Identify what is most important )0( Eliminate everything else
The idea that some lives matter less is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Dr. Paul Farmer
The suffering of others is not alleviated when no one knows about it.
There is no one right way to live. Daniel Quinn Ishmael
The only thing that you need to start an asylum is an empty room and the right sort of people.
We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be. Kurt Vonnegut

Friday, November 30, 2012

beauty is in the eye

You know how when you look at your friends, when you spend time with them, sharing, laughing, weeping in sympathy, all of it, and what you see is beauty?  Most people have nice looking outsides, but what makes a friend, or a good person of any kind, is how beautiful, how glorious, how totally outstanding we are on the inside. 

Hard exteriors for protection, hiding and holding safe the creamy center, the parts that make us nice people.  People worth loving.

Well, it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that all of my beauty is on the inside.  I do not cause small children to run in terror, or grown men to weep in fear, but, well, the truth is that I am kind of ugly.  My individual features are not so bad, but the two-hundred or so genes that determine my facial identity are not arranged very well.

Should anyone think that I am being humble or even looking for attention, some sort of affirmation that I am not quite as ugly as I know myself to be, well, please release that notion because I am not attractive.  I have known this all of my conscious life and I make no apologies for having been dealt the evolutionary hand with which I find myself, or as in this case, face. 

What I am, however, is extraordinarily well-groomed.  I am clean, I smell great, I know how to use cosmetics to my best advantage.  My hair is soft and shiny.  I shine. I do.  I know this because of the trust my friends and family and clients put in me.  I am a trustworthy person.  I do not judge.  I listen and I help. 

I dress professionally, and although my wardrobe is very small, I take exceptionally good care of what I have and practically everything stays looking almost like new until I cannot hold the threads together.  Then, I make new clothes and the transition is seamless because I wear basic pieces and whilst that could be boring, it is not to me and it makes getting dressed super-duper easy.  I like it.

So, the short story is that I am not attractive, but I do not scare anyone.  I am just being honest.

Anyway, today I am at the dollar store, getting crafting supplies (have little ribbon angels to make), small items for the surprise balls I am making for the boys, getting stuff that I can give to the shelter that sheltered me if I get organized to actually do that, not buying my favorite candies (yay me!) and when I am about ready to check out, I pause to let some people pass me, and then go around a display.

There a woman stops me.  I thought that she was going to say something mean-ish because she had to wait whilst I stopped for those other people and the place was packed and jammin' with so many shoppers that there were periodic announcements for people to not take their carts outside and leave them there.  Really busy.

What she said, though, was that I had a nice smile.  That was nice and I told her that it was also just what I needed to hear today.  I started to walk on and she followed me and told me that I was beautiful.  I thanked her but could not help giggling, very quietly.  I thanked her and walked on. 

She followed and told me that she had to speak to me because the Lord had entered her and demanded that she tell how truly beautiful I was.  I am not particularly ashamed to say that by this time my giggling was audible and with my nice smile I thanked her again and she left, both of us much better for the experience, especially me being so touched by her kindness, and with my fondest, silent, wishes that she get better glasses.  I know that she meant well, but it might have been easier and less giggly if she had not pressed onwards. 

Now, I am not being flip about any of this.  My encounter with this angel was truly something that I needed today.  Desperately.  I had just come from my therapy session.  We are doing good work there, but I am finally addressing and sharing some of the stuff that happened to me.  I know this has to be done, but I am very reluctant to enter that realm; having survived it should really be enough and going back is reliving it and I hate it more than I can express.  So much so that my therapist insists that we meet again on Monday. 

I am so close to so many bits of forward movement, I think.  This work is too hard, nobody should have to do this.  There is no force in the Universe that will improve or even change my outward appearance, but maybe if I can stick with this whole therapy process long enough I will be able to really have the pretty interior life that my friends seem to see.  Some peace would be nice, too.  And, I do have my nice smile.  Blessings on that angel who spoke to me today.

Oh, my task for today is to turn on some lights tonight after it gets dark, which it is now.  Maybe one light.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

things I cannot share elsewhere

Well, I guess that is true for everything I write here, but I am afraid of offending others, having recently done so without knowing it, so this place is the only place left for me.  I am recovering from the shame of being an asshole.  And oblivious.  And stupid and careless and, seriously, how could I fail to see what a fuck-up I am.

