feeling ticked off, TBH. Why was he even taking up my dream time? LOL

I know that part of this whole dream was a trigger. Part having heard from him. That always gets under my skin for a little bit. Not getting the check he had promised.

And then part of this was a mistake I made last night.

I had been looking for something to watch on TV. I have been reading a lot of books, but, I have been wanting to see if there was a series that was on. Something that was that was purely entertaining. I have had my fill of documentaries for a bit and a friend of mine made a recommendation as she said it was really good and purely entertaining.

I should have considered my source for recommendations. She and I have very different taste as it is. - LOL.

Her recommendation was the new Netflix series “Sex Life”. I figured I would just roll with her suggestion.

The explicit sex scenes didn’t get to me. The basic premise did not upset me. I get it. I knew from the title that it was probably going to be racy. Okay. I figured I would at least give it a go and maybe there was some actual story line I could at least find interesting enough to follow.

One episode was all I could handle. It was part of the trigger, and it surprises me, because I have seen plenty of movies and such in recent months where there have been affairs, etc. They haven’t gotten to me this way.

The problem with this series, for one, the main character resembles OW, physically.  At first it made me laugh a bit when I first saw the actress and thought, oh great.  ::) LOL.

What got me unnerved is where this series is heading. The woman is a stay-at-home mom, and her H is a great guy. All seems good. But she is lost and unhappy, so she starts fantasizing about a past love. That is the PG synopsis. LOL.

It was pretty clear this was like watching a woman who is about to go into a midlife crisis. Too close for me. I realize it is part of why I dreamt last night. I am not going to be able to separate out that it is a story enough for me to want to watch more. It was too jarring for me. I realized I don’t want to feel like I am reliving that again in any way, even if it is the tables being flipped with a female being the one going into some type of crisis.

I won’t beat up on anyone who can watch it. It may be a good series when all is said and done. Or it may be completely salacious. IDK. I just know, it stirred up emotions that are not even remotely entertaining. And, I am able to talk about and even joke at times about some of the absurdities with MLC. I just don’t want to relive it. Even when it is a story.

I found myself going up to my parent’s house later in the day to help my F with retrofitting the kitchen plumbing to accommodate the new counter and sink. He was having trouble with his fingers working due to his arthritis. He was frustrated and I crawled underneath the kitchen sink and spent a couple of hours reassembling the lines. Before MLC, I don’t think I ever have done any plumbing, but thrown into being alone, I have really learned a whole lot.

At one point I decided we had to go to town to pick up longer flex lines.

On the way to the hardware store, we took the back way into town and that meant a drive past one of the places my F likes to go fishing. My F, out of the blue, said he will never understand what has happened to Xh. He reminisced about how they would go fishing and what a great guy and father Xh had once been. He then said thinking back he can see when little changes started to occur in Xh and it was as if Xh was on some quest to make up for some sudden insecurity he had developed. Strangely, my F was able to pretty much pinpoint one of the MLC lit fuses I had noticed and it is not something my F and I have ever discussed.

Clearly, my F is starting to see these things with some of the same clarity about how and when Xh changed that I have.

On our way back from the store, my F asked about the person I went on a hike with. He has gotten so he asks about him quite a bit, especially as of late. Makes me smile because I know it means my F is genuinely interested and approves of my choice in company. He has only met him one time, but my F has a good sense about people.

I laughed when I was lying on my back underneath the sink and attaching the new lines. My F was holding the flashlight and he said he was so proud of me. I stopped and asked what that was about. He said for one, my insistence that the lines needed to be longer was correct and I have really learned a great deal with my home repairs. And also that he was also very glad that I am finding people that make me happy.

When I finished I was told I was going to be treated to dinner and we were going out. It also meant ice cream on the way home. I happily ordered a small meal and then a baby cone for my dessert.

My sister called in the meantime and told me she is going to have to step up her game, because I am the favorite daughter this week - a joke we both have between us. There is no competition between us - LOL. She thanked me for taking on the not so fun task of plumbing. 

As for my dream - I honestly think working on the plumbing today helped. The trigger didn’t have time to take hold. I was too busy trying to change angles and make sure everything was snugged down. There is something to be said for that type of therapy. You have to focus on the task at hand. No time to ponder and go into mindfiretruck territory.

I won’t be watching that series though. I think a night out on the back deck is in order.
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2021, 04:35:32 PM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#83: July 10, 2021, 08:01:04 PM
Man I hate those dreams. I had to laugh when you said you were ticked off he was taking up your dream time. I too have been annoyed by LB’s appearance in my dreams.

I couldn’t watch the Marvelous Mrs Maizel for the same reasons - too close to home. I switched to Call the Midwife myself.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#84: July 10, 2021, 10:17:14 PM
Quote
now look back and realize at the time, I was tired and just wanted life to get back to normal.
Smiling and nodding as I read that, Mourning....so normal. Tbh I think the tiredness with it all, with the WTFness of it, can keep us in limbo for a while but it is also often what compels us to move forward too.

Ah triggers. And those darned dreams when our subconscious does some finishing work on the rough edges  ::)
Again, so normal.
I remember a time when I felt a kind of visceral distaste for the WTF nastiness of it all. Not so much a hatred of my xh, but a hatred for what came with his presence I suppose. Bc it wasn’t my kind of world or what I wanted around me in my life. I still have a bit of that residual ‘yuk’ feeling tbh....again not about xh, but about MLCish flavours if I bump into them....lies, outrageous gaslighting, cruelty, egregious self-centredness, drama....and an accompanying deep ‘aaah, nice’ feeling about the very opposite stuff. Nice people, nice things. The strolling stuff of life, if you like.  :)

Smiled though at your version of mindfulness.....recentering yourself with plumbing lol. But hey, if it works for you, good enough  :) good instincts, Mourning  :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#85: July 10, 2021, 10:48:54 PM
I have had 2 dreams of xH in the past week as well.  Maybe something with the alignment of the stars or planets or something.  Both dreams seemed to be set in the past when we were a couple.  He was admiring a new purchase of a leather jacket and was talking about a woman "friend" who helped him pick it out.  He thought he was being nonchalant but in my head I was like "I have your number, I know what you're all about" and the 2nd one had to do with trying to hide money from me.  The trust is gone and I guess my subconscious is telling me that.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#86: July 11, 2021, 09:19:26 AM
Dumbfounded - I used to want to dream about Xh. Now, not so much. LOL

My sister has been after me to watch "Marvelous Mrs. Maizel". Thanks for the heads up.

Not so much a hatred of my xh, but a hatred for what came with his presence I suppose. Bc it wasn’t my kind of world or what I wanted around me in my life. I still have a bit of that residual ‘yuk’ feeling tbh....again not about xh, but about MLCish flavours if I bump into them....lies, outrageous gaslighting, cruelty, egregious self-centredness, drama....and an accompanying deep ‘aaah, nice’ feeling about the very opposite stuff. Nice people, nice things. The strolling stuff of life, if you like.  :)

Smiled though at your version of mindfulness.....recentering yourself with plumbing lol. But hey, if it works for you, good enough  :) good instincts, Mourning  :)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#87: July 11, 2021, 11:39:20 AM
Oops - I got interrupted and must have pushed "post" and then came back a couple of hours later to my unfinished post - LOL

Not so much a hatred of my xh, but a hatred for what came with his presence I suppose. Bc it wasn’t my kind of world or what I wanted around me in my life. I still have a bit of that residual ‘yuk’ feeling tbh....again not about xh, but about MLCish flavours if I bump into them....lies, outrageous gaslighting, cruelty, egregious self-centredness, drama....and an accompanying deep ‘aaah, nice’ feeling about the very opposite stuff. Nice people, nice things. The strolling stuff of life, if you like.  :)

Smiled though at your version of mindfulness.....recentering yourself with plumbing lol. But hey, if it works for you, good enough  :) good instincts, Mourning  :)

I cannot say I would ever have chosen plumbing for an activity to practice mindfulness. In fact, I hate plumbing with a passion. LOL. It is just that my desire to solve a problem and my love for my parents is stronger than my hatred of plumbing. LOL.

My F was very frustrated. His arthritis has been so bad in his wrist this past week. It flares up in cold or rainy weather, and it has rained nearly daily for over a week. My F is not used to being unable to do things with his hands. Tightening down any of the fittings were a struggle for him. Having me there to work with him, even if that meant he was handing me wrenches, at least made him feel like he was helping and useful. It was not the most fun we have ever had together, but it was okay. My M, she so desperately wanted to help and kept asking if we needed a flashlight - several times. She finally decided she would go get some groceries and pick up a lattes for all of us. It was a wise decision. LOL

FaithWalker - I think that is a question for UrsaMajor - he seems to be the one who knows about planetary movements. LOL. It is funny how your dreams are as if they were set in the past as well.

S and I went to work on phase 2 of the plumbing this afternoon. Installing the faucets. There are two due to my parents living in the country. Kind of funny in that I am the only one with city water on the street, which they are very envious of. They have the rainwater that is collected in a cistern for showers and dishes, etc. and a well for drinking water. In the kitchen that means two faucets. The bar faucet that is for the drinking water has been a bear to install. Stupid problems with having to change out a couple of fittings on the lines for it to work with the existing plumbing. S has remained there to help figure out the proper fitting. I giggled as he rattled off the number of the fitting, as it is a standard fitting he uses with hydraulics and the like. He hates plumbing more than I do, but he is really good at it.

As I was getting ready to leave, S told me that he will be hiring out all plumbing jobs in any house he ever owns. I laughed. Yah, I can see that.  ::)

D will be home in a short while. I have missed her, but I am glad she was able to get away for a time. It was good for both of us to have a break from one another. She leaps right back into work tomorrow, if I recall.

I get to go have my physical tomorrow. I was looking over my bloodwork results and even though I have cut way back on my B12, the numbers are way higher than they have been in the past. I am sure she will have me drop my dosage more, but it is strange after nearly 30 years of having to take the same dose that the numbers have gone up. Down, I could understand, but it is odd considering my diet hasn't changed drastically. The other numbers look good and the triglycerides were lower than the last time. And, she will laugh because I do not do like some people who will change their diet for a month so that their numbers look better. I had a glass and a half of wine the night before. It is not a usual occurrence, but I figure I should give her my "worst case" scenarios for my diet over trying to get those numbers down just for the bloodiest. Give it to me straight. And, if for some reason I need to alter things, I will.

I do know I want to get more exercise in again. Walking daily would be a welcome change. And getting back into some sort of regular schedule in terms of meals will help. I am notorious for forgetting to eat and then finding myself starving later in the day, which is not good. It is a horrible habit I have picked up again. I never ate like that before. I was always very healthy about my approach. I often think MLC really blew that out of the water too. I quit worrying about myself and it affected my overall health habits.

I did get a check in the mail from Xh yesterday for June.  ::) I haven't even opened it. I will open it before I go to the doctor tomorrow. Or maybe that should wait. My blood pressure might go through the roof if I do that. LOL. I just don't even care what he has written and frankly, it is not like I was going to run and deposit it on a Saturday. It isn't like it will clear before Monday anyways, and I am not in need of the money. Yes, it always helps, but I am in good shape at the moment, so I am not going to even fret over it.

Now the real question is, he claimed in his communication last week that he will be putting July's check in the mail tomorrow. Hmmm, will he be following the regular calendar, or the MLCers' calendar which it would seem is very different.  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#88: July 12, 2021, 03:48:49 AM
FW - New Moon this week....

MD - As to "MLC-Time vs. Real Time..."

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#89: July 12, 2021, 10:51:08 AM
I have been in a constant war with the toilets in the house since my divorce. I have a newfound knowledge of the inner workings of the toilet. Plumbing really is an all consuming task requiring great presence of mind. Unfortunately, I don’t find it as enjoyable as yoga. BFF’s husband has had to come and rescue me more than once and has forbid any additional plumbing tinkering without consultation.

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#90: July 12, 2021, 06:50:10 PM
UrsaMajor - See, the universe has a funny sense of humor. What was wrong with the old moon that the universe feels we always need a New Moon and a Full Moon, when those seem to throw us all off. And then throw in things like a Mercury Retrograde - seems so unfair.  ::) LOL

Okay, so New Moon may have something to do with the WTF-ness that is going on. Works for me to look to blame the moon phases. LOL

Dumbfounded - It is amazing what we have to learn. I know more about plumbing than I ever wanted to know. Yoga is more enjoyable than plumbing - I agree. LOL.

I will attempt many things around the house. I draw the line at climbing onto the roof or anything that relates to certain heights and ladders. I am not so much afraid of heights but that weird vertigo kicks in at about 12 ft and if I am on a ladder, forget it. I don't get that feeling when I am up high and there is a foundation under my feet. Like a balcony with a railing, I am fine. Go figure.

My sister wanted me to go with her to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and she was talking about the glass stair case. Nope. I know that would not happen for me. I logically know there is something under me, but I need that solid, opaque material to make me okay. I wish it were not the case, but it is what it is. LOL

As for other things around the house. I also draw the line at electrical work that goes beyond rewiring a lamp. I am not about to just go and dabble with potentially live wires. I understand enough about how the electrical panel works and what controls what in the panel, but you won't see me rewiring the house. With S, who has his residential electrician's license, I might attempt something with him supervising, but I think that would pretty much stop at replacing an outlet. LOL.

I know my limits.

So, last night I had decided to make a proper Sunday dinner for S and I. His GF was here. D had gone to pack up things at her BF's to start moving back home permanently into her room, which is just about done. I have a couple of pieces of moulding to finish up and I have to put the shelving and bar in the closet, but we are entering that phase where I am going to be done. Had I not been doing plumbing all weekend, I would have been completely done and been able to go back to addressing the bathroom. But, life likes to throw curve balls.

I made roast chicken and it made GF laugh when she heard S exclaim "wow, you even spatchcocked the chicken - impressive". She had no clue what he meant and he had to explain and went on to say it used to make both he and D laugh hysterically when they learned that word. FIL swore I made that word up.  ::)

It was nice to have a proper dinner at the table. As it was we were missing D, I decided tonight to figure out another meal since S would be home relatively early from work.

I went to my doctor's appointment and she is not concerned with the B12. She wants me to adjust my dosage down a bit and is really very happy with all of my bloodwork, etc. Everything hits right in the middle ranges or the lower/healthy ranges. No concerns. She gave me the all clear to add more walking and exercise, within the parameters set by the gynecologist in terms of lifting, and I am happy about that, as it will help me get rid of the weight that I put on with being more sedentary with the whole pre-hysterectomy thing. She reminded me that I had a year where I was not as active and the extra weight took time to creep on. She did joke with me about my calf muscles, as those, I have been really working on my stretches again so I guess it shows. IDK.

My sister had made lasagna the other night and I mentioned it to both kids. They exclaimed that I hadn't made that for them in a very long time and they were actually craving it. I decided on my way home from the doctor's office to pick up the makings for dinner and I would have a salad with a small slice.

I skipped my painting class, as I knew D has been craving a family dinner. And, maybe I needed it just as much. Something normal, just for a night.

I put music on in the kitchen and was cutting up the left over chicken for S's lunch and then moved to prepping dinner. I was content, falling into this calm working in my kitchen. I like making dinners when I can relax into it. Sometimes it has just felt like it is some necessary evil and I hated that I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I used to. And I know there will be some nights where I don't want to cook, but I have missed just finding that rhythm of chopping and cooking a meal. I poured a glass of wine and found myself just in a zone.

D was not trying to be a velociraptor and it was an honest assessment. Out of her mouth came a comment that threw me into a tailspin. She wanted to know why I had made the lasagna the way Xh liked it. I hadn't talked to her about my bloodwork and I know she likes to discuss all things medical, which I don't mind. She likes to explain what each number means, etc. She was genuinely concerned that the lasagna was made a certain way because maybe I was supposed to be cutting back on something.

It wasn't that it was bad, by any stretch of the imagination. I had used fresh pasta and taken the time to grate everything, etc. But, I had immediately fallen into how Xh and FIL demanded I make it during the MLC. Xh got so he claimed he hated ricotta and FIL hated too much sauce, which translated to minimal sauce.

S right away caught that my expression changed as I was processing and he gave D a look. She felt so bad. They both were telling me it was good, but it wasn't how I used to make it for them and before the MLCer changed the recipe on us all. For years, he had loved the way I had made it.

I could feel myself just feeling really upset. I am not upset with D in the least. I was upset with myself. The fact that I was falling into that conditioning of that MLC controlled recipe. Why had I made it that way? Xh wasn't there to tell me how he wanted it made. The thing is, I don't mind when people tell me they prefer something over another. And, I mess up sometimes. I have overcooked things accidentally over the years.

Last night, S asked me what I had put on the chicken. I wasn't immediately defensive. I told him what spices I had used and he told me it was by far some of the best chicken I had made in years. I had tried a different spice rub on a whim.

This stupid lasagna incident really threw me tonight. I know it is a stupid thing. It is just lasagna. It wasn't ruined and it was good, but it wasn't how I used to make it.

I don't like that I subconsciously fell into that mode. And, as I was cooking, I now realize when I was making chicken last night, I was not behaving like tonight. Tonight, as I have replayed things, as I was making the lasagna I actually was not just enjoying the process. I was questioning myself along the way and holding back on things that I now realize was overly controlled. I used to make lasagna all the time before the MLCer went and decided he suddenly wanted me to prepare it differently. This version tonight was not like it used to be, where I just knew how much to distribute throughout the dish. I had it down for years and MLCer suddenly proclaimed after nearly 20 years of me making it, he never liked it that way.

I am over it, but I was truly mad at myself. I don't like feeling like the MLCer has any hold on me. D and S both came and gave me a hug and told me not to worry. They loved that I took the time to prepare dinner and we ate as a family and that was all that mattered. I relaxed and then they velociraptored me and told me that they prefer a better ratio of cheeses and sauce and I can slather it on next time. Good to know. LOL. I told them that next time they can help and then maybe I would get back on track.

They did dishes, so that was a nice surprise.  ;)
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« Last Edit: July 12, 2021, 06:54:24 PM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#91: July 13, 2021, 02:10:13 AM
Hmmmmm ....

That is a bit ironic because I used to get that too.... "Could you cook something healthy with vegetable?"

Uhmmmmm .... could you be a little more vague about that? Like what is defined as "healthy?" What does "with vegetable" mean? I mean, Lasagna has tomato sauce so that could be counted as vegetable too...

I caught myself doing the similar "prepare it the way x would like it" which was not the same as I would have done it for myself.... I have since discovered Pinterest and try new things all the time. Some get printed and saved while others go into the "well, that was interesting - don't need to do it again" category....

As for the rewiring thing... what? You mean you don't want to do this?

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#92: July 13, 2021, 12:08:17 PM
UrsaMajor - interesting. Script, perhaps?

I don't mind adapting meals. I was mindful of FIL's likes and dislikes and tried to at least prepare one meal a week that was on his list of favorites. I made sure every meal that there was some dish, whether it was a side dish or a main dish that appealed to him. I just refused to run a restaurant, nor was I one to make my kids eat something they didn't like. I always told them they could make a sandwich or there were times I might do something like split the ground beef so that the kids could make tacos and I made chili for the rest of us, because at that time the kids hated chili and FIL hated tacos.

Both of my kids are now very adventurous in terms of trying new things and they don't ask me to somehow adapt my meals. They don't complain about what is being served. D, I know won't eat beef anymore because she no longer likes the flavor. She won't get upset if S wants a steak. We either make that when she isn't going to be home, or she gladly makes a turkey burger or salad for herself and still joins us for dinner.

This thing last night, was all about me. It was my own realization that I felt this overwhelming thing as I prepared dinner and couldn't pinpoint why at that time. A discomfort of sorts.

I didn't prepare it completely like FIL and Xh would have wanted it. If I had it would have really in essence been like having large noodles with a drop of sauce. I didn't go that far, but I didn't just spread out the ingredients on top, I found myself scraping them back a bit. It was good, but the layers were much thinner than I ever made it in the past. I was unsure of myself and that is the part I struggled with.

I am one to laugh at myself when I mess up, so this was not about things not turning out the way I had planned. I can roll with that. This was the realization that I had let Xh and FIL creep into my subconscious somehow.

It was fine after dinner. D and S started joking and I was okay with it. S and I have an ongoing joke about proper ratios and distribution being so important. It started the summer Xh moved out.

When XH moved out, my F and S would keep going to the weekly car meet that Xh had always gone to with them. When they went they had a root beer float. That summer, S and my F decided to take side trips and go investigate different places and see how their root beer floats compared. D wanted no part of it, so at least 2 times a week, off they would go. S would come home and tell me where they fell in the ongoing ranking. He would explain why the float made the list or didn't and it was always about the process of how they made it, the distribution and the ratio of root beer to ice cream. Of course he also factored the root beer itself and the ice cream. To this day, he and my F have their favorite places. One where they have homemade root beer.

Last night, when S brought up the proper distribution and ratio conversation, I laughed. Okay, so this ranked low on the lasagna scale for S, but he said he would gladly eat it today for lunch. It wasn't that subpar. It just wasn't up to my usual efforts and they both said in all fairness, I hadn't really made lasagna since Xh moved out nor had I been able to make it the way I normally would have for several years before then. Back then, I just knew from years of practice.

It is stupid that it upset me so much. LOL

S just contacted me and I had to laugh a little. Xh had attempted to give S's GF financial advice and advice about cars. S knows a whole lot about vehicles and what to look for. I had found it amusing considering this is MLC Xh we are talking about, not pre MLC, level headed H who was good with these matters. But, I kept my mouth shut.

