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

Monday, April 29, 2013


I am
You can be, too.

maybe more crap

Maybe not.

I had a teleconference meeting at my attorney's office this afternoon.  It is really and truly so difficult to trust anyone, for anything.  I am working on that as hard and fast as I can, but, you know, the old limbic system continues to struggle.  I can hardly blame it, truth be told.

So, anyway, I got there early, paid my most recent bill and waited until the guy from the investment fund(s) called.  The gave me a soft drink today.  Certainly getting my money's worth there.  That is only partly a joke, as given how amazingly and stunningly jerkified my ex is, was, always was, will ever be, my attorney and her legal assistant have done as much for me as, I guess, it is possible to do, factoring out that whole losing me for a couple of months.  Water under some bridge, somewhere. 

The conversation with that guy was fine, mostly because I quickly understood that he wanted this conversation because he believed that I had not understood some of the similar conversation more than three months ago, and that I was trying to conserve as much of the funds as possible and might not be drawing as much as I should from said fund.

Except, the chances that I will receive anything, any portion of whatever is left in those funds by my ex are so small that it can be seen only with an electron microscope.  Thank goodness I found one to rent from the party rental store.

If anything remains, the investment guy is ready to go with transferring half of what is in those accounts.  I signed the paperwork directly after that first conversation in January. 

You know, I left that marriage grateful to have my life and the clothes on my back...literally.  All I wanted was out, but my attorney insisted that my ex would be compelled to do the right thing.  The assistant mentioned that again today and I asked her to think of one time when he has done that.  She started to speak, paused and then shook her head and looked away from me.  They all feel badly for me, I get that.  They are trying to get my ex to sign new paperwork that would reinforce the original court decrees, and I just do not think that will happen.  Everyone keeps telling me that this will work and that things will work out.

I wish that I had insisted on not having anything from that marriage.  I wish that I had found the strength to just go through the process, sign papers and never have any thing or thought or quasi-contact with him again.  I would still not have anything, but I would have avoided all this time of doing and going and filing and waiting and hoping and being disappointed and being threatened and paying and paying and paying in too many heartbreaking ways.  

That would have been a kind of freedom.  Now I am stuck following through on this.  There were so many times during all of these months when I had to assess the cost/benefit ratios.  Each time I felt hope growing in me and I went with whatever anyone wanted me to do.  Now, after this meeting today, I am supposed to have hope again, and fuck it all, I do.  Damn me.  That guy was so convincing and supportive and I bought right into the myth again.  Fuck me.

Nearly everything from the house proceeds is gone, and apparently there is no learning opportunity too expensive for me.  Nope, not passing up any of them.  Lordy.  And, I am trying so hard to not feel bitter.  I am not angry or even upset that they have failed so many times in trying to force him to comply.  Even his own attorney cannot get him to do that. 

These bitter feelings come from the same old process:  I am supposed to accept whatever scraps are offered to me and I am expected to be crazy grateful and never feel, much less express, any discomfort or problems with always having next to nothing.

So, I did what I usually do when the sadness and all that jazz rolls in, I went grocery shopping.  I controlled myself and got salad stuff, mayo to make macaroni salad for lunches this week, a piece of beef for dinner tonight and two of the smallest turkey wings I have ever seen for dinner tomorrow. 

I am feeling better already, and I have not started cooking yet.  Kind of regretting not getting any chips and dip, or cookies, even better, cake.  I used to love pie, any type or flavor of pie, but now I desire cake, chocolate (especially if it is double/triple/gazillion times), but I will eat just about anything even remotely resembling cake.  Like scones or bear claws.  Oh, besides chocolate, my other second favorite is those rolled cake rolls made with ubu that they sell at the Asian market. 

All in all, I have managed the day well.  Mondays are the end of my weekend and I am not supposed to get dressed, much less go anywhere.  My utility bill arrived yesterday and was one-third less than last month's, so, in an effort to mood alter, I took some of the money I had put aside for the utility bill and had my hair cut before the appointment. 

Too long hair, angst and a little hope, all gone.  In their place, well, we have me, or I have me.  Stronger.  Less easily rattled or discouraged.  I even managed a joke during the teleconference, when the guy asked me if I had any more questions (after apparently asking some good ones, go figure that one), and I thanked him and told him that given the past difficulties, that we would be having this same conversation next year.

Fortunately, he got the joke and laughed harder than I did, and I laughed mightily. It felt strong to find this humorous.  And, now I am at home, not upset, not weepy or frightened or shame spiraling.

It is like I am able to manifest the life I want, the one for which I have been working.  There are so many times when I thought that I would not make it, and yet, here I am.  All of my hard work, the therapy, the support groups are working, and, without cake.  Who woulda thunk it.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Don't choose unhappiness over uncertainty. Define the worst case scenario to change this.

I just found this in an article on how to maximize your efforts at work.  Excellent for where I am right now. 


I am so stuck that it is not funny anymore.  It is coming on to two whole months since I decided that the whole frakking fear thing had to end.  Just stop.  So, I have been working on that, writing, talking in therapy and the groups, thinking positive thoughts and fighting every single day with all of the stuff that triggers a fear response.

I am doing well.  I have had several occasions when I have not scanned the immediate and intermediate area before I leave the house or get out of my car and go into someplace and then again when I return to the car.  I am over the big fearfest I had for the accountant appointment for the taxes, when I was convinced that it was the perfect opportunity for someone who is not me to accost me and say mean things.  I refuse to even deal with the other stuff I thought might happen.

Being in fear for my life is terrible.  The chances of an attack of that kind are less every day, every week and month that I am from the mess last year.  I can intellectualize this as much as I like, but my limbic system is lagging behind the rest of us, everyone here is this crappy body. 

Part of moving forward is finding a way to get back to art and stuff.  I started a drawing journal, which contains a bunch of mandalas, including one I did intentionally, some quotes that are flowing out of my dusty memory chambers, and even the panic I felt whilst waiting for that appointment to begin.  This journal goes just about everywhere with me.  Those empty pages are helping me sort through my feelings, emotions as well, although I am still having trouble accessing them.  I wonder at times if I will ever be emotional again about anything.  It is a hole to which I cannot find entrance or begin to hope to fill with new and safe experiences. 

It is my greatest fear that anger will be the first to return and that worries me so much.  What might happen if I find and allow angry feelings to happen.  Will I be able to control or contain them.  What if I find out that I am a nice person only because anger, even irritation, is not available to me.

But, forward movement on all of this is what I mostly do now.  I am finally organizing my stuff, pretty much settled on staying settled here in this house.  That means that I can unpack and use the extra bedroom for the workroom I dreamed it could be when I first saw this place.  A room to sew and craft, set up my easel and paint.  Maybe do some sculpting with the little boxes of Egyptian paste I saved in the big move.  Make jewelry and some of the purse safety things that a couple of friends like and want. 

I am reading hopeful things, some of which are making me insane with their optimism and good cheer.  You know, happiness building, problem solving, angst busting.  Crafty blogs and sites, too.

However, in the process of all of this reading I am constantly finding, coming across projects that are creepily similar to things that I did years ago.  I mean, there truly are not any completely new ideas, not really, so that is bound to happen, finding the familiar things.

And, yes, I am being inspired.  Some.  Too often I am saddened by the loss of those days of creativity.  They were the islands of sanity and meaning in a life that was too often dangerous and broken.  The life where all that fear was created, spawned, encouraged to keep me in line.  When I read some of those sites or see a project or item or whatever that holds memory and energy, I feel so sad.  Yeah, sadness is something that I have always been able to feel.

Tonight I saw some wool felting that looks almost exactly like the tiny embroidery pieces I made twenty years ago.  Crazy.

I am guessing that this is uncomfortable because I am finding connection, right down to the bone connection, with some of the creations that I am finding.  And, you know, that is forward movement of a significant nature.  I need to honor all of this, take from it what is important and use the whole process to grieve for what I have lost, that person who had lost hope but managed to hold on to beauty.

I also need to find a way to mend my relationship with my daughter.  I think that she is figuring out that the life her father and presented was mostly lies, that what people saw was the iceberg part floating above the sea, with all the nasty bits hidden under the surface.  My therapist keeps telling me that I need to provide an opening for her to talk to me, to ask questions, and she is right.  I know that I should do this, it is only that I do not want to have to answer honestly and share any of the crappy stuff, much less the worst crappy stuff.  So, I am not doing that, telling my daughter that she can talk to me about any of this, ask me any questions.  I have been thinking about this for months and I still cannot bring myself to do it.  I know that this is a fail, just not going there.

