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It’s funny how you see things Wednesday July 23, 2008

Posted by gingerbreadman in Uncategorized.
I know I mentioned that my bed is in the living room, but I had no concept of how much that was influencing how I felt until I realized I was feeling lazy, sluggish and just plain dull all the time.  A friend of Becca’s gave us a very nice couch and my Mom sent a recliner, so now I have living room furniture and can put my bed where it belongs-in the "box room". 

It’s so strange setting up a new way to live, a new regimen, schedule, time-table.   I got lulled into the peace of not having another person to answer to and doing things whenever the girls and I felt like it and it’s really beginning to show.  On my thighs, on my face, in my attitude.  I think I’d just decided to have a respite from being quote-unquote THE MOTHER and went with the flow of things too long.

The girls that came to spend the night Sunday still haven’t left.  *head shaking laugh*  Who’d want to leave a place where the Mom is laid-back and easy, the soda supply is constant and they can stay up and goof off all night long then get up at 1 pm the next day?
No one, that’s who.  But, with the bed finally going into a bedroom, after dealing with a month of just "let it be" and realizing I’ve become a sluggish lump, things are finally coming together again.

I left Mike and our house feeling that there was no real hope for us.  The surety that he’d never be able to change, would flat-out refuse to change his attitudes was strong, and I really have been amazed to see that I was wrong.  Does that mean I’m re-packing everything and preparing to move back into my black-and-white kitchen?  No, no, I’ve dealt with human behavior long enough to know that it’s easy to put on a show when you really want something, but that the longer you must wait on it, the more real your behaviors become as your patience wanes.  Do I hope he’ll come through?  Of course!  He’s been my partner, my friend, my man for over six years.  He’s been the father to all my girls for that long, and La’s devotion to him is deep and strong.  Do I wish it’d never come to this?  Well heck yeah, but it did, it is and waiting for it all to get better is going to take time.  I have a lot of changing to do too. 

I’m realizing now that I let a lot of my peace and happiness go without fighting to keep it.  It was easier to be lazy and blame it all on Mike and his problems than to look closely at myself and see what I was doing and not doing to make things better in the home, in our relationship, in his relationship with the girls.  I’m seeing I’ve got a bit of a lazy streak in me, no doubt compounded by the medication I’m on and the health problems, but that’s just plain no excuse.  I have to hold myself accountable for my place in all this mess, and be assured that if or when the time comes that I’ll stand taller and deal effectively with whatever comes along to try and unbalance my life.

I feel like I’ve got cotton batting in my head, fogging over my eyes and making things harder to see, decisions tougher and slower to come because I can’t get through all the snow on the brain.  That’s something I’m having to battle on my own while I work my body back into shape and *trumpets blare*  get these kids ready for school agoin in less than two weeks.

I miss you all.


Can people change? Sunday July 20, 2008

Posted by gingerbreadman in Uncategorized.
The apartment is chock-full of teenage girls tonight; Katie and Emmy wanted all their friends over for a party.  Lala is in her element, shoving herself into every thing they say or do.  Libby’s finally old enough they’re including her too.   Outside of a LOT of racous racket due to the enthusiastic playing of the game R*ck*Band, it’s almost peaceful here.

Things with Mike and me have been weird.  He’s going to his counseling appointments and apparently applying what he’s learning.  This situation left him with the choice to be a really rotten person, or to come through and do all the right things.  He’s made the choice to do the latter…spending a lot of time with all the girls, calling me up when he discovers something new he misses about us all, things about me he’d forgotten to appreciate.  It’s very disconcerting.  Why is it that it takes losing his family to make the man understand how much he loves them?

I’ve found myself in such a strange position here.  My head tells me he hasn’t changed, can’t change-is just trying to fool us into moving back home.  My heart tells me he really has figured it out, and even while he’s influencing his Dad Duties on all the girls even from a different place, he’s doing it better-doing it the right way.  He talks such a good game.  I just don’t know if I can trust him to play the game that well, all the innings.

