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Author Topic: My Story Every storm runs out of rain - 3

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My Story Every storm runs out of rain - 3
OP: August 30, 2020, 06:18:58 PM
I was done for the night, but there was a moment of MLC head scratching.

I had done some laundry for S earlier in the day and while he usually takes care of his own things, I thought I would bring it up to his room, as he was wiped out from all of the outdoor activity today. He was lying on his bed and doing some homework when I walked in and saw a pair of new pants on his bed. They were not pants S would have bought for himself and I knew his GF wouldn't have gotten them for him. They were dress pants, and S has plenty of those in his closet, that he rarely wears as it is.

I didn't have to ask because S asked if I would put the pants in the donation box. I picked them up and S went on to explain they were Xh's and he said they are too tight on him, so he thought S would like them. I guess my eyes must have gotten wide and clearly S could read my thoughts. Yah, there were so many levels of WTF at that moment I wasn't sure where to even start.

First one being Xh never wore anything larger than a 32 waist when we were married, even at his heaviest. So, seeing a 36 inch waist is a bit surprising and Xh is not terribly tall, so the waist size would be significant for him. But, then the last picture I saw of him he has clearly put on weight.

But, I didn't say a word to S about that. I simply laughed and said I wasn't sure what Xh was thinking. S has a 30 inch waist. He never gains weight, in spite of how much he eats. He is very slim and has been that way. Xh was around when I would come home frustrated not being able to find pants that would fit S when he was in high school. He was a 30 then as well. I was actually thrilled when at college he got up to a 31 only because it would be easier to find pants to fit him. And the problem is not so much the waist, it is the combination of the waist and length. S is taller than Xh by quite a bit, something Xh refused to admit. S is at least 6', although I am pretty sure he is a bit taller than that now. Xh is 5'9" at best.

But, the thing with S, everyone thinks he is way taller than he is simply because he is slender and he is all leg. His inseam is 35". I can sometimes find jeans that have a generous 34" inseam for him, but I usually have had to go for a 36" and it is difficult to find pants that particular combination of sizes. Dress pants - I remember what ones he has because those had to be tailored.

So, I stood looking at these pants with a 36" waist line and a 32" inseam and wondering what planet Xh is on. I really wonder what Xh sees in the mirror at times. Does he really believe he is taller than S and they are wearing the same size?

I brought the pants down stairs and put them in a box I have set aside to take to the guidance counselor at the high school. There are kids who need dressier clothes for work interviews.

In the meantime, I was putting away something in the wine cellar when I removed a cloth covering from a what I thought was a box that had some empty wine bottles on top. They were left over prototypes that I was going to get rid of, and I thought the box was full of other prototypes. Instead, when I removed the cloth, I found a board and underneath an antique type writer table. I remembered when the MLCer brought that home. It was one of those impulse buys he had. I was certain he took that when he moved out.

I know it is worth quite a bit of money, as I have seen this type at antique stores. I have no use for it and as cool as it is, I need it gone from my life. I moved it to the side, as I didn't want to carry it in light of my back issue earlier and then I came upstairs and logged into FaceBook. I messaged my former student who had saved up money to buy himself an antique typewriter. He has been using it and has just gone off to college. I asked him if he would like it. He was elated and said he didn't know if he could afford that right now as he has his books to buy for college. I know he doesn't like to feel like a charity case, so I told him that it was my graduation gift to him. And my only stipulation was he type up a proper letter to his little sister, and put it in the mail as I know she is missing him already. He laughed and said that was more than fair and his sister has never had any mail sent to her.

I just want to keep putting MLC in the rearview and in this case, I am glad that maybe something positive can come from my Xh's crazy MLC impulse buys.

https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11507.150
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#1: August 31, 2020, 04:07:17 AM
Following along.....

Sounds like S and R's S17 have the same issue.... 30"Wx36"L.... and the 30"W is big on him.... Erg.....

But seriously, that is another one of those WTF moments... "They were getting a little tight on xW." Uhmmmmmm ...... What was he doing, wearing them on his head?

As far as the table is concerned, that is a really generous and good idea. It "kills 2 birds with one stone" - It gets the table to someone who will appreciate it and it gets his little sister a letter....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#2: August 31, 2020, 10:12:29 AM
UrsaMajor - S lost the weight he put on at college and now has to wear a belt with the 30" waist jeans.

I wonder if Xh's cottage has a fun house mirror?  ::)

I will admit, it is a little thing, that is they are just pants, but it is a continuation of MLC perspective. Now, I could laugh and think perhaps Xh read the size wrong and figured they were 32 x 36. Yah, I doubt that is the case  ::)

D was off to her on-site classes this morning and S left for his classes. He won't be home until at least 8 pm. D, has PT later this afternoon, so I have a break, as S's GF is at work and D's BF starts his classes today as well.

The dog was worn out and when I got up this morning she was up long enough to go outside, but came right back in and took a nap. She would have slept longer, but my F popped in to chat. He was on his way back from having his morning coffee outing with his friend. Of course, he timed it well, as I had put on a pot of coffee as well, so he sat and visited. He was marveling at the giant pile of trees that will have to be cut down and hauled away. The dog made sure he saw her and showed off a new toy D had gotten for her, but then she was back to taking her nap.

The neighborhood is very quiet in general this morning. It is a nice way to start the week.

The home phone voicemail was blinking this morning. And, I had been bad about deleting old voicemail messages during the whole online time period. I would quickly listen to them and not empty the voice mailbox. That phone usually only gets used by a couple of people and I use it for outgoing calls or business calls that are not client based. I was going back through the voicemails just now and emptying it out - hoping to start back up in a better routine when I noticed a call from my Xh's step M. I hadn't cut ties with her as such, but when FIL died there was a huge falling out with Xh and the step M. I have to admit, I frankly was on the step M's side in this argument, because it was about something FIL neglected to do regarding the paperwork to complete a divorce from her. FIL didn't want to pay an attorney to finish up the divorce and didn't have a will. I warned Xh and FIL that would mean the step M and her surviving child would inherit it all. And that is what happened. I said to Xh and his sister at the time, that was on FIL and they can't be upset with that failure of their F, who chose to hide his head in the sand.

But, my relationship with the step M has only been on FaceBook and occasional posts. She was always a very good grandmother to the kids and she was very good to Xh over the years. In fact for many years she was more of a M to him than his own M was - involved with the kids, etc.

I will reach out to her. I have no idea what the call was about, but now I feel bad that I missed it. I never wanted her to think I had somehow taken a side. That is not my style to do that in those instances.

Life is so strange at times.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#3: August 31, 2020, 04:14:38 PM
My stubborn self kicked in today. I was alone all day and determined to get that desk upstairs. It would seem someone must have taken the desk apart at some point and glued the top down, so removing the top wasn't happening. But, I decided to wrap the oak desk top in a soft, padded cloth and flipped the desk upside down and dragged it up the stairs. Not pretty exactly how a mover would do it, but I got it up the stairs and into the kitchen, where I decided to work on putting the Danish Oil on it.

Of course, I ran out of oil and then was mildly annoyed when I realized I couldn't just go down to the local hardware store to pick some up because D had my car. Her car is waiting on one part, which is supposed to be here tomorrow. And, borrowing my parent's SUV would have lead to a million questions from my M - one being how I got the desk upstairs by myself because she knew it was still in the media room as of this morning. My M, is still on a very restricted activity order for the next couple of weeks, so she has been thinking a whole lot. And she knew my back was sore yesterday. I was careful, but I knew I would not hear the end of it if she found out what I had done. What can I say - she worries.

I waited on some project work from my Independent Study student, who should be finishing up this week. I will be glad to have that off my plate, TBH. So, while I waited for files from him, I worked on the desk. I am 90% finished with the oiling and I had to glue one area. I am anxious to get that project completed. I put down a very large piece of cardboard on the new area rug in the library and I should be able to move the desk in tomorrow and just let it cure in place. I should be able to use it by Wednesday.

The dog was not sure what to make of the cardboard. She tried laying on it and it clearly does not suit her. She sort of snorted at me in disgust and walked over to her bed. D found a third bed the other day, so now the dog has a bed in her room, the den and the library. And, it is working out well. She seems content to now just lay wherever I am working and doesn't bother me like she did before. She just wants to be nearby.

I called S on his way home to let him know that the UPS truck was here and delivered some packages for him. Both are very large. One I can pick up, but the second one, there is no way I am moving that from the front step. S sounded good and informed me he would be a bit later than usual, as he had decided against taking the toll road home and opted for one of my tricks - to go on an adventure minus the GPS. When he told me where he was, I told him to pick up a particular route and to check out this abandoned mansion on the way. He said he can understand why I like to sometimes opt for the backroads. It is a slower drive, but today was perfect.

And, I have to admit that I was jealous of his little adventure. I am still considering going to school with him one of these Mondays and just going out into the countryside - distanced from people and sketch or take photographs, but today was not that day. I had calls to make and responsibilities that I could not avoid. It sucks being a responsible adult sometimes - LOL
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#4: August 31, 2020, 08:39:55 PM
I have already figured out my 'homework' assignment for tomorrow. D has in-person classes in the morning for a couple of hours and then has an appointment to pick up her books at the bookstore. There are several hours in between the class time and the appointment.

S had said D's part for her car came in, so the appointment can now be made for that to be addressed and maybe I can have my car back by the end of the week if there is an appointment available.

I had mentioned to both kids the possibility of going with them to school some days. In D's case, where her college is located is near several very beautiful trails. So, I was online this evening trying to map out my plan. If I take the full walk from D's college it is an 8 mile round trip hike. The distance doesn't bother me, but I am hesitant to try and navigate the one road that has a high volume of traffic. Crossing it is not really a fun idea. But, I think tomorrow I will just scope it out and start down on the other end of the village and work my way back. Either way, I have several options and it will get me out and about, while allowing D and I to stop on the way home for a couple of things.

I miss the walks with the dog, but she was wiped out tonight after the short walk we took.

I came home from the walk and took a shower. I had planned on just crawling into bed and read, but S called me outside. There was his friend who had helped with the trees. He said his GF wanted him to stop by and give me something. She and I had spent quite a long time discussing sea glass and her art projects. And, I had really admired her craftsmanship on her earrings. She told her BF that I was the first person, aside from his family, to really ask her about what she likes to do. She said the women at work are friendly, but they have families, and she is an outsider. She is the youngest woman in the office, so there is that and then she is not a heavy partier like some of the other women her own age.

We got on the subject of sea glass and rocks. She had said it sounded weird that she likes the lake rocks which are all smooth and rounded. I laughed and told her about my giant rock that S brought me for M's Day one year, so I get it. And, the lake rocks have a very special feel to them. As a kid, I loved skipping them, but sometimes you just found that one that would fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. It has a soothing effect. Well, if you are a bit of a nerd like I am I guess  ::)

She had said that not too many people understand the fascination with rocks. She told me she likes to find the perfect rocks and then paints mandalas on them. We talked about the whole meaning of mandalas and the spiritual beliefs that some associate with the patterns. I am no expert, but I had a friend who was very well versed in them, and I will admit it was very intriguing to hear her take.

So the BF pulled a rock out of his pocket and said that his GF wanted me to have it. He said it was the first time she had felt comfortable sharing her creative side around anyone she hasn't known for a long time. As he handed me the rock, I smiled and told him to tell her I totally get why she picked up that rock and the pattern, little did she know is the same color as my library walls without the Mac n cheese yellow - LOL. And the pattern is so perfectly executed. The little dots are raised from the thickness of the paint, so the smooth rock has a little bit of texture. And as I held the rock in my hand, I knew why she picked the side to paint. The rock is not perfectly round, but has been worn down by the water. The shape allows your thumb to perfectly fit in the one little dip and the back of the rock has a bulge that fits right into a cupped palm. I laughed and told the BF that it is really perfectly designed. He laughed and said he would let her know that.

That rock is now sitting in my library. It is a simple thing. It was when I stood in the driveway holding that rock that I decided to force myself to go for that walk tomorrow. I had plans to stay home and be responsible. I decided I have to also be responsible for my joy in life and sometimes that means putting off the tasks for a little while. It reminded me to not wait until the end of the day always to get to my 'homework'. I think that is part of my issue. I am so responsible that I sometimes get lost in making sure I do all of those other things and put my time on the back burner and often don't get to it - I sacrifice my own time. So, maybe this rock will help remind me that it is okay if I change things up. Sort of like having dessert before dinner.  ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#5: September 01, 2020, 04:32:26 AM
Not much better than the perfect rock.....

In an emergency, you could wing it at xH if he can get past the crocodiles in the moat... just make sure you get the rock back.... LOL
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#6: September 01, 2020, 09:29:19 AM
UrsaMajor - that rock is not something I will throw at Xh. I have plenty of others in the gardens that would work - LOL.

What can I say - I am easily amused when it comes to gifts. It always comes down to the thought and I love something that is really well designed. This is sort of the perfect combination of designed by nature and then embellished. But, it is really the whole sentiment behind it that was touching. I really only was being myself and talking to this young woman and being friendly.

Well, my plans this morning were blown to smithereens by responsibilities that I could not escape. The type that show up on your door and they can't be put off. Nothing major, but phone calls to figure out why I was getting a shut off notice on my electric, when I paid the utilities last week and I paid ahead. Seems there was a clerical error. Yay.  ::)

But, I would not have enjoyed that hanging over my head while trying to enjoy a walk. It is the few times I might worry and I would not be able to just push that out of my thoughts. And it wasn't an immediate shut off, but it still upset me.

I think back during MLC and I just accepted these things more as the reality I was living in, so I rolled with it. But, I have clawed my way back to the top of the pit, still not out of the hole, but have made headway and have been happy with the results. This felt immediately like someone stepped on a hand and I had to catch myself to keep from falling into that abyss.

It really is a little silly. I have time until the shut off was going to supposedly take place. I could have waited to address it. But, responsible me kicked in and got to the bottom of it.

It is something I need to work on a little. That is not sacrificing my responsible side, but on the flip side, I shouldn't be dismissing my need for time to just enjoy things, even if they mean not being responsible in the moment. It is a tough balance for me. In part, it is MLC related, in that I had so lost that side of me, I am mildly protective of having found that part of myself again and am afraid of falling into that bad habit again of ignoring things. But that was my LBS-MLC reactive state and I am not that person anymore.

What can I say? I guess I am going to have to put more effort into my 'homework' and making it a priority sometimes.  ::) The electric company - they would have waited until the 16th, so I had some time - LOL.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#7: September 01, 2020, 02:17:38 PM
Okay - so the responsible side kicked into overdrive instead of laying off. I decided to just jump on a whole pile of bills that aren't due until the end of September and attacked some other things on the list that really weren't priorities. I think I have tackled all the bills with the exception of a couple I know are on their way.

Then it was tackling these little projects that have just been hanging out there, needing done.

Of course the dog felt she needed to keep me occupied and a walk came on just as I was about to start a big project. I knew better than to make her wait or she would come back when I was in the middle and then she would be relentless. The walk was not long enough according to her, but the sky was turning dark and a storm is on the horizon. She made sure I was aware of her displeasure by grumbling all the way home and continued when we entered the house. Just her gaze as I walked by was one where she clearly is convinced I am a buzz kill.  ::)

D had to go to the bank, so I sent her out to pick up my Danish Oil and then I can finish that blasted desk and get it into the library. I am determined to get this project completed.

I am still chasing the high school for my paycheck. It is going through the channels, but it is frustrating me. My M is not letting up on the employment question. And, then my F got a call while I was there. The commission is a go and it has an unveiling date of November 11, which means it has to be done in a very short time period. It is nothing like the life-size project, but it still means building in for possible things like the casting failing. It won't be like the last project and requiring non-stop 8 hour days for a year, but it will be a push.

I was thinking about this particular project. It is funny, the last unveiling had the same exact date back in 2013. Looking back, that project, while a special time for me, was also difficult. MLC was rolling in full force, although BD wouldn't come until later. OW had shown up on scene, although it wasn't even a EA, just she was introduced to Xh back then. FIL's cancer had come back and XH clearly resented my parents being in good health.

What contributed to more jealousy was my F's M was still alive, although she had full blown Alzheimer's by then. But, at that point, my grandmother was still happy to have visitors and I spent many days with my F when he would go visit and sing with my grandmother for a couple of hours. My grandmother would not be able to form sentences quite often, but after singing to her, she would begin to sing along and could recall songs, and then sometimes her thoughts, she could vocalize.

Thinking back, Xh, that year quit coming to birthday parties and events for my grandmother, which was so odd. He was one who had originally encouraged me to make the time to go and visit her, even when she could no longer figure out who I was. He and the kids would go along, knowing that for those moments, even though she didn't recognize the kids, she would be full of life and smile seeing them.

So, thinking about 2013 and the sculpture, etc - the timing, I failed to see the true extent of the jealousy Xh had. And it is not really my fault. I paid attention to him, and in fact tried to balance it out, making sure I treated it like a regular job, coming home when the kids were done with school for the day. I was there for the homework and dinners. I would make time to spend with Xh.

When S jumped on board and did some of the assembly and welding, I now know that just added fuel to that fire. I realize those were moments that S had with my F that Xh would never have with his own F, ever. And my FIL was always critical. Xh was never going to measure up, or at least he would never hear his F tell him what he needed to hear.

On my walk back, I was thinking about the unveiling of that sculpture. Xh drove separately and refused to go to the after party. I went with the kids.

And it is so strange, because prior to FIL moving in, Xh had spent time with my F all the time. He took on a huge task of organizing and curating an exhibit with me for my F years ago. He was thrilled to do the PR, the designs and we built cut aways, showing the casting process.

I am not upset about it, it just is so clear now how deep Xh's FOO issues ran and how they bubbled up. I didn't see it back then.

The problem is back then, I felt immense guilt like I had done something wrong. And the thing is in the past, if he had expressed perhaps he maybe felt neglected, we would have come up with a solution. But, in all honesty it wouldn't have mattered at that point.

So, this piece is like my F says, in some ways a do-over for me. The pressures will still be there in terms of I am it and the only "adult" running the show. However, both kids know they can come hang out in the studio and either pitch in or just to talk. It has always been that way.

My F's studio was his space, but if my sister and I ever needed to talk to him about anything, we could go park ourselves on a stool and he would throw us some clay to play with. And we could sit and be quiet or we could have a deep conversation. It was never like a space where we weren't allowed to enter. And we respected that it was a bit a sacred space.

I had done some work on the last large commission, but I was coming off of the divorce. S and my F took the long trip to install that piece. It was a trip they loved. I am not sure if this will be shipped, but I am kind of hoping to deliver it in person. I could use a road trip with purpose.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#8: September 01, 2020, 03:59:54 PM
Fellow rock lover here- oh my, got to stroll the bay of fundy at low tide and was like a kid in a candy store.

If that commission is coming just south of NY state, lemme know:)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#9: September 01, 2020, 11:56:39 PM
forthetrees - I can remember the first rock I absolutely became fascinated with. It was one my parents brought home from the beach when they had been on their honeymoon. It was bright white with black veining in it. The stone from the beach was so much smoother than the ones outside of our house. It was something that sat on a shelf next to other stones and sculptures that my F had carved from marble and soapstone. I was very fortunate in that I was allowed to touch those things. My F always felt that most sculptures should be held and felt. It was part of why he loves that particular medium. It is tactile.

I am not one to go and buy rocks and collect them that way, although I had a couple that when I was in elementary school I bought on trips. And, I don't go around picking up rocks all the time.

And, it is what has me thinking right now. Who wakes up and starts thinking about rocks in the middle of the night ::)

Okay, so in reality it is just part of a whole lot of other thinking going on.

I had been talking to a friend of mine and telling her I had made the fatal error of putting the news on, something I have been trying to avoid to some degree. It just seems like too much lately. I want to be informed, but I can't stomach as much as I once used to pre MLC. The upheaval and discourse, combined with tragedy was more than I could handle. So, I decided to just make an early night of it and try and reset my brain and focus on some positive things.

But, life intervened and S came in. He had just sold a transmission from his parts truck and went to set his phone down so as not to ruin it with the move and it slipped off of the table onto the garage floor. He has a protective case on it, but it fell just right and shattered the screen. Now, out of any of us, S is the one that relies on his phone for work and for classes, etc. He uses it like a portable computer and I have no problem with fixing it. But, he felt bad because he could see I was tired.

The phone, as part of the divorce agreement, which I actually adhere to, says that I would carry cell phone service for both kids until they graduate college. Originally, Xh's argument was so he could be assured he had contact with both kids. Makes me laugh now, but I made a promise and said I would do that.

It meant opening up the computer and filing a claim and filling out all sorts of forms online so that S can take it to get it fixed. It is a fairly new phone and he felt so bad having dropped it.

Just as I finished with him, I got a text from D. She had an email from the college late in the afternoon that she had missed, but wanted to discuss some financial aid that is being thrown her way. I just couldn't and told her to put it on my calendar for tomorrow after she gets home from her classes. So, my computer shared calendar now has that on it.

I called it a night, suddenly just exhausted. I fell right asleep and then woke up. The sky was bright, but the full moon was only lighting up the clouded sky. It is too foggy outside to see the actual moon. And, as I just stared at the ceiling suddenly very wide awake, I swore I could smell the distinct smell of air freshener that my M's mother used.

My M's mother used to have a fake drawer in her desk where she hid her romance novels and her cigarettes. She rarely smoked, and tried to hide it from my grandfather. She never lit up a cigarette around any of us, but when we were playing school one day at that desk, my sister and I discovered a false bottom in that drawer. It would have meant my grandfather built it for her, which had to be quite the conversation - trying to explain to my grandfather why she needed that and to think perhaps he would not know what was really going in there. And he knew. He just never let on, because looking back, my grandmother smoked when she was really stressed out. And there was always a can of Glade on the other table in that office space. It didn't make a whole lot of sense in the overall scheme, but she would spray it to hide the cigarette smell. Back in that era, the scents were not like fresh linen, but they were often an almost sickening smell - overly sweet, or really very fake. The scent I swore I could smell when I woke up was the one that was this odd pine scent. I can't say that I have ever smelled a pine tree like that, but that was what it was back then.

I don't know why or where the scent came from, because once I was fully awake, the only fragrance in the air was the smell of fresh sheets and the air coming in through the window.

That wasn't what woke me up though. I realized that my head was rather sore near my temple and then I realized that I had been bitten by something on my walk with the dog later in the evening. It hadn't hurt when it initially happened and I had just brushed away an insect, but it must have stung me right at the base of my eyebrow. I came downstairs to grab an antihistamine to try and ease the swelling.

I made a cup of tea, because the dog heard me up and she needed to be protective and started barking. By then I needed to just stay up for a bit to calm her back down. And, then my mind wandered to rocks. LOL

It is not just rocks I find fascinating. I am such a visual and tactile person. It explains how I can close my eyes and sometimes know exactly how something feels. And that is where the lack of physical contact factors in.

I am so easily drawn to look beyond what most will pay attention to. Whether it is cloud formations or the textures of the different tree bark. But, I have realized that having spent so much time realigning myself during the MLC walks, I started to really pay attention to sounds and smells more and more. There are some days the sound carries from the trains that go through and other days, I cannot hear them at all. They are miles from my house. I never noticed it before BD. Now, I pay attention to so much more.

But, what has me now just reeling is this strange empty feeling. I take great pleasure in those things and they fill up part of me. I felt like life was starting to fall into place a bit more. I have been trying to embrace this whole mess and I do need the break from teaching after last semester. The whole experience wore me down. But the reality of it is also setting in. I am not really sure what I am supposed to be doing right now. While teaching didn't define who I was, that is it was just a part of me, it has become a big filler for my life. It was my social time in some ways - human interaction, and it helped push me. And, in some ways it took over too much of my life, especially during the Covid online learning. But normally, this time of year, I would be wishing there was another week before school started. I would be gearing up and nervous, only to enter the classroom and find my stride at some point.

It is just adding to the uncertainty in my entire life. Right at this moment, I feel a strange sense of not knowing what I am supposed to do beyond just keep things stable for the kids. I know I will figure it out, but wow, it is an odd feeling.

I went outside and sat for a bit on the back deck. It was peaceful, but it has been a while since I felt truly alone.

And in this very crazy loop of thoughts, I found myself thinking about of all things - chalk. The dusty sky reminded me of a pastel drawing. Somewhere, I have pieces of chalk that came out of the rocks I found in France when I was a kid. I am going to have to go see if they are still in the glass jars in my old bedroom at my parent's house. I am going to blame the antihistamines  ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#10: September 02, 2020, 12:44:54 AM
Interesting parallels to the 2 VERY different "unveilings" especially where your R with your F is concerned as opposed to the R xH COULD have had if he hadn't lost his cheese......

Ironically, my S also dropped his phone and the screen is shattered.... Unfortunately, he has a boutique phone that he HAD to have and the cost to replace the screen is nearly as much as the phone itself was in the first place.... But he didn't replace the screen guard when it fell off and he didn't have it in a case so .... Lessons... hard lessons...
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#11: September 02, 2020, 03:47:33 AM
Maybe keeping kids stable and giving the pooch a great year is enough. Even though your kids are in college, with the pandemic it changes the equation for what kids need. As for what Momma needs, yes, you need companionship and touch. Maybe you need a year away from teaching to recover from all the accumulated stress- if the financial worries are not a tsunami of another kind. Could be that the Universe is making you available to your kids instead of spreading your goodness to them and all of your students. Pandemics do require a rejiggering.

I did not stuff my car with Bay of Fundy rocks but boy oh boy, I took a lot of photos.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#12: September 02, 2020, 09:21:55 AM
UrsaMajor - fortunately the screen on the front was all that shattered. We are still paying on that phone and I could have used the insurance to pay for another one, but that would have added more to the cost. S felt really bad. The repair won't be terribly expensive, but it was just the moment for me of "now what" that hit.

forthetrees - I have been wanting to go to the Bay of Fundy, but clearly it won't be this year.

I had the same thought this morning, that maybe this is the universe giving me a breather. I will figure out the finances. There are options for the long term. In the past I did curriculum writing, etc. when this happened. Or, I am not above take a job at the garden center like I did before and picking up freelance if all else fails. I will make sure the bills are paid. IDK. I think it is all the other uncertainty weighing on me.

But, life has a way of surprising you. My F may have a second commission rolling in that will be sizable. He has a meeting tomorrow with a former client who is looking for another piece. We will see. No matter what, I am printing of the necessary reference photos for the current commission for scale and tomorrow morning I will be up in the studio first thing in the morning playing in plasteline. The weather should be perfect for that medium, as it is going to be warm out, so we won't have to worry about warming large batches of the modeling clay.

S saw my eye this morning and laughed wanting to know who won the fight. The eye is no longer tender and the swelling is down, but it is still a bit puffy. That always helps make you feel attractive - LOL. Oh well, could have been worse.

I received a notice that my department secretary at the college decided to retire. I am happy for her. She was my F's secretary for years and she was always a huge help. She had enough years in and decided that after last semester she was just done with this type of situation and it was time to step away. She will make the most of her retirement. She loves spending time with her H and they make time for each other. It is refreshing to see there are happy couples and they work at it.

I am going to do my best to just embrace the time I have off for now. I have plenty of things to keep me busy and I know I am not one to give up. Maybe this is a new adventure. I just have to keep reminding myself to look to the positives and to keep my mind open to possibilities.

And, well the dog - she is part of the focus at the moment. She is not eating her food now. I think her larynx is tender at times. Moist food has been too much for her in the past, but I may give that a try. This morning her allergies flared up and I had to give her Benadryl. When S found a lump under her leg last night he was very concerned. I am pretty sure it is just the type of mass that older dogs sometimes get. It doesn't hurt her, but I will keep an eye on it. I am of the mind that I know she is slowing down more and more. With no cure for the laryngeal paralysis, I am of the mind to just keep her happy and comfortable. So this morning, she had a scrambled egg for breakfast with cheese. She loves cheese  ::)

I like cooking for others, but I guess I never thought I would be cooking for the dog.  ::) I don't think I will be sharing my wine with her.  ;)
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« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 09:47:23 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#13: September 02, 2020, 06:03:51 PM
Well the full moon never fails to provide drama and excitement.  ::)

Tonight, I pushed someone way out of the ring they were in. Oh, they were never in that inner ring and I knew that, but they were a friend none the less. And, it takes a lot for me to push someone out. It may have been in part the very odd head space I was in today - IDK.

I had come to some conclusions earlier today while I was working on the desk. I had been available all morning for everyone and no one bothered me. The minute I found myself in the middle of a project it was if somehow they all knew. The dog, my M, my kids - and the phone ringing off the hook. I stood there and decided I need to just tell everyone no and unless they were bleeding to death, I was not available.

With the pandemic, I fell into a very bad trap. I was available for everyone at all hours of the day. I feel guilt when I put up boundaries and try to tell people what I need or don't need. My frustrations, I am aware are on a bit of a high alert lately and I am more tender.

I found myself in a very odd place this afternoon. I haven't had a meltdown over BD in ages. I only know the dates because they always aligned with the start of school. But today, I had this overwhelming feeling of WTF am I supposed to be doing? I should be preparing for school and classes - complaining about wishing I had another week of vacation. Yet, here I was thinking, OMG what am I doing and what will I do? I am going to be okay financially, I have planned. But, it didn't quell those sudden feelings emerging. And then came the feeling of being so easily disposed of.

I know in reality I am not the only one and the pandemic is in part to blame. But, I suddenly felt this overwhelming feeling of being tossed aside and not given a second thought. And there is some truth in that. Right now, those who. are remaining on the collegiate ship are just trying to tread water themselves, there is no room for the other crew members. I am not angry with them. I get it. But, it does feel a bit like you are one of the ones on the Titanic left on the ship while the lifeboats are rowing away. It is not a good feeling.

I know in reality I will figure it out and maybe something positive will happen, but today, the feeling was just overwhelming. So, I pushed through and worked on the desk top and tried to put my focus somewhere else. I was successful for some time, just sanding and oiling the desktop, not allowing that feeling of easily disposed of enter my mind.

And then S came home. Now, the millwork owner has been my friend for a long time. Not an inner circle friend, but a friend none the less. And I know his quirks and his philosophies. He is obsessed with becoming rich and that is his idea of success. He and I have had this conversation before.

The thing is, he and I were not around one another for a very long time. He doesn't really know all of what has gone on. And even if he had been around, I am not sure he would have known the depth of the reality I lived because I guard so much because some of it to me is pointless.

Xh and I did very well for a long time. To look at my situation now, no one would know that. And that is okay. I have accepted the realities of the situation and it isn't always pretty. But, I also know the other side. Even before Xh, there are things I just don't share because I put more stock in people's character than who I have met or know.

My F's resume was very extensive and I was exposed to some pretty big names at an early age in terms of collectors, etc. Never really cared, still don't. Nor did my F. If you were to ask him, his favorite piece he ever sold was to a blind woman that was a "no one" not the big celebrity names that collected his work. And, I learned at an early age to appreciate the janitors at the college as much as the big administrators. Without the janitors and custodians the place would have fallen apart.

So fame and fortune have never been something I chase. The thing is, there was a time, when my friend, S's boss didn't know a whole lot about my life. I did my time on the "other side". There is so much I don't share, because I find most of the people I encountered shallow and vapid. Money was not what drew me to people - it was character. And there was a time when I began to lose myself in the whole mentality. The resorts, the truth was that wasn't really me. I know it. It wasn't the resorts, or the money, but some of it was Xh's need to be one of the "beautiful people" and it became an addiction. I bought into it for a bit and I know I began to chip away at my own soul.

And it isn't about the money. That is, sure more money would always be nice, but for me, it has never been what defines my own happiness. I want to be a good person, who can pay their bills and enjoy my life. Nice things are at the end of the day, just nice things. That is my core values. Somewhere for awhile I lost that.

And then along came MLC and I went the other extreme and allowed Xh to completely destroy what we had built up. To look at my life now, sure, it looks like I have always struggled. The truth is, sometimes the struggles have been the best times of my life. I have taken great pleasure in knowing I was able to fight my way back. There is a bit of that sense right now. No, on paper, it is so ugly, but I take some pride in knowing that I kept the kids in the house, I have gotten them to at least a good stable point, and no, it is not what I would like it to be, but compared to where I was headed it is a big deal.

So, when S mentioned my friend went on a rant as he is known to do, S said the boss told him that he loves me and I raised him right in so many ways, but I failed and continue to fail on one big area and that is to think like a rich person. He said I didn't get S to think like Jeff Bezos. And doesn't S want to be rich? S was grumbling when he came home and said it was just the boss being the boss. That is true, that is one of his constant complaints. He and I had several rows about that in the past, as I told him not all of us equate wealth with success.

But tonight, that just gutted me. How could my friend say this about me? The truth is he really has no clue as to what I have been through and where I have been. He has no idea what it is like to be nearly left homeless due to a MLCer gone mad and fight your way back to the surface. And, unfortunately this came not the same day that I am already struggling to find my own sense of not feeling like some misfit toy.

I was livid. It made me want to go over to his house and lay out who I know and how easy it would be to make calls that would just make his head spin. But that was reactive. That isn't me on any level. I have now just pushed this friend to a ring farther out. I know it is his philosophy in terms of success and I could have accepted that, but he made fatal error. He attacked me in front of my kid. An attack that was way out of bounds and without any real context. Oh, sure he was trying to make a point, I am sure, but it has landed him in a very bad position with me. I have now put up a ring in between the one that was there. I am pissed. I am hurt and maybe it is my own soft spot and bringing up a trigger that I had put so far behind me - the BD and the stupid things that hit right before school started. I had left that in the dust simply know their existence because of the timing. Now, I am reeling from it all.

Tomorrow, I begin the commission and it is what I need. I just need to throw myself into something I love doing because the rest of my life is so uncertain and right now, I have no answers or real direction in terms of knowing where I stand on many fronts.

I know I have money coming in. I know I will be okay until at least December without having to draw unemployment. I will check into that as well. I know spring could bring something else. I know the kids are settling in, even though there are some unanswered parts regarding tuition, etc. I know I have plenty of projects to keep me busy. My personal life is a mystery as far as I can tell.

I am not liking this feeling of just plodding along and alone. It is too much like BD and limbo for my likes, but it is the reality right now. One day at a time and I will go back to what saved me in MLC - just focusing on the positives and figuring out ways to put myself outside and reconnect with my spiritual side. Maybe it is supposed to happen this way - IDK. 
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« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 06:15:34 PM by MourningDove »

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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#14: September 03, 2020, 07:10:15 AM
Hmmmmmm ......

Those are the kids of "friends" that one can honestly do without I think... To call not being obsessed with fortune a failure is beyond the pale.... Look at the state of the world today... It is being run into the ground by the few that feel "rich" equals "success" and "power" (OK, money does unfortunately give one a bit of leverage) but, you know what?

One day, he, me, you, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, is going to die. We will leave this earthly existence.... and you know what else? You can't take your bank account with you when you go..... You can't take the expensive car, the luxury home, the Gucci Sunglasses.... none of it....

What you take with you are your memories of who and how you loved and lived on this spinning ball of rock. Those are the things that, when it is time to walk into the light (or get dropped into a hole in the ground or whatever else your belief system envisages), that carry you forward.

Those are also the things that carry us forward in our day-to-day struggles with this life. Money may make some issues easier to solve but it brings other problems with it and rich people are usually not any happier than those who have "enough" in their lives, who CHOOSE to be content and enjoy what they have rather than envy those who have "more." Because those who make the choice to enjoy what they have and be content with it are those who are truly happy. If one is comparing themselves and their list of possessions to someone else, that is like stabbing yourself in the nose with a fork.... Because there will ALWAYS be someone who is richer, tanner, better looking, taller, shorter, slimmer, better built, has nicer clothes, drives a nicer car, whatever!  It is ALL external  and everything external can be taken away.....

One's internal happiness and contentedness can not be taken away (permanently). It may be shaken to the core (like at BD) or totally upended like those whose partners have done horrible things as they make their way through the tunnel.... but in the end, it is within our own realm of influence to CHOOSE happiness and contentedness or to choose to be envious, jealous, and feel "less than" because we compare ourselves to some, mostly obtainable, ideal that we consider to be "perfect."

<Climbing off of my soapbox>

The boss needs a good dose of 2x4 reality....  ::)

and he deserves to be informed that he has just shot himself in the foot... with a VERY large caliber weapon.... <muttering "what a jerk" under my breath>
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#15: September 03, 2020, 10:59:55 AM
UrsaMajor- Yes, money does sometimes help, but it is not the road to complete happiness, at least as far as I can see.

I found myself just completely in a heap last night. I had spoken to my good friend last night and she could hear the pain in my voice. She suggested that maybe I need to see an IC. And, while I am not opposed to that idea, she said something else that really resonated with me. She said I am not stuck as such, but this pandemic put me in a very odd place and I am having a hard time moving forward. The phase she used was sometimes we have to peel back layers and remove things to be able to move forward.

The problem I had with this friend of mine saying what he did was something that woke me up out of a deep sleep and I found myself thinking from 1 am until about 4 again. I don't care when people criticize my ways, or have opinions about my kids, etc in some cases. But, this felt like a bit of an assault on my character, and his timing could not have been worse. I was already having a very odd day with the strange BD feelings rolling in. And I won't say it was a trauma type trigger. It was just the current situation feeling so out of my control which brought those feelings to the surface. It had little to do with Xh and some feelings for him - it was that odd sensation of not having control of my own life or the circumstances, which lead to the other feelings of being disposed of, etc. Mind fire trucking at its best.  ::)

My friend can have his opinions and he sometimes has this misconception that because I am artistic that I float through my life and don't have a business sense at all. I laid in bed and laughed at one point and thought about my situation. I have never been motivated by money. Yes, it makes things easier in terms of some stress, but then my idea of heaven would not be living in a multi dollar mansion with people waiting on me. And, the truth is, my friend really has no clue and it is not a point I need to argue with him. I don't ever expect him to understand. The only thing that may make him see that none of that matters at the end of the day, that is the material things might take a really big slap from the universe. But, I don't wish that on him. I will simply adjust my expectations of our friendship.

It made me laugh a little as I thought about the reality. I don't have a house payment. I have minimal debt, and I pay my bills. There are things that are still not financially where I would like to be, but I have made huge strides to get back on my feet. I am not living off the system somehow. So, why does it matter to anyone else? And, my kids, they are adults and both work hard and have strong ethics and values. They work hard, so I hardly think the fact that they don't think in the "rich" mindset is a problem. By most accounts, people tell me how fortunate I am to have raised a couple of very loving, kind, hardworking kids. They aren't perfect, but I consider myself pretty blessed most of the time with the kids I have.

