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Author Topic: My Story Bird box.

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My Story Re: Bird box.
#140: May 13, 2020, 09:39:02 PM
What I meant to say, somewhere in that rambling post, is that D and her dad are insistent that I should not work outside the home at this time. Neither of them will hear of me working unless it is a work from home scenario.

This is a far, far cry from h’s position on my employment. H would rather I tell D and her dad to go to he11 and that I will work where I want and doing anything possible to support myself and my daughter.

What do I even do with that? That’s how *he* approaches things.

I understand that I am D’s only mother and that if something happened to me, she would only have her dad. None of the three of us talk about this. We all know that she needs me, emotionally and just for all the reasons.

H seems to feel that if I were no longer here, D would be fine with just her dad.

D’s dad has plenty of money, that’s true. But she doesn’t like the relationship with him as much, and prefers being in my space of comfortable, even if we have less.

It’s weird to be enduring the notable global event and being one of the millions out of work and troubling over money. I do remind myself periodically that this situation is not my fault.

I have to, because although D and her dad and my closest support people understand, h makes it clear that he thinks it definitely *is*.

*Gosh* I am tired of him.
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Re: Bird box.
#141: May 14, 2020, 01:56:26 AM
Terra, reading along because you often make so much sense. I recognize myself in your thoughts, although they would have been my thoughts of a couple of years ago and not the present.

First what you say about the D:
"Do I think it would be better if I were divorced, yes and no. It would make sense financially, somewhat, if I could afford it in the first place. But ours is one of those cases where I already know the piece of paper would be extremely hard won, that he is smarter and meaner than I am and that he has no problem lying his face off from inexplicable pure spite, and that because he likes a fight, there would be a really long horrible one, and that no matter if I hired God Himself as my Wonderful Counselor, I would still get very, very hurt."

That would be my H you just described, and that is how my D has panned out. I had no choice but go through it as my H was the one to start the process. I was glad for long gaps in time between one hearing and the next, just so I could recover. I get what you're saying. Although we are advised to pursue a D if it makes sense financially, it is going to be a hard journey. I guess it's up to each individual to decide if it's worth it and can they face it.

Because I've had a mother who sounds like yours, and married a man who in the end made me feel as bad as my mother did, I wonder if there is not some deep wound in us that caused us to choose a man like our Hs, or to allow a man like our Hs to treat us the way they did by the end. I mean, I know there is a connection, but I don't know how to resolve it. I wonder that some similar dynamic might not be playing out with our Hs.

And whether you work out of the home or not, should just be your choice. I have to say that from the other side of the screen, your D's dad sounds like a normal man, caring about the mother of his D, even though your are divorced. Your H, the MLCer, is completely oblivious of real life. My H also says this pandemic is just the flu and everyone is making a big deal out of it. Maybe they don't read up on it enough to be informed. I mean, a little kid might be interested in the pandemic because kids tend to fear death and the loss of their family, but a teenager usually thinks they're invincible. Could be our MLCers's brain is still not developed enough.

Hope the helicopters and sirens don't reappear today.
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Re: Bird box.
#142: May 19, 2020, 12:05:42 PM
Milly, HUGS. I kept thinking I responded to your good comment and I see that I haven’t and I wish I had just pressed Post. Time gets away from me in all there is to think about or do.

What it means to be a prayer warrior:

• You pray unceasingly. You are in constant dialogue with God, and it doesn’t matter if He answers right away. But He does, in little and big ways.

• You pray for people you don’t even know and will never physically meet. You pray for everyone, the individual and collective, all of the time.

• You feel it, when someone somewhere is also praying just for you. It doesn’t matter what the topic or words or message ever is — you feel the wash of Love from *somewhere*, inexplicably, and also the lift of the burden off your heart or shoulders.

• It doesn’t matter if you ever hear “proof” that your prayers took hold and were heard. Because you know in your soul that God is working all stories deftly and proficiently and to a resolution that will sustain and harbor whoever the prayers were prayed for or over.

