Thursday, January 31, 2008
The reality is? I can’t.
Honestly, at the time, if my husband would have wanted me back? I would have taken him back. I was so desperate. I was so alone. I was so overwhelmed and scared and…everything. I was one hot mess and I absolutely saw no way out.
Because everything leading up to the birth and then the actual birth itself? Was nothing compared to the feeling of ice in your soul when a doctor tells you your child may not continue to be alive. Nothing compared to having to watch your child suffer to breathe, struggle to eat. Nothing compared to having to show your drivers license and put on the equivalent of a Tyvek suit to see your own child. Nothing on this earth that takes your breath away like seeing your child with an IV in his head, because he didn’t have any other veins strong enough to support a huge needle. Nothing that hurts quite like seeing your child getting his blood drawn once again and seeing him, so resigned to the pain in his life, that he couldn’t even cry anymore.
Wondering why on earth you were chosen to have two babies at once, at age 22. Wondering if you would even be alive in five years to continue to be their mom, because apparently you have big-ass tumors that are prone to grow inside your womb and all over your ovaries. Nothing like wondering if it was ever, ever going to get better and even if it didn’t get better, if you would just have enough money tomorrow, to buy diapers.
I would be lying if I said I didn’t consider suicide.
Even now, almost ten years later, it makes me very uncomfortable for people to give me praise for being strong. I wasn’t strong. I did what I had to do to survive and at times I really, seriously thought about giving up.
It is really, really hard for me to admit that. But it is what it is.
I’ve never believed that I was a person destined for anything great or special. I do think, however, that something really special and amazing was given to me. I don’t think I was special for living through what I did and making a better life. I do think there are a lot of women, many of whom have sent me wonderful, heartfelt emails in the past few days, who have lived through something similar.
I do believe in unanswered prayers.
I started writing this in hopes that I would deal with a lot of things in my life that I’ve never dealt with. It was never, ever about my ex-husband. When I say that I don’t remember what he looks like? I honestly mean that. It was never about him.
It was never about anyone feeling sorry for me. I never want anyone to feel sorry for me. Because my life? Freaking rocks. And while not all of it rocks (for example, my job which both sucks and blows), I’m working towards making it rock. And the parts of my life that suck don’t really matter as much when I get to come home every night to Jason and Boy Child and Girl Child and Ginger.
I don't know if I think my life rocks because I am deliriously grateful for everything about it or because it actually, really rocks. Either way, I don't care. I think it rocks.
So what I intended for this story didn’t happen. But what did happen, clarified a lot of things for me. I feel stronger now than I have in many, many years. I’ve made a lot of decisions about my life. Powerful decisions.
It feels good.
A lot of people said things to me like, “I’m so glad you have Jason!” and you know? Thank you. I’m so glad I have him too. He is my best friend and I am his. We have a really good life together. Not perfect, but really good. The kind of life I always wanted and always hoped I would have with my husband and children.
And have you seen him? He’s really freaking hot!
But I guess what I wanted to make clear was, yes, I have Jason and I am unbelievably thankful that I do, but if I didn’t? I’d be okay.
Because I have myself.
And when this story took place ten years ago? I didn’t.
Since I was a little child I’ve always loved to read and write. I would read everything I could get my hands on and I while I always loved stories, they also made me horribly sad. Because there was always an ending.
This story has no ending. Not yet.
So much of it we haven’t even written yet.
And I am so profoundly thankful that there are so many people who want to read about it. Because that? Is some of the most amazing stuff of all.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
It was the first day of Spring.
My husband was gone. I have no idea where he went, but he wasn’t there. I found that I didn’t care much and set my mind towards taking care of things. Because things? Were scary and wrong.
I buzzed the nurse.
And so it began.
I, who had never in my entire life demanded so much as the basic necessities of what I needed to sustain myself? Demanded that I be given a catheter. Immediately.
The nurse on duty obliged. Told me that in my chart it was written that I had refused a catheter.
I was okay for about an hour after that and then, to my horror, I realized that Boy Child had completely stopped moving. Completely.