Since I was wide awake, I began to really search deep within myself as to why this set me off and drew a line back to the past few months of my ups and downs. It goes back to what things do I have control over and where do I need to adjust. My friend, his opinion in this matter simply pushed him out of the circle he was in because it is not in my value system. To make such a statement and devalue me in essence because I don't think the way he does just made me realize he is a friend who you have limited conversations with and his assessment crossed a line in my overall value system. It was too similar too some comments Xh made in MLC, and that doesn't help either. Those who understand me and those I trust at a whole other level -- those opinions I will take more seriously even when it is a 2x4 they are smacking me with.

I fought so hard to find my own core again and before the pandemic, I had my moments, but I was really in a good place. I felt better and at least could say I could see my core. I was feeling true to myself. It is not to say that I was somehow feeling like I was perfect, because I am one to look at myself from a critical lens and try to grow. The past few months, I was sucked into the pandemic shutdown and the online situation to the degree where I went from 10,000 steps on a slow day to 500, as I tutored 75 students all hours of the day for months. I was bound to my students and the computer. And, I can say I would have done it differently, but the truth is, the situation perhaps required more of me. I guess, I don't entirely regret some of the extra energy I put in. I know I tried to do my best under really stressful circumstances.

But, once the classes were done, there was this feeling of being completely drained. That part I just didn't step back far enough and look to see what I was missing. I drained the tank of energy for myself.

I can see it in the gardens outside. I am not happy with how they look. Usually, I love being outside and in the sunshine this time of year. I haven't wanted to tackle it - it has felt like too much. Everything has felt like too much. But then I would find these bursts of energy and do these projects that filled me. I pushed too hard at times, I know. But, those were the times where I felt alive again.

This morning, I went and helped my F with the first steps of the commission. I had printed out the preliminary work and we came up with a game plan. I spent time cutting up some wire and my F formed an armature to start building up on. As he worked on that, I pulled back the plastic wrapping and wet cloths from my sculpture from last Saturday.

That sculpture and the process that followed brought me more answers than I would find in hours of an IC at this point. I know what needs to happen. I needed to pull apart the torso in areas and reconfigure the skeletal structure I had built underneath. It is not always easy to peel back things and realize in order to move forward, I had to go backwards. Hours of work from last week needed to be essentially destroyed to reconfigure the arms on the torso. I had to take pliers and bend the substructure and hit it with a hammer at times. It was a very physical process, but the stress rolled right away from me. And, I destroyed some of the best parts that I loved about the piece, but it had to happen. It was in that process, I realized it is what has to happen in my daily life - I need to pull back the layers and reconfigure some things.

As I worked, I suddenly felt very centered. I haven't felt this way in a long time. I know what has to happen in my life. I look back now and see what I set aside during the pandemic. Some was beyond my control, and some not, but it comes back to things I sacrificed. It is in those sacrifices that I am now feeling these other effects. The triggers setting me off and the fears rolling in.

It is not that I haven't had fears before, but one area I have neglected is my spiritual side. My own time where I took my walks and just let myself focus on what was around me. So many times I found peace or even answers to my own questions. They weren't always clear or some sign, but there was a calmness that came over me. I am missing that.

I don't think this is about me needing to talk it through with someone at this point. I think I need to get back to my core values and where I am happiest before I throw myself into going and just trying to talk it out. Right now, I think I have spent too much time thinking and talking it through. I need the physical change and to treat it like a meditative state. The walks and getting back to my more creative side. I am going to cut back on the media onslaught again and going to just try and focus on myself when I can. That doesn't mean I am somehow not giving of myself. I want to share parts of myself with others, but I need to put up boundaries and I need to recharge completely.

I was only in the studio for a couple of hours this morning, but everything about that experience this morning made me realize very quickly, it is what I need. I need the physical activity and that is what I need to nurture again to refill that part of myself.

Looking back to a year ago and where I was mentally at, had my friend said that, it would have ticked me off, but I would have told him to jump off a cliff and just rolled my eyes. So, while he was out of bounds, and it isn't going to somehow make me brush it off, I realize that maybe it is my own attitude that needs to adjust. There are always going to be people with opinions. I just don't have to listen to all of them. I need to adjust. I can only control my part in this.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#16: September 03, 2020, 07:28:09 PM

I had done some work on the last large commission, but I was coming off of the divorce. S and my F took the long trip to install that piece. It was a trip they loved. I am not sure if this will be shipped, but I am kind of hoping to deliver it in person. I could use a road trip with purpose.


Hey, I think I recall that large commission coming to my state, MD! 

I sure hope you get the chance to help deliver this one.   Your Father is an amazing and talented man. 
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#17: September 04, 2020, 09:07:28 AM
stillbaffled - yes, you are correct. The last commission was brought delivered to Minnesota. I was so hoping to get to see it myself this summer, as it was in my travel plans for the summer. But, I guess it will have to wait.

My sister and I have often joked with my F when we were younger we knew how lucky we were and he really set the bar very high for any potential men that entered our lives.

Oh, sure, now that my F is older, he is a little cranky at times and doesn't have the same patience, but we laugh about it. He still amazes me when he is in the studio. He has had both hips replaced and suffers from arthritis, but he is amazingly strong mentally and physically at 83. He doesn't work as many hours and takes breaks, but the definition in his forearms is mind boggling. People come up to me all the time and ask how old he is. They swear he looks like he is in his 60's and he moves a bit slower than he used to but behaves like he is much younger. Youthful spirit.

People have made so many assumptions over the years about my F. Some assume that because he is an artist it must have meant he had naked women running around the house and lived some Bohemian lifestyle. Those who know my F will laugh. My F appreciates beauty, but there has never been any doubt what woman held his attention and his heart. His level of loyalty and commitment to my M is no secret.

The other thing is because my F lives out in the country in the middle of nowhere that he is unknown. He moved back here because he could work without a whole lot of interruption and his inspiration is often found in nature or historical. He is not going to end up in the art history books, but he has had a very successful career. I always laugh when someone will say to me, "maybe someday he will become famous and his career will take off". Hmmm, he has done okay.  ::) But, my F is pretty humble. He is not about to boast about where his work is or who he knows. Many of his clients are just listed for his own purposes or when he has had to use it for PR in gallery shows. I often giggle when those comments arise because the list of names is pretty impressive. But, he has no personal need to name drop.

I was in his studio thinking about the one client who was having a portrait done and called to ask if there was somewhere they could land his helicopter. No problem - LOL. Oh, sure, it is not a helicopter pad, but there is a field across the way that you can use. LOL. To my dad, it was just "another day at the office".

Working next to him yesterday was a true blessing. While he was busy working away and it was at a point where I would have just been in the way, I went to work on my sculpture. Usually we have music on, but we opted to just throw the doors to the studio wide open and let the fresh air come in and listen to the birds outside. We didn't need to talk. Sometimes we have had deep conversations, but yesterday, the talk was about the work. He came over and helped me when he saw I was looking through the collection of wire and needing something to extend the arms of the torso I was working on. He got so excited when he told me to wait, he had the perfect solution. He ran over to his other stash of wire and brought a larger gauge wire, but more malleable.

That couple of hours did so much for me. I felt a different energy. And, I have a lot of work to do on that sculpture now that I have pulled away sections and had to destroy parts in order to get to where it needs to go. It didn't frustrate me. Instead it was an acceptance of what needed to happen, attacking it and having a clearer vision of knowing it was needing work, but the challenge felt invigorating instead of defeating.

And, maybe that is the problem as of late. I have felt this cloud of defeat hanging over me. I haven't given into it totally. I have been outrunning it, but I am tired and so, my attitude is just changing. Go ahead, rain down on me - I will either find an umbrella or get wet. Bring it on.  ;)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#18: September 04, 2020, 07:04:08 PM
I had to work this afternoon for a very short time slot. I am not sure how I ended up with that time slot, but it was okay. I worked around the house and then went to put in a 3 hour shift. It was a quick shift for a variety of reasons and it was incredibly busy.

I had gotten really dressed up for once. It has been awhile since I went full on makeup, jewelry, dress and heels. My dress was a navy color and I was trying to decide on shoes. I had put on a pair of my glasses and when I was looking in my closet, I opted for some light rose stiletto sandals. I had matched them to the temples on my glasses.

While I was working away, a woman I know very well came in. She and her H were back from their summer home and she asked me what I was up to. I told her I was on "sabbatical" it seems. She knew what I meant and we had a good laugh about it. Then I saw her get very excited and she said "good". Oh? My unemployment is a good thing? LOL. Well, she has joined the board of an arts organization, one that is incredibly active and has a very large membership. So, she is officially in charge of programming as of now. And, she wants to snag me for my areas of expertise. I happen to know this particular group has an endowment and pays their artists very well. She said she remembered our discussion on the importance of loving the process and she is one of the few I have shared the more spiritual aspects of some of my work. The idea of finding some peace in that process, or even how to channel some of the energy through physical, more energetic brush strokes, etc.

So, I am now on her radar and I know she is persistent and organized. It's not a full time gig, but it will certainly help. And coming up with some programming of a different nature will be a nice change.

I left work and decided to run the errands that I had listed out a few days ago. I haven't been out much during this whole pandemic. D has taken on most of the grocery shopping and picking things up. I had compiled a list of stops that I needed to make and went off to Target. I can't recall the last time I was in that store - maybe back in May. It made the most sense over making multiple stops.

There were a lot of miserable people running around. Worn out. Cranky. IDK. But, I wasn't going to let the other people ruin my mood. I was in a good place.

I had to wait in line for a long time, only to have the register go down just as I approached. The poor cashier felt so bad. I laughed and said it was all good and I moved to another line, only to have to wait again. But this time, I was behind a gentleman, probably in his late 30's and his 2 young children. And, I laughed as the kids were full of life, and questions. The father rolled with it, but he was trying to keep an eye on the daughter in particular who was fascinated by all the other aisles. She must have been about 5 and the son was maybe 7.

The father was apologizing to me and I laughed, saying I had 2 kids and had experienced those moments years ago. He gave me a look when I said mine were much older and told them they were 22 and 19. He said there was no way I had kids that old. As the little girl rounded the corner, she spotted my shoes. Here eyes got wide. She didn't say a word. I looked at her shoes and they were clearly some mermaid inspired teal opalescent sandals. I told her I loved her sandals. She proceeded to tell me all about them and I kept her busy for several minutes. Her F was looking over and smiling. She then looked my outfit over and she said really liked how I matched my shoes to the sides of my glasses. It made me laugh and I told her no one else noticed that today. They only noticed how high my shoes were. She bounced out the door and waved.

When I got to the parking lot the F was returning the cart. He walked over and thanked me for keeping his littlest one occupied. He laughed and said she is spirited and fiery. I said it was my pleasure and I know that type of spirit, because my daughter, like his, is a red-head. He laughed and asked if it gets easier. I burst out laughing and recommended long walks by himself from time to time to save his sanity. LOL.

I was ready to come home, when S called and asked if I could pick something up for him. I was already on my way home, but he rarely asks me to pick up things. So, I laughed when I told him that would mean I had to stop at Walmart and the kids know how much I dread that. But, I did as he asked. Apparently this particular Walmart, it is the place to be on a Friday night because there was a line to get in. I sighed and just decided to get it over with and as I was waiting, I spoke to the young man who was watching the doors. Just a simple conversation. Said hello, asked how he was. We exchanged niceties. And I went and got my things. On my way out to the car, I was putting my things in the car, when I turned around to see the same young man retrieving the carts from the cart return. I waited by my car as he was starting to walk the carts back. I handed him my cart and thanked him. He stopped and said that was very thoughtful of me not to put it in the corral and to wait for him. I laughed and told him that seemed logical to me. And he told me he wanted to thank me for just being nice to him at the door. He went on to say he goes most days with no one even noticing him and it was nice to know that some people are still polite and kind. He went back to work and I thought about this on the way home.

I have heard this before from people before the pandemic - that I make an effort to be nice to people at stores, and such. It is something I put extra effort in after MLC hit. I have always done it, but more so now. But, for awhile the pandemic created some odd encounters. People who were very uncomfortable in general. It is easing up a little, but for me, it has become more important to take the time and thank the people who are manning these lines, etc. They cannot be enjoying standing there for hours on end and some people are just mean and confrontational. These people didn't make the rules and yes it is their "job" but it doesn't mean I can't take the time to let them know that I appreciate their efforts.

And, when I came home, S was working on his friend's truck with him. This young man is one of my favorites. He is polite and a good kid. He lives alone and works in a situation where he doesn't really encounter any one. I talked to the friend for a bit and asked about what he was up to. But, my "nice side" left for a moment when I heard the tell tale sound of one of S's other friends coming down the road. I muttered under my breath "FFS" and turned to S and told him that if this kid ends up drinking and ending up on my sofa again with his M at my door at 10 am there was going to be hell to pay. S's other friend laughed and said to S, "this is why I love your M". S and the friend assured me that they would make sure this kid didn't drink and they would send him home at a reasonable hour. I turned to S's friend and told him that he is lucky, as I don't say that about him or most of S's friends. He laughed and said he wouldn't want to be on my bad side. Good plan - LOL.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#19: September 05, 2020, 09:11:20 AM
S decided at dusk to light some of the brush he cut down on fire and have a bonfire. S's friends were getting ready to leave, so I asked what was with the bonfire. S smiled and said it just seemed like a nice way to end the week.

The fire took hold quickly, as some of the brush was from the apple tree that had been taken down some time ago. I was ready to go to bed, but wanted to walk down to see how S was. His GF was exhausted, having been out making deliveries for the restaurant where she works. She said it was incredibly busy and she is now on the schedule for the entire weekend, as some of her coworkers have decided they are "sick". She knows better, based on who the people are, but she said the weekend will provide good tips, so she will take the hours.

When I got to the orchard, the fire was roaring and S seemed mildly concerned that it would burn longer than he anticipated. I told him I was going back to the house and getting a couple of blankets. He gave me an odd look. I smiled and said if we were going to be outside much longer, we may as well be comfortable on the cold ground. He knew I was originally planning on going to bed, and he felt a little guilty. I told him not to worry about me - I may just sleep under the stars.

He began laughing when he saw me with an armload of blankets. I came back and spread a blanket on the ground and had one for each of us to wrap around our shoulders.

The night was perfect. There was a light breeze in the cool night. The moon was glowing and the sky was so clear. In the orchard under those conditions, you can see all the stars. S laughed and said it was like a trip to the planetarium. The fire roared away and the orange glow was so perfect. The smoke was minimal, as that fire was so hot.

We sat outside, just the 2 of us for a couple of hours as we waited for it to burn down enough to cover the hot coals with dirt to make sure it didn't re-ignite.

Most of the time we just sat in a comfortable silence. Nothing needed to be said and we were both just enjoying the moment.

Out of the blue, S said to me that he remembered when he was little we would have bonfires when he and D would chase lighting bugs and play nearby. They would roast marshmallows and run around some more, trying to use up the energy from the sugar rush. Then exhausted, they would snuggle up next to me on a blanket on the ground. He laughed and said we would stay out really late some nights and I would let them sleep in the next day. It wasn't something we did a lot, but on nights like last night, yes, I figured they should experience the joy of a perfect end of summer night.

S thanked me last night for those memories. I punched his shoulder lightly and told him to stop because I was tearing up. And it was the perfect night. We could hear the train in the distance coming through at midnight.

We laughed about the accuracy of all the country songs that mention sleeping in the back of a truck bed under the stars. We joked as there was a truck bed nearby on the property line that is not attached to a truck at the moment. It is on the back of a trailer which is making a trip to the scrap yard. I laughed and said that seemed a bit redneck and then cracked up saying that the location of it alone was problematic, as it is in the woods and IDK, the idea of waking up with a raccoon snuggled up next to me wasn't really appealing.

We came in around 1 am, having buried the remaining fire under dirt. This morning, both of us said it was one of the best nights we had in a long time.

There was a certain satisfaction in knowing that the anniversary of BD #1, 2 and the divorce were around this time, that there have been so many good things since then. There is no sadness about what was and I was grateful that S has those fond memories. I know that Xh was part of those and I don't want that narrative to change. Those were good times, but it made me realize that I am also grateful that I held myself to my core and didn't demonize Xh. I caught myself and wanted to stick to that high road. It wasn't always easy and it still isn't sometimes. But, what would it have gotten me to tell the kids everything that went on between Xh and I?

I thought about my MIL and her need to constantly tell the kids all the bad things FIL did. Was she justified in her anger? Had he done those things? Yes, she had been cheated on and left. She played her part in the marriage issues, but she had a reason to feel like a victim to a degree. But, looking back, the longer she played the card the more bitter she became and ultimately her decision to stay stuck and make sure she was "winning" by telling the kids and anyone who would listen that she was wronged went on too long. The kids pulled away and didn't want to see her or talk to her all that often.

The first time I met her, Xh and I went to pick her up to bring her to SIL's for a month. It was an 8 hour drive. It had been nearly 10 years she and FIL had been divorced by then and she made sure I had the whole story. I remember feeling uncomfortable and Xh getting upset. He had just reconnected with FIL that same weekend and was trying to wrap his head around it all. It didn't clear the air for Xh. And, at least during that time, Xh would talk to me about his feelings.

I give MIL some credit though. It would take another 10 years, but she started to own her failings and focused on the things she had. She still would grumble and refer to FIL as that ba$--d, but she didn't play the victim anymore. And that would be when I saw Xh's relationship with her blossom. She spent more time focused on the present and their time together. It would only last for a few years, as she ended up getting sick and dying, which I am convinced was the beginning of Xh's MLC and FOO issues starting to emerge. He started bottling it all up.

For whatever reason, this simple night last night made me realize how important my silence has been sometimes. It doesn't mean that I can't tell the kids some things and I can put my boundaries up, etc, but the price I would have paid for trying to make sure people knew how bad things were, is too steep of a price to pay for my likes. It doesn't mean lying to my kids, but they need to remember their F as the man he was. And, they are old enough to see he is messed up. They can draw their own conclusions.

I wondered how different life would be if I had chosen to do as MIL had. I know I would not have had a night like last night with S. At the very least, the bitterness would have kept me from seeing the beauty in the simplicity of it all.

And, it comes full circle to the comment made by my friend a few days ago. Sure, money could have gotten me a glamping experience with some fabricated environment. But no money could buy what mattered last night.  :)
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« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 09:19:40 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#20: September 05, 2020, 02:19:04 PM
I have been focusing the past few days on being more present in the moment and paying attention to things that are gentle reminders. Those things that bring me back to a sense of some direction.

I think I always visualized my path in life as one that ran through a woods, with vines and a trail that sometimes needed to be discovered under my feet. With twists and turns. Obstacles like flowing water and things I might have to climb over. The landscape sometimes was rocky or seemed to have a fog, but somehow I always pictured it like a hike through a woods. Or at least that is how I imagined it. But, the couple of months, if I were to illustrate it and paint a picture, it has often felt like being in a desert with dust storms rolling in. Nothing for miles and no clear path whatsoever. And at times there were things that would happen, but I am not sure if they were just mirages or existed. And, this particular image has left me thirsty for something else.

I am more comfortable with the idea of my path being like a hike with the changing landscape as opposed to the desert. The desert image was too vast and no clear path for me. It left me unsettled.

I have realized it is on me to change that landscape. For me, that means focusing on the things that seem to make some sense. Or to pay attention to the positive things in my life. To embrace those little moments. Those post-it notes from God, as Treasur calls them. I have been so busy looking at the desert landscape that I have missed a few.

Moments like last night, I need to journal to just solidify the feelings I had last night. The sense of peace and calm. There was no need to worry about where the path is leading, because in that moment, I knew that was where I needed to be.

Today, I had agreed to working at the gallery. I have really tried to back away from Saturdays, knowing how once I offered, Miss Management in the past has taken advantage of my willingness to help out. I really don't want to work on the weekends if I can avoid it. I had at one point made those my days. The kids were often busy on the weekends, so it was easier for me to eek out some time for myself. I am not sure with this new schedule at home if that is true, but I am going to attempt to reclaim at least one weekend day to do as I please.

And, I am reclaiming my Wednesday evenings starting this week. Figure drawing has been going on for awhile, via Zoom, but that didn't interest me. I spent so much time on the computer for the online classes this semester, that I needed to take a break from it. Now that in person classes are starting up, I decided to participate. It will be odd on one hand, as the constraints and rules will take some getting used to. And, I am very cautious and I know this particular group - they will all adhere to the rules, even if they themselves don't necessarily agree with it. It is a group that respects the rules and the other people in the group.

This afternoon has been particularly busy and when it wasn't busy, I was trying to untangle a mess in the inventory. There was a lull in the foot traffic and I had just figured out where the mistake was made when the front door opened. I stood up and in came 2 men. I locked eyes with the one guy, and I heard him say my name. It took me a minute, as he is completely gray and with the mask it made it more difficult, but I knew the voice was familiar. I was shocked and felt this complete feeling of happiness. How he recognized me after all of these years is beyond me.

We haven't seen each other in probably 15 years and yet, our lives have often intersected with common people we know. I had come across his name several times in the news, as he is an avid runner.

I had dated his cousin "Mr. Hollywood" for a very short time many years ago and when Xh and I were first married, we spent a great deal of time with him, helping him with some PR for his own art work. He and I crossed paths at some point before MLC hit Xh.

I pass by his house from time to time and have wondered how he is, but he was never home when I went by. He has never been in the gallery. He asked me how Xh was. I said I really couldn't answer that and said we were no longer together. What I saw on his face was pure shock and he said he didn't see that coming, as we seemed like the perfect couple. I laughed and said that it would seem Xh had a very different idea, wanting out of being a F and a husband. But, I assured him I was really okay and in a good place now. And, I am. The mention of Xh doesn't upset me. I don't want to recount the destruction.

As we talked, he mentioned "Mr Hollywood" and how he had been in town. I told him I knew that and he had at one point contacted me a couple of years ago. His gaze told me what I already knew and that is his cousin is not the man for me. I laughed and told him not to worry, I had no intention of going down that path. He laughed, telling me that his cousin didn't deserve a woman like me and would never appreciate me.

He was here for a long time and he introduced me to his partner, who he has been with for several years now.

Seeing him was what I needed. He is an artist who is very in tune with nature and is such a positive person. He is a person who holds many of the same values I do and he was on the fast track on the gallery scene, but he pulled back when it was apparent people wanted him to churn out a formulation. He is true to himself and he is not a materialistic person, yet life has blessed him. He looked so content.

It was one of those moments where I knew that it was hard to dismiss this as coincidence. I rarely work on Saturdays and today, he decided to set foot in this gallery, having never been here, which he noted was strange as he has been to every other gallery in the region at some point. He was not sure why he has missed this one, as it has been here for years.

His visit was a gift. I needed the reminder of the people in my life that I have encountered who are full of kindness and embrace the good things life has to offer. And, seeing him reminded me of my own work and where I need to channel some of my own energy. What I need to do to fuel my soul.
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« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 02:29:21 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#21: September 06, 2020, 06:56:09 PM
I had made plans to snag the day for myself, but it didn't go that way, at least not the whole day. ::)

My M called this morning and they needed some help with the invoice for the commission. The file for invoices was on their older computer. So, I told her I would come up and just create a new one for them, as I realized booting up the older computer and updating the file would take me twice as long.

As I was doing that, my F came in flustered because the plasteline he has is not the right consistency for this size piece and mixing it from scratch is very time consuming and under the current pandemic situation it is a bit of a challenge to just get in the car and get supplies. So, I started searching online for professional grade plasteline that we could have shipped if need be. There is a local supplier, but currently, we realized they are in an area where there has been rioting, so that just seemed like a bad idea.

While we were discussing that conundrum, my M mentioned a couple of items that were from my great aunt's estate that were still in storage. They are things that belong in a museum and my parents, upon my suggestion contacted 2 museums who are thrilled as they don't have either of those items. So, I photographed them and sent images for the museum directors. My parents will be able to travel to those locations safely, being able to just drop them off curbside and it will give them a couple of field trips over the next week or two.

As I was finishing up, my F suddenly remembered before the Covid shutdown he was slated to do a demonstration at the place where he teaches his community classes and he was going to use his own supplies. In the storage closet, he would have left several pounds of plasteline. So, I offered to go help him go and pick up the slabs.

We found them and went from there to the hardware store to pick up parts for S, who was installing the second garage door today. S's friend had been there all day with him, helping with the door and they are attacking my F's studio space, rearranging the spaces now that the addition has been done.

As we were out, my F and I had a good talk. And, I mentioned I was craving a milkshake. He got this grin on his face and did a quick turn saying he knew where we should go. There is a local ice cream place that always runs a special Labor Day Weekend where they sell their Root beer floats for $1. He quickly told me not to tell my M. I laughed and said his secret was safe with me. LOL.

We sat drove down the to the canal and sat outside on a bench. He told me stories about some of the old buildings and we had a good talk about life in general.

I was home for about 15 minutes when I realized D would need my car tomorrow and I had been searching for bee spray for S, who had found hornets had built a nest in the trailer he is restoring. It is a hot commodity it seems, as everywhere we have checked have been sold out. It was getting late, but I also knew that meant it would be much quieter at the one farm supply store. It is a hike for me to get there, but I decided a drive was a nice idea. And it was a good choice. It felt a bit normal. Some of the corn fields are already being harvested and I took all back roads. I was in and out of the farm store quickly and I was right they had a large supply.

It allowed me to meander home and just enjoy the drive.

S was home when I arrived and so happy I had found the bee spray, since he has not been able to even walk by the trailer during the day. He was planning on waiting until the night time to blast the nests, as the cool air would make the bees less active. He worked a bit longer and I went out and asked what he and his friend wanted to do about dinner. We were going back and forth and then I suggested we go out. S was shocked. We have all been very careful. When I told him where we should go, he laughed and said that made sense.

The restaurant I had suggested is one where I know the owner. We have been fortunate to live in an area with fairly low numbers of Covid, in part because of the natural distance in the country, but many of the businesses and the like took it pretty seriously. The restaurant, I knew would be really quiet on a Sunday night, around 7 and the owner took a strong stance early on. He took out an ad in the paper and said that these were the rules and if you couldn't adhere to them, then you weren't welcome. I know he runs a tight ship and offers outside dining. When we arrived, there were only 3 tables set up outside and the busboy came over and wiped everything down before we were even allowed to come be seated.

We sat outside for a couple of hours, as the waiter said there was no one else around, so we didn't have to rush. The street was quiet and for the first time in months it felt sort of normal.

Now, as S, his friend and I agreed, we don't want to run out and go to a whole slew of restaurants any time soon, this was at least somewhat comforting knowing people were at least taking it seriously, even if they themselves have other views, they were respecting that other people may feel differently. And, I wasn't surprised, as the owner and manager have always been that mentality.

I came home, walked the dog and then flipped the desk right side up, as the oil was finally dry on the underside. Tomorrow I will put the final coat on the top of the desk. I have most of the day to myself as D and S both have classes. Since I got my parent's projects out of the way, I should be in the clear for a couple of days. My F is not planning on working until Tuesday, so hopefully, my day will truly be my own.  :)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#22: September 07, 2020, 08:13:56 AM
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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
S - 13, D - 9
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 - 3
#23: September 07, 2020, 12:45:06 PM
UrsaMajor. Yes, these happen to be hornets and S knows they don't like to play nice. LOL.

Seeing that clip makes me glad no one got my "bee adventure" caught on any recording. I must have looked like a tearing my clothes off on the back deck. I am so careful now near that part of the back yard. I got rid of the nest, but I will admit to being rather paranoid now. LOL.

D told her BF that I must really like him. My day has been quiet, but I have been focused on one project at the moment. And, D knows that the amount of time and care I am taking says loads about how I feel about her BF. Yah, he is a good guy and he certainly has proven how much he loves D. He has an unmeasurable amount of patience when she has her anxiety attacks and doesn't enable her. It is not a codependent relationship, but one where they respect each other's strengths and weaknesses.

He had started coaching back before Covid. He was asked by one of his former coaches to join the team and the school hired him. He was doing remarkably well and it helped him decide to go back to college to pursue a career in physical education.

D's BF had a scholarship to a well known university to play lacrosse. Problem was, his academics suffered, as the pressure to play and he was young. He bombed his first semester, having partied and goofed off. He left feeling like he was stupid. He had wanted to study something in business, thinking that was his forte. When he bombed out, he went to work full time, but he didn't think he would go back to school. He and D started dating and I will admit she kicked his butt when he would say he wasn't smart. His younger B was a star athlete and academically things came easy, where it seems her BF had some learning issues. But, D pushed him to take a couple of classes and to go talk to his former coach about helping out.

He ended up going to get some help in the learning center after D encouraged him and he learned how to study for his learning style. He went back full time and ended up on Dean's List both semesters and when he aced one particular class, I laughed. Very few people make it through the medical class Anatomy and Physiology the first round. He had an A.  He just understood it completely.

He was redoing his bedroom all summer. Putting in new flooring and setting the room up for the reality that online learning was going to have to happen. I had given him the top section of the modular desk I bought from my sister. I only wanted the file cabinets and was left with a top. He designed some shelving units and repurposed the desktop. It looks fantastic. When I asked him if he was happy with it, he answered "it is like a dream come true". I thought he was kidding, but it would seem the corner desk system was just what he has been wanting and allows him a perfect work surface for his needs.

So, when D happened to mention he had all of these things from his high school career in a drawer, she and I talked about it. She brought them to me and we came up with a plan to put them in frames and shadow boxes. He lettered in 3 sports and had multiple pins and extra patches. The types of things that mean nothing to me, but I know for him they are things to be proud of. D knew that this was not a simple process. She knew that when I said I was going to do this for him, it meant it was going to be properly preserved. And, she was right. I ordered all archival materials and covered the backing in fabric, tacking each patch to the backer with thread. It is time consuming.

She came home after I had been at it for 4 hours today. I am at the point where I am putting the paper on the back to keep the dust off from creeping into the pieces and putting proper hangers on each piece. I have done 5 pieces.

D's mentioned the last piece I did for Xh. Ah, piece is lucky I didn't take my frustrations out on it. I spent days on that. Building a stretcher that was 6' x 6', with all of the braces in the back to make sure it would not warp. Then, I covered the stretcher with fabric and attached a textile Xh had brought home from Costa Rica years ago. I gave it to him for Christmas the year of BD#2. My thoughtfulness was given no real acknowledgement. In the past, he would have been thrilled. That piece sat in storage for years and he had wanted it stretched.

It hangs in the media room. It is a lovely piece. I am hoping the kids will want it someday. Right now it doesn't bother me in terms of the Xh connection. I like it for what it is - a very colorful piece of artwork and the media room can handle larger pieces.

At some point, I may put something else there, but for now it is fine.

D is right though. I don't just offer to frame things, as it is not something I love doing. But, I know D's BF needs these reminders. He earned those things and they are special to him.

I am okay with spending my "me time" on this project today. Yah, D is right. He is a special guy and I guess I must approve of him - LOL.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#24: September 07, 2020, 07:23:30 PM
S came home a bit earlier than usual from classes. He said they were out early and he was able to hit the traffic before it got too insane. The toll road he said was busier than it has been, although not nearly as busy as it has been in past years.

He went out to the garage to work until the sun disappeared for the day. He came in and sat down watching me working away on the frames. He smiled when he saw I was redoing some pieces that he and D had done as kids. There were 2 small paintings that D made for me for Mother's Day back in 2011 and a piece S had made in second grade. I have had them up for years and people have asked me several times what gallery I purchased them at. LOL.

I never kept every piece the kids created, but I do have a box of special pieces and stories they have written. I photographed some of the dioramas that were particularly memorable.

S sat for a long time and started talking about his projects in the garage. S was very small when my M's father died, but he has some very specific memories of him. Going to see him at the nursing home and cleaning out the house when my grandmother decided she wanted to move into assisted living. When my grandmother had us clean out the house, no one wanted my grandfather's tools, as my cousins thought they were just old junk and my sister had no use for them. But, Xh decided that S would like them to play with and maybe some day would love the old wrenches. And S has them hanging up in the garage. He also inherited a bench vice that was my grandfather's. Tonight S said he was going to go back and refurbish it, as it needs to be cleaned up.

As we chatted about some of the tools S has from my grandfather, he mentioned that Xh had an epic meltdown last night. I laughed to myself thinking of course he did. And, in some ways it isn't funny, because there is clearly something about this time of year that just riles him up. FOO issues that he doesn't deal with that keep festering. The amusing part to me was it wasn't a trigger for me, but looking back, I realize that this was a common issue after Xh's M died. The school year would roll around and Xh would go into a manic clean the garage out stage. It wasn't just a move to organize, but if it wasn't nailed down, it ended up by the road to give away. And, there were times, I would go out and ask him if he had lost his mind. He would get frustrated and just start throwing things away without thought.

I can recall one time he had kept his tax records in a Rubbermaid tote in the upper storage loft. He was ready to throw that out and I stopped him, knowing that he hadn't even looked in that tote to see that perhaps he might actually need those if heaven forbid he was audited. They were not papers that were at the point where it was not an issue.

He rolled a new push lawn mower out to the road side. I told him he was clearly losing his mind. What would we use to mow the embankment, etc. He had no clue. He stared at me like I was speaking some foreign language.

And antiques that I ended up putting in my car and taking to the antique dealer to sell.

It was like this every fall for as long as I can remember. And then when a couple of months would go by he would come in spitting and sputtering about what had happened to this or that.

And that was the only time of year where we would see this behavior. Until MLC, and then it was a regular occurrence.

I guess I just learned that was his way of coping with things and rolled with it.

So maybe the amusement I was feeling was that clearly things haven't changed and more looking at myself and thinking that I really missed some big clues.

But then, it is my nature to accept certain things about people I love and just learn to roll with it. I knew that was a once a year meltdown and it drove me crazy, but for a very long time the rest of the year before MLC it was not like that. Looking back, it was a big red flag - LOL.

So S informs me Xh has decided he can't handle all of the projects in his workshop and he is needing to get rid of things. Some of them are S things. So, like it has happened before, S has to go and grab those things before Xh puts S's antique motorcycles out by the roadside.

What had changed with MLC, was Xh goes into these extreme buying stages and it is obsessive. Like when he got into motorcycles. First he built one. He left that here at the house. Not sure why. But, then he bought a vintage Harley followed by at least 7 motorcycles. Then it was antique cars. I can't keep track of all of the British vintage cars that were here. We had a minimum of 5 MGs and MGAs at one point. A Triumph Spitfire came and went. Then there were trucks and other cars. It was madness. FIL didn't help - he told Xh it was a good investment and a way to make money. My cousins restore vehicles and knew all too well that there can be money in it, but you actually have to know the market and these cars were often beyond just basic repairs.

S just shook his head and said to me "must be early September. Dad is right on schedule".

The conversation turned to this weekend. I forgot S had asked if he could bring his friend's dog here for the weekend. S's friend is standing up for his F who is getting married again and S said he would watch the 7 month old puppy. I was laughing because I think it is a conspiracy. He showed me the puppy. She has been here before but she was much smaller. She still likes to be cradled like a baby and is extremely snuggly. Oh, I am in trouble.  ::)

As it is my own dog has retrained me. She has figured out that the walks are much shorter. She now asks to go out multiple times a day. It used to be we went out about 2-3 times a day when it was for longer walks, which I still stick to. Yah, the past couple of days, she has the kids and I out at least 6 times and for walks. I did manage to get a full walk in with her tonight, as it has cooled off enough that her breathing was not nearly as labored.

I guess the upside is it will get me back outside and walking more. I have so wanted to go on longer hikes. Maybe if the weather is cooler I will dare take her. If not, it would seem I will have access to a puppy this weekend that needs energy run off.  ;)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#25: September 08, 2020, 12:02:23 AM
xH sounds like a "Binge and Purge" person....

Sounds like S needs to get his stuff out of the way before xH has it all gone... but it does have the whiff of manic behaviour about it, doesn't it?  So odd.... I guess if one could figure out what the "fall trigger" is, one could find ways to relieve the pressure but that would entail xH actually looking at the situation, realizing there is an issue, and then choosing to work on solving it...

Much easier I suspect to blame someone (ANYONE) or something else than to look in the mirror and work on himself....

I hope that S can get his stuff out of harms way before it goes the way of the great white buffalo.... ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#26: September 08, 2020, 01:57:01 AM
Well, I guess it must be reassuring that others see the same pattern, Mourning.  :) And presumably your son will eventually learn to not store things there....or not after August   ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#27: September 08, 2020, 11:16:08 AM
UrsaMajor & Treasur - Realizing it is not just me who sees it and observed Xh's change in behavior does help. It is a sad reality, and not a "haha, I told you so" sort of attitude I am feeling, but more of a sense of knowing I didn't imagine these things.

It has sometimes been hard to sort out what parts were MLC related and others that might have been things that were present all along or maybe were flaws in the marriage. What things did I contribute to? That is not always an easy thing to do - to look at your own flaws and how you handled things. I know that I enabled the behaviors later on. I dismissed them too much when they started. Or accepted them and brushed it off as just how Xh was coping. But the truth was, he wasn't really coping at all. And, I don't think any of my actions would have mattered. He wouldn't have necessarily listened to me. There was no reasoning with him when he got that way. It was easier to walk away and let him do his thing and to look over the pile of things along the road and to pull out those things I knew he didn't mean to throw out.

And, that was stupid on my part. It was like treating him like a kid in those moments. And, in reality, it was not a pleasant experience to be a witness of his meltdowns. I should have in some ways let him fall flat on his face and let him throw the things out. Maybe he would have stepped back and said later that was a stupid thing to do, but I highly doubt it.

If nothing else, it makes me think about my own response and my own feelings. I don't expect relationships to be without ups and downs. I don't expect there will never be moments where I might feel incredibly deeply or not know what to do for the ones I love. I expect there will still be times I will be wanting to help absorb the pain. That is part of who I am, but I am more realistic about what I can and cannot control.

But, being away from Xh's madness now for 4 years since he moved out, where I don't have to witness the crazy, manic clean it all out moment is refreshing. I am all for purging and simplifying, but not in a manner that is as if the ship is sinking and you have to throw what you can overboard. It is not an event I miss in the least. Because with the manic haul out came the epic monster moments as well. And then he would shut down for days where you couldn't talk to him.

