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

Thursday, March 7, 2013


I write bad poetry.  I really do.  I am a good poet, but my poems are, well, they are of the bad sort.  They do not rhyme most of the time and they are about ordinary life and I am pretty sure that they are interesting only to me.  I have shared them with a few people, those who understand the poem-writing-process and I get good feedback.  I almost performed some of them once, but left the event before it was my turn, because I knew that strangers would see right through me.

Someone once figuratively compared them to a relatively famous poet, but I am certain that he was making sport of me.  He was way too amused to be sincere.  However, since the writing of stuff, poems included, is something that I simply have to do on occasion, his disdain and mockery really mean very little.  It did not at the time, and even though I remember that, it still holds no energy for me.  I think that is probably true for everyone else who just has to write.

There is a little coffee shop near to where I go for therapy, and when I have a bit of extra money I will stop in there for a truly excellently brewed cup of the hot stuff before my head-shrinking-maneuvering-remolding-reconstructing appointments, even when that money should more properly be used for paying the heating bill...oh, the horror that bill continues to be.

You can get a twenty-five cent discount on your coffee purchase by doing something different each day.  One day is to answer a trivia question.  The first time I went for that discount, the guy working there gave me a fairly complex physics question.  I was not able to come even close to the correct answer, so no discount for me.  I felt like a failure, seriously, until the next person in line was presented with a question about dogs, for crying out loud.  I went from epic fail to wtf in record speed.  I still tease the coffee guy about that.

But, Thursdays are sing a song and you save a quarter day.  Now, I can sing.  When my daughter was in high school she tried to get me to perform in some stupid talent thing, but I cannot sing in front of anyone, which is partly because my ex used to ridicule me for vocalizing around the house, but also because I am shy.  Like, really shy.  Monumentally shy.  People who know me well, get that I am shy, but acquaintances and client never get that, for which I am grateful and because I work really, really hard on overcoming my natural tendencies and make great and sincere efforts to behave like a normal person when I am in public and have to actually interact with people.

So, when the coffee guy told me a few weeks ago that I could save that quarter buck by singing at least a bit of a song, I declined.  I also said that I would always make sure to have enough quarters with me when I came to get coffee.  I asked him if he just did that on a whim, or if that was the standard discount theme on Thursdays.  He said that it was, and I expressed my regret at having asked that my appointments be switched to Thursday.  He thought that was hilarious.  Fortunately, I have not had the means to buy coffee since then.

I knew that I wanted coffee this morning, but I did not want to deal with not being able to sing, even soto voce.  My solution was to write a little poem before I left the house and hope that a tuneless rendition would be acceptable.  I mean, all songs really are is some kind of at least pseudo poetry set to music.  Really.  I wrote a haiku on a sticky note and hoped for the best.

When I got there, he asked if I wanted him to leave room for cream and I replied, no thank you, no cream, no singing.  He laughed.  He thinks I am funny, bless his heart.  Thus heartened, I asked him if I could get the discount if I read a poem.  He laughed and said that I could and I said that was great because I had written one just for him that morning.  I read the poem and he could not stop laughing (it really was not all that funny, the poem) and nearly forgot to give me the discount.  But, he did and I saved twenty-five cents plus tax.

The haiku is:

Coffee discount, sure
But, singing for it, scary
Always have quarters

That is the most I have ever made on a poem.

On a different note, I shared the highroad poem with my therapist this morning.  You know, I wrote that thing in just a few minutes.  I have read it several times since then, mostly just reading it, but doing so out loud a couple of times.  One of the amazing things about us humans is that we often do not know what we truly think or believe until we vocalize it, write it down, or do both.  It is often a pretty interesting revelation.  Surprising.  Often stunning or shocking.

Needless to say...although I guess I am saying...I was very surprised to find that reading it for her this morning was so emotional.  I could barely get through it.  My vision blurred, throat constricted and most of it was recited in a whisper.

I have done a lot of work in the week since the last appointment.  I am not a goal kind of babe, although I imagine that simply trying to get through a difficult day can be manifesting a goal of some kind.  But, I made a concerted effort to do some serious thinking, especially with the whole divorce wrap-up-going-nowhere thing.  I have to make some decisions about where I am going to live, whether to stay here and struggle with paying the utilities during the winter or move and hope for the best somewhere else.  Whether or not to unpack my crap and live the best way I can in this place until the weather improves enough to move.  All that stuff.

I am trying to be proactive about the things over which I have any influence.  Control, well, I never had that, it was always a tender longing of mine to have some control, some autonomy over anything in my life, but now I am able to make choices and decisions for myself, and I quite like it.  I did some apartment searching on-line, although I am conserving gasoline and have not gone driving around looking for rental signs.  It was just as depressing and disheartening as the first time, before I stumbled upon the sign in front of this place.  I have actual standards for what I want now.  It has to be on the first floor.  An elevator would be nice, but those kinds of rentals are out of my price range.  The landlord or rental agency has to allow cats, because I am not going anywhere without CoolCat.  The rental fee has to include heat.  It just has to.  I lack the ability to assess the insulation factors that make reasonable heating bills possible.