• You know that sometimes it takes time, and other times, results are incredibly instant.

• You know not everyone believes, and you know it’s ok. That it works sometimes anyway.

• You know what others believe or don’t, is no reflection on your own walk with Christ.

There’s probably more to that but I had to get at least that much out of me.

I’m ok. The water heater isn’t working. It’s likely the thermocouple and I half think I can fix that myself, but I haven’t. Instead I will pick up the yard and brave the landlord or landlady and ask them to send someone out to fix or replace whatever is needed. D is taking hot showers at her dad’s on the days that she is at his house. I am remembering the rich hippie houses I stayed at when I was her age, grand homes in the woods, beautifully appointed and weirdly with no hot water at all. It makes me feel spoiled and strange and I wonder what any of those wealthy weird people were thinking.

The water heater closet is outdoors off the back of the house and it’s full of shredded insulator blanket and rodent feces. And a bonus pile of white powder that made me think of someone else’s 1980s drug fantasy, but which my brother said is definitely poison. Whatever it is is at least four years old and clearly no longer works. Anyway, now we know that there are definitely rodents living in the walls. Maybe they will move out now that the pipes are always cold.

Milly, on mothers — I struggle to think that my mother’s unpleasantry is what let me to the negative relational dynamics that I’ve had. I thought about this for a long time this week and I think what I feel for sure is that it left me with a blind spot about what is and is not OK. We endure unpleasant or toxic dynamics as children because we are dependent and have no choice and maybe know no other example. The benefit of a stepfather was that I knew something was wrong and it wasn’t my fault. I left home early because of it, but, I didn’t find the better example.

That can be looked on as selecting what we already know, in fact that’s what the psych evaluator saw during the divorce of my marriage to D’s dad. That evaluator’s solutions didn’t exactly address it, either; the solutions were not what I would have prescribed.

H shows any number of similarities to my FOO dynamics, but he didn’t used to. It’s beyond my grasp how he managed to repeat or exploit betrayal that he didn’t even really know about. I think it’s a terrible error and insult for professionals or society to suggest that those of us who are victims of these trails have somehow chosen them. You know? Because having lived through it already with no choice, who would choose it again? Not me. Not you either, I bet. So something is yet to be understood about how the brain or memory works.

Lately I am barren of remembrance of h; for some reason, where he lives is now defined and remembered only as the place where ow lives. Like he isn’t even there; like she is a woman alone, like me, just trying to make life ok in a place she didn’t expect to be. For some reason I have a lot of compassion for her now, not even knowing her.

The last thing I want to do is intrude upon her life. So I’m glad and grateful that I took myself there last summer alone, that I saw and did all that I did, alone, and that my path did not intersect with his or theirs or hers. It isn’t even a feeling like “She can HAVE him,” — it’s just acknowledgement that the life there isn’t mine, and even so, that it should be still a good, safe, lucky, and pleasant one.

I have my locals vibrant and affirming on social media, anyway, and their voices and warmth are enough. I learn new words from home and I also learn how to manifest things that *I* cherish, none of which were bold or big enough for h.

I don’t know who she is, or who he is. I’m grateful for that lack of knowing, at this time.

I’m ok. I need to deal with the half-paid landowners and the rat-infested water heater, but I’m ok. Sovereign and self-authoritative is what I’m going for, and so far, so good, even with obstacles and bumps and dips in the road.

Today is the seventh anniversary of my Confirmation in the church. I was prayerful and attended by God before it, but when I look back today on the seven years that have passed, I am floored at the prescience at the time, that led me to make that ceremony happen for myself. H did not attend with me. D did. His absence may have been a flag that MLC was about to begin, but so many other things happened instead and alongside and on top of that. I forgive myself for not seeing it, now knowing for sure that there was no way to avoid or prevent it, and I also just feel lucky and so blessed, because I know God was with me every single step of the way, and still is.