It is perhaps what often sets me off when I feel shut out and ignored. And, separating out the reality that I am not dealing with Xh is sometimes hard. It is just a response I feel and it makes those discarded feelings bubble to the surface just enough that I have to work through them. They are not the same type of triggers they once were, but they still creep in.

Toxic Aunt called this morning and I decided to pick up the phone. She asked me if I wanted any more tomatoes. My uncle has had an over-abundance of them this year. I laughed and said D's plants have gone crazy and we eat tomatoes morning, noon and night as it is. D froze some and made sauce last week.

My aunt was actually mildly pleasant today and had called out of concern. She and my M met yesterday at the cemetery, as it was the anniversary of when my grandmother passed away 10 years ago. My aunt mentioned my M looks frail and very pale. I noted the same thing. I think some of it is my M feels useless. She and I have had words lately, primarily because she is obsessing over things and it is because she is, IMO, unable to drive at the moment and is restricted in her activities. There is no gardening she can do. Reading is still tough because her eyesight is improving enough that now her glasses are messed up on the one lens. She tried audio books, but that is not holding her attention. She went to watch TV and the cable was out yesterday, so that frustrated her.

I walked up to my parent's after getting off of the phone call with my aunt. My F had shifted our work plans to take my M out for the morning and it seemed to have done her some good. Right away my M offered to feed me. I wasn't really wanting food, but acts of service are definitely my M's love language, so I said I would eat something. And she lit up and was scurrying around. I didn't even bother to ask if I could help her as I knew she would get upset thinking I was saying something about her not being capable. She sat down and I asked her about a photo my aunt mentioned to me. I never mentioned my aunt being concerned, just that she called asking about tomatoes. My M went to find her phone and was complaining how weak she felt lately that even her purse seemed heavier. Then she burst out laughing. In the one compartment was a bag of scrabble-like tiles that she had brought with her on vacation for the kids to play with. They weighed quite a bit and she had thought she left them at the cottage accidentally. She has fretted over those tiles for weeks now.

She finally sat down and I said that I have noticed she has lost a significant amount of weight, which my M has always been slender. My bigger concern as I told her was she has not been able to go to the gym with Covid and now with her time of having to be cautious has made her lose muscle mass. My M has horrible osteoporosis, something my sister and I have not had issues with. My M started having problems in her 50s. So, I said that was it - she and I are going to walk every day. She needs to get out for the physical exercise, as do I and I think she needs it mentally. She started to be express concern about my responsibilities and I laughed and asked her where did I really have to be right now? School starts tomorrow, but I will be waving at my students as they go by.

I will fit in walks for myself, but I realize in order to save my own sanity, I do need to make time for my M. I think she will worry less if she is out in the fresh air and getting exercise. This being holed up and watching the news constantly is not healthy, and I know she will benefit, as I have from being outside. It will also give my F a break, as I know he has told me how worried he is about her.

The beauty is, I can probably convince her to go with me to where D goes to school and we can walk in the village and get coffee. It will be safe for her with being outside and we can avoid people.

IDK, maybe this is how things are supposed to unfold. I keep desiring other things and life just seems to be throwing monkey wrenches into the mix.

This afternoon I had a text from my now former coworker. Him being "former" changes nothing as far as our friendship. I have spent the better part of my day helping S on a project for D - stripping her extra set of rims of her car for her new tires. Her car still has the snow tires on it and S had an extra set of rims he acquired that the new tires can go on. Someone had painted the alloy rims, so they just need to be cleaned up. It would seem my coworker drove by and saw my glamorous outfit of cutoffs, t-shirt, flip flops and a pair of orange rubber gloves up to my elbows. I was using industrial paint stripper and a wire brush on the rims. He sent me a text and said he beeped when he drove by. I must have been deep in thought because I didn't pay any attention. I figured it was the neighbor kid - LOL. He said the outfit I had on was really stunning - and I looked beautiful. Yah, I said "it is a look"  ::)

My M texted after that and clearly is excited. Wants to know when we are going for our walk and where. LOL.  I may have created a monster. LOL
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« Last Edit: September 08, 2020, 12:25:45 PM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#28: September 08, 2020, 05:01:32 PM
I have been pushing myself to get back to even short walks. The pandemic and online learning so derailed my regular daily pace and then it just carried over. If I look back over the summer, my motivation would come and go. I would feel energized to do projects, but often times I would suddenly find myself lacking motivation completely. My guess is it was just my body and brain just crashing for a bit. But, the problem always is finding the motivation and desire to get back to what might be to some deemed as exercise.

These shorter walks with the dog, while annoying on the one hand, maybe are a good thing. They have made me go out for shorter times and work up the energy to want to walk farther. The past 2 nights I have felt particularly charged up to walk more, even if it is only up and down the road. I found myself embracing the things I had so gravitated to post BD - the things that saved my sanity and filled my soul.

With the cooler weather at night, it seems the dog is able to handle the longer walks. It goes at a slower pace and I have to accept the moments where she wants to pause and sniff the blades of grass. I have come to accept these walks are not going to be done in a short amount of time. And maybe that is okay. Maybe the universe is trying to tell me to just embrace the moments.

Tonight the clouds were moving at a pretty rapid pace across the sky, and a breeze had the wheat field rippling and undulating like ocean waves. The light was perfect. I didn't bother to take any pictures only because I was truly starting to get lost in the moment.

As I came over the knoll I looked towards the hill I have painted a dozen times if not more. The one that has been one of the things that has held my attention the way the light hits. What I saw made me stop and just stare. The dog, I think she thought I needed a rest. She didn't protest and laid down, which is unusual.

The sun had dropped in the sky so it was starting to become dark, but on the hill, it looked like a ghost floating across the hillside. Then, 4 more figures in black emerged. I had a hard time focusing, as they were far enough away it was hard to make out what was going on.

I stood and stared for a very long time. I realized it was the family that has moved into the small house that used to be a farm house down the main road. The hillside is the back of their property. What I realized was 3 of the figures were little kids, running along the hillside. The others were a man and woman - the woman was wearing a long white dress. It looked like a wedding gown almost. And the couple was running along with the kids and then would stop to embrace.

It was as if I was watching a scene from some romantic historical film. I could not take my eyes off of the family and their pure joy.

I am torn now. I am happy for them and it brought me a feeling of peace and hope. With all that is messed up in the world right now, it was a welcome sight. But, part of me felt this longing.

I have shaken it off and will instead focus on the fact that in the past 2 days, I have almost gotten back to the number of steps I was up to during post BD. I was in amazing shape during those months. No, I don't want to go on the BD diet and lose too much weight again, but I feel mentally and physically better. I would not feel the same way going to the gym. I know that I find more peace within myself throwing myself back out into nature. I have to sometimes remind myself of that.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#29: September 09, 2020, 07:04:47 AM
Quote from: MourningDove
And, in reality, it was not a pleasant experience to be a witness of his meltdowns. I should have in some ways let him fall flat on his face and let him throw the things out. Maybe he would have stepped back and said later that was a stupid thing to do, but I highly doubt it.
Nope.... and you know it... He would have blamed you for "disappearing" whatever it was he had thrown away... It is called "revisionist History" and something that Mid-Lifers are VERY good at doing....

The Hillside Scene has an almost surreal feel about it because it represents a lot of what WE had as our outlook before our Mid-Lifers went off the rails on the crazy train.....

At least now though, you have given mom something to do....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#30: September 09, 2020, 04:55:12 PM
UrsaMajor - Yes, I know that no matter what I did in those moments would never have been the "right" approach. There was no correct thing to do.

Yes, the Hillside Scene has made me a little melancholy tonight. And, it is not a feeling of what was that has me feeling this way.

Today was a good day for the most part. It was cooler, but the air was oppressive as it felt almost thick and heavy. I worked in the studio with my F for a long time on a couple of small detailed items. Contrary to what many would think, working smaller is often more time consuming and labor intensive than working full size. I was working on something in reality that is  6" x 10" and scaling it down to something an inch and a quarter tall. It has to be detailed and accurate for this piece. And the plasteline was fine at first, as I used a firmer variety, but the longer I worked on it the softer it became in my hands. And then the plasteline started to accumulate on the tools, which made it tougher. I ended up going into the house and putting it in the refrigerator for a few minutes to harden it back up. And then I decided in order to work on it dimensionally I fashioned a little sculpture stand on a piece of wood with a screw through the bottom so I could skewer the piece and have it stand upright. It took forever to get the one piece where I wanted it. I have another to do and then a slightly larger detailed section to deal with, although that is a simpler shape and less complex.

S came up and joined us for lunch. He opened the fridge and started laughing when he saw the little sculpture on the shelf. He could figure out why it was in there, but he said that is one of those things where anyone else would probably wonder what the F is that doing in there.

As it is we have a frying pan and crock pot in the studio for warming plasteline and for melting wax. We have now considered a mini fridge might be next on the list.

I came home and the dog was ready for a walk. I really wasn't looking forward to it, as it was at the height of the day, but so be it. My M decided she too would go along, but we didn't make it terribly far, as the heat got to her quickly. She was very frustrated how tired she gets from short walks and I gently reminded her that she has not been to the gym in months and has really been laid up for nearly a month. Her body needs to work up to longer walks and besides that it was really oppressive. She felt better after realizing I was right. The dog wasn't going to let her go too far anyways, as she too was overcome.

I came home and D was back from her day at campus. I took one look at her and told her I was going to take a nap and shower when I got up.

It was part exhaustion from the heat and in reality this melancholy feeling that came over me. The hour of rest helped immensely in terms of energy, but I have been just feeling "meh" today.

I know it is in part knowing school is starting. I am grateful I am not there on the one hand. I know from what I have heard from my coworkers and college colleagues that this whole situation has been a nightmare and it is just underway. The stress is immense.

But, for me, today, the timing is a bit like a different BD. I am not longing for Xh or any of that. This is just strange as I should be in a normal year, starting school and gearing up. And, I feel a bit lost today. Not really knowing what I am supposed to be doing or if I will ever be going back to anything remotely like I knew it. I had just gotten back into my own groove prior to the pandemic and after the whole MLC, and years that followed. I felt like things were at least falling into some semblance of order. Even the unknowns didn't seem to hold me hostage completely.

Today, the feeling of not knowing and having a bit of fear was a little overwhelming.

And, I will find things to fill my days and keep busy. I will find my sense of gratitude for those moments.

In part it is I have been needing to find more of myself again. The students having needed me and my own kids leaning on me has been a lot. And sometimes there is no escaping it.

S had gone to work at the millwork and called asking if when I got a chance, could I bring his spare key over as the battery died on his and the fob wouldn't work.

My frustrations with that came a bit to the surface when D rolled back in and she has had to use my car. Yes, hers goes in tomorrow finally and we will be able to pick it tomorrow night or by Saturday at the latest, but I feel just stranded. Not that I have a need to go anywhere like a store, etc. but I feel house bound and I don't want to ask my M about borrowing the car because then she worries if I say I just need to go for a drive. My M has never understood that.

As soon as D came home, I ran the key over to S and took a short drive.

I took a long walk with the dog after dinner in the cooler air and she was able to make that trek. It helped a little, but I could feel the desire to just run away when D decided to start take her car and the battery was dead. S needed help with something and I was the only one around. The dog started barking at me. I went to grab my purse and planned on going for a drive, but checked my wallet, as I don't like to go anywhere without either cash or my card. I had given cash to the neighbor kid for some work he did and I realized D had my debit card and my credit card as she picked up groceries on the way home. I called her and asked her to bring it back, but I was annoyed by then.

And it is all stupid stuff. Writing it out it seems absolutely silly, but I have been cooped up with 4 kids for months. I love them all and I am grateful, but I really need to get away from them for a couple of days. And they go away, but I think it is me that needs the change of scenery. Problem is I am not sure where to go at the moment. I have a couple of ideas, but the pandemic certainly makes it a bit trickier and then with certain cities having states of unrest, IDK. I have to put my thinking cap on. I really want to go to the place I had in mind last fall, but I missed the final weekend because of some other event in my life going on at the time.

Had D returned earlier I would have gone to the larger of the lakes and just sat on the beach for awhile. It would be quiet with school starting and it is much cooler tonight. The lighthouse is one of my favorite places to go and just lose myself in my own thoughts as I walk the beach.

If the wind hadn't picked up, I would have started a fire in the fire pit. I think I am just going to pour a glass of wine and sit out on the back deck with the twinkle lights on and call it a day.

Tomorrow, I will recalibrate and push through this mood.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#31: September 10, 2020, 05:59:08 AM
Here you go.... your recalibration meter.....



You're welcome.....

Admit it, you at least smirked, right?

{{{{{BEAR HUG}}}}}
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#32: September 10, 2020, 08:14:35 AM
UrsaMajor - LOL. I can always count on you for a good laugh ;D

I went to bed at 9 pm last night and was just drained. I crawled into bed and even though I was so tired, I couldn't sleep. And, I wasn't really thinking about anything in particular. It was like being to exhausted to even find the energy to sleep. LOL.

I finally fell asleep around 1:30 am and I had to be up by 6 am in order to get ready to meet D with her car.

To put it mildly, I was dragging this morning. I threw on workout wear and a long sweater, as it was chilly out and D was giggling at me. She said I looked good, but she is not used to me going out like this unless I am going on a hike somewhere.


My mood is better this morning. The hour long drive, following D made for a nice commute. I had the car to myself and the roads were still not too busy. There was a light fog covering the fields, as the sun was trying to burn off the morning dew. It was rather picturesque, as I drove over several bridges and the mist was hanging over the water and the leaves are starting to change.

We dropped her car off by 8 am after the hour long drive and made a stop to a local Mennonite store to stock up on some spices and the like. People used to go there as if it was a tourist destination, but it was rather quiet early in the morning and the pandemic has changed some of those habits.

They have gone back to selling cups of coffee, which was a blessing. I had not taken the time to make coffee before I left and I desperately needed a jolt of caffeine this morning.

My M called and had a list of questions to ask. I gave her answers that were simply my way of easing her mind, but not really committing to any specifics. She seemed ok with my responses. They aren't things I wanted to talk about nor did I want to put much thought into today. They are on my radar, but not a priority.

D came into the library as I was filing away some paperwork and she sat down on the chair next to me. She happened to mention that she heard briefly from Xh a couple of weeks ago now. She said it was in a group chat with BIL and SIL. I stopped and gave her my full attention.  I asked her when was the last time she heard from him prior to that and she said it had to be mid July when she had one "goodnight" text. But, nothing beyond the group text since then. She smiled and said she is realizing that like I did she is just letting go of who he is now. She has fond memories, but this 'new guy' is not her F.

I thought about the different conversations going on regarding stages or if the MLCer is happy. I no longer care how he feels. That is to say, whether or not he is happy no longer has any influence on my life. He made his choice and continues to do so. He could very well be living the dream life he wanted. IDK. It could be he is going to turn around one day and realize he has made a colossal mess of his life. He could just be plodding along. Is he still in replay or in the tunnel, etc. IDK.

There was a time when I held on to every bit of hope he was nearing the end of the tunnel, etc. And, for awhile that was maybe what I needed - hope, so that I could be strong enough to regain my own sense of self. But, at a certain point, I had to let go of where he was at. He was and is on his own time frame and journey.

I have a very good friend of mine, whose H left nearly 8 years ago. She stood for the longest time and we would watch him make huge strides back towards her. It looked like he was working his way out of it. And then tragedy struck and a close relative of his died. It lead him back to the beginning of that tunnel it seemed.

I am not opposed to standing. Only each of us knows what we can put up with and for how long. I personally don't see too many reconciliations, unless the MLCer is in it for a short time period. Or they get help along the way. I don't regret standing, but I am glad I didn't find myself stuck in a continual loop. My Xh moved out in 2016, but he had a MLC going for longer than that, even before the two bomb drops in the two years prior. It took me a bit of shaking and some 2x4s applied by my friends to get me to see that it didn't matter where he was at, because they can slide back if they are not ready to come back. Personally, I just no longer can see how to repair the mess Xh has made. I found my peace for the most part and waiting for him no longer makes any sense and hasn't for a long time.

Even on my days like yesterday when I feel just beat down, I cannot imagine in my situation taking on a MLCer who is still so capable of having his clean out meltdowns. I don't have it in me any longer to deal with his mood swings. And, strangely, I might very well be able to put up with it from someone else, IDK.

In my case, it is largely due to the continual destruction with the kids. They may be adults, but it still hurts them and it pains me to see them have to wrestle with many of the issues I went through. I know the pain I endured.

Today, I am going to work on embracing the day and allowing myself to be tired today - not beating myself up for not having energy. I will remind myself that lack of sleep is involved today.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#33: September 10, 2020, 02:21:50 PM
I have just been keeping busy all day today. I have taken the dog for a couple of shorter walks. The air is cooler, but the humidity has been brutal today. It hasn't rained but the sky keeps threatening to just open up.

D remembered she had PT tomorrow and I reminded her I had to work. We had discussed picking her car up Saturday morning, but the more I thought about it, I was not liking this option. We could have gone yet tonight, but D is exhausted. With the weather looking rather ominous, I opted not to ask my F to drive me there as he has a harder time at night when it rains.

My F is tired as it is, since he went to figure drawing last night. I had it in my head it started next week and had it in my calendar as such.

And, it would seem he was up early this morning and had been working in his studio most of the day.

I asked S what his plans were. UGH - so it would seem XH is stopping by to bring S dinner and to help him with a couple of things that I had already approved. I just hadn't planned on an Xh encounter this evening. So, S is busy tonight as well.

I am going to go tomorrow morning and pick up the car and my F will take me. I told him we could pick up coffee and go to the bakery on the way there. He is up for an excuse to take a drive and later in the afternoon he will take my M to a museum. They made an appointment to drop of a donation and will be able to be in the building by themselves with the curator, which will be a relief.

Now that I have had a warning that Xh is coming, I am at least prepared. I would not have been happy to have a surprise visit today. And, at least D left to go to her BF's for the night and left before I had any inkling that Xh was coming. S felt bad he forgot to mention it to me earlier.

I am just going to keep doing what I normally do. I could leave and go for a ride, but I am not wanting to leave my house tonight. And, I shouldn't have to feel like I have to go anywhere.

Oh well - I am going to put my favorite music on and do my best to make sure Xh doesn't rile me up somehow. He has been known to do that -  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#34: September 10, 2020, 04:12:43 PM
Well, that was…I am not sure how to even put it into a simple word - LOL.

Xh showed up as I was coming back from a walk from the dog. She saw S and I let her off her lead, she started to run towards S as she always does and then slowed way down when she saw Xh. She didn't seem to know what to do. She let him pet her, but the minute I caught up she was right by my side and wanting to go inside with me. I said hello to Xh, and I got a nod along the lines of "what's up". But, nothing more was said. Fine by me.

My M called in the meantime and asked me to come and look at my F's sculpture. He had done some modifications and wanted some input. So back out I went and as I was coming down the sidewalk I could hear the discussion. Ah, so Xh was popping in not to help, as promised, but to bring S food and to get him to come tomorrow to get S's things. And, S said he would have to get a trailer. Xh suggested perhaps a bigger trailer. Uh huh. The plot was thickening. S was on to it, but he is starting to see how to play Xh's manipulative games. S pushed back when Xh said he needed it done by a certain time because he had plans tomorrow night.

I wanted to be a smart a$$ and make some reference to all the Friday nights that he left me home wondering where he was  - knowing he was with Schmoopie, but it was not worth my time and it made me just laugh a little thinking doesn't hanging out with the 20 year old crowd get a bit old after awhile?  ::) And perhaps it made me laugh a little bit to myself because it just happened to be that how I survived those nights was to walk countless times up and down the road. My reason for walking down the road earlier was not for the same reason, as I was walking the dog and my walk back had nothing to do with him. It was nice to know that I was not walking to escape him, although maybe he felt that way - IDK.

Xh left as I was coming back from my parents and the whole time I was there, he never indicated he had a check for me. For one thing - wow - it is only the 10th, I was figuring it would show up at the end of the month and not towards mid month. I certainly never figure it will be here on time - by the first. He has consistently been getting it to me by the 20th or so for months now. But, I came in the house and clearly he had to present it to S and S left it by my purse.

The envelope is made out to my maiden initials again. Which made me laugh a little because it is in fact September and the MLCer never quite knows how to handle September. He was so adamant that I change my name back to my maiden name when we were in the divorce proceedings. The judge and attorney laughed at him and said that was not negotiable. I didn't change it because it is my kid's name and at the time, I didn't want to upset them more than they already were. He had been a good H for a long time, so I didn't hate him. And frankly, changing all of the documents was enough of a nightmare with the divorce, the idea of adding that to the mix was beyond my energy level at that point. And looking back, my bigger worry at the time was making sure I had the house signed over, etc. I knew a name change at that point might make that transition a nightmare, as we live on a county line, and reside in one town where we pay taxes but have an address associated with the next town over and it all has to do with the location, so I have had to chase documents in the past to the adjacent county because someone put the wrong county on a document.

Seeing my maiden initials just made me wonder what goes through his head each time he writes them out. Do I really care? Nah. The check is at least made out correctly this time - at least at first glance it is. I didn't look that closely.

I mentioned the maiden initials to my sister and she asked me if I would ever consider going back to my maiden name. And, I have been thinking of doing that at least professionally and only because what happens if I decide to marry again some day. I am not someone that gets upset about taking the man's last name. It never made me feel like I was somehow owned or lost my identity. I was proud to have my Xh's last name for a long time. But, professionally, it might be wise of me to go back to my maiden name, as I had worked under that name before I got married. I will have to check my older documents to see how I am listed legally. I sure don't need to sound like I am running around trying to create multiple aliases. LOL.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#35: September 11, 2020, 02:53:13 AM
Well, that was…I am not sure how to even put it into a simple word - LOL.
FUBAR? WTF? SMH? There are ALL sorts of choices....

Ah, so Xh was popping in not to help, as promised, but to bring S food and to get him to come tomorrow to get S's things. And, S said he would have to get a trailer. Xh suggested perhaps a bigger trailer. Uh huh. The plot was thickening.
Gee..... Imagine that?


S was on to it, but he is starting to see how to play Xh's manipulative games. S pushed back when Xh said he needed it done by a certain time because he had plans tomorrow night.
Good for S!

Xh left as I was coming back from my parents and the whole time I was there, he never indicated he had a check for me. For one thing - wow - it is only the 10th, I was figuring it would show up at the end of the month and not towards mid month. I certainly never figure it will be here on time - by the first. He has consistently been getting it to me by the 20th or so for months now. But, I came in the house and clearly he had to present it to S and S left it by my purse.


The envelope is made out to my maiden initials again.


But, professionally, it might be wise of me to go back to my maiden name, as I had worked under that name before I got married. I will have to check my older documents to see how I am listed legally. I sure don't need to sound like I am running around trying to create multiple aliases. LOL.
Secret Agent?

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Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#36: September 11, 2020, 02:23:53 PM
UrsaMajor - LOL - yes, those reactions probably would all have easily applied.  ;D

The check - oh that was a shock to me. Today, when I deposited it, I was actually amazed that it was made out with my first name, maiden name as my middle name and my married name. It is how I usually signed all legal documents - LOL. But, I will admit, he mashed it all together and fortunately my neighbor was working today when I deposited it so she just laughed when she saw the writing. Her response was at least today it has more than my initials for first name only. LOL

Hmmmm, secret agent? Well at this rate I may have to find a new career - LOL.  I think I will stick to just having a nom de plume and leave the other one to the experts.  ;D

This morning I expected to just be out with my F to pick up D's car, but my M decided to ride along. It was a nice drive and I was able to shift my M's line of questioning rather quickly. It would have been a very long ride had she stayed on track with the immediate question about what I was going to do about a job. Oh, I could have been a real smart a$$ and come up with some ridiculous answer that would have had her none too happy with me. But, I know when to joke with her and not to joke. This was not the time to play snarky retort. I told her I was contemplating several options and I would let her know when I have a solid answer. I don't expect her to stop with this line of questioning. Fortunately, with part of that line of questioning she failed to see she left me with an opening to derail her and changed the subject without her even realizing it. Phew.

I took them to a bakery to pick up coffee and pastries to eat and we sat outside for a bit before continuing our trip.

D's car has a couple of smaller issues to address, but they are just typical maintenance things that are for the next visit. She should be in good shape. Or so I thought - LOL

Well, last night I had to bring S his spare key because the battery in the fob died in his main key. Both kids were laughing at me last night as I told them I keep spare batteries with me in the car. I got the eye roll and today, I had D's spare key. I left for work and forgot to give her the spare key. Well, she called because it turns out she was stuck at her PT appointment because the main key in her car also had a dead battery. I told her she was going to have to call her BF and have him come and get the spare key. He met her instead and brought her a battery for the key. She called and apologized, laughing saying that maybe my idea wasn't totally silly. I mean she laughed at my emergency sneakers too, but she has been known to now carry extra sneakers with her at times.  ::)

S's plans changed completely. His GF has had a very sharp pain near her sternum for the past few days. He told her she needed to go to the doctor. She is so stubborn and said she couldn't leave work short handed. He was so frustrated when she left for work, knowing she was in agony. At about noon, he and his friend were getting ready to deal with Xh and that nonsense when he came in and said he was meeting her at Urgent Care. He was saying she was fretting about how much it might cost. My response was to tell him I didn't care if I had to pay for it, she was going to the doctor or I would go there and drag her myself. He laughed and said he told his GF that she had better listen because protective M was coming out and you don't argue when I am in protective mode. I haven't heard a word and am so hoping it is just stress or she pulled something.

I had an odd shift at work again today. It is the last of the split shifts I have, as my regular hours resume. I came in and the woman working is one of our alternates. She doesn't come in often and she recently retired from her full time job. She is a very positive person and she is a gifted artist. Her H died a couple of years ago and she is still struggling. He wasn't that old and had a massive heart attack. She was on the schedule for some odd reason because Miss Management had it in her head I had asked for a Friday off, which I hadn't. A couple weeks back, when the schedule came out the woman who was here asked if anyone could cover that particular Friday. I laughed and said I was certainly available. She had thanked me because it would have been her and her H's anniversary and it is a tough day.

As we spoke today, we got on the subject of a workshop she had taken a while back. It was one I had wanted to participate in but gave up my spot when there was a waiting list. I wasn't really in the creative mindset then anyways. She mentioned that the artist is doing another workshop coming up and it was just added to the schedule. When she told me she really would have liked to have done it, she teared up and said she didn't know if she could muster the strength since it was the weekend of what would have been their anniversary. I turned to her and said very point blank "what would your H have wanted you to do". I knew the answer, as I knew him well enough to know he would have not let her stew and would want her out there using her God given talents. I saw her hesitate and I asked how many were signed up and she said no one yet. She started to put her name down and I said to put me down as well. I told her I need it as well and now she will have someone there to lean on if need be. She knows I have seen her cry and will let her talk about her H all she wants. And, I do need the change of scenery. It is an outdoor event, so that is going to be fun.

The artist who is teaching came in later today and I told him he has 2 on the list already. He said it should be perfect in terms of the leaves and hopefully it will be good weather.

And shortly after he left, another artist came in, who I have been getting to know really well. She is an older woman, in her 80s and we have had some wonderful conversations the past few times. She admitted to me today how much she loves to take back roads. I laughed and said that was something I totally understand.  :)

I have no idea what I will encounter when I get home, but I am hoping for a semi-quiet evening. I had been working on rearranging the living room. The dog - she was not really loving the commotion and went to her room while I was working away. I really was having a good time, but then my responsible side had to go and actually go to work. LOL.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#37: September 11, 2020, 06:13:53 PM
I called S after I left work to see if there had been any update on his GF. They had her go to the Emergency Room to run tests, as Urgent Care didn't have the ability to run the necessary tests. GF has anxiety issues at times and I cannot imagine what she must feel like right now. S was not allowed to enter with her, which I understand under the circumstances.

S was sitting in the parking lot with his good friend, who I am so grateful was with him and willing to sit with S. S clearly sounds nervous and that is not something I am used to hearing in his voice. I offered to sit with him or bring them some food. S said it was okay, as Xh had driven up to meet him and bring them food. I said I was glad S was being looked after and told him to let me know if he needed anything.

When I hung up, I could feel my blood start to boil.

Don't get me wrong - I am glad Xh was there for S, even if I have my suspicions based on the fact that recent history has shown Xh likes to play superhero when there is an audience and S had his friend there. Besides, Xh is trying to bolster the relationship with S.

And, I so want to believe my feelings are wrong and I am just being jaded. I can't quite shake that feeling though.

My bigger concern though is really not rooted in that. If D gets wind of Xh showing up for S at the Emergency Room, when it isn't even S in the hospital that will not go over well. When Xh was having dinner with Schmoopie he was not willing to come and sit by D or my side when she was at the Emergency Room and he was only 15 minutes away, not an hour. Furthermore, I was reminded he came to my side when I hit the bicyclist. I thought about that night as well. Yes, he came to sit with S and I, but that was after he found out S's friend was coming to help out as well. Xh couldn't help himself.

And maybe I am wrong about it all. I certainly don't want to be bitter or full of resentment. I frankly don't care what his motivation is in the grand scheme. However, his behavior means I will potentially be dealing with the effects if D hears of it. I cannot imagine what that will feel like.

I am going to focus on the fact that at least S is not alone and try to not focus on the fact that I would like to just shake Xh - not that it would do anything to help.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#38: September 12, 2020, 11:15:58 AM
S came home at nearly 10 pm last night. His GF had been in the Emergency Room for nearly 8 hours while they ran tests. The pain in her sternum was nothing in terms of it was the real root cause. The pain was radiating from her gall bladder. They found she has gall stones and will have to have surgery ASAP. She looked so pale when she arrived here.

Her M met S at the hospital and sat with him as well.

This morning, she was taking some Tylenol to help with the pain and is very quiet. She is worried about what type of surgery they will have to do and how long she will be out of work. I joked with her that she and I could be unemployed together. She laughed, knowing I know she is concerned.

S and GF went to pick up the puppy. I think they are really trying to lull me into this idea. It is the most docile, loving thing. It wants to just be nearby, but not underfoot. My dog is not too terribly impressed with her, but she isn't upset by her presence either. She sort of sniffed the puppy and gave a nod like "yah, you can stay, just know this is my bed and my human".

The usual crew is here working in the driveway. They are so good about minding the rules and keeping it to small groups and only hanging out with the same people. None of them have been going out and hanging out with new groups or larger events. And, I am not minding the extra people today, as they are all working quietly on projects together.

The road has been very busy as it would seem the farmer has subcontracted the corn harvesting this year. They are trying to beat the rain that is coming tomorrow and the corn is ready to be harvested. It is pretty early in the season.

I took the dog for an early walk this morning and when we got close to the first field they were harvesting, the dog sat down and rested. I was able to watch the multiple combines and trucks for a long time. It was so beautiful to watch the sun hitting the tops of the corn stalks as they were being cut down. Quite mesmerizing.

And, the truckers that are cruising by are being really very mindful. They slowed down and pulled way over every time I encountered them, and gave a friendly wave.

I need a quiet Saturday with little drama and just doing what I feel like doing. I may take a drive later or if the wind dies down a bit, maybe a fire in the fire pit will be in order. No real plans today and it is okay.  :)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#39: September 12, 2020, 11:25:32 AM
The sculpture on the fridge  shelf reminds me of the time my mom opened the refrigerator and found a full size clay model of a skull I was working on for school next to the milk .She closed the door and said, "Only in this house...."
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#40: September 12, 2020, 08:52:18 PM
OffRoad - LOL. I am glad to know I am not the only one.  ;D

I spent most of my day cleaning and organizing. There was no pressure and even though I am sure I could have really picked up the pace and accomplished more, it didn't matter.

I ended up taking my dog for a second walk. Her nose was clearly out of joint when she figured out I had taken the puppy for a walk. S was in the middle of trying to adjust something and the puppy needed some energy worked off. And, normally, I would not have even offered, as it is not my dog to watch, but S's GF was clearly in agony. D and her BF weren't home. I went over and put the longer lead on the puppy and S's GF felt bad at first. I smiled and told her it was fine, I needed the exercise anyways.

This puppy, OMG I might steal it - LOL. It is beyond lovable and so well behaved. Almost too much so. And she is all muscle at 7 months old, already weighing easily close to what my dog does. She is not used to cars and was very unsure when they would pass, but she kept up the pace and listened. I stopped and picked up my M on the way and she was happy to walk today. She noted how much better she feels after just the past few days taking the short walks and she feels much stronger.

When we reached the farm lane there was a truck that pulled up and a man got out of the truck. He was there to set up a tree stand and it wasn't someone my M nor I recognized. The puppy, she clearly liked him and sat down next to him right away. It turned out it was a friend of the man my F allows to hunt on the property. My F is very strict about who he allows on the property and my M was very quick to grill this poor guy. LOL. He rolled with it and answered my M with a great deal of respect, explaining who he was and how the friend was at my parent's house talking to my F. My M gave him the okay, and as we were walking away she started telling me what a very good looking man that was, blah, blah, blah. I told her clearly her eye sight is improving.  ::)

We walked away and I looked at the puppy and said we needed to work on her guard dog skills. She clearly has not figured out the fine art of playing protective until they give you the biscuit.

I introduced her to my F and that was it. He fussed over her and she followed him into the kitchen. She crawled under their kitchen table and put her head on his lap, sitting at his feet. She was clearly in love and my F had to be the one to coax her out from under the table.

I brought the dog back and she promptly ran up to S's GF and wanted to sit on GF's lap. My dog threw a fit, so I went back up the road with her. When I came back, I started laughing as the puppy wanted to be held like a baby and was fast asleep within minutes. Mind you this puppy already weighs close to 60 lbs.

By the afternoon, I decided I needed to shift gears. S was taking his GF and the puppy for a ride and D was at her BFs. I had the framed pieces all done and boxed up that I forgot to send with D's BF the other day. I called D and told her I was going to swing by and drop them off. Her BF's M offered me a glass of wine and wanted to know if I wanted to join her and her H on their front porch. I took a raincheck, saying I just needed to drive and get out on my own for awhile.

I headed east at first and put gas in my car. Then on a complete whim, I decided to hop on the toll road and head in the complete opposite direction and drove for a good hour. I found myself wanting to go sit by the water and went to get ice cream with the intention of sitting on a bench. The spot I had picked out was hopping with people. It was a gorgeous night and the restaurant nearby had expanded it's outdoor seating. I didn't feel like being around people. I drove down the way to just go park in the parking lot that overlooks the water and laughed when I saw they had just paved and had it cordoned off.

So, with my plans foiled, I drove back home and threw on the back deck lights and some music. I was alone and it would have been nice to have someone there to enjoy the evening with, but I embraced my time alone and danced on the back deck. The neighbor kid pulled into his driveway and made his way over. He had a question for me to ask S and he asked if I was having a party. I laughed and said that yes - "Party for 1". He smiled and said he was so happy to see me smiling and happy again and when Xh was still around I was sad so often. And, he would remember the days when we would have picnics and there was laughter. Those did cease for a long time.

I came in with the intention of getting ready for bed, but my sister texted and asked me to read an email she forwarded to me. It was just something silly and made me laugh, but I quickly checked my latest emails. There in the mix was a notice from a group I had bought raffle tickets from. It was for a garden tour I normally attend that has been cancelled so many times this year that they had asked if we wanted a refund or to make a donation. The donations were used like raffle tickets. With the need to social distance and adhere to certain rules the raffle was going to allow for a very limited group to tour the gardens in the fall. It would seem I have 3 tickets now if I want them.

I have never been to this place in the fall - only the spring. I have already responded and decided I am going to make the trip. I have no idea who I will take with me. I will go no matter what. The leaves should be turning by the time of the event. I am quite excited about seeing what this particular place looks like in the fall. ;D
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#41: September 13, 2020, 03:54:56 PM
I am glad I grabbed most of the day for myself, because D came home and had an epic meltdown. Ah, I just love being the only stable parent  ::)

It is the time of year when D is adjusting to it all and the triggers are there, etc. And, she is not without her reasons to feel the stress at home. Both kids working from home is a tough thing. Their schedules overlap and finding a place for them to work and the other to have a life is going to take some time.

S was outside working with his friends, the same core group that have been around all along. I am so fortunate that this crew pays attention to the rules and don't go to the larger parties and such that are starting to pop up. It is the same 3 kids that show up and they limit their contact with others. They were always like this though.

Of course, they were outside laughing and working away. D has a massive amount of homework tonight and couldn't concentrate at her BF's because her BF's brother is watching football. She came back home and parked herself in the library, but that is right next to the driveway, so the noise was too much for her. She tried the kitchen, but she was distracted there as well.

So, I think I am going to have to help her find a space that works for her. It may mean sacrificing my art room or part of the media room. She is not wanting to do her homework in her room, which I totally understand.

No one let it slip about Xh showing up at the hospital, fortunately. I am sure that would have been just another level of stress.

I am grateful I took time for myself this weekend.

I am watching a huge storm roll in over the field across the way. I am thinking it looks like a thunder and lightening storm is what I should prepare for. A quick walk for the dog is in order. I don't mind rain or thunder, but lightening is a little too exciting, even for me. LOL.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#42: September 13, 2020, 05:32:10 PM
Attaching

Reading your posts always leaves me a bit nostalgic for the country life I left behind when I turned 18
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M-42
H-44
S-20 (mine)
D-18 (ours)
S-15 (ours)
Friends 7y before M
Married 14y
BD 12/14/15 - 2 weeks after 14th anniv.
Divorce final 4/13/16
EA - 9/15-4/16
New GF 12/16
Engaged 6/17 (I found out 8/10/17)
Moved to her State 4 States away - 7/13/17 (told me 4 days before)
Eng. off 8/20/17
Moved back to our State 8/24/17
New GF 2/29/20 (Told me 4/22/20)
Married her 4/24/20 (Told me 4/22/20)

Link to my journey: 
https://mlcforum.theherosspouse.com/index.php?topic=11618.0

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

"Don't become a container for bitterness.  It's a toxin that destroys what it's carried in."

"Sometimes - some things have to break apart so better things can be built."

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#43: September 14, 2020, 07:40:54 AM
FaithWalker - I sometimes crave living somewhere else. I know I would not be able to live in a suburban development like my sister. It is lovely and I can see why it is appealing, but I know I don't feel like I fit there somehow. And, not from some economic or other reason along those lines, but it is more that it doesn't suit me.