I am thinking about books.  I divested a ton of them more than a year ago, and when I had to flee earlier this year I had to let the rest go, save for two small boxes.  Even then, I struggled with keeping any because I simply did not have anywhere to go, nowhere to settle and no means to provide anything for myself.  Yeah, boring, sad story and I am pretty much over the whole thing, even though I am told that I am not addressing some core issues regarding the abuse and all the rest.  Baby steps.

I like to read...anything.  Literally.  Pun intended.  Always have.  There are countless books that I will never live long enough to read.  I have read more than most people have, but that is only because, well, it was one of the more revelatory moments I had last year during the big divestment.

I realized that part of reading was a twisted and desperate attempt to find my story.  The one I had, my life story, was not so nice and I devoured page after page, tome after tome, trying to find a story with which I could make sense or meaning about why I was even here.  Fiction, sure, but embarrassing amounts of self-help books, trying to fix myself so that I would find a way to be perfect.  It seemed my only path to survival, particularly as an adult, a married woman, a wife.  I know now that I was chosen for marriage because I could be used and manipulated.  For all that reading, I remained more stupid than anyone deserves to be.  Just plain stupid.

Reading was my safe place as a child.  Denial of reading material was the penultimate punishment.  Leaving behind my books this year is one of my greatest sorrows in a year of suffering.  I am certain that there are some vital life lessons for me in just the loss of the books alone.  I hope that this is not perceived as a complaint or that I am being a big, old downer, but it holds enormous energy for me and dealing with this is an important aspect of my healing.

That said, any kind of mythology gave me strength.  The simple process of reading and learning about beliefs going back to the near beginnings of civilization fed my mind, my soul and my own beliefs in something greater than myself and my environment.  I attended a small, county parochial school and once I had exhausted the books in the classrooms and the tiny library, the nuns, the nice ones (and, yes, back then there were nice nuns) shared books from their own library.

However, there was one book from which I remembered a particular story.  Something about a ring around the moon.  Faeries, wee folk, woodland citizens.  I obsessed about it, even though I could not be certain that I was remembering it correctly.  When I was in my twenties I came across a book and recognized the illustrator as the person who did the images in that other book.  Now I knew I was on to something.

More time passed and I finally thought I found it.  Not the book, because it was out of print, but I had the illustrator's name and a renewed hope that I would find it during endless prowling through used book stores, rummage and yard sales, even the annual book sales conducted by libraries. 

Then, in 1998, whilst working at the bookstore, right around the winter holidays, I was looking for something else in the catalog on the computer and had a moment and typed the illustrators name into the data base and there it was.  Sight unseen, I ordered ten copies.  When they arrived at the store I kept a couple on the counter and showed the book to many of my favorite customers.  To my surprise and delight, it was the long-lost favorite childhood book of several of them.  One woman began jumping and shrieking as she held it in her hands. 

I let her buy my copy, and ordered more.  It stayed in print for a while and then it could no longer be ordered and I had to stop telling people about it.  I dispersed my copies to a couple of my siblings, a couple of friends and my daughter, who despite my sporadic searching for this book during her entire life was surprisingly ambivalent about having her own copy.  Oh, she was gracious and all, but it was not nearly the thrill for her as it was for me. Since it seems to have been one of the favorite of so many people, it has come back into print again, but I have this nagging feeling that I might have the book, but maybe the reprints are not exactly the same as the original.  Maybe.

Now, my memory did mix up my recollection of the actual poem and a couple of the illustrations.  Either that, or, as I sometimes suspect, I have not yet found the precise book.  The illustrator is dead, so I can not ask him, and the publishing company has been sold, reorganized, resold, and no one there anymore knows anything.

I have my copy, and it interests me sufficiently to keep on looking for a copy from the original printing.  I have recently found what I think is the original version, at least it has a slightly different title and a different front cover.  So, I am ordering one.  Yay!  I really should be more carefully stewarding my money, but, gosh, double-yay!!!!! 

I know how little and insignificant this is, but it makes me happy, the search and all.  A place to focus when reality gets a bit too intense.  These are baby steps as well.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

my wallet hurts

In order to make up for a tiny bit of the financial shortfall resulting from someone who is not me stealing from me, I will have to sell my car sometime in January or early February.  I thought that I could let it go now, but I need to stockpile things, canned goods, staple ingredients and cat litter, that will be too difficult to haul home during the winter.  And, I want to be able to visit my daughter and her family through the holidays.

