Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Prosthetic Marriage?

Surely everyone knows what a prosthesis is.  
Basically - 
an artificial substitute for 
the real thing.

An arm.

A leg.

A heart.

Why not have a prosthetic marriage?

It seems that's the consensus that my partner and I have come to for the time being.  We've had a meeting of the minds, I guess you could say.  On a few levels. One of which, is to drop the divorce for now.

When I picked up the kids a few nights ago, he told me he'd instructed his attorney to "suspend" everything.  He said it was not what he wanted.  I was stunned.  This was completely unexpected.  

A wave of release swept over me. 
Of course, I'll reciprocate.  At least it will give me a chance to rest a little (hopefully) and lessen the stress.  That's never a bad thing.

Finally.  A chance for peace.

With the direction things were going in, this is a giant relief.  To my mind, my heart, my soul.

Things had crescendoed into a such a fervor of defensive, cutting, reactionary behavior and it was steadily heading out of anyone's control.  It never had to be like that and he, thankfully, had finally seen that for himself.  

It's a burden lifted from the kids.  Mostly our oldest son.  He's old enough to know what divorce is and has had such a hard time with all of it.  I've struggled daily to know just the right words to say and manner in which to say them to make his world a little brighter and simply less foreboding altogether.  With this change in direction, he's been smiling a bit more and fighting me a little less.

That does my heart good.

We're going to stay married, though continue to live apart.
He is going to continue to seek the mental health treatment that he now admits, at least to me, he needs and wants.  That's huge.  His mental and emotional health has always been more important to me, throughout all of this, than my own feelings, opinions or even dignity.  Our children need their Daddy. 

At this point, he doesn't seem too open to addressing things of a more personal nature.  There hasn't been much talk of the relationship between the two of us.  Save for the fact that I've been told there's "lots of things you're gonna have to change before I'm ready to be with you".  

Yeah.  I know.  Some nerve.

That actually hurt a whole lot.  I've worked for the past two years to change a ton of things about myself that neither he nor I liked.  I'm far from perfect and likely will never be.  But it's not necessary, at this juncture, to have my 
(mostly ordinary) faults shoved in my face and smushed in.  Especially after all the things I've been through with him.  After working for five years to forgive what most would deem unforgivable.  After desperately pulling myself out of a very deep, debilitating depression, as a result of his unfaithfulness.  After putting up with feeling insecure and unsafe strictly because of his unstable, erratic, unpredictable beliefs and behaviors.

Even considering all of that, it's no secret that I love my husband.  I do.  
I have always been willing to do whatever it takes for us to make it and keep our family together.  

He's recently shared some things with me that put his sexual indiscretions in a whole different light for me.  He's admitted to seeking help for that area of his life, as well.  That DOES make a difference to me, because it's never happened before.  Seeing evidence of the willingness to face things and work toward change is enough for me to, at the least, have some faith that now there is opportunity for things to end up much differently than how they've been and were turning out to be.

Who knows what happens now.

Maybe we'll work everything out.  Maybe we'll end up divorcing eventually.  I have no idea.

What I do know is that what we're left with is, at best, unconventional.  A substitution.
Most definitely a prosthetic, since at the moment the real thing is for sure missing.

I know - it's artificial.  Unreal.
But at least it's not this kind of artificial...

I already tried that.  
It didn't work.
No amount of on-time dinners, gleaming household, or cute, flirty frocks below my perfectly coiffed hair and made-up face plastered with the sweetest smile 
I could muster did the trick.

Maybe if I'd had this nifty helper I'd have been a 
bit more successful...

Something tells me, though, that even "The Good Wife Guide" would have fallen short when doling out advice and pointers for my marriage, in particular.

I'm now faced with making the best of a bad situation.

And that's just what I intend to do.
I will support him in his endeavors to achieve mental and emotional health.  I will do whatever is in my power to help him through that journey.  I love him and want the absolute best for him.  Even if that doesn't include me.  I will walk wherever the path leads.  Listen to my heart.  Continue to do my best to shield my children from seeing the complete brokenness of their father and the pain his actions have created in both our lives.