I often think about moving back to a city or village, but now those thoughts are leaning towards a smaller waterside village or community if I ever were to go. But, those feelings flee pretty quickly and for now I am very content where I am, even when I am overwhelmed and frustrated, it still feels like home.

The other day I was told my cousin is selling what had been my grandparent's house and where my F was raised. It is a huge house surrounded by 5 acres, a carriage barn and it looks over a canal. It will never be able to be developed around it easily because of the surrounding terrain, so it is a lovely home that is still considered within the village limits, yet there are only a handful of houses nearby. I always dreamed of living there myself one day. My cousin started to let it go, having moved there after his W died. He was going through a deep depression and for awhile, it was tough to see the house. But, he met a wonderful woman who had every reason in the world to give up on life, and she is a beam of positivity. She came into his life and that house became a true home. And, seeing the care and love put into that house now makes me happy. But when my F mentioned it was for sale and wondering if I wanted to take to my cousin about buying it, I answered no very quickly. It is not meant to be my house. And, I realized that right now, where I am is relatively safe and isolated. I have a great deal of work to do to undo the MLC neglect, but I am making progress.

I have no reason to move right now. Maybe a different job or something else will prompt that, but for now this is where I need to be. And while in some ways it has been about keeping the kid's life stable, I realize that for me that it has helped me as well. Even when life falls apart and I am ready to ditch it all, I can look out and count on just going outside and finding something outside to calm me. The storm rolling in last night did just that. I was ready to just blow my top, when I looked outside and saw the sky changing dramatically and the sun's light just pushing down onto the crops and casting a brilliant light on them. And, I know this type of storm, it was going to pour and be a quick downpour. And, maybe it reminded me that some storms pass by quickly.

What had started to make my blood boil was I was making dinner. S and his GF were in the kitchen with me and S was sharing the one meal he will never let me live down. I knew what was coming. We had gone camping with the neighbors and the kids were only 5 and 7 years old at the time. The neighbor and I had come up with some easy meals and it was the first real camping trip we had gone on in tents with the kids. As it was the kids were all at the picky eating stage, we found recipes that were supposed to be kid friendly. So, I found a recipe for peanut butter chicken. Well, to this day the neighbor kids still make that recipe and loved it. My family - not so much it would seem.

I looked at S and said clearly I was never going to be forgiven for that one. He laughed and pretended to weep as he said at my funeral they will stand by my grave and recount that disaster. I told him I so appreciated that and said clearly I will not be remembered for the many meals I didn't mess up. S started the sentence saying there weren't too many meals he could recall that were successful and then he laughed and said that didn't come out right. He corrected himself and said that I have made so many good meals over the years that he couldn't really pick out one. I glared at him and said that no, clearly he was keeping track of how many times I have perhaps cooked something too long, etc. He laughed and said no, just the peanut butter chicken.

And then the laughter changed and S got a dark look on his face. He snarked "well seems dad took a road trip". And, I saw S start to tear up a bit. There on S's phone screen were the pictures of a diner. I was suddenly so incredibly angry with Xh. How could he do this too S? Seriously? Oh, wait, because he is a colossal self-absorbed a$$. Unbelievable.

When S was 2 1/2, Xh started to take S out for breakfast to a traditional diner. It was when Xh was a supportive partner - LOL. D was an infant, and the idea was to take S out for a Saturday when D was napping so that I could have a couple of hours of rest or a shower - basically a little bit of me time. And, it was such a huge help. Once D got a bit older, we made it our Saturday tradition and when they were old enough, we would have a spot at the bar. Everyone knew to make room when we came because the owner would tell everyone to move down. He and his W loved our kids and the older clientele would come and joke with the kids.

Not too long ago I ran into one of the older gentlemen while I was out with D at the grocery store. He asked her if she remembered who he was. She laughed and said he would always threaten to steal her bacon and wondered if S would share his pancakes. It would send them into fits of laughter.

In that diner, the kids would hear the weekly debates about which baseball or football team was better. And it was always the same arguments. They learned that the one gentleman had played major league baseball back in the day. Most people had no idea he had that history. The local historian ate there, so he was fun to talk to. And on the walls were pictures of people from years past. One was a picture of women during World War II in front of a factory. The classic Rosie the Riveter and in that crowd, my M's mother. D once exclaimed when she saw the picture that was one of the "Two Mamas" which is what she called my grandmothers.

The owners sold the diner and gave the kids some momentos from the place and we still see them. They cannot figure out what happened to Xh and will say that to me when the kids are not around. IDK - beats me.

When they sold the diner it was moved and refurbished and Xh had always promised to take the kids there when it was done. It happened before MLC, so we all believed him. It would take years for that diner to be rebuilt and taken back to what it once was. MLC rolled in and Xh kept saying he would take the kids, even when he left.

So during a pandemic, because that makes so much sense - LOL, Xh took a long road trip into an area that has had higher numbers. I highly doubt he went by himself because that would be one of those trips he would want to show off in MLC - I know how he operates. He would want to share this place. So there were the pictures he sent to S. S was crushed. He brushed it off and said he wouldn't want to go to that place under the current conditions, as it is a very small place and no outdoor seating. Yah, I don't see the logic in that either, but then what do I know - LOL

We switched gears and focused on our meal and I made up for the peanut butter chicken last night - LOL
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#44: September 14, 2020, 09:36:04 AM
Well, football season is back and your ex seems to be striving for the coveted Hiney Trophy:)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#45: September 15, 2020, 04:47:38 PM
forthetrees - it would seem my Xh and his sister are competing for the same award. But then, they have always been very competitive, so it would stand to reason. LOL

It is funny, you said not too long ago that perhaps the universe is giving me time to get the kids stable and time to just focus on those things - to paraphrase. And, today, I am actually very grateful that I don't have work thrown into the mix. If I had been working like the past semester, I might have found myself curled up in a ball and hiding from life. It would have perhaps been just too much. So maybe, even with this uncertainty, the time I am being afforded to focus on the kids and the house, etc without the interruption of a regular job schedule for the short term is not horrible.

Yesterday, D had a moment where she was just overwhelmed with this online learning and trying to get time to talk to a professor. The professor, I am not going to say this to D, but my gut is saying, based on what I am hearing and witnessing is the professor is either way in over her head with this online learning or doesn't care. I am not sure, and it doesn't matter. The professor is bound and determined to have the students work in groups for the semester and D has been put in a group with 3 others, who happen to not be doing the work. And the grade is based on the group effort. D spoke to the professor a couple of weeks ago and said she was frustrated and she handled it in a very adult manner, saying she wanted to let the professor know she was frustrated but floated an idea to use perhaps a Google doc where they could all input at different times, thinking perhaps it was a timing issue. The prof responded positively and now, the others still are not doing the work. The solution the prof came up with was to assess the groups this Friday and next week swap them if need be. Problem is, you can't withdraw after Monday. And D is doing incredibly well on her portion, but the grade includes a group. She is considering dropping the class. That is a huge deal for D to do - she feels like she is giving up. This pushed her over the edge a bit and I had to get her to relax and talk it through. She spoke to another professor the next day and that helped. Tomorrow she has a meeting with an advisor. But, the whole time I was dealing with what would be like one of my normal students having the early semester melt down.

Part of it is, D knows S is worried about his GF, as is she. And, she got wind of the trip Xh took to the diner and that isn't setting well.

I spent yesterday helping my F in the morning and then took my M to her eye appointment. My sister met us and she went inside with my M, thankfully. It makes sense to send my sister who is an optician to talk about the cornea transplant. I was willing to go in and my M didn't want to inconvenience my sister and I just told my sister I needed help. My sister was glad to pitch in. So, I sat in the car, waiting for over an hour. I had grabbed nail polish on the way out the door. My M had already commented I was very dressed up and wanted to know who I was dressed up for. I told her that I was just tired of the pandemic zombie look I have been wearing lately. So, I spent the time in the car painting my nails. I cannot remember the last time I was able to actually sit and paint both nails at the same time and put multiple coats on without being interrupted. LOL.

I drove my M home and she had all sorts of questions for me. I really wasn't in any mood for it. But, I answered and just let her talk.

I was in the driveway and ready to just kick my feet up when S called. He was in pure meltdown mode. There had been an error in his schedule and he is now going to have to be on campus an extra semester potentially. I wanted to just scream and cry at the same time. We went over that schedule sent by his advisor for hours and had it all planned out. There was a course he was on a waiting list for that is necessary but there wasn't any room. With all of the constant Covid changes before the semester it fell off the radar. I told him to focus on the 3 hour drive home and we would have to go back through emails and the like before we talked to someone and came up with a plan of attack. I told him we would find a solution and it wasn't the end of the world.

And with that, I went in the house, took the dog out, fed her and walked back out the door. I went for a drive and ended up sitting by the lake for awhile.

After the sun set, I took my time getting home and then as I was driving my M called with questions. I didn't tell her I was out, simply said I was in the middle of something and I would call her in the morning. D called next. She sounded better, but I said I was needing to focus on her B and his dilemma when he got home, so I told her I would take today and have mother/daughter time with her today at lunch and I would drive up and walk while she was in classes and we would go have lunch. She seemed content with that.

S came home and said he was going to relax and not worry for the night about something he couldn't solve at night and there was no sense losing sleep over it. I get that - LOL

This morning, I was awake by 6 am, just lying in bed, and looking at the weather forecast. I decided I would drop D off at the college and take the shorter walk today while she was in classes, then we would go waste time until she had PT. I was just nicely getting going when my phone went off. My M was in a panic. With all of the things going on, she forgot that my F's truck registration was expiring. My F has been so busy with his sculpture deadline he didn't pay attention. She went online to register it and something wasn't right, could I come up immediately. I told her I would come up before I left. I had 10 more texts from her all worried about this situation. I flew into their house, went online figured out the problem and both of my parents wanted to chat. They were having a leisurely breakfast. I wanted to scream. I flew out the door, picked up D and all was quiet, until I dropped her off and my M called. She said I seemed flustered. I laughed and said that no I was just trying to get to D on time so I didn't have her freaking out about not being to class early, which my M of all people gets. My M had me at the doctor's office half an hour earlier than she needed to be there.

And, then I found myself in a situation where I wasn't sure how to handle it. My phone was suddenly very quiet, I parked my car and went to the bakery and it was quiet there, as most people had been there for the work rush, so there was only one other couple there sitting way far away. I decided to actually have breakfast and ordered my coffee to go. I drove a little ways away and walked around the trails along the canal. I went to areas that I didn't know existed. I spent a good hour and a half just walking. I would pass people along the way, but it is a very wide trail so people were very mindful. People said good morning and lovely day.

I picked D up and we ran a couple of quick errands, picked up a lunch for her and I just grabbed a fruit juice. The rest of the afternoon was very relaxing and S called. He had at least called his advisor. He thinks he is screwed, but I told him we would pursue possible solutions. I know this game and they only offer this class every fall. It is a requirement for graduation. I told if need be I will go all mom on them with a dose of having the knowledge college systems, etc. He laughed and said they might not like that. Oh, that is reserved for only when necessary  ::) And it might not work the way we want, but I will try.

D was done with PT and then somehow we got on the subject of her frustrations of how it's tough with having 5 of us at home, etc. And when she said I don't get it and I sometimes seem to brush it off - I lost my $h!te. I told her that I, out of anyone really should be the one upset. I went from no one in the house to inheriting 2 extra kids and it isn't my idea of fun all the time, but it is the situation we are in. I told her that sometimes I try to not get upset and to keep the peace - yup, guilty because in part all 4 of them have different personalities and how they deal with things. I don't care if they have it out once in awhile, I don't have to keep the peace as such all the time, but sometimes I am the one that just wants calm and the best way to achieve that is to diffuse the irritations. It is primarily an issue between D and the GF because they are 2 moody, hormonal young women. I didn't tell D that - but it is the reality.

And then I told D that I often leave the house sometimes just to clear my head and like last night, I didn't even get to do that without people hounding me. I told her I didn't mind that people care and want to know where I am, but sometimes I just need to be left alone so that I don't become some screaming crazy woman in the house. And I am going to be doing more things for myself because I have no more to give sometimes. D answered she has been trying really hard not to do like she has in the past and realized that like last year when I had a guest in September and again in February that she hijacked my time. I appreciated that she was aware of it and I assured her that I know she needs my time, hence giving up some of my day to spend with her and we had a great day, but I need me time, plain and simple. And, I told her that she has to realize that S needs me too sometimes. And now my parents need me, but I need time for myself and that may mean someone else in my life as well. It doesn't mean the kids are forgotten, just I need this for my own sanity.

The blow up needed to happen to clear the air more.

I came home and S was more relaxed. No solution, but he is staying on it and he is my next focus, as I told D.

I called my M, asked her if she wanted to walk for a bit before dinner and I gave her some time. She needed it. I followed up by going to help my F with the mold which proceeded to drop on the floor and shatter. At first he was upset, but then we realized it was a blessing in disguise as there was a hidden air bubble that would have caused an area to flash. And we thought to split the figure into 2 sections for an easier situation with the mold. I left him to pour the new outer mold.

I was laughing as D showed me pictures of my dog laying on my parent's prized Persian rug. My M never let the dogs we had in the living room. They were trained to stop right at the archway. Never did they venture in there. But, no, my dog is like a grandchild and that dog was lying on the rug next to my M. Uh huh. I see how it is - my sister and I weren't allowed to eat in that room growing up - LOL. My kids came along and they could bring their snacks in there, etc.  ::)

On my way home, I heard my phone ping. It was Xh's sister. Uh huh. This little text from her puts her in the running for that coveted award. My MIL died in 2004. She left me some jewelry that was promised to D, along with some Irish lace she brought back with her from her last trip to visit family, and her cookbooks. She wanted D to have them eventually. And D uses them faithfully. When Xh moved out he took a bunch of cookbooks, but none of his M's. My sister in law wanted nothing to do with them. Now, out of nowhere I get a text and she is all gushy. Uh huh. Sure, haven't seen me in 4 years, nor really reached out to the kids and she tells me again how much she would like to see me. Hmmm. Okay. Oh, but wait, it isn't the only thing in the text. I had given her the films from her F not too long ago, now she is suddenly wanting that one cookbook her M had. It is nothing special in terms of it is a published book that you can still order. It doesn't hold any notes in it, etc. My MIL in fact bought me this one before I got married and I loaned it back to her when she left hers at BIL's accidentally and he got rid of it. So, it was mine anyways. D loves that cookbook. But, now all of a sudden, my SIL wants it. Hmmmm - My answer - Yah, I don't have MIL's copy. Which is the truth - it was my copy. Sorry - guess you are $h!te out of luck.

I asked D and she laughed. She said she was not giving it to her aunt who hasn't spoken to her since back in June. Not even a happy birthday and clearly she is all cozied up to Xh.

I asked my sister if I was being too harsh. I thought my sister was going to drive here and hit me with a 2x4. She said no, she knows my sister in law and she knows that if I am too nice now, she will take that as an invite to just keep asking about the things that suddenly she or Xh remembered I have or might have. She was there the night when Xh tried to give the pearls left to D to my niece and I had them hidden because he was in MLC by then and stuff was disappearing. And my sister is right. This is not new behavior. I would for instance gladly give my niece, who will appreciate it, the music box my MIL brought Xh back from Ireland that he didn't take with him - it means nothing to my kids or to me. But, I am done letting people come and pick the wounds that have healed. It is one thing if I decide to give it away, another to come creeping around when otherwise I clearly am not thought of.

Nope - I am going to be that LBS b!tc# as far as my X-SIL goes.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#46: September 16, 2020, 12:34:41 AM
Nope - I am going to be that LBS b!tc# as far as my X-SIL goes.  ::)

Uh, no... You are just NOT going to be a doormat or a long-term storage facility that people get to pick an choose from....

XSIL can go take a long walk off a short pier.... ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#47: September 16, 2020, 01:04:01 AM
It seems to me that one of the unanticipated gifts of an MLC divorce is that we LBS have no obligation to play nicely with the Disordered FOO People  :) And almost all of these MLC folks seem to have disordered FOO people  ::)

LBS b$tch looks good on you, Mourning...did you paint your nails in that kind of colour lol?  :) Letting Go Lime? Detached Damson? F**k Off Fuschia? Magenta Moat?

On a serious note, I am glad that you said out loud to your daughter that sometimes you need me time when you are not responding to other people's priorities or troubles, no matter how legitimate they are. You do, you know you do, and it's entirely reasonable that you do.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#48: September 16, 2020, 03:18:45 AM
LBS b$tch looks good on you, Mourning...did you paint your nails in that kind of colour lol?  :) Letting Go Lime? Detached Damson? F**k Off Fuschia? Magenta Moat?

Crocodile Crimson? Piranha Purple? Turquoise Two by Four?  ;D  That could be a thread all on it's own.... LBS Fingernail colors... OK, maybe NOT for the guys but ... .

On a serious note, I am glad that you said out loud to your daughter that sometimes you need me time when you are not responding to other people's priorities or troubles, no matter how legitimate they are. You do, you know you do, and it's entirely reasonable that you do.

Yep.... Sometimes one has to take a breather....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#49: September 16, 2020, 05:14:33 PM
I love the nail polish names - LOL.

It has been so long since I have applied any polish to my nails. I am not one that has to have my nails done, but I always made an effort when I was teaching. I felt it was important to at least keep them filed and a clear coat on them.

Sitting in the parking lot the other day was the first time when I wasn't having to deal with potential interruptions.

I had grabbed a decidedly autumn color and it is called Per-Suede. Made me laugh a bit now.

D had a doctor's appointment today and she asked me if I would go with her because it is a lovely drive and a bit of a hike. I said I would only go if I could swing by my sister's for a bit. D needed her glasses adjusted, so it worked out.

I had to wait an hour for D as well. That was not nearly as relaxing and it is rather amusing considering this particular satellite office, the reason we go there is it is quiet and out in the country. D's doctor transferred out there when the hospital she works for was pushing for a more rapid paced doctor/patient time frame and most doctors don't want the country office. She has a heck of a commute, but she loves that office. That is the office where she will spend time with the patients and knows them well. S was bummed when he aged out of that office, but D still has a couple of years left. So, the hour was not a concern and I was just relaxing until some guy pulled up and dropped off his W and new infant. He waited outside with their other kid and he felt it was necessary to make sure we all knew he was there and if there had been a burping contest he would have won hands down.

D came out and got in the car and started laughing asking how long I had been an audience to that particular show. Way too long. Before he showed up, I was happily listening to the birds. The funniest part was I wish I had been recording it, because at one point he let out a burp that upset some crows, who were not loud until that point. That set him off and he was yelling his fool head off at the crows telling him to shut up. Yah, they were fine until he came along and clearly they didn't approve of his call. ::)

We arrived at my sister's and I got huge hugs from my nephew who was home today for his at home instruction. He is rocking a new haircut and wanted to see if I noticed. I so needed his hugs - those types that aren't asked for and are just genuine happy to see you hugs.

He had to go and sign on to the Zoom class meeting and D asked if she could use my BIL's office to make a call for school. That left my sister and I to have a cup of coffee together. I laughed as my sister has a whole coffee bar set up with a machine my BIL and she bought during the pandemic. I made fun of her when she handed me a latte and there wasn't a design in the foam. I told her I was not leaving her a tip.  ;)

My sister knew what had gone on last night and asked me how I was. I was not doing well, TBH. D and I had discussed the book and realized SIL isn't asking for the one I thought it was, although that will be next if I were to hand this one over. The book SIL is wanting is a date book that my MIL cut out recipes from and glued them into. D was 4 when she and MIL would work from that little collection of recipes. To D that book was full of magic. And, when MIL died, it was in fact SIL who presented D with that book. It was a big presentation and how MIL wanted her to have it to remember making bread together, etc.

For D, this book has been the one connection she had to MIL. No one wanted that book back then. D was really ticked last night that this is the book SIL wants. Why now? D said she refuses to hand it over and is even more upset since SIL hasn't bothered with her since Father's Day and is clearly holding things that XH says against her.

I told my sister that I am just tired of the in-laws that come around when it suits them. I am tired of Xh's games. But, more than all of that, I am just tired of having to go against my nature. I don't like being pushed into a situation where I feel like I have to somehow protect or defend myself. I don't mind being strong and standing up for myself, but I want to be left alone when it comes to certain things.

I told my sister that I just want to move away from the whole MLC and divorce. I make headway and put it behind me and then when people like my SIL pop up wanting things it just brings feelings up that I want to not feel. It is not sadness, it is frustration and wanting to move forward with my life. It feels quite often like they don't want me to move forward. And frankly, with the FOO issues my SIL has, I wouldn't be surprised if she too isn't somehow in this warped narrative that I am supposed to behave like MIL did for so long. I am supposed to be pining away for her B. Yah - not likely. I am past that point.

I was glad my sister let me just sit at her table and drink coffee. We didn't talk about anything in depth today. We spent a bit of time on my situation, and feelings but I told her that honestly I would like to let go of it and just talk about nothing of consequence. So, my sister was glad to assist. I helped her decide where to hang the painting that is going into my BIL's office. Then I lived vicariously through her and she bought a pair of shoes online.

I hate that these little blips cause me to go against who I am at my core. I don't want to be selfish and materialistic, nor do I want to be unkind. I have to remind myself that this is like when Xh pushed me on some of the issues. I have to keep remembering that for now, I have to keep protecting myself from the MLCer and enablers. I really would love it if he and his family would truly just leave me alone from here on out.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#50: September 16, 2020, 06:46:53 PM
The universe is so odd sometimes. I happened to be on FaceBook and I am so careful about what I post, etc.

Tonight, I was just checking in to see what my friend had posted for me, as he likes to send me my horoscopes, although sometimes he sends me like the past 3 days in a row. It is not something I follow faithfully, but often they make us both laugh. Once in awhile they are scary how they seem to align with what went on.

I looked at my message from him with my horoscope and then saw a couple of posts. One I responded to. One was noting my first boyfriend's - at least what would have been - birthday. I remembered the date yesterday and had said a little prayer. I always pray he has finally found peace and knows how much he was loved by those who truly knew him. And, I pray that his S realizes what a truly kind soul his F was. I posted a note to his sister, who had put his picture up today. There was the smile I knew so well.

It made me think of him and how the drugs and partying he started doing - what drove me away - just hijacked so much of his life. It took him so much time to figure out he had the strength to stop.

And, strangely there came the next post from one of my former students from years ago. She was a fighter. She had every reason to cave to the same issues and fought her way out of it. Her eldest D is now fallen into that trap. I don't often respond to these things, but I sent her a message. I told her that she has done all she can right now and it is up to her D to do the hard work - I know that she gave the girl all the right morals and tools. All she can do is a parent is to step back and pray right now that her D has the strength somewhere inside her to fight those demons.

The weight of those 2 posts was a bit much and I felt a little bit of a sense of loss and wondering where my life is leading right now. And I think it was just coming down from yesterday's BS and the other stresses. Not having my teaching is a hard thing for me. I am busy, and I am pushing to be creative again, but I am feeling a little bit like not really knowing what is up. And, earlier I was a little angry, I will admit with the circumstances. It seems so unfair that I loved teaching and I was good at it and yet, here I am just spinning my wheels due to the circumstances. And, I am determined not to let myself fall into the poor me pity party. That isn't it. But, I think I was feeling a little blue tonight.

And then out of nowhere came a blip on my computer screen. It was through messenger on Facebook, not a friend of mine that I have confirmed, but there was a note. I knew the name right away, or at least recognized the name and the minute I saw the image I knew it wasn't some random person. But, it was certainly not someone I expected. I answered the message.

It was from a former student from my second year of teaching high school level back in 1993-94. I was so young - OMG. These kids weren't much younger than me as I look back. The former student said he wasn't sure if he had the right person and apologized if he didn't. He did. I laughed and said I remembered him well. He was always in my computer area asking questions.

He said he was really poor growing up and couldn't afford a computer so I let him take the manuals home and read them. I laughed and said yah, I would have gotten into a lot of trouble for that, but I remember doing that. I would have bought new ones out of my own pocket if I had to.

He went on to tell me he found the first book we published that year. It was a magazine idea that I pushed to have happen and the administration funded it with no questions, but my stipulation was I wanted the kids to be involved completely from the name and the images. We worked tireless hours on that thing and this guy still has a copy. It is something the school still publishes now.

He told me that he wanted to thank me and that was why he reached out. He informed me that he went into the art industry and followed his dream to make and edit movies and music. He told me who he works for and where he lives now. He said I believed in him and he is so grateful for my support.

I told him he had no idea how much that meant to me tonight in particular.

He went on to tell me that he knew my job was incredibly difficult at the time and the other students knew how hard I fought for them. And he said I never said anything bad about the situation I was in. He was right. There were multiple issues I was brought in to take over and fix. It was a daunting task and the kids apparently knew that I was there many nights very late and had a key to the building with special privileges. How they found out is beyond me, but I suspect the head of security, who the kids trusted let them in on the reality. There were nights I would be there on a Friday night until nearly midnight trying to prep for the next week just to get things in order. It would be part of the reason I pushed myself to move back out to where I live now - because it was too easy to go into work when I only lived a few minutes away. The longer commute forced me to step back and not be a workaholic.

It has made me realize tonight, I don't regret what time I gave my students at the time. And, many have done well. Many have had some pretty remarkable careers and followed their dreams.

Maybe it brings me to my own dreams. I never intended to go into teaching - ever. And, I am glad I did, but what were some of my goals and dreams? Have they changed or maybe I have buried a few and dismissed those along the way. IDK.

No matter what, tonight, I am so glad to hear that this guy is living his dream. He was a kid that had nothing and came from a pretty dire situation. He knew what abuse was. He was always a good soul and was kind hearted. That I never doubted. Tonight reminded me that there are still reasons to have faith and believe in things that are good in the world. Sometimes the universe gets it right.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#51: September 17, 2020, 07:07:34 AM
Yes, sometimes the universe DOES get it right... like putting you in that classroom with those kids at that time.....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#52: September 17, 2020, 11:43:34 AM
UrsaMajor - looking back, those kids taught me so much. I had what many would call an idyllic childhood - perhaps a little unconventional at times just in terms of now I see that the opportunities my sister and I had were not really "normal", but we were very blessed to have a family in tact and contact with both sets of grandparents regularly. We played outside in the woods, running though the stream and set up camp in the living room, using blankets and my F's sculptures to weigh down the corners of the stretched blankets. The only real rule my parents ever had was if we got it out to play with, it needed to be picked up. So if we emptied the toy box it had to be back in by the end of the day.

I had supportive parents and other family members and friends who were there for me growing up. I didn't know what that was like to experience that lack of guidance and love.

The first time I entered the high school I was assigned was a bit of a culture shock. They were good kids and so many just needed the push and for someone to believe in them. I worked so hard quite often because I encountered some really awful things that were beyond the control of these kids. I spent hours after work with the students working on that magazine because it gave them a sense of purpose and pride. They worked their behinds off and earned every accolade. My job was to manage them and push them, but I had also committed to make sure it was done properly, like a real published piece - not some half baked high school project. So, I would put in extra hours to make it happen. Busted my butt to get upgraded printing done by offering free work in trade to one of the print houses that needed some brochures done. I didn't care. And it ultimately benefited me in the long run, although at the time I didn't know it.

Those kids showed me that when given a little bit of support people can do remarkable things. I learned even more not to judge anyone based on their status or station in life. Some of my best students came from extreme situations. I also learned that the kids that often did well, had at least one person at home who really cared about them - that person I didn't have to call, because they were the person who showed up every open house or were there to applaud or nudge the kid.

It taught me that even though it is easier to do it myself sometimes, that stepping back and letting a kid fail miserably is way better. Watching them pick themselves up and have that fight was so important.

And for my own professional growth, I learned the importance of staying true to myself and not selling out even when money was being waved in front of me. I walked away from a couple of big accounts in my professional career that would have really been a financial windfall but would have meant I would have to go against my core values. And, it was something I to this day tell my students all the time - there are times when a client might ask you to do something you don't want to do. I always run down my core values and ask myself in those cases if it is illegal or immoral or is it just not my thing. And, unfortunately if you work for an agency, there are times you may have to do things you don't like, which is part of the reality.

At the time, I had worked for an agency part time. I went and told my boss one time he could fire me, but I was not going to work for a client who was asking me to break copyright laws, in essence. The truth was, the client didn't understand the copyright laws and intellectual property, etc. Even when I explained to them that what they were asking was not something I was comfortable doing. I knew I was risking my job at the time, but I was prepared to walk away.

IDK if I hand't worked with those students if I would have had the backbone to stand up that way.

I was painfully shy before teaching. I had to find my voice with those kids and rarely to scold them, etc. They respected me and in part it was because I found my voice to protect them and fight for them. They knew my line in the sand. They knew I would fight for them, but I would also lay them out in lavender if they screwed things up for the others. And it was a fun classroom. We laughed a lot. I learned that what they taught us in classroom management didn't always work perfectly. The dynamic could change in a second depending on the makeup of that class. You had to adapt.

And, while I had that skill perhaps growing up, that was certainly honed in those instances. I had to think on my feet so many times and come up with an alternate plan on a whim when say for instance there was something in the air that had the kids wound beyond belief. I learned there were times to make them hold tight and adhere to the rules and then other times where we embraced the mood.

This morning, I thought of that particular class with that now grown man. They came into class and it was the first day in a long stretch where the weather had been rainy and cold for what seemed like weeks, and the sun was out and it was like a summer day. It was in the fall, and I knew I was sunk to try and get them to focus in a classroom for 2 hours. So, I ditched my original plans, adapted and had them go out and collect found objects on a walk we took and we came back and compiled them into a printing project.

I realize now that those moments are some of the things that helped me in my own career professionally. Having to make some snap decisions and do some seemingly crazy things at times were when my thinking way outside the box lead to my biggest successes. And it was true in my networking - thinking outside the box became one of my superpowers as my good friend put it. Not sure it was a superpower, but I was good at it because I liked making those connections.

It has been awhile since I have used that skill. So, maybe this student reaching out is well timed. It has me even thinking about some of my current resources and some connections that have been there all along. I feel a bit of a spark that hasn't been there in awhile - a different spark. Hmmm - this could be trouble - LOL
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#53: September 17, 2020, 11:37:34 PM
"Trouble!  That starts with "T" and that rhymes with "P" and that stands for "Pool!"

Name that musical.....

 Hope you have a nice weekend and that your thread doesn't "disappear" again... <snort>

Just don't forget to NOT feed the crocodiles in the moat just in case....
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#54: September 17, 2020, 11:44:32 PM
Oooh, I like those sparks, mourning  :)
Like the universe gives you a tap on the shoulder, right?
And we suddenly start thinking more about what we now have than what we don't have. Nice. Fun. Exciting  :)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#55: September 18, 2020, 09:03:39 AM
Treasur - yes, the spark is a good one. I am not sure what to do with it yet, but it was a nice feeling to feel new things might be possible or that some things did not die in that tragic MLC time period. Bits of me that still exist that I had forgotten about or had resigned myself to believing they were lost.

Ah, UrsaMajor - you had to stump me with a musical. I can't say that one popped in my head right away. Show tunes and musicals are not really my area of expertise.  ::) Of course, now, thank you, I have that stuck in my head. LOL

As for the mysterious disappearing thread - sometimes, I am a damsel in distress and need a knight to rescue me - so thank you for that one. ;D

That thread not being there, I gotta admit threw me a for some time yesterday. I was coming off of feeling manipulated by my SIL and fighting off some serious triggers. Prior to joining HS, my adventures with Xh in his monster mode were only documented in my paper journals. He and OW manipulated and played games. Xh was a horrible monster at times. Getting past those moments has taken me some serious work. And, while I have always been a strong woman, being a victim of gaslighting took it's toll. And, to not fall into a trap of feeling like every one is out to get me, etc was not easy. But, I have moments where those fears surface. When they do, I will admit, I am hard-pressed to operate where I prefer to reside - more true to myself and where I feel most comfortable. I like laughing and being challenged, but not when my whole body aches from stress and I find myself wanting to lash out.

When I woke up yesterday, I had accepted my SIL had riled me up and not because of her request for the cookbook. It was the manner in which she approached it more than anything. It was in the intent and motivation of her text. She hasn't reached out to me in 4 years other than to ask for something. She hasn't checked on me or just sent a "hey, thinking of you" greeting. The only contact I have had at all have all lead to her wanting or needing something. I might have responded differently if she had just come out and asked without the fake desire to sit and have coffee. And, perhaps she really would like to catch up. I am not feeling it. She has forgotten that while I will bend over backwards for those I love, once you cross me, then I am putting up force fields. And they don't just shoot up at any sign of discourse. I am very forgiving. But, then there is a certain point that especially now after MLC, I am not tolerating those behaviors. I would rather put my energy in places that bring me happiness or make a difference throwing my energy where it will make a difference in the world or someone's life. I don't have time or patience for games.

I hadn't really gone looking for me thread, TBH. I was up and checked the forum to see what was going on. I knew the night before I had posted quite late, and when I didn't see it, I sort of scratched my head. I thought I was missing something. Then I went back to my old thread and tried the link. In my mind, I had two thoughts - uh oh - what did I do to get into trouble - LOL, or what did stupid here do to obliterate her own thread. And then crept in a whole other feeling - a sick feeling because last weekend, I spent a huge amount of my time changing passwords, etc, when I was alerted one of my accounts had been compromised. I have already had to deal with someone hacking my bank account early in Covid and had to address that. So, this just made me feel very uncomfortable.

I don't really know what happened. I know it was not my doing. It left me questioning was it accidental or was it with motive and intent. Accident, I can forgive. Done with motive and intent is a delicate question. Now, I can't think why someone would think it is in my best interest to get rid of my thread.

Well, no matter. I know where I stand in terms of my feelings in regards to people trying to manipulate me and I am okay with if I get upset. It is the difference for me between for instance the man who makes comments about my stilettos, etc. and the one who makes an unwanted move towards me. One will be met with often ignoring them, the other gets that stiletto as a warning ground into the top of their instep or worse. I like being rescued sometimes by a knight in shining armor - nice to know they exist, but if need be, I will defend myself if no one else is there. So, fair warning. Manipulate me and it will not be the crocodiles in the moat you should fear. It will be the fire breathing MourningDove who will scorch the earth at your feet.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#56: September 21, 2020, 11:37:28 AM
I am very grateful Xh didn't do any major construction projects before he moved out on the actual house. Most of the projects that have the MLC touch are minor annoyances and stupid things. Head scratchers and a good visual, but this one takes the cake.

Xh was always guilty of not always completing construction projects. He would get them 95% done and then abandon them to do later. He would get into a work project, etc. And most things were left for me to finish or deal with. Some I let slide because they were low priority. That said, everything he did was often meticulous in his work before MLC. Things were plum and solid structurally. When we added the stairway to access the upstairs he constructed an archway with elaborate details, etc.

When MLC crept in, we can almost put it on a timeline - a visual guide to home repair by the MLCer - where moulding around the one doorway are not properly mitered and there is a definite gap that is not from the house settling. Although had you asked him - he would say that was why. Our house has pretty much finished doing any major settling over the years and it has not moved a whole heck of a lot in 75 years. Yup, a few areas run a bit, but not where the moulding separates nearly a quarter of an inch. The main steel beam hasn't even parted that much, so we would just nod our heads and say "uh huh". It was easier to ignore the MLCer in those cases.

And, I have been slowly fixing those things. They annoy me, but it's manageable.

Then there have been the true WTF moments where the MLC was in full swing. The pergola that went up in a weekend and then was completely abandoned. It is structurally sound and is all level, etc. But, he decided not to finish the idea and the whole top lacks about 6 boards that would structurally not make a big difference but were for aesthetics. Those things on my list that I want to finish.

But, yesterday took the prize for the MLC bat snot crazy construction award.

The summer right before BD#2 Xh decided to add a lean to style shed to the back of the garage. He didn't get a permit, but fortunately he had done enough work for that zoning officer, they sort of looked the other way. In the past, they knew Xh was meticulous and he always presented drawings and did the proper framing, etc. So, we were lucky.

He wanted to add this structure for a wood shop - so he told me at the time, although he didn't really discuss it, I was simply told it was happening. In reality, he was hiding the 7 motorcycles he had purchase from me. He would lock the garage completely to keep me out. But, funny, he added 6 windows to the back of the lean-to so I could see right in the back as I would garden as there was at that point a large vegetable garden there. LOL

And, Xh went so far as to put up shutters and hang flower baskets from the back of the shed. It was quite lovely. Lots of facade it would seem because just like the MLCer the structure it would seem is a whole other story.

The siding Xh used at the time was particle board. I am not sure what possessed him to do that, but then he was in heavy crisis. And, he ran out of gutter. Instead of buying more the gutter only covered half of the building. So, S mentioned the siding needed to be replaced. I said to go ahead and let's just do it properly. It was one of those projects I don't want to hire the contractor for as it is well within my scope that I can help S with. And yesterday, it is frankly what I needed. Physical activity and real progress along with a whole lot of laughter.

We pulled the siding off and S stopped and literally pushed the first window out with 2 fingers. I couldn't even form the words to ask what had just occurred. S shook his head and said Xh seems to have installed the windows using just spray foam. Um - that is not the man I knew. Okay then. So the windows were all pushed out and destroyed. Luckily the neighbor had given S 6 windows from their house when they had added on. As we were beginning to deal with the framing for the new windows, S stepped back and said he thought the building ran. Now, we knew the floor ran and that was on purpose  as it was at a slight angle so Xh could spray down the floor with a hose if need be. But the actual building was never meant to dip. We have calculated that it drops at a rather noticeable rate - now that the garden is no longer hiding it. LOL. So we used the old trick many use in old houses to at least make it less noticeable and adjusted a bit.

I went outside and burst out laughing. S came out and we both started leaning to the right. Huh. Well, how Xh didn't see this is beyond me. My guess is he didn't care. One of the main vertical beams sits at a 25º angle. Fortunately it is solid and we can work around it, but it made us laugh completely. S laughed and said he was glad he hadn't used that one to work from as his starting point otherwise it would have looked like a fun house when were done.

S needed more supplies and felt bad. I assured him I want it done right and it was much cheaper than paying for the contractor so just make it happen.

