Books Read in 2015

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Gator Bait

Laura's favorite books »

Sunday, July 26, 2015

I'm Doing What Now? Am I Crazy? (That is a rhetorical question!)

     I am doing something I haven't had the courage to do in over ten years.  I am trying to get off my depression meds.  I originally was put on Effexor for Postpartum Depression six weeks after my daughter was born.  She is ten and a half now.  In that time, my depression got worse, my meds changed, my husband cheated on me, emotionally abused me and worse.

     Now I am divorced, I found a job that I love, and I am in a relationship that is going well.  I'm happy!  I can honestly say overall I am happy.  Sure at the moment I have no money, I actually have negative money.  That sucks but it isn't crippling.  I am having medical issues, hopefully it won't end up as cancer.  As of now it is just abnormal cells and bleeding.  Again it sucks, but I am still happy.

     So I went to my doctor and I got my dosage of Cymbalta reduced.  Hopefully I can start skipping doses in a few weeks and eventually not take them at all.   I have to see the doctor more, but hey I have medical issues anyway and I actually like my doctor.

      The only drawback is the side effects.  When I don't take my
meds, and that has happened occasionally, my brain feels mushy.  That is an odd description and the only way I can explain it is to imagine your brain is made of Play-Doh.  Then think about how it would feel to have someone slowly massage and squish it.  I'm not real dizzy, but it almost a dizzy feeling.  Honestly what I am looking for the most in never feeling that again!

     Only I would pick the time in my life when I have no money, going through a medical scare, and my boyfriend living an hour and a half a way so I hardly see him, to ween myself off depression meds.  I guess I really will know if I still suffer from depression or have learned and used skills to be free of it.

      Summer is half over so if I want to be off it by the time work starts again I have to do this now.  So wish me luck.  I need it.  And if you happen to know a millionaire looking for a girlfriend send them my way.  I can always hire my boyfriend as a poorboy.  I am sure he would understand.  Hopefully we will be in the Florida, Keys as well.  It never hurts to have a dream, lol!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My New Beginnings Hit a Snag!

     You find out who your real friends are when you need help.  When your best friend contacts you upset because he can't help you, you know she is your friend.  She listened to me.  She let me vent and she helped me calm down and realize it will eventually be all right.  I hope she reads this and knows hoe much I value our friendship.  I have known her almost my whole life and can't imagine my life without her.  Financial hep is needed but so is emotional.  Thank you for being there for me and I understand.

     Then another friend offers to buy me groceries.  Bright and early in the morning, when I function the least, lol.   She asked me to make a list and don't be stingy.  It is nice to know that I will have food to last me for a while.

     Members of my family, by choice, they have been there for me through so much and I hope I have been there for them when they needed me, insisted on helping me financially and wouldn't take no for an answer.    They put money in my purse and made sure I took it.  I still am not out the hole I made for myself.  But because of their help with money and food again I am 1/3 closer to the minimum I need and  I have less to worry about.

     When I got home tonight I found three more rejection emails from recent job interviews.  I figure I'll just keep applying and eventually someone will need more for the hours I am available or I will finally get my own classroom.

     I still have a ways to get out of this hole that I dig for myself.  I finally looked at my bank balance and it is very negative.  Plus they fine me $6.99 everyday I don't get it above zero.  Funny when I was at zero they closed my account before I could add ore making my payday four days late.

     But when I don't have money to add they keep the account open and keep taking out $6.99 a day basically twisting the knife.  I'm a third of the way of getting my back on track again.  It feels good to know It I am doing all I can to get it back up to positive numbers.

    My ex would be all over this telling me I was stupid and irresponsible toilet it get this bad.  And he would keep telling me it over and over again until I would be in tears.  I don't need his help to feel upset I already am.

     I did start a GoFundMe account for help.  I have had someone give to that account.  I am so grateful.  My friends who help with emotional support and food I am grateful to as well.  I have five more interviews scheduled next week.  My etsy shop is almost ready to open.  I collect pop cans to  get those  precious nickels back.  I even pick up the pennies from the road.  99 more and you get a dollar.