I have been shopping for things.  Some that I really needed, like a full-spectrum light for working and maybe to help with how depressed I am, especially in the colder, darker months.  I was at Walmart (one of my purest of delights), getting groceries, light bulbs and alphabet letter beads.  Yes, alphabet letter beads are a serious and legitimate need.  As I was walking down an aisle, and endcap was filled with Ott lights, the small craft caddy ones.  For ten dollars.  That is less than a replacement bulb costs.  So, I bought that, too.

There is to be a conference call tomorrow with the investment people.  We do not know if this means that I will finally receive my share of our marital resources.  It should be interesting. 

I do not seem to be able to do a credible job cutting my own hair anymore.  This is so distressing.  I now save money until I can get it cut, at the little salon in Walmart by the way, and I am so nervous about the meeting tomorrow that I am going to get my hair cut in the morning.  Maybe if I show up there decently groomed it will translate into confidence, at least the superficial kind.  Better than nothing.

If good things start to happen, then that would be great.  It would be wonderful to not worry so much about money, my future, finding a job.  I am mildly comforted by having begun this journey to empowerment and confidence and the intention to make a decent life for myself.  It seems like such a small thing, but I would feel less good about making these changes if I had waited until it looked like decent things might actually happen.

I will find out in a few weeks what the whole tax mess will be.  I still find it ironic that even though I had no access or benefit from our joint money and investments, I have the privilege of paying half of the tax liability he incurred by gutting large amounts from the funds and by paying half of the income tax on the funds that did well.  And, all on the money he stole from me.  Cool, huh.  I am pretty sure that my personal exemption will cover most or all of the taxes that need to be paid.  One can only hope.

One more thing.  I have been stressing over the lack of proper eyeglasses for many of my clients, as well as the people I have seen at the shelters and the place where I receive therapy.  So, I went to three different stores and bought more than a hundred pairs of readers in a variety of diopters.  I delivered half last week and will take the rest tomorrow.  They are not an ideal substitute for prescription eyeglasses, but they are what I mostly use and they really do work well, great even.  It is such a little thing, but they will help all of us and it gave me an excuse for more shopping.  Yay.

Whatever happens tomorrow and through the next few weeks, I need to stay focused on what I want my life to be.  I need to be strong.  I need to keep finding the humor in all of this.  I need to stay inspired.

I am still not sleeping decently.  Antihistamines and a boring book are my default method of falling into slumber.  One can only hope.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

oh baby

Happy Birthday, Baby!!!!!!!

I almost forgot.

Meet me in the morning, help me sort the readers and we will sing our way to organizational bliss.'s your birthday!


Describes me perfectly. 

I could teach a course in stupidity.

There are times when I think that I deserve exactly what I get, particularly the crappy stuff.

I am walking, talking, bumbling cautionary tale.

Stupid = me.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

mood altering

I do this a lot.  Food is primary and is my drug of choice.  Tonight I met a master alter-er.  Is that a word?  It is now.

One of the things that I have been trying to be constant with is the domestic violence support group that I began attending when I was living in the shelter.  They make you set goals there, which makes sense because it is not a shelter that offers programs, it is a Program that just happens to have a shelter attached to it.

So, there was a schedule of stuff and you had to choose three things during each week.  They ranged from one-on-one therapy, something you have to be insane to not take full advantage of such a opportunity, especially since it is free, and all the way to Saturday Night Movie Night, complete with candy and popcorn.

I chose the therapy and a couple of support groups.  I took a stab at art therapy, but it was beyond lame and the woman running it was more interested in the stories of the women than any kind of therapy.  When she was not prying, she was condescending.  A sweet, middle-aged woman, simply doing her best to provide enrichment and self-discovery to the poor, pathetic, lower-class abused women.  Even I could have done better, and that is not all braggy or anything, given that I was pretty much of a mess myself.  But, she was a bigger mess.  That is not being judgmental, just more brutally honest than I usually am.  O.K., I am being judgmental out my ass.  The sessions were painful. Sue me.

Months and months and months ago, when I quit everything except for my volunteer gigs, I did so because I was at a point where it was necessary to dig really deep and really intentionally in order to continue to make some kind of forward movement.  A couple of painful sessions convinced me that I should really, really do what I do best.  Quit.  Run.  Go to ground and hide, hide, hide.

So, I did that for two months.  It did not help.  I still needed to do the work.  One week I decided to get out of the house and met a friend for coffee near the location where I had been receiving therapy.  My intention was to go there after visiting with my friend and try to make an appointment.  When I walked in, the first person I saw was my old therapist and I asked if it was possible to come back.  We made the appointment right then and the only session I have missed since then is the one where I had a panic attack and had to leave.  Quit.  Run.  Hide. 

Just a temporary misstep.

So, anyway, I went to the support group tonight.  The schedule got mixed up somehow and the person who wanted help with her résumé was not given her sheet until just before the support group began.  We are going to try to get together on Thursday or Friday so that she does not have to wait until next week.

So, there we are, all together in group, settling in, doing the beginning stuff, reading the night's meditation thing and as we begin to discuss it and another woman arrives. 

It has to be said.  She was high.  Really high.  The shelter is housed in an old Victorian (this city is chock full of those things) and has those high ceilings.  This woman was practically ass over teakettle up there. 

Now, all of us have movement issues.  At least those of us with PTSD.  Chronic, small and vigorous movement is one of the ways that our bodies try to deal with and release stress.  Being in a DV support group is stressful.  All kinds of things can come out, stimulated or triggered by what someone else might say, even something innocuous.  It happens all the time, so we wiggle and jiggle our feet, twitch, crumple or fold or tear paper, although it has been a very long time since I have seen a paper-tear-er. 

It was painful to watch her, hear her speak.  She was all over the place.  The things she shared broke my heart into even littler pieces than it is most days.  She was outrageous and funny and heartbreaking and I think she was able to recognize that she was all that and more, because she started to perform.  I have seem that many times.  I often wonder if I ever did it, but I have, perhaps mercifully, no memory of doing that.

There are currently two women in the group who have had family members, both mothers by the way although that is not essential here, gain legal custody of their children.  It was their lifestyles, of which abusive relationships were only a part.  Drugs of all kinds were taken by nearly all involved, them, their spouses, friends.  All in all, not a good environment for anyone, especially children.

Both of these women are bitter, and who can blame them.  And, I can say this with confidence, because each of them told of how they asked family and/or friends for help with their addictions and/or their situations, and no one helped them.  That refusal to help or become involved is something that I have experienced, and it is my guess that most of the women in that room, most of the women (and men, too) in abusive relationships have asked for help.  Like me, the response was probably sympathy, a vague promise to think of something to help, followed by a short and terse conversation/meeting in which the woman was told some version of "'s not my/our business, I/we just can't get involved..."

I think, of all the sad and heartbreaking things that have been shared by women in these groups, that the lack of asked-for-help and the loss of children to those who refused to help and then took covert measures to gain custody of the woman's children is the rotten icing on the entire experience for women (and men, too) seeking help.  Heinous.  Disgusting.  Disloyal.  It is a betrayal of the highest order.  Beyond the pale.

Now, I am not suggesting that the changing of legal custody is never a good thing.  In most situations where this happens, it is the best solution to what are mostly unsolvable life issues and just plain crappy and irresponsible choices of the people who lose custody of their children.  In most cases, the custody of a close relative is preferable to allowing children to flow into the public system.  It is often safer and certainly less stressful for the children. 

But, these two women have a valid point, betrayal-wise.  They were brutally honest about how they were not taking care of their children and that absolutely no good could have come from any of those kids staying in their original home environment. 

The betrayal comes from the feelings of shock they experienced, and that is in the realm of appropriate behavior, on both sides.  Those children should not have been allowed to stay in their homes with all of that mess.  These women agree.  No equivocation at all.  They understand that their children are better off without them, at least for now, at least until they get their lives back together.

But, the core of this is that along with the drugs and everything else, these women were abused.  I am not quantifying how that or how much of it was or was not a factor in all of the rest.  The fact is that they are in this shelter because their lives, their physical lives depend on being somewhere they will not be beaten, threatened, demeaned or killed.  Simple as that.

Despite all of the antics the the late-arriving-woman, she said something that struck me like a physical blow.  It sucked the air out of the room.

She said, "Yeah, they won't help you, but they will help themselves to your children."