When S came back, D had left dinner for him. She had gone so far as to make buttermilk biscuits from scratch and she had gone back to her BF's to help him with some studying. S sat down and we were just talking about the project. He then shocked me. He just started recounting how Xh used to be so incredibly fussy and was always harping on S about doing it right the first time - measuring and rechecking, etc. He would use good quality materials the first time around.

What came out of S's mouth next nearly made me fall right over in shock. D says some searing things, but S doesn't often talk about Xh other than to laugh at the cleaning out, etc. But, out of his mouth came how Xh made such a big deal about moving out of this house and starting over. How Xh was going to have a perfect home of his own, etc. And S said when he first moved in, Xh did just as he did here - everything in that cottage that is on the first floor and during those first few months is like out of Architectural Digest. But, it would seem, S said that the crisis crazy is running at a faster pace because the cottage renovation on the second level has turned more to just short of installing windows with spray foam. S said clearly the issue was not us or the house for Xh's unhappy state because the visual reference is there and he pointed to the lean to and said "I give you exhibit A". LOL

We have decided perhaps Xh was simply taking the word lean-to literally. Everything leans a bit. No matter - we are making adjustments. There will only be spray foam to help insulate the windows this time and our job is going to be done right this time around - no short cuts.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#57: September 22, 2020, 06:10:16 AM
Well, if THAT doesn't qualify as a
moment, I don't know what does....

25 deg list is .... well ...... just ..... uhmmmmmm .......
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#58: September 22, 2020, 08:58:12 AM
UrsaMajor - yes, it is sort of a tragic yet funny visual. In the past, had Xh caught a mistake like that, he would have ripped that post out of the ground or somehow rectified it. No way would he have been able to even sleep at night with that. He was pretty obsessive about things aligning. That is in fact what made him a remarkable designer - attention to detail.

My F voiced it yesterday when he saw it. He shook his head and said if that didn't represent Xh's change he didn't know what did. He said it was a shame that Xh didn't see he was crumbling and had all the support right here if he had just opened his eyes. And before my F left, he gave me a hug and a kiss on the top of the head and said I deserve someone who is capable of loving me the same way I love and won't just throw it all away.

Those sentiments no longer upset me in the sense that while I do sometimes feel the sting of being so seemingly easily disposed of, they don't usually result in me falling apart for days on end. Those feelings usually come on the heels of other stressors. And now, the thought of Xh reentering my life doesn't even filter in. I no longer hope or wish for that. So, instead, I try to laugh at the stupid things like posts that are way off because the tragic thing is that is clearly an example of how mucked up Xh is.

But, it is a new day. The sun is out and the temperature is perfect for working outside. So, I woke up and decided to bounce around.

Now, I am not usually a person who gets up bouncing out of bed, if it's a normal day. I like to get up, not necessarily be bombarded with questions, etc. I like to think about the day and have a cup of coffee before switching on completely. However - I have been known to go to the other extreme when necessary.

When the kids were in middle school and the bus would come at 6:30 am getting S in particular out of bed was a chore. D was an early riser and ready to tackle the day. In order to get the troops ready for the morning, I would get up, throw on some music and bounce around the kitchen. Often I would pick something dance oriented and would do stretches as I went along. Fridays, Xh would join in and it was always the Beastie Boys. D hated when he played the Beastie Boys. To this day, it aggravates her.  They had always prepared their lunches the night before, so I would focus on making them a good breakfast and then I might bark a few commands, like asking if they had everything. Or I might be squawking at the family for the stupid normal things, like wanting to know how hard is it to open the dishwasher and see if the dishes are clean or dirty. Nothing used to get to me more than when someone would leave dirty dishes on the counter and I would open the dishwasher to find that there was plenty of room for a dirty dish. It is one of those things many of the moms I knew at school all grumbled about.

For the most part, all of the kids have been pitching in, so I can't really complain too much. And this whole lockdown, etc has certainly been stressful on everyone. If nothing else, this whole year has not felt normal. For my own kids, life felt like it was finally getting back to some sort of new normal after the divorce, etc. We were just finding our new groove. Then 2020 just threw the whole thing into a tail spin.

I cannot recall the last time I really had a "normal" school morning with the kids. D wasn't home, but S was up for his early class. He was getting ready to shower and I asked him if he wanted breakfast. He usually makes something after class, but he said he would like that. He came out of the shower and I had the music going and was dancing around. I didn't see him and was muttering under my breath "how flipping hard is it to open the dishwasher and look to see that the dish could go in the dishwasher"?. S burst out laughing and said he hasn't had a "normal morning in a long time".

D came through the door shortly after and saw the 2 of us laughing. I had Bruno Mars on, because that album usually gives me a good half hour of upbeat stretch music. S greeted D - "good morning and welcome to normal". D gave us a look of confusion as I stood at the counter talking to S as I kept going up on point and then back down, stretching my calf muscles. S explained it was like being back in school. D tried to play cranky, but I caught her a couple of times bounding along to the music when she thought I wasn't looking.

It made me realize that I actually was grateful for that dirty dish this morning.  ::)

Everyone keeps saying the Equinox is supposed to balance things out - IDK but I am really hoping so.

No matter - I will play my dance music for a bit longer and then switch it back up and really confuse those who don't really understand me.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#59: September 22, 2020, 11:26:05 AM
S just informed me that my eldest former BIL and his W are visiting Xh and SIL. S wondered if D knew. I gave him a look that said it all. Yah - no one has said one word to D. S sighed and has said that he is growing tired of the games that Xh and SIL like to play. S said he will mention it to D and at least he can say he is not keeping things from her. He is concerned how she will react, but he said he is not going to be counted in the people didn't let her know. I told him I can't really say a word simply because it is not really my information to share.

It upset me a little knowing this is the $h!te that continues and then Xh will go and play his tiny violin how D is angry with him and doesn't reach out. But, I have to step away from it. And, in spite of my frustrations, I am biting my tongue. Sometimes I question the wisdom of that, simply because there are times I would like to just rant about these things.

And then I had a couple of gentle reminders why I will work on continuing to monitor my reactions. That is, I will stay true to my core and take that high road when it comes to Xh. He has issues. I don't have to point them out to the kids.

I was waiting on a phone call from a client that I finished some work for yesterday. A nothing job that actually to me was a complete waste of the client's money, but they are the type of people that have lots of money to burn and when I tried to tell them a more economical way to resolve their issue, they fought me on it. So, I spent a couple of hours on a "throw away" piece that will be used all of 15 minutes and they paid me my going rate. I felt guilty at first, but then I remembered this is just them. They get something in their heads and that is it - there is no other way. If I hadn't done the work they would have hired someone else, so I have gotten over the guilt. And they always pay immediately.  ::)

As I was waiting for the phone call, I pulled down some more artwork I have on the shelves waiting to go back up on the walls. I have been reframing and caring for each piece before they go back up. I decided with all of my renovating it would be a good time to look at some of the pieces and make sure they weren't framed back when archival products didn't exist and the artwork can suffer.

I pulled down a painting that I have always loved. It is an abstract that a friend of the family's did years ago. It is called "At the Water's Edge". And when we were on a trip, D found a piece of pink glass that had been worn by the sands and water that was the exact shape and color in the painting. She was only in second grade at the time, but that piece took on a whole other connection by then.

I decided some time ago that I wanted to find a place to hang this piece back up. I have to look for the little pink rock, as it is somewhere in the house. It moved when Xh declared in MLC he hated that painting. It was funny, prior to MLC he had loved it. IDK maybe it represented turmoil to him at that point.

When I pulled it off the shelves, it dawned on me that I wanted to freshen up the frame. It didn't need much, so it has an inner spacer that I decided to paint black. D came in and smiled. She said she really liked the depth the black edging was giving that painting and it brought out things she had never noticed before. And, as I carefully painted the edge I really thought about that friend.

Knowing that artist's life and the demons he had, there is an energy in this painting that is both one of turmoil and yet at the bottom this whole sense of calm. That was him in a nutshell. Never in my life have I ever met anyone who had every reason in the world to be angry and bitter, yet it didn't exist in him. Yes, he had some terrible demons that lead him to doing drugs for awhile, but then he got sober and found his addiction in cigarettes. He was never a hypocrite. He might criticize things, but he lived a life where he tried to be a positive force. He would distance himself from negative forces and focus on his own journey. Even when his only child died tragically, he somehow found the will to live and push forward. He would often say that his S wouldn't have wanted him to just wallow and he had to continue to live for that reason alone. And, I watched over the years how his painting style changed dramatically, as his own personal spiritual growth grew as well.

My phone call came and I had a message on FaceBook that popped up. I opened it and before I closed out of my session I saw a post from my one X-SIL. It sort of solidified my own decision of not always sharing my reactions or feelings publicly.

My X-SIL and I get along really well and always have. My X-BIL, he is suffering from the same issues as Xh, although, he has been at it way longer. SIL left him 10 years ago and has been with a new man, one she loves and he is a good guy for well over 8 years. Yes, my X-BIL - he is still being a FOO infested idiot. No doubt. My X-SIL, she likes to post a lot. Usually, they are uplifting messages and affirmations. It frankly gets to be a bit much. Like opening up your mailbox and only getting junk mail. I am all for positive quotes, etc., but I have to admit, I outgrew my poster of the kitten hanging on the branch saying "hang in there" in the second grade. I used quotes from time to time in my classes, but wow - I don't need 10 daily.

What struck me though is this. My X-SIL often posts things about toxic people. There is no doubt who this is aimed towards. And, maybe today it finally hit me. She constantly does that. What bothered me is my nieces see this. Others see it. We get it - he was and is a jerk. Why spend so much time on it publicly. It is the need to advertise it I am having a hard time with. Maybe it is my intolerance for people having a need to just put it all out there.

I know as well as anyone what she went through. I experienced the same FOO monster. I get it. I do. But, maybe what struck me is she claims to be this very positive person and wants to move on with her life but she is still jabbing at my X-BIL after all this time. And it isn't like this is out of the blue and he did something today for instance. It dawned on me that she posts something that is a jab at him at least a couple of times a week if not more.

If that is how she wants to proceed that is on her. I really am not here to criticize her as much as I realize that is not how I want to be. So, I will do my ranting here or with those who get it, but in front of my kids - I am going to do my best to hold to the line that xh has issues and I hope he deals with them. I won't be posting any quotes about toxic people any time soon on FaceBook.
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#60: September 23, 2020, 04:18:18 AM
Sounds a bit like X-SIL is following the family FOO script? Which part is she playing? MIL?

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#61: September 23, 2020, 01:14:39 PM
UrsaMajor, I hadn't looked at it that way, but you are really spot on. My X-SIL is behaving a bit like my MIL, wanting to keep that narrative alive. And, I will admit, my X-BIL (Xh's B) has rivaled my Xh in terms of who the bigger a$$ has been at times. That is my X-SIL's choice how she deals with it, but I guess the social media thing and needing to advertise it publicly is just not who I am.

So, to add to the many levels of head scratching and WTF moments that I get to witness from afar - it would seem that now, not only is Xh's sister going to buy property near Xh, but now the eldest B and his W are now looking to move nearby. Funny, considering they all packed up and left this area and were never coming back, blah, blah, blah. Now they, I guess sound like they are building some compound - taking over the town? IDK - LOL. Just out and out bizarre, considering I know the whole history. But, hey, maybe this will resolve the whole FOO issues - LOL. I somehow doubt it.  ::)

I did let D know finally when I learned they would be building. I gave her a heads up because their longer stay means there is a good possibility that they will run into D one of these days at the grocery store she likes to go to. D shrugged and laughed, saying it just gets stranger and stranger. LOL

This morning, I met my sister in the village where D goes to college. I had decided with the nice weather I would walk and my sister liked the idea of joining me. I dropped D off and then my sister and I got coffee and took a 3 mile walk together. And, we did a lot of talking. Catching up and it was such a nice time. She and I probably would not have done this had it not been for Covid. We have both been so busy with life and always said "we should do that" and never did. Now, we both just said it needs to happen. And, my sister and I, while we are very different, we just have always gotten along really well. We laugh all the time. And, because she was so close to Xh, as they were like siblings, she knows when to tell me how it was. That is - she would be very quick to say something like "he was always like that and it now bothers you" just as quickly as being honest and saying at times when Xh definitely went off the rails. She shoots from the hip and would never sugar coat it with me. She has been there for me at every turn. And, she understands the wounds Xh left emotionally, as she dated a man for 4 years that became emotionally abusive. She admitted today that she is realizing that lately the stress of the shutdown has brought out some old triggers. It was a good walk.

But, it wasn't all serious - at all. I spotted a gorgeous house on the walk and noted I wondered if the people that lived there would rent me their little house. My sister thought I was talking about their guest house. No, I was talking about the cutest tree house that was literally a little house up in the trees. She laughed and then in all seriousness said I should build one of those in the orchard. Oh, she is so dangerous - but that would be a spectacular studio space  ::)

At one point, I had my sister laughing so hard she had to sit on the ground, especially after we both started laughing and a duck piped in, as if it too was laughing - right on cue.

I told her I went from my very Zen mood yesterday afternoon to clearly setting that aside momentarily. The kids were no where around when it happened, so I am not feeling terribly bad about it.

Xh had stopped to drop off something for S. I have no idea what it is or was and didn't care. I just saw his car and it put a hiccup in my mood. I had been in my own world just working in the yard and making such huge progress. I had cut down branches from the big tree in the middle of the yard, and pruned several trees. I dragged all of the brush down to the property line and brought back stones on every walk that had been uncovered the last time S run the rototiller through the orchard. I was content. S even noted later in the evening there was a very different feeling about me.

But, no - Xh had to disrupt that.

I had put on a shirt I was intending to donate, but decided to just destroy it using it as an outside "I don't care what happens to this" work shirt. The only reason I quit wearing it was I bought it one night on my way home from work. It was a very quick stop, one that was made when Xh called and invited me to come to a bonfire someone decided to have last minute. I am pretty sure the only reason I was invited was that friend said "call your wife". I really don't think Xh was inspired to call me, seeing as how when I got there OW was there. But, when he called, the location was the opposite direction of home and the temps had dropped. He was already there and I didn't have warm enough clothes on or with me. So, I stopped, spotted a long sleeve at the store. It was cute and was not going to cost an arm and a leg- red with thin white stripes. Nothing fancy or special, but red works on me, so why not?

I walked out of the car and in front of everyone, the first words out of Xh's mouth was "Where's Waldo". Now, in the past, I would have laughed at that and given him some sassy remark back, because in the past we could as a couple joke like that with one another. But there stood OW in her designer clothes and I just felt like jumping into that bonfire at that point. I was mortified. I wore that shirt one other time and the joke came out again. It would be the last time I wore it. Now, I can't bring myself to wear for every day, but it didn't upset me putting it on to haul away brush.

So, Xh, clearly he was not expecting to see me, decides his best approach yesterday was to take one look at me and try to be funny. The problem is he has lost that privilege and his jokes no longer make me laugh or feel all warm and fuzzy. He right away went for the "Where's Waldo" joke. Uh Huh.

Well what had my sister on the ground laughing was my response to him which rendered him speechless and had him getting in his car immediately when I walked away. I told him Waldo had been there earlier. I used a very crass response, but the essence was Waldo had been here, we had sex all day long and he left his shirt behind.

What can I say ::)
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« Last Edit: September 23, 2020, 01:16:38 PM by MourningDove »

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#62: September 23, 2020, 07:58:04 PM
 ;D ;D ;D ;D

So I need to know, please. What is the difference between a village and a town?
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#63: September 24, 2020, 11:06:43 AM
Oh, OffRoad - LOL, that is a complicated definition to request it would seem, as the distinctions, it would seem vary according to each state.

So, I will base it on the region I live in. LOL

The counties were originally divided into smaller subdivisions which were towns. Typically in the rural areas the towns where I am were primarily agricultural and a small cluster of businesses and then homes would sprout up that created a more dense area of population. Those became known as villages within the town limits. They housed things like libraries and community businesses. Typically, only one village exists within the town. However, out where I am, there is one village that straddles 2 townships, etc.  ::)

In my town, the village has independent governing in most situations from the town, although they pay a town tax as well as a village tax and the town has some governance. That said, the village has it's own boundaries with different amenities and zoning than the township itself. However, they have to abide by the township in terms of certain ordinances and so on. So it exists within the town. I almost think of it like having an HOA within a suburb.

The town I live in is very large geographically, but a small population. The village has a mayor, it's own fire and police force. The town does not rely on the local village police, but part of our taxes go towards fire, etc and we voted to help support the local library. Many of the towns and villages near me have opted to consolidate governing bodies and absorb into one. We have not opted to do that as a whole, but have combined some services, etc. For my township, it doesn't make sense, in that the only one's that would in fact benefit would be the village itself, because the taxes then would shift to pay for things like sewage and water for the village residents and their infrastructure. Out where I am, there are some of us  who have city water because of our location, but many people live in areas that rely on wells and septic systems. Not only that, for many of us the taxes in the town help keep the roads in good shape and our issues with road work are not like the village. We are dealing with the wear and tear from farm vehicles rather than general road work and maintaining sidewalks.

I guess the simplest way of looking at it is there are counties, the counties are subdivided into towns, then within the towns there is usually a village center in the old traditional sense - a Main Street with shops and services, etc. Of course, that landscape has changed in the addition of strip malls, etc, in some communities. I happen to live in an area where the village has one stop light. The village next to that has no stop lights within the village.

Now to further complicate things - I decided to settle in an area that often confuses people. They type in my address and might find themselves in another town because I live just over a county line, with an address that actually doesn't really match my township - the town I pay taxes to. My home phone number doesn't align with the township and my kids did not go to the district many would think they would if they base it on my location. The school district lines and county lines are really goofy where I am. We have often felt the surveyors back in the day must have been really drunk as they mapped things out.

I have to think out who to call sometimes based on my property - hmmm, do I call the state, country or town to have that addressed, because I am right up along all sorts of borders.

I also have a friend who has a really funny situation. The house she and her H bought straddles 2 towns. They have to get 2 different zoning permits depending on where they are doing work on the house. When they put their pool in, they had to think about the placement so that they didn't have issues with zoning. I laugh all the time, because she grew up next to me and we used to laugh as kids about the whole address thing. I told her she didn't have to go and try to outdo me with this situation.

I don't know if that explanation helps at all. It is sort of a dying thing in most states I think. Most people even around here don't know there is a distinction if they live the one town over, because that town expanded years ago and the village and town merged back in the 60's. If I say I am from PDQ, they often will say "oh, you just elected Mayor so and so" and they add an eye roll - Nope - not me. I had nothing to do with that bozo getting in. Knew him in school. He is still an idiot and I luckily have no say in that situation - I live outside of the village by a good 7 miles. LOL
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« Last Edit: September 24, 2020, 11:13:40 AM by MourningDove »

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#64: September 24, 2020, 04:41:29 PM
I too experienced some jokes by xh prior to BD that stung versus an inside "in this together" sort of joke. 

A while back I saw a meme that says
"There's always some truth behind "just kidding",
knowledge behind "I don't know",
emotion behind "I don't care" and
pain behind "It's okay."

And it has stuck with me.

I can definitely take jokes and sarcasm from people, but not from xh.  There was a time when it felt ok, but after a while, deep down, I sensed that he no longer esteemed me.

I'm so glad that you had a witty comeback for him this time!
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#65: September 24, 2020, 06:01:37 PM
FaithWalker - I was thinking about my response to Xh's joke.

In the past, before MLC Xh would never have said anything like that in mixed company. In front of family, perhaps, but that too came later. I would have to really honestly say, something along the lines of pointing out something about my clothes he would have never joked about in front of anyone. And he was always proud of how I dressed. He might in private find something to kid me about and it would have been in a loving, teasing manner. This moment in front of that bonfire, was done with sarcasm and to make fun of me. It is clear to me now that he was not aligned with me or protective of me at that point, as he had been in the past. He was putting on a show for OW and making sure she knew he was all hers. I was only invited to that bonfire because he wouldn't want his friends to think he was cheating on me. That would have never flown.

And, I would never have been that thin skinned in the past. Had it bothered me, I might have snapped a joke back, or told him that he hurt my feelings. It was not an option. In fact, on my drive home from there I recall just sobbing and thinking I was being ridiculous.

When I wore that shirt a second time, he pointed it out to the kids and again, at home, I can handle the jokes.

When the kids were very little they bought me these fleece pajama bottoms that were bright magenta with giant monkeys on them. It wasn't something I would have ever been caught wearing, but they were little and thought they would make me smile. I wore them a couple of times and then tucked them away for ammunition later on, full well knowing that when they were teenagers they would be mortified at their purchase. And, I can laugh at myself. I wore those stupid pajama bottoms one morning and the kids and Xh made fun of me. I quickly reminded them they were the ones that picked them out and gave Xh the look reminding him he not only joined in, but would have paid for them. I threatened to wear the out in public if they ever pushed too far. I no longer have these blasted pajamas, but I was okay sometimes with those family jokes.

I think I was proud of myself for being able to put that stupid shirt on and not associate it with MLC and get all wound about it. I wasn't about to wear it out in public again, as had some bad memories, but I was really very okay with letting it get covered in paint the other night, and dirt from the yard. It wasn't weighing on me in any way.

When Xh made that remark, he may have done it out of discomfort upon seeing me and thought he would try to be funny, is my guess. The problem is, he no longer has that right and his humor is no longer funny to me at all. To pick this particular joke really just brought out my inner sass. I was in my own happy world before that moment. He interrupted my day and my progress and chose a really bad thing to poke fun at. I highly doubt he even recalls the first time I wore it. To him, it is just some inside joke we had, I am sure. I don't think he will make that mistake again any time soon.

I haven't shared it with the kids or my parents. They do not need to know about it. My sister, she is just loving the response. She in fact, because she knows she can pick on me, spent part of her day just finding GIFs to send to me of Where's Waldo. She knows my Xh had a very quick wit and very few could shut him down, so for me to just leave him without a response has her laughing. And out of any of my family, my sister has probably (aside from the kids) felt the sting of Xh's departure. She and Xh were close and she could always talk to him about things and get good feedback. Now, she cannot get past the pain he continues to cause D and S. Both kids often seek her out for advice and comfort. Xh crossed too many lines.

Of course, my sister also thinks it would be really funny to talk about this new guy "Waldo" I am talking about. LOL.

Today, I went with my F to drop off the sculptures for the investment molds to be made. I was so happy to be surrounded by artwork and a working studio of another artist. I had been there before Covid and saw the life sized piece he was working on. Covid slowed that all down, so it was kind of cool to be able to see it in pieces and getting ready to be poured, as it is back on schedule.

I laughed as I thought about OffRoad's question. I had to stop at a local store and I realize that where I live is so odd for most people. We have cultural things and we have malls, etc. but we also have several stores near me that have horse and buggy parking. Nothing like watching the summer lake inhabitants pull up in their new Mercedes convertible only to realize they are parked next to a horse. LOL
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#66: September 24, 2020, 07:36:34 PM
Wow. Thank you for the explanation. I am a suburb gal. Don't like the hustle and bustle of the city, like the convenience of lots of choices for many things, and like a little land to grow things on and space between my house and the neighbors. The closest I have come to not a city was when we lived in Oxon Hill, Md for 3 years. ( a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away).  Although Pebble Beach was not a city either.....and had a lot more space between houses, but no village.

But I digress, it's so interesting to hear about where other people live. Every time I go to visit some place (Ithaca, NY; Wisconsin Dells, WI; Cody, WY; Roswell NM; Salem, MA;  etc) they have their own culture and atmosphere. Getting to know the people is half the fun.

Well, now you know when you meet a guy named 'Waldo', he might just be for you.  ;D
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#67: September 25, 2020, 03:38:54 AM
You KNOW I can not let this go by without a GIF......



or two....

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#68: September 25, 2020, 01:37:27 PM
OffRoad - LOL. Yes, getting to know people of the area is half the fun - I agree.

And, don't get me wrong, you won't see horse and buggy parking everywhere, but there are several places that throw people if they are not paying attention. LOL

I have lived several places and I have to admit that if I got to a point where the country house was too much to maintain, I would move into a small city or village. At least then there are usually ways to get around or things nearby within walking distance. I just can't see myself being back in a city too quickly though.

The amusing thing for me is people coming out to my house and saying they couldn't live that far out in the country. I am not exactly in the "boondocks". I am near a major highway that takes me into the nearest big city within half an hour. I just happen to be in an agricultural area, so yes, it seems more remote when you are looking out the front window at acres of farmland. I always assure people I am within a quick trip to "civilization" where there are things like Target and Macy's.  ::)

Oh, UrsaMajor - of course you had to find those. LOL. Cosplay? Yah, I am not picturing myself dressing up like Waldo, but then one never knows. You know people like to make lots of assumptions about me and sometimes I do like to shock them.  ::) Although, my friend suggested I am probably more apt to go Harley Quinn than Waldo.  ::)

So, I had a couple of nights of very vivid dreams. The night before last, I dreamt that a warm beam of golden sunlight was shining on me. I was asleep yet, felt warm and as if I was bathing in a pool of dappled warm sunlight.

In reality, my bed is under part of my bedroom where it is dark because of the roof line. I have skylights and several windows in my room, so it is bright during the day, but at night, the alcove is quiet and really very dark. The only light that would shine in might hit the foot of the bed if the moon was high enough in the sky. Beyond that, no light reaches the actual bed.

Last night, I dreamt I was wearing a long white gauze gown and wading into a cement pool. It was very much like the pool I once saw at the Saint Gauden's National park years ago. Long and narrow and meant for really more like a pond. I was real in the dream, but the pond was an illustration. Gilded in gold and like an Art Nouveau illustration with ornamentation. But the minute I stepped into the pool, the ares my body touched came to life. I was not in some depressed state, this was a very happy feeling, where I was just wading into the water-lily covered pond.

Part of the ornamentation were stylized snakes. Not menacing snakes. Bright green with yellow bellies that had no fangs. They too came to life, and then began to swim.

In reality, I am have very few things I am not too terribly fond of. Snakes and I can coexist - that is as long as there is a healthy distance between us. I had a student bring one in one time. Yup, love the markings. Fascinated by the way they are so fluid in their movements, but nope, I do not care have it put around my neck or to cuddle it. LOL

In the dream, I wasn't afraid of the snakes, but I was clearly annoyed they were nipping at me and pinching me with their gums.

I woke up and I haven't really analyzed any of this. I had to attack the day and get some things done before leaving for work.

And work - has been one of those odd days. Incredibly quiet in terms of visitors, and I would just be getting into something to work on when the phone would ring, then my cell phone rang at the same time, followed by a slew of emails and then D came in. For a couple of hours it seemed like a non-stop rotation of the pattern. Phone, phone, email, etc. all while I was trying to resolve some odd issue with the internet.

And then just like that, it all died right down.

Tomorrow, I am till planning on going on my garden tour. D has no desire to go. She has it in her head she wants to go pick apples with her BF. S is going to Xh's to see BIL and SIL.

My sister would love to go, but happens to be working to fill in for someone who is on vacation.

The friends I have nearby really would not appreciate this at all. They would go to a garden place if it were several places, etc. or had some other attraction. And it is not a criticism of them. I just know I would be feeling like I need to rush through. So, I will go by myself, pack a picnic lunch and just go at my own pace. The weather is supposed to cooperate so that is a plus and this will be the first time I have ever been there for the fall. Now, if only I could figure out how to manage a winter visit, because I have been able to over the years get in for spring events over the years and one summer one that was an impromptu event they added.

It won't be the first or last event I go to on my own. It is part of being the LBS and learning to be okay with it.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#69: September 26, 2020, 07:02:01 PM
I almost talked myself out of going today. I had another night of dreams, but these were really odd and woke me up. Unsettling to say the least. When my alarm went off, I shut it off accidentally. I can't remember the last time I had to use an alarm to actually wake me up, as I am pretty consistently awake around 6 am, even if I don't get out of bed right away.

This morning, I just couldn't seem to find the desire, but I kicked myself in the butt and told myself I needed to do this.

I dressed for the occasion, opting for a summery tank dress and white sneakers and found myself deciding I was going to put on earrings. I grabbed a straw hat and a hair clip just in case and threw together snacks in my backpack along with a camera and I was out the door.

I was running later than planned and was upset with myself. There were delays along the way and heavy traffic on the toll road and the main roads. My M called to express her concern it was too bad I didn't have anyone to go with, I assured her I had embraced this time for myself. I was okay. She suggested a friend I should have asked. I didn't get into it, but my M doesn't quite get it. This place to me is not just any place to take people. I am kind of selective about who I have introduced this place to. That particular friend, she would not have embraced my plans, which was to have no plans at all.

D called next, wanting to know when I would be home. I could feel my body tense. I took a deep breath and thought about my response, keeping in mind what she had said the last time this came up. I assured her I would be home by dinner at the very latest. I told her if I stopped somewhere else I would let her know so she felt more secure. She backed off immediately and caught herself, realizing she was sounding controlling. We will just have to keep working on this.

I was exasperated by then, wondering if I should just give up on my thought of having time to myself where I didn't have to account for what I was doing. It isn't like I need to keep it a secret, that isn't it. It was simply more of what does it matter what I do when I get there. I was of the mind that if the spirit moved me, I might not even walk the whole grounds and just sit in one of the many chairs around the giant ponds and sit all day long.

And, the traffic delays were getting to me. But, I was given a moment to find gratitude and wonder if perhaps the delays I was encountering were a blessing. Had I gone through just a fraction earlier, I no doubt would have been involved in a bad accident. My timing was arriving just as someone had run an intersection and they were being helped by passersby, but the emergency crews hadn't gotten there. I could have easily been t-boned at that intersection had I gone through a couple of minutes earlier.

The driver, fortunately missed people and was okay. I found myself pushing away my aggravation and committing myself to continuing on my journey. And it was a surprise when the GPS had me going a completely different route than I am used to. I usually look at the map and then wing it, but decided to play with my phone map. I was pulled through tons of small villages I didn't know existed and a couple of I am guessing what would probably fall under the title of hamlet - which is much smaller than a village - LOL.

I spent 4 hours on the grounds. It turned out that very few people came to the event. They had purchased the tickets but it would seem some decided that it wouldn't be as pretty without the spring flowers, so they didn't show. And it was a perfect sunny day. Warm but there was a breeze. There were stations with hand sanitizer throughout the gardens. People were adhering to the rules, but frankly, there were so few people that everyone was spread out. I only encountered one other couple at one point where masks seemed necessary. It was so quiet that it felt like I had the whole place to myself.

I made notes of different trees and plantings to investigate. I shot photos that I would never have been able to get before. And, I spent a significant amount of time just watching the koi swim about.

I felt content and okay with being alone, but I had moments of longing to be able to share this with someone. And, it is so hard to explain to some people. Yes, there are a lot of people who would see the beauty, but I am talking about the people who so get my quirks that nothing has to be really said at all. Or, they might laugh at my crouching down on the ground in a dress to get a different vantage point.

I mainly focused on the sculptures and structures this trip, but will admit the leaves turning colors provided the perfect backdrop.

I managed to forget that sunscreen would have been wise. The straw hat, fortunately kept the sun off of my face, but my bare shoulders are now tender.

I drove back home the long way and was planning on stopping at one of the lake communities, but the crowds made me uncomfortable and I instead drove the back roads through farm land. I could have stopped and watched the one farmer harvesting wheat for hours, but by then I was getting hungry, realizing I had only eaten a banana all day. I kept hydrated, but it would seem while I prepared snacks, I left them on the counter this morning.  ::)

D came home awhile after I rolled in. She and her BF had gone apple picking. She was so proud of the haul they made. She informed me they had bought a bushel of apples with a mix of varieties. It would appear we will be eating a lot of apples. She started to rattle off all of the recipes she is thinking of making. So, it seems tomorrow we will be eating apple cinnamon donuts and she is making apple cider in the crock pot - based on her recipe search.

S was going to take his GF and her M for a hike. When he came back, he was very quick to tell me he gives me big props for doing that whole hike this time last year. He, GF and the M only went half way up and decided to go get lunch. He did thank me though for the heads up ahead of time about the one trail back down.

I haven't asked, but I am very curious as to why S didn't go to his F's as planned. He was all excited about seeing BIL and SIL. He has no plans to go tomorrow either. Very odd.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#70: September 27, 2020, 07:06:37 PM
D had organized a brunch at my parent's house for this morning. My sister and her family had other plans, and S's GF had to work, leaving the kids, myself and D's BF to join my parents. D went up early to help my M cook and I was told it was under control, so I offered to help with clean up instead.

D and my M had a wonderful time cooking together and my M was in her glory. She was loving having something to focus on and she was loving feeling needed. She was running around waiting on people and  humming the whole time.

I will admit, the time together was nice and my sister had said last week that she too needs to make time for those things.

After helping my M clean up, she asked if I was going for a walk. She has missed our walks. At first I thought she would settle into just enjoying the day. I really didn't want to discuss anything going on in the world at that moment. My M, she likes to talk about things, which is okay, but when she started to go right into my job situation, I stopped her. I told her it was Sunday and frankly I have things to resolve, like chasing the money owed to me right now - it is significant and that is my focus for the moment. I will be okay for a few months and I asked her if we could instead focus on the beautiful day or the changing leaves for a little while. In fact, I encouraged her to embrace the day and she and my F should take a drive around one of the lakes. She quite liked that idea.

She called me a bit later to tell me that they had decided against that idea, but were going to get their flu shot instead because the leaves aren't at their peak. I kind of laughed because they could easily go every day of the week to watch the progress, but whatever. LOL. It was a few hours later she called to tell me she and my F went for a shorter drive and got ice cream for dinner. It made me laugh a bit because that to my M is being really mischievous. LOL

I had spent most of the remaining part of the morning painting the back siding on the lean-to. D came outside and I could tell she was stressed. I know this look. We had been discussing her anxiety and ways to work her way out of it. For one, I told her she needs to not bark at me and when she feels this way to tell me what she needs from me, not leave me guessing. I can't always do what she needs, but we need to work on it. She was given anxiety meds, but she is not wanting to be dependent on them, so she hasn't taken them at all. She is an adult and I can't make her take them or not. I have mixed emotions about them, as in D's case, I can look back and see where this anxiety came from.

D had never been an anxious kid. She had her moments and is sets high goals for herself, so she has moments of being driven and there is a touch of that over achiever anxiety in her. I recognize that, as that was me and Xh had that later in life, even before MLC. But, in the past, D has always run to get that energy out. Until her ankle injury, running was her outlet. She had really made progress again with going to the gym before Covid, because it was a way for her to release the energy. And, without going to the gym, she has lost a lot of weight and muscle mass. She eats, but she is very thin now. She is not suffering from an eating disorder, but it did concern me at one point. And, I thought about it - my M had a horrible time gaining weight when she was younger. The doctor made her drink milkshakes every day to try and put some meat on her bones. It bothers D she is so tiny right now.

So, last week she asked me how I was able to get through my stress after the divorce. I told her I found physical activities to do, including walking, but sometimes it was just pulling weeds. It got her thinking a  bit. But, I also told her, that I learned to speak up a bit more and tell people what I need - not that everyone listens or understands, but I try to let people know when I perhaps need an hour to myself to just decompress. So, in that vein, D decided today to come out and ask me if we could schedule some time together, just the 2 of us. She told her BF, which surprised me, as they have been pretty inseparable if he was okay leaving Sundays as a day where they do their own thing sometimes. A built in time. And, her BF is okay with it. He no longer feels guilty about wanting to go and watch football with his B - something D has no desire to do every Sunday. She now feels better about staying her and baking or just doing her thing. It has been good for both of them.

So, D perked up when I said I had to go get some more primer and other supplies and we could take time today. I threw her my keys and told her she was driving though.  ::) She was perfectly okay with being the person with the control of which roads we took, etc. And we talked about things, but nothing really heavy. In fact, it was more about different houses and the one house that always has decorations going up for Halloween. This year they have outdone themselves already.

And, then D brought up something I wasn't going to touch on. I caught it at brunch, but didn't want to throw more fuel onto things. S out of nowhere asked if my parents knew where Xh had been last weekend. Of course my parents knew from me, because I was so upset, but they never let on. Out of S's mouth came how he was really wanting to go and was quite frankly really sour about the whole situation. D stared at him and he said with a bit of shock that she wasn't sent photos by Xh. Her BF and I both were looking at each other the whole time and I know we both were preparing for some bad feelings. But, D said no, she doesn't know anything about her F from her F. S shook his head and muttered "that is so F'ed up". My parents, I was surprised, didn't try to defend Xh or soft pedal it. They let it just come out. And with that S changed the subject.

When D brought it up on our drive, she wasn't upset about being left out. D's displeasure was that she saw the pain in S's eyes and she said she was worried about him. So, while we were out, I didn't grumble when she wanted to go to the grocery store. I knew what this meant. She wanted to make something for S for dinner and to make sure he has snacks for the week. We had plenty in the house, but I didn't take issue with it.

Sure enough, that was in fact her plan. S, he was very down when I came home. Nothing had gone the way he wanted today. When D went to make dinner, I told her I was going back outside to work on the lean-to and to spend time with S. So, my evening was spent along side S. We talked some, but most of the time we just worked on things. He too seemed better after some time.

The dog was content just laying outside with us for awhile. I didn't have her on her lead, as she was sticking around, that is until she heard a noise and darted next door. I laughed as I realized she was going to see her "boyfriend" as we like to call the neighbor. She loves him and sure enough he was out in his barn. I walked over to get her and he told me what a good young man S is. His own sons were not there to help him. His youngest took an opportunity to make money and the eldest, well, he is a nice kid, but he is rather entitled. S, on the other hand, went over there earlier and helped the neighbor clean out the barn - a project the family had all said they would help with and not a single one of his 4 kids showed up and his W and SIL were out shopping.

S came in to the library after we stopped for the day and was grinning from ear to ear. He wanted to share with me something the neighbor gave him. He brought in a tube and unrolled a limited edition print. I remembered when the neighbor got that along with several others in the series. They are higher quality and in this case are of value and collectible. His X BIL ran off with the others. This is the last one he had. He gave it to S, knowing S would really love it. I texted the neighbor and asked what that was about. He sent me back a simple text that said he thinks of S like his own son and he was so grateful for S's help that he felt good knowing that print will be framed and loved.