S's GF needs a more reliable vehicle. And, she made some mistakes financially in her youth. She is trying very hard to get her scores up and growing up. She no longer goes and gets her hair and nails done weekly. She is budgeting and wants to save her future.

She is an incredibly hard worker and they love her at the vet clinic. They gave her a raise recently, even though she hasn't been there a year yet. They gave her a lovely card and said how much they appreciated what a team player she is and how much they love having her there.

S and GF have asked me my advice on a couple of matters. At first they were of the mind to go to a local dealership to look at cars. They didn't want to drive the hour away to go where I have gone for years. They came back and were not terribly impressed with the service they received, just in that they weren't too engaged with S's GF. S said they kept talking to him about the car and he was offended for his GF. He kept telling them it was her vehicle, not his. They handed S the keys to test drive the car and that did it.

So today, I was really surprised. S asked me if I would go with S and his GF to the dealership I have used for years. I laughed and asked why. He said he wanted me to go along because I know what questions to ask about financing and options. He said his GF doesn't have that type of support. Her M tries, but she is not really savvy when it comes to financial matters and her F, well he and GF have a similar dynamic to D's and Xh's.

I don't share a lot of the things that have gone on financially with the kids in regards to the divorce. I haven't wanted them to have worries that would have derailed their focus, which was to be kids and to worry about college, etc. But, I also have not babied them and not on occasion said things like "no" and tell them that I am tight on funds at that moment. I haven't sheltered them from life, just the dirty details of some of the things that really don't need to be dredged up. Xh has done a very good job unearthing those things without my help and they are his misdeeds to uncover, not mine.

But, I have been very honest about how the divorce affected my credit and how it makes it tough in the very credit score driven world. I am all for paying with cash and not using credit cards. I have told them that I couldn't even get an apartment without a credit score history if I wanted to.

When I cosigned for S's loan, he understood that it was on him to make sure it didn't negatively affect either of us.

This little request from S, it is a big deal. It tells me a whole lot about what has happened with Xh in S's eyes. It doesn't need said, nor am I somehow happy about it. It is sad to me that it has come to this, but it tells me how little faith S has in Xh's advice now.

So now it seems my Thursday social event will be going to look at cars for S's GF. Such excitement. LOL.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#93: July 14, 2021, 02:23:13 AM
So now it seems my Thursday social event will be going to look at cars for S's GF. Such excitement. LOL.

Better than a Barbeque fork in the nose... or having GPWELVF give financial "advice" when he can't find his financial way out of a paper bag with a map, compass, machete and a GPS receiver...  ::)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#94: July 14, 2021, 10:31:59 AM
When we got married I started buying chunky applesauce because that is what MIL always served at meals. I don't particularly like chunky applesauce myself but I figured it was something familiar from home that I could do for him.  We ate chunky applesauce for years.  Then one day LB just flipped out at dinner about how he hated chunky applesauce.  Not only was he ungrateful for the dinner I had made but here he was accusing me of terrorizing him with chunky applesauce for years when it was something I was doing FOR him.  Threw the whole jar in the trash and never purchased applesauce again until after he left. 

It is only script in that it is an example of their inability to communicate what they need and them blame someone else for not meeting their needs.         
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#95: July 14, 2021, 10:44:23 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Yes, I actually really like S's GF, so it is not going to be some painful experience.  :)

I woke up weeping this morning. I had another Xh infested dream. This time he showed up and found a stray puppy on our back deck. This puppy was supposed to be white and fluffy. Instead, the hair was all matted and it was not because it was a stray, it was because the dog was not clean about itself. Xh wanted to take it home. Fawning all over it, as D stood by and he didn't even acknowledge her presence. In the dream, I just wanted him to leave and take this raggedy puppy with him.

Now, I know exactly what prompted these images.

Yesterday, I had taken all of D's childhood stuffed animals and given them a good cleaning. She was at the specialist's office following up with her asthma. I had come across a stuffed animal that had been mine as a kid that my M had kept and D fell in love with it. I remember the little dog and having asked Santa for it one Christmas. I was about 5. I loved that toy, but when I was in middle school I decided to wash it in the washing machine instead of the recommended surface washing. The washing machine wasn't the problem. The warm drier took the fuzzy puppy toy and the fibers were never the same. It isn't ruined as such - it didn't become some fuzed together ball of man-made fur, but it was no longer anywhere as soft as it had been. But, I still loved that toy because it was a happy memory. It sat on my bed at my parent's house way after I had gotten rid of so may stuffed animals.

I laughed yesterday, as I threw that one in the washing machine, because it wasn't going to ruin it somehow.

The dog in the dream, had matted hair like that toy, but the difference was that puppy in the dream was dirty and didn't want to take care of itself at all. I had a cat in RL like that once. We had to get rid of it after awhile. The older cat would clean it out of frustration. The vet even said he had never seen anything like it - this cat was just disgusting. That was what this dog in the dream reminded me of. But, Xh was just loving the daylights out of it.

So the dog in the dream, I am sure has some symbolic meaning, but I know where I got the visual from.

In the evening, D had in fact had a really big meltdown that also prompted the rest of the dream. Her birthday is coming up and it is a big one for her. Twenty-one. D is not a big drinker. She is not about going out and somehow partying through her 21st birthday, but it is a right of passage. XH had taken my niece, my nephew and even S out for their 21st birthday. That will not be happening for D.

In the past, because of D's actual birthday, it was rare we were ever home for the actual day. We were on vacation that time of year and her birthday was celebrated but any parties she had were not on the day. It didn't bother her. She would sit down with Xh and I and we would plan out her party. It would always be small because that was her desire, maybe 5 friends. She would come up with a theme and would want to set up on the back deck. They would create some craft, and the whole back deck would be decorated. Back then, she wanted a store bought cake, something we have since joked about since S always wanted a homemade cake, which was quite a fun task. Xh would help me quite often and we had done things like built a dump truck cake for him one year with cruller donut tires. But, D wanted that perfect store bought cake back then.

The past few years, D goes to the cottage my sister and her family rent with my parents for a week. I haven't gone to the cottage in years. My sister's birthday is shortly after D's, so my M always makes a big deal of celebrating that week. D will celebrate with S and I usually before or right after. And, it has been fine with D. That is up until this birthday.

Yesterday, D burst into tears, she misses when we all planned these things together. She is having an especially hard time with me being the only parent and not having Xh ignoring her and now S. She expressed that at least when Xh was paying attention to S that maybe there was some hope of Xh working his way to being some sort of F to both of them. She feels like that hope is slipping away and in addition she is having trouble knowing S is clearly struggling with it as well.

I told her I would be able to comprehend what pain she feels, having a F that just has checked out. I do however have some idea what it feels like to think the floor is crumbling out from under you again. I know what it is like to see the vision of the family situation you thought you had, be just obliterated.

We both had a good cry. It came back to her asking her to make a promise I told her I could not make. She wants to have it just be the 3 of us a couple of times a week. I told her that I would not make that promise because that might be impossible to keep, just because we all have schedules that don't always line up. I could promise to work with the 2 of them to make time for each other and schedule time, but I needed help.

I asked D if this meant she was going to give me grief if I find myself in a relationship. She seemed shocked I would suggest such a thing in that she was quick to say that no, she wants me to be happy and this is just she needs some of our core to remain - the three of us from time to time. Reassurance that the people she has come to count on are here still. And, I get it. She is trying to hold on to the people who are left in our family unit. She said she is okay with the fact that for instance, S has a GF and she has a BF and they are going to for the foreseeable future be part of the extended "family" as such. So, it isn't that she is trying to somehow make it just the 3 of us all the time. Promising to try and make time for the 3 of us, I can do. I just won't make promises that I may not be able to keep due to circumstances.

So, I suggested to her that perhaps that morning, on her birthday, she, S and I go out for brunch before she and her BF go to the cabin to stay for a couple of days with my sister and the "crew". D loves brunch and she laughed and said maybe she would order an actual Mimosa.

I am of the mind to decorate the back deck the day she heads back and have a little party for her when she gets back. S would help me, I am sure.

So, I know what was rolling around in my head last night. It bothers me. Xh in my dreams yet again did not help my mood.

On a different note - I am also now in the doghouse with my M. LOL.

I may or may not go to the cabin. That was always my plan to possibly go up for the day. It isn't a long drive. But, I wasn't planning to go for multiple days.

My hairdresser and I have similar situations with our moms. It is a similar dynamic. We had a conversation a couple of weeks ago about liking having people around, but prefer small get togethers, etc. She knows I have been working a lot on the house and I am surrounded by my family all the time. It isn't a complaint, they have been very supportive. She had said to me when I was there that I needed a vacation - time away. Me time.

I love vacations with my family and my kids. That is not it. But, my hairdresser is right. I need a break from family time.

So, yesterday when my M went to get her haircut, the hairdresser mentioned to her she wished I could get away. I need a real vacation. My M, although very well meaning, called this morning and said I should come up for a few days and stay. She noted that the hairdresser said she thinks I need a vacation. My response is what has me in the doghouse. I said that is not what she meant. That is a family vacation and I need a MD vacation.

Thing is, my M would not understand what that is. My M is family-centric. She always has been. She has gone away with my F countless times. But, the idea of going on vacation alone anywhere would have never had entered her mind. And, I am not sure I am thinking about something alone. It is more just needing time away from being mom, daughter, sister, etc. I need time to just be me - alone or otherwise.

My sister understood immediately. I would gladly, for instance go somewhere with my sister. My sister is also my friend and we would have a good time and it is different. She knew what I was getting at. LOL.

I now know I will be making at least a trip to the cabin for a day simply to smooth this over. OMG. LOL. It will be fun, but I am so in the doghouse. LOL.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#96: July 14, 2021, 10:44:38 AM
When we got married I started buying chunky applesauce because that is what MIL always served at meals. I don't particularly like chunky applesauce myself but I figured it was something familiar from home that I could do for him.  We ate chunky applesauce for years.  Then one day LB just flipped out at dinner about how he hated chunky applesauce.  Not only was he ungrateful for the dinner I had made but here he was accusing me of terrorizing him with chunky applesauce for years when it was something I was doing FOR him.  Threw the whole jar in the trash and never purchased applesauce again until after he left. 

It is only script in that it is an example of their inability to communicate what they need and them blame someone else for not meeting their needs.         

You posted right as I was posting, Dumbfounded.

This is making me laugh hysterically.

I made homemade applesauce, because that is how Xh liked it. Same thing - chunky applesauce. Then he too proclaimed one day that he hated it that way. Had an epic MLC three-year old style tantrum.

See, now this just has me thinking about the day he walked around with his fingers in his ears telling me he wasn't listening to me. This went on all afternoon. Anytime I would walk by he would put his fingers in his ears. The kids were literally like "WTF".

I don't miss the tantrums of the MLCer. Heck, there is very little I now miss about the MLCer.

"Former H", I am not sure I can call it missing him. It is more just fond memories of someone I used to know. MLCer - I can't say I have fond memories of any of that time period or "that guy".
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 10:49:59 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#97: July 14, 2021, 12:18:06 PM
Well, I am a hot mess. Awesome.

The universe is very cruel or the New Moon or whatever. Another test? Am I a supposed to be analyzing this and doing mirror work again? Seriously?

WTF???

I just had a text from Xh. I am already tired of his intrusions on my life right now. Whether in person or in my dreams. I am just over it. Then when the text is confusing the hell out of me, it makes it far worse. Xh was trying to be nice. Yet, my MLC conditioned senses already feel like it is some veiled manipulation.

The thing is, it is genuine. His text. He was in fact being who he was in the past. He had heard of a job that I would be a perfect fit for. That would have been the former version of Xh - the H who believed in me and looked out for me.

Talk about messing with my head a whole lot. That was the first problem.

Add another layer. The job - he was offered the job and turned it down. And, it has multiple layers to the issue for me. It is chipping away at my confidence like a battering ram.

I walked away from a job years ago with his blessing because the coordinator at the time made me choose between my dying MIL and caring for the family at the time and my job. It was made very clear that I was not going to have my job when I came back, or at least that after 14 years of being there he was going to make it difficult to return. And the problem was we had a chairperson at the time who was wishy washy and didn't have my back. My former chair of the department would have run this person out on a rail. I could have gone higher up, but my priority was my kids who were very young and my then H who was needing my support. I didn't have the time or the energy to devote to righting that injustice. And, I was okay with it.

Xh was asked to take a position there a few years back. My old job.

I wouldn't want it back, it just was a bit ironic that Xh ended up there. Now, this new job. Yah, it too is one I walked away from during the divorce. I didn't burn a bridge, simply lost touch with certain people and staff has changed. Now, Xh was offered the job and his words were he doesn't have time but I would be a perfect fit.

I want to vomit. I feel seriously ill right now. I don't want to go back to that job. I may need the work in the fall, but I know it isn't the right environment now. There are too many possible triggers and I can't work through them, I know that well enough to realize that it is a bad idea.

But, part of me feels like Xh is just winning at every turn. His life isn't rosy, I am sure, but I do feel that way at the moment.

I will cry a whole lot and then I am going to work past it. I can't let him mess with my head nor can I let this be the thing that takes me down.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#98: July 14, 2021, 01:22:47 PM
My sister called and it never fails - she knows me all too well. I tried to be upbeat and hide what was going on. I don't want to be a victim. I was wrestling through it. All it took was her pausing our conversation about my F's upcoming birthday and saying  "Okay, what's wrong. You are not yourself". That did it. I started sobbing.

I recounted everything. Read the text exchange, verbatim to her. I started to say that he was being nice and like himself.

My sister, she was incredibly close to Xh. They were like sister and brother. She, for a long time tried to be sympathetic to his issues and has remained at least civil to him when she has seen him.

She is not one to sugarcoat things with me. She knows I want her to be honest. She is not unkind and would be the first to drop everything and just let me fall apart. But, she won't baby me if I need tough love. And I needed her to be blunt with me. I know that.

She stopped and pointed out some very obvious things. The timing. The things that have gone on as of late. The fact, that I have virtually been cutting Xh out of my life.

Then she replayed what I had told her via his text. She reminded me he knew darn well I had worked there before. He was playing stupid, but he said something in the initial text - a lie - that he later unwittingly revealed he knew all along. He was pretending like he had forgotten I had worked there and the details. It wasn't blatant. It was there though. I missed it. His text was so sincere sounding that I fell for it. My gut said manipulation, but I was trying to believe it was who he had been prior.

Yah - I fell for the gaslighting. And it is clear as day now that my sister hit me with a telephone pole sized 2x4.

I am really upset with myself. I am sure I will somehow pull myself together. But, the wind is completely knocked out of my sails.

The problem is, right now, I am feeling the effects of that gaslighting. It is hard to turn off some of those feelings when they bubble up.

This is why I need to keep contact with Xh down to a very minimal amount. I can't let him seep into my life. He got in my head and now I am feeling so incredibly broken in this moment. I haven't felt this way in such a long time, even during my worst triggers. This one really stings.

I will somehow figure out how to push those thoughts away. For right now, I guess I will let the tears keep coming and process how I got sucked in so that I can avoid a repeat. And then I will push away all of the horrible things he said about me in the past back out of my head. He doesn't get to beat up on my self confidence anymore. His opinions no longer matter.
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 01:24:04 PM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#99: July 14, 2021, 01:39:47 PM
I’m so glad that your sister - who knew and loved your h and saw the disordered horror that was MLC xh - could help you see the gaslighting BS that your gut knew but your eye couldn’t see momentarily. It’s a huge gift if someone can step into the space for us with love.

Quote
His opinions no longer matter.
Most of all though, Mourning, this ^^^^
His opinion is irrelevant. He knows nothing about who you are now or what you want.
It’s no different than a text from a random acquaintance or a friend of a friend who doesn’t know you.
Please just allow yourself to feel the ‘yuk’ as a useful reminder that you are NC for good reason. That whatever his reason for doing it was, it was a) presumptuous and inappropriate and b) it will have been about him.
And then ignore it. Or block his number if you feel you can now or soon.  :)
And say this again out loud....
Quote
His opinions no longer matter.
Bc they really, really don’t.

And yes, decorate the deck for your daughter....will it be a velociraptor themed deck party?  ;D
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 01:41:36 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#100: July 14, 2021, 03:33:21 PM
Treasur - I am grateful my sister was able to see it and help me. It probably kept me from going farther into "mindfiretruck" territory having her hit me with that painful truth.

I will not pretend this hasn't affected me. I was a sobbing mess when the doorbell rang. It was my mom, who stopped to drop something off for S. Luckily, I was able to wipe away my tears and hold it together. She assumed I was just worn out from working on some projects and the humid weather has been oppressive today, so when she asked how I was holding up today, I said I felt nauseous. She said the humidity was throwing her off as well. I don't need my M worrying about me. I will be okay, but must admit, this unsettled feeling is not pleasant.

D came home and she too just figured I was not feeling well from the heat. I asked her about her day at work. She was excited to share and had apparently done incredibly well. Her job gives them rewards for things like "good customer service", etc. Little incentives. Nothing over the top, but it seems like a good environment where the manager makes sure his staff gets a pat on the back, especially since retail can be tough with customers. D handled a couple of grouchy customers very well and to the point where the one went up to the manager and complimented D on her demeanor and addressing the customer's problem.

I was glad to know D had a good day and that was my focus, even though I truly felt sick. I felt weak.

S came home and had a day of difficult customers and had to navigate some more complex issues. He was only here a short time and he has a side job to work on for D's BF's boss, who has a piece of equipment that broke down. S was wanting to work on his own projects, but admitted that tonight, working on someone else's project would be a good distraction. Besides, the piece of equipment is on lake property, so S said the opportunity to work on something while overlooking the lake sounded pretty good to him.

I was able to keep myself together while the kids were home. D and her BF went to run some errands. So, I was alone again.

My sister called me back to check on me. I told her I am feeling a bit like I did at BD. It will pass, I know that. It won't affect me the same way. I am shocked at how much this threw me. It is really the realization that I fell into that gaslighting trap.

Right now, all I would like is a huge hug and someone to just hold me. Someone I trust to reassure me without saying a word.

No, Xh's opinion doesn't matter. I am going to keep reminding myself of that.

The BD feeling, that is really hard to wrap my head around. It is the reality of how that gaslighting and getting caught in Xh's trap. And it truly is a 'yuk' feeling.

My initial fear when I felt so upended, was what if I can't rebound from this. What if this little interaction just puts me back to square one. I feared not being able to pull myself back out of the pit again. Irrational, perhaps. But, it was a fair assessment of how I was feeling in that moment.

I am going to just allow myself to fall apart and then try and find my things to be grateful for.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#101: July 14, 2021, 04:10:30 PM
So now it seems my Thursday social event will be going to look at cars for S's GF. Such excitement. LOL.

Better than a Barbeque fork in the nose... or having GPWELVF give financial "advice" when he can't find his financial way out of a paper bag with a map, compass, machete and a GPS receiver...  ::)
Dude! It's DARK in those paper bags......
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#102: July 14, 2021, 04:42:42 PM
MD, it is a testament to how much you believe that people are inherently decent that you accepted what your XH texted on faith. I am a straight up individual, so gaslighting really gets to me. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, it could be that power over play. "I know the truth and you don't so I'm smarter" routine. It's a pathetic way to try and level someone. But the point is that you must be doing well if someone feels the need to level you.

What he did was either clueless or cruel. I'm not inclined to give the benefit of the doubt. If he's being cruel, might it be time to get some anger going? The kind that makes sure that anything he says is mentally met with an auto stop? At this point, what could he possibly need to say to you where you haven't asked him a question first? The check is just going to arrive when it arrives anyway.....
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#103: July 14, 2021, 09:24:58 PM
Quote
My initial fear when I felt so upended, was what if I can't rebound from this. What if this little interaction just puts me back to square one. I feared not being able to pull myself back out of the pit again. Irrational, perhaps. But, it was a fair assessment of how I was feeling in that moment.

I am going to just allow myself to fall apart and then try and find my things to be grateful for.

Reading what you described - and to be fair, this is just my take from a partial picture far away - is that it was a textbook ptsd response. A trigger followed by a sort of double trigger of ‘oh no i ‘fell’ for it’ and then that sort of quick fear gasp of ‘what if i’m back in that place and can’t get out’ feeling. Along with a strong emotional reaction that is (and I say this kindly and without judging as someone who has had some doozies lol) disproportionate to the factual event for most folks. Fear, then self doubt/blame, then fear of fear. And then your conversation with your sister engaged your cognitive override while your sisters love and validation made your hind brain feel safer.

I don't know if you have ever sought trauma treatment, Mourning, but this is exactly the kind of thing that EMDR is designed to tackle in just a few sessions without talking endlessly about past events. Just a thought.

Regardless of that, I think I can read some element of ‘self blame’ in what you wrote, that you were ‘wrong’ in some way? And i’d like to counter that a bit with some basic trauma theory 101.....your response did not come from your character or even from the judgment of your frontal cortex....it came from your hind brain and your body and your autonomic nervous system and a dollop of neurochemicals. Not conscious rational processes chosen by you....innate survival responses. Your hind brain thinks it is doing a good job in protecting you....but unfortunately it’s responses cons your nervous system and body into feeling that the old trauma is a today one. Rationally we know that’s not true....but bits of our system don’t. And it says nothing at all about our character or current/future reality....it’s more like a brain hiccup  :)

Oh and ps, yes, your xh’s opinions about everything from jobs to fish still don’t matter now  :) or why he did it tbh. Pah.
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« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 09:26:34 PM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
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Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#104: July 15, 2021, 05:05:56 AM


'nuf said....
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#105: July 15, 2021, 08:20:06 AM
Thank you, OffRoad, Treasur & UrsaMajor.  :)

I am better this morning, although I found myself awake at 4 am. I turned off the air conditioning and put the fan on. I just concentrated on the air skimming my skin in a way to sort of meditate. I didn't think about much of anything.

