The Hag

Wow. I am finding some of my old writings and it’s a sorrowful glimpse into the past. My sisters, my Dad, and I had been through all kinds of hell with my mother and this particular piece I found really brought those memories to the surface. I wrote this about the time my parents finally got divorced andMom had left the state; she actually left when my youngest sister was still in high school. My poor Dad had been put through the wringer for so many years! I remember being fearful that I was going to be just like my mother and I didn’t want my kids to know that person.

~~~

The Hag

I can’t think of a hug or a kiss that I care to remember from my dear, ‘sweet’ mother.

I remember the pain of feeling about one inch high because I didn’t do something exactly right.

I remember the pain when my mother left, but I never felt better when she had finally gone.

We all found peace of some kind, especially Dad, who is finally free.

I don’t think I can ever be free because I fear that I am her and she is me.

I want my kids to remember a loving mother, and not the hag I will turn out to be.

~~~

Mom passed away after an auto accident about a year or so after she left. She was the type of person who defied anyone who told her what she could or couldn’t do and that included laws. She refused to wear a seatbelt because she said she shouldn’t have to if she didn’t want to. She said it was no one else’s business.

Tragically, she wasn’t wearing a seatbelt when she fell asleep at the wheel. (Mixing alcohol and medication will do that to a person, as well as impair your ability to make sound decisions…she wasn’t good at that in the first place.) She was thrown from her truck and died instantly.

Such a very sad time, but in my heart, I knew something was going to happen because of the way she had chosen to live her life.

Ickie: A Random Memory

memories blog

My son, who is 28 years old, was born in 1990. He was long and skinny at birth, so my Dad stuck the nickname of Ichabod (as in Ichabod Crane) on him, which was later changed to the shorter version of “Ickie.” It was cute when he was a little guy, but when he started school we stopped calling him that. My daughter was asked to stop calling him that as well, and I explained why it would be better to call him by his real name, especially at school. She understood and was very good about it, believe it or not. No one ever knew what his nickname was until he was grown.

School was about to start and I was excited to have quiet time during the days now that both kids were going to be in school. The first week is usually a bit hectic, but we always survived. Thankfully, we had a competent bus driver who was always on time with pick-ups and drop-offs. That made things so much easier, not just for me but for the kids, too.

It was a quiet 2nd day of school. My sister, Sheryl had come for a visit so we were just lounging around, talking and just enjoying the day. We decided to sit outside for a bit and greet the kids as they got off the bus.

It wasn’t too long before I could hear the bus coming up our road. I told my sister, “You watch. Ickie isn’t just going to GET off the bus. He’s going to FALL off the bus.” He was the type of kid who was all-in. He did everything fast and with excitement! He was always on the go! Where my daughter was more laid back, he was busy, busy, busy!

Turns out I knew my kid better than I thought I did.

The bus stopped in front of the driveway. My daughter got off the bus first. Then Ickie, just as I told my sister, took a step or 2 down the steps of the bus and then FELL the rest of the way OFF! We laughed so hard — but not because he fell and could have hurt himself! We were laughing because I KNEW MY KID SO WELL!! He got up and dusted himself off, but he was crying. He had scraped his knee.

I gave him a hug and told him, “You really know how to get off the bus there kiddo!” He grinned and went inside. I felt bad for laughing but as I said, it was not AT him. I was laughing because just seconds before the bus stopped I had predicted exactly what was going to happen.

Don’t worry. If you think I should be ashamed of myself, rest assured my dear son has never let me forget that day! He will continue to make me feel bad for the rest of my life! Oh, I felt bad. I felt like a terrible mom at that moment. The thing is, I’m not perfect. No parent is. On the bright side, Ickie will have that memory of simpler times, when I could make him smile after a rough day. He’ll remember brushing himself off, getting back up and mom putting a band-aid on his knee just before his afternoon snack.

Oh, and he’ll have a story to tell his own kids someday.

 

 

The Ex-Files – Installment #6

For about a year before I actually left my ex, we had been making plans to leave California and move to Missouri or Arkansas. Dad was planning the move himself (cheaper to live and buy property in that part of the country) and he didn’t want to live alone so he invited us to go with him. CP was excited about it. I was unsure but went along with the planning.

