The countdown to vacation has begun, with every night telling Owen “Five more sleeps,” and so on, until now there are only three more sleeps to go. I was going to work until noon on Friday but on Monday suddenly realized how foolish an idea THAT was; how much work am I really going to get done? So we will get up and have a leisurely breakfast of strawberry pop-tarts and coffee (for me), and with hope we will be on the road by ten. To say I am excited is the understatement of the year, I think. I am looking forward to being with my kids one last time before everything changes again, with the advent of a new school year and a new baby. I long for the smell of the ocean, am looking forward to seeing the kids’ faces as they see such a huge, moving, breathing entity as the ocean for the first time. I am looking forward to the wind and the clear sound of the waves, the feel of the sand beneath my feet. I am not delusional-I know there will be issues that crop up, that there will be moments of tension and uncertainty-I am expecting no Utopia. Still-this is my time, our time, to simply be who we are, with no masks and no pretenses.

I find, too, that something of a miracle has occurred in that I am genuinely looking forward to, no, craving, spending time with my sisters. I have been talking to my next oldest sister quite frequently lately, and it has been nothing short of amazing. The funny thing is that she has an uncanny way of calling on the days when I am falling apart, and I think she must think I am a nutjob all the time, but she still manages to tell me just what it is I need to hear, good and bad. There are no false words of comfort, no platitudes, and in fact she has told me some pretty hard truths-yet in the most loving and caring manner there is. The fact that the two of us have been somewhat estranged for a good many years may tell you just how much we have each grown, that we can meet again where we are in our lives and find new things to love. I feel so blessed tonight.

It has been a busy week or so, with eye doctor appointments (Eli needs glasses, and thanks to my HSA, I get to get new glasses myself for the first time in years!) and working at the editing job and getting ready for Hannah’s baby shower…plus my nephew is here, and my mom and grandma were in town over the weekend (which we ALL know is a whole other post, right?), we HAD the baby shower….and now, just a few more days until we leave, so there is the resultant flurry over all that.  I am excited to be meeting a fellow blogger while on my trip, and in general I am just so hyped up and ready that words can’t describe it.  In addition to all of this-as if it weren’t enough!-I find myself in the middle of repairing and rebuilding two relationships that have meant so much to me through the years

I am going to have a laptop with me while I am gone, so I might be able to squeeze in a post or two.  I will try, too, to post one more time before I leave, because I really, really need to blog about, you know, my mom.  And her craziness.  And MY craziness when WITH my mom.  You know; all that stuff.  Thanks for hanging around, my friends.

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Monday

Still alive, busy as hell with both jobs and kids, blah blah blah. Spent most of the weekend running various kids to their various activities, and am glad to be at work to get some quiet. I just didn’t want anyone to think I had gone off the deep end and slit my wrists or anything.

the point being….

Actually, I have no idea what the point is today. I got up, I came to work, I will go home after work and I will go to bed. That’s it. I feel myself shrinking back into my little shell and building up another little bit of armor, and it gets more and more difficult to pull myself out of it. I went to dinner with my friend J. last night, and then we watched the movie “Crazy Heart” at the Parish Hall, and it was okay but mostly I was sitting there thinking,”Why does any of this matter?”

I am reluctant to write anything here, because anything I can say will be whining. Going over the same things over and over again. I had thought the review thing was funny in many ways, but also some legitimate stuff was brought up, and I think-well. What does it matter what I think? I had forgotten being insulated with my little network of friends that the world as a whole really does look at me and my life as a train wreck, and while I can forgive whatever is said about me, I can’t forgive or forget personal attacks on my family. And I had forgotten that many, many people are simply cruel for no apparent reason.

It isn’t just the review, although of course that is part of it. Mostly, it is knowing that I have basically been having the same problems with Steve and money and life for the last four years, and I imagine you all are getting tired of hearing about it. There are lots of good days, to be sure, but really, I am no different than I was a year ago, two years ago, ten years ago, and I am just tired enough of the whole shebang to simply step away. Not blogging, because I can never stay away for long, but with life in a very general sense. I want peace; I want happiness. I deserve them-but right this second, it just kind of seems like, again and again, what is the point?

Moving on….I just don’t know what to do with all of this shit, so I am choosing to do nothing at this point in time. Not in the sense of giving up so much as giving in. I have been shaken to the core by some recent things that have come up regarding Steve, and then I remember that I brought it on myself by allowing him back into my life.

Another day to get through, and I will. Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow again, I will get through.

Of course

Wouldn’t you know that it was windy and not especially pleasant, weather-wise, for the 4th of July weekend, but today is supposed to be hot with no wind?  We did still manage to go out and have fun over the weekend, but when it is 70 degrees with 20 MPH winds, swimming is not in the cards for this old lady.  Still, it was fun to go to the river  early and stake out our spot for the fireworks; the kids were all swimming (brave souls!) and I stretched out on the blanket and read.  Some friends of ours met up with us in the evening and we picnicked and visited until time for the fireworks, and all in all it was a lovely day. 