My body was worn out physically from the stress. The numb feeling is going away, but I was drained from all of it.

I was not hungry this morning, but promised myself that I was not going to allow this event dictate moving forward.

I forced myself to make something for breakfast and then made a latte. I normally enjoy the process of my coffee and making honey, lemon ricotta toast. I like slicing the fresh cherry tomatoes and basil for the top. This morning, I was just making sure I pull myself out of this mood.

The sun is out and I am going to fight through this. I will forgive myself for falling for the gaslighting. I can't let Xh filter into my life. That is clear.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#106: July 15, 2021, 10:08:46 AM
Oh MD, I am sorry that you are having to deal with all of this on top of this dreadful heat. The heat itself is just wearing me down this week not to mention adding MLCer dreams and antics. Ugh!

The one thing I have learned in all of this is that I always, always stick with my gut. Your first instinct was that it was veiled manipulation and you were right. Good instincts, you just have to learn to trust them. Old me would have made a 1000 excuses for people and their bad behavior.  No more.  If you are a good person with good intentions you will stick around - if not you will be scared off my wicked bada$$ gut.  No more free passes to my circus.

In any event, remember that boats don't sink because of the water around them. They sink because of the water that gets inside.  You have a little water in your boat.  It happens.  It is nature of being in a boat and it is a big pain to bail it all out.  But once you do the work of bailing it out you will be ship shape again to continue along your journey.

MLCer have two main jobs ... to avoid paying for things and to keep you firmly planted on the shelf in your past.  MLCer was trying get you to pay for the financial obligations he just bailed on and at the same time drag you back to the past to where he left you.  Too bad you are next level already.

Brush it off.  His opinion doesn't matter anymore.  Stay cool and hydrated MD... it is brutal out there today.                       
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Married 1998
MLC H 48
LBS W 47
D16, S12
BD March, 2016
Left home Sept 4, 2016 - living with parents
H filed for D - July 24, 2017
D final March 14, 2018 - still living at parent's house

“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising.”
― Jalaluddin Rumi

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#107: July 15, 2021, 11:06:49 AM
Dumbfounded - Thank you.  :)

I have been doing my best to deal with this heat. The humidity is what is really unbearable, but I avoiding being outside today, in spite of the lovely sunshine. The shade trees near my deck normally provide some relief, but the breeze is a hot, hazy, humid one, so it doesn't help. It is supposed to cool down tonight into tomorrow. A little bit of relief.

I have been plugging away at D's bedroom. Working on the little things that require no thought and aren't going to frustrate me. They will move this project forward, while still allowing me to have a mental break.

It is a little bit of water in the boat - that is a very good analysis. It just came on like a tidal wave. I know why now.

For one, I was taken by surprise. I had been getting texts from my former coworker on and off about a work question he had. He knows I know this particular student and needed some insight. I didn't expect to pick up my phone and see the MLCer's text.

Secondly, it was "nice". I wanted to believe that there was some shred of decency left and it wasn't a game. My gut, I have learned to trust again and I am mad I didn't this time.

The biggest aspect of all of this is of course being taken in and realizing it, but there is another layer I hadn't really filtered out and that is OW. This has OW written all over it.

That particular job, part of the problem was back during the divorce, OW made friends with one of the people involved in that organization. She was an innocent bystander, but OW used her to find out things about my daily schedule. Little things. Nothing bad, but it would throw me when Xh would say "I heard you are organizing an art event at such and such a place". These were things I used to share with him, but the MLC version of Xh didn't want to hear about those things. So, when he would announce these things, I was always thrown and then to figure out that OW was doing recon unnerved me. That is why going back there would be a bad idea for me. It has nothing to do with the organization. And, I have worked through my OW fears for the most part. I have gone to restaurants they had gone to, etc. There are only two places I will probably never go again. The hotel/restaurant where they used to have their trysts and that organization, at least in a job capacity.

Thing is, Xh would have had to find out about this job through OW. He has no connections at all there. I know enough to know that. So, this just seems to have OW's fingers in the mix. It would not be the first time in recent years she has attempted to figure out what is going on with my life.

Oh, sure, I can go and blow up her world. And, my guess is not only is Xh having a meltdown of sorts. Yup, the money aspect is factoring in. That makes absolute sense. He is losing control of S now, after having no control over D. Her birthday is coming up. And, he is not happy I was with someone else. All things that make sense. My suspicion is that he is not all that happy and probably pulling away from OW and spending more time with his sister and her family. Something that OW won't stand for. And it is just a guess, but OW says they are done when she says they are done, not before. She has made that clear.

If she does come back at me, then I won't hesitate to fight back, but I really do just want my life to have peace. I would rather focus on getting my life together and what changes have to be made in my own life. I don't need the drama. Xh and OW feed on that. Good luck. I am just mad I let myself get sucked in.

The problem for me is really that Xh and I worked together so well for many years. Professionally, we were unstoppable. I have moments where I am not sure I can do some of this without him - and to be clear this has nothing to do with wanting him back. It is just he was really good at marketing the daylights out of his business and me. He did believe in me. I realize I have this terrible fear of rejection now - professionally - when it comes to my own work. I have had to fight past it and remind myself I did okay without him for years. But, for nearly 20 of those 30 years together, we were a well oiled professional team.

Sometimes that did not bode well for the marriage because it was hard to leave the work at the office. It took a great deal of work to shut that part of our lives off. And when I stepped back to teach or to be more hands on with the kids, Xh was the head honcho at work. He didn't always know how to turn that off. Nor did he know how to stop working in general. He kicked into high gear so many times.

It was a great deal of pressure on both of us at times. I realize that as well.

What struck me today was how now that I look back, Xh got so he didn't want to have me even ask about work. He would get angry. I didn't want to know the dirty details. I would ask about projects or how his day was. I didn't need him to give me a blow by blow if he didn't want to. I have never been that person. I just was genuinely interested. "How was your day"? Xh got so he didn't want to tell me anything. But then when OW showed up, he flipped it on me and said she lets him tell her about his day and is interested in what he was doing. I remember thinking "WTF"? So, I tried to go back to asking and he accused me of being nosy then. It is really very comical when you gel it down. There was no winning.

I am okay now that the day has progressed. It happened. I fell for it. Silly me. LOL.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#108: July 15, 2021, 11:09:53 AM
MD - I just got caught up on your thread.   

I'm going to agree with DF in regard to this newest behavior from your MLCer.  You are next level and you'll continue to keep climbing. 

Nice that your sister helped you see the reality of that text message. 

It's hot/humid here too.  I lost count of the 90 plus degree days we've had this summer.  Way more than normal, that's for sure.   
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#109: July 17, 2021, 10:39:05 AM
stillbaffled - Oh, we have had the extreme heat and humidity. Now we are in the stretch of rain again. Today, all day long. The only blessing is it has cooled things down immensely. The forecast keeps changing for the next few days. And, there are flood warnings in some of the surrounding areas. Luckily, I sit on high ground and if it floods on my property, aside from the orchard or ornamental pond, I had best start using my new saw for building an ark, because that would mean things are really bad.  ::)

The flooding threat has put a damper on some of my desired little side trips. I was hoping to go to a wildlife refuge for a hike. I have had it on my list of things to do, but it sits in the low lands and I know that it is washed out at the moment. Besides, if the sun peaks out with all the rain, the mosquitos would be sure to follow.

I have altered my plans for this weekend to work at home and then sneak out for a couple of art openings. D is at work all weekend and S has a graduation party he has to go to for his GF's B. The second one in as many weeks due to a divorce situation. S is not terribly thrilled, but he is willing to go with his GF. I am mildly concerned, as he has to be mindful of the roads he will be taking to get there with the rainfall. But, he is smart and careful. I can't wrap him in bubble wrap and confine him to the house.

The one art opening I have to make an appearance. It is important that I show up for some of these things that are professionally connected. I frankly am not excited about going, only because it is a more formal event. I am not feeling exactly  "next level" this week. I will put on my dress and a pair of stilettos that I don't care if the rain soaks and make the best of it. Maybe I will jump in a few puddles on the way out. The other is a bit more relaxed and I just want to really see the artwork. I have no plans to go with anyone or meet up with anyone, etc. My plan is to come home and hide from the public after taking in my whole "cultural event". I was excited about all of it last weekend. I am really on a bit of autopilot this week after the whole Xh incident. Mentally, I have recovered in that I am not beating myself up, but the physical drain is definitely there. It took a whole lot out of me.

My M and D have been on this mission to plan my F's birthday event. My F and I are laughing as he is of the same mind I am - it doesn't need to be that big of a deal. I know my F. But, we also know that it is so important to my M and D that everyone be included. I get it. It just seems to be so difficult right now with my niece and nephew having different camps and sports travel teams. My sister works. My BIL works. Both of my kids are working. It is just so many people to try and make sure everyone can make it. Add in that my M wants to include S and D's significant others. I keep laughing as I am the one who is not difficult to work around. Both D and my M are so frustrated by my response of "anything works for me". I think they somehow expect me to come up with some brilliant solution. My only response has been "I am not the one we have to work around" and I am willing to help by doing things like making reservations, or picking up the gift we all decided to pitch in on. But, coordinating this event - no thanks. I feel like me getting in the middle of it is a bit silly. My sister is the one at the helm of her family. My kids, they are old enough to answer for themselves and I am not managing their schedules. Nope. Been there, done that. I only ask about things that affect us as a core unit and that usually happens on a daily basis - as in - "what's the day looking like". Aside from things like S asking me to go car shopping or D wanting to schedule something, it doesn't need to happen all that much.

It is not that I don't care. I do. I know how important these things are to my M and F, especially now. It is why I mentioned that next weekend I was going to go to a tractor pull.

Now, I really am not into tractor pulls as a general rule of thumb. This particular one is just something that has a special place in my heart. It is held in a tiny town - where there is only a flashing light in the village. When this event goes on, it is like a little like time stands still. It is frankly, refreshing.

I began taking S there when he was 2. He loved tractors and he would just sit and watch the antique tractors. He would just shake in delight as they fired up. We would walk around and look at the tractors on display and I have taken some fantastic photos over the years. One of my favorites was S sitting inside of the wheel well of a tractor when he was a toddler. The wheel well was huge.

I think I have only missed maybe a total of 5 years here and there out of the over 20 we have gone, including last year with the Covid shutdown.

I have watched families that have participated grow and it is like a rite of passage. The last time I went would have been in 2019 and that year a big burly guy who was not from the usual crew had his turn. He was cocky and oh sure, he did a good job, but when the 8 year old came up behind him he gave that kid a hard time. His grandfather was sitting next to me and I laughed full well knowing this kid was going to surprise a lot of people.

The kid could barely reach the pedals. His F walked along side of him, never once telling him what to do in terms of driving. He was there for safety reasons and when the big guy who went before him started making fun of the kid, the F just calmly talked to the kid and told him to just have a good time and do his best. The kid kicked everyone's butt and when they handed him this huge trophy the kid was beyond elated. That is what I really love about this whole event. It is just simple fun. I really don't care about the tractors. I like to people watch and when the sun starts to set, there is something just really calming about the big lights kicking on. It sort of reminds me of that moment in the movie "Field of Dreams" when the wife turns the lights on over the baseball field.

Of course, if it is pouring rain or insanely hot, I may table the idea.

My F, when I told him it was going on, he asked S if he wanted to go. It is my F's old stomping grounds, so for him it is fun to catch up with people he knew. S loves going to this event. D, no way. She wants no part of it nor does my M. My sister, years ago would have gone, but her days of doing "country things" seems to be part of history.

And, it is not like this is some hardcore family tradition. Not something that we don't like inviting others to go along. It is not an event that is somehow exclusive. I suspect S's GF will go along. She is up for anything that is outside.

IDK - we will see what the week coming up brings. This weather is making it tough to really plan much of anything. That is why tomorrow I offered to fill in at the gallery. I really don't like working Sundays, but it is supposed to rain yet again and someone else decided they really wanted the day off after all. It is a special event weekend, so it will be busy. I also think I just need to work through this remaining feeling of "meh" and maybe that will help.
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« Last Edit: July 17, 2021, 10:44:01 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#110: July 18, 2021, 05:21:51 PM
These dreams that have Xh in them really need to stop. Seriously.

I do know why these things are rolling around in my head and it is not because I have been thinking about Xh during the day or pondering things. Simply there have been a some things that have popped up here and there that have made it impossible to avoid certain aspects.

The other night, on the way home from looking at cars with S and his GF, a conversation came up. The evening had gone well in terms of S and his GF both said how grateful that they were that I went along because I asked some questions neither would have thought of in terms of financing, etc. Wanting clarification for GF's sake on the different warranties for used cars, etc. I knew the situation already, but had the dealership explain in great detail.

On the way home we were all hungry and S suggest a place to go for dinner that would be open on a weeknight later than most of the places, without it being some fast-food place. I had been there in May with my visitor and I laughed as for whatever reason, the host, even though there were other tables available, seated us at the same exact table where I sat before.

We were waiting for our meals when S brought up something that is really bothering him. It is clear from the conversation that S has no idea that Xh had an OW. He went on to say how he didn't understand his coworker at work. Happily married, and gushes about his W, yet he has been cheating. S was appalled. He said he could possibly understand where say they were separated, but even that was pushing it. He said he knows there are odd situations and not everything is cut and dry, but in the grand scheme he didn't understand this at all. He was really troubled by it all.

I was careful not to somehow start spewing. It would have been really easy to go off on Xh.

The truth is, it is not my guilt to own. It is something, that if it comes up is on Xh to explain. Not me. I have worked very hard to be honest with the kids, but I am not going to go telling of misdeeds. That has never ended well. Xh likes to weave the tales  into making himself the victim.

I was not triggered by the conversation. If anything, it helped me forgive myself for falling for the gaslighting.

Had S asked, I wouldn't have lied. I just refuse to be the one that goes through the details of the pain and somehow owning Xh's guilt. Xh didn't give me some heads up that he was unhappy. That really only came about when the OW really had her talons in and fueled his unhappiness. She sympathized with his plight and nurtured his "poor me" act. I know that Xh would have stayed here and been a miserable stay at home MLCer, but he wouldn't have moved out. Again, I have OW in many ways to thank, because having him at home would have been very bad for all of us - his inability to deal with his FOO issues and his monster behaviors would have continued.

Then came a Facebook message from someone from my past. Not a former BF, but someone I haven't heard from or seen in easily 25 years. He had been a friend of Xh's and mine. He had moved away and is now actually living in Xh's home state. He had seen my name as a suggested friend and reached out. He is living with his GF and just wanted to say hi.

He was always a good guy and had done some contracting work on the house when we first moved in. I had actually mentioned his name not too long ago when someone was admiring the wiring in my basement and asked who had done the work.

What came up was this guy asked how Xh was. Ummmm- dunno. Not really. I explained that we were no longer together. I left out the dirty details, but it was clear this was a shock to this guy. I told him he would not recognize him. I sent him one of the most current pictures I have of Xh and I believe the reaction was "what the actual F". Yah, not exactly the guy he knew.

We moved on to other topics and all is good.

And, I know this brought on the dreams because in the dream, I was making dinner. Xh showed up and sat down on the back deck. Uninvited and I was trying to figure out how to get him to leave. Both kids were in the dream and uncomfortable with him there. But, we had company - people there that mean something to me. Someone the kids like very much and I didn't want to make this person uncomfortable, nor did I want a scene.

There was a house across the way in the dream. I know the house. It was the place where this guy and his W had lived. In RL, their marriage was not going to last. It was not a good match and they remain friends and coparent well together. It is not a MLC or anything along those lines. Really just they jumped into it blindly and were better off as friends and were not well suited for one another - very different paths they wanted to take and no way to really compromise.

In the dream, a storm blew. The friends, the "neighbors" had been there just before and left. They had gone to pick something up and asked if we could keep an eye on things. There was a bolt of lightning that struck the house and the entrance of their house caught fire. I didn't have a phone readily available and asked Xh to call for help. He just kept talking and ignoring me as I watched this house be consumed by the fire. Never did he move and do a single thing to even attempt to help. He sat there happily chatting away while the rest of us were wondering if the dog in the house was still there. We were all scrambling to get help and Xh just sat - almost oblivious.

Thing is, I know this dream is just that. A complete acceptance of Xh basically set the "house" on fire with his MLC. He watched and continues to watch, seemingly oblivious to the damage going on with S and D. He did the same with me. He is either paralyzed or just blind to what is right there in front of him. The crisis is just like that fire. It is lapping at the remaining structures that were his family. And he continues to sit and sometimes just throws some fire works into the mix. Now whether he does that to fuel the fire, or to watch the fire works display is not important. The why doesn't matter as much as what the damage is. The damage that is left for the rest of us to figure out.

I woke up at 2:30 am this morning remembering the last bit. The kids were okay. The person in my dream, he came over and just gave me a hug and there was a secure feeling. Xh, he got up and just said goodbye, as if it had been some happy picnic event.

Again, I am tired of Xh making these appearances in RL and in my dreams. It is getting old very quickly.

I found it difficult to go back to sleep.

I know part of this is I need a break from it all. I am overwhelmed by the fact that S's tuition bill came for the fall. I have to figure out what is going on with my fall semester and D has things that have come up. My M has her cornea surgery coming up. I am in need of an escape. I laughed this evening on my way home and joked with my sister that I may just decide to become a roadie for a band. She laughed. MLC much? Yah, thing is, I would never do that. I just need a little adventure soon to break up this pattern. Nothing drastic.

D is going away in a couple of weeks and I may take that time to figure out some time away as well. I won't have the same responsibilities hovering over my head during that time. I will have to include a trip to my sister and her family cottage getaway, but that is easy enough to fit in on a day.

For now, I am going to pray the rain holds off this week at least a few days here and there. Tomorrow, I am planning a walk with my sister. This time we are going for a lake trail instead of the usual. Thursday, I may see about going to a concert, but that is up in the air as the weather keeps changing. And, this coming weekend, IDK - tractor pull is on my list, but I have other ideas as well. So much depends on the weather. Who knows maybe my time will just be me allowing myself to hang out on my back deck with my twinkle lights and letting my phone go to voicemail all weekend.
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« Last Edit: July 18, 2021, 05:23:36 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#111: July 19, 2021, 08:40:06 PM
I woke up this morning with a checklist of things that needed addressed immediately this morning. Stupid things, most of them, but just one of those mornings where I needed answers to a variety of things and needed to tackle certain things before noon. Just a hectic morning that no amount of preparation ahead of time would have somehow made things easier.

I met my sister this morning at the eye doctor's office. My M had to go in for her pre-op for the second cornea transplant. I sat with my F outside while my sister went in to discuss the details. I was glad she was able to make it today, as it makes more sense to have her there, with her optics background, over me.

D had come with me and we waited with my F out in the parking lot. We talked about his upcoming birthday and after my sister and M came out we decided to go out for breakfast. Breakfast was very enjoyable and it was nice to do something more impromptu like we used to. I can't think of the last time when my sister and I met my parents for any meal together that wasn't about a birthday or some event. This was much more relaxed and we laughed a whole lot when my F somehow ended up with a chair that wasn't quite level. He had us all in tears as he said it was for leaning into the conversation closer and would tip his chair. I am sure the rest of the place thought we were crazy. And, it was good for D to be there as well.

But, on the way home, I felt this tension rising in me. I had more to deal with and the last thing I honestly wanted was to discuss much of anything. I didn't feel like talking or solving people's problems. I had already had a full weekend of people needing to vent and I was the one they wanted to talk to. And, I am okay with that, but frankly, I still was processing last week's events a little. I just needed some down time.

I went out to mow the grass inside the picket fence. It had gotten insanely long and every time I have tried to mow it in the past couple of weeks, when I have had the time, it has been raining. I was mortified this morning when I got up and was feeling like goats might be an option.

The thing is, I didn't stop there. The rest of the lawn needs done, although it is not nearly as tall. S had mowed over the weekend, but the tractor needs to go in for service work and it is on a flatbed trailer at the moment. I am sure I could have borrowed my F's riding lawnmower, or my neighbor would have offered to mow it for me. I could have called the lawn service and hired them this one time. But, no. I just kept push mowing the lawn. By the time S came home, I was well into my mowing. He came over and asked what was up. I looked at him and simply said I needed to do this. He completely understood what I meant. I needed the physical outlet and to be outside. Yes, there were other things I could have been doing, but this seemed like what I needed.

S just smiled and went to gather up the hose that was being used on his garden, so that I didn't mow over that. I had to stop and shower before going to my painting group. I walked over to the garage and S was there with his one friend. The both just smiled. S got up and looked over the fence. He burst out laughing and said he could not believe that I actually pushed mowed the acre on the one side of the house. Yup, took a lot longer than it does with a riding tractor with a 54 inch deck, but yes, I had the entire half of the property done. He then asked what the plan was. Hmmm, perhaps tomorrow I will push mow the other half - IDK.  ::)

The lady who lived next door many years ago always pushed mowed her property. She did it for exercise and she was always in amazing shape. I am not sure I want to do this every week, but I must admit there was something appealing about just being outside and walking back and forth with nothing going on in my head.