CP insisted that it wouldn’t take him more than a couple of weeks to find a job, once we moved. At that time, he was driving a truck for a local company so he was sure he could get another truck driving job quickly. Every couple of weeks my Dad came from San Francisco to visit and we always talked a lot about the move. Each time we had one of our discussions, CP would change his timeline for finding a job. First, it was 2 weeks and then it was 2 months. Then it changed to 4 months. Next time, it was 6 months. It seemed to me that he was trying to weasel his way out of working and doing his fair share when we moved! I was worried and I knew I was either going to have to tell him in no uncertain terms how things were going to be or I was going to have to UNinvite him completely.

Dad was going to retire very soon and the plan was that he would haul a trailer with important belongings, some furniture, etc., put our things in storage and then start the hunt for a house that was large enough to accommodate CP and me, our 2 kids, my grandmother and of course, my Dad. Dad had purchased plane tickets for me, my kids and my grandmother before he left. We were set to leave in July. CP was going to follow by car later in August and with the rest of our belongings. This would give him the chance to tie up loose ends.

My Dad left in May. He put our belongings in storage as planned and began his hunt for a house. He stayed in hotels off and on, mostly for a shower every few days. Other nights, he stayed at roadside rest areas, to sleep and sometimes he bought meat at Walmart to take to the rest area to cook on an open grill. He was essentially homeless. He eventually found the small home we are now living in, but it took until July to find something in our price range. The kids and I had to stay at my sister’s house for 3 weeks because we were still waiting on the house.

Back on the homefront, it was late May and CP invited his aunt and uncle over for dinner. I tried my hand at homemade manicotti. I made the pasta by hand and it turned out fantastic! That evening, my daughter wanted to play with her Lite Brite set and CP had a fit about how she would dump it and not pick it up. She promised she would pick it up when she was done so he let her have it. She played and played while the grown-ups talked. She finally got tired of it and was picking it up but her little brother wanted to play with it. They began screaming and fighting and I stopped them. SR was picking up her mess, as she had promised but since brother wanted to play, too I told her she could let him play with it.She started to get upset about the promise she had made to her pop.  I said, “I’ll tell pop that your little brother wanted to play and that you were picking it up like you promised. I’ll help brother pick it up when he’s done.” She was worried that she was going to get into trouble. (She was just 6 years old.) I assured her she would not get into trouble. I didn’t think this would be a problem.

In the meantime, CP calmly mentioned in front of his aunt and uncle that he would be following us on our move, but it would be a few months later than originally planned, December to be exact. This was the first I had heard of it and he only mentioned it in front of his aunt and uncle because he knew I wouldn’t cause a scene. He knew I wouldn’t question him in front of his aunt and uncle. I didn’t disagree with him and let it go, just as he predicted I would. It was this precise moment that I knew CP had no intention of following us on our move. It was just one stall after another. First, changes in the amount of time it would take to get a job, and now this.

After another hour or so of visiting with his aunt and uncle, CP came through the house and saw my daughter’s Lite Brite pieces all over the floor. He was pissed off and started yelling at SR and really piling it on thick because his aunt and uncle were still there. (I wasn’t aware that little brother had finished playing with it or it would have been picked up already.) I tried to explain to CP what had happened; that I told her I would help little brother pick them up after he was done playing. (He was just barely 3 years old.) CP was showing off, trying to show his aunt and uncle who’s boss when he yelled, “I told her to pick up the mess and what I say goes!” He refused to hear what I was saying. That’s when I started picking up the mess. My blood was starting to BOIL. He tried to push his weight around even more and I stood up, and I told SR and CP to go to their rooms to play. I stared him dead in the eye as if the glare would kill him instantly. (I wish it would have, to tell you the truth.) Then I got back down on my hands and knees and finished picking up the goddam pieces to the Lite Brite set myself. Aunt and uncle watching, of course. He is NOT going to treat me like that, or my kids over something so insignificant. There was no reason for CP to make a scene and act like a complete a**hole over the whole thing when it could have been easily put to rest. Sometimes circumstances change and as parents, we have to make quick decisions and change the rules a bit. Maybe I made the wrong choice in the first place but I honestly didn’t think it was going to be a big deal. To this day, I still wonder….