It’s been a long ride. It’s ok that h is where he is and not here. I don’t feel hurt by his choices or actions today. He’s someone else, and he deserves a good life wherever he is, and so does whoever he’s with. I don’t need to know who or why.

One more thing about prayer warriors:

• Sometimes we might have wine with breakfast.

It’s evening somewhere. And everything will be fine. It already is.

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Re: Bird box.
#143: May 20, 2020, 09:22:56 AM
I woke up so angry this morning. I’m not even sure why. A newsletter on betrayal recovery, about “he won’t tell me who she is”, and how a commitment to honesty is requisite in order for a marriage to heal.

I can’t imagine h ever being honest the way it would take, to even start trusting or healing again. Reading that newsletter, I realized he had never even been up front about who ow1 had been. I don’t care anymore about that; ow1 was in the house in 2015 and gone shortly after he threw that fact in my face. That now was a long time ago. Now, if the topic of ow1 comes up, he is just embarrassed.

That was 2016, when I learned about ow1. Four years ago. From BD to that one being gone, took all of maybe four months. 2017 is the one I’m still trying to cope with. In August that one will be three years.

When h and I first knew each other, he claimed a commitment to “radical honesty”. If this is a program term, if you know it, please help me understand. At the time, I just thought it was a basic value. If it was something he’d been encouraged to maintain by some third party or structured system, like AA or some other recovery, I think I need to reframe my understanding of him and of who I thought he was.

I need to anyway, and that seems to be happening without me even trying. This morning for a second I considered the $100 he tossed at me some weeks ago, and whyever my mind leaps to calculator mode, I understood that $100 is a bare hiss over what I make hourly when I’m working for pay, and that when I’m not, and when money counts, that amount only pays for maybe 2/3 of a single day here in rent. Forget about bills like utilities or groceries or rubbish pickup. I can spend $100 on nothing in a minute.

In the face of the paradise he is living 365/365 with ow2, $100 in retrospect was insulting and offensive. With no continuity and no commitment, it’s maybe equivalent to what a guy might spend on a stripper some bleary night at a club with drunk friends.

I’m just mad. It’s the kind of clear sharp anger that shines like a knife and is vaguely threatening, although also just ordinary. It’s not even a big knife: it’s just sharper than I remember other anger feeling.

He won’t tell me who she is, ow2. And I don’t even care, except that it’s going on three years, and she keeps benefiting from his presence and income and placement, and HE WON’T TELL ME WHO SHE IS.

This morning it feels suffocating, like being trapped in a closed jar in a dark closet, zero input to make a decision or plan to get out of, get free of it. That, I think, is maybe the most traumatic part, actually. The part where someone once trusted has simply opted day by day and every one of the 1,440 minutes of each, to keep you utterly in the dark.

Why would anyone trust that again? It’s a cruelty I can’t fathom enacting in any other human being.

With voices of strangers/friends from home state in my every day to offset that, I’m stuck with the awareness that his choices there have really ruined it for “us”. I notice I am ok with the thought of being there or living there or visiting there with people I know *now*, but not him. There are friends in some of the nearby towns, the towns he and other transplants like him consider lowlife, low living places. I love those places and the native-born who live in them. I could happily be or live there in those places and never intersect with h or his protected ow.

I’m happy to realize that, and also, oddly, to see that *somehow* there *is* still a minor chord that promises I could live there with him and forget or reduce the pain of what his choices there have caused.

The other reason I am *so* mad this morning is that for the past many months, I have wanted to purchase a second rug for this house. The store I would buy it from announced they were going out of business, when this COVID-19 thing hit. The rug was top of my list of things to do with first paycheck, which was supposed to be the first of many paychecks. But the contract closed abruptly and with no reason given, the first paycheck was eaten up in necessities, and now the rug is no longer available.

We have one and it’s seen a lot of dog fur and dust and grief on the ground, these past four years. It’s still comfortable, but nothing like the sweet softness of a new one.

I’m so mad about that store closing. Not that I have extra money to spend on the rug, but, it was just something I thought would always be there.