By using a big chunk of the proceeds of the house sale, I have been fully paying my medical bills, CoolCat's vet bills and vaccination and licensing fees, repairs to the stupid car and preparing it for cold weather, paying my insane legal fees, and buying a few necessary items for our new home here.  We now have enough blankets and fabric for replacing some of my clothes.  We now have a fire extinguisher and a toilet plunger!!!!  Yay!  I still have a lot of medical expenses coming up, but my doctor is accommodating and I can have the tests and treatments done as I can save up for them.

Clothes.  A perfect example of how frugal I have always been.  Never buy anything unless you absolutely have to.  Unfortunately, all of my clothes are in really quite embarrassing condition and I waited until the fabric I needed was on sale and used a big coupon to buy most of a bolt of it.  That felt so good.  I can make five or six garments for less than the price of one new shirt.  Yeah, that totally rocks.

So, even though the house money will not last the six years I had planned, it should do me for at least two, and selling the car will bring in a few thousand and a nice refund for the insurance.  Yay!  Like, really, yay! I have been looking for a job for more than a year, and am not giving up hope that I will find something. 

Still, I have to wonder why an unexpected bill from a dentist sent me over the edge yesterday.  A little background is that I have not been able to afford dental care for a few years.  I had a broken tooth last year that was repaired by my old dentist.  She is kind of crazy, but she came through for me and fixed that broken tooth very well last September. 

Then, during the whole running away from home thing, it broke again and I could not afford to go back to her. I found another dentist that is walking-distance from where I live and whilst the work done there is not as good as my old dental clinic, it was what I could afford.  Or, so I thought.

Yesterday brought a $120.00 bill from them after they had told me in June (when I had the tooth re-glued, which lasted only a few hours), that I did not owe them any more money.  Crap.  I went in and paid it today and they could not even give me an actual bill because "well, dear, that is not the way we do things here".  The woman at reception was doing only what she could do, but I need some kind of documentation of my expenses in order to apply for financial assistance.  She made a copy of the form they sent in to the insurance I had then, so if I decide to go ahead with seeking help, that should do.  Still irritates me that I could have paid this darn bill months ago.   Not a total loss though, as my therapist says that it is good and time that I feel and express some emotions.  Feeling irritation counts, yes?

You know, when this all started, my attorney told me that everything was going to work out just fine.  That I would receive my share of our investments and that I would have enough to buy a little condo somewhere and have my teeth fixed and be comfortable for the rest of my life.  I told her that was never going to happen because I knew my husband and that none of that would happen and I was just happy to be out of that situation and that would be enough. 

As time went on I began to believe her.  My first mistake, as I truly knew what he was capable of doing and that he had never been fair, much less generous, at any time during our marriage and that he was absolutely not going to let go of a cent if he could avoid it. 

Ending up with virtually nothing is, well, I take full responsibility for that.  I wanted out of there and to be safe...and much that I agreed to everything he did during the process.  Just like when we were together.  You know, I really thought that if I did not take him to court over the abuse and if I agreed to everything he wanted that he would magically turn into a decent person and, well, you know, be decent. 

Seriously.  What was I thinking.

However, I would not go back and change anything that I did.  It will never be over because he cannot stop harassing me.  It is what it is.  Has to be enough, but I have to admit that more money would be awfully nice.  Yep.  Just have to let all of this go.

I was listening to something the other day, and it was about the laws of attraction.  I know there are books or something, but beyond that I know nothing.  Anyway, this guy said that what we draw into our lives is directly connected to what we say and how we think.  I agree with that, and so I have designed a mantra to say every day, at that guy's suggestion that people say something similar to what he says every day.  It is I am enjoying the money that is coming into my life from every direction.

So, mine will I am happy and I am safe and I am enjoying the money that is coming into my life from every direction.  Yeah.  That should work.  Oh, god, I am such a doof.  I cannot say that with sincerity or even without chuckling, but I am going to try it for a while, at least.  I do have to say that it is nice to have something fun and funny like that to help me not be sad.  Which I still often am.  Baby steps.  Everything in its time.  Yeah.

Oh, and the spa where a woman and two of her co-workers were murdered by her ex is re-opening  tomorrow.  Blessings for all of them, especially the owner who refuses to allow that tragedy to destroy her life work and the livelihood of her employees.  She has been paying them their regular salaries/wages during the more than a month that the spa has been closed.