Monday, April 22, 2013


I still cannot write anything about any of the terrible things that have been happening around the world.  It seems as though we, individually or collectively, should be able to help ourselves stay safe and help those who are troubled or angry or ill or committed to a way of life, a belief, a practice that does not allow for anyone else to live, believe or practice in their own way.

Last year I saw part of Women Hold Up Half The Sky on Public Television.  When it became available on DVD, I immediately put myself on the waiting list.  It was, is, excellent and with significantly less of the colonialism found in other projects. 

A few weeks later I borrowed the Invisible War, a documentary about sexual abuse and misconduct in the U.S. Military.  Then, when I was having difficulty sleeping, yet again, I turned on the television and watched one of the Public stations, the same one where I first saw and learned about ...Half The Sky.  Independent Lens was on and after came another program, which I almost turned off.  It was Service: When Women Come Marching Home

Three documentaries that do not involve anything connected with my experience, but connected to me never the less.  Our lives, or struggles and challenges are different in the context of the lives we live, where we live, how much money we have, what our other resources are, familial, societal and political influences, but we are still connected by the mere fact of being human.  Age, gender, race, all of it means so much less than the energy we put into maintaining some notion of who we are, who other people are and how we are different from one another.  It is an illusion that does not serve any of us.

All I want is to live in peace.  And, I want everyone else to live in peace.  I heard something recently about how war and conflict and differences are essential to keeping the world running, that economic viability depends on military budgets, overseas aid, reparations and rebuilding.  Ending war would mean that millions of jobs would be lost, millions of families destroyed by the lack of jobs and the money they provide.  Countries would flounder and fail, with their citizens starving.  On and on. 

I cannot argue with that.  I am not smart enough, knowledgeable or educated enough.  The thoughts and notions I have may be wrong.  Maybe war is needed, in some sick rationalization. 

What I can argue with is how it is unconscionable to force women and girls and boys into sexual slavery.  How children should not be forced to work in unsafe and underpaid employment to satisfy the shopping habits of the more privileged of the world's citizenry.  How all of the human rights abuses are oh-so-terrible, but it is not a huge problem when innocent people, men and women and children, schools and hospitals are bombed in the name of keeping world peace, which mostly translates to you have something that I want, you will not give it to me and so I am going to make your lives miserable, kill those not even remotely connected to what it is that I want, until I get it.

In the meantime, I plan to do something proactive in my neighborhood.  I really do not know exactly what that might be.  Ummm, pick up trash or something.  I have no idea.  Last month I walked across the street, which might seem like something so insignificant to not be worth mentioning, but it was huge for me, being only the third time that I have been out of my home, on my feet, walking somewhere.  Anyway, I have been watching the dogs in the house opposite of my building and they are a cool group.  A pit bull, a lab and a lab and shepherd mix.  I asked to meet the dogs, but I really wanted to meet some of the people who live in that apartment building.  Well, that might not seem as though it is much of anything, but I know those people now and that is a connection.  It is a beginning. 

In the event that I continue to be unable to find a job, I might want to expand on some of my volunteer work, maybe add a fourth day.  There is a church near to me, where I could walk.  The provide slightly more than a half-day's supportive environment for anyone who cares to stop by, but their intended population is our city's homeless.  Those fortunate enough to find shelter space can stay only at night to sleep.  They receive breakfast before they are asked to leave for the day, and dinner when they return at the end of the day. 

In between, they are expected to look for work, use resources at Workforce Development, take advantage of classes, workshops and things like that.  And, yes, it is suggested that they come and see me for help with their job searching.  I love that part, naturally, and it forms the most important part of the work I do. 

The church program helps to fill some of that time for them.  They provide lunch, all kinds of beverages and, most importantly, a place to go when you simply do not have any other place to go.  It is warm in the cool seasons and toasty in the summer, but it is warm to the bone all of the time.  That place provides, for some people, the only decent human contact they have.  There are not any official programs beyond food, companionship and safety, but there is every kind of help, advice and assistance that is needed and for which a request has been made.  I love that part, too.

I plan to find out if I have any muscles I can exploit to increase my ability and willingness to take risks.  Maybe that could be doing something more political.  I am pretty sure that I do not want to work towards helping someone be elected, but there are plenty of organizations that have political agendas as part of their community or charitable work.  I might start by learning more about the ones that help veterans.  I could do that. 

I believe that it is these kinds of local ideas that can help change the world.  At least, it is the realm in which I can become involved. 

In the more meantime, I will be choosing to make a small donation to a few of the legitimate organizations that exist for some of this stuff.  Or, I just might go and buy a case of readers (reading glasses) for the shelters and two of the charitable service organizations with which I am intimately involved.  And, I will continue to do the best work I can, as long as I can.  As much as I want and need a paying job, it is one of my dreams to find work doing what I love, and that is some extension of what I already do, helping those who have run out of resources.  Nothing means more to me. 

It has been a week since the bombings in Boston, MA.  Nearly that long since the explosion at the Texas fertilizer plant, where the owners were holding more than 1300 times more of a reportable chemical, one which is used in creating bombs.  Mass shootings.  A garment factory fire in Bangladesh.  Slavery.  Abuse, neglect and exploitation.

God help us.  Make a difference. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013


I wonder what I could cut out of my budget to be able to afford a couple of lottery tickets each week.

I think, am pretty sure, that I might be serious about this.

Outrageous dreams.



Today a quote popped into my head.  Uninvited, which is important because it was my intention to do nothing for a couple of days.  Sure, cleaning up a bit around here would be nice, but doing nothing is nicer. 

I am exhausted.  Adrenally exhausted.  I recently learned that there are more than the two stimuli of adrenal function.  It came during the self-defense demonstration of three weeks ago.  They are fight, flight to me in concept, but not practice...freeze.  I am well experienced, well practiced in the art of freezing.  At first I was upset that freeze was my response to what happened to me, that flight and, to a much lesser degree, fight never occurred to me. 

I am sitting here, stronger than I have perhaps ever been in my entire life, less stressed and learning to craft this new life, and I am gobsmacked that whilst I often longed to escape, to find some way to run away, fight never, ever, ever occurred to me. 

It never occurred to me.  I never once thought about fighting back, with words or actions.  The most I ever did was beg for forgiveness for whatever I had done wrong, and in later years would ask what I could do to stop being in trouble all the time. 

How could I have lived all this time and come to this advanced age without ever fighting back?  Even now I do not ask for anything.  I am certain that this divorce mess has continued for so long because I am so passive.  Whatever happens just happens.  I stress about it, but I do not ask questions or ask for progress.  The one time my therapist told me to call my attorney and ask about where we were with the financial stuff, I promised that I would.  When I got home I did not call.  Too much.  So, I decided to send an e-mail.  It took me so long to compose how I wanted to say that, that I received an e-mail from her office, informing me of what they had next done.

It is just asking, and asking for information at that, but it feels like confrontation to me.  It feels like creating problems and hurt feelings and inconvenience for the askee.  It feels like being confrontational.  It feels aggressive.  I cannot be that, I can barely form a coherent phrase or sentence to make the most simple and insignificant request.  I am working on this, doing the best I can to stop being silent when it is not in my best interest to be so. 

I decided two days ago that it is all right to dream.  You know, have dreams about what I want in my life, what I would like to do, or go or think.  And, if I am going to have dreams, then I should have some that are outrageous, desire for something that I will never have.  At first that seemed stupid, that I should be more realistic about wanting something, some aspect of my life that could be helpful or meaningful. 

I kind of know what those things are.  I want this divorce to be over.  Final decrees and court orders mean absolutely nothing.  No one wants to enforce them.  Oh, sure, they will put forth some effort, but only if you have the ability to bury the problem, support the effort with tons of money. 

As for the divorce stuff, I have said this so many times.  In order to gain compliance for the decree and court orders, all of which have been ignored since the beginning, I need to have several tens of thousands of dollars to go back to court and seek new judgements, which will probably be ignored as well, resulting in the infusion of more and more money. 

If my ex had manned up and divided our resources from the beginning, well, I would have the money to go after and try to get my share...but...but...but if he had done that, I would not have to go after him.

It is all so frustrating.  Maddening.  I should be able to let this go, get on with my life, but not being able to find a job, I cannot manage to stop worrying about having enough money.  If I were to get really sick I would be totally screwed.  Any major illness or disease would chew through the money I have in just a few months. 

I am trying so hard to stop my fears about this, doing what I can to stay healthy and decently fed.  I am walking as much as possible, taking all of my meds, sleeping well, staying intellectually stimulated, trying to find the humor in everything.  Ev. Re. Thing.  I am.