On Saturday, Sam and Eli and I went to the river with the dogs, and it was a rather hilarious venture.  First, there was a young family there as well; the dad was fishing and the mom was reading and there were two little kids-dressed in nice clothes, and not a speck of dirt on them.  Being friendly, kid-oriented dogs, both of ours came bounding up to the family, whereupon both kids started shrieking and screaming.  Keep in mind we have a BassetHound and a little mutt puppy-not threatening dogs to say the least, and neither of them were jumping up on the kids, but bygones.  We went to a spot further down, and the dogs are pretty good about sticking close and listening when we tell them to stay, so they didn’t continue to be a problem.  Anyway, we could still see this family, and it was-well.  I get that not everyone is outdoorsy, I get that some kids are more timid than others, but I did not see either child-and they were both small children-even sit down in the sand.  Like I said, their clothes were immaculate, the little boy wearing nice khaki shorts with a button-down shirt tucked into it, and all they did the entire time they were there was walk around and kick at the ground.  Like they were bored.  It kind of made me laugh; really?  Who takes their kids to the river in clothes like that?  And what kind of kids won’t get dirty?  At the, you know, RIVER?  No matter-WE all had fun. Still too cold for me to even contemplate swimming, but the boys and dogs were maniacal about it.  We “explored,” as Sam put it, and took pictures and lit off bottle rockets and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

The rest of the weekend was spent doing yard work and chauffering kids around and doing the mundane little things like laundry and dishes and more laundry.  I even went so far as to clean out the fridge, but only under duress.  You see, I have been smelling the slightest whiff of death and decay, and I was seriously starting to worry that it was either the fridge or one of the cats had killed a mouse and left some parts laying around out of sight.  It wasn’t the fridge-there was nothing terribly disgusting in there, and I didn’t even have to throw away any plastic containers that had transformed whatever leftover was in it from food to mold to some unidentifiable mush.  A good day.  Still don’t know where the smell is coming from, and I think I might have to search under the kitchen sink, but not today.  Probably not tomorrow either.

And now, the summer really starts to fly by.  Sam leaves for camp next weekend, and Eli also heads to my dad’s for the week.  I will gather Sam from camp and take him to dad’s and will bring Eli home at the same time, and we also have a baby shower for Hannah coming up on the 24th.  We will then be getting ready to leave for vacation, and even though I don’t have any real spending money at this point, my family is making sure we get there-and that is such a lovely feeling. 

I am still not so great emotionally, and want to thank everyone for your kind comments on some of my recent posts.  It does help, to be reminded that there are other people who see who I really am-infinitely flawed but still lovable, or at least likable.  I feel, still, the ache of sadness and grief, and I suspect I might be feeling that for quite some time.  I have been doing some 12 step work, and as a result have been realizing some hard truths about myself, and that is never fun-but if I am to get better in ANY way, it must be done.  Sometimes, I honestly get tired of having to do all this internal work; I can’t be the only one who does.  I get resentful and angry because, you know, I should be perfect by now, right (*she says as she falls over laughing*)?  I shouldn’t have to change anymore, right?  Not the case.  And while I am not taking on all the blame, there were things I did to contribute to Steve’s apparent unhappiness; I think I am and have been pretty aware of most of them, but I really thought I had been making progress.  I am not diminishing his own responsibility to himself, because if I don’t know what the problem is (regardless of what it is), I can’t do anything to change/fix/help, and I can’t read minds.  If he tells me he feels X,Y,Z, then I am going to accept that at face value.  His refusal to address his problems or concerns and pretend everything was lovely and fine for him?  That is HIS issue, and I can’t take that one on.  But I do have my own, boy, do I.

So.  I am just going to keep doing what I am doing, and am trying really hard to trust-in god, in myself, in something-that someday this is going to feel better.  I want to get the point where I am almost glad, you know?  I am not there yet, and I suspect it will be awhile before I am, but I will get there, right?  Of course.

Friday Fragments

Mommy's Idea

I think it has been awhile since I participated in a Friday Fragments, so what better time to start back up again than right now?  If you would also like to join in, you can find out how over at Half Past Kissin’ Time!

***It is a three day weekend for me; is it wrong to be so excited?  Not because we have grand plans, though we are doing something on Sunday.  No, no, I am excited for two things: sleeping in a little bit and napping.  Perhaps I need a life.

***Two times this week I have dealt with two different customers who have pressing insurance business.  I get that-for similar reasons, both of them have needed new coverage put in place.  Both customers were short and hurried with me, almost to the point of being rude.  I did what I could, scanned/emailed their applications to be signed and returned, because they were both in such a hurry.  Today?  Two days after the fact?  Neither person has sent back their application.  This kind of stuff is annoying as hell to me.