Anyway, aunt and uncle finally left. I enjoyed their company but thought when they left, CP and I could talk about what happened. But no. CP went to bed, without a word to me or the kids. Naturally, it’s still early enough that the kids were still up and I still a kitchen to clean, kids to bathe, stories to read, etc., etc.

Stay tuned for the next installment. It’s gonna be a whopper.

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Doctors and Chimps

It’s been raining off and on for several days, mostly ON. The furbabies are sick of the rain too, as they can’t (or won’t is more accurate) go out on the catio like they normally do. The roof keeps springing leaks; Dad thinks he has the problem solved and then it starts dripping again with the next rainfall, although in a different spot. We just can’t win. Last night, I needed my trusty earplugs in order to get any sleep at all. The blasted drip, drip, drip outside my bedroom window seemed much louder than it should have.

Monday started out with a little rain but not too bad. I had to take Dad to the doctor for his 6-month check up so I was happy to not have to drive in pouring rain. There were large puddles on the road, but that wasn’t a problem. We left a little earlier than normal to compensate for driving a bit slower.

Dad’s doctor used to work in 3 different clinics of the same medical group in the area but then she started seeing patients in just one clinic. Just our luck, it was the clinic furthest from us which is approx. 45 minutes away. So, off we went. When we got to the clinic, Dad went to check in and he was told that his doctor had retired last month. The girl at the desk said that all of Dr. Harper’s patients were called. I said, “No one called us!” Dad sure wasn’t going to speak up, so I did. “We had to drive 45 minutes to get here,” I said. She said, “I’m sorry. I don’t know how his appointment got missed.” I do. Incompetence. But ok. I know shit sometimes happens, so I let it go. Naturally, there were no appointments open for that day with another provider so we had to make another appointment. This time for Wednesday and with a nurse practitioner because they don’t have a doctor there as of yet. Dad needed his scripts renewed so he had no choice.

Tuesday, was my appointment to see my therapist. Dad likes to come along because we go have lunch afterward. My therapist moved her practice further away and there are more restaurant choices, so we make a big day of it. It was raining when we left the house and it never let up. It rained all day long. My knees were in bad shape. I could barely walk – it was worse than normal and I’m pretty sure it was because of the rain. What they say about arthritis and joint problems is true. The weather dictates how bad the pain is! We managed to get to my therapist’s office without any problems. She gave me some helpful suggestions for the sleep problems I’ve been having.

When we left her office it was STILL raining! We decided to not drive too much further and just had Mexican food at El Patron. Great food, clean place, and very nice people! Can’t ask for much more than that when eating out! Problem is, we nearly didn’t make it.

I was in the right-hand lane of the highway because I knew I would be turning right. When I saw the intersection and traffic light I started to slow down. There was a vehicle in the left-hand lane, who decided he was going to move into the right-hand lane. He was going much too fast considering the rain and large puddles on the roads. Visibility was low and obviously, he didn’t see me there, directly on his right. If I hadn’t been already slowing, and paying close attention, he would have slammed right into us! I’m sure it would have been a disaster, knocking us completely off the road. I can honestly say, that I am an excellent driver. I have had no accidents. I have received no tickets, parking or traffic. I am an extremely good driver. I am always on top of things. I am constantly watching and anticipating a stupid move by another driver. ALWAYS. I was on top of my game that day and avoided a catastrophe. I hope that guy (or woman) knows just how lucky they were that they didn’t cause an accident.

I swear, driving in the rain is like driving with chimpanzees.

(Although truthfully, I’m pretty sure chimps could do a better job driving than the morons I encounter on the road these days.)

When we finished our lunch, we headed home. Talk about tired. This was the third day of dealing with other people. Not my forte.

So, today I’ve decided I’m not doing a damn thing. Well, that’s a lie. I did the laundry I didn’t have a chance to do for 3 days. I made a pot of Stuffed Bell Pepper Soup, which is always delish and warms the innards on a cold and rainy day. I took a 2-hour nap and slept like a baby! I never even got out of my pajamas! It was a calm and peaceful day.

That’s my kind of day.