I thought about the neighbor for some time. He is a good man and he adores his family. He and Xh were very close for a long time. He never took sides, but he has been so good to the kids and I. S needed someone today and he had thought about hanging out with my F, but when he heard that my parents were spending the day together, he came home. The truth is, S had projects he wanted to get done, but he needed that F figure today. And the neighbor has been here so many times when Xh has not for S. Xh stopped the night when S first fixed his truck and started it the very first time. He was young and had decided against taking the extra time and steps, so the seals blew. Xh left just as all of the oil poured out of the truck. It was the neighbor who stood there and consoled S.

I have been so fortunate having people around to be there for the kids in ways I haven't been able to.

I can't fix the things Xh has done and continues to do. I have to let the kids feel what they need to feel and I have to make time for myself, but I realize how important even more today that I at least need to be aware of their needs, but the trick is all of us being able to express those needs at the very least. It is all about the communication we need to have as this reconfigured family unit.

S's comment at brunch - I don't think I need any further explanation as to why S didn't go down to see BIL, SIL and Xh this weekend. Clearly S has in fact "soured" on the whole happy family bit. Sad and maybe next weekend he will go to see them, but for now, he seems okay with spending time with those people who care about him. Xh is too wrapped up in fixing his sibling situation that he continues to chip away at the relationship with the kids.

That is not in my control. Took me a long time to get to this realization.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#71: September 28, 2020, 02:54:44 AM
Boy, xH is going to get deeper into that tunnel no matter what ...



I guess his R with his daughter is no longer relevant....

What a tool....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#72: September 28, 2020, 12:32:10 PM
UrsaMajor - I have to agree - Xh is just determined to ram through that solid hill thinking he is somehow making some type of progress. He is so single minded in that he has to pull his siblings all back together like the family they once were while sacrificing the relationship he did have with myself and the kids.

I am honestly struggling today a bit. S skipped both of his classes today. He will bounce back, but he is really down. And it isn't helping that the farmer decided to move the tree line today that we love so much. I sort of get it, as does S as to why they are. It will give them a straight shot across the field, but it will really not gain them a whole heck of a lot in terms of actual crops. The farmer is good to me, but I will admit I am not fond of this particular farmer's practices on many levels.

So, S and I are both having some difficulty dealing with the sickening sound of the removal. And, they aren't using saws - they are just ripping it all out with excavators and in such a brutal manner. Yes, I am sure it is efficient for them, but they quite often do this with little regard for the environment around them - at least this particular farmer.

We will both adjust and somehow embrace what now will be, but the timing sucks.

I have instead just been working away on projects side by side, not saying much.

I had started outside as the forecast called for sun all day long. I finished the coat of paint on the siding and had plans to put a final coat on and paint the trim. Then the clouds emerged and it started to sprinkle. So I packed it up and came inside determined to work on some detail painting that still needs done. No sooner was I inside that the sun came back out, but by then I had already put away the outdoor things. Perhaps later today or tomorrow.

I know that I cannot fix S's situation with Xh. It is hard when you love someone so much sometimes. And, I have this problem when it comes to those I love. I don't want to necessarily fix it, because I am so aware that I can't, but I wish I could absorb some of the pain somehow. It breaks my heart to witness those people hurting. I know in S's case this has to happen at this point, as Xh is on a mission to just completely ignore what is right here. And, I really am convinced he is not really even aware of it - he, in his self absorbed state is just taking it all for granted, like he can ignore the kids and at some point he can fix that situation later.

I was thinking back to each time someone close to him has died. He had started to make up with his M, so that was at least healing. That said, once she died, he completely rewrote history and if you were to here it from him, his M was a saint and life was good. And, I am not suggesting he should demonize her, but he makes it sound like she was a perfect M and she wasn't, by her own admission. The alcoholism abuse, and abandonment was washed away in Xh's mind.

The same is true with Xh's B - you would think his B was some fantastic fun guy to always be around. No mention of how his B swindled his M and F out of loads of money. How Xh was always left cleaning up his messes. Nope, that disappears into Xh's twisted take on history.

And then there is FIL. While FIL was living here - it was no cake walk. Those issues that were left unresolved bubbled up. There had been a time when there had been some headway but that blew up. Yet, when his F died, the history was erased.

My sister laughed when I told her that my eldest BIL is looking at buying a place near Xh and his sister. My sister's response was "wait, I thought that the oldest B and the sister weren't speaking". Yah, they had not been speaking for years for good reason, as my SIL had made some crazy accusations. It was ugly. And, I really wish I could say it must mean they have resolved their issues, but I know this family well enough to know that no, no doubt they have shoved it under the rug and will put on the big happy family facade once again. I have lost count how many times that has happened over the years.

And, in reality, I really don't care about the issues my Xh has anymore. The problem is, I am watching my kid struggle through this and it breaks my heart to see him down. I know this disappointment. All, I can do is to just be here and let him know I am not going anywhere, without saying a word. 
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#73: September 29, 2020, 07:54:46 AM
Yep, you are right.....

The apples never fall far from the tree and it sounds like there is a LOT of FOO Poo fertilizer around that particular one so the FOO grows rapidly....

The problem with sweeping stuff under the rug is that, eventually, it builds up into a big lump, people trip over it, and fall flat on their faces.... One can only ignore what is obviously slapping one in the face for so long before one either gets tired of it and slaps back or has some sort of breakdown (MLC anyone?) so when those truth spears start to fly about the accusations or whatever else they have managed to bury, it will be internecine war and that will not be pretty... Better for the kids to be FAR away from that battlefield.....

But, in the mean time, all you can do is, like you said, be the lighthouse for your S and D......

UM
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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 - 3
#74: September 29, 2020, 09:34:45 AM
UrsaMajor - I am finding being the lighthouse a bit daunting and exhausting.

Today, I am finding myself in this continued odd mood. And, heaven forbid I express it, because the fears shoot up that I am in some deep depression. That isn't really it. I am just tired and this whole situation feels like a new limbo. I have no fight in me the past couple of days and my fear is it's just gone. It is a strange feeling of defeat.

I know in part it is that it I am still chasing the money owed to me. I shouldn't have to be asking people to actually pay me for the job I already did after this long. The responsible side of me wants to pay my bills. I was already on the phone lining up the septic being serviced, as it has been a couple of years and is due. I am tired of having to dip into the savings I had to make these things happen because other's can't seem to get it together.

I felt like this morning that all that hard work I did to get out of the MLC amusement park and to begin rebuilding my life, financially and otherwise has me suddenly looking at my home repairs and wondering if I am not making them now because I want to and need to, but because I am going to suddenly find myself having to sell. It is a whole other feeling from wanting to sell. And, I am frankly pissed about the idea. I have worked my a$$ off to keep this house and to get back on my feet.

It is in part this whole slew of unknowns.

I should be embracing this time I have to do what I want, but the need to be the adult and doing it alone is really wearing on me.

Yes, the kids are adults and do not tug on me nearly as much. They do help out and they are both, fortunately very responsible. Last night, S in fact fought me on me offering to pay his car registration. He pays for all of his bills and never asks me for a dime. But, I knew he was fretting over it. So, I told him I would pay it and if it made him feel better about me paying it, he can help me with a project I would have to hire someone to help me do anyways. His GF told him he would be foolish not to take the offer because I am just going to put money in someone else's pocket otherwise.

Maybe it is that S is still having a hard time and I am not used to seeing him in a somber mood. He usually works through it pretty quickly, like I do.

I will push forward and figure it out. I have little choice other than to give up and that is not an option.

I know that for now this is the current state of things - hopefully a temporary state, but I need to find a way to move through it. I can't keep feeling this way.

I am supposed to walk with my sister again tomorrow and I am hoping that alone will help.

There was one lovely surprise this morning. My elderly neighbors called. They have offered to give both kids money towards tuition again. Out of the blue. It will take some pressure off both kids and myself, as it would seem, as predicted, Xh isn't giving S money at all now that he isn't living on campus. So now he has walked away from paying his share of S's tuition.

I know in reality, I have to push myself to get through this and fight the thoughts in my head of thinking that maybe this is it - maybe this is my life now and I just have to learn to deal with it and find new things to make myself happy. I am missing the classroom and that is not helping at all.

I am going to go back to losing myself in a project, even if it takes me all day to do something that can be done in a short amount of time. I need the distraction.
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« Last Edit: September 29, 2020, 10:23:12 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#75: September 29, 2020, 10:42:31 AM
Well 2 out of the 4 calls have been answered regarding the money owed to me.

I am going to work on being very grateful for the people who have my back and went above and beyond, as opposed to focusing on the complete lack of logic going on.

I wish I could blame Covid on the one situation. It would be so much easier, but this particular group always has been reorganizing to become more organized.  ::) I have had to chase at one point or another money from them. They always pay, but because I was not regular staff they kept changing my title and thereby messing things up every year. It was almost comical - until it is not.

The complete lack of logic and follow through amazes me. Yes, I know people are stretched and stressed. I get it. I can forgive a certain amount of that, but this is just more of the same.

The one - I can understand how that got a bit messed up. The independent study originally was going under that umbrella, but they fought to pay me as a regular class under the circumstances and having to use my own resources. That money wasn't as difficult to chase. They responded within minutes and are on top of it. That one even slipped off of my radar, simply because that usually goes in as a direct deposit and I didn't catch it right away. So, that is in part on me.

The other is much more aggravating. The secretary - I am going to bring have to make some effort to send her a gift of some sort. It was not her job to track down, but she was my hero. She has been there looking out for me and chased after this ridiculous situation. I submitted timesheets and invoices at the end of the year, as they suddenly wanted again - they kept changing their mind - and then again at the beginning of August. I had noted I had a question on the one invoice as there was pay they sent to me that was never invoiced. I never got an answer. So, here I have been being a pain in the butt, calling and hounding them. Not a peep.

The secretary got back on them, resent invoices to them and their response was "oh, we had a question back in August, so they have been sitting here - not processed". WTF??? Um, they have my work email, home email, my phone numbers, my address and I know in spite of the great mail debate, I have been getting my mail quite consistently. Hmmm, maybe I need to pay attention. I should say the mail I am getting is all political junk mail and bills - those come through.  ::)

I know - people are stressed but when I get the response back today from payroll of "oh - it has been sitting in the slot to be looked at. We just needed to make this adjustment and we should be able to put it on this week's pay period" I wanted to scream. And mind you - the adjustment was a 5 minute fix. Now the question is, will they actually direct deposit it or send me a paper check, because that is amusing as well.

It perhaps reminds me too much of dealing with Xh and his check antics. LOL

Yah, I am tired of stupid and lack of logic - LOL. But, I am going to focus on the very wonderful secretary who deserves something extra, because I would still be banging my head against a wall if it weren't for her and she has so many other people pulling at her.

Now, if I can get the other 2 companies to actually not put me on hold and resolve this it might help me to move out of this feeling of just wanting to hide from it all.  ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#76: September 29, 2020, 04:26:33 PM
That sounds like such a headache MD.  I hope it all gets resolved ASAP!

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"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning to dance in the rain."

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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#77: September 30, 2020, 04:24:55 AM


Now...... or I send The Enforcer
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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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 - 3
#78: September 30, 2020, 07:28:16 PM
FaithWalker & UrsaMajor - It is mind-numbing and I felt like I needed an enforcer.  ;D

I am so worn out from all of this right now. Yesterday, having to hound people and having to basically threaten the one place with blowing them into the labor department was not pleasant. After that, they suddenly were very helpful.  ::)

Today, I walked with my sister on what may be becoming our new routine. We went a bit farther today and it was sprinkling on and off. It didn't matter.

I picked up D and we made our way home. I had to run and pick up a prescription and decided to get my flu shot while I was out.

I was going to come back home and then decided to go to the cemetery. It has been months since I have been there. I stopped and noticed a small vase with flowers tipped over. The flowers were dried out and I knew immediately that my M had brought that to her M's gravesite. She must have been there on the anniversary of my grandmother's death, which would have been a couple of weeks ago. I picked up the vase and put it in my car. I was okay at that point. Just loving the quiet of the cemetery and the changing leaves.

And then I made my way to my F's parent's gravesite. It was then I found myself sobbing. And, it was upon seeing the leaves on my grandfather's grave that set me off. I was just a kid when he passed away. I remember the day we had to tell my F and the funeral, where I wore my first pair of heels and my shoes were sinking into the mud. I would go later over the years with my parents on and off, but I never had really paid attention to where the grave was. Years passed and I was in college when I was out taking photos on a fall day. Much like today. I drove into the cemetery and wasn't sure where to even go. I made my way around, found a place to park and then walked. I stopped at one point near a very large tree and looked at some of the older stones that were flat. I was standing on a spot and it was covered completely with leaves, I pushed them aside and realized I was standing right on top of my grandfather's grave stone. It was such an odd feeling and I remember sharing it with my F. He simply smiled at the time and said I was clearly supposed to be there.

I think that is really when I started to somehow realize how connected I often feel to things in nature - things I cannot explain, but no matter what I find comfort in those moments. Whether they are real or perceived doesn't matter, as it is just in those moments of quiet I often am able to connect with my own spiritual side.

I would go back over the years and then when my grandmother passed away right as Xh was going into MLC, it became a place I would go often, just to cry. I could cry there and no one would stop and look at me strangely. They would walk by and nod as if to say "hey, it's okay - we get it". Sometimes, I would go there and cry just to cry so the kids wouldn't see me.

I have given up so much of myself over the past few months with my students and with the kids that there are parts of myself I have so neglected. Without a job right now, I am struggling with allowing myself to actually take time for myself. I feel guilty somehow doing things that are fun or just for me. It is a weird notion and makes no sense rationally. And, there is a bit of feeling a little lost without my usual students to teach.

Strangely earlier in the day, I was asked to teach some community classes and to do some photography as a freelance job. There are little things bubbling up, but I am not ready to just grab onto that as a long term plan. For one, I hated just having freelance to do because it meant more of what I have been dealing with, which was often chasing after clients to pay me.

But, as I sat in the cemetery, I found some sense of peace. I realized I need to get back to allowing myself time for just those quiet moments where I clear my head and just let go. Whether or not the things like at the mourning dove in the morning being there by chance or for a reason isn't so important as those things sometimes give me a sense of calm and direction. It may be just that those "signs" calm me enough to clear out the clutter in my head to see things in a clearer manner. I know I have operated better when I focus on those positive things and those little nudges.

I am not sure what any of it meant or why I decided to go today. As I cleared the leaves off of my grandparent's stones, I felt this very strong sense of things will be okay.

It started to pour as I made my way home.

When I arrived at home, S was working on the truck he had towed home that he was hired to work on. He had been struggling to figure out why it was not starting. I was home 5 minutes when I heard it fire up and he took it down the road for a test drive. He came back with a huge grin on his face. He got out of the truck and then told me I should turn around. One the field was a double rainbow.

And out of S's mouth came the phrase "every storm runs out of rain". I burst out laughing and said it was funny he said that. I need to keep reminding myself of that.  ::)
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« Last Edit: September 30, 2020, 07:32:31 PM by MourningDove »

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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#79: October 01, 2020, 03:12:10 AM
Post-It Note from the Universe......
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#80: October 01, 2020, 07:44:30 AM
UrsaMajor - I like to think of it as that. Maybe just a gentle nudge from the Universe or God, or whatever anyone wants to call it depending on their own faith and beliefs.

I was thinking this morning, that in some ways that has been part of my struggle in terms of what I share with people. I don't go telling too many people the story about my grandfather's grave and finding myself standing right there. It has opened up discussions or more often assumptions. I have only shared that with a very few people who I trust.

It is not that I am not open to discussions on faith or beliefs. Science, versus belief systems, etc. It is sometimes I have found that there are people who right away jump onto bigger assumptions. Things like assuming perhaps I am running around to psychic fairs every weekend, or the other is I am somehow a religious fanatic trying to push some agenda on them. I will bristle and wonder why they can't just even at that point say "wow, that is really odd".

There are those who have tried to tell me it was all coincidence and scientifically it was my subconscious. And that is all fine, but that was not my experience.

I guess, I am realizing there are some things that I only share with kindred spirits and it is possible it can all be explained in a very rational way.

I will share it though when I feel comfortable, or perhaps when I see someone struggling or questioning the same things. During the pandemic, when I had a student out of the blue ask me if I thought God heard his prayers, I felt a little stunned. That is one of those delicate areas in public education - one has to be a bit careful about pushing what might be perceived as your own beliefs onto someone. My easiest answer was to share that story and say I wasn't sure what I believed but I do know that it brought me some sense of peace no matter what, so if prayer calms this student, it is not a bad thing. And to offer that sometimes, you have to look within your own experiences to make those determinations as to what you believe or not.

For me, I cannot rationally explain how it happened. Sure, subconsciously I remembered and was drawn there. Maybe. I am not nearly so sure, especially when years later I found the little note card at my grandmother's gravesite right next to it.

I don't see dead people. That is not happening. Nor am I getting messages from beyond the grave. I just know there are things that bring me calm and a sense of a greater thing out there. And, maybe it is because I have to believe that because pulling from my rational side is not always a healthy place for me to operate continually.

The responsible side of me is also very matter of fact and not necessarily black and white, but it is one of logic. Logic does not always apply in real life.

I don't know why I have the feelings that I do sometimes. There have been times I try to apply logic to things like why someone has crossed my path or why I have certain feelings. It doesn't always compute in a rational way. And, that is perhaps what makes those moments when they creep up all the more special, but also harder to let go of.

And maybe that is where I am struggling at the moment. I am full of so many unknowns and feelings that I cannot quite untangle.

Last night, the stress the kids have both been under came to a head. D was a mess and had a meltdown. Gotta love when in the list of things that came tumbling out of her mouth was "and my F doesn't love me anymore".

S's GF was in a down mood and I think I shocked her when I gave her a big hug. She held me tight and sobbed. She had a rough start to the week when she was out on a delivery and a guy handed her a $100 bill and told her to keep the change and talked her up - how she was so kind and how hard she must be working. She had no way of checking the bill. She got back to work and they found out it was counterfeit. Her boss, fortunately didn't ream her on it. He implemented a new policy and got each delivery person a pen to check them with. The situation was turned over to the police. But, that was the start of her week and it has been things like that all week.

S, he has been struggling. With an accelerated semester, he is at midterms and add the XH fuel and he too has been just down.

Last night, I stood in the front entryway door, just staring out at the fields, but it felt more like looking at a path in a jungle, tangled with all of these vines and no way to cut through it all. But, the rainbows gave me a little hope that somehow I will figure out how to cut through the mess.

But, in all of that my own feelings hang in the balance and those are just there. I can't explain them, I can't really resolve them. I can't apply any logic to them - I have tried. So, I am just trying to somehow let go of them in a way and let things be what they will be. They just go right up there with the unknowns right now.

I will continue to go on my quest to find my own sense of spiritual self again and find some type of calm. I may or may not share it at least in RL. It really depends on who I trust - those who will even laugh at me, and perhaps tease me, but they will not belittle my experience in a way that they try to talk me out of what I felt in that moment and somehow try to convince me I was wrong.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#81: October 01, 2020, 08:22:12 AM
Quote
remember sharing it with my F. He simply smiled at the time and said I was clearly supposed to be there.

As you might know, I am very comfortable that sometimes these postcards from God/the universe/wherever/whoever (depending on your beliefs and experience) just show up. The biggest marker of them for me is a tremendous sense of peace, like a hug really. Like you, I have never doubted one I have experienced it but I rarely share them with others in RL. Mostly bc I have rarely needed to; the experience has been enough, I suppose. And partly bc I don't want to label or justify them. My old vicar, Harry, was a rare exception in one instance....he listened quietly, sighed happily and said 'Ah, a moment of Grace....how lovely.' And I have always felt touched and deeply grateful for them when they come.  :)

It occurs to me, Mourning, that bc you did such a fine job on protecting your kids from some of the horrors while they were younger, you maybe bought them the time to grow a little more before they had to find their own way of processing and accepting and interpreting what happened to them too. And that is not a bad thing even if it means that they have their own processing going on now.....sometimes we just deal with things when we are ready and it is a great gift if circumstances don't force us to have to do it all in one big gulp before then. Jmo.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#82: October 02, 2020, 08:00:31 AM
Wow......

To hear that kind of stuff from a kid is the stake in the heart of any parent..... On one side, one wants to say that "No, they still love you but they are just not themselves." while on the other hand, xH has certainly given D all the signs that it is exactly as she feels and to tell her otherwise would be to diminish her own feelings about it....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#83: October 02, 2020, 09:52:51 AM
Treasur - I have part of me that doesn't need to share all of those things, because like you, I don't need to somehow justify them. But, I think it is just something I am coming to terms with, that is, understanding myself more and what I am willing to share with people. It is also helping me maybe understand my own feeling of connectedness and my whole inner ring system. It is just how I am wired. Perhaps it is also that I don't want to share those experiences with just anyone.

Funny, Xh way back brought home this book called "The Unmistakeable Touch of Grace". It was one of the many things that he bought and "tried out" in his MLC. He had so many different types of books he bought about religions and different philosophies during MLC. Clearly searching. I could have put them in chronological order if I had wanted. I cleared so many of them out, as most didn't call to me. And, truthfully, none of them really made a dent in the MLCer - as he couldn't quite apply any of the ideals for long. He would go from the idea of selling everything and simplifying one week and do a complete spin and go out and buy the luxury convertible the next. The funny thing, is that particular book, I would have kept, had he not given it to now deceased BIL when he went into rehab.

At the time,that particular book, that did speak to me. Deeply. And I would go on to buy the cards that went with it. I haven't drawn one from my box of cards in a long time. There are some people who probably use them like a horoscope, but for me, the card was simply a good focus for the day. It recommended a prayer and then drawing a random card. I don't think there was any magic to it, that isn't it. But the messages written on them were calming. They allowed me to focus on the word and the message for that day. Little gentle reminders to watch for those moments to be grateful.

As for my kids, I would agree, they are navigating some of this on their own because they had a good solid foundation. And for a long time, Xh was part of that. I will always say that Xh was a wonderful, involved F before all of this. I will never say it was all because of me that the kids are on solid footing. Nor would I take credit now, as I have been blessed by a really good support system. But, I will also say, I suppose my stubborn side sticking to my own core has played a part, as taking that high road when so many times I just wanted to lash out.

All of it is being put to the test yet again. I am in some ways reliving some of the scenarios, watching my kids go through the process which is so incredibly painful. In some ways, as you pointed out, UrsaMajor, it is like a stake through the heart. And last night, there was more. And you are right - I have to let her express how she feels and not say things like "you know your F loves you, he doesn't love himself" because it does diminish her feelings. There is no answer that will make her feel like he loves her right now. Logically, she knows that he is a mess and it isn't about loving her, but this is how she is feeling.

S, he is being very quiet and distant at times. He talks about things, and last night, I decided to forgo cooking dinner and going to him outside and saying I was going to pick up take out and we could eat outside in the garage at the table he has set up. He liked that idea. He said he didn't want to guess what was wrong, so he pulled a part from his truck first before having his friend order a replacement. His friend was showing up with the new part and they were going to swap it out. We talked for a long time and laughed a lot. I know S and he will talk when he needs to, but he is like I am. Quite often the therapy comes in working and burning off the negative energy first before letting it out. I had asked him what the plans were for the weekend. He is borrowing the excavator from work and doing yard work around the house. Never once did he mention last night what I later found out from D, which leaves me really wondering.

D was at her BF's and I got a text from her. She informed me that on social media there is a new photo floating around. A current photo. And the FOO reunion is taking place. It would seem the 4 of the 5 remaining siblings have reunited and my other BIL has joined the party in Xh's neighborhood. The only one staying away from it all is the one BIL I speak to, who has never wavered in terms of he has been there for the kids and even for me. But, the others, well, they are having a happy moment together. And, it would not be all sorts of WTF if I didn't know this family. They must all be speaking to one another again - well at the moment. I would love to think they have all worked through their issues, but their methods of dealing with things are - "brush it under the rug" or "stick your head in the sand". That hasn't changed. Heck, they still haven't spoken to anyone about my nephew dying a couple of years ago. It has never been acknowledged and the kids were never even told by Xh. We found out through social media and his friends posting memorials on his FB page. So, my guess it is the same as it ever was " in FOOville.  ::)

So, D started to tell me about BIL #4 being in town now. Okay. Finally, I told her to just let it go and rant. I wasn't going to comment, but to get it out. Out of her mouth came some of the many feelings I have had - the character assassination being the big one. The fact that none of those people have reached out to check on her. S, he gets some crumbs, but D - nothing. And she is sure it is because XH has spewed toxic stories about her. She is hurt. She is angry. She mentioned that SIL suddenly reaching out and taking back the kayak "for the summer". D spouted that they should have just said they would like us to store it, not give it to D and then just come take it back, just like the cookbook. D was livid. But, after letting it all out, she said she felt better and she is okay with people not contacting her. She no longer wants to be part of that toxic, negative environment and it doesn't serve her well.

After she was calm, I told her I would never ever share all the things that were said about me. I told her for me the character assassination was probably one of the hardest things to work past.

We talked about it for a long time and how taking the high road and realizing that the only people that matter are those that truly know her. The others, they have not bothered to take a more neutral approach and have perhaps believed Xh because they are taking sides. It is unfair, but that is their choice and their loss.

D felt so much better and I told her I know my experience is not exactly the same. I lost a H and felt the searing pain, but I cannot imagine a F doing that to their kid. I just can't. And, it is probably what keeps pushing me farther and farther from the MLCer. I know he is not well, but his family ignores it, even though they know he is messed up and the tragic part is they too have chosen to alienate the kids because they would rather pretend and ignore the true issues that always divide them. It will only be a matter of time before one of them is ticked about something that is from years ago - the unresolved issues will bubble back up.

Interestingly, S has made no mention of this new addition to the reunion, nor is he rushing to go to visit. It is very telling to me. Either Xh has not mentioned it and it is very possible he is being selfish and keeping his siblings to himself. Or it could be that S is tired of the games. IDK.

I will say it is bringing up some painful feelings for me. I am dealing with them, but it is hard to watch the kids go through the same process I had to. Idiot MLCer.
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« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 09:54:14 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#84: October 02, 2020, 12:42:43 PM
I am to blame.  ::)

That is what I was just told by a former student.

I had a call from her a few minutes ago. She had asked me if I had an idea where to find a couple of specific supplies that are a little hard to find, as well as she knew I had mentioned a couple of sources for art furniture when she had me for an instructor.

We had a nice talk and she said she missed our talks. I do too. She has no idea that some of our discussions lead to some of my biggest personal leaps in my own mirror work.

She was one of my toughest students to date. She was talented but had a wall up that had to be 10 ft tall and 4 ft thick. She would let her guard down at times, but she was hard to get a read on. Other instructors found her frustrating.

She was amazingly talented and had some really interesting ideas, but never quite could push them to completion.

The following semester, one of the other instructors came to me and asked what I had done, because there had been a significant change in her that we all saw. I laughed and said I put a hole in the giant wall and it was not done intentionally, that is I was never looking to punch that hole in there, it simply happened. She gave me an opportunity and I took a swing.

She had done a painting for her last project and brought it in for critique. I was rendered speechless, as I wasn't quite sure how to start off, as the image was confusing on one level in terms of it had a soft background, but the images themselves were disturbing and thought provoking and could have been interpreted in many ways, one way being explicit and potentially pornographic. It was a bit of a delicate dance in a public setting, as it was a freshman class and that particular class was on one hand exposed to all things social media, and tried to be cutting edge, but they would tip toe around it in real life situations. And, they knew my stance on certain artwork - I would not allow anything that would be offensive to any particular group, etc. This was not that - it simply was very graphic.

She put it up on the critique rails and I paused. I told her later that it was the first time in my whole career where I had to really think about how to lead off with the discussion and what questions to ask. So, after a pause, I decided to ask her what her intention was with the piece and if she at any point didn't want to share publicly that was okay.

And there was the crack in the wall. I saw it immediately. She let the story come out that she wasn't happy with the painting, and she wasn't sure why. It had a nude in it that was clearly her and the other figure, also nude had a snake's tongue which wrapped around her. She went on to tell everyone that she had been in an abusive relationship and the person had been slowly poisoning her. (It was later confirmed by her friends and a confidential conversation with someone else I know that knew the situation). We continued to talk about it as a group and she knew that at least in that room, she was safe. The students were careful about the questions, and gave really good suggestions in regards to keeping to the composition and keeping it in the artistic sense. One young woman came to her after class and thanked her for sharing and that was very brave of her.

She stayed after class and that crack was there, I poked at it. I won't lie. I told her that my personal response was she was being held captive even by that painting - she was afraid to even paint the image of the other person and the pink background was a lie - it was her tiptoeing around her rage. She started to tear up and said I was right. So, I told her that she needed to go and get that rage out - even if it meant destroying that painting. She needed to regain her control.

She would go on to take more classes with me and an independent study. She had brought back the painting at one point and we both laughed hysterically. On her way out to her car, when the painting was still wet, the wind caught it and threw it paint side down onto the parking lot. When she picked it up it was covered in gravel, and she said she just stomped on it. She smeared the paint around. Funny thing was, it was a much more powerful piece.

Time would go on and I started to see her doing more calm pieces. She had asked me about my own work and I had shared that I choose to keep my dark drawings and anger at times in a sketchbook which sits separate from my body of work. There are very few dark sketches, although in MLC I did do my share of moody pieces. I just choose not to develop those, as I told her that I find my artwork more of a place to focus on the beauty and good in my life. That is my therapy. I don't want to get caught up in it, although I told her that I do see it in my brush strokes sometimes - the different energy that occurs. It might be subtle to others, but those who know me often can pick up on a different feel.

I told her that I let go of that negative energy in other ways. Pounding a piece of clay. Hacking off sections of shrubs, etc. Walking helps me. Physical activity of some sort.

So, today she said she would be stopping in to see me sometime at work on her way to practice, as she has missed just talking about art. We have moved way away from the whole previous life garbage she was dealing with. She smiles more and there is still a little wall, but it is one that I at least can step over.

I innocently asked her what practice, thinking it was maybe she had joined a band. She laughed and asked me if I remembered telling her she needed to let go of the rage and to take back her life - she might have down days, and fears, but she had it in her to get out of being a victim and to control her movement forward. I had out and out told her to get really pissed and let it out in a constructive manner - to proclaim it was her life and to not allow this person to take any more of her - even in her mind.

So, it would seem it started out as a class learning how to defend herself. She found such power in that and was so good at it, that the instructor invited her to come partake in a MMA workout. Well, it would seem she has joined the MMA club and is part of a team. She said it has allowed her to take all of that energy and get it out in a "safe" manner. She isn't lashing out at people anymore and she no longer has the same fears. She then said I should try it and joked this was all my fault.

My response was I think she might have misinterpreted that suggestion, to which we both laughed. But, she said that her artwork is her happy place now and the MMA allows her to channel the negative energy. She said I should try it. I laughed at her and said I would stick to throwing glassware at walls when I have those moments. She was shocked. I guess I never told her that.  ::) She said she found that hard to believe because I am usually so "chill".

No, not always, but there have been those rare occasions. That said, I haven't really had a moment where that feeling has been upon me. And, I clarified with her. There is never anyone around when I have done that. No witnesses and I never throw my good glassware  ::).

So, I guess it is my fault - I will take the blame for inspiring one of my students to jump into the ring. OMG. LOL
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#85: October 05, 2020, 07:31:58 AM
Nice to be "at fault" but not at the hands of a Mid-Lifer, huh? <snort>

Maybe Student could go use her MMA skills on xH?
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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 - 3
#86: October 05, 2020, 10:17:15 AM
UrsaMajor - Oh, I would be lying if that thought of my student using her MMA skills on Xh didn't cross my mind. I have those fleeting moments where it makes me laugh, but lucky for him, I have never acted on them.

This weekend being one of those moments.

Friday night, there was no mention of Xh inviting anyone down to visit with "his family", as D now calls it and there is a certain tone she uses when she says it, which is rather telling.  ::)

As of Friday night, S informed me he was going to work on Saturday, and then coming home to work all weekend on projects. He knew I had my painting class, but we had discussed having Sunday dinner as a family.

Saturday morning, S said he and his GF were invited to Xh's for dinner Saturday evening.

D got wind of it by Saturday night, and her response surprised me. She shrugged and said she was not putting any more energy into that whole FOO mess. She said Xh will figure it out or he won't, but she is not going to wait for that to happen anymore and she no longer has expectations.

I am guessing D is on the grieving side of things now. It is sad, but in order to move ahead with her own life, she almost has to let go of it, just as I did.

S came home late on Saturday and shared his evening. I was a bit surprised. He went on to describe how Xh has apparently taken to making Sunday dinners for his sister and partner, and now for his siblings. It is a full proper Sunday dinner like Xh used to have at his grandparent's house before the divorce. S said this particular dinner though on Saturday night, was a full traditional Thanksgiving dinner. S said it was delicious, but very odd as it was literally a full spread with the traditional desserts and all. S said he didn't know if it was planned or impromptu, but it made him feel even worse when he realized D had not even had an invitation extended by any one of the siblings.

We moved on from the subject. What can I say?

I called my sister and her first response was that this is Xh trying to pull that fractured family together, thinking this is going to somehow fix all the problems, when none of the real issues have ever been addressed, meanwhile, he is letting the family he had just disappear in the mist. The problem with Xh's approach is the kids are not going to be just sitting there waiting for him, anymore than his former W will be.

The kids will always love their F, but I am thinking they are beginning to see it as I do - that man is not with us anymore. He is someone totally unrecognizable at this point and from what little S shared about the other night, S is not exactly sounding terribly impressed by this facade. He said several times that Xh just behaved strangely - and it was if he was "acting" and fake. In other words - my guess is he is pretending this is all wonderful when underneath it all it is a theatrical event and eventually the curtain will close on it. Then what?
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#87: October 06, 2020, 02:23:06 AM
The kids will always love their F, but I am thinking they are beginning to see it as I do - that man is not with us anymore. He is someone totally unrecognizable at this point and from what little S shared about the other night, S is not exactly sounding terribly impressed by this facade. He said several times that Xh just behaved strangely - and it was if he was "acting" and fake. In other words - my guess is he is pretending this is all wonderful when underneath it all it is a theatrical event and eventually the curtain will close on it. Then what?
That's an easy one to predict...... Unfortunately..... But those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it....


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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#88: October 07, 2020, 01:23:01 PM
UrsaMajor - I think you are right and it won't be pretty.

The past couple of days were rough. D processing and moving towards acceptance. S working through his feelings. It was a lot. It proved to be too much for me at one point and I blew up at my sister, who called to express something that D had shared. My sister set me off with a comment that showed how she doesn't really get it entirely. I am not mad at her now, but wow, at that moment I just couldn't handle it.

I can't even recall the last time my sister and I have had a heated disagreement. I think the last time might have been when we were teenagers. It is rare, that I know. We don't see eye to eye necessarily, but we don't argue. I had told her on Monday, after the entire day came collapsing on me because of the MLCer fallout with both kids that I was tired of being the only stable parent and I don't get a vote in any of this. My sister's response was honest, but it set me into complete orbit in that moment. She said that was my reality and I really can't change it.

I didn't speak to her the rest of the night. I called her on Tuesday and apologized for my outburst. She is not wrong and I don't want to be a victim, but I explained to her that no one seems to understand that it is immense pressure at times to be in this position. I told her that I am tired of being alone, but how can I even ask anyone to come into this mix. She laughed and said that it is pretty rare that it is this bad and my kids are aware that I need my own life. And, my sister is right, but it is tough sometimes to feel like I have any say in my life. I told my sister that she doesn't get it and can't and that is not so much a criticism. It is not that she doesn't have other struggles, but she has a partner that gives her space and time to go out with her friends, or to explore her own interests. I said this past weekend seemed almost impossible for me to get away even for the workshop. And, it is not because I have to fix everything, etc, but like it or not, Xh's antics do affect the household. I came back on Sunday night and the aftershocks from the weekend were rocking the house.

My sister and I patched things up rather quickly and this morning had breakfast together. It was cold and rainy and when the wind gusts kicked in we decided that walking was not going to be enjoyable. Breakfast gave us time to really just spend time together. And while I was sitting there, a text came across my phone. My sister saw my face change and I slid my phone towards her. Her response said it all "WTF"??? It was Xh's sister and she wished me good morning and said I could send the cookbook with S this coming weekend. I knew S was making a trip to Xh's for some things out of Xh's workshop. I was irritated. I sent back a response to my X-SIL and it is not a lie. I told her I don't have it. And I don't. It is D's.

I am not getting into this with my X-SIL and somehow explaining the situation. I know her games. She won't remember the whole thing and this will just turn into some side show of drama. So, I am just cutting the conversation off at the knees. S laughed when I told him and he said not to worry, he doesn't look at cookbooks so he can honestly say he has never seen it. He knows this is just his aunt being her usual self.

After S and I talked about that issue, it dawned on me, S usually is at home doing homework on Wednesday mornings. He had come home after I had come back home. He went on to tell me that he was running errands for his F. Oh?

Out came what had been troubling S a bit. On Sunday night, S realized he had ordered the wrong parts for his GF's truck and it was on the lift. There was no way to now return the parts, and he said because it was his mistake, he was going to buy her new ones, but he was low on funds until payday. I offered to loan him the money, but he declined. Then it would seem, Xh called and said S sounded down. S explained his frustrations and the MLCer swooped in and saved the day. He said to use his credit card and he would have them express shipped.

Now, right away as I am listening to S, my brain went right to wondering what Xh is up to. First of all, he pays for S's GF's car, but neglects to pay for D beyond his support payment. That is not messed up at all  ::) So this is Xh trying to look like the good guy to the GF. I know this side of the MLCer. But, then came the next thought I had which was - what is Xh's angle.

Now, I have done things with S where I have told him outright that I will for instance pay for his car registration in exchange for this or that, but I am up front about it all and I don't put conditions on the money I loan him after the fact. He can accept or decline. But, if I were to offer to pay for something, I wouldn't come back later and tell him after the fact that I loaned him money so now he owes me if that was not our agreement.

Xh knows S has busy Wednesday mornings. This morning, he called S and told him he needed S to go and pick up a bunch of things for him, as his sister was too busy and Xh needed them for a meeting. The travel was all around towards the bigger city and then in the complete opposite direction before a certain time. The funny thing was, I was right near that one place and the other was within 15 minutes of where I was. I could have easily picked it up for him, and had done it many times in the past. Thing is we aren't on those types of terms anymore. And, S's response to me later was that the guilt that was applied was insane and he is mad at himself for taking Xh's money now. He responded that there are always conditions with Xh. S then said it was a good thing all of his checks had cleared today and he wouldn't have to deal with this again.