So, I am having dreams, one actually, that I might feel brave enough to express someday, and I am working as much as possible at my volunteer gigs.  You just never know when there might spring up a connection to a job.  It happens.  And, I am not caving to my fears, I am staying hopeful, determined to have the best life possible.

Then, today, this crazy quote.  I remember the quote, but had to research a bit to find the author.  It is Teresa of Ávila, and whilst she is remembered for many things, this is apparently the one that stuck to me.

"There are more tears shed over answered prayers than over unanswered prayers."

That cannot possibly be right.  Can it?  All I have are prayers, or hopes or dreams or whatever they can be called.  They are all I have right now. 

This cannot be right.  Yeah, I know about the adage to be careful what you wish for.  I get that, the whole concept of how what we want might not be what is best for us.  There is a context of prayer that we do not pray/ask/petition for something specific, but that our request and desire be for what is best, for the person (even ourselves), the circumstances or the outcome.  That is because, even in our intimacy with our lives and the lives of those about whom we care, we truly do not always know what is best. 

All I can do is to hope that what I want is good for me.  Perhaps outrageous dreams are not in my best interest, but, frankly, that is all I have.  I should not have to give that up too.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


I applied for a job this afternoon.  Having one now would be wonderful, even though it would be few hours each week and would mess with the maintenance payment I get each month from my ex.  It is only a couple of hundred dollars, and if I make that amount or close to it, the payments stop.  Like forever, so if that potential job ends because the company goes belly-up (...I swear, it had nothing to do with me working here...) or some damn thing, the payments cannot be reinstated.  Is that the right word?  Maybe.

So, big picture, I would not be out all that much money each month, just a few hundred, and it would be glorious to eliminate that one, last connection to him.  That would be the coolest frakking thing ever.

So, there you are, me hoping to be considered a wonderful asset and be hired to help people spend money.  What?  Yes.  But, in my defense, the stuff that they would be buying are things to help them with their creativity.  They can enrich their lives by making cool, and occasionally useful, things.  It is a craft materials store.  I applied for three areas, cashiering (running a cash register at the front of the store), sales associate (helping people find stuff and keeping the stock all filled up and tidy, probably some stockroom and receiving, too) and class instructor.  The nice thing about that last one is that I would be able to help create the classes, but the icky part is that, unless I develop a following of people who want to take classes, it would not be any kind of reliable schedule.  Maybe I could get enough hours by doing a combination of those things.

Probably not.  I would like to work there.  Part time would accommodate my physical disabilities.  It might be enough money to be able to keep my car and allow me to buy better food.  When I filled out the application, there was a part where you could list the times or days that you were not available to work.  I did that, as well as filling out the text box where you could explain why you wanted a weird schedule.

My guess, from past experience, is that any special accommodation request is a certain and direct route to the trash can, that place where all dispirited and disheartened résumés take their final gasping breath.

It is not the first job application that bore no fruit, and it will not be the last.  The best thing about the application is that I now have one more company contact experience that I can use with my clients.  Yay.

It was a weird application in an increasingly weirded-out world of on-line job applications. 

There is one company, a chain restaurant that times you out if you are not fast enough in answering the questions that follow the place where you insert your personal information.  They give you twenty seconds, if memory serves, to answer each one.  If you spend too much time on any of them, the process dumps you.  If you navigate survive that section, then you get a lump amount of time to finish the next section.  And, so on.  If at any time you time-out, you get dumped, the process ends, and there is not any way to re-enter the application process.  And, it is not as though they are an outstanding company, having faced some interesting discrimination charges over the years, so my best guess is that whomever created that particular application process did it at least partially for their own, personal amusement.  Rat bastard.

The frustration of some applications is that you have the opportunity to upload your résumé and then proceed to enter everything that is already on that résumé.  It is part of the screening process, whereby the less valiant applicants effectively weed themselves out of the process.  Convenient.

Increasing numbers of applications are adding barriers and time limits as part of this application-pre-screening thing.  I understand that this is resource effective for companies.  I understand that companies filter so that they do not have the time and expense of holding endless first interviews.  I share with my clients that there are essential attributes of applications to which they need to pay attention.  That it is in their best interest to carefully and accurately and patiently do their best on those applications.  It informs the prospective employer that the applicant can read, comprehend what he/she reads and is able to follow directions, as well as using the experience to draw their attention to the aspects that frustrate and stymie them, that elicit a response of some kind, maybe make them want to give up.

An important handicap for many people, way too many of my clients, is lack of comfort using computers. 

I read something a few years ago about how most people hold the notion that most Americans and other citizens of the developing world (or some frakking nonsense) have at least fairly regular computer access.  I think that public computers in libraries were used as an example.  Arf?

Fewer than half of us, based on my own unscientific and vastly amateurish research and estimation, have even occasional access to a computer, much less regular or to a computer that has Internet access.  Specious as it may be, I am sticking to it.  I work, every single week, with people who know and understand that computer skill may just be at least partially essential to finding and keeping a job and do not have any way of using a computer or learning how to use one.  Public libraries?  Arf? 

So, I also teach computer use.  In the meantime, I type for them and guide them in navigating the job seeking path in which computers are essential.  In our city, there are a mere handful of companies who still accept paper job applications.  There are a few who prefer it, that old way of finding and hiring employees.  Bless them, but they are a distinct minority and, well, the whole computer thing is just what it is.  On-line job applications are now the norm, and it is already becoming more complicated and simpler at the same time.

It is an effective way for companies to steward their resources.  A few of the largest companies in our state no longer do their own hiring.  They use placement agencies and have offices and staff for these agencies on-site in their facilities.

That is how I spend my days.  Typing, training, teaching.  I do a fair bit of counseling and cheerleading as well.  By the time someone comes to me, they have exhausted most other resources.  To sit, thigh-to-thigh with someone who has nearly given up on a job, sometimes any forward movement in their lives, is the most important thing in the world to me.  More important than my friends.  More important, on occasion, than my family.  Absolutely more important than my own, stupid, puny problems and worries.

Without this work, I most likely would not be where I am today.  I love this work more than anything.  I think it shows.  The process is difficult for my clients.  No one has ever asked them to examine their lives the way that I do.  No one has taken the time to ask the right questions and draw out and honor the dreams and hopes and needs they carry in relation to having gainful employment.

In regards to this work, I am more fortunate than anyone should ever expect to be.  I know it and I honor it.  It would be nice if I could be paid for it.  That is not going to happen, so I have to find a job for myself.  Gosh, I hope that this results in at least an interview.  If I am going to fail to get this job I would love to put myself out there and be part of the failure process.  Nothing, no effort, is ever wasted, and I can take all of this back to my work, the real stuff that I get to do in my little bat cave, whenever I like.

Yoo-hoo, crafty store.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


Where are they?  Nearly everyone with whom I have been in contact for the past week seems to have forgotten what it means to live an ethical life.

I found out that one of the delays of the past several months is because someone on my legal team misplaced some important paperwork and because it was misplaced, she forgot to do what needed being done.  Now they are hustling to catch up, but it has broken a little more of my heart in the process of learning this. 

It is never a good idea to count on anyone.

I met a friend for lunch yesterday and afterwards she wanted me to accompany her on an errand.  She drove and when we pulled into a parking space, she mentioned that her handicapped parking tags would be expiring at the end of this month.  I asked why she had them, figuring that she has some physical issue that is not easily recognized, which is the case for many people who can use these tags.  She told me that it was from her father and that she has continued to enjoy the benefits of having it.  He died a couple of years ago.

I met with a client yesterday morning, in order to speed up the process for her.  She had very little information for creating her résumé when we first met last Wednesday.  She was really struggling and I agreed to meet earlier than this Wednesday to help her.  She needed to gather the information we needed to move forward.  So, she shows up on time.  Great.  She, unfortunately, did not have time to get the information.  I sat there and wondered what she thought we were going to do without it, but decided to allow her to come to that idea by herself, which she immediately did.  Cool.  But, she wasted the time for both of us.  I offered to squeeze her in on Wednesday, but it is more convenient for her to come another day.  I declined.  I am not going to give up another non-work day for her. 

