When the furnace system was fixed, the thermostat was set to 70F. Since I am adjusted, as well as one can be, to living with 55F, I poked the down button until it was back to that. I mis-poked or something, because it only went down to 57F.
When I saw that yesterday morning, I have to admit that I panicked a teeny bit, worrying about the heating bill being so high again. But, finger poised, I hesitated and then left it alone.
The truth is that I am uncomfortable at the lower temperature, but have it set there because I cannot afford to pay any more than necessary. For anything.
I eat poor. I heat poor. I conserve beyond reasonableness. More importantly, I think poor.
I had a meeting on Thursday with my attorney. Her legal aide and I went through the paperwork they were finally able to extract from the companies with whom my ex had put all of our money. And, that always gives me pause, because when he did those things, he effectively stole from me for all of those years by making certain that I had no access to any of our resources. I know now that it was part of the whole control thing, but at the time, during all of those decades, it was my normal and I accepted that I owned nothing, nothing was mine.
Except for the proverbial 'clothes on my back', because I earned the money for that myself. What I needed, I provided with my little jobs. Including our daughter's education. You know, that is not even a complaint, because I have come to understand that having to do all of that is probably one of the things that kept me alive. Providing for her. There is some kind of inner something, some kind of strength that kept me going, striving, trying to make things work, and that ultimately was there, in that moment, when I made it out alive.
So, I think poor because I am. I struggle to hang onto this computer and Internet connection. I will do anything to keep CoolCat with me and healthy and safe. I hang on to a car that I really cannot afford to keep, but cannot afford to get rid of because it is my link to seeing my grandchildren more often than my daughter and her husband can bring them south to me. That same car makes it possible for me to leave here to go to my volunteer gigs and to therapy. Were it warmer, I could take the bus to the last two, something I intend to do when we are closer to Spring and it is warm. Bliss. I can hardly wait.
I hang on to the insanely reduced body of possessions that I have. I rescued my paints, where they had frozen solid because I did not remember being able to squeeze them into the storage unit. Even with all that, I think that I still have too much stuff, and that is because I have the mind-set that being ready to flee without a moment's notice remains an essential part of how I manage in the world. Even my purse is filled with practically everything essential so that I can survive if I have to get out of Dodge. Should I ever have to do that again, I am prepared with that packed bag and easy access to CoolCat's carrier.
Leaving him and LittleGoddess behind when I left last year remains the greatest regret of my life. In that moment I thought only of my own survival. As soon as I was out of the driveway I remembered them and drove around the block, intending to fetch them. But, I knew that I could not do that safely, and so had to abandon them. LittleGoddess died as a result of that decision, something I have to live with for always.
Nothing important is ever easy, is it? All the choices I have made, all of the decisions, all of the roads not taken, no going back, no do-overs. The finality of it is proper. It cannot be any other way. I guess that is why we have regret available to us. It is a kind of poverty from which there is no escape.
I live poor because I cannot trust myself to find hope, you know, the kind of normal hopefulness that most normal people accept as a part of their lives. Heck, most of them never even think about it. I think about it all the time. It is an automatic response to every damn thing that happens.
This has to stop. I need to find hope that is more than superficial. In many ways I have done that, moved in that direction. My therapist tells me that everything takes time, something with which I struggle when I am stalled by something. Something like this poor-me mindset.
And, so, the thermostat is set at that darn 57F. It feels too warm at night, but I have yet to figure out how to program the darn thing, something I can now do because I found the user's manual last week.
Whatever happens with all of that legal stuff, it would be nice to
receive my share of our assets, but I am not putting any energy or hopes
into actually receiving it. It serves no purpose, all that hope. My attorney told me, at the meeting, that she has never experienced the kinds of delays being imposed by my ex. I am not surprised at all. This is his normal.
Today I will sew. Really. I am organized enough to make the cold/hot packs that I need for the sweet office person at the school where I mentor. She has migraines and uses a bad of ice cubes wrapped in a cloth to help her at work. I am surprising her by actually making the packs that I said I would make a month ago. Yay me.
Soup first, a bit of reading and then sewing, in a warmer than usual environment. Warmer. Bliss.