     I will be helping my brother with a garage sale in a few weeks and hope I can see some of my things to help me close the gap even more.

     Thank you everyone who has directly helped me, emotionally, with food or financially.  I am eternally grateful.  I have always made it a point to pay it forward when I could and now people are paying it forward to me.  I really appreciate it.  You all are amazing friends and I love you all so much.

     If you can't help me on GoFundMe please consider sharing the url for it to others.

My New Beginnings Hit a Snag

     That is my daughter's art work that made it into her school's art show.  She is a wonderful artist.

I love you all!  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Kitten Therapy

     I'm so tired.  It sounds like I am giving up when I say that.  I have gone through so much with him and whenever I think it is as bad as it is going to get it gets worse.  I think to myself, I divorced him, I'm free!  But I'm not.  I still have to interact with him.  We have children and he will say whatever he wants to in front of them.

     Full disclosure I don't make a lot of money in the summer.  He has primary custody of the kids because he won't give me any money. (That's right almost 18 years of marriage and he gives me NOTHING!)  I don't make a lot and he makes more so he has the kids.  I have them 50% of the time, but he pays for the food and medical for them.

      We have a new kitten,  she stays at my house.  They kids had two cats at my exes house, Butterscotch and Simba.  They had them from kittens.  They bottle fed them.  They raised them.  Butterscotch ran away, got lost or worse.  I hope another family took him in.  He was such a friendly cat.  I offered to get another kitten.  At first the ex said no.  So I stopped.  Then one day my daughter calls and is excited.  Daddy is letting them get the kitten.  So I make the arrangements.  She was living in another state, A friend needed a home for her.  It was all set then I found out he was going to send Simba to the SPCA.  I was furious.  I already committed to the kitten.  Sure I could back out.  Floyd is a friend he wouldn't stop being friends with me over a kitten.  But who gives their kids a choice between a kitten and a seven year old cat they raised knowing what would happen to that adult cat at the SPCA.  They are not a no kill shelter.  So I have the kitten at my house and I love her.  I think she is good for me.  Kitty therapy is fantastic.  Look at her.  She is adorable.  Her name is Munchkin Jelly Simberscotch.

     Okay I have the kitten, I don't make money in the summer, and yes I have applied for many many jobs.  The houses I am available they don't want me.  The houses they want me for I am not available.  The kids want to spend time with the kitten since their father won't allow the kitten at their house so they come to mine.

    He is supposed to provide the food for the kids.  I get them at 2:30 so I assumed that was dinner and a snack.  Turns out they don't wake up until after noon and he doesn't always feed them before they come see me.  They only bring one meal with them.  And they are hungry.  When I mention this to my ex he gets mad at me because I don't make enough to feed them.

     That was part of the divorce agreement.  He had custody of the kids and he was responsible for the food, even if they were visiting me.  I find out he is making them dinner at 1 am in the morning when he gets them home after he picks them up at my place.

     Then he tells the kids that he wants the leftovers brought back to his house.  I assume he wants to be sure that I don't eat anything.  I can't believe I married him.  The thing is if I didn't know he was the same man I married I wouldn't believe it.  They say men don't change.  That is bull!  They don't change into what you want them to be but they can and will change and it isn't always for the better.

     Tonight though he was plane hurtful.  There was an issue where he may have hit my landlady's new car.  He was livid that he didn't do it.  But still we checked.   Then because he was mad he told me how my family thinks I am a bitch and they always tell him that this is just how I am.  I am not perfect.  I don't get along with everyone in my family.  But when he mentioned one family member in particular it hurt.  And I know he did it on purpose.

     It was late so I didn't call the person.  I knew my ex said wasn't accurate. I needed to talk to the person though.  I was hurt and I needed to talk.  Luckily we are cut from the same cloth and both night owls.  We texted, because I was in tears and talking wasn't a possibility.  He assured me it was my ex being hurtful.  I knew it, but I let him get to me.

     And yes I texted my ex back.

God damnit. I am tired of you making me cry and making me feel like I'm less of a human. 