I know I’ve changed just in this month we’ve been gone now.  I know now I don’t need him to survive, so I don’t have to feel dependent;  but I’ve realized I do miss him and the support and caring he gave me when I was down and out.  Realizing that you can want someone in your life, even need them without acknowledging it isn’t dependence…it’s supposed to be part of love, isn’t it?

So much has gone on in my relationship with Mike, for so many years.  It’s been tumultuous much of the time, but then we’ve had some wild things happen to us.  Some of them we came together for, some just split us further apart.  He insists we can relearn how to be a couple…not just parents and people, but a couple too.  It’s true we haven’t done that in forever.

I’m not doing anything about it right now but thinking.  We’ve got a date this week, and he’s spending alone time with each of the kids, trying to repair those relationships.  I’m concentrating on keeping this peace inside me I’ve found and enjoying it as long as possible.  If I’ve learned anything in the past month, it’s that I wasn’t happy, and hadn’t been for a long time.  Mike assures me he knows that now and can change his behavior to help.  I wish I knew what to believe.


New Chapter Monday July 7, 2008

Posted by gingerbreadman in Uncategorized.
We left a house behind.  A house I picked out, lobbied for, fussed over, scrubbed, polished, laughed occasionally and cried a lot in.
We moved into a 3 bedroom apartment, building 10 of 20, situated behind a factory and a bit across from a grocery store.
I left behind the couch, the beloved computer desk I’d bought myself with my first big paycheck 6 years ago from my quality supervisor’s job.  I said good-bye to window treatments I’d worried over for days before choosing and hanging.  There are tons of little spots on the wall marking the places photos hung with precision and care are now in boxes.  My huge kitchen with all it’s counterspace, large bedrooms with lots of windows aren’t mine anymore. 

We’re only using 2 of the bedrooms for sleeping right now.  My bed is in the living room, posing as a futon while ‘my bedroom’ is empty of everything but my bookshelf, my computer (sitting on the floor) and my clothes.

I don’t know when last I’ve slept better, or woken feeling so peaceful and ready to start the new day.  My therapist, my GP and an old neighbor all told me I looked ‘different’:  the therapist finally marking it down to my "face not being so shadowed with stress and tension".  There are still migraines, but not as many.  Still so much difficulty in dealing with the situation with my father, but Emmy and I are talking and dealing with it.

But leaving behind all the stuff Mike and I had accumulated over our years together, starting out poor and rough again in this new place has given all ‘us girls’ a gift.  Peace. 

I wonder sometimes why I didn’t leave sooner; why I didn’t take my nice last fat check from Social Security and leave then with more security financially-what the difference in February and June was.  I suppose I just wasn’t ready then.  I wanted to ‘pay back’ for the years I’ve been ill and he’s the one who had supported us all.  Pay him back maybe for sticking around when I was so ill and difficult.  Maybe, sometimes, I think I was just giving things with us one more last chance, the hope that if he was finally happy with his career, he’d be easier to live with at home, better to the girls, someone I wasn’t happy to see leave every day.

What I’ve done, instead, is give myself permission to leave, to quit when he didn’t, permission to realize and acknowledge that while I needed him financially, that’s all I’ve come to need him for and that he needed, not wanted, me for far too much.  Finally, that needing him financially only, and sticking around was just like me being a hooker. 

So I sit here on the floor in ‘my bedroom’, almost ready for bed and the ability to sleep through the night solidly without pills, and I am finally proud of myself for the first time in years.  Ready to struggle again for things like the electric bill, school clothes shopping, whether I can afford Christmas or not and at peace with the idea of it.  Determined to be a person my daughters can emulate and respect for almost all of my choices instead of just a few of them.  Laughing and dancing again, playing card games and making jokes without worrying about them being taken the wrong way or hearing admonishments to quiet down solely because we sound too happy.  Out of the fog of the past years and into the sun or the rain, whichever or both, but at least standing strong instead of wandering blindly on my knees.

I know it’s corny as all get out, but you know what?  Sometimes life just is corny…

We left a house.  We moved into our home.

Blessings, blessings, blessings.