One of the regular library employees is also one of my clients.  He is looking for a better job, one that brings in more money, something I totally respect.  It is expensive just living simply and frugally.  He is also an interesting person, with strong connections to his community and has some cool visions for the kinds of community-supportive work that he would like to do.  He cannot keep track of his résumé, and asks for copies a couple of times each month.  I provide those at no cost to my clients, and I am glad to do it, so no problem there.  The issues I have with him are that he constantly asks me to write grants for him and that is something I no longer do.  Writing grants is a total pain in the ass.  It takes a lot of time, that is spent making absolutely certain that every single, minute thing is done properly.  Those days are over for me, and he is charming about it, but he refuses to stop asking.  It seems disrespectful, which brings me to the other issue I have had with him. 

He was part of the team that planned for my safety during the period leading up to my divorce.  Once we had the final decree, that meant a change to less restrictive movement for me in the facility.  Cool.  Two weeks after that final hearing, he came to my office to chat.  He wanted to chat about me giving...not lending...him a lot of money for his community project.  I thought that he wanted to just talk about it, then realized that he was waiting for me to offer money to him.  So, I asked him if he was wanting me to offer money to him.  He replied that, yes, he was hoping that I would donate money to help move his plans forward.  I told him that I did not have any money, had no prospect for having any and that it was unlikely that my ex would comply with the court orders to share our resources.

Big picture-wise, none of this matters much.  I have the sense that people believe that they can expect and receive all manner of help and support from me.  That is mostly true.  I love helping.  It feeds me, it fuels and supports me.  Frankly, given a choice, I would not change anything about the way I am and how I live and how I do stuff.  Being active and connected during all of this has been an important part of coming through relatively intact. 

But, I would never do any of these things to other people or society in general.  Never. 

Being forgotten, even for a little while, really bothers me, and it is not because I have paid so much money for this divorce, although maybe that is a part of it.  I feel like I am expected to feel gratitude for the scraps that I may...or may not...receive.  That I should be slavishly grateful for whatever happens.  Sadly, I am that pathetically grateful.  I cannot find a job and having even a small portion of my share would be wonderful.  I feel selfish for wanting that money.  I know that I am not, but I still feel that way.

My friend and my client.  Well.  I admire both of them for being proactive about themselves and their wants and needs.  I cannot easily do that.  Enough energy spent on that.

My fellow employee, even though I am a volunteer, I sort of consider the rest of the people there to be my co-workers, in a way.  That experience, months ago as it was, has changed my relationship with him.  My guess is that I thought it to be more than it actually is.  Maybe he is just friendly to me because he sees me as a resource for him, which would not be all that bad, but it really is one-sided.  Oh, the reason I even mention him is that as I was leaving the building after yesterday morning's client, he asked me for another copy of his résumé, which I went back upstairs and sent to the printer for him. 

I am feeling a little alienated this morning.  Everything that happens to me is by my own design.  I am responsible for these kinds of interactions and relationships.  I am just being a cranky and crabby complainer today.  Oh, pity me.  Suck it up, baby.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


I watched the DVD Premium Rush and fell in adoration of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.  When I mentioned it to someone, she recommended that I watch 50/50.  It is about a man who is diagnosed with cancer, which is just one more issue in his life that no one else truly understands and is just one more issue to be dealt with alone.  It is not part of the film, but it is a continuation of the whole we are born alone, we die alone and manage the best we can in between.  Something like that.

He has lost one of his cancer friends and is facing his own mortality.  I mean, we all have to do that eventually, and, really, dealing with the icky stuff of life is pretty much the same process.  I have been facing all manner of deaths the past few years, none of which was an actual person leaving this mortal coil.  My selfhood died a long time ago, my marriage last year, Lilith's passing, homelessness and all that goes along with being without a home, an anchor or security, the death of all of the secrets, well, that is one passing that I do not mourn.  The rest I grieve as best I can.

I had to face my actual death likelihood a bit more than a year ago and that is what the character in this film is doing. 

He says that he can see his death on his face when he looks into a mirror, that by his appearance it is obvious.  And, when I heard that I am thinking that chemotherapy is rarely anyone's best friend.  Even if you survive your cancer and the treatments, no one would choose that experience.

His therapist tells him that what he is feeling is a result of the treatments.  He agrees and goes on to say that he is fine with it, with dying.  Everyone dies, even the therapist will die.  More than fine with it, I think that he is sharing, maybe finally realizing that he has reconciled with what is happening to him.  I know that feeling.

Shen then tells him that his feelings are normal and that the period/phase he is going through is a kind of alienation.  It is normal.  And, he calls bullshit on that.

So do I.  Everyone always telling you that it will be better, you will feel better.  That you should not worry so much because everything will be fine, it will get better.  I get that people do that.  I mean, what the hell else are they supposed to say? 

"Yeah, you feel like crap because you have a crappy life.  God, I am so glad that I am not you."
"If you think finally leaving means that the end of your screwed-up life is at hand, then you are just as fucked up as your fucked up life."
"Fine?  You think that things will eventually be fine?  Man, I would like to have some of what you are smoking."

He wonders why everyone is afraid to just man up and be honest and that it makes it worse for him when people avoid being honest and he is kind of left on his own to suffer in the knowledge of what is true and that he has to do it alone.

O.K., it is only a movie.  Even if it is based on what happened to someone, and, you know, it really is based on the experiences of every single person who has had a life-threatening or terminal illness or accident, then watching the movie means that eventually you get to stop watching the movie.  You could move on.

But, in the meantime, everyone who lives with extraordinary circumstances struggles with the same issues.  We are born alone and we die alone and in between stuff happens.  Everyone experiences pain and loss, grief, terror and you cannot quantify it with a list because the list of possibilities has no end.

The character goes home and moves as best he can.  He does not give up.  Even when faced with options that are not the teeniest bit hopeful.  There is a scene when he and his dopey best friend are talking about his girlfriends and that his best friend never liked any of the because they were icky (I cannot remember the exact rude name(s) he called them) and I thought, well, that may be true, but you should be glad because you can be kind of icky yourself, and if you cancerous friend were any different, then you probably would not have a frakking friend in the world.  So, shut the frak up and be supportive for a change, you stupid frakhead.

We can all be icky.  We all have the opportunity to not be our best self, to be selfish, to be icky to the nth power.  We can choose to be icky to the extreme.  More importantly, we can make that choice even whilst doing our best to be our best self.  Frakking humans.  And, even your messed up friends can be exactly what you need.

Maybe even your messed up life can be exactly what you need.  And, maybe there is, not exactly a happy ending, but maybe something that can pass for one.  Maybe I can go back to the accountant and admit that he was right.  Maybe I can forgive everyone who has told me from the beginning, and cannot stop themselves from repeating, what they want to happen.  You just have to admire their faithfulness to an absurd notion.

It was a good movie to watch this afternoon.  Better than a nap.


Alrighty, I am still trying to process this.  I just heard that I need to move forward with this new thing my attorney is doing because of another client she has.

This woman was in a long-term marriage, just like me, but did not have the component of abuse.  The details were not shared, only that she was not in danger like that.

So, anyway, the final court hearing for this couple, the decree dissolving their marriage was two weeks ago. 

All of the financial resources, the house, the investments, everything, has been resolved.

I do not know how I am supposed to feel about this.  She shared this information as though it was supposed to give me hope or something.  Maybe she shared it for her own self-comfort reasons.  I really do not know what I am supposed to take away from knowing this.

I share her frustration.  I share her embarrassment (only guessing that this at least slightly embarrasses her, although that aspect creeps into our conversations occasionally) and certainly her frustration that we are still dealing with all of this months after she believed that she would be rid of me and my mess.

It helps only slightly that she recently admitted that I was right, that things would not work out, that my ex would continue to believe that he is the authority, the expert on all things correct and that he would continue to do whatever he could to hurt and maybe destroy me, or just wear me out so that I would curl up and disappear.  My therapist told me this week that she was wrong, that she believed that given the fairly public nature of divorce, that this would have been over long before now, one way or another.

Everyone told me, reassured me, that things would work out.  I knew better, mostly because I know him.  And, more importantly, and shamefully, I know me.  I know what I am capable of doing, what I am willing to do.  I should be feeling some comfort from how I have comported myself during this thing.  I never compromised my ethics or beliefs.  I never made the abuse a part of the context of this.  I never demanded anything, always deferred to what he wanted, in an effort to make this happen as easily and quickly as possible.  I never said "no" to anything he wanted.

Well, that last one, the agreeing to whatever he wanted is nothing about which to be proud.  Always being compliant is how I came to be where and how I am.  I accept that.