Starting over again someplace new will be initially expensive, but lower utility bills should pay off over time, as when I landed here my expectation is that I would never move again.  After much painful and fruitless searching, it might be in my best interest to stay here, save my pennies in order to properly winterize this place as much as possible, along with guilting my landlord into doing some of that himself, you know, being the magnificent tenant that I am and how could he possibly bear to lose me.  Like that.  Besides, there are so many things I like about this place, discounting the freakishly insane utility bills.

I just do not know.

I also went looking for inspirational stuff, even though that sort of thing repulses me most of the time.  All that rah-rah, you go girl crap.  Seriously.  I had some time between clients yesterday and followed a link sent to me by that one-stop-serves-all business, employment, connection, networking site.  Surprisingly, there were some cool things there.  Sure, all rah-rah, but I just love me a good platitude, a clever cliche, some snappy chatter.  I compiled a few and e-mailed it to myself.

Some of my favorites, although I must admit that most of them made it to the list because they amused me:
  • Be Brave, Imaginative and Decent
  • There Are No Make or Break Decisions
  • You Can't Be Everything to Everybody
  • Follow your instincts
  • Make Sure Your Journey Is Worth Traveling
  • Speak Even if Everyone Else Is Silent
  • Feed the Eagles and Starve the Turkeys
  • Three questions:
    Are you happy with your job?
    Are you happy where you live?
    Are you happy who you’re with (that could mean friends, spouse, partner, etc).
    If you answer Yes to at least two out of three, you found your spot for the moment.
    If not, you need to make a change to one of them.
  • Do as you would be done by.
  • Accept Responsibility, and Good Things Will Happen
  • Be intentional
Sometimes I have entirely too much time on my hands.  At least I am making an effort, I guess.

The latest on the court-ordered stuff is that my ex is being given one, final chance of manning up and doing the right thing or my attorney is going to file contempt charges against him, the investment companies and his attorney.  You know, right from the beginning my attorney told me that I would get my share of our resources.  And, I told her that it would not happen, that she did not know him like I did.

She was positive that all of this would work out.  She continues to fight for me, and I am grateful, truly, but I have spent more than half of my half of the proceeds from the sale of the house on legal fees.   She believes that had I been more forceful, or assertive, or some damn thing from the start, that he would not continue to be in non-compliance with the court orders.  I am not convinced of that, because he is manifesting exactly the same behavior that he always has.

I knew all of this would happen.  That is why I never refused anything that he wanted during this process.  I also know how frustrating this has been for her, but I knew that nothing I did or did not do would change how he operates and it seemed best, still does, to do everything I could to facilitate this whole mess moving along as quickly as possible.  The only time I have refused to cooperate is on his wanting me to assume half of the tax liability that he incurred by stealing from the investment funds.  He expects me to help pay for his greed.  Sounds like double taxation to me.

I have made a forward moving decision about some of this.  I am no longer going to express, internally or otherwise, my belief that I will come out of this impoverished.

From now on, like from this very minute, I am stating that I deserve my half of our resources.
I am not accepting one cent less than half of the amount that was in those accounts at the time of the final decree and those final court orders.
I am expressing that I will receive those monies.
I am expressing that I will be in full control of this and that I will no longer have to worry about having enough money to live.
I am a strong, resourceful and deserving person (ah, redundancy, thou be my middle name).

Along with that, I am self-talking about how I will always have what I need and that I can handle any struggle or difficulty that comes my way.

Now, for something different and something that borders on shame, but in the interest of continuing to be honest with myself about everything, I have to admit that I know that success in the whole money mess will not go down well with my ex.  Just being practical here.  I know that he will become even more incensed than he is now, even though that might seem to be physically and psychologically impossible.  I know that resolving this to my benefit has the potential to put me back into physical danger.  I am not thrilled about that, but I do have to be concerned with my safety.

So, it is with a heavy and tender and sorrowful heart that I am going to take some actions to help protect myself.  I will participate as fully as I am able in the self-protection class that is part of this new support group that I have joined.  I am planning on taking an additional series of classes on self-defense.  I will be having a discussion in the next few weeks with someone who teaches martial arts, where he will assess my physical condition and decide if I have the strength to take some martial arts training. I will be filing a report with the police department about the potential for harm that I suspect might be part of my life when this mess is resolved.  Despite their ineffectiveness, I am considering have protective orders established.  I am thinking about other things that I can do to keep myself safe; this aspect might mean that I have to move to a secure building.  The thoughts I am having are making me ill.  However, I will do whatever I need to do. 

It is now after midnight and I think that today is International Women's Day.  Bully for us.

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