Friday Fragments

***Today is a better day than yesterday, that is for damn sure. Not because anything has changed in terms of circumstances, but because I have. It’s just money. And while it’s not as if I have so much extra that this isn’t going to be a burden (of course it is going to be),it’s that I can spend a whole lot of time and energy being upset about it, but it sure doesn’t change the fact. There are moments, and I know well that there will be other moments, but I know this: the more upset and angry I get, the more HE has control over my life. And didn’t I divorce the dude so he would no longer have control of my life? At least in part?

***I have to add that part of my changed view this morning has to do with the realization that I am not alone in this. While it isn’t as if Steve is raking in the big bucks either, I am not the SOLE provider of all four kids. And that makes it easier to bear.

***I am not typically one to praise my own looks, but I have to say I look kind of cute these days. Because this time, my belly is poking out in front and up high, and my ass hasn’t gotten any bigger yet. I have passed the “Is she pregnant or just fat?” stage, and that makes me happy. I am slightly alarmed at how obviously pregnant I am for just over five months though; I may develop whale-like proportions.

***My second dress arrived last night, and at least I don’t hate it. I did not get a maternity one this time, just a bigger size, and that was the trick. It will need some altering (for the first time in years, my boobs are not the biggest part on my body!), in the bodice and length, but I think it will work just fine. While I don’t looooove it, I might come to after it fits properly. It’s all good.

***Several times this week, we have gotten calls from a mortgagee to verify insurance. This particualr company must have recently outsourced this bit of business to India, becuase I can hardly understand them. And it annoys me to no end. When you pick up the phone, there is a long hiss before the person actually speaks, and I sit there and say “Hello? Hello?” feeling like an idiot. And then I hang up just as they start to talk, so they have to call back and start the whole cycle over. So frustrating for everyone involved.

***In case anyone may have doubted it because I don’t talk about her much, I adore that little grandbaby of mine. She is so precious I want to eat her, I really do. Want to know what the most amazing thing is? She seems to feel the same way about me. She is a tiny little thing, her dad and mom both being rather petite individuals, but she has got sumo wrestler thighs and a double chin in spite of her tininess. Cracks me up. And I have never seen a baby nurse the way she does, on her knees with a hand on either side of Hannah’s breast. Kills me every time.

There were a whole bunch of other things swirling around in my head this morning, but I can’t remember what the rest of them were. Check out Mrs.4444 for other fragmenters with better memories!

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'Round in Circles

Sometimes I wonder if I am ever, ever ever going to be allowed to simply be happy, free to move forward into the future with hopefulness. It doesn’t look like it. You all know I am pregnant, that Steve and I are getting married at the end of May, and those are really, really wonderful things. We made the decisions we made, WHEN we made them, for specific reasons, and it really felt as if we were going to be okay. And we are, Steve and I, but this-this!

I got served, AGAIN, with garnishment papers from a bill of my ex-husband’s. And guess what? Creditors can renew a judgement every five years without telling you. Isn’t that lovely? This one is from clear back in 2001, for two different hospital visits, of which I knew nothing. So yes, we were still married at the time, but I knew nothing about this. I would assume, as this was his pattern, that he made two separate visits to the emergency room to obtain drugs, and then of course wasn’t going to tell me about it. I have to assume that is the case, as they won’t give ME any information about either of the visits, since we are no longer married. Does the irony slay anyone but me? He did sign for the service of the original suit, too, so this is another one of those cases (like all of them so far) where he knew very well what he was leaving me with, and simply didn’t care.

Want to know something else? He recently settled some work comp lawsuit to the tune of several hundreds of thousands of dollars. I did get my back child support, which is lovely. So nice to have a little bit of money set aside for when the baby comes, to actually be able to go somewhere for our honeymoon. Nowhere extravagant, mind you, but a weekend away. The wedding was going to take place anyway, despite what SOME may think about THAT, but sure, it is nice to be able to splurge on something luxurious just for ourselves. Now, though? This money will have to go toward simply being able to make it through the next several YEARS, while they take 50% of my paycheck again.  I have emailed him, you know, to no avail, but I don’t know where they live, and of course he isn’t going to tell me. So the attorney said “so sorry, don’t know what to tell you, we will start taking half your take-home pay every month starting on the 1st of May!”  I don’t have the money to hire an attorney, and even if I did, it would simply be a matter of suing Casey to pay me back the money I have and am going to be paying his creditors. It wouldn’t stop this process.

Do you know what it feels like to finally feel like you are free from the past, having paid all the penance required of you and been punished enough? It feels liberating, intoxicating, heavenly. So do you know, then, how it feels to have that taken away in one fell swoop? To know without a doubt that no matter how responsible you are, no matter how much you try and work, no matter how much effort you put into it, some mistakes will never, ever go away? My ex-husband is going to be haunting me until the day I die.  Just when I start to think I have pulled myself out of the pit of poverty, this is going to suck me right back down into it.  We decided to have the baby when we did because we were finally both on more settled financial ground, you know? And now not only am I being sucked back in, but so is Steve, and this new baby, and of course the other children I already have.