It is, no doubt, a very long row to hoe.  My hope, right now, is that I'm able to keep my sanity and heart intact as I go along.

Wish me luck.

*Thanks to Google Images for all the pics

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Big FAT scaredy CAT

That's me.

(Although, this scaredy cat is a little on the skinny side)

I've known it for years, but haven't always been this way.  I used to think of myself as pretty tough.  After all, I'd lived on my own for quite a number of years.  In the big city of Atlanta, along the bay shores in Alabama, and even down at the beach for a short time.  I was never such a ninny then, as I am now.

But after living in a house with a man for all these years, it appears that I've become a complete sissy.  
A wuss.  A total wimp.

I've turned into a 
damsel in distress.

Hear a bump in the night?
. . . . . . 
You'll find me buried under the covers - heart pounding, listening intently for footsteps that never come.  (Thank God!)

A sudden bang, thump, crash on the rooftop?
I shake and panic thinking 'What could that be?!'
. . . . . .  
Until I remember we have two peacocks that sometimes stay up way past their bedtime; abandoning their usual roost high up in the leafy oaks for hunting whatever tiny nocturnal creatures that may be scampering around.

Whew!  That was a close one.

Oh, no.  The dogs are barking again.  Fiercely.  Angrily.  What could it be?!  A prowler?  A peeping-tom?  Or worse - someone lying in wait for all to be still and quiet inside so they can break in, take all our goodies, give me a heart attack and abscond into the dark, anonymous night?  

I pace the floors and look out the windows until the dogs are calm and quiet again.  Then, sometimes, I go out onto the porch and have a talk with Beau and Hoss (our yellow labradors) about keeping quiet unless it's a TRUE emergency.  I explain to them just how much their 'angry bark' scares Mamma and that I do not appreciate it one bit.  They listen attentively but, just like children, it's in one ear and out the other.  They're back at it the next night.

I lovingly refer to them as 
my 'alarm system'.

I can't even take a shower at night.  I have to do it in the morning once there's light outside.  How pitiful is that?  I'm a grown woman!  Thirty-six years old!  This is ridiculous.

Crazy thoughts go through my head that keep me from feeling safe to bathe in the night.  
Thoughts such as:

'What if I'm in the shower and someone breaks in?  I won't be able to hear anything because of the water running.  The kids are asleep.  They could take the kids! Or hurt them!  And I won't hear a thing.  Ohhh - I'll just shower in the morning.'

I know why I'm thinking this way - but it's no comfort.

After living with a man around for many years, it's clear now that I'd become dependent on the fact that he would 'take care of things', as far as safety in the night goes.

  Truth be told, there are many, many things he did that did NOT contribute to me feeling safe here.  
Also - I can't count how many times I was scared by something in the night and would try to wake him up to check things out...only to have to nearly beat the fire out of him to get him alert.  And then listen to him berate me when it was all for nothing.  It did not make for very sweet dreams.

Nonetheless, I felt safe because he was a HE.  Even though he didn't like it, he would get up and check things out when I needed him to.  If for no other reason than so I didn't have to.  
That was comforting, of course.

Plus - he knew how to use the gun.  I was always afraid of it.  If I was faced with an intruder in the house, I'd be more likely to shoot myself in the foot than hit the target.  So, there was that, too.

Me + gun = certain injury or death 
for anyone but the bad guy.

Now I'm suddenly the one solely responsible for not only the feeding, clothing, education and general well-being of three little people and myself, but for our SAFETY, as well.  At night.  When I'm already scared myself.  This is not fair.  Or fun.

Hopefully, the longer I'm on my own with the kids, this feeling of insecurity after the sun goes down will fade.  I want to be strong and sure for both my kids and myself.  I want the old me to return.  The one who never gave it a second thought to hop in the tub before bed.  The one who wasn't afraid by a knock on the door at 8 pm.  The one who was confident in her ability to handle the unexpected.

So, here's to showers after dark!

They're highly under-rated.  I do recommend them.  Maybe by the time I remarry 
(like 40 years from now)
I'll be past all of this and no longer 
go to bed stinky!  My future husband will thank me profusely, I'm sure.