***Every night this week we have eaten dinner and gone down to the river.  The kids swim and I walk on the beautiful path. Two loops around is just right at three miles, if I remember correctly (I thought it was only two miles, but I re-added and I think it is slightly over 3, at least according to my little pedometer thingy).  Last night, I was feeling good physically and was at peace emotionally, and I felt like I wanted to run-so I did.  No looking around to see if anyone was watching me make a fool out of myself, no pressure to run to a certain point before collapsing in a sweaty, puking heap, just-running.  It was good; did I make it far?  No-I am not a runner.  It just didn’t matter, though; it just.felt.good.

***Speaking of going to the river last night, while I was walking I saw a figure in the distance and it was Eli’s girlfriend.  I thought,”Wow, that is a coincidence,” but it really wasn’t.  She had come looking for us (even though Eli wasn’t with us); I asked how she knew where we were and she said,”Well, you didn’t answer your door, so I figured you were here.”  It made me laugh a little because I AM so predictable, but I think for me it is a good thing.  I am flattered, too-she likes us, she wants to be with us even when Eli isn’t, because she loves that we are so close. 

***I know I have talked about this 1,001 times before at different times, but it bears saying one more time anyway: my god is pretty cool dude.  I told you, I think, about how I thought, when Steve left, that I needed an extra $300/month to be at least marginally okay, and then within days I had that editing job, right?  So then a few days ago while I was working on the editing, I had the thought that it would be really helpful if we had another computer so that I could have just MINE, for MY things, without having to fight the kids for time on it.  Yesterday my niece called and said she got a new PC, do I want her old one?  Another thing is that I was just joking around to someone about how we can’t watch Juno because the DVD player was Steve’s, and last night Hannah’s friend brought over a DVD player because they have two others.  I just find this kind of abundance amazing to me.  And maybe they are all small things (well, not the job), but isn’t that proof enough for me?  I think it is.

***I haven’t had a french fry in I don’t know HOW long.  I have finally begun to see a difference in how I feel and the way my clothes fit, which everyone kept telling me would happen if I just kept up with it, and it is true.  However, Jacquie and I are going to Twin tonight to go grocery shopping (her), and we are going to eat somewhere there-I don’t know if it will be french fries, but you KNOW I am going to eat something totally terrible for me.  And will love every bite.

***My friend J. gave me this thing that was supposedly found in Mother Teresa’s room, which hey, I don’t know, but it is really quite good.  I have been carrying the last line around me in my head, and it goes,”In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.”  Isn’t that wonderful?

Apparently I had a lot of fragments stored up; in case mine weren’t enough, though, you can always find more at Half Past Kissin’ Time!   

after midnight

Another night of not sleeping lies ahead, I am afraid, or maybe when I am done with this I will fall right to sleep.  I don’t know just yet. What I do know is that after tonight, it has got to start getting easier.  I cannot feel any worse than I do right this minute, I don’t believe the pain can go any deeper than it is right this minute.  I have talked a lot about processing, over and over again, and it feels like I am smack dab in the middle of all this processing-and it is ugly and painful and horrible, but I know that to get to the other side I have to simply wade through it, do the work, feel the pain.

Have you ever woken up one morning and just known that you were done?  It wasn’t in the morning, but the feeling was the same-Steve called me on Friday to confirm plans with Owen for the weekend and he was drunk-and in that instant, everything just seemed so clear, it was almost an audible click. “Done,” I heard, the last little piece of that which has been our relationship finally falling to the ground and shattering.  I could hear it; it made such a small sound for such a huge, monumental thing, that bit of knowledge that you have gone as far as you can go, given as much as you can give, and there is nothing left.  It echoed, the reverberations still being felt now a week later.  “Done.  Just-done.” 

The mind and heart don’t always take the same route, so it has taken a week yet for both of them to be in the same place at the same time.  I had gotten together with Steve to talk last night, and still wasn’t ready to say the things I needed to say.  You see, my mind was reminding me just how done I was, but my heart even last night was still lagging just a little bit behind.  So I saw him, and we talked, and I said nothing that was in my heart OR my mind; I couldn’t.  That little bit of me that still believes I am unlovable wouldn’t let me-I needed to preserve a tiny shred of hope, I needed to be in denial, my heart looked at him and said no, I am not ready, I still think that if I do this or that he will love me!  Maybe…Maybe…any one of you who struggles with abandonment and/or abuse issues, the ubiquitous legacy of an extremely violent and unstable childhood environment, well, you know that feeling, right?