Her six-year-old daughter was asking her about things and she told her that you have to persevere and survive through the darkest of times, or something close to that.  She said that she has redesigned the interior of the building somewhat, that it is the new normal for the people who work and come there for services.  Man, she is so cool. 

I just saw her on the television and she and the other women are so inspirational.  They are re-crafting their lives and their work and are taking special care for the families of the murdered and injured women.

So, whilst my wallet is recovering from it's most recent injuries, my heart is kind of full of hope that everything really is going to be fine eventually. 

O.K., little confession here.  I know that I have to move forward, but it is impossible to get that message through to my heart and every time I see something that he liked or foods that he liked or even those stupid nut and toffee things he liked from the Asian market, I cannot help but think that no one will ever do any of those things for him.  No one is likely to make things special for him or cook his favorite meals.  Maybe that is or will happen, and it certainly has nothing to do with me anymore, but those little things stop me right in my tracks.  I really am stupid.  I know this.  What a macaroon.  Oh, well.   More baby steps.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

thinking about the next couple of holidays

and that is mostly because of Thanksgiving.

I love holidays.  When my daughter was little she was interested in everything.  Truly, she had no filters on her desire and energy to learn every darn thing she could about the world.

One of her most ardent interests was religion, and one of the ways we learned about those religions was to research and respectfully celebrate the associated holidays.  But, that is another story, or actually lots of stories, all of them wonderful.

How that applies here is that because I left this year, most of the family stuff got left behind.  I am not missing my stuff, well, mostly, but the winter holidays, well...I always spent lots of time with my ex's family, telephone calls and visits all the time, much more than he did, which was practically nothing.  So, even though his family has sort of banded together, I am still missing that.  And, that is inevitable because I have been hiding since I left, and all they have is what he has told them.  There was the regular contact at the beginning of the whole end thing, which is when I learned about the lies he has been telling about me for the past several decades.  Again, another story, but it informs what is happening now, and that is that I will never have contact with any of them again.

They were, are my family, too.  More than they were his.  Two of his sisters tried to make contact with me at the first, but I ran for my life and was in a secure hiding place.

After that initial period, it was still clear that I was in danger, so I continued to hide as best I could.  Did a pretty fine job of it, by the way, and that I am still here, still complaining about every damn thing, is proof of how well I have kept myself safe.

Silence about everything to family and friends was, well, sure a good idea, necessary even, and there is no benefit to me to share anything with anyone in my life.  My sharing and venting is with the people who gave me shelter and kept me safe, my therapist, my attorney and a couple of close friends and those I know in the virtual sense.  My original intent was to keep our daughter from knowing the truth about everything that has happened.  It is said that children always know more about things than we give them credit for knowing, and that is true, but in this case, mine, it has become very clear that I was successful in hiding the abuse from her.

I now sometimes feel some tiny regret about that when she says things to me, but there are no circumstances under which I would ever have done any of the concealment any differently.  It is much better for her to not understand as opposed to having her know of any of that stuff.  Frankly, anyone who has been misused, abused and mistreated knows that this is a burden that only we can carry.

To put it on to others seems sinful.  There is a host of people who know that things happened, but none of them know the specifics. My therapist insists that I need to unburden myself of those experiences, but simply thinking about talking about any of that is nearly paralyzing.  So, I do not.  I have no intention of doing so.  Ever.  There are moments when holding the knowledge and the experiences is crushing, but to put that information in the awareness of another person is something I cannot do and could never bear having done.

And, that is why my holidays are in need of re-crafting.  I cannot allow the burden of my presence to be borne solely by my daughter, and the rest of my family is either too far away or is the family of my ex and they are effectively not a part of the life I now have.

Which means that the ornaments I was making this afternoon for Christmas will not be going to their intended recipients.  In the midst of making them that realization was like a physical thing.  There was no air to draw into my lungs for just that moment.  My nose and eyes and chest filled.   I mean, I still have friends and my side of the family with whom I can share these holiday things, but I have already made so many and printed lots of cards, completely forgetting that half of my family is gone, I am dead to them.  Not as dead as my ex had hoped, but deceased nevertheless.

No more funny and repetitive stories from anyone.  No more family fights.  No more sisters-in-law and their families.  No more nieces and nephews and their children.  No more games and songs and silly stuff.  No more love and warmth and sharing.  At least not from any of them.