I went to my painting group and usually I am pretty quiet and work away. Someone had brought up a rather depressing subject and I could see my one friend was having a hard time with it. Her H died a couple of years back and that anniversary is coming up. When someone changed the subject, something was said and I made a joke which had the entire class roaring. Before the end of the night, one of the women in the group came up to me and said she always thought I was so serious and that she so appreciated my sense of humor about it all.

It made me think on the way home. This whole dream with Xh and the like, it always takes some time to just dust myself off when it is a real trigger. I have been okay, but when it chips away at my confidence like it did last week, it isn't something I immediately bounce back from. The feelings of having been rejected do bubble up.

One of the things that Xh always liked was my very odd sense of humor. I like to laugh. And, yes, I can be very serious about certain things, but my desire to laugh is huge. I don't know how I would have survived any of this nonsense without laughing - often at myself. But, when MLC hit, Xh would get upset with me. Suddenly, I was not funny at all. And, okay, I don't expect everyone to get my humor. That isn't it. This was a whole turn. This was all about Xh not liking anything about me at all anymore.

I don't care now if Xh likes me or not. And, we can talk about validation and how some people claim they don't need other people's validation, etc. IDK. After being rejected by someone who claimed to love you in the manner in which the MLCer does, I think there is part of many of us that do sometimes need that validation to help us over the triggers. It is not the same as being needy and not looking to others for that continual validation, but sometimes it is nice to hear it, unsolicited from other people.

My sister called me on the way home from my group. She said she now sees why I need that time away from everyone and the cabin is not a vacation for me. She is not mad and told me she will run interference if necessary with my M. I told her I may come up for a day or two but not for a whole long stretch. She is okay with it and said I need that time to myself to do something I want to do without having to worry about everyone else and she sees that I have been shouldering a lot more with my parents as of late.

I really need some time to decompress and push mowing the lawn isn't going to do it. LOL
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#112: July 20, 2021, 04:26:30 AM
Quote from: Mourning Dove
I don't care now if Xh likes me or not. And, we can talk about validation and how some people claim they don't need other people's validation, etc. IDK. After being rejected by someone who claimed to love you in the manner in which the MLCer does, I think there is part of many of us that do sometimes need that validation to help us over the triggers. It is not the same as being needy and not looking to others for that continual validation, but sometimes it is nice to hear it, unsolicited from other people.

Absolutely! That is, for example, the category that the Love Language "Words of Affirmation" falls into. It is not basing one's own feeling of self-worth on the validation of others but getting positive feedback form others, to feel like one isreally being "seen," is a great motivator and a positive experience. It is good for one's own ego in that it does validate what we already know about ourselves, especially if that knowledge has been shattered by the epic MLC gaslighting...

And, sometimes doing mindless, repetitive "work" can also be a major stress relief....



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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#113: July 20, 2021, 10:00:35 AM
UrsaMajor - IDK, maybe there are some people who don't ever need to hear from other's any "words of affirmation". I would bet that is number is pretty low, especially among LBS. And there is a difference between that and needing your ego constantly being stroked to somehow feel better about yourself, because in the end that does not replace the really hard work.

I was thinking that is in fact the sad, yet amusing part of most AP. They stroke the ego of the MLCer and thereby avoid the true issues. Much easier to listen to the positive feedback than to look deep inside and really get to the root of things. That is hard, as many of us know.

Even when I have had triggers, I have learned I have to fight through them. Some have been harder than others. Last night's interaction was not some exercise in getting someone to acknowledge something. The reality was the reaction was genuine and that is the biggest difference I see. The sincerity behind it. There was no ulterior motive. There wasn't a single person in that room trying to win me over, nor was I seeking some pat on the back. Those moments for me mean a whole lot more when they are not somehow forced.

I had posted a picture on Facebook. I was tired of my profile picture and just went with something new. It was a painting I had recently done. I honestly was not exactly looking for feedback. I hadn't anticipated the responses and I am a bit humbled, TBH. Now my sister is kidding me because I have had 2 offers on the painting since then. Because my sister took the original photograph I used for my inspiration, even though it is a place we both have special attachments to, she is having way too much fun telling me she wants her cut. I told her that her latte is on me this week.  ::)

I am really struggling with the attention. It is a fear that has set in, TBH. I have never liked selling my own work. Hate it in fact. I can sell other people's work like nobody's business if I believe in their work. It is not my favorite thing to do and I wouldn't want to be an art rep, but I am good at it. That I know. But my own work - OMG. That is why Xh was good for me professionally. And, that doesn't mean I am longing for that again - to be very clear - I am not pining or somehow thinking I should call him up and ask him to step up again, as was suggested by a very well-intentioned friend of mine. No way. But, it leaves me feeling a bit vulnerable.

I am fearing the reaction I am going to have to being rejected potentially. And it is not the same as going after a competitive exhibit. That I can handle. I know the competition is often very stiff with that and the judges have their own aesthetics. I have gotten in shows one year and not the next and simply due to the judges in charge of selection have a very different idea in mind - ie: they might select more abstracts over realistic, etc. A good judge will select based on composition and not factor in their own likes as much - remain more neutral as much as possible. No matter what, competitions are more anonymous in that sense. You get a rejection or acceptance and you move on. But, that face to face interaction now suddenly almost paralyzes me. It is something I am going to have to work on and get out of my own head. It's just business. I did it when I was applying to multiple college programs many years ago and have dealt with it professionally in the past. It just seems very odd not to have that former "manager" as a buffer. I still knew if there had been rejection, but Xh would just push forward. He believed in me, but that was before MLC.

In Xh news, he sent this month's check. OMG - it was only 16 days late this month. LOL. The check is all made out to me in normal colors and he used my full name with middle initial. The amount was correct. I was actually in a bit of shock and mildly disappointed because it has been sort of fun to guess what I was in for. And, it did not disappoint entirely. He had used a window envelope that businesses often use for invoices. He had hand written the name and address. What had me laughing was apparently this month's check needed to be sent in a very formal manner. I was addressed with my last name first followed by a comma, then my first name and middle initial.  ??? Okay then. LOL.

D came bouncing in after her PT appointment this morning and saw the envelope. She recognized Xh's handwriting and just shook her head with an expression that pretty much sums it all up. That look where she isn't surprised, yet still can't believe what she is witnessing.

We didn't discuss it. There was no need to beyond me asking her if she could swing by the bank and deposit it on her way to her other appointment.

She was quick to perk right up and tell me that the neighbor's daughter and family will be going away for a week. They leave after D returns from her vacation with my sister and the rest of the crew. D will be staying over and house sitting/dog sitting for that entire week. Wow - I will be really kid free for nearly a couple of weeks. Because the dog is young, and needs exercise, D is actually really excited. It will be good for her, IMO to have something to distract her as it will be right around her birthday, etc. She has already worked out her work schedule to accommodate this dog and is just beyond excited. She will be within driving distance from the house, so it is not like she can't come home or call if she needs to, but it will give her independence and something to focus on.

As for mowing - when I got up this morning the humidity was insane. They had forecasted a rain-free day, but that has changed and while the temperatures are milder, the humidity is up and it is hovering around 84%. I think I will hold off on that task. I have plenty of other things to keep me busy.  :)
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« Last Edit: July 20, 2021, 10:08:29 AM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#114: July 20, 2021, 10:13:40 AM
That is why I like weeding the flower beds. Just mindless work and nobody will disturb you for fear of being recruited to help.  At the end, you can stand up and be like well that looks so much better.  But not in this awful heat. 

I think with all the MLC mind firetuckery we have been through there is just a part of us that is always scanning the universe for a sign that we are in fact the crazy one in all of it.  At least I do.  Every time I get a little validation I breathe a little easier think - oh, good - it is not me.  Because lord knows there are those people out there who think the LBS is the problem starting with the MLCer.         
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#115: July 21, 2021, 11:22:19 AM
Dumbfounded - I have had more than my fair share of those people who just thing the LBS is the problem or was a big part of the problem. For those of us with kids, when you see a good parent suddenly just go AWOL on the kids or to go from being a parent that was really good to this MLC version, it is hard to argue that this is all about their unhappiness with their spouse.

I no longer bother trying to explain it to most of those people because they have often already formed an opinion and usually they aren't people I am terribly worried about their perception of me. I have learned that while my reputation is incredibly important to me, I don't waste my energy on trying to convince people because I did that during the MLC months and I have no reason to defend myself. My actions have been consistent and I have nothing to prove to those people.

I have noticed something the past few weeks in terms of therapy. I believe in therapy as a whole, and I know there are situations where therapy is a lifelong commitment for certain situations. I am not anti-therapy. But, I am wondering sometimes if analysis-paralysis can set in and actually derail progress with certain cases. Sort of like is there such a thing as too much time in front of the mirror - mirror work.

This came up because I have seen it twice now in friends of mine. Now, I do have a friend who is in life-long therapy and he goes in for a monthly "tune up". For him, it has been a life saver, but he is careful not to tip-toe through life. The other two friends, I have known for many, many years. One, he is just a person who I think grabs ahold of things and can't let go. Therapy is in fact his life raft, and it's good in some ways, but I have watched him almost become like a person who can actually swim, but wants to wear those floats on his arms just in case. He over-analyzes to the point of fearing of making a mistake. It has become a compulsion of sorts. He wasn't always this way. And, IDK, it might be a mental illness or something that has set in. But it still fascinates me a bit. And, he is a nice guy. But, I can only handle about an afternoon of him before he trips into some conversation that is suddenly being dissected to the point where it is too much.

The other, is someone I have known all of my life. He went through a break up similar to my own with my Xh. In the past few weeks, I have seen him 3 times. He too has been in therapy for years. The problem is, I see in him the same sort of paralysis that has set in, but it is different. He reads all of these self help books and studies non-stop as to why this or that.

Yesterday, he started telling me about this woman he is seeing. Just met her and already he had her under the microscope. Not all bad, but I had to stop and really wonder if there can be such a thing as too much therapy.

When he went on to tell me that he was reading about listening to people, I realized he used to be engaged and maybe didn't listen as closely, more of a human - LOL - but now, he listens and doesn't always "hear". I think he is so wrapped up in this analysis he actually misses conversations. It is rare now that you can find a topic where he doesn't go into "therapy mode". He is like a walking self help book. But, it has me thinking.

I believe in having to do the mirror work and needing to stop and look at oneself. I also think that sometimes a good IC can help you through some things to help sort them out. But, I am feeling at least with these two friends, I could see where that latching on to their therapy is preventing them from living to a certain degree.

I don't want to analyze every facet of every interaction. It is why I think these men have not had successful relationships since their breakups. And, I have met some of the women they dated. They were not crazy women. Just human.

I was thinking about my own jump into any potential relationship. I see my parents and their happy life together. Sometimes it is messy. My M gets incredibly annoyed with my F sometimes and will grumble about "why does he do that", but she somehow full well knows that this is one of his quirks. She might grumble, but she doesn't analyze why he does it over and over again. Nor does my F. They don't put every interaction under some microscope and try to figure it out. They might argue at times, but move past it. And, not by sweeping the big things under the rug, although because they accept certain things about one another, they have rarely had a really huge argument. I can only think of maybe 2 times in their marriage and those disagreements were not that big of a blow out. Just more memorable.

I realize that any relationship is a risk. There are no guarantees that things won't get messy sometimes. Life has a way of kicking us. But, I don't want to live in fear, nor do I want to stop at the end of the day and somehow have a recap of what happened and why. I don't like the hard times, but I would rather work through them with someone than to worry about each interaction and hope to avoid any meltdowns. I don't believe you can do that anyways because life is too unpredictable.

My trigger last week - it was bad for that day and then the physical and mental drain lingered. I know why it happened and I processed. If they were to start creeping into my life and happening more often, I would seek out my IC without a doubt. But, I want to move forward.

I am beginning to wonder with these friends of mine if they somehow use the therapy as a way to almost avoid their deep feelings. They delve into analyzing but it is like reading a book about self help and saying you get it, but not putting it into practice. IDK - it is a very intriguing thing I have been noticing.

I know that the one thing that the triggers bring out in me. It is fear. A fear of making a wrong decision. I know that comes from the whole MLC experience. Fears that really were based on something that is pretty comical in the logical sense. That is, it didn't matter what decision I made because it was wrong no matter what when it came to the MLCer. Then came trying to make choices about whether or not to stand, etc or things about this or that. I had to trust my gut and be okay with the choice I made.

Now, it is about choices where yes, I may not make the right choice and have to live with consequences, but it shouldn't keep me from living. Yup, I am going to screw up. I might take a wrong turn along the way and have to double back or find a different route. The thing is, just like taking a drive and taking the wrong turn it sometimes is a bad choice, but other times it leads to the unexpected and wonderful surprises.

My last "wrong turn" in RL was one of the best afternoons I have had in a long time. It lead to a place where I hadn't been in close to 20 years. My kids informed me the other day that they have never been. It dawned on me that I did take them once and it was the last time I had been there - S was a toddler and D was an infant, so 20 years is just about accurate.

That missed turn to go on a drive around the lake took me somewhere that was just that much better.  :)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#116: July 21, 2021, 12:57:44 PM
I found that with my parents they had differences, they had quirks, they had annoying habits. But there wasn't a single thing that would be a deal breaker. Dog it too fat? I don't think so. Made the lasagna the wrong way? Hardly. Forgot to put your dirty clothes in the hamper? Just not that important. (of course, my dad wore dirty clothes that week and didn't do it again)  But the difference, IMO is that neither expected the other to mind read what they wanted, DID pay attention to the details of what the other liked and disliked, and rolled with the punches. They were not all about only themselves.  Not so much with the "all about ME" bunch or the people who seem to think that having more (or something special) makes them something special or that the world owes them something.

I look at my MLCer and wonder why he thinks THINGS that someone else thinks are cool are going to make him feel good. Now I like my things, but I like to create with my things. It's the creating part that's the joy for me. Flat pieces of wood become shelves. Silk garlands become Wisteria tress in the corner. Really cool sheets become a comforter for the bed. Silk leaves and flowers painted with UV paint and put in a wishing well with a UV light in the front yard becomes a crazy glowing flower brigade at night. But just having things because someone else thinks they are cool? I don't get that. But if that is where your mind it s at, where is the space for other people? Where is the space that says you can feel good about yourself by being a decent caring individual? That THAT is enough. Doing kind things for others, making sure that you aren't hurting others along your way, apologizing when you accidentally do, taking care of your loved ones. You can take care of yourself without stomping all over other people.

I'm sure MLC has been around longer than history. There just wasn't any internet to document it all or make it worse by allowing people all access to compare themselves to the "perfect" fakebook photos.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#117: July 24, 2021, 12:58:20 PM
Thanks OffRoad  :)

Thursday, D had an appointment to have an ultrasound. She has had an ongoing problem ever since she had the kidney infection that landed her in the emergency room a few years ago. Ever since then, she seems to have this pain that flares up around her kidneys, but because it is not constant, figuring out what it is has been difficult. Her primary care physician is at a loss, and suggested a specialist. I knew that this ultrasound would be a bit of a trigger for D.

And, sure enough, I was glad I had prepared myself because D was a mess at first. The trigger was going to be the ultrasound because the last time she had one was in fact when she had gone to the emergency room and Xh not only didn't come, because he was with Schmoopie, but he lied and told others that I hadn't told him. He didn't even bother to come in the house to see her even though he was visiting S that day. But then got angry a week later telling everyone he hadn't heard from D.

Pile on that D's birthday is coming up. Yah, can I just say being the only parent was really exhausting on Wednesday night before the ultrasound.  ::)

But, D worked through it and by Thursday her focus had changed to going to the appointment and feeling like at least people are in fact on her side and listening to her. Not dismissing that she is having these issues.

Thursday morning D was very excited because we were meeting my parents for breakfast, just she and I after her appointment, for my F's birthday. We had all decided on a bakery my F loves and we ordered our food and ate outside under the shade trees. It was incredibly enjoyable and relaxing.

D and I spent most of Thursday together and it was nice to have a more relaxed pace, even though we were busy with some errands later in the afternoon.

Friday morning, I was getting ready for work and had a surprise in that this weekend I was sent a text and told that my visitor from May was going to be in town. It came out of nowhere and I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised.

I went to work, and had put on an outfit that is insanely comfortable, but when I pair it with heels and jewelry it always dresses it up. The weather report was all over the place and I needed something that would adapt to changing temperatures well. My boss came in and asked if I had a date because I was very dressed up and looked extra nice. I laughed and said I did, but this was not what I was wearing as my "date" was with my F, S and his GF and we were not going anywhere that this particular outfit would adapt well to. That is, I couldn't just put on a different pair of shoes and go from day to night type of outfit. Nope, my wardrobe completely changed last night.

I was on my way home and passed a large construction truck going the opposite way. The truck either had not put the cover on the back of the truck or hit a rock in the middle of the road. Either way, I was just grateful the rock didn't bounce off the car first nor did it go through the windshield. Had it gone through the whole way, I would have probably been in rough shape. The truck was long gone by the time I realized what had happened. So, a call to my insurance company to line up a windshield replacement was the first thing on the schedule when I got home. Luckily, I can still drive as the crack isn't huge yet, but I know that because of it's location, it is eventually going to give under pressure and I can see it happening during a rainstorm on the highway and messing up my line of vision.

S laughed when he saw I wasn't really that terribly upset. I just said things happen and I am okay, so I dealt with addressing it and I was not ruining my night over a rock.

I changed into my evening look - one meant for tractor pulls. So, boots, jeans and a t-shirt were in order. I had joked with someone today that a tractor pull is like country girl porn - farmers all tan and muscular - LOL. My friend knew I was kidding.

The fact is I like the simplicity of it all. We spent several hours at the pull. The admission was $3 and all the proceeds fund a trip for the local school. Dinner was also part of the fundraising event and the whole night cost less than $10 apiece. We walked around and looked at the tractors and different engines. My F was so excited to tell me about how his uncle farmed with this one particular tractor, etc. S was tagging along and telling about different models and engines.

I am really a nerd. I can find things to keep me entertained. Be it asking S about why the antique John Deeres consistently seemed unable to complete a full pull, using the older models. It had to do with the cylinders in the early John Deeres only had 2 cylinders and if one cylinder quits, the other's have to pick up the slack. The other tractors of the same vintage had 4, so it made perfect sense. We spent time talking about the physics and betting where people would end up.

There were 4 little girls who were younger than 6, sitting behind me. They were with their F and they were squealing with delight as their older brother was competing. They were just oozing happiness. Pretty hard to be grouchy around them. They weren't annoying.

S and I decided that would be a fun physics class and S is going to suggest that as a possible fundraising event to the physics professor in the agriculture department. He said it would be a good event to have at one of their recruitment events. He laughed as he said this physics professor takes the class out on the road to do experiments all the time. The last one involved a stretch of road and comparing an electric vehicle and a gas powered vehicle. S loves that class. LOL

We also laughed when this woman was walking around in high heels, gold chains, flawless makeup and designer duds. She was beautiful, but clearly the new trophy wife. Well, the trophy wife had convinced this man she wanted to drive in the pull. All well and good. Some of the best competitors have been women, but she certainly was a novice. So much so, that she didn't know how to truly steer, backup or put the tractor into gear enough to drive it, let alone pull. OMG. And, I give her big kudos for attempting it, but I am thinking she got on it a couple of times and figured she knew what she was doing. She didn't make it too terribly far, and I am not sure she will be attempting it again. She had that look of "yah, I am good - I will check that off my bucket list" look.

My F wanted to stay quite late and the sun had dropped and the full moon was on display. The orange-red moon made for a perfect evening. We left around 9:00 and made our way home. These pulls can go way into the night, sometimes not ending until 1 am.

My sister called and asked me about the evening. I told her it is not something I have to do every weekend, but it was fun to just people watch and enjoy the summer air.

I had told S about my visitor and said I might be out tonight. S chuckled and informed my F that I had a date tonight. My F asked with whom. He clearly was pleased and this morning, my M texted very early and had been updated. She surprised me later today when she didn't get all protective. I laughed and told my sister that must be my M has gotten more comfortable with this notion of who I spend my time with.

D was fine even though I was waiting for her to freak out, only because I have learned D has a hard time with spontaneous things. I was very specific in terms of telling her who I would be with and that I wasn't sure what the plans were at this point. But, she is okay with it. S, he informed me he won't be home anyways, so he wouldn't have known one way or the other. Seems Xh is going away this weekend and needed someone to watch his crazy dog. His sister up and decided to make other plans and so he didn't have a dog sitter. S said it works out well, considering he is going to the fair that is one town over. That means he can avoid the hour long drive home and spend the night at Xh's and get up in the morning and enjoy the lake. Funny, he joked it will be really nice since SIL and Xh will both be gone. It will be like having a lake cottage for the night. LOL

Xh hasn't even told S where he is going. My M asked if S if Xh was going alone. S shrugged. I laughed after S left and told my M, even better for me, considering I just missed him at the home improvement store this morning. I don't need to run into Xh at all. I would prefer my evening to be Xh free for sure. LOL
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« Last Edit: July 24, 2021, 01:23:26 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#118: July 26, 2021, 03:12:56 AM
Xh hasn't even told S where he is going. My M asked if S if Xh was going alone. S shrugged. I laughed after S left and told my M, even better for me, considering I just missed him at the home improvement store this morning. I don't need to run into Xh at all. I would prefer my evening to be Xh free for sure. LOL

Gee, I can't understand why you wouldn't want to run over him... I mean into him <snort!>.....  ::)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#119: July 26, 2021, 07:15:28 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. Run over him. Hmmmm, tempting at times, but I will keep those thoughts in my head and not act on that. I mean, I am already dealing with a cracked windshield, I don't need more automotive damage.  ;)

Okay, truth is, there are times I would like to just like to throttle Xh, but it wouldn't do any good and my reactions would only affect me negatively. But, I do have moments when Xh does something that hurts the kids and it upsets me way more than anything else he has ever done and the desire to somehow slap some sense into him is appealing.

