The Ex-Files – “It Hurts Me Too Much”

When the kids and I left CP behind in California, we had no idea what was ahead of us but we were hopeful. I was hopeful in a new beginning for me and the kids were hopeful that their “Pop” would be coming soon behind us. I knew that wasn’t going to happen but I let them hope. They were excited about the plane trip, the 3 week stay at my sister’s house, and our new house when it was ready for us to move in.

We moved into our new home (which was built in the 50’s but had been remodeled) in early September and the kids loved that they had a huge yard (many acres) to run and play in. The house was small and they had to share a room, but they were little yet. They didn’t care.

I had written CP a letter while we were staying at my sister’s house in August to say a few things that I needed to get off of my chest. I made it perfectly clear that it was over and if he chose to come out here, he would not be living with us. I encouraged him to call, send cards, gifts, etc., to the kids because after all he was still their father. I offered to send him newspapers from the area with truck driving job offers in case he did move out here to be close to the kids. I would never try to keep a man from his children unless he was a sexual predator or a murderer, or something equally as sinister. CP wasn’t a bad person; he was just a dumb ass who never learned how to be a parent, or an adult either for that matter.

Our first Christmas in Missouri, CP sent the kids bicycles. I was surprised, as you can imagine, and hoped that this would be the start of him actually trying to be a parent. I wasn’t working yet so I was broke but I made sure the kids made their “Pop” Christmas cards and other artwork as gifts. He managed to call and wish them a Merry Christmas, which made me happy for the kids. They were excited to hear from him. When we had our first snow that year I sent photos of the kids and their very first snowman! We didn’t have snow where we lived in California, so the kids were excited. They were equally excited to share the photos with their “Pop.”

Each holiday that rolled around, I made sure the kids took the time to make cards and other artwork for CP. It didn’t matter what the holiday was; they sent him a card on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, 4th of July, etc. I sent him school photos, photos I had taken, and copies of their report cards and notes from teachers, etc. We even picked out little gifts for his birthday. He sent a card or two and called a couple of times but the times we heard from him was few and far between.

SR’s first birthday here in Missouri was a fun one. We went to the Animal Paradise, which is a drive-thru zoo! My daughter had chicken pox and I didn’t realize it until late in the day. I always wondered how many kids she gave it to! My son, CF, had it within the next couple of days so they were completely covered with pox and calamine lotion! CP called them during that week, and they were so excited to tell him about their “spots all over” and the trip to the zoo! After they finished talking to him it was my turn. I knew he would have questions because they were talking so fast he probably couldn’t catch half of it!

I answered his questions and told him how much the kids missed him and that he really should try and call more often because they really enjoyed talking to him. His response: “It hurts me too much.” I about came unglued. I responded back in a not-so-nice tone of voice, “YOU? It hurts YOU too much to call and talk to them? How the fuck do you think THEY feel when they don’t hear from you? Do you think it makes them feel good that their Pop doesn’t call or send them cards anymore?” He started to speak but I cut him off because I knew what was coming. “Don’t you dare put the blame on me! Yes, I took the kids and left you. That’s no excuse for you to not stay in touch with your own children!” The conversation, as you can imagine, didn’t last long after that.

I continued to encourage the kids to draw pictures and make cards. I continued sending CP photos and report cards from school. We were here about 2 years when I finally stopped. As I mentioned before, he never acknowledged anything we sent. If the kids came up with the idea on their own to make “Pop” something, then I helped them in doing so but I stopped dropping the idea in their path. He never acknowledged any of the gifts, artwork, or cards anyway. Not once. Not one thank you. I didn’t expect him to thank ME but it would have been nice for the kids to hear those words!

We never heard from him again until he called regarding his court ordered child support 10 years after we had been here. You can read about that here. Now the kids are grown with children of their own, and he hasn’t made any effort to get in touch with them. He most likely never will.

Makin’ A List

The holidays are not what they used to be…at least for me. I used to enjoy the holidays when my kids were small. The joy and wonder, the anticipation was worth all the hassle of decorating, shopping, wrapping gifts and hiding them, etc. It was fun to help the kids make gifts and goodies for Santa! We had our traditions; the cookie baking, the homemade pizzas, popcorn cake, and pizza balls. That was all on Christmas Eve! The kids got to open a gift that night and leave cookies for Santa. We watched Christmas movies and had lots of laughs! I always made a big ham dinner on Christmas Day, along with tons and tons of appetizers that we got full of before we even had dinner! The kids enjoyed all of it and so did I.

The kids got older, became harder to shop for, harder to please. You know, pre-teens and teenagers. They no longer believed in Santa Claus. Ok, so before someone decides to educate me on the true meaning of Christmas, don’t. I’m quite aware. I’m not a religious person but I always taught my kids “the reason for the season.” But that’s not what this post is about.

About 11 years ago, certain events changed the way I thought things would be in our family. On top of that, chronic pain has invaded my every move, my every thought and…my everything. It’s rough. I was able to spend a little time with my son, his wife and the littlest grandson on Christmas Eve and I enjoyed every minute of it but I thought my house would be full of kids’ laughter and play, during the holidays. Depression, loneliness, and sadness always sets in.

I try not to succumb to the depression but it’s hard. I eat too much, don’t sleep enough, and I cry a lot when I’m alone. During the holidays, I try so very hard to hide my sadness and put a smile on my face. I’m not able to do the cooking I used to do. My son made the popcorn cake for Christmas Eve this year but he didn’t have time to make the pizza balls. That’s ok though, we still had pizza; it was frozen pizza but it was still good. I threw a ham in the oven on Christmas Day and opened a can of baked beans, which was fine because it was just me and Dad. Still, not what this post is about.