This morning the skies are grey with clouds and overcast. If it rains, I won’t be surprised or sorry or put out.

I got the rubbish up to the curb for pickup and I fed the dog, and the birds. It feels like a Saturday even though I know it isn’t one. I half want to unblock the phone but I already know I won’t. I’m managing somehow to stick to my commitment to Self, that I will keep the phone blocked until my dad’s birthday. This will be maybe the first year that I’ve totally removed myself from h over Father’s Day, or Memorial Day weekend.

I need to break the cycle of hearing from him every two weeks or monthly. The infrequent but too frequent contact sets me back. At least this way, I have some slight control over the situation — control over my own, anyway. I know I have zero control over his. I’ve lost faith that I have any influence; I know that I used to have influence with him, and that I haven’t now for a very long time. So it’s better that I keep my influence and input to myself. Why give time or words or thought to a party who only shows up when it wants ...I don’t know. Attention? For a minute or an hour, and then not again for another several weeks?

I don’t want to converse with a guy who does not offer commitment and does not honor the one it looks like he has. Not even in a work scenario or for money.

Side note: the fact that D’s dad, my ex-husband, gives me money to pay the rent and keep the lights on and food on the table — this morning when I considered that, I saw it and him as something like a thin ribbon of maple syrup slipping down the wall in a room in a dream of a house I don’t live in or recognize.

That’s how my mind works and it bothers some people, but, it makes me laugh.

This whole dark E-ticket tide, I think, is just a thing in which we have to find a narrative that works for us. It doesn’t matter if our narrative works for anyone else. Just find what works for you.

Something will. It doesn’t matter if anyone thinks you’re crazy.
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Re: Bird box.
#144: May 22, 2020, 05:10:15 AM
Several years ago, at a workplace I really liked, a married colleague made physical advances to me after a team dinner offsite. H was actively in MLC at the time, and nowhere near. We might have been NC at the time; I remember things were rocky between us, and he was unreachable and unresponsive more often than not. I definitely remember it had been a bad summer between us.

The married coworker was likable and friendly and he wasn’t aggressive so much as persistent. We were of equal status in the workplace, and I had always seen him the way I see most men — not my own, not my kind, and on top of it, a professional, and on top of that, married. So definitely not for anything but a functional and lightly enjoyable, non-flirtatious coworking. He had been engaging and funny to me at other team offsites, which I always perceived as both of us just having a sh!tload of work to be done back at the office and both of us recognizing the awkwardness and silliness of being expected to be suddenly in family mode with ten others in the middle of a workday.

Oh well. The night of that team dinner, he and I had been talking about commutes or projects or team dynamics and then also about perceptions, the ways men and women interacted and why. We talked about fidelity and I said with laughing strength that I valued it in my bones and knew I would say no to everyone but my h. And I don’t think my colleague meant to, exactly, but it was like something moved him to challenge that. Because of my looks or maybe my general friendliness or, I don’t know what. Whatever he’d been drinking at dinner, and not that he was the least bit drunk.

I moved it outside to the parking lot, because I don’t need witnesses or whatever else and I wanted just to go home. At my car, he put his hands on me and he wasn’t frightening and he wasn’t aggressive. He was just persistent, and funny. It probably would have worked on a younger or unattached woman, maybe, and I don’t mean that it was manipulative or predatory. It just wasn’t something I would do or accept.

I put him off lightly and repeatedly and finally firmly, and he took it well. Whatever I said, I don’t remember. But a few days later, he emailed my work account to thank me for saying no to him and for not giving in. I think I actually cried at my desk upon reading it, and I also think I never answered.

I had removed it to the parking lot in part because I knew he had a long drive home, knew if I left him at the bar he might drink more and endanger himself or turn to some stranger and endanger his marriage. I didn’t know his wife. I just knew that as a colleague and also a woman, I had some unspoken and unexpected responsibility for my fellow man and to his family. So, get him out of the bar and away from the friendly chaos of others who were drinking and none of whom were known, and get him out into the night air, to see if he is ok to drive home. And stick around a little while, if he’s not; figure out an appropriate solution, if he’s not.