S happened to tell me that Xh called S last minute and invited him to go with Xh on this "trip" he was taking. S had to work and told Xh that he wasn't going to be able to just up and leave work without giving his boss at least a day or two notice. Xh had called S on Friday morning and wanted S to take off Saturday. Xh knows, or should know that S is still working at the millwork on Saturdays. He has been working there for 5 years. It is not like this is some new development. It was then, Xh said that he needed S to watch the dog. And that is my problem with these things. It is never transparent. That dog needed someone to stay with it and care for it. Xh never kennels the dog because it was a bait dog and even with the therapy it is not good with other dogs, so a kennel is out of the question. SIL wasn't available, so my suspicion is Xh needed S to watch the dog and it was never an invite to go along at all. But, that is my jaded MLC evaluation.

S handled it well. He went and stayed with the dog. It worked out with the fair being only 15 minutes from Xh's and S said that was good. S did push back though. He told Xh he couldn't stay with the dog all day Sunday, because he had plans. S told me when Xh squawked about it, S informed him it was a birthday party for my F and he was not going to miss it, so Xh, if he wanted S to stay with the dog, Xh would have to find alternative care for the dog on Sunday afternoon. SIL came over when S was leaving and took over and then S mentioned this morning that Xh came back earlier than planned and his knickers are all in a twist because he had to come home earlier than planned.  ::)

It gets old. The constant juvenile behaviors and self absorbed mentality. Now that I am away from it, I want no part of being with anyone like that. I can logically understand that the man is in crisis or has some mental issues going on, but emotionally, it is too much for me to deal with. It took me a long time to work through the guilt knowing that this may be out of Xh's control, much like a physical illness. I would never leave someone who had an illness, but he made it impossible and continues to make it impossible to not want more distance.

And, in truth, the prospect of starting over with someone is easier to deal with for me. I don't know where I am headed with relationships. I do know that it was so nice to have a weekend where you feel secure and comfortable. Where you can enjoy simple things like a walk around the lake in the evening and find contentment.

I am not foolish enough to think that any relationship won't come with problems some day. Disagreements or triggers are going to happen. But, being around an adult who doesn't put their fingers in their ears and tell you they aren't listening to you is very refreshing and much easier to embrace.

I said last night to the person I was with that I don't think I will ever get over the WTF happened aspect of BD. Yet, the difference is, where at one point it was a date that was seared in my brain and would level me every time that anniversary rolled around, or our wedding anniversary would, I was a mess. It slowly healed and I don't feel that way anymore, but much like the scars that remain on my arm from my broken arm, the MLC experience is more of a scar. It sometimes hurts a little or I can see the scar, but it is just that - a reminder. I look back and still wonder what exactly happened to the man I married and that BD moment. I can see the little fuses lit to set off the MLC, but even then it still doesn't make sense.

The tough part about the idea of starting over with anyone else is those fears of if it ever gets serious enough where you find yourself committed in any manner, is that stupid scar remains. That those triggers might arise and is that person going to understand it has nothing to do with how much you might love them, but it is just residual pain. It is not a longing for what was. That fear for me is I know how I love people. When I finally go all in, and I am not there yet, in spite of my strong feelings, I give all of myself. It is not a fear of having my heart broken. It is more a fear of will someone who knows I have a past understand that the love I had for my Xh is there, but more of a memory and not something that will ever change the new feelings. I guess it is a matter of simply saying, will there be some fear that I somehow loved my Xh more than I ever will anyone else. I know that answer for myself, and it is probably a very silly thought, but these things do make me think sometimes.  ::)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#120: July 26, 2021, 03:11:10 PM
D worked 9 hours today and just called me on her way to meet her BF to tell me about her day.

I have been surprised at how receptive she was this weekend when my plans included my impromptu visitor. D and I have been really both working on her abandonment issues and we have had some hiccups, but she is making progress and really trying. It is sometimes a delicate balance between being there for her and sometimes tough love. Last night, when I was trying to think about where to go for the evening, D was the one who suggested that particular lake. While I didn't go where she suggested, she called while I was out and was still pleased I had listened to her and gone to that lakefront. It was a good suggestion, I will admit.

D happened to mention a couple of people who she saw at work today. One was a friend of mine who during Covid built a yurt in her backyard. I have seen pictures of it and I am actually really jealous of her "escape pod". LOL. That might be on my wishlist - IDK.

Then D said she saw her teacher from when she was in the first grade. S had her as well and D was so excited that the teacher remembered her and S. She mentioned to D that Xh and I were always so active with the school and involved in their education and how much she appreciated that. She then asked D how Xh and I were. D started laughing when she told me her answer. D informed me that she has come up with a way to not make people feel uncomfortable because the truth is really messed up and most people are genuine in their innocent questions like "how are your parents"? D told the teacher that we weren't together any longer, but I was doing well. The teacher at first apologized and D said she just smiled and shrugged telling her former teacher that "yah, my dad went through a bit of an episode and well, we don't really talk now, but it is okay - I am doing well and so are my M and brother". The teacher, it seems had a similar situation with her F, which D sort of knew, and the teacher said she completely understood.

I was giggling when D told me the story and not that it is funny in reality. The fact that D doesn't speak to her F and he used to be the involved parent, who showed up for every open house with me and was really a good dad, is really messed up now. It isn't funny in that sense. What struck me as amusing was that D's choice of words. "Episode". I asked her how she chose that and she laughed. She said she figured it implies a whole lot, without having to give out the dirty details.

When D went on to say that clearly, Xh is not really just dealing with one episode, but some ongoing series or saga like a bad made for TV series, I really chuckled. That is one way to describe it.  ::)

I am opting out of my painting group tonight. I am just not feeling like painting tonight - only because I got myself involved in a some things around the house. Once it cools down a little, I want to have S help me pull the pump out of the pond so that I can determine if the pump can be repaired or needs replaced. I was outside this morning and the water lily has several flowers on it this year. It is so stunning that now I really want the waterfall back and need to get some new fish for the pond and they need the moving water to survive.

If the mosquitos don't carry me away, I will replace the twinkle lights that I had to take down awhile back and perhaps rethink one area of the deck. I have a little nook that used to have a cabinet tucked in the corner and I am now thinking it would be the perfect place to set up my small table and chairs. It is sunny on the back deck all day long, but that area gets some morning shade, and overlooks the pond. It is the perfect place to sit and have coffee. Who knows, maybe I will come up with some other crazy idea while I am out there. I do know that tonight I just want to spend time outside again.
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« Last Edit: July 26, 2021, 03:16:44 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#121: July 27, 2021, 07:55:25 AM
Last night was a very odd night. My plans to hang twinkle lights and work on the pond were dashed.

It started when I had a phone call from someone I rarely hear from. I have learned that this particular person doesn't reach out unless they need to rub something in or need a shoulder to cry on. Last night it was a mix of both. It started with the complaints. And, okay - they were within their right, as most of us would be upset. But, they knew the situation was going to unfold this way months ago and it is not something that is somehow unjust - they are just unhappy that it finally came home to roost. I was kind, but pointed out that it was time to put that issue to bed and move on. The second half of the conversation was to tell me all about all the fantastic things going on.

The thing is, I want to be happy for this person, but I am not. I want to feel bad for them about the other issues, but again. I am really not having much sympathy. Because it is just like every other time in recent months where nowhere in that conversation was there a "hey can you talk right now" or any concern for what is going on with me. And that is not new and therein lies the problem. I can handle someone needing my undivided attention and needing to be the center of attention sometimes, but this is getting old.

I hung up the phone and went out to the garden. S hadn't been out there in a couple of days. I found myself harvesting more green beans than I am prepared for. I don't have the freezer space I used to. Both kids like beans raw, but won't eat them cooked, so freezing them is really a bit of a waste of time. So, I took a walk and brought my parents lettuce and beans.

When I walked into the house, my M was chatty. She then paused and hit me with something that just floored me. And it upset me. It was straight out of the MLCer playbook. She didn't tell me she didn't care for my outfit the other night. I could have handled that comment. And, my M and I have very different clothing style choices. My M dresses very well, but she also has a very different body than I do. Her clothing has always been way more conservative than mine. And like it or not, I have to be very careful to select carefully because I am curvy. And, I have made fashion mistakes or gone back and thought, hmmm that was not the best choice. It happens.

We had gone to a bar type restaurant the other day. It was not a fancy, dress up place. It was hot and humid and I had put on a higher necked tank top and a tennis style skirt that was not exposing anything it shouldn't. I wasn't rocking Daisy Duke shorts. And I put on some high heels, which were not obscenely high and they had a chunky heel. Summer sandals. It was not like I decided stilettos were a good idea. I do think these things out.

Now, I know my M hates high heels with shorts. It doesn't matter if they are Bermudas or even capri pants. She is not a fan. I have heard this before and I typically don't wear really high heels with shorts.

I could have handled the criticism had she not come at me with a comment that truly threw me. She informed me that she did not like my outfit the other day and I looked like a hooker. I saw my F's jaw drop and he shook his head. He would have told me if it was over the top. I came home and was half laughing, and yet, I was really very upset. A combination of angry with her choice of wording. I don't ever remember my M saying something along those lines - ever. She has told me when she isn't fond of a color on me, etc, but usually will tell me when I am wearing something she really likes. She will say that she prefers that outfit over the one she didn't like. But this - wow.

I came home and told both kids who were rolling. I asked them if I had somehow gone overboard. S laughed and said it was maybe a bit sexier than my M would like, but he said I was hardly looking like I was going to work the corner. D was on the floor laughing. She would have been a brutal critic with me. I would not have made it out of the house. I would have heard the "is that what you are wearing" comment.

Now, I appreciate people being helpful and telling me if something doesn't work. I am not that thinned skinned. This bugged me. I ran it by a couple of friends of mine. And then I called my sister and I heard her tell BIL and my niece and nephew. My niece spit her drink out and my BIL was in the background saying that no, I was not inappropriate. My sister, she laughed and said frankly she hadn't even noticed my outfit. That alone tells me it wasn't somehow over the top, because she would have gone Pro-Velociraptor on me in the restaurant. It would have been merciless. And it would have been in good fun.

I tried to shake it off, but I will admit I was really upset, because I had dropped off the kids before meeting my visitor for that walk. I am truly mortified. LOL. I did change into sneakers to walk.

Xh pre MLC would have told me if something needed editing, but he liked how I dressed. MLCer - he was really brutal. My choice in clothing was suddenly not right, no matter what I was wearing. And my favorite was when he would be disgusted when I had been outside working in the garden and my knees would have dirt on them. In the past, he would have looked at the dirt on my cheek and the messed up hair from being outside and he would give me a kiss on the forehead and run a bath for me. MLCer - in the same scenario, he would look at me as if I was the monster from the black lagoon.

I was working through all of the sudden feelings rolling in when S, who had gone to bed came downstairs. My dress code issues were nothing compared to what suddenly rolled into the kitchen. He was on the verge of tears. He blurted out something that I am still in shock over.

S has been friends with a young man since the first grade. The young man has a huge heart, but he came from a difficult home life and was adopted. It was a good situation for him for years, but his early years have had an affect on him. One, his biological M had substance abuse problems that this young man seems to now have. The kid ended up having to go to jail recently for a DWI and S had said the friend had been getting help in jail. Jail has been a blessing in that it scared the kid. S was hoping that maybe this was a good thing and knows he can't help the friend, except by being his friend - even if it means tough love.

At first, I thought something had happened to this kid. But, S started tearing up. Nope. The F died and it appears not by natural causes or in an accident. S's tears bubbled out. S is stoic, but he does let his emotions show. His concern is for the friend, who he knows will just spiral with this news. And then he asked about the two other kids, who are very young. I didn't have any answers. S went to bed, heavy hearted.

As I was getting ready to go to bed as well, another friend contacted me about a wedding we are both invited to in October. She laughed and asked if she could be my plus one, as her H said he was not going to this event. I personally would like to opt out like him, but there are all sorts of reasons I have to go. I will go with my friend and we will have a good time together, as it is on the lakefront. We joked that worse case scenario we can make an appearance and then slip out the side door go for a walk.

I figured I could end my evening there. But, another text came through. Someone told me to look on Facebook. I saw it immediately and I was in shock. A former student of mine from my early years of teaching has stayed in touch with me. He also had been a student of Xh's in college, and they have run into each other, but this former student is one of my cherished students. I have watched him grow from this dopey kid who was completely lost to this amazing man, who is happily married. He had reached out to me at one point to tell me how much it meant to him that I was pivotal in his life, because I believed in him. I had never done anything that I thought was special, but I did push him and I did believe in him. We have joked over the years that he remembers me telling his mom not to worry, that he would find his path. And, he has.

When he married, he became a step father to a little girl, who had gone on to get married recently and have her own kids. He posted pictures of himself with his wife and the daughter countless times. It always made me smile. And now he is a young grandfather.

Last night, I reached out to him and told him I just don't even know what to say, as I stared at the invite to the memorial service in honor of his daughter. She died unexpectedly last week. I know he is just feeling hollow.

My heart is heavy this morning. These are things I don't think I will ever understand and I will thank my lucky stars for the things I have.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#122: July 27, 2021, 10:55:56 AM
I talked to S briefly before lunch time, when he was on break. He is not himself. He is throwing himself into his work, but last night's news is weighing on him. I know he has to work through it, but I also knew his lunch hour was coming up and I thought for a bit.

UGH UGH UGH - I so did not want to do this and struggled immensely with it. I knew Xh would be working in that city today and it is 10 minutes from where S is.

What rolled around in my head was my needs. I need to not have any interaction with Xh, for my own sanity. I know that he has been the epitome of selfish in his MLC, but he used to be a good F. I know there is the dynamic with D and he is working on chipping away at S. And, I thought of all the reasons why not to contact Xh.

I struggled because it is so against my core to behave in the way I wanted to, which was to not inform Xh. This is a big deal for S and I was not going to be able to go see him, as they were in the middle of replacing my windshield. So, I fought with my conscience.

I had no illusions of Xh suddenly becoming a great parent again, and all being good with the kids. It would take so much more than that. Yet, the pain in my S's voice pushed me to do what I didn't want to do at all.

It was not easy for me. It is so against my core to be somehow spiteful and keep him out of the loop. These are his kids. But, I know how much pain he has caused and continues to cause the kids. And, after that last round of gaslighting with me, I was really not wanting to do this at all. However, my love for my S is way stronger.

So, I texted Xh and told him what has transpired.

Xh's first response was who was this guy I was talking about. It floored me, even though it shouldn't have. That kid was a fixture all through grade school to high school in our lives. He was always polite and had a huge heart. S, when the kid started drinking after high school distanced himself, but was also there when the kid went missing to help his F search for him using the kid's coordinates from his phone. The kid had gone on a motorcycle ride out in the middle of nowhere and his phone died. He was lost and had called his F just before the phone died. S and this man went out and found him in the wee hours of the morning, cold and a bit frightened, but safe.

S stays in touch with the friend, but he knows like my X-BIL who had addictions there is very little you can do.

Xh knew this kid and his F so well. I can't recall how many times we sat next to him at baseball games and the like. So for Xh to ask me "who"? merely confirmed his mind is absolute mush. Once he processed, he asked me how the F died. When I explained, he clearly was rattled. He was processing and seeing that this is going to be tough on that kid and that S will be very worried about his friend. Xh promised to go check on S and reach out.

Will Xh do it? IDK. I am not sure it was the right thing to do. I am having a hard time personally with it. I have to accept there are just things that I may never be able to cut completely in terms of contact with Xh. I have cut away so much and I am not rattled talking to him so much as I just want to be able to focus on moving forward with other people in my life. I so want to keep those things separate and the reality is if I find myself in a committed relationship there may always be these things that arise, just as they would if that other person has people in their lives like X's and kids, etc.

The reality that I have a past history and that I am divorced, not widowed. My Xh is still part of the picture, only in that he is currently still somewhat involved with S.

I don't know if it was the right thing to do. I don't somehow feel relief having done it and know it is what my core values are - that is to be a good person and try to take the high road when I can. Yet, part of me just is hating that I even had to consider that as a possible scenario - that is to see if Xh would step up. I don't like having anything to do with Xh. I really don't.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#123: July 27, 2021, 02:09:11 PM
I don't know about your kids, but I find it best to let mine inform their father...or not...of whatever transpires in their life. They are adults. It's not my place to step in and tell him anything about their lives even if I have good intentions. There are a few reasons I do this : 1) I would be upset if someone told someone else something about my life which was not theirs to tell. 2) If I mentioned something either of my kids had no desire for their F to know, and they had to deal with him when they did not want to, I'd feel really badly about what I had done 3) Rather than xh stepping up and suddenly becoming the awesome dad he isn't,  he might make how the kids feel into something worse (sadly, I've seen this )

If your son thinks his dad will be a comfort to him, he'll tell his father himself. I dont think you want to end up in a place where they stop telling you things because they fear you will tell their father. It could happen.JMO.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#124: July 28, 2021, 05:20:39 AM


"GWPWELFDV" and "compassion" go together like "screen door" and "submarine"

xH's refusal to help S with the last year of school and so on sets the tone.

The best thing result of this situation is to hope and pray that xH just leaves S alone and doesn't open his trap to pour salt in the wound or to try to gain some advantage out of it... xH is simply not capable of being a positive support for S at this point...

I am afraid that I really have to agree with OR here... The road to Hades is paved with good intentions... Besides, it is not even about taking the "high road." xH has chosen to remove himself from the goings-on of his former family and friends.

I can fully understand where you are coming from and the motivation. I am just thinking that it may not have been the best option to bring xH into the mix at all... I seriously doubt he will be able to provide anything beneficial... He is, after all, an MLC Poster Child for having his head stuffed so far up his ..... fog... that he is trying to see by looking out of his belly button....
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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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BD#1 - August 2015
Atomic BD - 13 Dec 2015
House sold & separated - Mar 2016
Divorce final 30 August 2019

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

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#125: July 28, 2021, 10:02:12 AM
My children are all teenagers/young adults and I no longer consider myself the messenger between them and LB.  If they have something they want to tell him or involve him in they can do it themselves.  Besides any information I passed along when they were younger was either ignored or used to interfere in their lives through guilt or shame or manipulation and I caught the ire of the kids for telling tales out of school.  Plus, he appears to have no ability to be supportive or helpful or compassionate.  So, I resigned my title as cruise director of the kids' relationship with their father and his side of the family.     

Now, if the kids asked me to convey information or were unable to covey the information themselves (think - illness), I would.  Otherwise I just butt out.

I am sorry so much sad new is passing your way.  I was listening to a podcast the other day and it suggested that our job, as parents, is not to protect our children from pain and suffering but to examine the pain and suffering with them, along side of them.  That way we don't feel like such failures when we can't keep them from experiencing the pain and suffering.     
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Married 1998
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“You've seen my descent, now watch my rising.”
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#126: July 28, 2021, 11:56:58 AM
OffRoad, UrsaMajor, & Dumbfounded - I have to say this is probably one of the few times that I have actually stepped in. I am not a helicopter mom at all and never have been. I have learned from working with countless students over the years that some of the best things I could do was to help them by finding their own voice. I know it is not my job to fix this or step in.

I won't go into details, because frankly it really is not my story to share. Let's just say the circumstances surrounding this particular situation are difficult for me to even comprehend as an older adult. Yes, S is an adult, but this is a lot to process. And, yesterday, I knew S needed someone to just step in during the day to check in. My parents were out of the question. D was on the other side of the state with her BF - touring a college campus. My sister was at work. And, I was in the middle of having the windshield replaced on my car. I wasn't going anywhere. But, I know S. He was really struggling, but trying to work to keep busy.

Texting Xh was not my first choice, at all. And, it was a risk. I agree. I prayed long and hard before making that contact.

Remarkably, Xh at least found it in him to reach out and check on S. He found a tiniest bit of compassion in him. And, I do know why. Xh's stepbrother died tragically years ago and no one checked in on Xh to see how he was coping. I was honestly hoping that Xh would somehow pull from that experience and just find it in him to be sympathetic.

I have no illusions of this somehow being the catalyst for some miraculous recovery. And, I have NO intention of contacting Xh again about anything. This was a desperate approach.

S came home and gave me a big hug and said that Xh admitted I texted him. Out of S's mouth came the words that he knew that had to be incredibly difficult for me to do. S wasn't mad at me and he knows that Xh's call to him might have been fluff, but it helped S know that I was worried about him and would do anything for him. S is struggling to make sense of something that is incredibly senseless.