S will have to learn. I had to. This is how the MLCer operates. It is not how my former H operated, but this is the MLC/FOO filled version.

I was so irritated after having heard this it prompted me to clean out the remaining things that I have been on the fence about. I have told the kids to pick out what things they want of Xh's now. There is art work and some personal items I was hesitant to send his way because I was compassionate about it might send him into a tail spin. I am over that feeling now. I will be boxing it all up and handing it off to him when he stops here again. I suspect he will feel embolden to do that again sometime this week. If not, I have plans next Monday to meet up with a friend of mine who lives on the same lake as Xh. She and I are going hiking and I am not beyond dropping it on Xh's door. He has family there to support his implosion now. Mean of me? Perhaps.

Have I mentioned how far away I am trying to get from MLC?  ::) I need to move forward with my life. I can't control Xh's behaviors with the kids and I know my role a sole sane parent is going to be with me for awhile, but I am going to make every attempt at moving farther away from this insanity. Time for me to take back the rest of what is my life.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#89: October 08, 2020, 01:44:27 PM
I was out the door early this morning. I had an appointment to drop off some artwork that I needed new matte board cut for. I would cut the matte board myself, as I do have the equipment to do that, but I didn't want to take the time, for one, and the other is I wanted to help support one of the nearby frame shops that have been so good to me over the years.

I wasn't concerned about going to their location. They have gone into an appointment only operation, much like a doctor's office.

It was nice to have someone there to get excited about the things I brought in.

I picked up some plants on the way home that were on clearance at the local nursery. They will be closing for the season soon and always have a fantastic selection, of even house plants. I realized that I only have one small cactus and a little philodendron left in my house. I used to have a few plants throughout the house and I was good about keeping them watered and cared for. That sort of fell apart with the MLC and trying to get things back on track. So, in an effort to put some more "life" back into my house, I convinced myself it was a good idea to indulge. And, I will admit, it brightened my mood and motivated me to push myself to really get back into my renovation projects. So much so, that I am going to shoot for building that cherry dining table I had been designing in my head, for the little dining nook.

Right now, the dining nook still has S's and his former roommate's college bins in it that were frantically cleared out during the Spring shutdown with Covid. Those are going this weekend, as S's friends are going to be going on a trip to pick up car parts near S's roommate's place. So, I pushed the bins aside and put one of my newly acquired plants in the corner by the French doors.

And perhaps, it was just the ride to and from my appointment that helped. The light was magnificent as were the fall colors.

When I came home, S laughed when I asked him where the tires were that had been out front. We had been joking about them for days. I had come home the other day to find 4 tires from the tractor, stacked with one of the tires balanced on top, upright. I came in and asked S if that was some modern twist on the rocks that people stack, or was he contributing to the fall decorations, because D was already wanting a pumpkin totem somewhere. We had laughed about ideas to turn the tires into some artistic statement.

In truth, the tires were the older tires for the tractor and S was hoping someone would take them, as they were in decent shape. He just had me get heavier tires that he could fill with windshield washer fluid, like the farmers do to add more weight and have better traction.

The garbage man must think the kids and I are crazy. He hasn't asked yet. We had thrown 14 gallons of washer fluid containers into the recycling bin at one point. Between that and me cleaning out the wine cellar of Xh's old empty prototype wine bottles we must be raising some eyebrows.  ::)

But, S laughed and said the garbage man actually asked S if he was throwing them out. S said that they were going to be disposed of if no one wanted them, but he was welcome to them. The garbage man said he thought he would be able to find them a home.

I must admit, I kind of miss the funny little "tire installation" now.  ::)

The day itself has been productive, yet quiet. D had come in after classes and was curled up on the living room couch, fast asleep with her pink fur blanket and George was snuggled up close to her. It was nice to see her relaxed.

I was working on some paperwork in the library when D came in. She had a very curious look on her face. She slid her phone towards me and asked what I made of the text. I burst out laughing and said "what the actual firetruck"?.

So, it seems, the infamous "cookbook - X-SIL", has sent out in a group text to family members - D included, her birthday and Christmas gift ideas - her wish list. Her birthday is today, in fact. Gee, I totally forgot. Oops.  ::)

I looked at D and laughed. We both want to know if this means D is back off of the "naughty list" now. D rolled her eyes and said maybe she will send her a photocopied page from the cookbook - she can have one copy of each page every holiday.

D shook her head and simply said that this is typical. And the sad thing is D is right. It has always been about X-SIL. D asked me if I remembered the last birthday we celebrated with X-SIL. Oh, did I.

I had just had my tonsils out and was told I was to be on bedrest for the first couple of days, followed by strict instructions not to do any lifting, etc. It was the fall before BD#1. I had been home a day. Mind you, my X-SIL was a nurse, and had said what I had done was not a walk in the park for an adult and could in fact be very dangerous. I was on the couch when it was announced that X-SIL and her family were showing up for her birthday and they would celebrate it outside. Xh, he was not himself by then. He would have never allowed that to happen, or at the very least, he would have kept a lid on it.

I stayed inside and rested on the couch, only to find out later that they had made a large meal, left the dishes completely all over kitchen. X-SIL had gotten incredibly drunk and wasn't going to drive home. She had said over and over the entire day that it was her day and everyone needed to bow at her feet. The problem is, she was not kidding. And, then proceeded, while I was napping to take my bedroom because she had "back problems" and needed a bed.

The next morning, X-SIL and family, piled in the car, with the exception of my nephew, who had driven separately, and I walked into a kitchen of dirty dishes, pots and pans. Xh, he was hung over, which was not like him back then. My kids came in to find me just caught in this exhaustion, and being both angry and overwhelmed. The tears just started to roll out. I started cleaning the kitchen and both kids pitched in and my nephew came back in to get something. The minute he saw the extent of the mess, he just jumped in and helped.

The thing is, my X-SIL has been like this the entire time I have known her. Both MIL and FIL said she was self-absorbed and had always been that way. IDK if being the middle child and only girl was part of the issue, but with all of the other FOO issues, who knows.

So, needless to say - neither D nor I will be sending our well wishes and X-SIL should not wait by the mailbox for her gift to arrive. Of course, I could give her Xh's things next week and tell her I got her something.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#90: October 08, 2020, 05:19:40 PM
<...snip...>
I looked at D and laughed. We both want to know if this means D is back off of the "naughty list" now. D rolled her eyes and said maybe she will send her a photocopied page from the cookbook - she can have one copy of each page every holiday.
<...snip...>
So, needless to say - neither D nor I will be sending our well wishes and X-SIL should not wait by the mailbox for her gift to arrive. Of course, I could give her Xh's things next week and tell her I got her something.  ::)

You now BOTH have tickets on the bus to Hades!  And so do I because 1) I laughed, and 2) thought


Like mother, like daughter.... <snort>
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#91: October 09, 2020, 10:58:22 AM
Like mother, like daughter.... <snort>

UrsaMajor - I have no idea what you are talking about  ::)  ;D ;D

Okay, I guess my little bit of sass translated into velociraptor training. LOL

Today, my desire to drop off things in X-SIL's lap really doesn't interest me. I don't want to see her - period. I am still planning on hauling out the things that just need to go - like all of Xh's artwork that is in my art area.

I am not stripping the house of all things relating to Xh, and I will let the kids decide what they want. And, I am not going to destroy the artwork. Which might shock people, knowing my own ability to destroy my own pieces via a bonfire. This is a variation on the "three drawers". This particular "drawer" with all of Xh's things is not mine to destroy. It won't release some emotion for me to burn these things. In fact, the more I have thought about it, it is really his to deal with. And there is one particular piece that maybe he needs to face.

When we were in college classes together we had to create an illustration that was called "Who's Coming to Dinner". The objective was to show through image only who the guest might be - or the emotions attached to that guest. I remember going out and buying the supplies to set up that still life with Xh.

My rendition was not really based on an actual person, as I had spoken to my professor and said I wanted to go against my nature and do something "dark" and it really didn't pertain to anyone I knew. I had the go ahead, and for me it was a good exercise to push myself to think in a different way, as my illustrations tended to be happier colors, etc. And, it was beneficial, because when in a later, more advanced class we were asked to sometimes attack more controversial or dark subjects it helped me. I was trying to build an illustration portfolio with a variety of work and subjects. I needed to be able to show a range.

Xh, on the other hand - he was not speaking to FIL at that point, although FIL would try and call after not having spoken to Xh for years. Xh used to promptly hang up the phone when he called. Xh's step mom was the one pushing for FIL to resolve his issues with Xh at that point.

Xh, didn't hesitate with that project. He went out and bought a dog dish, filled it with dog food and set a lovely place setting around it, with candles and all to use as his prop. And, it is in that pile of artwork that I still have. The amazing thing is when MLC hit, Xh denied ever having done that piece. Never happened. I don't know if Xh will deal with this or not. No longer my issue to deal with it.

I also pulled out the one piece I had always loved for many years. It was a self portrait that Xh had done when we were dating. I had that hanging in our when we were first married. It was in our apartment, in the bedroom for a long time. Then it spent a long time hanging in my art room. I pulled it off the wall when BD#1 hit. It was too painful to look at and went into storage. Of course, back then, I was standing and hoping it would go back up. It never went back on the walls. It will go into Xh's box of things for him to deal with.

I did keep a couple of photographs he took of us and one of me in front of a doorway when we travelled together. But, those are more about the trip we took than about him anymore. Looking at the one of the 2 of us, I laughed the other day, when I realized it is not at all about him for me anymore. I didn't sigh and wish for that time again. I simply thought "that was a really good trip" and my memories certainly include him, I can't erase that entirely, but strangely, I thought about the trip as a whole more than those snippets with him. Back when I was standing, the same photos would have sent me thinking about only those moments with him, as if without him nothing was the same.

And, certainly, I won't lie. There was a time when his existence in my life was a positive. But, that died with his MLC and his contorted version of himself.

Someone said to me recently that I must be looking for that person who will complete me now. But, that is not how I view it. Maybe when I was young and immature that was how I viewed a partner. I don't see it that way. I don't want someone to complete me and without them I am lost. A good partner would have their own interests and desires. I don't want to think of it as someone completing me, but more like someone who brings things to my life that just makes life that much better - they don't fill some missing piece. I am beginning to think that is a lot to ask of a partner. I want an adult, interdependent relationship, not some codependent, enabling BS that I experienced while MLC rolled in. And full independence isn't going to do it for me either.

I know - it is a tall order.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#92: October 09, 2020, 06:20:39 PM
I enjoyed a spectacular drive home this afternoon from work. I took some roads I haven't travelled in so long and had forgotten the one road that cuts through a small patch of woods. The leaves were covered in a perfect balance of fall colors and the sunlight hit them as I drove through, casting the most beautiful light.

It was so inspiring, I took the longer drive home and went to the top of some hills where you can see for miles. Farms and vineyards dotting the landscape against a perfect dramatic fall sky.

I was only home a short time when S filled me in on his day at work. We ate dinner out in the garage again, which seems funny, but he was in the middle of a huge project. It was like having a picnic.

He is going to Xh's tomorrow afternoon to retrieve his things.

On my way home, I thought about my response and desire to react. I thought about my taking the high road. While I can be sassy and snappy in my thoughts, I try to temper my responses. I don't have to tip toe around Xh or his family, and I will be giving Xh his things, I just don't want to behave as dramatically as it might appear. There is no need to stoop to the monster's level.

And, I easily could give Xh's things to S to bring with him, but I have tried so very hard to keep the kids out of it. It has been hard enough as it is. And frankly, I cannot be critical of Xh for doing that with the support check and be a hypocrite and do the same by handing the responsibility over to S to deal with. It is not fair to S or D for me to ask that of them, when Xh is not exactly a welcome sight when he shows up. I am not at the point where I can see myself being more than civil with him at this juncture. Maybe some day. Maybe not - so much depends on the path he takes in terms of destruction. If he continues his current route, then it is hard for me to be anything but protective of my life and the kids, so pretending that his behavior is okay is not helpful. I won't be mean, I just won't enable it either by pretending it is all wonderful for Xh's sake. I did that for way too long.

I felt better about my thought process and will make arrangements to get this stuff to him at some point. I am going to really do a complete haul out of the artwork, including all of the remaining CD's that I have not gone through. He can deal - or not - with those as well.

When I came home I had 2 texts from my sister. She told me it is Leif Erikson Day - followed by Hinga Dinga Durgen - which is a SpongeBob reference. I burst out laughing, as I know why she let me know that. My nephew went into school a few years back and quoted that on Leif Erikson Day in one of his classrooms and the teacher, unwittingly thought it was delightful that he knew what day it was, totally missing the SpongeBob reference. So, today, my niece called up the stairs to tell him it was today and he spent the whole day keeping my sister entertained. I laughed and told her I didn't miss full days of middle school boys being around. LOL

Then later, my sister sent me a list. It took me a minute and then I started cracking up. My sister knows my X-SIL very well, having at one point rented a room from her in college. My sister is pretty easy going and lasted about 6 months before having had enough and finding her own apartment with a roommate.

The second text my sister sent had me giggling. My sister sent a list and said she will forgive me for not making a bigger deal out of her birthday last month. S informed her that it would seem X-SIL told him it was her birthday week and she expected to be pampered all week. So my sister said, clearly she was not given the proper attention, but she will forgive me and included her gift "demands" for Christmas.

What makes this funnier, is my sister and I, when I was going through my divorce, decided to stop exchanging gifts. My sister realized very quickly at the time that the holidays were tough enough at that point for me, financially and emotionally, so we focused on the kids. Since then, we just will sometimes buy each other a little something, but instead we go out for dinner or spend time together.

She titled the text "My Gift List":
Money; a red sports car; your xh and his family to move out of this state or much further; prime rib (which is a joke about my X-SIL who called and demanded that for Christmas dinner the year we were hosting); jewelry; a pool boy; a pool too; a private chef.

I called my sister and said that I had a pool she could have - oh sure, it is a kiddie pool that D and her BF bought for the dog this summer, but the dog preferred the sprinkler. And then I asked her if she preferred penne, elbows or a combination. She thought I was referring to the prime rib dinner and I laughed and told her that no, I was going to start working on her jewelry.  ::)

Her list has me laughing. I told her maybe we should plan a day where she and I cook a meal for just the 2 of us and open a bottle of wine and have a girls night. She likes my "gift" idea better than her list.

So, I am thinking my sister is going to need a seat saved on that bus to Hades as well.  ::)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#93: October 10, 2020, 01:15:02 AM
I'm on my phone so this will be short...

If one more person tells me I'm looking for an R to "complete" me, I'm going to go seriously all Darth Vader on their.... "sit bones" as our Trampoline Aerobics instructor calls it. Last time I looked, I'm a whole person.... CompliMENT maybe as in the 1+1=3 kind of thing...

You can reserve Sis a seat in the same row on the bus.... 😂
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

Survival Instructions for Newbies
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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 - 3
#94: October 10, 2020, 03:53:21 PM
UrsaMajor - I am with you on the "complete" me sentiment. Someone should not complete another person, but hopefully, you make one another fuller and happier. Sort of life is better with them in it, even if they drive you crazy at times.

As for my sister and a seat on the bus - I think we might need a larger bus. LOL.

Today, I woke up very early and didn't rush to get out of bed. Something about the fact that S was out of the house early as was his GF. D had stayed at her BF's and they had gone to an open air farmer's market early this morning. It is rare that I actually have the house to myself for any length of time. And I laid in bed just embracing the quiet.

I haven't left the house at all today other than to walk the dog and get the mail. I spent my day outside for some of the time, until the weather changed and threatened to storm. After that, I came in and started rearranging the living room and formulating a plan as to what to tackle next.

As I have been moving things around the living room, I realized how much the house has changed over the past couple of years. It dawned on me for a good stretch of time, I was so concerned about changing things. Early on, I was holding out for him to come back, so I didn't make any changes at all that were significant. Some was because I was in shock and overwhelmed. And, sometimes I felt this little voice telling me no, because it was conditioning from the MLC time period and with having FIL here. I was so afraid to make changes at times, and the funny thing was by then Xh had moved out and the divorce was underway.

It has taken me some time to adjust and push those voices out. It was at one point today that I looked at some of the huge changes I have made in the past few months and realized that I have a lot to do, but I am really making the house more of my own and getting rid of the ghost of the MLCer. The little touches that the man I was married to are in the house here and there, but they are more like honoring a former owner's touches. I don't go up and caress the walls of the wine cellar and get all sentimental.  ::) LOL.

S has been at Xh's all afternoon. D was home long enough to make fresh salsa, using the tomatoes and peppers from her little garden. She roasted some as well and froze them. She had a mountain of homework to do and decided to go back to her BF's when she realized the high winds were messing with the WiFi here.

The quiet is allowing me to sort through some of the artwork and to shuffle it through the rooms, or put it in storage and swap out pieces. And, now that I no longer have to worry about Xh taking any of my F's sculptures  ::), I can go borrow some new pieces to display.

S just drove in with his haul from Xh's. Very curious. Xh sent him home with two motorcycles, one being a vintage Indian. Hmmm. He sold the classic Harley, which he had promised to S.

In the grand scheme - do I care? Not really. But, I have to admit, it is making me wonder what is up. My guess is we are on to some new grand idea that is going to make him happy. Now, I ran it by my sister and her thought was the same as mine. My guess - Xh had mentioned some time ago he wanted to buy a house, as he was tired of renting. I am thinking this is perhaps a grand scheme the siblings have all suddenly concocted. Why do I see some family compound being built? - LOL.

Oh well - all I know is if the Indian is at my house and being given to S, something big is happening. Some new exciting attempt at finding happiness I am sure. And, maybe it will solve all of Xh's woes and he will find peace. The only part of any of this that matters to me at this point is, first of all - ummm, am I ever going to be able to park my car in my garage any time soon and how it ultimately effects the kids. Beyond that - his circus. He can keep his monkeys.  ;)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#95: October 10, 2020, 05:16:21 PM
Okay - arguments happen. I am not going to be silly enough to think couples don't argue. And, in the case of my kids and their significant others - I try to stay out of it completely.

S got home and it was starting to storm. I could see he was tense just by his body language as he exited the truck. His GF was trying to help him and she yelled at him. She too was stressed out. And it was just downhill from there because most of us know that under those conditions, both people stressed and storm coming in - $h!te happens. You make stupid mistakes and don't think things out.

I was getting ready to bring out the flood lights for them when S's GF yelled something at S that was more irritation than anything, but he flew off the handle. Over the wind blowing she could not hear him well and the thing he asked her to do was to hold the one motorcycle. It weighs a whole heck of a lot and she is strong, but she didn't have ahold of that bike and off of the trailer it fell. Well, that was it. S lost it and yelled like I have not seen him do in a very long time. The last time I saw him do this was with Xh before Xh moved out. This was pure stress and "more" going on. S had a reason to be upset the engine mount is damaged and the bike is a vintage bike - this is not going to be a stop in at a dealership or order online situation. The parts are pretty rare.

Needless to say, GF stormed upstairs and I could hear her sobbing. I brought the lights out to S and asked if he needed any help and he was fuming. Yah, I know this temperament. This is the give him some room to just work out of it and frankly, I wanted him to concentrate on pulling the large compressor off of the trailer. He had it strapped in the bucket of the tractor and was slowly inching back down the ramps. As a M, it is always tough to know if you stand and watch or walk away - as no matter what you hold your breath and pray it will go well. And, I knew better than to push to talk to S.

I went in and walked into S's room. I threw a blanket over his GF and gave her a hug. I told her I didn't know what had gone on, but I asked her how the rest of the day had gone. She gave me a little clue as to what had transpired and I am not surprised. I didn't push, I just told her to give S time to cool off and knowing him, even when he might have a reason to be upset he is very good about talking it out once he settles down.

I felt bad. I am not used to seeing S blow up like that. And, it takes 2 sometimes. He is not perfect, nor is she. It is theirs to work out. But, I also know what it is like to be yelled at like that and I wasn't thrilled S had behaved that way - it is not his usual behavior.

I went back outside. S was bringing over the tie down straps and they were a tangled mess. I said nothing, just started untangling them and putting them back in his tote. He continued to clean up the things still on the trailer as the rain started falling.

He came over to help me roll up the ties. He had calmed down some and we talked. I didn't mention his GF at that moment. I asked for the first time in a very long time about his time with his F. And then it came tumbling out. His F had places to be today and things to do. He was in a push. I know this MLC XH behavior. This meant Xh was barking orders and being a monster and as S described it - I could replay in my head the awful things the MLCer probably said. This was classic monster and Xh was in full control mode. He wanted S to load things a certain way and S told him he was being ridiculous. Mind you, S, for the millwork does countless deliveries, still. On top of that he is not only trained at school and has taken specific safety courses since he was 14 in this area, he also has loaded trailers for his other job. He can quote specific DOT regulations off of the top of his head. S really didn't need to be barked at. But, S usually rolls with it.

What really upset me is for all of his barking, Xh never offered to follow S home and help him unload things. No, it would seem his big thing today was he had to get home because SIL was having her birthday party dinner. S, nor D were asked to go. Guess you have to buy her a gift before being invited to dinner - LOL.

As S talked, he told me what happened with his GF. The drive home was stressful because of the wind kicking up. It was an hour drive. He realized he snapped at her when she yelled at him.

I told him I normally stay out of these things. He said he knew I don't get in the middle of it. And I am not taking sides. I told him that I know he needed time to decompress. I get that, but I have also learned that it would not be a bad idea to really think about the fact that his GF is upstairs feeling really bad about the fact that she didn't have a grip on the bike. He started to tell me about her behavior before. I said, I know and that is a separate thing they need to deal with, but if it were me in his place, I would at least acknowledge that she could have been crushed under that bike falling. It was an accident, and maybe just tell her you are glad she wasn't hurt. He said I was probably right and he should look at the positives.

What bugged me about this whole thing was Xh's monster is still trying to be the ring leader and releasing monkeys into my life. I sent the monkeys back home and things are back to at least some semblance of peace. S and GF will figure it out, or not. But the house is calm again.  ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#96: October 12, 2020, 09:44:04 AM
Yesterday, my intention was to split time between working indoors and outdoors. But, after starting working outside, in the perfect Fall weather, I opted to forego the things I had planned indoors.

My sister called midday and told me she was on her way to a store to buy my niece some sneakers. We chatted for a bit and then I went back to work.

She had laughed at me saying I was clearly a glutton for punishment when I told her what my day had consisted of.

My sister and I get along incredibly well and at least understand one another in that we accept each other's personalities, likes and dislikes, etc. We have a strong bond and accept how each other operates. But, it dawned on me how yesterday, how my sister and I live such different lives beyond just the location. My sister's idea of spending time outside includes walks and sitting by their fire pit when her friends come over, but most of her "free time" she is cooking or she likes to watch movies. And, I am not criticizing her, it just never really clicked with me completely. And, yesterday, she was on her way to the store with my niece to buy my niece sneakers. If it were pre-Covid, my sister was always at the mall. This store is one where you have to make an appointment to go in.

My sister and BIL will rake the lawn and pull the occasional weed, but she and my BIL have a lawn service that deals with most of their things. They just had someone come and pull out shrubs and move some grasses, etc. My sister commented it was too bad I couldn't afford a landscaper and a lawn service. I laughed and told her while it would help, I really was not wanting one.

There have been times, recently where I think that would be a huge help to get me back on track. However, yesterday, even when I was struggling to pull out some trees that had taken root and lugging around large boxwoods I wanted to transplant, I noted how good it felt to be doing something outside that required physical activity and was still productive. I like feeling exhausted at the end of the day and being able to see the results. I was outside as the sun started to set and manually pruning the shrubs. S was laughing at me telling me he could get the electric hedge trimmers out for me. But, I didn't want those at all. There was something very satisfying about my process.

There is so much more to do, but the one area I made changes to made me so satisfied.

S had to return the large tractor, trailer and truck he borrowed. They were all borrowed from different people, so he was gone for a significant time. Two of his friends showed up to drop off a tool they had borrowed. In the past the one friend had always helped S with some of these projects. We talked for some time and S's best friend commented that he didn't offer to go help S this weekend because he cannot handle how Xh treats S. He went on to describe some of the things he has witnessed. I could feel my stomach knot up. The phrases, etc are exactly what I experienced when the monster took out his MLC FOO issues on me. And, it would make sense. S is more like I am and the monster is not gone, we know that.

The friend remembers "normal" Xh and what he was like before all of this and he just doesn't understand. I don't either.

I know it is on S to figure it out, just like I did. I can't fix any of this. I can only continue to be the only stable parent and be his safe place to land.

When S came home, he mentioned that Xh told him he is going to go back to FIL's hometown again. And then there was more - Xh is looking at buying the family "homestead". Hmmmm

So, the first thought I had was "yay - Xh might actually move out of state after all". I know - not nice, but my thoughts went there.  ::)

Now, I have to ask myself what is going on. He had talked about wanting a house. With his siblings in the area right now, they had all talked about building near Xh. Now, it is possible, maybe they are all thinking of going to this particular state. It would make sense in the grand FOO issues scenario.

The family homestead - FIL left when he was 18 and only went back a handful of times to see his parents, but he used to tell me how he hated that place. Of course, it would be where the family ended up burying his ashes and then put a stone there that Xh carved out of marble - all illegal- but hey, MLCers don't follow rules.  ::) They would return to bury BIL's ashes and add his name to the stone.

Xh had mentioned at BIL's burial that he was thinking he would like that little homestead - a shack by most people's standards. I am sure Xh would make it lovely, etc. It is not that. It just shocks me in that in all the years Xh and I were together, he never wanted to go to that place. We went and visited his former military school, the one he hated, which is not terribly far from there. But, he never wanted to go to that particular town and see where his father came from. And there aren't any relatives alive anymore from his F's family, at least not cousins, etc. They all left.

I am not going to criticize Xh for wanting to find his roots. It is all just very odd to me that somehow this is his path to somehow find himself.

I could be completely wrong about him moving and for all I know he may have some idea about dismantling the place and bringing it hundreds of miles to where he is now.

This morning, I discovered on FaceBook, S had posted some of his photos from this weekend. Among the photos an antique truck that was flat bedded. Hmmm- that was not S's. I innocently asked about the truck. Yah, it is Xh's and he needed it moved.

So, in other words, he had his own agenda. Big surprise. ::)

I was going to work indoors again today, but I am really thinking the sunshine is calling me and I need the break from thinking about the nonsense with Xh. Moving shrubs around and the physical activity really allowed me to just work without a heck of a lot of thought. Very therapeutic. I think I may opt for another round of garden therapy today, because I am really not in a mood to think about the MLCer and his FOO issues.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#97: October 13, 2020, 05:48:59 AM
"Back to the roots....."



Hmmmmmmmm .... Seems like maybe a REAL MLC attempt to relive and reshape the past ..... ::)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#98: October 14, 2020, 10:50:07 AM
S confirmed my suspicions and Xh is looking either buy the property with the homestead, or he wants to buy the little house, dismantle it and bring it here. And then the next words out of S's mouth were "dad thinks I should take time off from school - I am not loving the online learning anyways".

I wanted to throw up. Here we go again.

Xh and I don't have to agree on everything, and I don't have all the answers. Quite often, I don't have any answers. This - I am fuming over. I know Xh's angle and it is a self-serving one. He needs money for his "dream" of getting that house. Which then will kick off his next MLC project.

This isn't new. Xh has started and gone great guns on these projects in MLC. He did it with the cottage. S said Xh is not happy at the cottage now and it shows. He finished the upstairs of the cottage and it is stunning. The rest of the place he has not touched and it is thrown together.

The feeling of having to try and keep S going to school just overwhelmed me. I know from experience how this works with most students. S is so close to being done. His loans would kick in if he quits and that will be on him and on and on. And once S quits, going back for any student is tough. I have been in education long enough to know the stats there.

I don't care what S decides to do with his life in terms of college. It is in fact his choice, but he had said he wanted to get his bachelor's degree. The only time he mentions not completing it is when he is stressed and then Xh jumps on to throw fuel on that fire. If Xh had a valid reason for S not going, I would listen, but I know this dance.

The other day, I took a drive down to drop off the typewriter table and my old laptop to give to my former student. It was a beautiful drive and I felt good being able to help someone else. My student sent me a picture this morning of the table with his typewriter sitting on it and he had the laptop working. I had told him I knew it needed a battery and wasn't sure if he could upgrade it. He did some research and had the new battery in it and ordered additional RAM for it. He is elated. It will mean he no longer has to share a computer for college.

That drive occurred before I found out the latest angle Xh is selling. My sister called me a bit later and I asked her when do I get to be done with the MLCer? I felt suddenly like I was facing another mountain to climb and I just don't have it in me. I wondered when this $h!te stops.

The stress has weighed on me for a few days. I had a bit of a cold starting - nothing serious, and I am listening to my body. I spent yesterday on the couch, just relaxing and pushing fluids. I kept telling myself that is what I needed. But, the stress kicked in on a whole different level, which resulted in something that hasn't happened since BD #1.

I must have slept really wrong last night with all of the tension. When I woke up, both hands were asleep and for a few minutes I couldn't move my lower body. I realized my back injury had flared up and I pinched something. I laid in bed and was so mad at myself. I forced myself to relax and the tension released, but the pain was shooting.

I knew what had to happen and I found myself lying on the floor of the living room doing the necessary stretches to release the tightness. S walked in and saw the tears rolling down my cheeks. Yah, it was painful and it sucks.

After half an hour, I was in better shape, just tender. And I can hear the chiropractor yelling at me now. LOL Not to mention when D finds out. I will be given the whole list of PT exercises to do.

The pandemic and online learning brought on things that were bad habits. Sitting too long for my classes. Running around barefoot or in flip flops. Not getting the regular daily walking in just from work, not to mention my walks for myself.

So, not only do I need to get back to my regular walks for my sanity and my spiritual side, I know I can't let this become an ongoing issue with my back. I know what I have to do and I have neglected to stay on top of it.

Today, I am just tired.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#99: October 15, 2020, 06:11:54 AM
Speaking as someone who started my Bachelors and then had to stop due to financial reasons and then restarting it MUCH later, finishing it and then taking a break before starting (and finishing) my Masters, I can say that you are 100% right.... Stopping when one is close to completion puts a real damper on getting started again and, as you noted, the repayment of any student loan kicks in....

xH is just playing his games again and you get the unenviable task of getting S to see the REAL light and not the train that is coming down the tracks in the tunnel.... 

And so, xH thinks that a new old tiny homestead will be the answer to ALL of his problems... Maybe he will fix it for all the siblings to move into?  That is one HUGE pile of FOO Poo to have to continuously shovel....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#100: October 15, 2020, 10:37:24 AM
UrsaMajor - So it isn't just me that sees how very messed up this all is?

You know, the idea in and of itself is not so crazy - that is the desire of Xh's to save the family home. People do it. It is a bit unusual, but it is not so incredibly off-the-wall on the one hand. But, when paired with the other things and the history of Xh and his antics, it is just more MLC bandaid fixes. And the root of the issues are never addressed. These are just material things or moves to somehow fix something that lies within.

I am marginally better today, although I am still very sore and having a hard time motivating.

It is funny, to the outside world, people would not know I am having a tough day. They don't see it. In part because I don't want to be perceived as a victim, and frankly, I do try to have a positive outlook. Sometimes that requires fighting through the feelings inside. It is not me putting on a mask of sorts. I just don't complain too much. I will express it to a few people, like my sister or a handful of others. I will write it out, but by in large, I try to push through my own feelings. It is not sticking my head in the sand or avoiding it. I just cope differently. And most times, my change in attitude helps me push forward. It has not been so easy this week.

I am in an immense amount of pain and I have a high tolerance for pain. Now, if I were nauseous - forget it. That puts me down for the count. But, pain, in general, I am able to deal with for whatever reason.

I know the source of my pain and what is exacerbating this back pain. It is pure stress bringing it on. The injury flares up from time to time, but to lock up and pinch means I am tense and it is on me to address.

The situation with S has me upset. To add to it, the state Xh asked S to travel to is one of the biggest hotspots in the country now for Covid. While I am not one to get where I want to put my kids in a bubble, I am concerned - not going to lie. And maybe it is the fact that Xh just dismisses all of these things anyways. And it isn't that he isn't careful himself at times. He has admitted he follows the rules, etc. But, when these ideas come into his head caution goes out the door.

S mentioned one particular event prior to BD#1 and we all wondered what was going on with the once sane, rational man we knew. XH had wanted to buy a truck from his B. He flew to where his B lived, and then announced he was buying a trailer, and an antique truck and driving them home. This was in the middle of winter. And while it had been a mild winter, we were heading into March. March is always a crapshoot. I asked him if it really seemed wise to drive a truck that far, when it had never been used to haul anything at all. S questioned the wisdom of it as well, considering the truck had high miles on it. But, I was told it was happening. He drove over 1200 miles and when he called on the last leg - he was 8 hours away, I told him we were experiencing a blizzard and he should wait it out. And, my Xh could get mad, but his reaction was suddenly so foreign. He screamed at me that he was going to drive the rest of the way come hell or high water.

So, I went out and kept the driveway shoveled all day long. The tractor's plow was broken and the town plows were  not out because they weren't able to keep up with the snow. It was an unusual occurrence for our region. And around 10 pm Xh hauled in, but he could not get up the knoll at the end of the road. It was too slick and the truck he had didn't have the proper tires, etc. He got out and screamed at me to get S out of bed. It was a school night. He told S to get out of bed and to get the tractor running. It was awful. We finally got the truck in the driveway, but it was a hellish night.

S mentioned how stupid the whole thing was. The truck, it ended up blowing something on the engine after all was said and done. S had said to me that the truck had never been meant to haul something of that size anyways and had been babied over the years. Within 6 months, Xh decided he didn't want the antique truck and trailer after all. The other truck, he ended up selling to the neighbors because he didn't want to fix it and it kicked off the many vehicles Xh would go buying himself and the many rentals in between all of the crazy purchases.

This building, it is right up there with that type of behavior, I suspect. And, in the grand scheme of things - I don't care what Xh does, except that it affects the kids. S is not sure he wants to go this weekend. I am hoping he bows out. The past few trips, Xh has left him to drive and it isn't a happy trip. And the last time S was in this territory, he was told he was to dig the hole for his uncle's ashes - not a happy event. The stress is evident in S right now, and it weighs on me. Add the school aspect and I am tired of this game Xh likes to play.

To add to it all, D called this morning after PT. She is upset. She is 5'7" and has lost more weight. She is close to 100 lbs now and she isn't trying to lose weight. For her build, she is too thin. She is concerned. She has lost 10 lbs again very quickly. She was calling the doctor to get in and have bloodwork done. She may have what my sister and I developed at that age with the B12 deficiency and maybe traditional anemia, which my sister had in her 20s. D's diet is exceptionally good and well rounded and she makes sure she eats, but I know with her too, there has been stress.

She did laugh when she said her trainer at PT told her that she doesn't take after me, in that I am always very chill and have a snappiness about me. A certain swagger and a smile on my face. He said he has yet to see me with anything other than a cheerful disposition. D laughed and said that I have my days, but no, she takes after my M and my Xh in terms of temperament. When she came home, she said I am clearly not myself. No, I really am not right now and I know it.

I will push through the pain and work on relaxing. These outside stressors are beyond my control and I have to just roll with whatever life throws at me.

I know that I don't like the other choice - which is to give in and give up, which will make those moments of positives harder to grab on to, even though they might be right in front of me. So, I have decided I need to seek out those moments again and grab ahold - it is what got me through the worst of the MLC laden times. I am tired, but I am going to find it in me to just push forward, because this place I am in right in this moment really sucks. Don't want to hang out here too long - LOL

So, my positive for this moment is as simple as the weather is insanely beautiful and so lovely out, that I have all of my windows open and a fresh fall breeze is filling the house.

Might be all I can grab on to at the moment, but it is a start.  ;)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#101: October 15, 2020, 11:21:07 AM
Quote
The situation with S has me upset.

Can I suggest a way to reframe it that might allow you to put that mental moat back in place, Mourning?

Trust the core of who your son is. You know what kind of human he is. He has a track record from what I can recall of making pretty sensible choices when push comes to shove. And of learning from his occasional mistakes pretty darn quickly and without much kerfuffle that lasts very long. And he has empathy for how his choices affect others. Yes, your xh is on his own dysfunctional FOO fix it rollercoaster. And yes, he has a pattern of using your son when it suits him and stiffing him when it suits him......but perhaps you can trust your son to choose/learn wisely and therefore not have that stressful feeling of xh metaphorically invading your collective lives? And that your son is learning how to keep his father in an appropriate buffered spot albeit perhaps with a little trial and error which might be a useful life lesson writ large anyway? Just a thought.....but it has always seemed to me that there is something rather lovely and calm and solid about your son which makes him who he is and how he is with others and why so many people trust and value him as they do  :)
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#102: October 15, 2020, 02:14:20 PM
Treasur - I have been doing just that. Reminding myself that S is level headed and he is a lot like me, so I know how he thinks. It is also why I know how he is reacting to Xh's behaviors. And on a certain level it is a bit of a trigger, I suspect.

It is difficult being the only stable parent in these cases. I have never been a helicopter mom or a mother who somehow needs to protect the kids from things. I was the mom that put in those safety measures like baby gates, but then at a certain point, I also figured there were going to be plenty of bumps and bruises along the way. I always kept a close eye on things, but knew I did not want a kid who was fearful of things either. I had experienced dealing with those kids in high school and college even before I had my own kids. I wanted my kids to know the risks and to respect the potential risks, but I certainly didn't want them fearful of the things that "might happen".

So, it is really very difficult for me when these moments occur. There is the part of me that trusts S. There is the part of me that knows I cannot fix it. There is part of me that would like to just shrug it off. But then there is the very protective part of me that hates that S is in pain, and I have this desire with those in my closest circles, that the protective part wants to absorb the pain. And S is really hurting and confused right now. Even though I trust he will make the decision that is right for him - and it might be that he doesn't continue - I will have to accept and respect his decision, but it doesn't stop the mom in me from wanting this hurt to go away.