I wonder sometimes if any of them miss me or wish that we could talk or get together.  I wonder if they remember me for who I am, the person I always was with them.  I wonder how much of the lies they believe, especially since I have not defended myself from any of it.  I wonder if they still love me as much as I love them.  I was the safe place for several of them and I wonder if they ever think about that, our relationships.

I wish that I could just break down and cry about this, but it has been too longs since I was able, felt safe enough to indulge in weeping.  I know that I would feel better for a while, but I still cannot do it.  I have tried, and the barriers I built against that kind of vulnerability are too strong and I am not able to move past all of that.  Now that it is safe to do so, that release is lost to me.  Fine.  It is what it is.

I was thinking that this is a good opportunity for me to move outside of myself and this pain.  I am fully aware of how truly blessed and downright lucky I am.  I have shelter, a nice home for me and CoolCat.  I can pay the rent and utilities and buy food and some of what it takes to have a good life.  All of the good things exponentially outweigh the negatives.

I struggle no more than anyone else in my circumstance and fare better than most, and for that I am most sincerely and eternally grateful.  So, perhaps it is not reasonable or fair or grateful enough to long for the release that tears would provide.

I think that I will be helping other people this season instead of dwelling on my own crap.  The shelter that protected me could use help at Christmas, as well as the homeless shelters.  Maybe the Veteran's group, or one of the community centers.  Maybe the holidays will be just fine.  A new life, with new practices and new rituals.

well, there you go

Thanksgiving was lovely.  Spent with family, and most especially the grandbabies, it could not have been any better. 

I tried to hang on to that feeling the next day when more bad stuff happened.  It resolved, as best these things can, and I guess that a day of suffering for no good reason is all part of this process and of becoming stronger.  The no good reason aspect is because no matter how I craft this new life, there are always going to be forces that are determined to destroy each bit of forward movement I achieve.

But, I have determination, too.  Less than I want, and yet more than I ever thought possible. 

I took that bad day and re-shaped it into positive experiences.  I mailed card packages to some really cool friends and had a nice and surprising personal conversation with the postmaster who processed my mail and sent all of it on its way around the globe. 

I took care of business at the bank and spent time working and re-working my finances.  Speaking of the bank, I seem to have some wonderful friends there, another unexpected result from just getting out there and finding my way to doing what I need to do.  Crazy. 

Even though I will have to sell the car in a couple of months, I am being proactive and stopped by to see my mechanic friends to arrange for a complete check-up and winter overhaul for the darn thing.  I have known this family for a long time, all the way back to when our children were in preschool together.  They know something bad happened this year, because someone who is not me contacted them during the whole divorce thing, trying to make more trouble for me.  I have not any idea of what he said to them, only what sifted down to us via his attorney, but I am guessing, only guessing, that because they know me that they took little notice of that stuff, whatever it was, and, gosh, I was so reluctant to stop by to arrange for this auto work, but I did it anyway because these people are my friends and it was more important to take the risk there than get the car work done someplace new.  Life is so complicated. 

I still have to find a new doctor, pharmacy and other stuff that is close to where I live, and find all of it soon, for when the car is gone.  I have been studying the bus schedules and have a fair idea of how I will get to the markets, do laundry and all the rest.  There will be a fair amount of walking and the exercise will be great for me. 

Every day finds me stronger and more competent.  I am finding that, even though it continues, I am able to release the negative energy of the bad stuff.  I do accept that the harassment and danger from him is simply not going to lessen as long as I am alive.  I will never have any closure on any of that, and it is something with which I must find a way to live.  I think I am doing that. 

Some days baby steps, other days more forward movement, but it is what it is and I accept that I will never be able to stop being conscious, consistently aware and proactive about staying safe.  The police have been clear about making sure that I will not be reluctant to contact them for any reason.  I think part of that surely must be the recent murders of women by their ex-husbands in the city near to us. 

I am being very careful about my surroundings when every I am out of my home.  I pay attention. 

Monday, November 19, 2012

utility bill

The combined electric and heating bill came today.  It is only eighty dollars, much less than I expected.  I am hoping that becoming accustomed to the cooler indoor temperatures will continue and that I can avoid the inevitable upward creep on the thermostat.

It is nice to be seeing a financial benefit after only a month.  Yep.

Monday, November 12, 2012

reality might not bite, but it does snarl

In the past month, or so, I have been taking stock of what I have and what I need to do. 