Happy bathing in the dark!

Monday, November 2, 2009

What have I NOT been up to?

Well, let's see....

It is NOT me who's been eating as if she were pregnant with triplets for the past couple of days.

It was NOT me who stayed in their pajamas for nearly 36 hours straight.

I also did NOT watch last week's episode of Cougar Town online and secretly enjoy it.

I wouldn't be the one who stayed up for hours playing stupid Facebook games all night.
Nope.  Not me!

I did NOT stand in my kitchen while listening to really bad club-like music on a Kid's Bop cd and do the 'silly booty dance' for my kids to roll on the floor laughing at.  Nope.  Definitely NOT me!

The following sentences have NOT been said by me in the past week:

"In this house, we put dirty toilet paper in the toilet and not on the floor by the trash can!!"

"Please don't put your hand in there."

"Didn't I just tell you to put your clothes back on?"

"Our septic tank WORKS!  Flush the toilet!  I don't want to pee on your poo!"

"Yes, honey - it's perfectly normal to have green tinted poo sometimes.  Bright purple?  Not so much."

(yes - there's a potty theme going on here.  pretty standard for my bunch.)

It was so NOT me who poured my heart out to the sweet cashier girl at the gas station just down the road (who  sees me on a regular basis and knows my family) when she asked me how things were going with my husband and the divorce.  I did NOT gush all sorts of details as she stood there looking at me like I was a sad little puppy in need of some TLC.  And I for sure did NOT proceed to get in my car and cry my eyes out on the way home and continue to cry for the next three hours.  Nope.  That would NEVER be something I would do.

I'm not sure who the girl is that did and said all of those ridiculously sad things.  Whoever she is, I definitely don't envy her, and neither should you.

Here's to Monday's!  Dont'cha love 'em?

**If you enjoyed my "Not Me! Monday!" post, why not join the fun?
 This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have NOT been doing this week.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I miss him. Oy-vey...

 There.  I said typed it out loud.

Y'all must think I'm nuts.  But it's true.

I've been sobbing, moping and weeping for the last 48 hours.  The loneliness is so immense right now.  I'm helpless to stop the tears and nothing I try is filling the void.  

I keep asking myself (as some of you may be wondering, too) just how it is I can miss someone who has hurt me deeper than I knew was possible.  You would think I'd be feeling things like anger, frustration, confusion and maybe a little indignation.  Instead - there's just incredible sadness, hurt and abandonment.

I first learned about Crazy Kinky Boy's infidelities over 7 years ago.  Yes, you read that correctly.  A long time ago, I know.  Someday I'll tell you the whole story of how I found out.  

That being said, I got over the anger, etc. about 5 years ago.  I had decided to stay in my marriage and help him with figuring out his sexuality and dealing with the issues that had arisen as a result of him cheating on me and hiding his "problem".  I believed him when he told me that he was NOT homosexual and did NOT want that for his life.  That he loved me, the kids and wanted to keep our family together and be the man that I deserved.  I still loved him.  Still do.  

This guy may have completely ripped apart a family because he wanted to have his cake and eat it, too and didn't know how to accomplish that honestly.  But that doesn't mean he's totally evil.  He's human - just like you and me.  I seriously doubt that he was able to fully enjoy any of his romps or indiscretions because he does, after all, have a conscience.   Whether or not he ever listened to that conscience is up for debate.   I'm betting he didn't, or at the least fought against it, and that's what led to all the crazy.

As hurt as I am, I choose to remember the good.  

It's hard to forget all the sweet stuff.  There was sweet stuff between the two of us.
Lots of it.  That's what I miss the most.  

Such as.....
No one has ever made me laugh the way he did.  I'm talking guttural, chest heaving, unstoppable, screaming, crying laughter.  The kind you heave a big sigh after and have to stifle yet another round from bubbling up.  The type of laughter you always feel better from afterwards.  So.  Good.

He liked to spoon.  Yep.  He loved it.  I would have to fend him off sometimes just to have a little space now and then.  Sad, 'huh?  But he really liked doing that.  And not just after sex.  Anytime.  How many women have husbands that actually like spooning?  