It becomes more complex when you know that the person who is throwing the monkey wrench into the mix never used to be this way. Xh would have never been so selfish and was always a good dad - for all of his other flaws, I will never criticize him of being anything but a loving dad before all of the FOO issues bubbled up into this toxic stew. And that is the hardest part for any of us to grasp, especially S, who is just now experiencing what D and I have already been through. And that is another level of pain. Knowing that I have watched D go through this process and now S, is really hard to witness. I have been through it. I know what comes next. And I know it has to happen this way and S has to figure it out, just like D and I have. S has to run the gauntlet. Watching it is not a pleasant experience.

I have a call into the doctor myself. I am thinking I am in need of some bloodwork run as well. It has been over a year since I had anything done and with the stress, my B12 could be way off. The pandemic threw off all of my regular check ups, and with my B12, I try to stay on that at least once a year. It would explain some of the fatigue I am experiencing and I am not wanting to just mess with my intake and risk having the levels be way too high.

My S is a really good kid. He came into the kitchen today after having had a video conference/interview with someone in the industry. They were just blown away by his knowledge and the way he carries himself. He will be fine - I know that. I have never had any doubts there. He is a hard worker and has a huge heart. It is in part why his closest friends come here to hang out.

It was rather amusing. The other night, 2 of S's friends stopped to see if he was home from Xh's yet. He wasn't but they stopped and chatted. S showed up and they started saying that they cannot believe I don't have a boyfriend running around here. S joked what were they getting at. They were quick to explain that one. They then got on the subject of step moms and how I would be a good step mom. I quipped I kind of liked the arrangement I had with having all of them to squawk and then they leave. But, they know - I am here for them and will help them as quickly as I will scold them if need be. The one kid mentioned his real mom is now dating a 33 year old and she is 50. S laughed and said what was the problem there? When the kid said she told him the boyfriend reminded her of the kid, then we saw the problem - LOL.

It would appear this turned into a conversation about my age. S mentioned I have had a man that age who pursued me pretty heavily. The friend's response was "but your mom is like only a little older". S laughed and asked how old did they think I was and they weren't allowed to do math - just gut reaction. I am a solid 37 it seems. S burst out laughing. I told him that is my mentality. I am 37 in my head, and there is no MLC involved.

I told them that the woman who used to own our house was 96 when she moved out. I had once asked her how she stayed so youthful in her outlook. She told me that if she was left on a doorstep as an infant and didn't know how old she was, then how old would she like to be. She laughed and told me she felt late 30's was a good age. Just enough maturity and still a bit of spunk left in you. She said it was a mindset. She didn't want to be an irresponsible kid anymore, but she didn't want to get hung up on her age either. Okay, and add some good genetics, I would guess, because neither of my parents look their age either. My F is always pegged for mid 60's.

Now, this age thing has come up as the topic of discussion with all of S's friends who are having fun trying to stump the others. Pandemic entertainment  ::) S and D of course chimed in. They had to explain the need for the age threshold clause in the rules of my potential dating. I added they didn't have to worry. Step children do not scare me. The idea of a 3 year old step child, that might actually terrify me, so they don't have to worry there.

When they brought up I could see if Mr Smoochy was available, I had to go inside. Damn kids. LOL
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« Last Edit: October 15, 2020, 02:15:50 PM by MourningDove »

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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#103: October 15, 2020, 07:45:44 PM


No words needed..... No Kinderschnitzel for you!
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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 - 3
#104: October 15, 2020, 10:30:01 PM
Ah see - that is the important move being illustrated, UrsaMajor. With Velociraptors you cannot take your eyes off of them and you back away slowly.  ::) LOL
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#105: October 16, 2020, 01:26:54 AM
Mourning, I just wanted to say that I really get it about your S; what you write hits home somewhat right now.  Even after many years :-).

My D and one S have been on the receiving end of former H's diatribes, one S has kept himself away.  He is only now looking at things somewhat, partly feeling pressure from his GF (who has never met H) to "have a relationship", and very much trying to work things out for himself.  He tends to push it away and not think about it, however -- I think it is all too much.    GF, I should add, thinks it's perfectly OK for them to just be pals, if H doesn't want to be a father, she thinks he should take what he can get.... 

All of this also because he IS actually a level-headed young man, but also one who wants to see the best in everything.  He has already said that he doesn't want to be in a situation where he has his own children (which is way off) and they not have a grandfather.  He hasn't yet got to the part where you work out what is and isn't acceptable. 

And it makes me angry that my children find themselves in a position where they get the feeling that it is up to THEM to have whatever relationship is on offer with former H, that he gets to cherry-pick the bits he wants and leave the rest.  S is definitely starting to feel that way, that he should just take what is offered, if the alternative is nothing.   Former H's line is that they "have the opportunity to participate in another life", pretty much firmly stating that it's his life and they can come along if they want, rather than him participating in theirs. 

As if he (H) was the LBS and I the bad guy. 

But even so, my kids know actually next to nothing about his life, their only contact is the odd drink in the pub, where they might tell him what they are doing, but not learn anything. 

I should add that S's GF is a lovely young woman who genuinely means well; she just has no idea of what we've been through even though S has tried to explain, and her mindset is very much on "forgiveness" -- again, she can't really get her head round the situation so only has her own experiences to draw on, and those contain nothing remotely resembling this. 

And during this I am finding some surprising feelings of my own bubbling up, which I need to deal with separately.... 

So yes, this seems very normal for us who have been through this kind of unimaginable mill. 
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« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 01:28:32 AM by Trustandlove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#106: October 16, 2020, 09:40:15 AM
Trustandlove - That is exactly what the relationship with S has become with Xh - one where he cherry-picks when he can fit S into his life. D, well I am not sure what Xh's stance is there. I often think he knows that D is not going to let him off the hook at this point. D is not adversarial, but she would be the first to call Xh out on his garbage. S is more like me and he can have a temper, but is more apt to keep the peace.

It isn't easy for others to understand. Yes, there is a certain logic to "taking what you can get", but I think for situations like this, when there was a parent pre MLC who was heavily involved in the kid's lives, taking the crumbs they are given is almost more painful than nothing. It leaves them continually longing for what was and for more. And that is often what many LBS experienced. I know for me, it was almost worse when Xh would show me attention only to turn it back off. I still don't know if it was glimmers of Xh or gaslighting and that was in part because there were definite moments that the gaslighting and manipulation happened when the monster would appear. And, like many of us, as a parent you can only step back with kids that are adults and just be there to pick up the pieces - you can't really fix it or get involved too deeply, because the MLCer is still able to manipulate it to make themselves out the victim. I have found as painful as it is, it has been better when I have let the kids endure the pain and figure it out on their own and that is a horrible thing to witness. The desire to shelter them from it is there, but in reality, at least in my situation, I know it is not a good idea because I will be pulled into it and I need to be the stable parent who doesn't engage in the nonsense and the soft place for the kids to land. And that is exhausting more often than not.

I broke with my own rules last night and asked S what the plan was in regards to this trip. His response was rather telling. In the past, he and Xh took trips all the time together. Since the onset of MLC, those trips that S loved no longer are tempting to S. The MLC trips seem to always be about Xh and not about the father/son experience anymore. And, S's response last night was "first of all - dad wants to drive the 900 mile round trip in one day. Secondly, it is a high Covid area and technically I would have to quarantine for 2 weeks due to school regulations. Doesn't exactly make much sense". S then mentioned he is considering instead of staying home and having a bonfire. I personally am voting for the bonfire.  LOL.

This morning this "eh hem - 37 year old" - okay 37 in spirit only, decided to push through the rest of this pain. I had an appointment to pick up my art work that I had mats cut for. It had rained out and was a bit dreary, but I decided I needed to dress to fight the desire to climb back into bed and hiding from the world. I have had enough of not feeling great this week, so I found a pair of skinny jeans, a light fall sweater and my high heeled black boots. Full make up, jewelry and took time to curl my hair. I even found a mask to coordinate with my outfit. S saw me come around the corner and said it was nice to see me looking "sassy" today and more like myself.

The rain had stopped and the sky was overcast. The drive to the city where I needed to go is one I had driven about the same time last week. That day was sunny and the leaves were starting to change more. It was a gorgeous warm fall day. Today, I noticed the overcast sky and the wet leaves made everything actually even more dramatic. The yellow and red leaves that were hanging above the split rail fence that surrounds one of my favorite houses was stunning. The house, is a stucco sided home, that looks like it should be sitting amongst the vineyards in Spain. I have loved watching the new owners bring it back to life. It was neglected for many years. Today, I noticed they have been doing some landscaping.

I was making good time and then saw the tire pressure warning come on my dash. Logic says it is just because of the abrupt drop in temperature. Yesterday was nearly 75, while this morning it was 40. But, I wasn't going to take my chances. I pulled into the closest gas station and grumbled when I knew I should have gone down the road about a half a mile, when this place is now charging $2 for air and how convenient - they now have a place you can swipe your credit or debit card - for a fee. LMAO. Yah, this is why I carry quarters with me. I was putting the air in the tires and laughed as I found myself standing in a puddle. Karma - eventually gets you.  ::) It didn't deter me.

I stopped and picked up a coffee and the young woman at the counter knows me pretty well. She was all excited because she mentioned they had a new seasonal flavor which is Maple Bourbon. I laughed and asked her if she really needed to ask me to answer that ::) OMG - that is my new go to flavor for the fall.  ;D
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« Last Edit: October 16, 2020, 09:44:13 AM by MourningDove »

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#107: October 16, 2020, 07:01:15 PM
I have known that I need to get back to focusing on those little moments that give me faith and bring those positives in life to the surface. Sometimes they are little things that might get lost in the shuffle of the day.

It had been a good day for the most part. My coworker and I are staging a coup - LOL. Okay, she got the owner's blessing, but I am a willing participant and Miss Management's head might actually spin when she finds out we are killing her system for inventory. She had "fixed it" last year by adding 3 more areas to input it, taking us now to 5 systems for something that simply requires one really good system. When I had told her solution was duplicitous she clearly had no idea what I meant and took it as a compliment. Hmmm - nope.

I like working with this coworker immensely and we aren't trying to sabotage anything, we just want a system that is efficient and accurate. I am looking forward to working with her and hopefully coming up with something that makes sense. And, the extra hours will help with the holidays coming.

The drive home was spectacular and I joked with my sister when she called me and interrupted my drive. I had the sun roof open, the heat on, as it was quite cold out and had the radio on. When I answered her, I told her that I must like her because I actually interrupted Metallica for her call. She laughed and said that is a good indication of my afternoon mood, considering when she spoke to me this morning and mid afternoon my choices in music were considerably more tame.  ::) I told her she just called me more than usual today and simply encountered a normal day - my many moods. LOL

When I arrived home, I was greeted by the dog, who was carrying her leash in her mouth. It was hooked to her harness and she knows which leash is for the car. I thought D had folded it up and and put it in the dog's mouth. Nope. The dog has a new trick. She refused to let us take the leash, walking herself up the sidewalk and then back to the car. D took her for a ride around the countryside and the dog got out of the car and again proceeded to walk herself to the door with leash in her mouth. That had D laughing and it was good to see that type of laughter coming out of D.

I sat down with a glass of wine and looked at an email someone asked me to look at. As I was scratching my head reading and rereading it, I had a ping on my computer. Someone had sent a message via Facebook. I opened it, and on messenger was a note from my former student who I had given the computer to. He wanted to let me know how he got the computer running and while it needs more RAM, which he has ordered, he was able to use the computer to access the software he needs for school. He hadn't been able to use it up until now and the professor was telling him he needed that version of software.

That little bit of news made me cry. He was so grateful and he never let on that he didn't have the right software, etc. When I think back about how the conversation came up in the first place, he had asked me about the laptop I was using and was saying someday he wanted a Mac and was hoping to save up for one. I knew he liked a challenge and fixing things, and told him I had the older laptop from 2008 that needed RAM and a new battery, but it was something I was going to take to the electronics recycling center one of these days and asked if he wanted to mess with it. That was before Covid hit and before he knew he would need one for school.

I wasn't looking for a thank you. Knowing that item I was ready to recycle was something so incredibly useful and helped that kid was all I needed to hear. I am so happy knowing his life will be a little bit easier now.  :)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#108: October 17, 2020, 08:42:48 AM
In a totally different context, I wrote the following on a friend's FB page the other day :

We can never know what form an Angel will take when it visits this mortal world but they do visit....

Maybe they can appear to someone as a former teacher with an old notebook...

Just something to think about...

Instead of xH and the steaming pile of FOO poo he's shoveling
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Me - 57, xW - 50
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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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#109: October 17, 2020, 06:54:35 PM
UrsaMajor - funny, I was thinking last night that the timing of all of this is so odd. The conversation about that computer came up before the shutdown and before he had been accepted into college. Then when we went into shutdown, I had sort of forgotten about it for the most part. It wasn't in an area that I would have seen it and reminded myself, and for whatever reason, it came up again when I realized he was the perfect owner for the typewriter table. Never did I think that it would prove to be something that would be so very necessary for him.

And the funny thing is someone said to me that it must make me feel good to have helped him. While it does, the biggest joy I had was hearing from him and the pride he had in making it not only work for what he needed, but that he was able to successfully complete his work. I don't care about the pat on the back - truly. It is not what drives me. I don't care about spotlight. Thank you is nice, but not what I needed. Knowing that is now going to make such a huge difference in his life at the moment was so humbling. I have so much to be grateful for and have so much, even when I am struggling to figure out how I am going to make things work at times.

It made me approach my day so differently today. It was like a spiritual shock to the system. These past few months have somehow put me in this very odd feeling of autopilot most days. A depletion of sorts. It was so many months of feeling like the lifeboat kept springing leaks and I was running around just plugging holes. Without a focus like work, the sudden reality of how much I neglected in my own self-care in terms of those things that feed my soul are so apparent.

And today, the universe provided me such a needed intervention. It started with one of my friends contacting me early in the morning. He was a student at the college several years ago. I only had him as an official student for 4 weeks when I stepped in for a colleague for 4 weeks when they had emergency surgery. He was a bit older than the typical student and when he continued to stay on as a tech assistant for several years before moving on to a 4 year program, he was always working when I was teaching. We just clicked and to the point where sometimes I would get frustrated with him as friends do.

I have been holding on to some of his artwork for 3 years. I rescued it when he was traveling and the college was doing renovations. I knew it was at risk for disappearing. He knew I had it, but we have not been able to connect long enough for him to come get it. So today, he showed up and it was a breath of fresh air. I walked him up to my F's studio as he knows my F well. As we were walking he gave me a big hug and got out his camera and started taking pictures of me. I laughed at him and said he knows I hate having my picture taken. Being friends with him has always been easy. 

What makes this all so very amusing, is my friend is my gay best friend, as he calls himself. He is insanely handsome and decidedly young, but he is an older guy caught in a younger man's body. He is an old soul. He was one of the few that can rock a man bun effortlessly, but he showed up today and has chopped his hair very short.

When I came back home, one of S's friends was here with his GF. S had a Cheshire Cat grin on his face. Oh dear. And by then D was in on it. They were very quiet, but I knew something was up. My friend and I had discussed starting to go out to shoot photos or doing some things together that are more creative as we are both in need of some soul feeding activities. And before he left he gave me another hug and said "see ya later babe". I laughed, as that was something that started as a joke a few years ago when I ran into him at an event and he was clearly drunk and he called me babe. He was initially mortified that happened and then it just became a funny thing that stuck.

He has a fantastic name - it seems like one of those celebrity made up names that rolls of the tongue. And it is not that difficult to figure out how to say his last name. It is an easy one to sound out. Months ago he had told me people butchered it, so he came in so ticked and said he was going to change his last name to the translation to which I burst out laughing. He looked at me and I said it sounded like a bad 70's porn name.

When he had left, I saw my kids in full velociraptor mode. He is only the second man I have had at the house for any length of time and it would seem the friend's GF thought this was perhaps my boyfriend. The kids know this guy. They didn't let on. And the poor young woman fell into their trap and said he was really handsome and clearly he makes me laugh. She was going on and on. And S said that yes, they know he will be around and have conceded it is okay that he breaks the age threshold by several years, as he is 27. All the while, I had no idea that this had transpired and I too fell into the trap. After about a half an hour, I suddenly realized that the goofballs had pulled not only me into the web, but this poor young woman.

It would lead to me accepting a dinner invite from another friend of mine I haven't seen in over a year. She was in town and we met at a place that has outdoor dining and is very strict about protocol. She knows my friend from a different circle. She is an amazing artist. It felt good to be around adults today and ones that are creative and all about positive things in life. They are both very connected to nature and the conversations with her at dinner were about those moments that you cannot explain and both having this need to feed our souls. She has so many commissions right now that her love life is suffering. She is heartbroken and told me she broke up with her boyfriend because she cannot give him the time he deserves. She is coming this way again because my F decided to part with my uncle's kiln, which shocked me. My F has another one, but this one has memories attached to it, but he knows it will be in the right hands.

I came home and found myself feeling rejuvenated, and have some sense of being able to somehow see parts of my path a bit clearer again. I know what I need to do to get back on track in terms of my own self care. I don't know what employment will look like. It doesn't matter in this moment, as maybe the universe is giving me a break. I know myself well enough to know that I will do what I have to in order to keep my bills paid. I can budget and am not afraid of scrimping and saving if need be. It is not what I dream of, but I don't care about some fancy title. I have held plenty of titles over the years, like Executive Director - big whoop. The only sense of pride I ever had was in what I accomplished at that job, when they gave me the title, it didn't change what I was doing. It looks good on a resume, but it never fed my soul.

The kids went out tonight to a socially distanced bonfire. They will behave, they always do. S was already assuring me he was DD, and they never get plastered anyways. He also told me he would be home early and what roads they would be traveling, as the deer are running.

It left me in a quiet house with a lot of time to ponder. My gay best friend - yup he will come and sit with me by the fire pit. He and I can debate, etc. And he gives really good hugs. He is a friend in my inner circle. Not necessarily in my innermost, but he is darn close. He needs me right now too. I know that. The isolation and his own break up a few years back has him in a weird place. And he and I are not people that need lots of friends. He is very much like me.

The kids, before they left, came in and gave me a hug and said that they were glad to see me hanging out with my friend. They know the reality. Then they told me that they know it still is not the same as having a special someone. And that is true. I don't want to be like my other friend who is breaking up with her boyfriend because she doesn't have time. Her life is out of balance the other way right now. I know she will figure it out, but at what cost?

IDK - I think today, the reality I am seeing is I like sharing my life, but I am not comfortable letting anyone into my life. I will never be one to just let anyone come to my house and open myself up to sharing those aspects. It is how I am wired. It is about instinct, a connection and a trust I cannot explain.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#110: October 18, 2020, 08:21:35 PM
S had told me that he was annoyed with Xh, in that his F hadn't made any plans and floated that idea out there about the trip, but then nothing more was said. S is one who will go on spontaneous trips, that is not it, but he already thought this one was rather foolhardy and was pretty sure the only reason he was asked to go along was to share the driving. When Xh hand't mentioned it again, S was pretty adamant about not going even if his F called and said the trip was on. S said it is not fair of his F to just spring these things on people and then get ticked when other plans are made.

S spent the entire weekend working on his homework and then the rest of the time helping my F reorganize his studio and clean out some things around my parent's house. He was so happy to be up working along side my F. My M clucked over him all day long it would seem.

The kids came home at a reasonable hour last night and D was in a really good mood today for the first part of the morning. Her plan was to work on her homework and then to cook all day, as it was rather cool outside. She had asked me a few weeks ago about a soup I used to make that my F loves and it was a soup that his great aunt used to make in Belgium. I told her I had a recipe for it, but finding chervil was going to be difficult. I used to use fresh, but the plant I tried to grow this summer did not survive. On one of her grocery trips, she had found at a farmer's market a Dutch woman who happened to have dried chervil. And today, D realized that I have a rather extensive collection of family recipes and some other cookbooks she has never explored. She was so inspired, she was going to make a full meal for S and I. His GF was working today and D's BF is super picky. She made him his Sunday Mac n Cheese.

As she spent her day cooking, I decided to go out and tackle the second coat of paint on the lean to. I haven't been able to finish it between other things going on and the weather not always cooperating. I was cutting in the trim when D came out. I was mixing the paint and had moved the old windows out of the way. I had destroyed the rotted ones, but the 4 remaining ones were in decent shape and I had planned on putting them by the roadside. People like those windows for projects, etc. The windows would take on a much different fate.

D was teary eyed and visible upset. I stopped and asked what was wrong. She said her F had texted her and said "how are you? Miss you". I waited to see if she was wanting me to say something or if she was going to tell me what was going through her head. I could feel myself tensing up, because I saw the pain in her eyes. She said that she hasn't heard from him since June. Now he just texts this and she did answer him after some time, saying she was very busy. She said that was really the extent of the conversation. She is hurt, she is angry and she is now confused. She told me she really doesn't know how to feel because she said it is more of the same. He never gets past this part or he never addresses any of the silence. He just texts after weeks of nothing and if she answers clearly in his mind, they can just forget there is a huge elephant in the room. She wants a relationship with her F, but this is really very manipulative in her eyes. She doesn't trust it.

I wanted to tell her I understood, and it is really probably gaslighting and all the other crazy things that this version of the man we once knew is capable of. But, the truth is, I don't entirely understand how she feels. I experienced it as a spouse, but I have never had a parent or loved one treat me this way. Instead, I asked her how she felt about how she handled it and I told her only she can decide what is right for her. I told her that my experience has always been when the actions match the words then you can start to let your guard down. I told her I was so sorry she has to endure this and gave her a  hug. She smiled and wiped away the tears and said she was not going to let her F ruin her plans for the day. She went back in and focused on her meal plan. I popped in briefly to see her happily chopping up vegetables and singing to music.

I went back outside and put my paint brush down for a bit. I found a large piece of plastic sheeting and an oversized cardboard box that I was going to recycle originally. The sheeting I put up against the lean to wall and under the box which was on the ground. I then gathered up some rocks and placed my first window in the box, standing upright. I took out my anger at Xh for being such an idiot by taking aim at those remaining windows. With the shatter of each pane, I felt the negative energy leave my body. I knew I could not fix the situation, but the desire to call Xh and tell him to get his $h!te together and actually be a F was overwhelming. I knew that was a bad idea, as the MLCer would use it in some way to be the victim and play the kids against one another or who knows what. I have had enough experience to know that at least right now, Xh is still not anywhere near cooked.

My neighbor came over and started laughing at me. He asked right away what did the idiot do now. I laughed and asked if I have some type of reputation going on I didn't know about. He laughed and said that no, but that was pure aggravation coming out of me with each pane being shattered, and I am usually very cheerful and he has only seen me this level of upset when Xh has done something that is just beyond comprehension. He knows the dynamic and when I told him that Xh finally contacted D today, he shook his head and said that the man has clearly lost his mind. He then had to ask about my set up. I laughed and said that I wasn't totally reactionary today. I stopped and considered the fact that if I just started smashing all those window panes, I would have to pick up all of the glass shards and that would lead to me cutting myself and then I would be more aggravated. I told him it was too bad he showed up when I had already knocked all the glass out, as I would have let him take his turn - it was really very satisfying.  ::)

I cleaned up my mess and decided to paint the back wall with a brush, which was the slowest way to go about it. I didn't care. I needed the mindless activity and to be outside. I could have gotten more projects done, but I needed to just get that gnawing feeling to go away.

I spent too much time in my head - that I know. But, it was okay. I didn't come up with answers for myself, and probably have way more questions that surfaced, but maybe it is necessary. In some ways it helped shake out some of these cobwebs that have formed during this isolation with Covid.

I was cleaning my brushes when S came in. He shook his head in utter disgust. So, he asked me if I remembered that whole motorcycle falling off the trailer fiasco. I laughed and said that was rather memorable, so yeah. Well, he said it doesn't matter that the engine mount is broken, because Xh failed to tell S that part of the reason he wanted it gone was because the engine is toast. Seems, Xh is still in his MLC vehicle maintenance mode -that is, if a light comes on, or you have an older vehicle, things like gas and checking the oil are pretty important. Seems, Xh hadn't been keeping an eye on the oil in the motorcycle and it was in his way, since he couldn't drive it any longer. I shook my head thinking how very thoughtful of Xh to offer it to S and not inform him, that by the way, it is going to need a complete rebuild first.

I let it go when S mentioned he heard I had practice pitching this afternoon. I smiled and said I did and it was really fun. I told him the frames are on the pile ready for that giant bonfire we need to have soon.

He asked if I had another large box anywhere. I don't, but then he realized he has a truck part being delivered. He asked if we could set up another window shattering "booth". S knows where some old windows are and he said he thinks he and D should try my smash therapy. I told him to have at it. There are worse things they could be doing. LOL
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#111: October 18, 2020, 10:52:07 PM
I had to nod sadly in recognition again; my D got literally exactly the same text from my former H after months and months of silence, and she responded/responds in exact the same way as you describe your D doing.  I perhaps have a little more experience of parents not being around, but it's still so painful to see.  My D just looked at the phone and said "I want him to mean it".  She's a bit older and has been having this for longer, so she really doesn't trust it at all.  She recently got another text along those lines from him, again after no contact since something like June, and just didn't respond.  She says that every time she had tried to talk to him he just "shut her down", and it ended up as an argument, and she just didn't want that.  She feels, and I'm afraid that she probably is right, that "he just doesn't think about me at all". 

Sometimes she has responded just with a few words, saying she is busy, just like you describe your D doing; this last time she just didn't at all.  The whole situation upsets her; she says she wants to respond so that he "doesn't get angry", and we have the conversation about how she can't control how he responds, but that she can only control what she herself does. 

I've never told her what to say, but I have asked what she would like as an outcome, i.e. if she would like the text conversation to continue, or something else, and so far she so often just feels confused.  It's so hard to stand there and watch it, and on top of that to find that my own emotions about it come back. 

The only positive is that it makes us, that is me and the kids, have the difficult conversations that I hope will teach them to be open and honest, and not bury feelings, which I hope will hold them in good stead in life..... 

They do also know how I feel, which is something I've been able to carefully say as they have become older, always treading the fine line between letting them now and burdening them with it, being careful not to do the latter.  This is the part where I can't protect them from it all, and it seems better to explain why I feel certain things than just pretending it's all OK. 

Thinking of you through all this. 



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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#112: October 19, 2020, 03:06:28 AM
So, D got a "drive-by dad'ing" .... Lovely.....  >:(

And S gets a hunk of metal that may or may not cost more in rebuilds/repairs than it is worth when fixed?

xH really IS trying to destroy any and all last vestiges of good will form the kids, isn't he..... ::)



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Me - 57, xW - 50
Together 19 years - Married 17 at separation & 21 at D-Day
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Divorce final 30 August 2019

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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#113: October 19, 2020, 04:53:37 PM
The social worker at hospice once suggested going to the thrift store, buying a bunch of china, and then heaving it against a wall- to deal with dysfunctional family stuff. So, you did DIY therapy, kudos.

Your ex is pathetic in how he treats the kids. I don´t know your D´s sense of humor but when he asks how she´s doing, maybe say that she got an elephant pooper scooper on sale for Prime Day.
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#114: October 21, 2020, 07:23:56 PM
Trustandlove - It is so difficult to watch it unfold with the kids. And, the emotions do bubble up for me as well. They aren't full blown triggers anymore, but the old wounds get poked.

UsraMajor - yes, a "drive-by dad'ing" is about it. There was nothing more after that text.

As for the motorcycle - isn't that nice? You think he might have mentioned it to S beforehand, but clearly he was looking to ditch it. S will either repair it or he is smart enough to parts it out and that particular bike is one that people look for the original parts for and it is almost impossible to get replacement parts period.

Forthetrees - yes, I once thought about doing a fundraiser for the college student Art Club where we would sell tickets to smash plates and then afterwards they could make mosaics from them. With Covid, it never got off the ground, but I must admit, the window smashing was probably a better thing than calling and ranting at Xh.

D has a very funny sense of humor and can be kind, but she can also be almost a searing wit if pushed. She would have a smile on her face saying something like that to Xh.

The day after the great window smashing was awful. Both kids were feeling the effects of Xh's antics. It made D anxious. S was annoyed with the whole motorcycle thing. I left for a walk midday and came home to find out both kids were at each other's throats. Something I am not used to. They so rarely fight. They are wired very differently and are not alike, but they have always been so close, much like my sister and I. I walked in to hear a whole slew of lies Xh has told S yet again and clearly S was trying to make sense of it all. I just stood there and bit my tongue.

I realized I needed to step back and let them work it out, but also I needed to not inject myself at that moment, because the situation needed to be diffused first before there was any rational discussion. And, I didn't want to necessarily address all of the BS I heard, because in reality, I know S knows that Xh is lying and he didn't need me behaving like MIL and FIL. I realized that MIL and FIL always did the state their side of the story to win. I don't want to win. I want peace and I want the kids to see the truth on their own. It is not that I want to shelter them as such. That is not it. They know I will be brutally honest if need be, but I was not about to get out the divorce decree and show them line by line the ugly realities. D figured it out on her own and so will S. And, if asked, I will be honest.

I did address each kid individually afterwards and we talked. To add to the insanity, D's college tuition bill was messed up somehow and her college had a surge in Covid cases. By today, they were completely remote for the remainder of the semester.

Nothing went right on Monday at all and I kept trying to find the little glimmer of something to hold on to. And there were moments. Just enough to push me through.

Quietly, I have been witnessing S letting more of Xh go. I am not gloating, that is not it. I am grateful, only in the sense that right now, that needs to happen if Xh keeps on this path. Both kids need to protect themselves from his continued monster antics.

S had inherited a huge amount of things from eldest BIL. Most of the items Xh kept telling S at the time that S needed to keep them because that BIL is not in the best of health. The truth was, Xh was wanting to hold onto all of these things. The problem is, so many of the things had no connection for S. They held no meaning for him and he is not into sports cards, or comic books, etc. There was a collection of old vinyl 45's. Among tons of other things, as BIL is an avid collector of all sorts of things.

So, S came to me today to let me know he had offers on the 45's. He was on his way to work, but would I mind dealing with the person who was coming to look at them. So, I sold the records for S today. S asked me if I knew of anyone who deals in comic books and sports memorabilia that is on the up and up. I do. I asked why and he said that he is getting rid of the things that don't mean anything to him. He has the items that he holds dear, but someone else should love these things.

I know if Xh found out, he would blow a gasket. My guess is S is getting to that point where he too wants to purge the MLC things form his life, as those were all possessions he acquired during that time. The things S is keeping are pre MLC from BIL and from Xh.

It took some time for the kids to get back to their "normal" with one another. I knew things were better when I was met with velociraptors ganging up on me while I poured my coffee this morning. They were back working in tandem, which is a good thing. ;)
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#115: October 22, 2020, 08:32:23 AM
Possession is 9/10ths of the law and xH has had ample time to reclaim the stuff if he was really interested. Since he didn't, it defaults to S to whom it was given and S can do with it what he likes....

xH no longer has a dog in that hunt so if he blows a gasket, he can blow it on his own dime, his own time, and his own place....

Basta....
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Re: Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#116: October 22, 2020, 10:47:43 AM
Possession is 9/10ths of the law and xH has had ample time to reclaim the stuff if he was really interested. Since he didn't, it defaults to S to whom it was given and S can do with it what he likes....

xH no longer has a dog in that hunt so if he blows a gasket, he can blow it on his own dime, his own time, and his own place....

Basta....

You - know, UrsaMajor, it is funny, as I was having this conversation with my sister last night.

My sister mentioned my nephew asked how long ago Xh left. It has been nearly 4 1/2 years now that he officially moved out. I only remember that date so vividly because it was only 3 days after S graduated from high school. In truth, Xh moved out and on way before that, as he had already been spending time planning and working on his dream cottage months before.

My sister suddenly put together that the year before BD#1, Xh had started really pulling away. Looking back, she realized that prior Christmas Eve day, Xh left right after my grandmother's funeral. He didn't stay with the family even for a cup of coffee - he had to run out to have lunch with a friend. Of course, now we know it was OW he was meeting.

We were recounting that day. The weather was unseasonably warm and Xh was not a comfort to me or the kids at all. And the thing is, he had adored my grandmother. The kids - they wanted to spend the morning with family and then we were to go shopping, as we had done for years. We had gotten into the tradition of going Christmas Eve and going to a small town, where we would just go in the small shops. We would maybe find a few items, but the day was about just taking in the Christmas music. Sleigh rides going down Main Street. Drinking hot chocolate and then having a mid afternoon snack at the Chinese restaurant - because their kids loved the egg rolls and dumplings.

Instead, Xh ran off. S stayed behind with my F, because he knew my F would especially appreciate the company. D and I, decided to hold to tradition. On our way to the city, we had a flat tire and had to wait for the emergency service to come and help me change the tire because Xh had taken the jack out of the car. So, D and I waited for over an hour. I had called Xh to let him know, and his response was one of "oh well". But that was the MLCer response. He was too busy wooing OW at that point.

Last night, my sister said she could not believe that we really are coming up on the sixth holiday season since Xh really went off the rails. And it is hard to fathom. Six years ago, I was just watching and hoping Xh would snap out of it.

I don't want to be mean and bitter. But, the whole possession being 9/10ths of the law is in fact where I am at with some of these things.

Xh's wedding ring - he grumbled about me giving him that back. I had worn it along with my own for years, when Xh found it was dangerous to wear when he was working on his many woodworking and mechanical projects. He tried to strong-arm me for it after the divorce, wanting a piece of artwork in exchange. I left the ring for him on top of a pile of mail that was still being delivered to the house in his name at that point. He couldn't miss it. He left the ring, and took the mail. So, that sits in my jewelry box along with some pieces his M gave me that really are not things the kids will want, nor will I wear. I am at the point where I am thinking of contacting a jeweler I know to have something made from the multiple pieces instead.

I haven't worn my ring in a long time now. I had been wearing it on my right hand, only because I really love the ring and it is not a traditional wedding ring. I didn't wear it out of some longing. I just quit wearing it around January. Whether or not I will ever wear it again - who knows. It doesn't get me all nostalgic - that I know.

As for the other things that S is getting rid of - I am happy to see S letting go of these boxes of things that are meaningless to him. Some hold some value and he is not just throwing them out. He is being mindful that not only will they potentially bring money, but that there are people who love these things. My BIL put a lot of time and effort into building these collections, but in some ways, I am not so sure my BIL did it because he himself loved them - I think he liked collecting different things.

Xh might get all butt hurt - oh well. I keep coming back to the fact that he in fact has been officially gone since the summer of 2016. He has only spent one night here since then and that was only because his car broke down that night. He slept in the basement media room that night and he was not happy about it. I am thinking he has had more than enough time to request "his" things. And based on S's comments recently, Xh is wanting to erase this part of his life.

When my M made some comment the other day about maybe I would like to store some of the things in their garage storage area for the kids, I asked her why. She is feeling compassionate towards Xh, knowing he is a mess. I get that - truly. Been there. And I still have moments where I do know he is a hot mess, but I asked her what she did when my grandfather passed away - did she keep everything? She was confused at first with my line of questioning. She said that of course they didn't keep everything, as they needed some closure and to move on. I told her to start thinking of it as I have - I have accepted the man I was married to is dead - he no longer exists and I am just making room in my life for something and potentially someone else, because he is not coming back. Even if he wanted to, I am no longer wanting him in my life in that manner. I don't see it any longer and I am okay with that.
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Every storm runs out of rain - 3
#117: October 22, 2020, 03:43:14 PM


No other words needed.....
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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 - 3
#118: October 23, 2020, 01:54:11 PM
UrsaMajor - That sums up how I feel, but IDK if that is how I would react.

I had a dream about Xh showing up and doing just as FIL did with MIL and telling her years later that it was a mistake and he never should have left her. It was an upsetting dream, because I saw the pain in Xh's eyes. The problem was I didn't feel that way any longer about him, but I also didn't like the idea of hurting him the way he had hurt me. And, it was not a dream where I went back with him, etc. There was no doubt I didn't want him to return.

I woke up before there was any resolution, etc. In some ways the feelings were those of knowing who I am to my core. I can spit and sputter. I can be brutal in my wit and am not a saint, but I am not one to be outright mean to people. Even when someone crosses me, I struggle protecting myself because it might mean I have to pull out areas of my personality that I am not terribly fond of. Scorch the earth, fire breathing MourningDove takes a lot out of me. But, once I am there, I will admit, I am done. And, maybe that is why I don't pull that out very often - it is the point of no return. My stubborn side kicks into gear.

Today, I so wanted to play hooky from work. It had rained all day yesterday, so the leaves on the ground were wet. The sun was battling the clouds this morning and produced the most dramatic lighting this morning. I knew it was going to be warm today, when I had been outside last night and a heavy fog was rolling in. The air was warm this morning, and the sun won the battle, making the air that much warmer. They had predicted low 70's but the thermometer is hovering right below 80.

On my way to work, I took the long way. I could smell the sweet smell of the corn that has yet to be harvested. It is a very specific smell in the fall with the golden stalks drying out. And the leaves, while many had fallen off the trees last night in the storm we had at dinner time, were glistening in the sunlight. The colors were so intense.

I took a turn onto a tree lined avenue in the city and so wanted to park my car and walk all day long. But, I am a responsible adult with bills to pay - Boo. LOL

The morning was busy and it had quieted down a little when the phone rang. I answered it and spoke to a family member of the artist who had past away last week. I was very honest with her and brought up some things that I would want to be assured of as an artist, and a family member. And before I hung up, she wanted to thank me for being so thoughtful and professional about it as well - it made her feel good about not worrying about this particular component, as they were dealing with an awful lot already.

My boss came in shortly thereafter and I updated her on the situation. She smiled and told me she was glad I was the one that took the call and knows she can count on me to represent her business in the most professional manner.

Maybe I needed to hear that this morning. This week, I have struggled keeping those "less than" feelings at bay. I am not sure why they have bubbled up, other than feeling a little overwhelmed with the drama from earlier in the week combined with just going through the motions some days. It has been a work of having to deal with being a responsible adult and this adult really needs a break from that role. I have been doing my "homework" and making time for myself, but I so need a true break.

D called and she stopped at the house to walk the dog. She is back at her BF's for the night. S is working late. I am considering my options. My sister called and said I could meet her to watch my niece's field hockey game. I begged off. I really don't want to do that tonight. I am really thinking I want to go home and put some music on and go light a fire in the fire pit for the evening. Maybe I will even dance under the white twinkle lights on the deck.  :)
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