I am also of the firm, like solid, belief that the only reason I am divorced, and that it happened so quickly, is that he never believed, during the entire process, that I would go through with it.  My therapist theorizes that he was sure that it was only a matter of time before I stopped the whole thing, that even during that final negotiating session just before we went into the courtroom, that I would give up and come home. 

When we arrived that day, it was supposed to be a quick hour or less and it would be over.  Instead, we spent more than four hours in separate rooms whilst his attorney came and went with demands for money, more bogus bills, fussing about the cars and on and on with such stupid and insignificant issues that both attorneys were stressed.  But, I agreed to everything he wanted.  I never hesitated at each new demand. 

We both, he and I, wanted it to be over.  Just different final destinations, is all.  So, I am not complaining, but I am so worn out today.  I feel depleted.  I am exhausted right down to my bones.  I think I may sleep, or at least doze on the couch, book and diet cola and maybe chocolate and some of those lovely macadamia nuts that seduced me at the market on Thursday. 

As soon as it get comfortable CoolCat will come for stroking and purring and a nap for himself.  The day will pass with good food, some DVD watching and his sweet and loving and warm presence. 

Maybe I will have my own two-week-resolution.  That would be so nice.  I believe in synchronicity, so maybe the story about the other couple will bring such a decent resolution into my own life. 


People.  Process. Personal safety.  Frakkity-frak, everything.  I managed to get through this week intact.  In fact, so intact was I that when I had my second therapy session (and, two in two days...actually more like one and a half...does not not signify an extra layer of dysfunction, but willingness to do difficult work when that is the last thing I want to do), we spent a bit more than two hours hashing out all of the frustration about the whole non-compliance thing by someone who is not me.

My therapist is knowledgeable, worldly and her expertise, well, she is absolutely the best match I could ever have imagined having.  She expresses her own frustration about how my ex continues to ignore every court order.  At this point, I have a lifetime of knowing how he is and in terms of truly crappy and disgusting behavior he has never varied in how he moves through the world.  Yeah, it still has the power to hurt me, but I am working so hard to release myself from engaging in that kind of energy.  It is not as though I still love him, although even through the worst that was remained a condition of our relationship, one-sided as that probably was, but I cannot find a way to hate him, which I think might not be all that much in my best interest, hating and all that, but would certainly make parts of this process.  So.

Anyway, we try to work through all of that.  Eight months since the final decree and there is very little forward movement.  My resources dwindle, mostly because I am finding it impossible to find a paying job.  Oh, sure, I can do what I do for free.  Volunteering feeds me in more significant ways that a paying job might.  Or, maybe not, as I have always loved working.  A lot.  And, it is nice to have some money to show for the effort at the end of the week.  I would like that.  Just saying. 

I can help other people find jobs, even my clients with developmental issues.  My physical limitations are giving me grief beyond the usual crap, and I simply cannot find a part-time job that does not require running my frakkity-frak ass off.  Is it too much for there to be a job out there where I can do something similar to what I do now for free?  Last week, whilst working with a client, we came across a job that would have ideal for me.  My clients come first, so I did not apply, just in case she was able to qualify for the job.  I have her time to make application and when I checked yesterday morning, the listing had been modified to " longer available."  So, someone, or a bunch of someones, have been shortlisted and the job is soon to belong to someone else.

Now, I am not saying that if I had immediately applied for it that I would have been considered or hired, but I did not even try.  There is a new program beginning this year for veterans, and I only know about it because one of the people involved is the guy who administers the current menu of programs in this area and he called me a month ago and told me that he wants me to be a part of it, like a paid job and everything.  Cool.  However, this is government-related, so who knows what will happen with the project/program, who is going to be involved and how, and if it will even come to fruition.

So, I get through one more week and I am feeling good, like strong.  Now powerful, but I am working so hard to get there.  I am not much of a goal person, but I do hope to get there and be one eventually.  Yeah.

Friday's session left me fully vented and feeling strong.  There is even a chance that I was taller as I left.  I took myself to the hardware store, where they sell reading glasses for 99cents, and whilst I was walking up to the cash wrap to pay for them, my phone rang.

It was my attorney.  She told me that she is filing something, a new motion or proposal or some frakkity-frak thing that will try to end this money mess and force my ex to divide our resources.

Now.  The resources are greatly depleted, and he has no intention of stopping the blood-letting with those funds, so anything that might move things along and resolve this, well, it is a good thing.  However, why is there any expectation that should some miracle occur and he agrees to giving me my share that he will actually do that.  Past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.  An excellent saying, one that endures because it is true.  Agreement or compliance is unlikely.

My attorney has drafted a proposal that states that I will be given an equal share of what he has already withdrawn (stolen, truth be told) from the accounts and that the resulting funds will be equally divided between us. 

What the frakkity-frak????  He was supposed to sign the paperwork eight months ago so that could be done.  He did not.  He has spent the past eight months gradually taking whatever he wants.  What could possibly make anyone think that anything will change.  Even if he agrees to the new proposal, he has no incentive to comply.  And, I think that he is unlikely to agree to anything anyway.

I do not want to do this, although I accept that any action is better than no action.  She tells me that I do not have any choice, and that he will have to comply.  I ask how that can be when he has done nothing of the kind so far.  She says that this new thing is enforceable.  But, how?  And, why would he even agree to it.  She says he will, and I say that we can do this, knowing that I will likely be spending the last of my resources on trying something that will not work.  Everybody gets financial benefit from this mess except for me.  This sucks so much that I can hardly bear it.  But, I am going to allow it because I have no other choice.  She is right about that.

I then tell her that I will be selling the car, which I will need to do to supplement my social security in order to live, and she tells me to not do that because being without the car will completely isolate me.  This morning I think that she may be right about the car.  Not to avoid isolation, but because CoolCat and I are likely to be living in it in a few months.

Frak.  At least I have great food in the house.

You know, I will survive this.  I had a really nice conversation with the accountant chosen by my ex and his attorney.  I did not share much about this whole frakking mess, but we ended our appointment with him telling me that good comes out of everything, which I mostly think is crap, but bless his heart for being so nice.  I was being nice, too, because, well, what else do I have left except being the nice person I believe myself to be, but I might have had some measure of disbelief on my face, because he told me that I would be coming back in a year to tell him that things were much better.  Another nice thing to say.  But, he is going to have to find me where CoolCat are living in the car.

I am stronger.  I am also alive, something which I would not be had I stayed for even that day, the day I left.  So, all of that is good.  I am still alive and able to fret and complain, worry and all that is fine.  I have also done some research on how to safely live in a car here.  I will still have to sell the car I have now, and buy a panel van for some privacy, and enough room for the extra bit of privacy CoolCat will need for his litter box, all so much better than the tiny car we have.  There is even a chance that I could trade my excellent car for a decent van, one that runs well.  I can sell most of what I have, bringing in money to equip and keep a van working well.  I know the options for parking overnight, and how to live relatively well, already being super-frugal.  I will have to give up my volunteer work here and move to a larger city.  The one I have in mind is where some of my friends live, so that means that showering is not going to be a problem.  I might not have to do this, but it is very comforting to know that I have this option.

So, my attorney has the go-ahead to do what she thinks best.  I have the go-ahead to hope for the best. 

I am fighting to divest myself of how cynical I have become.  I am hopeful because I am a hopeful person.  Despair might wrestle me to the ground on occasion, but I always find a way to move on.  Forward.  It would be a real shame if I gave up after everything that has happened.  So, I am not going to do that.  I have so many options, which would be one option more if Walmart still had door greeters. :) My personal job this week is to find a job.  Any job.  There has to be someone who will hire a really, really nice person who just happens to have trouble walking and standing.  Someone who would love to hire me and let me sit once in a while. 

I have lost so much, I simply cannot lose my trust in a kind and loving Universe.  I cannot bear to lose my ability to trust that good eventually comes to good people, or at least people who are doing their best to be good.  I am not giving up on hope, either.  Trusting in hope.  Trusting in myself to solve whatever needs solving, fix the broken stuff and find that still undiscovered life that is waiting for me.  The possibilities are limitless.  I can hardly wait!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I do that well.  Always have.  Being too compliant, too agreeable, not doing anything in support or protection for myself is how I have messed up the past several decades.  It is how I came to be here now.

I met with the accountant that was chosen by my ex's attorney to finally do our taxes.  My ex refused to provide any receipts for all of the stuff for which he claimed I owed him money before the final decree.  Both my attorney and I knew full well that most of it was bogus, some things we could not even figure out what they heck they were, the rest was inflated, but all I wanted was to get through the process and I immediately agreed to whatever he wanted.