Both of my kids know that it has been primarily myself, with my support system keeping things going. They know that Xh is a wreck and not the father he once was. It isn't a competition and I refuse to somehow take any joy in anyone (that has occurred in RL) saying I am winning somehow. But, at the end of the day, the kids know I don't share things with others that they would not want shared. I don't intervene in their lives most of the time. But, they also know that they can count on me to step in if I think they are struggling. And that was yesterday. S needed someone who knew the dynamic. While Xh doesn't know a lot about this situation now, he knows enough history to know that S has a soft spot for that friend, as this kid had such a rough start in life. As S said yesterday, this kid would be the type of kid who would give a stranger his last dime to help someone. He has a pure heart with nothing but kindness in it. The only one he seems to hurt is himself.

And S, he knows me well enough to know that I don't do things to ever intentionally hurt anyone I love dearly. I am fiercely protective of those people. Even if S had been mad at me, he and I have our moment and then we move past it. We understand one another, because we are very alike in temperament.

I don't want to suddenly form some friendship with Xh. I don't see this as a great feat. This was a desperate attempt at just getting my kid through the day.

It might have been the wrong thing to do. It doesn't matter now. It is like when the bullet leaves the chamber of a gun, you can't try to catch it midair and put it back in the barrel. The shot was fired and I didn't know what the outcome would be. It was not a knee jerk reaction on my part, but it could have ended poorly.

This morning, I was off to help my F with unloading some donations. Afterwards he took me out for coffee. We had a discussion about some artwork he is buying back from an elderly woman who is downsizing. He laughed and said it seems funny to buy back his own work, but he would rather do that then see it go into an estate sale down the line, as she is moving soon. I am actually excited about the two pieces he is getting back, because they are two of my favorite pieces and I asked him if I could borrow them to display. He liked that idea immensely.

We talked about my M and her mood as of late. He noted she is not herself and he is worried. That whole comment the other day about my outfit was so out of character. He then mentioned she has been very depressed lately. Her friend moving into a nursing home & another dying have weighed on her. Her impending surgery has her nervous. And, what she hasn't shared is that her eyesight is so bad now in that eye that needs the surgery that she can't really see much of anything and it is throwing off all of her vision entirely. He said that vacation will be good for her, but that surgery cannot come quick enough, TBH.

D decided to call my M and take her shopping today. Just to get her out of the house. There was a time when every time D's birthday would roll around D and my M would go shopping together. They would have lunch out and then spend the day just being with one another. At first my M balked and said no, but then my F encouraged her to just get out of the house and to enjoy time with D. So, it was shortly after that when my M showed up and I laughed to myself as D was handed the keys to my M's SUV and my M said she would like D to drive. D shot me a glance with a bit of a smile. Yah, my M is pretty possessive of her SUV and that means that D has graduated to being trusted with the keys. LOL.

D texted awhile ago to let me know that she and my M were having a nice time.

Those moments make up for all of the sadness everywhere else. You have to find the joyous moments before the sad ones drag you down into that dark muck. Been there after BD - I don't want to go back.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#127: July 28, 2021, 12:20:06 PM
I actually disagree with the others. Regardless of how I feel about it my ex and I will forever remain parents to our children.  If I think my child needs support I am going to do what I can to make that happen and that often includes roping in the other parent. In this situation adult or otherwise you felt your S needed support that you knew his dad could provide (and you know your S would welcome based on their on going relationship). I would have done the same thing and not apologize for it.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#128: July 28, 2021, 12:55:01 PM
Mourning my friend, I know you well enough to know how very hard that was for you to contact your x, but you did the only thing you thought was the best for your S at the time.

You have a lot on your plate right now...with your mom an all.   ;)

Tough choices to make sometimes, but I support what you did...and I'm sure your S did too.  He understood and that's all that matters, right?

As screwed up as your X is, I'll bet he was shocked as hell because you never ask him for nothing. 

Done and dusted dear!   :)

Hugs
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#129: July 28, 2021, 01:11:18 PM
Oh MD please don't feel like you need to justify your decision. 

Even though we all have a lot in common each family unit has its own dynamic and each MLCer is different.  You know what is best for you and your kids. 

I am glad that your S was able to get some comfort from his father and that father was able to step up and offer it.       
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― Jalaluddin Rumi

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#130: July 28, 2021, 04:30:18 PM
Thank you, ReallyTrying, Thunder & Dumbfounded.

I do appreciate the advice and perspectives often given and it has helped immensely to have support. I do listen and consider other opinions. But, it is not a one size fits all solution in most cases. We all have our variables.

Maybe what I was really struggling with, tbh was the fact that Xh was what seemed like my only option. Yes, I know my kid well. I knew under the circumstances he needed some support, just as I have sometimes needed support when I didn't even know how or what to ask for in those moments.

This really has very little to do with, at least for me, the decision to step into the situation with my S and find him support.

I think the part that threw me was sort of a multifaceted aspect. One being that I was dealing with my own emotions surrounding this and not fully comprehending the situation. The how and why questions that were swirling about my own head. The other being having to actually make the decision to reach out to Xh for help in this case. That alone brought on some weird feelings.

Would Xh even respond? Would he do what was right and needed? How was it going to affect me? How would it affect S? Would Xh use it as an opportunity to manipulate?

But then there was the big over riding thing that ran through my head. How the hell did we even get to this point? And to be clear this has nothing to do with any emotional attachment to Xh. This was more of thinking that this situation is so messed up all the way around. Had it been a "normal" divorce I would hope that we would have coparented in some manner. The fact that this was even a hesitation for me to contact the F of my kids, a man that had been a good F and have to actually wrestle with that decision is really messed up. It shouldn't be that way. But it is. All because of some crazy crisis.

I am sure my contact shocked Xh. Maybe he behaved this time because I just told him what needed to happen. There was no begging, like there had been way back at BD. There was no bickering. This was a straightforward, "this is what happened, and our kid needs someone to check on him because I am not able to right now".

After S came home, I was grateful that Xh did at least do the minimum I requested. I didn't even fully expect that to transpire.

I think at the end of the day, it makes me realize how unstable that whole dynamic with Xh is and it is so clear I don't want that in my life. I don't want to have to wonder if the person I might need as a support system, even if it is just a shoulder to cry on, is going to do the right thing. That insecurity I felt calling Xh and wondering if he would even respond was awful. The mere fact that I had to question it to begin with is messed up. If nothing else, it certainly underscores what I don't want in my life anymore. I need people I can trust in my life. Yesterday, even during the conversation, I didn't really trust Xh would do what was needed. I am glad it worked out. I did trust my gut though and knew I had to try. That, I don't regret.
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« Last Edit: July 28, 2021, 04:32:16 PM by MourningDove »

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#131: July 28, 2021, 05:03:35 PM
There are always variables, even within our own environs from situation to situation. If I have a differing perspective, I give it because I just wish someone would mention a differing perspective to my sister, who always has good intentions but consistently does what she feels is right, instead of what is actually right for me. She thinks she knows me so well, but not really so much. I just don't tell her because her intentions are good and I don't want to hurt her feelings. I do, however, get tired of her telling other people my business thinking that they will support me when they are unable to support me in any fashion that works for me and I end up with another thing/person to deal with.  Which is why I gave my perspective. Something to consider or discuss with people you care about, so one does not assume they know what someone else wants or needs. I suppose I look at it as another side of the polyhedron to consider. It was not a judgment, rather a differing view in case it could be useful.

I am sorry for your son. I know how deeply it affected me when one of my co-workers passed of either suicide or accidental overdose (the eulogy lead to only those two possibilities), almost a year to the day from when his sister had committed suicide. There were only a handful of us from work who went to the memorial, and I found out more about him in those two hours than I had in all the chats we had had at work. It was one of those things that left a hole in my soul, I cannot explain it any other way. (my soul is Kintsugi)

I wish your son and his friend the strength to hold each other up.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#132: July 28, 2021, 11:57:34 PM
I was surprised you did it....but assumed that if you did it was simply a sign of how worried you were about your son. It was a punt....and it worked out....if only perhaps bc your son saw it as less about support from xh and more about the generosity and ‘show up ness’ of your love for him. No souls were damaged in the making of this episode lol.

As often happens though it seems to me when the universe throws these things in our path, we sometimes find we learn strange useful things. A reminder of how very very peculiar these folks become, and that our absence from their lives does not seem to have magically restored normal empathy or the old them.....and those memory gaps which so many people notice in them.....how ‘off’ these folks are somehow compared to the normal normal  folks around us....which I find years out is easy to forget with time off the battlefield and no contact. A reminder of how very much we never want to feel the way we felt when we had to deal with them post BD. A reminder of how very messed up it was/is, as you say....and that this had so little to do with our reactions or responses or mistakes made perhaps at the time. How far it was, as you say, from the process of more ‘normal’ divorces that one sees. It’s a healthy thing i think that, with time, our system resets, that we forget to some extent just how very very WTF an experience it was.  And a bit of a jolt perhaps when we get even a little unlooked for taste of it now.

How is your son doing?
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« Last Edit: July 29, 2021, 12:01:16 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.
Healing and growing found here https://littleplotbythesea.wordpress.com

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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#133: July 29, 2021, 06:17:22 AM


xH actually pulled through in some form....

I take back everything I said... I really expected him to pull some sort of "look at me" thing that would just make it worse based on past performance...

Quote from: MourningDove
S came home and gave me a big hug and said that Xh admitted I texted him. Out of S's mouth came the words that he knew that had to be incredibly difficult for me to do. S wasn't mad at me and he knows that Xh's call to him might have been fluff, but it helped S know that I was worried about him and would do anything for him. S is struggling to make sense of something that is incredibly senseless.
Sure. S knows who has his back and who has a knife out for it... and that xH admitted that he called S because you texted him rather than trying to spin it to xH's advantage... actually giving you some credit...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#134: July 29, 2021, 11:24:01 AM
OffRoad, Treasur, & UrsaMajor -

When I was going through my divorce with my Xh, I learned that by telling the people that care about me, very clearly what I needed helped immensely. I did it in a manner which made it clear without hurting their feelings. It has worked pretty well for me and I apply the same concept to how I approach my response to others. I think this was something I have been much better at since BD - being able to ask for what I need or don't need and being more sensitive to other's needs. It is not fool proof and I am hardly some expert, but I find communicating what doesn't work for me and what does to those who know me well has been pretty successful.

I too was very surprised at Xh's response. It is not some miracle or anything along those lines but I was shocked he owned up to the fact that I contacted him to tell him. Mentioning my name and owning up to that had to leave a bitter taste in his mouth. And, I am not of the mind that this is somehow paving the way for Xh and I to try and have interactions. Knowing how it made me feel made me realize that is my quota for quite some time. I don't really need to be in contact with him again anytime soon if I can help it.

As for S. He is better. There are still a lot of unanswered questions and answers may never come. It is part of the acceptance. He has not heard from his friend, nor has anyone else. That is concerning, but there is nothing anyone can do about it. When S came home, he was tired and said he had wanted to work on his antique truck, but he was going to mow the lawn instead. I was working inside and decided to go outside as well. It was too nice to be inside for one. The other reason was the inside projects were more "sedate". That is, I needed to get rid of some of the tension and stress. I considered the pond project, but I really needed to do something more physical.

I started doing some weeding and that helped. I was disposing of the weeds, when I walked around the side of the house by the pergola. UGH. That garden has been so ignored over the years for a variety of reasons. No one else would really notice what it should look like. It has overgrown with what are now trees and beyond the sapling stage. It looks like I was trying to create a wall of trees. Thing is, that is not what I want. That pergola overlooks the orchard. D mentioned she would like to bury the dog's ashes at some point, and she feels the pergola garden is best, as that is near her favorite place in the lawn. She would spend hours playing fetch in that side of the yard and then rest at the top of the hill and then keep watch right near the pergola.

So, I abandoned my weeding out front. It is almost done, but not completely. I started pulling out the side garden weeds and then was going to attempt digging out the trees. I could have done that, except it would have taken hours. And cutting them down would have left so many roots and stumps to deal with. Besides it struck me. S and I, being very similar, I figured he would jump at my idea. I was betting he needed something more destructive, yet productive.

I called S over and told him it didn't have to happen that minute, but I wanted to rip the trees out. Now, these trees are not the variety I want to transplant. They are somewhat invasive and choke out other plantings. The few small maples that I found in between, I will transplant. S stopped mowing and smiled. He said he needed a project like that last night.

We spent a couple of hours working together. The only time we spoke to one another was to make sure the process was safe, that is the chain was secured and I was ready to step away. The trees came out one by one. After I dragged them down the property line, S went back to mowing and then I saw him pulling more trees out in other areas of the yard. I laughed. They were on a list we have discussed - changes we wanted made down the line. And S removed a post that I had covered with a bird bath only because Xh and FIL put this post in for who knows what reason in the lawn. It was never long enough to do anything with. I put the bird bath there so people wouldn't run into the stupid post. I got so I didn't ask Xh about the post and removing it - it was a very bad subject to bring up because apparently it was a project FIL directed. So, I quit asking. The bird bath is now going in a different place and the stupid post is gone. Bye bye.

S came in last night and seemed more settled. He went to bed early, but I sent him a funny clip I came across. It is something he, D and I do when they are at college. Sort of a way to say "hey - thinking about you" and send each other a laugh without having to have some deep conversation. He shot a text back from his room and told me he loved that particular clip. This morning he was already at work when he sent a link to that particular person's site and said I would like it a lot.

This is how S and I move forward. I am sure at some point he and I may have a deep discussion about it. But, we both operate pretty similarly and he, like me, is like my F in many ways. No, we are not carbon copies and have our own personalities, but we all seem to cope and roll with things in a similar fashion. We understand one another pretty well.

Now D and I - that is a more difficult one to navigate. We are insanely close, but really are wired so incredibly differently. D is my M and Xh mixed in a blender with a cup of my sister and perhaps a dash of myself. D knows it. S and I know it. And it is okay. My way is certainly not the only way and I just know with D, that I have to approach things very differently.

My sister and I were talking about how different her kids are, etc. It led to the discussion of when the kids were little. The parenting books would say to give a kid a time out. LMAO. Time out for S was cool with him. He would happily just sit, and probably ponder something. He used to like sitting for hours and just staring at the sky. Time outs were pretty ineffective. Now, take away his beloved tractor for awhile. OMG.

D on the other hand. She was a ball of high energy. Running in laps around the house. Time out for even 5 minutes was as if you sentenced her to prison for life. Just the threat of a time out would make her take notice.

The funny thing is in some ways they have switched. When D is stressed, she needs a time out and likes to curl up with George or she bakes. S, he needs that physical release and pondering would be awful. Of course, the situation was not about punishment. Now, if they ever do anything out of line, which is and has been so incredibly rare, all I have to say is "what would your grandparents think" and that would end that. The moral compass for my kids is set to "don't upset or disappoint your grandparents". Has worked pretty well so far.  ::) ;)
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#135: July 30, 2021, 01:51:13 AM
Ah, so a slight twist on the old saying - now it is "When GRANDmom ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy!"
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#136: July 30, 2021, 02:07:46 PM
UrsaMajor - Yes, that is the twist in our case. Nana rules. LOL. 

In truth, the reason that is the case is because the kids have always known who is in their corner. Xh, before crisis was. I have been there all along. And then we had people like Xh's B who is still around. Xh's sister's partner who for most of the kids' lives had been involved. My sister was more involved before she had her own family. But both kids know that she is always there if they need him. They list her as their alternate emergency contact instead of Xh. They did that on their own, and only asked my sister and I how we felt about it. It certainly was a shock and speaks volumes. They can't rely on my Xh.

But, my parents. They have been there since day one. Consistently. And when I was in the midst of pulling myself out of the BD pit, they were there for the kids. They helped just by being loving grandparents.

I am glad the kids have had those people in their lives. They have done things that I want to hang them by their toes for, but even in their worst moments, they have never disappointed me. I have heard S laugh and say that he didn't do something because he would pause and think about the "what if" scenario. When he had a motorcycle accident a couple of years back, he had put his helmet on right before taking a spin just up the road. I would get so angry with him, but he was an adult by then. He would sometimes ride around without it, but that day, he knew my M was home and if he rode by without it, she would be so upset. He came back, grateful to have had it on, since as it was he tore through his shirt and had road rash. His helmet took the brunt of the hit. His comment to me was he couldn't bare it if he ever made Nana cry.

If that is where the kids set their moral compass, it is okay with me. It bothered Xh once he went in crisis. I now know why. It is because my kids did not put his F on that type of pedestal. But why would they?

And it is funny. My parents have expressed moments of disappointment. They did not let the kids just run amok when they were little. There were rules. But there was a whole lot of laughter and fun times.

FIL, there were so few moments of joy. When he scolded the kids, it was always done in a harsh manner. He once told S he would never amount to anything. The kid was 13. It would be the moment I think the relationship I had with FIL drastically changed. I ripped into him and told him he could be disappointed in my kid, but if he ever uttered that type of sentiment again, his bags would be packed and he could leave.

The thing is, I realize that is probably what Xh encountered growing up. It was a shock to me because Xh never, ever uttered those types of things to the kids. He could be strict and had rules, but he was also pre MLC a really loving, supportive person. He was in fact a good role model.

It is so hard to look at the pictures of pre MLC XH and compare it with the man he has become. It makes no sense whatsoever.

Knowing that reality is what keeps me wanting to keep moving farther away from what is now. I will simply be grateful I had the pre MLCer as a coparent. I will never, ever say I did it alone. My kids are who they are because I was lucky to have someone there for a long time that was a good parent. I was equally lucky to have loving, supportive people who stepped in to pick up the slack.

So, if Nana is who the kids make sure is happy, so be it. LOL
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#137: July 31, 2021, 08:42:05 PM
D's birthday is tomorrow. For the past few weeks she has been all over the place about whether or not she wanted to even celebrate it. She was quite down about it and it is a milestone birthday. She turns 21.

I was two weeks late with D and slated to be induced on a Tuesday. D arrived on her own schedule, the night before. We always joke that D entered this world on her terms.

As fiery as D is, there is also a very soft, loving side. She shows affection, but I think quite often people see her stoic side and have no clue that there is a very thoughtful, kind young woman that feels very deeply. Throughout the years I have watched D be ferocious and on the flip side be the most compassionate person I know.

For the past couple of weeks D has struggled with this birthday. There was the reality knowing that Xh probably won't acknowledge it. She is aware of the end of support and on the one hand she is grateful it is ending, because she too, wants the threads cut. Yet, she said the other day that at least the support, even though mandated made Xh realize she existed. It is currently the last attachment she has with Xh. That has brought on some conflicting feelings.

I had tried to discuss having a party with her or doing something special and for the past couple of weeks when I have brought it up she has at times lashed out at me. I finally told her I was going to drop it, but explained it was not because I was going to forget or ignore the day. I told her for me, it is one of my happiest memories, bringing her into this world. But, I also informed her that I would respect whatever her choice was. If that meant she was going to wallow, while it was not what I would like for her, I would step back and let her deal with this on her own terms.

Last night, D said she has processed enough and has accepted what won't be happening. That is, she realizes that the dream that she could have a birthday where Xh possibly acknowledges her special day and there would be some rite of passage with her first legal drink, will not be happening. She laughed and said frankly, she could care less about that whole drink thing anyways. It is not a big deal to D in the first place.

So, D decided to spring on me the plans for the day. She would like to spend it with me and then later in the day S will join us. D would like to get up first thing in the morning and we will get coffee. Then it will be off to the farmer's market that she has been absolutely dying to go to. From there, lunch and then she wants to just meander. She has some ideas as to where and what direction, but basically, she just wants a day with me. Later, towards dinner time, she mentioned to S that she knew he rarely gets a day to himself, so she figured dinner would be nice.

I asked D about a cake. She has decided that she will let my parents, my sister and her family get a cake. My M will be thrilled and that will be nice for D to have a celebration of sorts with them on vacation.

I went out tonight to pick up some things and found a card, after a long search. One I picked up was really lovely, but I am so glad I read it carefully, as it said basically that always remember your parents love you. Yah, that would probably not have gone over terribly well.  ::)

Today, I found myself feeling the stress of this week, catch up to me. Both S and D mentioned things that need addressed. Tuition for both kids. D's car is in need of a repair. I am trying to finish up some projects and the bathroom is what I really want to get working on, but it hasn't been possible this week. When I went up to my parents to get their mail in, I happened to notice a bit of water on their kitchen floor. I found a small leak in the new plumbing. I know what probably happened, but it is not a fix that I was going to be able to address quickly. It is going to take a bit of doing because of where the leak is. It is not a big deal, but I could feel the pressure building. I am tired. I so wanted to just run away in that moment for a little while.

I decided to go pick up some supplies at the home improvement store, but because I needed to clear my head, I opted for the one near one of the malls. It was then I decided to hit the highway and as I merged into heavy traffic, I encountered something I have not ever had happen. A truck with young men in it who thought they would try and play games. They slowed down and tried to force me off to the side. I could feel myself just over it. I am not one to play road rage games or any games along those lines. I snuck in behind them and they slowed down more. As luck would have it a semi driver had seen what was going on and let me sneak in and then picked up speed so that I could pass the idiots. They were about to play chase but another semi decided to box them in. I could feel my blood just boil. WTF? I was grateful for the assistance, but I was not loving that experience.

I came home and wished I had stayed home and spent the evening on the back deck instead. I know part of my problem tonight was I really didn't want to be alone. D was at a graduation party and S had gone to help a friend. I usually like the break and having a bit of solitude. Tonight, I was craving company and for whatever reason, I felt incredibly alone. The drive tonight didn't help.