After 18 years of marriage you gave me nothing!  

You selfish bastard if you think you can take away what I have left.  

I have a job. I love my job how dare you tel me to get another job. You have NO say in my life anymore. 

You think I'm a baby. Guess what I just am in touch with my feelings and emotions you should try it sometime. 

You hurt me!  Does that even bother you a little bit. What you say has an effect on me. And the kids hear it. And they ask questions. 

Think before you speak to me. I was your wife. At one point you must have cared for me. So show me some respect. 

If you can't then don't talk to me at all. 

And keep my family out of it. Don't talk to me about any member of my family. You do it to hurt me and I won't allow it. 

You have no more control over me. Get used to it!

     Of course he had to answer.  

Again you take things to literal. If I say you should get a part time job you take it as if I am ordering you when in fact it's just an opinion. You get mad at the drop of a hat so when you raise your voice I do too. You go overboard over everything. And you forget I have assisted you with your bank and gave you gas for your car and you act like I gave you nothing. I'm not controlling your life but you blame me if I give my opinion and call it control.  If you choose to cry and feel sorry for yourself and your bad luck that's on you not me. Good night my phone is turning off now.

     I was a bit spiteful when I answered him.  One of my pet peeves is people who don't use paragraphs.  It is very hard to read when it is just one long blurb of words.  

Seriously learn to use paragraphs. Do you know how hard it is to read what you write?  

Do you honesty think I haven't applied for part time work!  Guess what hours they want me to work?  Evenings. 

You have given me almost nothing. Most husbands do the honorable thing especial when they were caught cheating and offer their ex wife some financial help. 

Not you. $20 a week for the summer was all I asked. I am more than reasonable. Nips not you. But somehow that is my fault. 

My bad luck is on you. I had the bad luck to marry a cheater.  That was 100% your fault. You emotionally abused me. That is not my imagination. There are numerous witnesses.  

If you give an opinion to be hurtful that is a problem. If you don't know if it is hurtful think before you speak.  If you are unsure don't say it. 

At least I do cry. That shows I'm a human. I'm humane and I understand emotions. I don't think you have any and if you do you have no idea how to use them. 

You are not a nice person.  

     So here I am a wreck.  And I get to see him twice more before the weekend.  Hopefully we will not speak.  I would prefer that.  Worse it looks like I was the one who scratched my landladies car.  That is what started all the dialog today.  

     I'm emotional exhausted and need a vacation, but I am a single mom who has her children 50% of the time and love them.  I am a one on one teacher to a child who is improving every day.  I have responsibilities.  I can't even afford a vacation if I could afford to take time off, so I muddle through and have kitten therapy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This is Me!

     My ex often tells me I am a loser, no one would want me, I am a slob, and I am the reason for all our problems.  I don't listen to any of it anymore.  I left him, moved out, in December 2014.  Since then I have had dated several other men.  Four that I would call relationships.  Of those four I am still in contact and on friendly terms with all of them.  In fact many that I dated will still chat with me and still are very friendly with me.  None of them ended badly, we just didn't fit well together.  None of them ended because of arguing or abuse.  None of them had issues with me being a slob.

     The only relationship I was in that involved abuse, a bad ending and any negativity was my marriage.  Before I met him I hadn't really dated many guys.  I think he was my second serious relationship.  So I didn't have a lot to compare him too.  And honestly for the first few years he worshipped the ground I walked on.

     Now that I have dated other guys I know it wasn't me.  We all hear it when people talk to you about the abuser.  They say it wasn't you.  And you listen and understand it.  But when you finally know it and believe it, it is such an A-Ha moment.

I am with someone now who treats me like a queen.  He is attentive and there for me.  Such a difference from my ex-husband, even during our good years.  I am happy and I hope this lasts.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

What is Courage?