Tonight, though, the end result of all of this processing somehow made it so my heart and mind were finally united-done.  And I prayed and cried and prayed again because I knew what I needed to do and still didn’t want to do it.  I didn’t want to take care of myself and take responsibility for my own life and happiness because then, of course, I wouldn’t have anyone to blame.  And oh, this is something I still struggle with, after being sober all these years and working a program and trying daily to live an honest life, this propensity to need to be the victim. thankfully it doesn’t last nearly as long as it used to (um, years?) because I know it doesn’t get me anywhere, and doesn’t coincide with the life I DO try to live.  so I prayed and cried some more, and then Steve brought Owen home and I knew that it was now or never-that in order to be true to who I am and what I believe, I had to tell him everything I had been thinking and feeling without counting the cost. 

It wasn’t pretty;  I yelled, I cried, I behaved terribly.  I told him that I hate him, that I hate that he did this to my family AND that I let him.  I told him that I used to believe he could do anything, but now I don’t believe in him at all, and that he is a pathetic loser.  I raged at him in a way I haven’t raged at anyone in years, even knowing as I was raging that it was serving no purpose other than to help me get some of it out.  I don’t say that because I am proud of it, not by any means-but in some ways it felt necessary.  And then all I could do was cry when I told him that he keeps in the back of his head that good old Kori will still be waiting for him but that I am not.  That I love him so much and still think there are really great things about him but that I just can’t stand at the edge of the whirlpool because it will suck me in-the only thing I can do is step back from it.  Weeping, and oh how this hurt, I told him that he is not good for me, we are not good for each other, and I have written it here before but told him that the kindest and most loving thing I could do for me and my family was step away.  All that and more, all of this stuff that I have been working out in my head until my heart could catch up. 

At one point he told me that he left because I am a mean, hateful bitch with an ugly heart, and I have to say he has a valid point there.  I AM mean; I do have an ugly heart.  I don’t like a lot of people, I am afraid of people on some very elemental level, and I know this about myself.  I wouldn’t want to live with me either part of the time because I don’t trust easily, I am a hard person in many ways.  It still hurt me so much though, because I think everyone has some ugly bits inside, I think that I have made tremendous progress in the years since I got sober (and some would definitely argue that), and-I think maybe I can give myself the tiniest little bit of credit for the growth I have made.  I am not mean all the time, I work really hard at keeping an open heart. I do fail most of the time.  So he was right about that part, and I freely admit that.  But man, talk about a big punch to the gut; more of the “you are never going to be good enough.”  Doesn’t matter where you came from or how hard you have worked to even GET to this point, still not good enough.

Still-done.  I wept as I asked him to please keep Owen first and foremost when he starts dating, because he is having a really, really hard time with the whole situation-at which point he accused me of trying to manipulate his love life and I just shook my head.  Owen is struggling; I don’t think it too much to ask to not introduce him to his new girlfriend until he (Owen) settles into the new routine a little bit.  He doesn’t have one yet, but he will-I think he already has one on the line.  Which,yes, of course it hurts me, but it can’t matter to me-I just want Owen to be doing a little better before Steve starts bringing another woman into his life.  I asked him, too, to please make sure his family knows that as Owen’s mother, I need to know if he goes to jail or gets hurt; see, it is inevitable that it will happen, at some point.

Mostly, though, I wept when I hugged him and said goodbye.  It is so hard to let go of someone you love, even when you know it is the right thing to do.  I want him to be happy, I truly do; how heartbreaking to know that I fell so in love with someone who really just wasn’t happy with me.  Heartbreaking for everyone.  I am just so, so sad, and embarrassed that I even thought for a second that I would be the one he chose.

So.  I sit here and type and cry and wipe my nose on my sleeve because we are out of paper towels and I feel that mean, hateful heart of mine hurting and hurting more.  Doesn’t matter if I know what I need to do, doesn’t matter that a year from now I will probably be wiping my brow thinking,”whew!” Knowing that doesn’t make it easier to deal with the grief and the pain, to say goodbye and mean it.  I keep thinking, and I said it to a friend earlier, that this right here is why I was reluctant to date or fall in love with anyone-I never wanted to feel this again.  I just want to curl up into a ball to protect my vital organs, to weep with the sadness of dreams and hopes gone.  I know, and can see more and more clearly that he was not good for me, we were not good for each other.  This is supposed to be one of those things that make you feel good for knowing it and taking action to prevent the cycle from starting all over again, but I don’t feel empowered today; I simpy feel sad.

I can’t write much more; I am NEVER up this late, and I have to be up in a few hours to get ready for work-you know i am going to be a mean bitch tomorrow, right?  But I have always kept in my mind this quote by Anne Lamott and I will share it with you before I leave:

“Sometimes I’m so hungry for a partner, a lover. One thing I know for sure, though, is that when you are hungry, it is an act of wisdom each time you turn down a spoonful if you know that the food is poisoned.”

Tonight?  I set down the spoon.