 

An Elaboration

Recently, I re-shared an older post from 2008, called “Loser Boyfriend Syndrome.” It occurred to me, that so many awful things happened to turned our lives upside down that I never told the entire story. It was such a difficult time in all of our lives I couldn’t eat, sleep, or write. I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I was a mess.

It has taken a lot of courage for me to write about this; not because I’m ashamed or worried that people will know, but because it’s very painful to relive it in my mind in order to put it in ‘writing’. It’s a story that takes place over a 4 year period, and there are many (painful) details I’m leaving out. This is the short version of the story.

Loser Boyfriend, who I have referred to in this blog as “J” will now be referred to as ASSFACE because that’s what he is.

When my daughter, S.R., decided to move out I was thrilled for her. I was still concerned because Assface was still going to be in her life. At that moment though, he was in jail. When he got out of jail, my daughter let him move in with her and my grandbaby. I knew this was going to end badly. I just knew it. It wasn’t long before this piece of shit man got my daughter to “try” meth. I know that she had some say in this matter, but she would have never “tried” it if she hadn’t been with him. She was on the right track until she hooked up with the likes of him.

It wasn’t long until we found out he was cooking meth in the little house she had rented, a house that was supposed to be home for her and her baby boy. He ended up in jail again, she ended up in a rehab place and she could have lost her son. After her stint in rehab (where she was allowed to keep her son with her), she came back home to live with us. She then had to go through drug court and counseling, etc. I thought, as did everyone else, that this would have set her ass straight but it did not. When Assface got out of jail and S.R. finished with her obligations, they moved to another town, about an hour or so away. She was determined to stay with him.

At one point, after a few months, my daughter sent me a few distressing messages. Something about coming to get her….and hurry….and how far are you… I was worried, rightly so. I called the cops as I was driving and asked if they could do a well-being check. They did. Assface was NOT happy about that at all. S.R. and my grandson came home with me because apparently, they had had an argument. After a couple days, Assface came to pick them up and I was told in no uncertain terms that I wouldn’t be hearing from them ever again. I was mortified! And it was 5 months before I heard anything at all.

S.R. changed her phone number, unfriended me on Facebook, and I missed my grandson’s birthday. I sent birthday gifts and never knew if he even got them. I was in a state of panic, as I had no clue if they were dead or alive. No phone calls, no visits, no letters, cards, etc. After 5 months, I got a call from Assface’s step-mom, who told me that he had been arrested.

THANK GOD. But what about S.R.? What about my grandson?

My grandson had been picked up by Social Services and placed in Assface’s father and step-mother’s home. They got temporary custody because they knew people on the inside. I was just happy that he was safe with people that loved him and would take care of him. My daughter was about to spend 2 weeks in jail.

After S.R.’s stint in jail, she STILL didn’t want to let go of Assface! The judge decided that either she would have to give her child up to Assface’s parents to raise or lose any rights to future children. She eventually signed papers, allowing the other grandparents to adopt my grandson. I was happy he was going to be safe but sad at the same time. He’s my grandson, my firstborn grandson.

S.R. moved a couple hours away and went through the drug court, counseling thing again. She lived in a house with others in similar circumstances. She got a good job and started to rebuild her life. This would be the 2nd time she had to start over because of bad choices and….Assface.

So, S.R. was on the right track again, finally. But guess what she did? She got hooked up with another loser boyfriend, who I actually liked and welcomed into our home and our lives. I thought he was a good guy. That’s when my 2nd grandson came into this world. This time, when things went sour….and I mean could have had a disastrous outcome….my daughter had the good sense to leave their home and wait for the cops to come. That was the end of that. She put her child’s safety first. I had never been so proud of her. She ended up starting over yet again….

Now, she’s a single mom, working her butt off and she realizes that she doesn’t need a man to screw things up for her again. I hope someday she meets someone who is as special as she is. She’s my baby girl, my firstborn child.

Not too many people know this bit of history and those who do, unfortunately, know all the horrible details. This was a terrible period in my life. I was down for the count…until I started seeing my therapist. It was my therapist who helped me to realize that none of what happened was my fault. Of course, my head knew it wasn’t my fault…. It was my heart that was feeling the guilt and the shame. It was just broken.

My heart has been healing for the last 6 years now….

Oh, and by the way, Assface is in jail again. Hope they keep his sorry ass this time!