I bet you’re thinking, “Damn, I wish she’d get to the point!” I’m getting there, I promise.

Every year I try to make myself feel more festive and happy by giving gifts to others. GIVING TO OTHERS makes me feel good about who I am and I love to make gifts. This year, I crocheted over a dozen gifts for family. I carefully chose the yarn color and pattern/design I thought was perfect for each person. I worked my ass off, sometimes ripping out a design that just didn’t look good and starting over. I put my heart and soul into everything I made. It felt good to do it and I’m not sorry I did, but I’ll tell you what…

I’m makin’ a list…

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Photo by Kaboompics .com on Pexels.com

I’m making a list for next year and if anyone wonders why they didn’t get anything from me then maybe they should think about Christmas 2019 when they didn’t even have the common decency to send me a simple text to thank me for their gift. It takes just seconds!! What a bunch of ungrateful shits in my family. And this does not apply to young children. It applies to adults; young adults and older adults.

I didn’t make the gifts for the thanks, just to be clear. But it would be nice to be recognized and appreciated. I busted my ass to get everything finished and shipped in time for Christmas. It really hurts my feelings that only 3 people thought to thank me for their gift. Next year, I’ll be sending my handmade crocheted items to people who might actually appreciate it…perhaps the Nursing Home, a homeless shelter, or the children’s hospital. Maybe I’ll just make scarves for all the homeless dogs and cats in the area!

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Photo by Benjamin Lehman on Pexels.com

Friday’s Funnies – Christmas Edition #3 – A Tribute To Alcohol

Yep, you read that right! This week’s funnies are entirely dedicated to alcohol and the holidays! What would we do without it? Some of us would strangle our own mothers, kill our co-workers at the office party, cold-cock the husband with a cast-iron skillet, or ram the neighbors’ giant lighted Santa up their asses because it feels like Clark Griswold’s family just moved in next door….without the aid of our long-time friend, alcohol.

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Alcohol can’t solve our problems, but it sure can make parties more fun, relatives more tolerable, and well, you know! Alcohol can even make a headache go away…ahem. If you drink enough of it, that is! But be sure to stay home or have a designated driver! Please drink responsibly!

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Ok, now on to this week’s funnies. Enjoy!

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Think about poor Santa! How much alcohol do you think he needs to get through the holidays?!

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Bottom’s up, my friends! Have a wonderful weekend and an even better Christmas! Don’t forget to spread that wonderful holiday cheer around! *Snort*

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Merry Christmas!

Aunt Debbie

Scrambled Eggs For Brains

I despise this time of year for several reasons. The main reason, and most personal, is the lack of grandkids filling my home. I had so hoped for a full house of littles in my 50’s but I guess that’s just not meant to be. I have 4 grandkids now and the most I can hope for is a little time spent with the youngest.

Another reason for my loathing of the holidays is the fact that everything is so commercialized. It’s all about how many millions of dollars brick and mortar stores and online shops can pull in and about damn near every family in America feeling the need to go broke just to provide their families with gifts that they don’t need, don’t want or just don’t freakin’ deserve. I mean, how many teenagers have you known who deserved a brand-spankin’ new car for Christmas? I’m sure there are some out there, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve seen the worst, most spoiled brat teenagers get brand new cars and it makes me want to drop-kick their parents off a cliff.

I try to make my nieces and nephews crocheted items every year…which is getting rather difficult because there’s so damn many of them! My grandkids get crocheted afghans or toys, or whatever their parents think they need or might like. My kids get something useful because at their ages (30 and 33) they can buy their own expensive toys and be happy with a kitchen gadget or something of that nature. I bought Dad a motorized antenna because he insists that he doesn’t need DirecTV in his bedroom. The old-school antenna fell down months and months ago so he’s been without tv in his bedroom. He knew what I was getting him because I needed him to check it out first to make sure it was something he could use or would want. He did and so there ya go. Now he says he doesn’t know what to get me so I should pick something out for myself from him and surprise him. Always a joker. Now I have to decide what I want.

I’m really exhausted…mentally and physically. My brain is just scrambled most of the time. I can’t focus. As I type this, I have to keep checking my spelling because inevitably I turn the letters around or leave letters out. That’s not normal for me. I thought maybe it was just from doing Thanksgiving dinner, which we had the Sunday following Thanksgiving because I needed time to prepare after being sick for 12 days. I tried to make it as easy on myself as possible. I made absolutely nothing homemade. It should have been easy, right? After all, dinner was just four people and everything was boxed, canned, instant, frozen, and/or just needed simple assembly. The turkey breast soaked in a brine for 2 days and on Sunday morning I tossed it in the roaster. I was in so much pain afterward…and I’m still paying for it. I thought I would feel much better by now.

Our traditional fixings for our Christmas Eve (homemade pizza, pizza balls, and popcorn cake) will have to be made by my son or he just won’t get them this year. I just can’t do it anymore. Last year, he came over to help me make them and all was going well until I fell like a dumbass. I had huge bruises on my thigh and didn’t walk right for a week.

I’m not even going to put up my little tree like I did last year. I just don’t have it in me. I have no motivation, no inspiration, no desire. That’s what chronic illness does. It takes away a person’s desire to do the things he/she used to love to do. It’s exhausting

I still have packages to ship, a few gifts to wrap, and Christmas dinner to plan. I think I’m just going to buy a ham and some baked beans and be done with it. Nothing special…but gotta have my ham! If my brain isn’t already scrambled enough, going to Walmart will surely drive me to the brink of insanity!