He once told me that whenever he saw my war-torn, scarred up, stretched out belly that it made him happy.  Said it took him back to the delivery room watching each of his kids being born.  He told me every time he looked at a stretch mark on me he was reminded of the gifts I had given him.  Whoa.  Way too sweet.

See - he's not so much an evil bastard, after all.

So, when I start thinking on all the good there was (and there's more than what I've mentioned here) 
I get really, really sad.  

I start recalling all of the good times and the bad ones just melt away.  Then I begin missing other things - like hugs and kisses.  Human touch, in general.  Someone running me a warm bubble bath because they know I've had a rough day.  Another adult in the house to share a joke with.  Not being the only parent around for the kids to request things of.  Eating dinner with someone who can appreciate something other than 
mac 'n cheese or PB & J.  

Those may seem like trivial things.  They are.  But isn't it the trivial, day-to-day things that work together to make our lives what they are as a whole? At least to some extent.  Do you find that, more often than not, it's the small stuff that can sometimes be so big and important?  Or, as in my case, so missed when it's not there.

I have to refuse to focus on the hurt.

I think it's important for me to remember the good things about Crazy Kinky Boy and our decade-long marriage.  I will not allow myself to chalk it all up to being one giant farce.  It wasn't.  There were good things and good feelings and good intentions all wrapped up and hidden underneath the bad stuff.  In the past, I had to dig to find it.  In the present, it's right there staring me in the face unavoidably.  

I won't let myself turn away from it or trade it for all the pain in the end.  I'll embrace it and recall it and draw on it from time to time.  Because inside all of that is the representation of who I saw when I fell in love.  That is the real father of my children.  That is who I want to be my friend for the rest of my life. Not the ugly, tormented, desperate, deceitful shell of a man that he let himself become.

I miss him.  I said typed it out loud again.  
It's true.
God help me.

Friday, October 30, 2009

I cannot believe my eyes....

Lookie what I came across on Etsy today...

Visit Chatham Girl's Etsy shop to view more of her stunning, creative work.

Ain't that a hoot?!
I love the expression on her face.
That look is how I've been feeling for weeks now...
part snarl, part disgust, part stunned.
Maybe a little bit of "I dare you to mess with me 'cause I've had my fill" mixed in there, too.

How very serendipitous, it being Halloween and all.  Had I made plans to attend a fabulous costume bash this weekend in celebration of the holiday, this would be the most fitting costume for me, I do believe. 

And I just love that model's hair color.  I'd do it in a second if I could afford it.  
So very bold and strong. 
Just what I'm trying to be every day. 

But instead of sporting the look of my blog's lady mascot up there at a fun-filled party full of adults who are being allowed a moment to dress up and act like children (that's always a blast) I'll be at home on my own with just me to entertain myself.  

I will survive.
(Name that music artist )

I have plenty to keep me busy and occupy my time.  If I don't get distracted by my overwrought mind.  And I have a slew of music at the ready for my 
I'm-just-fine-all-by-myself soundtrack to keep me company for the next 5 days.  Music can keep you going sometimes.  I'm hoping it does that for me 
this weekend.

However - 
There's nothing that says I can't show up in court next month with fire engine red hair and freak 'em all out.  Nothing except either the lack of an influx of cash or a sale on hair color at the store.  And not finding a friend to help me do it so I don't end up looking like a strawberry. I'd love to see the look on the faces of Crazy Kinky Boy and the Walking Hypocritical Contradictions (in-laws).  

I'm seriously considering it.

Hope everyone has a tremendously awesome 
Halloween / Fall Festival time this weekend!  
Stay safe.  Keep on the sidewalk.

And don't take candy from strangers!

Unless some strange woman with a ship on 'er head walks up to you and gives you a fistful.  She's fine.  
Trust me.

Counting Sheep

Sleep is steadily eluding me.  For too many nights this week, I've laid in bed actually trying to count sheep.  It doesn't work.  Could even get ugly.
I don't recommend it.