But mostly, I just wanted to go home. Even if h wasn’t there, wasn’t answering calls or texts or emails or anything. I wished he was home and something in the way I spoke and carried myself that night gave the impression at least fleetingly that he was, and that everything was fine.

What my colleague had said at the bar, and for some reason at 4am on a Friday morning this seems key to me, was that he loved his wife more than anyone he had ever loved. That she was perfect for him and understood him and they got along very well, a true and beautiful match, and that he was very happy being married to her. He loved their life together.

But that he picked fights with her because of something that had happened before they ever met. When he said that, I looked at him and understood that he was telling or showing me something I needed to know, even if he didn’t know I needed to know it. And not about him, but about men, about husbands — or maybe just about everyone. I asked him if he could explain more about that, because it was not something I’d heard before. And it might explain other dynamics I’d seen.

He said that he was still angry about something someone else had done, a long time ago. I didn’t ask him to elaborate: it was one of those disclosures where you just know that to pry or even nudge at it might either snap something shut or provoke some sort of sudden explosion. I was by myself with him in an unfamiliar setting at night among strangers, with a bit of a long drive myself, and really, I just wanted to extract myself politely and go home.

So I just listened and breathed and paid heed to my own body signals and language. Whatever I said or asked then, I did so gently and without pressure, but with a ton of respect and self-respect.

He said, suddenly grave and nearly in tears, that he loved his wife so much, and that she didn’t understand what was wrong between them. That there actually was nothing wrong: not with her, not with their marriage, not with their life together or even their dynamic.

He said he knew he was just punishing her for something someone else did. And he didn’t understand why he would do that to her. He said he knew he was a flirt and he wasn’t sure why; he loved his wife at home and she was more than enough; he just was taking something out on her, and she didn’t even know about it. But he hated doing it, and hated himself for not being able to stop. He was so quietly upset when he told me, so I was gentle. And in rebuffing him, I did so in such a way that it wasn’t about rejection or shaming in any way, but rather of steering him directly to his own right course and letting him know he should stay on it.

I’m up too early this morning and I couldn’t even tell you why that came to mind in these hours; I’m up because D woke me for a new music drop from another country. I wouldn’t equate the new song with that old interaction in any way, except something in it had minimally to do with scars. And maybe it’s that I was thinking how if the scars of my life were visible on my face or body, it would likely make me seem very unapproachable, but also gentle, and if commanding and deserving 100% respect, also cherished and even venerable. Somehow that translated this morning into something about ? a friendly funny married colleague who shared something vulnerable with me one night years ago, who disclosed and maybe said something long hidden out loud for the first time, to me, and liked my response and maybe mistook understanding for invitation.

I don’t know how often that mistake is made, by anyone or all. When I got home that night, there was a box leaned against my front door in the dark — fresh roses, delivered in a beautiful vase — the first contact from h in weeks. An apology of sorts, for whatever the then-recent weeks-long hell had been. I think within a week of that beautiful send, he was monstering full-bore, and not long after that he was gone altogether for months. Later I learned it was because there was factually another woman and that he had moved her into the house.

I was blindsided yesterday by Memorial Day weekend. It’s always a loaded weekend for me and it’s come out of nowhere this year. The year that I am remembering in this post, it was over that holiday weekend that h made a decision and dispatched ow1, and soon after, came here. A false return. I think I’m “over” it, but it’s still something that kicks up when this holiday comes near.

I’m up because D woke me to share a new song. The song is amazing and for her and for me it’s worth waking up for. No idea what it is even about, just that it’s brilliant and we needed it, and it’s a gift to our house and home. It answers some question or need I’ve felt all week, and I couldn’t tell you what that question or need was either. But somewhere among words in language I don’t speak or understand,

What I do get, this morning with not quite enough sleep and almost without words, is that my colleague let me in on something I did and do need to know: that h’s behavior and all of his meanness and devastating choices are not even close to being about me. That man has got to know, wherever he is, that he was loved and is still loved, regardless whether I understand what he has done or why he has done it.