What is Courage?  noun cour·age \ˈkər-ij, ˈkə-rij\
: the ability to do something that you know is difficult or dangerous

     There seems to be an issue with this word lately. I can only hope that people start to understand that just because you don't like what a person chose to do, or if you don't agree with it or their life style that doesn't make that person less courageous. In fact, the more people who have issue with something a person does, I think lends credence to the fact that what they did was courageous. We are all courageous in many ways every day.
    You don't need to have battled cancer to be courageous. Nor do you have to have been a soldier. You can be a student who stands up to a bully, a woman who finally looks someone in the eyes and stands up for herself. A man who saves a animal from abuse. It is taking that first step.  Dressing yourself for the first time and trying again when you get it wrong.  It is being friends with someone because you like them even though others do not.  It take courage to try a new food, or to try a new religion that appeals to you.  It takes a lot of courage to do it in front of the world.  It is being you!

     If you find it difficult to do and do it, then you are courageous. There is no measurement for what is courageous except what you believe and allow yourself to accomplish. If you don't believe a person did something courageous keep it to yourself. Courage is personal to the one doing the action, not the one witnessing it. You are not them and you do not know how they view the world.  Nor do they view the world as you do.
     If someone is getting an award for their courage and you don't agree they should receive it, or think someone else is more deserving, it is more than acceptable to start your own award for recognition of courage.
     But if another agency that you are not part of chooses to recognize someones courage they are allowed to as well.  It is impossible for everyone in the world to agree on who should receive a single award.  Courage is not something that can be measure equally by everyone because we are all individual with our own set of life experiences and schema.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

Such a Long Hard Day and then Happiness

My son had his spring concert this week, I found out about it from my ex on the day before the concert, luckily I was able to make it.  He even saved a seat for me up front so I would be able to see and record it.  It meant I had to sit next to him but I figured we were in public so...

The same day, same time and in the same building my daughter had three pieces in the school district's art show.  At first my ex suggested I go to one and he go to the other, I guess not realizing they were just a few dozen feet apart from each other.   Though he insisted that he go to our son's concert no matter what.  That upset me a little because he seemed to brush aside our daughter accomplishments by saying that.  Eventually I got him to understand that we could do both, even if not on the same night the art show was a two day event.

P did great in the concert, the precision ensemble that his is part of got to play the piece they won first place with at a recent competition.  It was long, almost two hours and the order of the concert was not as written so I admit I was a bit exasperated when it was over.  It was a long day for me and I had been up and busy since 6 am.  It was not almost 8 pm and I wanted to see B's pics in the art show which was supposed to be over at 8 pm.

 We had to pick up P first and the ex seemed to not be able to figure out how to leave the auditorium.  I saw some parents I hadn't seen in a while and mingled a little as we waited for P.  Then when my guard was down my ex decided to nag me about a bill I was supposed t pay the weekend I was mugged.

Now this is a school district I work in.  Many of the students in the hallway are students I have taught.  Many of the parents in the hallway are parents of students I am teaching.  They see me and point me out to their parents.  That is my substitute teacher they say and they are happy to see me.  When I am at my children's school I consider myself to be on the job.  It is not the time or place to talk to me about a bill that I told him two weeks ago I wouldn't be able to pay because I was mugged.  I needed another paycheck.  He said he understood.

It is not the time or place to say loudly that I am inconsiderate because I work enough that I should be able to pay a bill.  It is not a time or place to have an argument with me about paying bills.  I asked him to stop and saw happily that the door to the art show was still open and I could go in.  I had hoped he would drop it because we were going to be looking at our daughter's art work.  I should have known better.

So I go in, our daughter is giddy with excitement.  She shows us her clay monster and he is still going on about the phone bill and how he is going to shut the phone off and switch companies because I won't pay the $40.00.  I know that I would get paid in just two days and I can pay it then, but he has no interest in what I can do.  Only in what I didn't do.  I try to focus on B's second art piece, beautiful pumpkins.  She is telling me all about it and I have to try to tune out my exes nagging so I can hear her.

Finally I see her last piece, "Kitty World" and she is so proud.  I want to be able to focus entirely on her, but my son is complain that he wants to go home, my ex is calling me horrible things in front of my students.  I hug her and tell her how proud I am, I hug P and tell him his concert was wonderful and say I have to go.  I remind P I am picking him up on Saturday for a sleep over at my place and he adds the final nail to a horrible fifteen minutes and tells me he doesn't want to sleep at my house.  I know it is Aspergers and the fact that he is 12 but I can't take any more and I rush out of there fighting back the tears.