I have given up on the whole belief that I would receive what I deserved to have from my marriage.  I cannot stop hoping for the best outcome, but someone who is not me has never been an honorable person and refusing to be killed by him and leaving did nothing to improve his beliefs or behaviors.

So.  I have finally accepted that my share of our investments is most likely completely stolen and I have only what I have.  In that spirit, I am releasing my stingy ways and moving forward.  Here is where my frugal ways will help me.

I crunched the numbers and made some decisions last week.  I cleared all of my jobs and am taking this entire week off to make the arrangements necessary to have the best life I am able to have. 

My Medicare advantage health care plan went belly-up and I received a telephone call last Tuesday that I had three weeks to find a new plan.  There are not any as good as what I had, which is probably why it is no longer available.  Today I spent all day on the phone trying to find something I can afford and I decided on a plan that has fewer resources and that costs nearly $60.00 more per month.  That means some changes.
  • Last week I cancelled the basic television service I had. 
  • I cancelled the repair appointment for my computer and will use it as it is.
  • I cancelled my cell phone and yesterday bought a disposable, buy-minutes-as-needed phone.  I have given the new number to my daughter and two friends. 
  • I stopped going to have coffee/breakfast with my friends as of last Saturday.  I think that this is the most sad of all of the new economies.  Savings mostly of the gas needed to drive there, but also any coffee or food I might buy.
  • I lowered the temperature settings a few more degrees, made some house pants and am layering on more clothing in the house, something I should have already been doing.  I do not know how much that will save, but every bit helps.
  • No lights on in the house any more than necessary.  Dishes and other stuff will be done only during daylight hours.  I have always used power strips to stop phantom electric usage, but now everything except my computer is completely unplugged
  • I am asking friends is they have memberships that can be shared (via the membership rules) to the warehouse places and am planning on buying cases of the staples that I use so that I do not have to grocery shop more often than once a month for fresh food.  I do not have freezer space (half-sized refrigerator/freezer).  I can also save on cat food and litter there.  I also need to get some of that removable caulking there, for the windows here.  They are  nearly seven feet high and the cost of plastic sheeting or window quilts (unless I find some fabrics I can sew together at the charity shops) is prohibitive.
  • After the holidays I am going to sell the car.  That will bring in a bit of money and save on gas, and I could do it now, but I want one more holiday season to go up to my daughter's.  After that I will use the bus in town, a real bargain as seniors pay half-fare.
  • I have made arrangements at the vet clinic to be able to pay them for CoolCat's immunizations in installments.  I will make the appointment at the end of December so that he can be vaccinated and licensed. I will pay that off and then put a few dollars away each month for when he gets his next illness.  Which he will because he has a couple of chronic health issues.
  • I went shopping and made a couple of investments.  
    • There is only one small closet here and hardly any cabinets, so I ordered a pair of two-shelf plastic cabinets that I can stack in my bedroom for food storage.
    • I bought plastic shelving (man, those things are nice, and cheap!) so that I can unpack and organize the sewing and crafting stuff I have and can begin making and selling things again.
    • I bought a package of foam insulation stuff for the doorway.  There is already some there, but I tested it with a stick of burning incense and there is still some air leakage.  I will also be making a fabric covering to hang over the entire door frame.
    • I still have to buy a grocery cart thing, but I could not find one that I would be able to haul onto the bus.  As long as I have the car I can keep looking at the charity shops.
These things will not eliminate all of the money issues, but they will help me steward my resources more effectively until I can find a job.

I have also decided, against the realm of reasonable and frugal judgement, to find a dentist and have all of my dental problems fixed.  This is going to take a significant portion of the money that I have, but it is a good idea, long term health-wise.

Once I released my attachment to the hope that I would be treated fairly and not completely fucked over yet again, I experienced a nice calmness that continues this week.  I should be feeling something about all of this.  Perhaps I am not yet close to feeling anger or loss, much less dealing with any of that, but I feel as though I should be feeling something, sadness and loss or something.  I think sometimes that my therapist is right in that if I could feel any negative feelings or have any negative thoughts and maybe even find a way to cry about any or all of this, that I would be better able to do whatever I need to do. 

But, I am having some really serious forward movement in my life and it seems as though that should be enough, at least for now.  I am handling all of the financial stuff, was able to find new insurance before the deadline and, gosh, I think that I am doing really well.  I am alive and I have CoolCat and that just, plain has to be enough.  Crying is for babies.