Sure, they're cute fluffy things.  I can easily imagine nuzzling into their cushy fur and drifting off peacefully.  I also imagined them bouncing over the fence, rather than jumping.  Their landings were soft... nearly silent.  Still didn't work.

Don't let their cuteness fool you.

As I lie there counting and counting, praying for sleep, they started bleating at me.  Loudly.  It reminded me of my children as dinnertime nears.

Only these characters had an agenda with each 
"Baaaa-aaaaa!!!" they uttered.

To remind me of all the things I've left undone that day.  

Of a tidbit of curious info someone had shared with me in a phone conversation that I couldn't seem to let go of.  

The fact that I have five bajillion things to get done for Bayou Kitchen before I'm officially up and running and even have the potential for making any money. 

Oh, let's not forget about the divorce, either.  Last, but certainly not least.

They didn't stop there.

These formerly adorable imaginary creatures were turning evil on me.  It was brought to my attention that, even though I seem to have lost 19 pounds over the last two months, without giving it the least bit of effort, much less thought, I still have many, many more pounds to go.  

That was the last straw for me.  I went straight to the freezer (at 2 am) and dug out my emergency pint of 
Ben & Jerry's Karamel Sutra that has been lying in wait for much too long.  My emotional EMT Rescue Squad in a cardboard carton.  

My vital statistics are back in the normal range now.

The floors can be mopped tomorrow.  I'll get to the laundry this weekend.  Our classroom can wait a few more days to be cleaned up.  

I'll forget about what my friend said on the phone that got the gears in my head turning.  It will only take energy away from what I truly need to be focused on right now.

Speaking of which - the kids will be in Utopia for the next 6 days, so I'll have plenty of time to devote to Bayou Kitchen and everything it direly needs at the moment.  Plus, I'll actually get to sew and have some fun!

As for the divorce - pfffttt.  I think I'll just live to die another day with that one.

I've got to pick my battles 'lest 
I'm the next to go crazy.

And, of course, I'm finally sleepy.  Now that I have to be up in a little more than 3 hours.  

Thanks a lot, stupid sheep!  I'll never be caught buying one of your mattresses. Nope. Can't fool me with your cuteness.

Hope everyone else's dreams are sooner and sweeter than mine have been lately.

P.S.  In case you're wondering, I did not completely sabotage my recent bit of weight loss by eating the entire pint of ice cream. I wanted to.  Bad.  But I only ate about 1/4 of it and stuffed it back into the recesses in the freezer from which it came.  However, if this happens to me yet again tomorrow night - I'm making no promises!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Money is the root of all evil that makes the world go 'round

It's no secret that we all need money.
Unfortunately, we no longer live in a society where bartering is acceptable or even possible in most instances.  Can you imagine going into your local electric cooperative and being allowed to trade them an item you've grown or made for their electric services?  How about walking up to the cashier at the gas station and hoping they'll take a beautiful hand-knit shawl in exchange for a full tank of gas?  Yep.  That probably wouldn't fly, either.

Thanks to my divorce and the not-so-just justice system these days, that's the kind of thing I've been wishing were possible.  

Crazy-Kinky Boy was ordered to pay temporary child support until the divorce.  It's such a small amount for three children that it doesn't even qualify as a pittance.  It's barely enough for food, some gas each month...but not much else. 

His attorney sent me a letter saying that it was to cover my food, fuel, power bill, phone bill and any other expenses I might have.  Let me just state for the record that if I paid my phone bill with that child support money, I wouldn't have enough left for the power bill - much less food or fuel.  He also instructed me to sign my children up for governmental assistance, as well as myself.  

I know what you're thinking - Why is my husband's attorney instructing me to do anything??  He's just that cocky - exactly like my husband;  they're a perfect fit for each other.  No doubt they think they have this thing all wrapped up with a pretty bow on top.  I'm ok with *letting* them think that.  For now.