When I get to my car I can't stop the tears anymore and I cry almost all the way home.  I get there and collapse on the couch and manage to talk to the people I live with.  They listen to me and offer me some comfort.  I need to just curl up in a ball and sleep so I get my mail and go to bed.  One envelope is which is thicker than the others.  It is from my exes lawyer.  I don't want to open it, assuming it is just another delay to our divorce.  But I do...

I am DIVORCED!  After a horrible time with my ex, where once again he reminded me why I left him I find out that I am no longer his wife!  I am single!  I am free!  Pure joy!  Happiness!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Don't Protect the Abuser

Right now there is something amazing going on.  A family that has been on tv in a series and a few specials for their religious beliefs has been thrown into a scandal.  People are feuding over it.  Friendships are being tested.  Lines are being drawn.  It seems that the eldest son admitted to molesting five female children when he was a teenager.  He publicly admitted it.  He was not arrested.  He stepped down form his family centered job and apologized to the world.

Is that enough?  I don't think so.  He may be in the spotlight now and this may be the topic we are debating now.  But what about next month, next year or the next decade?  Can what happen help keep possible future victims safe?  What if his first victim spoke up and the family didn't try to hide it.  Enough reports are coming to light that seem to say the family did something to keep this from going to prosecution.  Would his future victims have been saved?  I have no idea.

But maybe we can learn something from this.  STOP PROTECTING THE ABUSER.  I did it with my ex.  I did it with my father.  I won't do it again.  So join me.  Don't protect the abuser.  Yes, terrible things happened to the victim.  But it wasn't their fault.  It was something done to them.  Don't shelter the abuser because you want to protect the victim.  If you are a victim stand up for your self.  I wish I did.  I don't know what would have changed had I left earlier than I did.  It helped when I knew I had people to help me stand up for myself.  It helped knowing people were behind me and they knew I was a victim.

If you are being abused, sexually, physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially or anyway don't
protect your abuser let others know.  Please if you know someone is being abused offer to help them, REPORT them to the police or any authorities.  We need to take a stand against abuse.  We have to do it now!  No one deserves to be abused!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

I was Mugged!

Back Story...

A few weeks ago I slipped on the ice walking into work.  Yes, I live in an area where winter never seems to go away!  I hurt my left arm, my back on my left side and my left pinky.  The arm and back felt better in a couple days, but my pinky would hurt on and off.  I would forget about it and then it would hurt.  I would be fine then OUCH!!!!

Fast forward a few weeks, about 5 or 6 and my 12 year old son and I were having fun.  He is very ticklish and adorable when I tickle him.  VERY ticklish! So of course occasionally I take advantage of it and we were having fun.  Then he jammed my left pinky and OMG!!!!  PAIN!!!  Then a POP!!!  A noise that was loud and accompanied the pain.  The pain didn't go away and I called my doctor.  We made an appointment for me to get my finger X-rayed.  He had me tape my pinky and ring finger together. Urgent care wouldn't help.

So I went to the doctor's and he told me I had a hairline fracture that was about 5 weeks old.  Bonus I also had a sprain.  So into a splint I went and my finger is in semi-constant pain.  Not enough to warrant pain killers just enough to be slightly annoying.

Second Back Story...

I never take cash out of the bank.  Well, hardly ever.  Even if I do it is almost always $20.00 or less.


Except for today.  Today I had some bills to pay that were just easier with cash.  I needed gas, I needed food.  I needed some art supplies for my wish jars.  I am selling them to help make ends meet when I am out of work for the summer.  So when I was at the bank I took out more cash than I usually do.  I put it in my (Small, shuttle craft purse, that I keep in my huge purse so I don't have to always lug it around,) purse instead of my pants pocket.  (Probably because I usually don't have pockets in my pants because clothes designers think that women don't need pockets so we carry huge purses.)  I bought a couple things in the store and happily walked into the parking lot to get back to my kids and get my errands done.  I never even heard anyone coming up behind me.  I had my purse in one hand and my phone in the other.  They went for the weakest point, my injured pinky in a black splint, I saw stars!  I felt my purse being pulled out of my hand and it was gone before I could turn around.