Hopefully a good night's sleep will help and a reset tomorrow.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#138: August 01, 2021, 07:02:17 PM
D and I had a somewhat slow start to our day out, as D was tired this morning. I frankly was happy not to have to rush out the door.

D was in a really good mood and happy to have my undivided attention. We were on our way to get coffee when her phone rang. It was Xh's B, BIL who D does keep in contact with. Things had been somewhat strained for awhile, back when BIL was desperate to help Xh and felt D was Xh's only hope. He and I had words over it and I made it clear at the time that I understood his perspective. He knows I would never, even in my angriest moments want anything bad to happen to Xh, but I am at a different stage than he is. I told him I didn't think it was fair of him to ask so much of D. She is not Xh's savior. And I did understand. It is hard watching someone you love spiraling out of control. But Xh doesn't want anyone's help, because he has it all under control in his own mind.

The phone call surprised me, as D lit up. She and BIL spoke for a very long time. There was no mention of Xh and for so long, BIL has thought of D as if she was his own D. They have been so close for so many years. It was after D hung up that she said she had been making a lot of efforts to communicate with her uncle and that they have come to an unspoken understanding. BIL seems to see that it is not D that is the problem and she has attempted to reach out to Xh many times.

D needed to hear from BIL by phone as opposed to text. That small gesture from someone on Xh's side of the family was a huge thing for D.

We stopped and got coffee and then drove around for awhile. There was no pressure and at one point S called and mentioned he had an email regarding his college housing. I was quick to answer S and I told D the same thing, as she started to discuss the impending tuition deadlines. I cut them both off. I don't do well without numbers in front of me. Not when it comes to these types of decisions that require looking at the amounts and due dates. So, I told them since it was not going to be decided today, I did not want to hear any more about the college deadlines, at least not while I couldn't see the data in front of me. D started to balk but then agreed that it didn't make sense to somehow discuss it right then and there.

We met D's BF and his family for lunch. D ordered her first legal drink and opened a ton of gifts from BF and his family. They always go way overboard. D's BF's mom loves buying for D, as she has 3 boys. She says it gives her an excuse to buy for a girl.

D's BF's brother and GF had plans afterwards, so we decided after dropping them off that we would go to a cidery and check them out. Last night, D had asked S about joining us later today, so I swung by and picked him up and we all went out. S was invited to a wedding last minute and he was more than happy to get out of that. Besides, he was happy to spend the time with D and I.

It made for a fun afternoon. They had large games available to play and fire pits you could sit around. There were several rounds of Connect Four that occurred and we sat outside on the deck just enjoying the air. It was then that S asked wasn't the cidery where Xh and I got married. It wasn't a cidery then. It had been a restaurant that they knocked down and the cidery is built on the same spot. He asked if I was okay. I paused and laughed. Yah, it was fine. The only thing I had noted when we drove in was that the driveway hasn't changed at all. It always had this sharp turn at the bottom of the hill which if you don't know is there, you end up driving on the lawn. Aside from that, it looks nothing like it once did. Sort of like my life now compared to back then.

S mentioned that he never really had a 21st birthday bash. He is right. Aside from going out with Xh, it was not something at the time that S really wanted. Everyone was having a great time and just laughing. It was not a party where the objective was to get drunk. I made the decision to be the designated driver and simply told them to not get sick. They all laughed. They had no desire to go that route. But, they did want to go to another place. It is funny. It wasn't a traditional bar. They decided on a brewery on one of the lakes. So, off we went to a brewery. S proclaimed it was a bit more high class than an actual bar crawl.

The thing that has made me smile is no one in our group was pounding down drinks. We sat around and laughed all afternoon and D was just loving having her big B there. Of course, they were in full velociraptor mode by then and I put up with it willingly.

As we made our way home, I loved hearing the laughter in the car. S, D and D's BF were with me. S's GF had gone to this wedding and still isn't back. It was easy to enjoy the simple laughter. They shared funny stories and observations. It was fun.

I didn't ask D if Xh called or texted. I am certain I know the answer.

At one point my sister called me to ask about what flavor cake D likes. Her kids want to bake a cake for D for Tuesday night when D and her BF will be arriving at the cottage. My sister asked if I was going to be able to come up. I could feel my whole body tense up. IDK.

I am struck right now with this strange feeling. I want to go, but I don't feel I really deserve a vacation. I know it makes little sense. I have so much I need to do and am responsible for. And part of me is having a hard time because of something that snuck up on me. I was told so many times by Xh during MLC that I didn't deserve to go away. Or he would tell me I could go when I could afford to pay for it on my own. And on and on. This was such a departure from what had been.

Xh and I always had a joint account for household expenses. We had separate accounts as well for our own use, but before MLC, there weren't arguments about vacations, etc. We would discuss whether or not we could swing it. Xh knew I often made less because I was the one at home with the kids more and was only teaching part time. We decided that together and when I dropped down to part time, that was my job - being at home managing things at home. Xh knew that I kept things afloat at home so he could build his business up. He would pitch in at home when he could, but he knew I wasn't sitting home watching soap operas. He came home to a meal and laundry was done, etc. I took the cars in for maintenance. There was a partnership. All of that just went down the drain when FIL entered into the mix and MLC set in.

It would be then that Xh would go on vacations he really could no longer afford. He would use up our savings and I allowed it because I was told that he deserved it.

And, I had plans recently, pre Covid to go to Europe. I didn't have the same feeling I am having at the moment. That trip, I never once felt like I didn't deserve it. IDK what is prompting this. In some ways it is because I haven't really worked in months. I have been living off of my savings and for whatever reason this weird mental thing is going on today. Strangely, I probably deserve a vacation more now than I have in years. It has been easily 8 or more years since I have had a real break. Sure, I have days I take, but a vacation - huh. I am not sure what that even looks like. The truth is, I am not really terribly upset by it at the moment, but what has me mildly confused is, I don't think I deserve to go away even over night. I have too much that falls on my shoulders right now. And, this feeling is pissing me off, TBH. I shouldn't feel guilty for going away for more than an afternoon.

I will work through this nonsense in my head. It doesn't mean I will end up going this week to the cottage. I am not entirely sure I want to go anyways with all of the people going. But, I am going to try and figure out somewhere to escape to at some point soon - even for a day or overnight. I do know that I need to shake free of this feeling of not deserving things because it is messing with my head a little more tonight. It could easily migrate to not deserving other things like love and moving on with my life. Stupid, really stupid thoughts. LOL
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#139: August 02, 2021, 10:51:57 AM
I find it fascinating that some people feel the need to express their opinions all the time about things they don't really understand or when they don't really know you. I don't mean little things either. Just giving you advice or their view, unsolicited and they often just want to be heard. Most times I roll with it. Other times I find it not only makes me want to just walk away, but I begin to feel as though these people just think their way is right all the time.

I lived with FIL and he was like that. So, maybe it is my issue. I don't respond well to that type of interaction. And I don't even like it when it isn't directed at me. In fact, it probably upsets me more when it is directed at someone I care about.

And, I doesn't mean I don't appreciate outside views or a differing perspective. That is often helpful. This is a situation where someone makes statements about what someone should do or not, when they are just basing it on their own experience which happens to be nothing like your own or someone else's.

Or sometimes people like to project their own situation continually onto others. The "from my experience" is only helpful, in my opinion, when it somehow reflects your experience or maybe is just in conversation.

It is much like someone giving me advice about how they handled things and they fought their X. So much so, that both kids moved in with the X. Now, maybe it was manipulation. IDK. But, in those cases I must admit, I have to pause and wonder why the kids chose to go with the X. Hmmm. And, no judgement, as much as I do stop to ask myself is this really the advice I want to listen to unless I know more about the dynamic?

It is something that has been rolling in my head a little today. The need for some people to make sure you know how they feel, no matter what.

FIL was an expert in this arena. No matter what you were doing, he had an opinion or his way was better. And it was never advice that was "gosh, I tried it this way and that didn't work out well". There was never an admission of ever failing. So, when he would give Xh marital advice I had to laugh. Hmmm, let's see. FIL left wife No 1 for a belief that he was going to be some hot stud after being married for 25 years and left MIL. Yah, that screams MLC, I know. He hooked up with some OW for awhile and that didn't work and then found a younger woman, who became his 2nd W. And, XH and I liked her very much. She was actually good for him. But, after another 25 years of trying that out, he figured he would move on again. But, strangely, he also did admit he never should have left MIL in the first place because they could have been enjoying retirement together as opposed to him being alone in the end. Yet, even in that admission, he phrased it he wished they could have worked things out. Hmmm. The "we" part always fascinated me.

FIL's advice was always about how great of a husband he was and how we should approach our marriage. Of course this was when MLC hit, so that is even more amusing in the grand scheme. Yah, advice from a man who left 2 wives giving the MLCer basically a playbook on how to go about repeating the same nonsense. LOL

I think because of my time with FIL, I am more sensitive to these outside opinions. And, again, this is not about someone critiquing something or making a suggestion. It is often in the approach. Basically those people who like to infer they have it all figured out and point out you did something wrong or should do something because, well that is how it should be.

Life is not that simple. Not every situation can be solved in the same manner. And, sometimes people should really just keep their mouths shut if they don't really know the full dynamic. It is not helpful at all. In fact, sometimes it creates stress for the other person.

IDK maybe I am just in a very odd mood today. Part of me is feeling stretched like a rubber band today. The question is will I snap back into shape after the day is done, or just break from the pulling.

I have been on the phone this entire day. Paying bills and chasing down clarification on health insurance and college payments, etc. The kids have been helping out, but most of the fine details are falling on me.

Maybe I am just not in the frame of mind to accept these little advice nuggets that I would frankly like to be able to pick up like a nut and bean that person. Again, it is fortunate that these visuals only occur in my twisted head and make me laugh.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#140: August 03, 2021, 02:08:12 AM
Quote from: MourningDove
Maybe I am just not in the frame of mind to accept these little advice nuggets that I would frankly like to be able to pick up like a nut and bean that person. Again, it is fortunate that these visuals only occur in my twisted head and make me laugh.

On the way to Hades...

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#141: August 03, 2021, 08:41:45 AM
Oh, UrsaMajor. ::) Yes, I know. Pack my bags. LOL

Painting was a struggle last night. I forced myself to go and I did enjoy the company, but my heart wasn't in it. At all. I couldn't seem to find a rhythm or place where I felt myself relaxing into the process. I would have even settled into something being a challenge. Others told me how good things looked and gave me some helpful input, but I know from the color choices and strokes that my heart was not in it, at all.

I knew it was going to happen. That there would be the after birthday let down for D. The reality that Xh just ignored her birthday. Just before going out the door to my group, D's moment hit.

And, it didn't help that both S and D have big deadlines to deal with for college. Decisions need to be made that impact all of us, so it is not something that I can step away from completely.

Last night, it was a text that came in that at least lifted some of the stress for me. It was not the content of the discussion as much as who it was from.

This morning, D had an epic meltdown. She was a mess. It didn't help that her BF's M bought a ton of clothes for D. D was so upset because she felt bad that nothing fit D properly. She is so slender, but has curves, so finding things that fit is tough. And her BF's M was so excited. D didn't want to offend her nor upset her. And, D is frustrated with how hard it is to find clothes now. I have been trying to convince her that she just needs to get things tailored.

The truth was, none of it was about the gifts. I knew that. She knew that. So, after a good cry she let the mood pass.

When she left, I just wanted to fall apart. I am angry with Xh right now. It will pass. The blame will go away because it doesn't do any good to focus on blame. I don't have the energy to put there. I can't afford to expend that energy.

The little thought of going to visit my family this week at the cottage has completely left my head. I have absolutely no desire to go. I would enjoy myself, I am sure. I need a break. I need a vacation from it all and the best way to make that happen is for me to stay home and focus on things I want to do.

This morning, after D left, I decided to take advantage of the good weather. I am going to spend a good part of the day outside and just let go of my anger and embrace the sunshine.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#142: August 03, 2021, 10:55:24 AM
Poor D. Here her BF's mother, a person she has only known as long as BF, is lavishing gifts upon her and her own father cannot acknowledge her birthday. That has to be really hard.

Maybe your vacation is everyone else being gone so you can do your own thing. Sometimes that is mine.  ;D
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#143: August 03, 2021, 12:53:35 PM
OffRoad - it is what makes it difficult to not harbor some anger towards Xh. Her pain is tough to witness and there is so little I can do for her. I suppose it is much like other people witnessed when I was falling apart.

D is not a person who wants gifts. She, like me is all about the thought behind things. She is always thinking of others, and she knew that her BF's M loves buying things. His mom was truly excited to have found these things for D. D felt bad, because she knew how much effort his mom put into picking these things out. She even felt bad when her BF picked up the wrong size shoes that he knew she wanted. He knows her size, but he grabbed the wrong box, which was a half size too small. He was not upset, but D felt horrible that he was so thoughtful and he had to exchange them. He laughed about it and said it gave him an excuse to stop at the creamery nearby.

The time away will be good for D. She overheard the conversation on the phone about the surprise my niece and nephew have for her when she arrives. My sister had called and D couldn't hear her, but when my niece and nephew yelled in the background in sheer excitement, D heard enough to know that they were baking her a cake. D laughed and said she would act surprised for their sake. And, D is looking forward to the morning routine with my parents. When they are on vacation they get up and walk to the local bakery for coffee and a donut. Once they get home, my M will reinstate the only one donut a week rule for my F. LOL.

I am looking forward to the quiet. I would love to get away, but not having the extra pressure is helping my mood. I have more than enough to do, and there is still pressure, but it is different.

S is at a trade show for work. I don't expect him home until much later. I have to pick up his GF at work, but beyond that, it has been a nice change of pace.

My former coworker stopped by this afternoon when he saw me outside doing some weeding. His S had his birthday last week and was supposed to be with his M this weekend. She had promised the kid, who turned 5, a birthday party and to take him to an amusement park. But, no. Instead she opted to go to a major city because she wanted to go out with friends. Needless to say, my former coworker was not pleased and the kid was heartbroken. And, it made me think. At least D, knows Xh is messed up and can process a little. It still hurts, but how does a 5 year old process that BS at all? That is not to diminish D's pain at all. Just realizing that D was able to move past it. This little boy, he can't work through it in the same manner.

I had dirt on my forehead that must have been from when I had tried to push away a strand of hair. He started laughing at me when I saw my reflection in his sunglasses. I joked that this was my vacation today. I was doing laundry, paying bills and weeding. And, I was wearing my best outfit - you know the whole sexy ensemble of cutoffs and a t-shirt. He laughed at me and said that I had no idea how sexy a woman who pays her bills, does laundry and does lawn work really is. Oh, and she shows up for the people she loves.

It made me think a bit. Xh used to like that about me. Funny, he picked an OW who was more like the GF before Xh met me. Sure OW, she had a job and was good at her job, it seems. But, she spent her time doing yoga and making herself look good all the time. It was a tough act to follow, I must admit in terms of she never seemed to have a hair out of place. Her H paid the bills and had a cleaning service for the house. He did the lawn work and since he was retired he did the laundry. Prior to that she paid a laundry service. He paid for her car and pretty much all of her paycheck went to whatever she wanted. I guess, good for her.

I sort of chuckled to myself. Good luck with that Xh. But, then, since she is still with her H, maybe it works for the two of them. I don't even know if Xh is with her or not, and I don't particularly care.

I think what the comment made me think about was just that perhaps OW can be whoever she wants to be. I am okay being a responsible woman who, yes, may not like doing laundry and some of the chores, but I do them. It may not be "sexy" like OW deems sexy, but so be it.

IDK, I think what became just so clear today was that at one point, when life was crumbling around me, I thought OW was somehow better than me. And the words Xh said to me about a man never finding me desirable hung over me for a long time. Today, I laughed a little and thought maybe that is just it. When Xh became more and more materialistic in MLC, I lost interest in reconciling as well. It is among the attributes I no longer like about him. And, he always had a tendency to be high maintenance. I was okay with it.

That doesn't mean I would be okay with someone who didn't care about themselves or was slovenly or somehow lazy. That won't fly, but at the end of the day, I find that some of the attributes I am finding more and more appealing are those things like someone who you know is reliable and does care about things beyond what car they drive or material things. And someone with a little dirt on their forehead after working outside or some sweat, is in fact way sexier than someone who is perfect on the outside all the time.
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« Last Edit: August 03, 2021, 12:56:20 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#144: August 03, 2021, 06:01:49 PM
D just contacted me via FaceTime. I really hate that method of communication when they are in the mountains. The delay drives me crazy and not only that, everyone tends to walk around and half the time I am being passed off and looking at the ceiling or the floor while in transport. But, I was able to see the cake, which is lovely. They didn't have a great candle selection at the country store, so my sister improvised and found a number 2 and a single candle. D was laughing at the mix.

My nephew took me for a tour via phone of the cottage. I have seen pictures over the years, but I indulged him in his enthusiastic tour.

All was good. I needed to check on my parent's house and get their mail and messages. I had been there early this morning and watered the flowers. I decided to walk the rest of the way up the road and decompress. It was a good thing I was paying attention. On the way up, I had to stop abruptly as a skunk crossed in front of me. Cute, but I figured it had the right of way.  ::) I didn't stop to get a picture even though I don't think I have ever been that close to a skunk. When I came back through I was enjoying the sun starting to set and then at the creek bed, a large water snake, non-venomous, as there aren't too many venomous snakes in our area, fortunately was slithering along. Yah, I gave it the right of way as well. Snakes and I have an understanding. We can coexist as long as there is some distance between us. And, I can appreciate their scales and how they glisten, etc. but I will admire from afar. LOL

I had a busy afternoon. S and I worked on his college paperwork and gathered up things like health insurance cards and made copies so that we don't get stuck paying that additional fee. I need to help him look over the paperwork and see what he can eliminate. They don't make it easy for the average person and because of my knowledge of college administration, I know where we can cut stupid fees that don't apply. But, other things, I don't get too involved in. S and D are very capable of handling things on their own and only ask me to step in if all else fails. They pull the "college professor" card out if they need me to make a call when something is out of whack. And, I was prepared to make that call today if things had gone differently.

S had put in paperwork to get a class override. He needs credits to graduate and the one class he needs is not being offered in the fall this year. It is a required course, but there are ways around it. Be it taking it at a different college, etc. Not always, but due to this keeping him from graduating over 2 credits is ridiculous. He needed a waiver to replace it with a different class. It had been decided last spring that he would be able to substitute being a teacher's assistant in one of the classes that he has already taken in order full fill this. It had been signed off on, but it would seem the paperwork never was filed by one of the professors. I wasn't planning on getting involved unless it became an issue. And, I know what buttons to push in those cases. Buzz words that they don't like to hear.  ::)

But, I was proud of S, as he happened to tell me he ran into the chair of the department at the trade show. This man has been his mentor for the internship. S said he had already emailed the other professor and hadn't heard a thing back or was told it wasn't happening. So, he approached the chair person and asked if when he had some free time could they discuss the fall semester. S has been impressing the mentor as it is and he explained the scenario. The chairperson pulled up his emails and found the original emails and said he did recall this and he would make it happen because it had been signed off on in the spring for the fall semester. He admitted the fault was on their end.

The thing is S is USUALLY reasonable. But, sometimes he is beyond stubborn. He has been listening to so many sources and he has a huge fear of needles. No one would ever believe it as he has such a high pain threshold. D, who studies immunology as part of her curriculum had worked all semester learning about different vaccines, etc. The data and she is very logical and neutral about how she approaches her scientific research, etc. She goes on facts, and outcomes. And, she does understand variables, etc. She begged S to get the Covid vaccine. Nope. My M and F have asked him. S was just digging his heels in deeper. I kept telling all of them to back off and he would eventually think it through.

I don't nag all that often. It is not in my wheelhouse. I have plenty of other faults, but nagging isn't at the top of the list. It is rare. And with S, I know that doesn't work, just as it doesn't work with me. I know when I get nagged, I tend to shut down and not want to do it. It is stupid, I know. It is not something I do consciously. I catch myself doing it. And, I don't mean someone reminding me about something. I mean truly being nagged is when I go into that mode. And, I own it. S is no different in that regard.

D and I have both been vaccinated for quite some time. I went as soon as I could after my surgery. D went when they opened up her age bracket. S was hellbent on not going at all. And, I warned him that schools were probably going to mandate it. Now, to be clear, he was very dedicated to wearing the mask and was incredibly contentious about distancing and the like. He was very concerned, if for no other reason about being able to transmit it to people like my parents or others.

Xh's answer to this whole mess I found out made me just shake my head. Of course he would encourage this one - he told S that he should just quit school if they are making him do something. I lost it. I went down the list of immunizations he had that were mandated for years before. And, S knows. I am not one to push meds or unnecessary things, but considering things are gearing up yet again, I said at this rate we could see shutdowns if the cases erupt. And, sure there are those who may debate this. I told S that if he wants life to go back to any sense of normal and do things like travel to other countries this is what it may take. He agreed that was true. I asked him how he felt about dropping out. He looked at me as if I had sprouted 3 additional heads and said that would be a stupid thing to do when he is so close to being finished.

I know S is an adult and I am okay with him being an adult. I know there are those who would tell me I should have kicked him out for not abiding by my rules. I am sure there are those who could argue all sorts of ways. The thing that has struck me is I don't want to somehow make my kid not have a voice of his own, but I also want to be there to guide him when I can. Had I pushed him many months ago and forced some issues differently, he might have ended up moving in with Xh. Had that happened, I would have had a kid who was being lead around by the nose by a MLCer who is behaving like a middle schooler with unlimited access to credit cards.