I don’t feel that I need him here or that I even need or want to talk with him at this time.

But I also don’t feel that I no longer want or need him. I just feel ...maybe that feeling of pause between moves on a chess board. Nothing at stake, nothing critical, because upon win or lose, the pieces station again and there can be another strategy. None of it is required; we either do it or don’t.

I can go either way. There’s a new song in the house and D and I already know it will carry us well for at least several months. Normally I would send it first thing to h, because even if he doesn’t like the genre, it’s THAT GOOD and it keeps him in the loop in a way he seems to want but can’t ever ask for. But I made a promise to myself a few weeks ago and I mean to keep that promise.

That new song is so full of *yes*. We really needed that here.
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Re: Bird box.
#145: May 22, 2020, 05:30:50 AM
What I really meant to say with all those words, and I never know why it takes so many licks for me to get to the core of my thoughts,

is that h in MLC has been and is doing to me exactly what his xw did to him, minus actual divorce.

It’s almost as though in order for him to process that harm and suffering all the way to understanding, acceptance, and completion/extinction, he has had to enact all the same worst possible hurts until he has run out of hurts to inflict. And that’s weird; I know I learn by doing, but somehow I learned very well by suffering. I haven’t needed to further hard karma in any of the ways I’ve suffered. The suffering was instruction enough, and good thing too, because otherwise I’d probably be in prison by now.

Not to be dramatic about it. Just facts.

I think at some point h is smart enough, mature enough, and man enough to run out of ways or need to harm me. So the remembrance of the married colleague is welcome even if I don’t understand what brought that memory back today.

I had to laugh after posting, and to post again. We do have important meaning together for this holiday weekend, although I’m used to it falling later in the month or just later in the numbers on the calendar page.

I finally feel ok again, like I’ve just been through a month or more of laboring in maternity ward. Not to say that all is well, but that it is well enough.

Thank you for reading and if you’re in the States, may your Memorial Day weekend be peopled by those you love and full of good memories old and newly born.
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Bird box.
#146: May 23, 2020, 05:56:58 AM

Isn’t it odd how when we are stubborn....when we refuse to examine our own thoughts and motives and impulses....we reenact painful things that happen to us.  Sometime I think it’s Gods way of showing us that our hurts caused by others were not personal....that it was whatever was going on internally inside that person which resulted in our pain. And that the worst pain of all is that which you inflict on yourself.

Maybe that it what is required for some to acquire empathy.


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“God allows us to feel the frailty of human love so we’ll appreciate the strength of his.” C.S. Lewis

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Re: Bird box.
#147: May 23, 2020, 10:20:05 AM
Courage, HUGS. I know there is Scripture that addresses exactly that — that all the suffering whether by our own doing or enacted on us by others, is to lead us to deeper comprehension of sacrifice, sorrow, empathy, kindness, forgiveness, love. I mean maybe that’s what it’s all about. Lately I find myself at a real loss for what to actually *do* with that comprehension. So I just beg at God a lot.

I also find I am not so great at the moment. Not felled, but still at a loss. The phone is blocked to prevent any random blip from h; I at least understand that it isn’t likely, given the physical distance and his circumstances and the duration between contact attempts, that he would make contact this long weekend to say anything significant. But even if he just said hello, I know I would feel undercut and torn and antagonized.

I just don’t see the value in leaving room for any contact while he is still living with or even in friendly contact with ow, or while he is 2500 miles away. I don’t see value in even, say, a complete turnaround; there’s no room for him here and there is so much unaddressed and unresolved between us now. His doing and his choice; it wasn’t mine.

He had said some short time ago that I could have anything I wanted in life. I told him if that were true, I’d have a husband and he’d be living here with me, so don’t even start that line of BS. It’s false.