 I turned around and saw a person running away holding my shuttle craft.  My first thought was at least it wasn't my favorite one, I had left that at my exes house the night before.  Then as I watched the person (I have no idea if it was a man or woman) running away wearing a hoodie, jeans and sneakers it occurred to me that I had cash in my purse, a lot of cash!  My ID was in it (luckily it was my exes address so...) and my bank card.  I didn't chase them.  I wouldn't catch them.

I think I sat down and cried.  I was on the ground when I finally called 911.  Eventually the police showed up.  I didn't have much of a description, they didn't give me much hope.  I got in my car after they left and just sat there.  Then I realized I needed to get back to the kids.  They had the day off of school and had been alone too long.  I didn't want a second disaster on my hands.

So here I am my first real brush with crime.  My apartment was broken into every other Wednesday between 7 PM and 9 PM (the police were no help then either, they didn't see the pattern after three break-ins) but the only item of mine that was stolen was my Kool-Aid.  My room mate was not as lucky.  Of course I never encountered the ones who felt the need to steal my precious Kool-Aid.  This was different.  This time I was injured and it was personal.

My ex gave me money that he owed me and bought me chicken wings when he came home from work.  I didn't know how to react.  I'm not used to him being nice to me.  For the next three weeks I don't have to see him as much.  He is on first shift instead of second.  Sadly this means I won't be with my kids as much.  I'll have to plan some fun for us.  What a day!!!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day

It was my first mother's day without my mother.  I have been dreading it for weeks and here I am just moments after it ended.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I picked up my kids from the exes house and we went to my mom's favorite place to eat, a local hot dog restaurant.

She loved their hot dogs and always got them with everything.  When they started selling their hot sauce she always made sure she had at least one jar at home.  If we couldn't think of a gift to give her, a gift card from them was always a perfect choice.  In fact it was the last Christmas gift I ever gave her.

I imagine that I have been going there my whole life with her and love that I now continue the tradition with my children.  It may not be my favorite place to eat like it was Mom's but it has a special place in my heart.  My brother told the staff at one of the locations about my mother's love for their hot dogs and they gave my brother a cup and hat.  They sit on and next to my mother's ashes today.

The kids were eating french fries today and I mentioned that Grandma loved to eat her fries with vinegar.  So of course they had to try.  They are 12 and 10 and have not really been exposed to vinegar except at Easter when they dye eggs.  Funny I used to use vinegar all the time.  I guess somethings do change.

The look on their faces as they took the first bite of a french fry soaked in vinegar.  It was priceless.  They shook their heads and made sour faces.  Saying how they thought it was horrible and ewwww!  But they tried several french fries that way.  It was almost a compulsion.  It was probably the funniest moments of Mother's Day 2015.  Absolutely priceless!

The ex (the divorce still isn't final yet.  I don't know why it is taking so long.) Asked how long I would have the kids.  He wanted to take them to visit his mother.  So I brought them back to his house after we ate.  I had wanted to take them to the Mall, but I am trying to be civil.  So I turn the corner and see the empty driveway.  The kids inform me that Dad said he would be gone when we come back, it would have been nice if he told me.

So I call him.  I refuse to leave the kids alone and he has the nerve to be upset with me because I switch the time I would have them.  Truth be told I did, but I also let him know I made a mistake and typed the wrong time as soon as I noticed it, and he had plenty of time to adjust.  I stayed in the driveway while the kids played outside and he comes home absolutely irate at me.