Of course, that meant that he took all the good stuff and I was left with only a few things, personal items (although, I would love to know where my wedding rings went), and the expense and work of clearing his hoarding crap from the house and garage, not to mention the stuff behind the garage. 

When I submitted that bill, for the men to haul the heavy stuff and for the dumpster in which to haul it, it was the only receipt anyone provided.  I learned later, from the guy I hired to do the work with his crew, that my ex's sister called him, pretended to be someone who wanted to use his services and then demanded to know exactly how the two of us inflated the amount in order to rip off my ex.  When she did that he told her that the conversation was over and that if she needed any information, that she knew how to contact my attorney.  I love that guy.  Just love him. 

So, anyway, there I am today, sitting across the desk from the accountant, chosen by my ex because he knows that if I had any short hairs, he would have me by them.  This is costing a lot of money because he stalled until it was too late to do this any other way.  The deadline for filing is next Monday. 

I have no receipts or any proof for the several thousands of dollars that I paid him for all those bogus bills.  My actual income is so low, even with the maintenance the court ordered him to pay me, and my own bills are so low that I cannot itemize my returns. 

The best part is that because...
  • we have to use each other's income as part of our own returns for the eight months of last year that we were married
  • and even though I never had any access or benefit from his income, having always paid my own way
  • and even though he still refuses to divide out joint investment resources (again in non-compliance with court orders)
...I am privileged to be able/required to pay half of the taxes liability for the investment income that he has stolen from me.

Yeah.  That is the best part.

When the accountant told me that I asked him if that was true.  I explained that I never benefited from any of that money and he explained that the tax laws required that I assume half of that debt.  The fact that he refuses to do the right, not to mention legal thing, is irrelevant.  It is a legal matter.

O.K., cool.  So, I can take him back to court, something I have known for months now by the way, to try to get new court orders to encourage him to comply, which he can continue to completely ignore, without any consequences.  That will cost me money that I do not have because he stole my share from me. 

If I had any of that, well, I probably could afford to take him back to court, but if I had any of that I would not need to take him back to court. 

Now that this day is over I am feeling better.  I know more now than I did before.  It is a little worse than I though it would be, but at least now I know.  Knowing is better, so much better than the fear of the potential unknown stuff. 

Before the meeting I was worried that my ex would hang around until my appointment.  So, hyper-vigilant-overreacting-fear-based-idiotic life form that I am, I arrived early to scope out the general area.

Yeah, I am embarrassed now, but it seemed like such a great and proactive idea.  I have no idea what kind of vehicle brought him there.  So, I drove around the parking lot, looking carefully into each of the cars and trucks there.  I even checked out the two adjoining bank parking lots, one of which is across the street. 

'Cuz, you know, he/they might be hanging out, watching for me, binoculars glued to their faces, buzzed on caffeine and junk food, waiting for me to show up and perform some dastardly act upon my pathetic life form. 

I am better now, but I am still afraid in a way and depth that worries me.  I have not spoken to him or any of his family since I left that day.  I have seen him twice, at each of the court hearings.  He and his sister threatened me at the final hearing.  However, it is now eight months since that final hearing and I am still living in the dark, startling at every car door slamming, paying attention to people walking on the porch, and earlier today I was trembling. 

I could not stop my hands from shaking or my pulse from racing.  I did lots of meditation and writing and breathing deeply and well and I filled the day with activity so that I would not have any time to dwell and make myself crazier than I was already feeling.  Sitting in the accountants waiting room, I finally clenched my hands to keep them from shaking and the energy just went elsewhere and I nearly laughed out loud when my teeth started chattering.  I do not ever remember, at any time in my entire life experiencing the whole teeth clacking together thing.  It was funny then and it still is.

I kind of know that I was a wreck today and when my therapist suggested that I might benefit from another session tomorrow, I did not demure.  I know that I need it. 

In support of mood altering, I stopped at the grocery store.  True, there is not much to eat here, but when I walked in, gosh, I was just overwhelmed with everything.  Markets are meant to be dazzling, so no surprise there, but all of a sudden I wanted comfort food. 

I wanted carbs.  And, sugar.  And, dairy.  Lots of dairy.  I wanted ice cream, the good stuff, gelatto, fudgesicles and key lime juice frozen on a stick.  I wanted chocolate sauce and caramel sauce to pour on top.  I wanted potato chips and creamy dip.  I wanted those fruit roll-up things the boys love and I love buying for them, but this time I would eat them and I would eat all of them. 

I wanted double chocolate muffins and I wanted whipped cream on them.  I wanted macadamia and chocolate chunk cookies.  The big ones.  I walked around a corner and there was a two-gallon, clear plastic tub of fried corn balls covered in orange and dusty almost-cheese goodness.  I picked it up.  I put it back, but reluctantly.  Very reluctantly.

Then, again reluctantly, I came to my senses. 

I bought:
a small rib steak (for dinner tonight, but I am still to wobbly to eat anything)
huge Brussels sprouts
bacon, romaine and Roma tomatoes for BLTs
two Cornish hens, one of which is defrosting 
jalapeno sausages
macadamia nuts, lots of them
vegetable chips, the healthy kind
a bottle of naturally flavoured vodka, pineapple and coconut

I am looking at that list right now and I do not regret one single item.  Had I succumbed to feeding my pain I would have all of that stuff, and all of it would have come with shame and regret.  Mostly shame and just another opportunity for failure.  Sure, I blew the budget.  Cool.  I can afford it this time. 

It is helping me to feel less assaulted, less vulnerable.  I know that it is not a substitute for developing and keeping a healthy perspective on all of this mess, but my teeth have stopped chattering and I am pretty sure that I will be able to sleep well tonight.  Anticipating that extra therapy session tomorrow is helping.  Having chosen and purchased those foods feel like abundance to me.  It is.  Those items are of a higher quality than I usually buy.  They are luxurious food.  Healthy. 

Yeah, rationalizing again, but so be it.  I am so glad this week is over.  Like crazy glad.

Monday, April 8, 2013


It is my drug of choice.  I am too lazy to choose something else, and am stuck with a substance that I can abuse with relative impunity because it is necessary for life.  It is not, however, something that I need to indulge in quite so much.

I do not eat much junk food.  I had brunch out with a friend last Sunday and ate a lot of stuff.  All of it healthy, or as much so as buffet/brunch food can be, but too much.  All of it was freshly made, some of it to order.  I had an omelet, with mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and a little bacon.  Oh, dear, I also had three strips of bacon.  Erp.   All of it was delicious.  Butter on the green beans.  Lovely marinara-ed meat balls.  Yummy roast beef for sandwiches, which I had sans buns or toppings.  Excellent salad and fruit; managed to resist the dressings, though, as well as the breads, because they were offering margarine/poison instead of butter.  Oh, I guess that is what was on the green beans.  Missed that entirely.

I eat at home, cook from scratch, and eat kind of simply.  Meat, vegetables, whole grains and cereals, a little fruit.  Not much dairy, no cheese (causes interesting and embarrassing gastrointestinal expression).  Although, cream and half&half do not when used as a small part of soup or something.  Especially in my most often prepared and eaten soup, hot sausage, potato and kale.  Those who live in the US and have been to Olive Garden know what soup I mean.  Mine is better.  Lots better.  Really.

I mostly make my own bread, at least I do until I just have to stop eating so much of it.  Hardly anything tastes as good as a nice layer of creamy butter on a slice (or twelve) of freshly baked bread, still steaming, hot out of the oven.  I rarely eat pasta, but when I do it is whole wheat and a smallish portion.

If anyone would ask me if I was an emotional eater, I would have said "No."  Total denial.  True, I have been fat for most of my adult life, but I was an amazing and creative cook.  It was something that I could do well, and it rarely got me in trouble.  Even when someone who is not me decided at the last minute that he wanted something other than what I had prepared for a meal, he would get mad, but not hurt me.  He would grumble and complain and even criticize, but would also eat everything.  That is how good at cooking I was.

I did a lot of the cooking when I lived in the shelter and when I stayed with a friend, before I found a place to live.  I eat much more simply now.  No need for several courses and dessert.  Just me and CoolCat, him and his kibble and me eating simply, giving him all the salad he wants, as well as bits of meat, although he mostly loves meat juice, but not on his salad.  No dressing.  He hates dressing.

However, the past month or so has been hyper-stressful and my go-to mood altering is food.  No ambiguity, no equivocation, no blathering about looking for relief.  Straight to the kitchen.