If he were here today I’d be stony and reticent. So much unaddressed and so much not explained or apologized for. And so very few positive actions or words. And it’s been going on that way for *so long*.

I have the kettle on for tea and the first of several pots of water on for a bath, because the water heater is still out. I am not going to jump to and try to fix it myself; I did that at the last house, years ago, and I don’t feel like manning up and proving to myself that I can. I will not phone the landlord or landlady either; it’s a holiday weekend and I don’t need hot water for the hassle and increased holiday service rate. We have temperatures of 90°F and higher predicted for all of next week; the defunct water heater wouldn’t be top priority anyway. As much as I don’t like it, the cold water will be better for a little while.

The tea I drink always has a little positive note on the back of the tag. For the past few years, it’s always been pleasant to look and see the message of a morning. But lately, since quarantine I think, I have got bored with it, like it is just now some passé pretention, corporate and commoditized and meaningless. That’s sad but I see it in a lot of arenas — how positivity that should be sincere just comes off as glib, rote behavior. It’s a shame.

I am thinking of taking down all the art off my bedroom walls, and staring at a blank wall for a while. I dream sometimes of emptied rooms or open spaces in the yard, as though in my sleep someone has come and vanished everything here. It would be cleaner and it would also be nice, I think, to have the sense of ability to finally just start over.

This morning I feel caught in a trap of h’s words and actions and promises and choices with me all being completely meaningless, even at the time. Something skittered across my thoughts this morning about how deferential and intentional he always seemed about marriage, about being a good and valuable husband and a real contributor, and how maybe he was just a guy who always promised a lot and didn’t really mean to deliver. A bad and sorry thought. I cried briefly, because I recognized I had never wanted to think of him as that kind of person. And because I realized that in some ways, it’s what he was.

I also thought for the first time about accountability, how some of us naturally are able to be held accountable and others just maybe are not. In my usual line of work, when we understand something is wrong and we’ve made a mistake or failed somewhere along a task, where we’ve missed some critical piece or aspect, the expectation is that we cop to it right away and alert the team or management or what have you. And that we have a corrective plan in place or ready to execute immediately and on such and such timeline. So I’m very well shaped to acknowledge my own errors and to remedy them, fast, with or without extensive discussions or review of what happened to cause the failure or delay. This is a native ethic for me and so I’ve been happy in my line of work in that respect. I have respect for others and myself and am expected at work to display integrity, accountability, and strong ethics in all that I do, or else just not get paid.

When I thought about it this morning, I saw pretty clearly that this is NOT how h operates and it’s NOT how he’s expected to operate professionally. Or if it is what’s expected of him, he finds a way around it, and he gets away with that. I reflected on a few pivotal professional incidents he’s had over the past x years. He hounds back and I think he basically monstered at management, in one of them. And got fired, and harangued for at least several months about ageism and unfair termination, threatening to sue. Somewhere I have the audio file he secretly recorded of a discussion with management, about something that had nothing to do with the eventual termination. And honestly if I had been his employer, I’d have fired him much earlier than they did.

Since then, I’ve listened to him plotting against higher-ups, siding with subordinates, declaiming dishonest business practices even as he gloats about fibbing on taxes or loan paperwork. If called on it, he slips out of one’s grasp and, I don’t know. Years ago, he cited the guy from Breaking Bad as an acceptable example of doing bad in order to do good.

I think what I am really feeling trapped in, today, is that dissonance between loving someone and knowing they are habitually a really shady character. I don’t want that in my life or heart anymore. When he was last here, after ow1 and before any moving away, he confided carefully that he had done “some not good things, like, illegal”.

I think D was 11 at the time. I gently asked careful questions, weirdly unable to be very open or emotionally accessible with my words or tone. Whatever else it all was, it was just too painful. For me, I mean. H knew and knows that I went through a terrible divorce and had to fight hard to protect my parenting rights and relationship and time. So for him to come into my home here and tell me even in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure that he had done anything bordering on criminal, at the time, I couldn’t endure it. I told him in a whispering rush that if he was involved in anything that would impact my daughter or myself badly, he had to leave. And if it was a joyride for him, or if habitual or chronic, it was better for him to get away from us both and to stay away.