He comes out of his car screaming at me.  Saying how dare I call and yell at him and find it to be such a burden to be with my kids on Mother's Day.  (SIGH!) Again he absolutely has no idea why I was upset.  He led me to believe he wanted the kids back to see his mother and did;t bother to tell me he was not going to be back.  He told the kids he wasn't going to be home.  I guess telling the other adult was too much to ask.  Of course it is all my fault again.  He screamed and yelled and had a temper tantrum in the driveway including stamping and giving me double fingers.   The as I am pulling out of the driveway he ordered me to leave.  I almost pulled back into the driveway.  He knows acutely how to make me mad.

Happy Mother's Day!  I am so used to having a huge argument with him on Mother's Day, so I guess I wasn't surprised.  How I wish I could see my children and spend time with them and have absolutely no contact with him.

Happy Mother's Day 2015 - I Miss You Mom!

In Memory of My Mother 
June 10, 1940 - August 20, 2014
I love you!!!!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Just Two Minutes

The kids stay in one house and my ex and I change places.  I work first shift he works second shift and he gets them on weekends.  Perfect for him.  Stability for the kids.  Steals sleep from me, but the kids need it so I do it.  Over all it works.

In the last few months I have seen my old home get stripped of my influence.  New furniture, books vanishing, hockey flags on the walls and on the windows as curtains.  It is hard to come to the house five days a week and see things I worked hard to set up just disappear.  Oddly some things I did are still here.  The butterflies on the bathroom wall still fly.  The leaves on the kitchen cabinets are still clearly there.  Both are removable but remain, so some of my essence is still here.

The hardest part however is not seeing so much I organized change it is two minutes of my day.  After work I go back to the house we shared and spend the afternoon and evening with my children.  The kids have their own bedrooms and just one house.  They are not shuffled back and forth which I think is better for them.  My ex also has the house as his mother owns it.  I am the one who shuffles from one location to another.  I take the burden of moving from home to home.  My ex returns home from work around 12:30 am and pulls into the driveway behind my car.

Here is the beginning of my dreaded two minutes.  He could wait in the street and beep, he could text
me to let me know he is almost home and I can get in my car and pull out as he pulls up.  There are ways we could handle these two minute where there is little to no contact between us.  However he thinks they are stupid so he won;t do them.  So instead he blocks me from leaving until he pulls out of the driveway to let me leave.

He comes into the house and typically one of these things will happen.

  1. He will complain to me about how the house looks
  2. He will be upset with me because of a request I made that in his mind is unreasonable.
  3. Rarely we will have a real discussion about something involving the children.
  4. He will talk to me about something he loves that I no longer pretend to care about.
Sometimes those two minutes feel like an eternity.  I am amazed at how quickly I can be exasperated in that time.  He can start an argument with me the moment he walks in.  I would prefer not to see him at all for those short moments of time.  It seems so petty that I don't want to see him, but I know the tension between us can explode within seconds and make me so upset that I am screaming all the way home, a ten minute drive.  I always wonder what others think of the crazy woman driving around 12:30 am who is going mad in the car.

Somedays he just reminds me that he is selfish and really just doesn't care about others.  Yesterday was a perfect example.  He comes in all smiles and says, "Guess who was on the Howard Stern show today?"  Now you need to know that I am not a Howard Stern fan.  I have never pretended to be a Howard Stern Fan.  I don't like to talk about him or his show.  I don't care about anything involving him.  I almost stopped watching America's Got Talent because he became a judge.  My ex is very aware of how I feel about Howard Stern.

So I tell him as I am trying to walk past him to get outside to my car that I don't care, I just want to go home and sleep.  I have to work in the morning.  (I don't even get six hours of sleep some nights because he may not be home until 1 am and I have to work at 7:45 am.  When he gets home I want to leave so I can go home and get some sleep as quickly as possible.)  He looks at me and says, "I don't care that you don't care!"  And it hit me, that was a huge problem in our marriage.  He didn't care how I felt.  

Those two minutes are fast approaching tonight.  Will he be nice, will he be selfish, will he be mean? I gave no idea.  The one thing I do know is that he will pull in the drive way behind me and I have to wait for him to back out of the driveway so I can leave.  Trapped until he allows me to leave.  Two minutes of anxiety.  Two minutes of terror once.  What will it be tonight?