So Wendy, remember way back when you sent me that nasty email about Karma being funny? Yeah, I guess you were right. And A, remember when you accused Steve of using me for money? If he leaves me at the altar, you might be right. To all the people who have sat back and waited for life to kick me in the ass one more time, sit back. Make some fucking popcorn and enjoy the show, right?  Because it is always going to be this way. For whatever reasons, I deserve this. I deserve to have this kind of a burden laid on me. Some would call it Karma, some would call it revenge for being such a bitch, some simply just enjoy seeing other people suffer, but it doesn’t matter what it is called, I am sure there is a reason for it. Maybe because for a few brief moments in the bigger picture, I dared to believe in hope.

I woke up grouchy today because I went to bed grouchy last night. I got my dress, which was good, except that I hated it with a passion, which is not so good. I don’t know if it is because I am pregnant or what, but it was just terrible. I even bought a maternity gown, but oh gag. So after bursting into tears I looked for another one, and hopefully it will work. Getting down to the wire here in terms of finding a dress, so I am not sure what I will do if this one doesn’t work: showing up at my own wedding in maternity sweats and a t-shirt seems perfectly reasonable at this point in time. And I know that things will come together beautifully, they always do. I am trying not to get too bogged down in the details because I want this to be fun, and when I get all wigged out over stuff, it isn’t fun for anyone.

The thing is, I have never really HAD a wedding. I mean, I have been married twice before and still have no idea how to plan a wedding, like with invitations and a reception and the whole nine yards. We aren’t going elaborate by any means, but it still feels slightly overwhelming to me. Like, when are the grownups going to show up and take charge? Oh, right *smacks head* I AM the grownup, and it is my wedding.

And then this whole baby thing. I am not really complaining so much as observing that it is a lot different being pregnant at almost 39 than it is even at 34, and certainly different than at 19! I think maybe because I had so much bleeding early on (partial placenta previa which has hopefully resolved itself, as I haven’t bled for almost five weeks now), or maybe because I know what might happen, or maybe, simply, that this baby is so wanted, well, it has been scary for me. I am hyper-aware of every little thing happening to my body, and that isn’t necessarily a good thing. I go in today for my check-up and hopefully that will set my mind more at ease. Halfway there now, and maybe it means everyhintg is going to come out just fine.

This has been very random, I know, but random seems very much where my mind is these days. I have been both supported and not in my decisions, and I am trying hard to overcome my own tendency toward cynicism and second-guessing and over-analyzing, because believe me, I can talk myself out of any chance at happiness with another person if I do it long enough. My lovely friend J. stopped by the office a few days ago with a packet full of different gold rings that have belonged to various family members of hers. She handed it to me and said,”Go. Have a ring made with these. I want you to have them.” And yes, it was a packet of rings but what she was really handing me was a packet of hope and belief in the future. She knows me. She knows Steve, my family, my life, my history, and she believes in me. And that is what I am holding onto, that hope, instead of focusing on everything that could go wrong.

Breaking News

Since today seems to be the day for breaking news, I’ll finally go public with the fact that I am both pregnant AND getting married. Yes, the baby is Steve’s, yes, I am marrying Steve. No, I don’t know what will happen, no, I don’t know whether Steve will drink again or not (I don’t know that I won’t drink again either), no, I cannot and will not guarantee that he isn’t going to break my heart again. I can’t guarantee that no matter who the person is, or what kind of history is there. I could spend hours trying to explain the things that have happened over the past few months, but what I have recently found is that people don’t want to hear it. Several have automatically assumed that he is going to hurt me again, and that very well may be true. I don’t know that any more than I know whether or not I am going to wake up in the morning for sure.

But I do know this: that people can and do change. I am not the same person I was when I got sober (thankyougod), nor am I the same person I was a year ago. Things change, people change, and I am living proof of that. The fact that I am pregnant (and it was a planned, very much wanted baby, by the way) and am willing, after everything I have experienced, to marry anyone, is indicative that there is hope. I do not want to spend the rest of my life being lonely and bitter, closing myself off from possibilities just in case I might get hurt again.

None of this is to say that I am not afraid. Of course I am afraid; how could I NOT be? And that doesn’t have so much to do with Steve as you might think, and everything to do with me. I am a two-time loser in the marriage department, and will freely admit that I had as much to do with my divorce(s) as the other party did. And while I think I have learned and grown up a lot, what if I haven’t? What if I start going back to that mousy little woman who let her husband walk all over her, until she snapped? I don’t want to be that woman. I don’t take any of this lightly; it isn’t like I haven’t analyzed every single detail of what went wrong in my marriages as well as what went wrong with Steve before.  And I can pinpoint some pretty major changes I have made internally that definitely increase my chances of NOT being that woman again, but shitfire, I don’t know. Of COURSE I am scared. The thing is, this time maybe I am willing to work through that fear and keep moving forward instead of letting it cripple me.

At any rate, as a former friend said, I can’t expect anyone to be happy for me about all this, and believe me, I am not. In fact, I am expecting nothing from anyone. Some want to assume they know Steve, and can predict what will happen, when even I can’t do that, and I know him very well. Others do think having a baby at my age is insane, and perhaps that is true as well. But you know what? I am happy. My children are happy; my almost 17 year old son is going to walk me down the aisle and give me away, and if that isn’t symbolic, I don’t know what is. I know, too, that I could sure use love and support instead of negativism and cynicism, but even if I don’t get that I imagine I will make it, and even somehow manage to thrive.