I buzzed the nurse again and told her she had to do something. RIGHT. THEN.
She tried to tell me I was wrong. That I couldn’t POSSIBLY know that one of the babies had stopped moving. I told her I didn’t THINK one of the babies had stopped moving, I KNEW FOR A FACT THAT MY SON HAD STOPPED MOVING AND SHE WAS GOING TO FIX IT RIGHT THEN, BY GOD.
They hooked me up to a monitor type thing so they could hear the heartbeats.
She tried and tried and tried, and frowned.
Suddenly, I was being put in an ambulance and driven at an extremely high rate of speed to the next town over to a different hospital. One with a very high-level NICU.
A man came in, a handsome doctor man who I, over the next few days, would come to love. I’ll call him Doctor J.
Doctor J came in and spoke to me briefly. I told him how far along I was and what the problems were and how I was feeling. He patted my arm, reassuringly, and said to me, “You’ll be okay. You’ll deliver in about two weeks.”
Two weeks seemed reasonable.
Within five minutes he was back in my room and said, “You will be giving birth in approximately fifteen minutes.”
I, being twenty-two and an idiot said, “Um, no. I won’t.”
He said, “Yes, you will.”
I said, “No. I won’t. I won’t.”
He said, firmly. “Yes. You will. You are. You are going to be prepped for surgery now. NOW.”
I said, lamely, “I don’t have the nursery ready. No one is here.”
He whipped out his personal cell phone and said, “Make your calls. You have one minute. Then you WILL go to be prepped for surgery. You WILL have two babies TODAY. You WILL do this and YOU WILL LIKE IT.”
I loved him.
I called my parents. They were not home. I later found out that they had been trying to reach me on my house phone and they were scared when they couldn’t reach me so they got in their car and started driving toward the hospital I had previously been in. I called my sister who lived three hours away and she immediately got in her car and started driving towards me. I called my husband, God knows where he was. He never answered. I called his parents, they didn’t answer the phone.
Like it or not, I was doing this alone.
I was prepped for surgery. A spinal block was inserted into my back. I cringe, now, almost ten years later when I think about it. I remember the nurse quarreled at me for not taking off my bra. How the hell was I supposed to know that you had to take your bra off to have a baby? How much sense does that make?
I asked the anestheologist to marry me. Repeatedly. He was fairly good natured about it.
I didn’t have a regular C-section. They cut them out of my side. Doctor J told me he was going to carve his name into my stomach. I told him that was fine. I liked his name. I could hear him laughing even though he was a million miles away from me.
One baby came out. It was Boy Child. I don't remember what time it was. Sometime in the afternoon. I've always felt shame that I don't know what time of the day they were born, but I don't.
They wouldn’t let me see him or hold him or anything. They took Boy Child and ran out of the room.
It didn’t occur to me, right that second, that he didn’t even cry.
One minute later, literally one minute, out came Girl Child.
She screamed. They held her up from across the room and I could barely make out her little face, her little fists balled up and angry, her little chest moving up and down.
I couldn’t hold her or touch her. I couldn’t even see her. They took her away.
"Baby" C came out too. Weighing more than Girl Child and Boy Child put together.
One moment I was pregnant and had weeks to go. Literally, one moment later, I was all alone again.
Happy You Gave Birth Day to Me.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
It is what it is. I can't apologize for it, nor can I explain it. It just is what it is.
It was Thursday, March 19th, 1998.
I woke up and I felt…strange.
I can’t even describe how I felt, really. Just strange. Weird. Floaty.
I had a doctor’s appointment. I had one every other day. Due to my tendency to pass out, I was afraid to drive, but I had no one to drive me, so I went.
I was sitting on the examining room table. My eyes wouldn’t focus.
The doctor walked in, looking at my chart. He didn’t even look up at me and he commented, “You’ve gained a LOT of weight, haven’t you?”
I said, quietly, “Could you please just look me?”
He did. His face went pale.