As for governmental assistance - I've been there.  Done that.  When I was pregnant with my first son I went and put myself on Medicaid.  Crazy-Kinky Boy was working two jobs and we still didn't have any money for doctor's visits.  However, as soon as he got a good, full-time job with insurance, I removed myself from that program.  There were others who needed it more than myself, at that time, and I'm not the kind of person that takes advantage of things just because I can.  You'd never find me "living off the government", as so many in this country do.  My husband remarked many, many times over the years that we would never use government assistance unless we were desperate and have no other choice.

I'm there, no thanks to him.

But I'm not beyond asking for help when I need it.  Such as now.  I went to the agencies in charge of food stamps and state-sponsored children's health insurance program.  We definitely qualify for those assistance programs right now.  And we NEED them.  But I was turned away because I do not have my children's original birth certificates.  They will not accept copies.

I've repeatedly asked Crazy-Kinky Boy and his father for my kids' birth certificates, only to be lied to and told they 'don't have them'.  I watched my father-in-law take them out of the safe when he came to retrieve my husband's belongings.  He refused to give them to me when I asked for them right then.

So, without those little pieces of paper I can't gain assistance.  I have to go and get new ones from the county.  Which guessed it.....MONEY.  

Money I do not have.  Money I've tried to keep from spending, but have had to go get food, instead, to put in the bellies of my children.  Each time I try to put a little back, someone gets hungrier or has to go to the doctor or needs new underwear.  That's life, right?

Only, it's a suckier life when you're working with pennies to begin with.

In steps a beautiful, wonderful, new-found friend from my past.  I've shared with her all the dirty details of my sordid affair.  She's listened for hours, offered advice, been angry and frustrated for me.  
Made me laugh more times than I can count.  

Today - she made me cry.  More than once.  Please go check out her blog and see just what a friend was willing to do to help out another mother.  

In mere moments, my faith in others have been restored.  I've been let down tremendously by those that I would have thought would be a source of support through all of this mess in my life. I've been abandoned by family, people I *thought* were friends and even the church I was so invested in with my kids.  

But through the selfless actions of a true friend - today my faith in people is bolstered and reignited.  Because of Kim's post, total and complete strangers have made it possible for me to get those birth certificates that will allow me to get the assistance for my kids that I so desperately need at this time in our lives.  

We may even have some left over for an ice cream cone @ McDonald's!  That would be a major treat, right now.

Some of you may be wondering what I'm doing myself to increase our familial funds.  As I said when I started this blog, I'm a homeschooler.  My kids are at home with me 24/7 and I teach them myself.  It's been a hard road, but one I know has been the right one for them.  It's amazing what we've all learned the past (nearly) two years.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I've considered going to work at night, but I'd have to pay a babysitter.  More MONEY, gone.  I've also come to the realization that for me to be able to bring in any kind of income myself, I'll have to put them back into traditional school, eventually.  I don't like it, but am prepared to do it.  

Only thing is....if I took a job outside the home, I'd likely have to pay for after-school childcare.  Then I'd be working to pay that and bring little home, in the end.  Not to mention the fact that time with my children would be whittled down to nothing.  

So, I've decided to put my God-given talents to very good use.

I learned how to sew a few years back and have gotten quite good at it.  It started with beautiful clothes for my baby girl - the kinds of things I couldn't afford to buy in stores.

It's evolved into making aprons, table linens, handbags and market totes.  With the occasional fancy little girls' outfit or super-hero cape thrown in for good measure.

I've sold quite a few to friends and family over the years.  I even had a local boutique that carried my goods for a while.  That is, until Crazy-Kinky Boy decided to go all schizophrenic on me and it was a little too much for me to handle.   

I've recently been gifted (through my father) a website.  It's all in the works right now.  I'm in the midst of production of my first line of products.  We have a photographer in Atlanta (friend of the family) set to receive my first set of samples for their "shoot" in early November.  

Things are coming along, though a little slowly...but still coming along.

Please visit the Fan Page on Facebook for 
Bayou Kitchen and become a fan!

We'll be having a FANS ONLY Kick-off Sale soon with more info on purchasing, available styles and updates on the website to follow.

I'll leave y'all today with a super-grateful heart.  And hope for the future.

"Thanks" is not adequate for the gratitude I feel.

Header PS Brush by