I’ve known plenty of criminals and I’ve lived in that element and there’s no way in hell I will expose or subject my only child to any of it. The stupidest part is that I knew at the time that he was capable of being very dishonest just simply for effect, and that it was possible he was lying to me about criminality.

Any way you shake it, he wasn’t trustworthy. And no untrustworthy person has any place or reason for being in my house. Ever.

And I’m not saying I don’t lie or that D doesn’t; I usually don’t, and I know that she sometimes um... let’s say she carves or shapes or gilds the truth, sometimes. Her occasional artful deceit is lighthanded somehow, and nothing like what h does. The major difference being D’s want to protect either herself or her privacy, or to preserve some confidentiality between her and her friend group. It’s a different level and a different motivation, and I can see the motivation well enough. Mostly she doesn’t want to make me mad.

H on the other hand lies and deceives to get or to get away with something he shouldn’t. H deceives for fun and a bit of a power trip; he manipulates. He very much blames whoever calls him on it.

When called on a deception, no matter how minor, D cries. Even now, as a teen and almost fully a young woman. Not from having been called out, but from having knowingly disappointed me or initially not knowing how (or from being afraid) to tell whatever truth. She is accountable and also, without fail, relieved when the opportunity comes to confess the entire story and get it off her heart. More often than not, it’s about a friend’s difficult secret or trouble at home. More often than not, she hides truths from me because someone has desperately begged her to keep it confidential. D lies not to deceive me but almost always because she is trying to shelter and care for a friend who is in some kind of private distress.

D also, I am very glad to say, directs her peers to IC right off the bat. I notice that she consistently steers friends to professional counseling rather than take it all on personally the way I would. But it’s interesting to see how her boundaries work, and I know we both (and her friends too) are still learning and adapting those.

H is always trying to get away with something, it seems. Not even in a cute or funny way; more in a greed or power way.

This morning I don’t exactly know whether that’s always been true of him. It’s ugly and it makes me sad. I notice that the thought of any contact with him lately has me instantly on guard and that somehow the guardedness stays for  h o u r s  — I feel stalked, even though he’s nowhere around and I know he can’t suddenly show up on the phone.

It’s funny sometimes to notice how much I cycle about him. Somehow I was feeling ok yesterday, even bland maybe. And then in the course of 24 hours, suddenly the thought comes: how many lies ARE there? And then it’s like every cell in my body is trying to just get away.

That’s when I think, you know? This has been *really, really damaging*. There is no way it could *ever* be resolved by telephone conversation or words on a screen. And there doesn’t seem to be any ordinary easy way to say that.

Thank you for reading. I’m fine; I’m just processing “out loud”. This whole past week and today, I have felt pretty annoyed and petulant but really hurt, that my siblings and first circle are busy enough with their own lives that they haven’t got even a minute to respond to a group text. So I’m feeling a little surprised and mad, and also, just stationary where I am.

More of the same, I guess. Not good, not especially bad. Just boring, and a bit anxious.
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Re: Bird box.
#148: May 23, 2020, 10:43:32 AM
“Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world.”

That’s what the note said for this morning’s tea.

I am just laughing at it; I feel a bit surly. Like, how long do you want me to do that, as I’ve been doing it pretty much my entire life. It’s just basic human, isn’t it?
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Re: Bird box.
#149: May 23, 2020, 11:31:49 AM
“Let us be kind and compassionate to remove the sadness of the world.”

Maybe the full quote should be "Let us be kind and compassionate to ourselves to remove the sadness of the world".....

Don't worry about the processing, Terra, either posting here or that you are cycling as you do. We get it. I think it is part of our brains chewing on bits to ease towards a sense of peace with what is and what we think about it all. And imho that is part of healing.
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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

"Option A is not available so I need to kick the s**t out of Option B" Sheryl Sandberg


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