I can help him navigate that final step through college and that is what I had promised both kids from the moment this MLC mayhem set in. But, had things been different, I don't know that I would have had the same influence and ability to motivate and give that input. And, I haven't prevented Xh from being involved. That, he chose on his own.

I am frankly exhausted after that whole mini-battle. I told S I would meet him at his appointment and joked I would get him a sticker and a lollipop afterwards. He laughed as he used to love that whole bit at when he went to the pediatrician. He smiled and said stickers are still cool, but could he have something like ice cream or something more adult. I then said I would see if I could find him a Blow Pop, which made him laugh. He said that was always the best.

The thing I struggled with was I don't ever want my kids or anyone else think I am trying to manipulate them. Games that involve people are not something I enjoy. I mentioned it to my sister and she said I didn't manipulate him, I was very clear in my approach. When the conversation came up, he ran the scenarios and I gave him the pros and cons. Sure, I hoped he would choose what I was praying for, but I was prepared to accept his decision if it was any other way.

I am angry with Xh's response, but not surprised. The MLC version would encourage that scenario because that is who the MLC Xh is now. FIL 2.0.  ::)
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#145: August 04, 2021, 05:46:24 AM
I am angry with Xh's response, but not surprised. The MLC version would encourage that scenario because that is who the MLC Xh is now. FIL 2.0.  ::)

Or GWPWELVF.....



Yeah... Just quit / drop out... That way xH has even MORE reasons to justify him not holding up his end of the decree re: college tuition... what an a$$hat...
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#146: August 04, 2021, 06:52:59 AM
UrsaMajor - I had the same thought regarding the financial aspect. I don't know where Xh stands on the vaccine itself, nor do I care from the standpoint that I can't change how he views things and don't want to beat my head against a wall.

As far as S was concerned, some of the things we discussed were the different scenarios. Dropping out was part of the discussion and S already knows of 2 friends who didn't finish their degree - one who only lacks one class and how it has impacted their careers. And, S knows a degree doesn't necessarily matter in some regards in the field he is going into. He could survive as a mechanic and do quite well without the upper level degree. The thing is, S knows that is not what he wants to do full time. He realized working on heavy machinery is fun for him, but it is not easy on the body. He stated that he hurts now at 23, what will he be like at 50? And, he likes coming home and working on his own projects which after putting in 50-60 hours a week of manual labor, he is just too physically exhausted to do work on his trucks and tractors.

But in this conversation last night S also weighed his fear of needles against what he is really finding he wants to do. S has been doing more management and training. He laughed and tried to explain what he has discovered about himself. It made me laugh because I told him I completely understood. More than he realizes.

S has very good people skills and likes helping people, but he is not a social person. That is, he is not one to go to parties nor does he like crowds. He is very much an inner circle person and an extroverted introvert. Yet, like my F and I, S is very good at teaching people. This month his internship has allowed him to go on service calls and to manage schedules, etc. S managed the schedules for repairs when the service manager was out and S is really good at it. He worked with the techs to discuss what was going on with certain projects and worked with customers to make things work. And, the service manager is going to be promoted soon. It was when S came home last night, he mentioned he met the regional manager and S is liking the idea of moving in that direction for a variety of reasons. Part of it was S loved working at the trade show. S, when he is in his element is incredibly comfortable and that shyness disappears. He truly enjoyed himself and the regional manager took notice.

Why this was important to the overall conversation regarding the vaccine was S said that he realizes if he wants to work with people more in that capacity, he is going to have to face his fear of needles and get this vaccine. And, then with school starting, he cannot afford to mess that up.

The problem has been most people have approached it with the "it doesn't hurt" conversation. That is not S's issue. He has a high tolerance for pain. It stems from a bad experience when he was a child, when an attending pediatric doctor, not our normal doctor called in the nurse to help hold S down when he needed a shot. S was upset and his normal pediatrician would have calmed him down first. This was a routine shot, nothing necessary right then and there. It traumatized him and after that he has always had a trigger. And, I was no help. I have my own issues with needles, and have to fight through the fear, but I have been able to work through it.

S has gotten better. In part, he said last night that he watches his GF now have to inject insulin on a regular basis to control her Diabetes. She has adjusted her diet, but her numbers jump significantly throughout the day. Last week, S had to help her and give her a shot. I laughed and told his GF he must really love her. I don't know how he managed to get through that. Last night, S mentioned that he shouldn't complain and it is not the same as what his GF is dealing with, so he should just get it over with. 

S said to me this morning that he realized I was not trying to make him do something, but was trying to help him sort out his fear from the realities of the situation. He could have continued to go to school without the vaccine, but he would have had to commute 4 days a week, driving 3 hours one way each time. That is insane. Or he could have tried to stay in a hotel overnight, but that might change and frankly, where he goes to school there aren't many options for hotels. Getting an apartment for the semester would mean he would have to deal with finding a sublet for the spring and he likes his current housing situation. In all of his pros and cons list, there were very few reasons not to get this vaccine. That is what made him stop and say it had to happen.

What upset me the most is Xh's quick response to just drop out of school. Oh, sure he tried to spin it as "just for one semester" but he and I both know that is so difficult to return after you have been away. And, I am jaded. I highly doubt Xh meant for just the semester.  ::)
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« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 06:54:13 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#147: August 06, 2021, 10:08:25 AM
D and I went out early this morning to run some errands before I had to go to work. We had a nice morning and on the way home, I decided to take the more scenic route. D was chatting away, telling me about her time with my parents and sister's family. She was in a really good mood.

We stopped and picked up coffee and as we neared home, her mood began to change. We passed Xh on his way to somewhere. Well, that did it. UGH

It made me angry, quite frankly. I had to finish getting ready for work and D was having a meltdown, which was understandable. She is still learning to deal with the triggers, just as I had to and still have to work through from time to time. What upset me was that I am left having to deal with the aftermath and the timing, as it often is, was just so off. I didn't have time to deal with it. And, that is when I became angry.

The fact is, no time is a good time for triggers, but when they occur when you have other obligations it heightens the experience. People are on vacation at the gallery, so we are stretched. I couldn't be late and I had no one who could step in even for a short time. And then there was D, standing in the kitchen, just sobbing. That made me angry. Not D's reaction, but the fact that because of Xh, and yes this is his fault - he failed to even acknowledge her birthday because of his crisis or whatever anyone wants to call it, and she is hurting. I was upset because I couldn't drop everything and console her. I had to leave her to work through this on her own and I know how this feels. Been there.

D knows she can reach out to me during the day. She is not alone in that sense.

On my way to work, I thought about all the times I felt so completely alone, because in RL there were so few people who truly understood what I was trying to navigate. The shock, the feelings of being ignored. The feeling of being ignored and dismissed is something I still struggle with. Being ignored or dismissed is almost worse than some of the nasty words that passed Xh's lips. Those I shook off easier than feeling like I didn't matter. I cannot imagine how D feels.

I worked through the anger with Xh on my drive in. There is nothing that I can do about it other than to be there for D. I can't fix it in any way. But, it puts immense pressure on me and I am frankly a little worn out. The break from my family this week has helped, but I am in desperate need of a true vacation, where I am not the one watching my parent's house and making sure everyone else is taken care of - like the kids and lining up those college things that actually affect me.

There are moments in my anger that I really wonder when do I get to have my own life? And that sounds so incredibly selfish. I love my family and my kids, but I am so tired of being the one that has to help clean up the Xh mess. This week alone dealing with S and making sure he is on track to graduate. I have already accepted that I will yet again be the one helping him move into his apartment. And, I am okay with that on a certain level, because those are memories that S and I will always have. But, I am not going to pretend it doesn't bug me.

And then there is D. This birthday was a big one for her. She told my parents and sister how much she loved spending the day with S and I for her special day. And she had a fantastic few days at the cottage. She was really very happy. Then this. It is just maddening.

But, life has a way of kicking us back in line. My complaints are just that - complaints. S happened to call, quite upset. It seems my neighbor, the woman who has early onset dementia, was driving her car and backed into a tree in their yard. She didn't just dent the vehicle, she did significant damage. I realized in that moment so many things. One, I know she is at least aware in the moment that she is dealing with this dementia - she knows the prognosis. It has to be scary. But then there is also the other aspect that puts my problems in perspective. Her family will help, but it is very clear where the bulk of the responsibility will fall and that is on her adoring H. And, I know this is killing him.

In typical form, her H, he didn't get angry about the damage to the vehicle - and it is a relatively new vehicle, because he realizes that she is not well. S said there is about $2K worth of damage easily. Luckily it is drivable. But, the bigger issue is how is this man going to keep her from going places? And it will get to a point where she will need someone to be with her all the time. His job changed and he is on the road most of the time. I know there are options, but I imagine all of this hitting now, the reality that now she won't be able to drive anywhere is just the beginning. It means that things are progressing and that can't be easy.

I will count my blessings. I will work through my own stress and just focus on what I do have and try to get D to do the same.
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« Last Edit: August 06, 2021, 10:11:42 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#148: August 08, 2021, 12:08:16 PM
It is funny what conversations come out of a totally non-related conversation. Or perhaps how things sometimes migrate from a topic.

S was gone from 6 am to nearly 11 pm last night. He, his GF and a friend of theirs had gone to a truck show several hours away. When the mail arrived there was a piece of mail that came addressed to him and I put it in my normal spot for his mail, but I must admit I was rather curious considering the return address. But, it was not mine to open, so I left it for him.

This morning, S came to me with the contents of the envelope. It was from, supposedly a private investigation firm that tracks unclaimed funds. Luckily, S was a bit apprehensive as it was addressed to him and it is in regards to FIL. I said right away that the information they are mentioning all line up, but we could track the unclaimed funds in a different manner to make sure this was first of all legit. I also explained that one should not have to pay another agency to claim these particular funds. And finally, it is rather curious since it was addressed to S. The information regarding FIL didn't concern me, as it had been his mailing address for years. Now, of course, Xh was, I believe had some executive power with FIL's estate, but he doesn't exactly show up on the radar for mailing addresses - at least that I know of.  ::) So, I recommended to S that he contact his F and let him know about the letter. I told S that is entirely possible that FIL left some money with S and maybe other grandchildren as a beneficiary on an insurance policy, etc. It does happen. But, either way, he might want to ask XH or go to his uncle, who I know was involved in the estate and I trust him implicitly. BIL would know what to do and would be on the up and up.

Later S mentioned he had tried to reach out to BIL, but he is traveling for work. He decided not to contact Xh right now, as he is keenly aware how anything with FIL brings on a trigger and that is never fun. S mentioned Xh was learning how to hand pinstripe his motorcycle. And, this is where the conversation completely migrated.

My response to S's comment about learning how to pinstripe I think shocked him. I told him that I was sure Xh was very good at it, as he was incredibly talented and capable of that type of hand-eye coordination. And, that is not a lie. In spite of the MLC repairs in the house that are all from the crisis time period, Xh's handiwork was meticulous and he had amazing hand skills when it came to detailing things. I will never say otherwise. S paused and asked if I wanted to see the pictures. I said I would look at them. And, they are no surprise to me at all. They are incredibly well done.

When I commented that Xh has always had that capability and he used to send me love letters when we were dating and he used to design elaborate envelopes, with hand-lettering that looked like they were computer generated, I really am not surprised that he can do pin striping. S stopped and laughed. He didn't have to say a thing. I said that yes, Xh used to write me beautiful, heartfelt love letters before the crazy years. I wasn't always the devil I became in his eyes. S shook his head and  just sighed, saying that Xh certainly has changed.

S asked if I still had the letters. I had to think and then said, I didn't think so. I have one envelope without the letter inside because I used to have it hanging up in my art studio space, but it is not on the walls now, but I don't think I threw it out. It is probably in some box with old photos. But the letters, I realized I don't have because it was Xh who kept every bit of correspondence in a box. It was the box that he came back and retrieved after the divorce. I didn't tell S that, I simply said I don't have them anymore that I know of.

For whatever reason, S started talking about how life was so different and how Xh and I loved spending time together, but we also let each other do our own thing. I asked him why this came up. He said he was thinking about the pin striping project. I would have been interested enough in it to at least ask about it, but I would have left Xh to his own devices. Last night, when I had gone to a garden party at a friend's house, pre MLC Xh would have been happy that I was going to spend time with my friends. We let each other have independent interests that we supported. We didn't have to be together all the time. And, I won't say that it didn't mean there weren't disagreements some times where perhaps we had different ideas about what should happen on say a weekend, or we had to compromise, but for a long time, we liked that each of us had passions that we could cheer on or share.

That changed so dramatically as time went on and FIL moved in and the MLC entered into the mix. It has been hard for me to let go of the guilt when I want to do something on my own. The garden party, while it is not my thing - that is parties in general, I wanted to see this friend and it was a small gathering. It was relaxing. I had to convince myself it was okay to take time for myself and I don't have anyone to answer to, except the kids at this point, and neither of them were home.

Last night some of the women were grumbling about their spouses and how their spouses liked to do things they didn't. My friend and I are very similar and we both asked if the issue was these likes were an obsession for these guys, like a situation where he only does what he wants type of thing or what. Nope. This was all about how they should spend all of their time together when they have it. I didn't say anymore and after everyone left, I stayed to help my friend clean up the decorations and we both laughed about it saying that clearly we are not normal.

Last weekend, my friend had gone to a car show with her H. She is not a car fanatic, but he wanted to go out and she likes going places with him and sharing in his interests. She said likes seeing him get all excited about things and sharing in his enthusiasm, but she doesn't always go to every show. She lets him go do things on his own, just as he lets her host garden parties and have her things. But they spend time together all the time. They make time.

S and I continued our conversation a short time ago and it was about how his GF likes many of the same things he does, but she has her own interests that he would like her to nurture. It also brought up the fact that he is aware that she often does what he wants to without complaint and he needs to sometimes (his evaluation - not mine) think about things she likes that maybe he should make an effort to do. I laughed and reminded him of something she has been wanting to do and last year with Covid it was not an option. The year before it rained the entire time the event was going on. So, S said this year he will have to make sure he takes his GF to go to take the wagon rides through the sunflower fields.

It got me thinking about relationships in general. I know some people who spend every hour together and are blissfully happy. I know others who spend no time together or minimal time together and are happy living that way. Of course there are those who are just unhappy with their dynamic and would grumble anyways. I began to think maybe I am just weird. But, after taking to another friend of mine and my sister, I realized that it is okay to be like I am.

I want to love spending time with someone, but I don't want to feel suffocated, nor would I like someone who didn't have their own interests. I want someone to have their own passions and at the end of the day, I want them to want to spend time with me, but I don't ever want anyone to just give up all of their interests nor would I want them to ask me to do the same. There has to be some balance in the mix.
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Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#149: August 08, 2021, 01:09:52 PM
I completely agree.  Balance is good.
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Re: Every Storm Runs Out of Rain - 6
#150: August 09, 2021, 09:11:15 AM
Thanks FaithWalker.  :)

IDK, sometimes when you go to these types of events, like garden parties where people feel the need to share conversations about their spouses, it has always made me feel uncomfortable. It is not like on occasion I didn't grumble to someone about my Xh, because that would make me a liar. But, I tried so very hard to not somehow disrespect Xh in any way.

The complaints I had before MLC really were amusing. They were no different than Xh had about me, that is we operated differently. The one that thing that got so it drove me nuts was Xh would get ready in the morning he would bring his ironed shirt downstairs and hang it on the back of the bathroom door. He would have his coffee and then put his button down shirt on and would leave the hanger. I would have to remove the hanger every day and would take it upstairs. And the thing is, there is a closet right outside of the bathroom where the hanger and the shirt for that matter could have hung. I asked him if he could start hanging it on the hook in the closet instead of the bathroom, because the hanger was in an awkward place on that bathroom door. The kids would be scrambling to get to school and the hanger would somehow get caught on them. Every day, I would end up being the one that moved the hanger. It annoyed me. It wasn't a big thing. I even got so I left every hanger on the door as they accumulated to see if Xh noticed. He didn't but when I mentioned it to him, he swore he was the one that put them in the closet or removed them from the bathroom door.

It really was such a ridiculous thing and we didn't argue about it. I simply accepted it was a habit I was not going to change, and at times I would grumble, other times I would laugh because I knew I had things I did that drove him crazy. These things were never deal breakers. And yes, sometimes I would laugh about it with friends who would be saying their spouses did something that drove them crazy.

But, to say not to get married or to express those feelings, for one they never entered my mind at that point in time. As MLC rolled in, well that was a different story. I was unhappy and not just hangers on the door unhappy. At that point, I did confide in close friends, but again, never in a public setting with mixed company. My friends, they were people who would not share and would give me a good dose of advice or reality.

The thing is, I would have held on and worked through it all at one point. Even my biggest complaints didn't seem insurmountable. But, I was the only one wanting that in reality - to figure out how to get over this fracture in the marriage.

And, it is so difficult to ever describe to anyone who hasn't experienced it or knew my Xh really well. Most people in RL had the opinion that Xh was always this way or that way. They didn't know enough to know how far off balance things had really gotten. Hangers left on the bathroom door - I would have sold my soul to have that just be the issue. But, the man I married, who liked the sense of balance and having our own interests, as well as shared interests became someone I didn't recognize at all. He wanted me at home on the one hand and being a dutiful W, who had no life outside of the house. I was continually told we were supposed to be a core unit and while I agreed on a certain level, it was a new definition he was throwing at me. What that meant was, I was supposed to be like his M, who never learned how to drive and stay home and keep the house spotless and not have any friends outside of the house. And, I never was his M. I had more to my life than just the house and he loved that about me. I was my own person, who was part of the team we had built.

The bigger problems began to arise when Xh decided that he didn't really like that either. He would flip back and forth with what he felt I should be doing. In the end, when life was completely turned on it's ear, he had it so he demanded I should work full time, and still do all the things around the house and take care of the kids. I heard that he deserved to not work all weekend and he could do what he wanted, including going out until the wee hours every weekend with whomever he wanted and I was to put up and shut up.

Did I complain. Oh, I did, but there again, only to those people I knew I could confide in and not have it shared. My close inner circle.

It was no secret I was unhappy. I began to question every nook and cranny of my marriage and who I had married. Had I made a mistake? Had I missed something along the way? And on and on.

Life with Xh was never perfect. I won't say it was because that would repainting history completely. He was not an easy man for most people in terms of living with him. I heard from countless friends how high maintenance he was. And when I first met him, that was true, but he relaxed over the years and somehow was happier. The high maintenance aspect started to roll back in when FIL moved in, as if to somehow make up for Xh's insecurities.

Xh could be moody. I just learned to let him brood and think until he was ready to talk.

I had my things that I brought to the mix.

Yet, no matter what, before the complete crumbling of that foundation we had, we loved each other. We respected one another and were there for each other. We knew who, at the end of the day had our back. And, with that came allowing each other to grow and explore things.

When Xh wanted to go skydiving, I had no desire to jump out of a plane with him. Nope. Sorry, I have flown enough that I prefer to look out the window seat and the idea of jumping out of a plane should only be if I have no other options. I didn't tell Xh no he couldn't go. I went and waited for him on the ground. The only request I made, and he did not argue with me one bit was to please increase his life insurance policy even temporarily to give me peace of mind because S was just an infant. Xh had just started his business and I was on maternity leave. He joked about having to make sure his parachute was going to deploy, but he gave me a kiss before taking off and said he knew I would not wish that on him and knew I was being a good mom and would want both S and I taken care of. There was never any doubt that I wanted him to land safely.

I think back to that scenario now and if it had happened when MLC was in the mix, OMG. It would not have been the same conversation. I would have been plotting and scheming in Xh's mind. I would have been told I wasn't being supportive, and on and on. I basically would have gotten the big FU and I will do as I please response.

I decided to stand initially because I wanted what I had years before all of the crazy rolled in. I quit standing when I realized that was never going to be remotely possible, even in a reconciliation. My Xh is too steeped in his MLC or whatever it is. In truth, I am not sure if it is that or a mix of mental and emotional issues or what, but for him to ever be even remotely possible of overcoming this he would need serious professional help. And the truth is, he has done too much damage. Standing for me became about me more than anything else. It gave me a focus on what I want and don't want moving forward, enough so that I could pull myself together. But that only happened once I detached slowly and felt myself getting stronger. The more I realized I couldn't control things, the better things were for me, and for the kids.

I don't long for what I had. I have put that in a box with other memories and cherish those early times, mainly because I saw what was possible and out of it, I have two kids that I am so grateful for. But, I have also taken those bits of what I did have and looked at them to see what I do want.

And, to be clear, it is not some checklist or comparison shopping that I am talking about. It is just realizing the things that I do want again are things like having a partner where there is balance and interdependence. I am not in search of some carbon copy of who Xh was prior to the meltdown. For one, I am no longer that same person I was then. MLC changed me too. It made me really reevaluate who I am and what makes me tick. Had Xh not gone of the rails, I may have arrived in a similar location on my path, but IDK. I think life tested us and Xh failed the test over and over. Free will kicked in and the path changed for me because of it. I believe God had a plan. Xh kept pissing on God's plan, so God decided to send me a different direction. I don't see it any other way at this point and there have been way too many unexplained things that have arisen in the past months, now actually years since BD, to make it hard to believe otherwise.

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11813.new#new
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« Last Edit: August 09, 2021, 09:25:02 AM by MourningDove »

 

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