Since food does not magically appear on-site, I am forced to go out and actually shop for it, make choices, pay money and haul all of it home, put it away and eventually do something with it.  Seriously.

I had a bad patch early in this past month, or so, when the results of doing something with ingredients were a dismal failure.  A sad and mostly disgusting failure.  Total erp.  I tried to eat some of it, but it made me even more depressed and stressed, so I threw out the first disaster.  And, I am not exaggerating when I say it was a disaster.  Then, the next day it happened again.  Several days later, a repeat.  The material and resource and money waste was appalling.

I managed to get back on track, but have been eating too much.  I make dinner, with enough extra for lunch the next day and way too often I eat most of it, maybe all of it.  When I shopped last week, I bought frozen pastries and potato chips.  I knew that if I opened the pastry box that I would eat all of them, so I took them to one of the support groups I attend and foisted the darn things on them.  I resisted, having a couple of mandarins.  As for the potato chips, I ate all of them.

I am disgusting, not only for all of the eating, but for how really fat I am now.  Just a month of unrepentant eating and I am huge, big as a house.  Sure, not a huge house, but a house nevertheless.

So, in the spirit of continuing to be able to fit in my car and through doorways, I have decided to eat better.  I though that I would combine it with some decent exercise, but even my recent success with two walks and a saunter are not enough to make that happen.

The only thing left is the actual eating well, better, more cleanly.  More content, better ingredients, less volume.  In the pursuit of that, I am now eating a quite small portion of last night's marina (tomatoes, onions, ground beef, mushrooms, hot peppers) with celery.

Lots of celery.  I read something about how it helps with high blood it...and it.  Eating it.

I have also read about how bad wheat is for some of us, but even though it is a carbohydrate that I am careful about eating, that whole wheat thing sounds like hokum.  If it is even partially true, I am not interested, as I am now greatly reducing the grains and cereals in my diet, hoping to eliminate them entirely.  I thought for a while that I could go gluten-free, but getting all of it out of my eating is for the best.

Of course, that means that my popcorn dinners, for when I just do not have the energy to make anything else, are pretty much over.  It is probably for the best.  Totally delicious, but not a very good carrier for balanced nutrition.  No hummus, either.  Just made a double batch.  Rats.  That and raw vegetables are what I eat when I cannot stomach more popcorn.  Guess that goes to support group this week.  Maybe use up some of the flour to make crackers.

This is going to be boring without the carbs.  I now eat meat a couple of time a week; now it will have to be almost daily.  I can do this.  I need to take better care of myself.  If I get sick or develop a disease or have a heart attack or stroke, there is no one to care for me.  If nothing else, I have family who would miss seeing me, and there is CoolCat.  I am so lucky to have that sweet guy.  I have always put his well-being and care above anything else, now I need to join him there.

Sunday, April 7, 2013


It has been an interesting few weeks.  All the same old stuff.  Regular crap, the usual, that has, unfortunately, brought back panic attacks.  It is so frustrating to be having them again.  I worked so hard at reducing the darn things.  And, you know, it is the same old things.  Efforts from someone who is not me to control or complicate my life. 

The worst part is that I am still reacting to this stuff.  All this work, a whole damn year of it and despite the occasional backward movement, I am really doing well.  It is not as though I give a rat's ass about him, but he refuses to just do what needs to be done, comply with the court orders...and, really, how freaking difficult is that? is not!...and move on with his life.  Given the way he behaved, surely he must be much happier without me around.  Or, maybe it is simply more fun or entertaining or something to keep being difficult.  It has come to the point where he is refusing to take the advice of his attorney, just to make me unable to file tax reports for last year.

I submitted my information to him, via my attorney, nearly two months ago, giving both of us time to properly file.  As of last Monday, nothing was coming from him, so I freaked, had a total melt-down when my attorney's advice was to just do what he wanted.  Again.  To shorten a very long and stupid story, we have an appointment this week to get the taxes done.  Well, we have two appointments, because the mere thought of being in the same building with him nearly paralyzed me.  So, we are seeing this guy at different times of the day.  He is my ex's choice, is insanely expensive (although I will be paying him directly and will not end up paying the entire bill, like last year) and I am, now that I have had a week to calm down, very glad.

I had to go and cancel my appointment with the tax guy I found.  I did that in person, not wanting to do it over the phone, although that would have been way less embarrassing.

Anyway, in a few days it will be all over.

One thing that has become clear over the past weeks is that I am stuck being frightened.  And, not just frightened, but too scared to move on to that great like that I know is waiting for me.  This fear is a more significant control issue for me than anything he has done with our resources.  He does something to me and I hide.  He refuses to comply with the court orders and I, well, I do not do anything.

It is not as though I am trying to be weak.  It is only that I am still afraid of saying anything or standing up for myself, because if I did that, back then, you know, just asked for something to stop or to not be hurt, things would get worse.  I might happen immediately, but it would often happen a bit later.  He would walk off, let his anger build and then return.  All bad stuff.

My problem is that keeping silent, not protesting or protecting myself, hanging on until it was over worked best then, but it is not serving me now.  I am no longer in imminent danger, under nearly daily assault.  My mind knows that.  My body is slow in getting the message.  Two therapy sessions did nothing to help, save for the opportunity to whine.

In the spirit of forward movement I attended a self-defense demonstration.  I tried to participate, but I just could not touch the instructor or allow him to touch me, which totally defeats the purpose of coming there to practice some techniques.  Or, something.  I thought I could do it.  I was able to take away some excellent tips on personal safety, and even though I could not actually do it, I now have some really good moves for punching.  Other people, bad ones, like really bad ones.  Lordy.  I occurs to me that even if I had known about this self-protection stuff, that I still would not have used it to protect myself back then.  But, the truth is that I would never have considered learning about it, much less use it, not even if I had thought of it and pretended that learning it was for all the nights I had to close the store and leave work, going out to an empty and dark parking lot.  Nope, never would have used it.

I walked again.  Twice I have left my house and walked a couple of blocks.  It was all I could manage, but I did it!  I also walked across the street to meet the dogs that live there.  I introduced myself to the people who live there and asked to meet with the dogs.  It was very nice.  So, I think that counts as three times, two walks and a saunter.

That self-defense thing, though.  I need to do more about that.  There could really be something for me in learning this stuff.  

One of the women's shelters is using a few of my poems for their residents, in the group format, I think.  They asked for them, did not say how they would be used and I did not ask.  This week I am beginning to provide employment services there, as well.  My weeks are busy, therapy, two support groups and two volunteer gigs. Laundromat.  Grocery shopping.  Mostly I take naps.  Just the usual.

I can make it through this week.  The risk of running into him at or around the appointment times.

One more thing.

Happy Birthday, LittleDude! 

Monday, April 1, 2013


I found this whilst trying to mood alter this afternoon.  NASA helps me do that.  It looks like something coming together or coming apart.  It seems to exemplify how scattered I am, how I can never count on any kind of peaceful life.  It is the dust cloud around Formalhaut. 

I am having trouble knowing if the past few weeks are the beginning or the end.  Today nearly did me in.  The truth is that if my ex and his family have their way, and it looks very much as if that is a certainty, this mess will never be over for me.  I am fucked.  Completely.  Yet again, we are all scrambling all over the damn place doing whatever they want done, how they want it and when.  

There has never been a time when they have complied with anything, not even things that are so insignificant that they would never have been noticed by anyone, unless they had not made such a big freaking deal about whatever it was.  

This most recent thing is that they are withholding the information I need to file my taxes for last year.  Doing so makes it so that I will be in violation of the tax laws concerning the sharing of income information for divorced persons, as I would have to file an incomplete return.  I provided my information for them nearly six weeks ago.  What the freaking fuck?

So, after everything crappy that has happened recently, it appears that I may not be able to file properly.  And, now, here we find ourselves with less than two weeks before the tax deadline.

No information for doing the damn taxes.  No expectation that I will ever receive my share of our resources, or at least a share of what is left from him stealing from the funds.  Nothing.

This will never end.  I am so fucked.

When I began writing this evening, I thought that I had made up the word decreation.  It appears that I have not, and that my use and intention is spot on.  I was thinking that it was the opposite of creating, sort of the un-creating.  I am fairly certain that it really is not a real word, in the dictionary-sense.  But, it works here because I am coming apart.  I am disappearing, bit by bit, each new assault takes what it wants.  What he wants.  I escaped with my life and it disturbs him.  He will not stop until I am completely gone.  I thought I was safe.  I was wrong.