I was admitted to the hospital that night. I was waiting in…I don’t know what it was. It wasn’t a waiting room, but it wasn’t exactly a hospital room either. I don’t know. I can’t remember. I do remember there was a girl there who was also pregnant. God, she was so cute. She was short and had short brown hair and the cutest nose I’ve ever seen. She and I talked. It was her first pregnancy too, but she only had one baby. Her husband came and then her parents and then her husband’s parents. They closed the curtain around here and all stood talking in hushed tones and I heard her tell everyone, “That girl over there is having twins” and then she said, softly, “She’s all alone”.
I was so ashamed.
I went into a private room later that night. I borrowed the nurse’s cell phone to call my parents in North Carolina, so they would know where I was. I called my husband and he came at around midnight but did not stay. I don’t remember much of that night. I slept, fitfully.
The next day I realized the toxemia was getting worse. My head hurt. My vision was getting worse. And the scariest, worst thing? My son wasn’t moving as much.
I know that sounds strange, but I knew exactly which baby was which. I knew which one was Girl Child and which one was Boy Child. I knew that Girl Child had hiccups every single night and Boy Child got them around 2pm, without fail. I would put a little tape player next to my stomach and play Mozart and Girl Child would kick enthusiastically. Boy Child was more relaxed. Also? A Bee Gees fan, but I didn’t know that until later.
That day was hard. One of the hardest days of my life. Because I was talking and people were "listening", but I wasn't being heard.
I called my husband and pretty much begged him to come and stay there with me. I know how pathetic that is, but that is what I did. I didn’t have anyone else.
I was scared. I was alone. Everyone, including God, had forsaken me.
Around 2 o’clock in the morning I was sitting up in my bed listening to my husband snore. Sleep would not come. My heart felt so heavy.
I didn’t feel real. My soul felt disconnected from my body.
The door to my room opened. I looked over and saw a blurry woman, wearing white.
Another nurse, I assumed, and prepared myself for yet another assault to my veins. Endlessly, they were drawing blood, endlessly taking my blood pressure, endlessly taking to me, asking if I was okay, urging me to drink something, eat something.
The woman floated over to my bed. Floated is the only way I know how to describe it.
Terrified, I said my husband’s name. He did not stir.
Even more terrified, I said my husband’s name LOUDLY. He did not stir.
I was absolutely in shock. I just couldn’t figure out what was happening.
The woman stood at the end of my bed, and touched my foot. I could physically feel her touch me.
Immediately, I was flooded with the most overwhelming feeling of calm. Just a peace and serenity that I absolutely cannot explain and never will be able too.
She did not speak, not ever. But I could feel her. I could hear her.
I will never leave you, nor forsake you.
I had a sense that someone was behind me, a feeling. No one could have possibly been behind me, because the bed was pushed up against the wall, but yet I tilted my head upward and leaning over me, was another woman, absolutely identical to the woman at the foot of the bed.
She touched my head.
Peace be with you.
I closed my eyes and let their love flow over me.
For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
I could feel myself falling asleep. I felt, for the first time in a very long time, that I was okay.
That no matter what, I was going to be okay. I did not know that I was fighting for my life and for the life of my son. All I knew was that it would all be okay. I was calm. I was serene. I had an incredible feeling of peace.
It occurred to me, in that last moment before I went to sleep, that the angels?
I know some people don’t believe in God and I know that even some people who do believe in God don’t believe in angels. I also know that I was, literally, dying at that moment. My kidneys were failing, my body was shutting down. I know that my vision was blurry and I was tired and a million other reasons that the two women I saw weren’t real at all.
That moment? I needed them to be real. I needed the comfort that came with it. I know some people will think it was a dream. Maybe it was. I don’t know. Maybe it was a hallucination. Maybe it was nothing at all.
It was just what I needed it to be. Right then.
It was strength, it was peace, and it was calm.
And it didn’t come from me.
He wanted out, but he wouldn’t leave.
It was HIS house. HE was paying the mortgage, (I had lost my job early in my pregnancy and when I found out I was having twins, he and I agreed that it wouldn’t make financial sense to put two babies in daycare and I should just stay home and take it easy and then stay home with them when they came) and every penny that he made was HIS. He could come and go as he pleased and I didn’t get to say one damn word about it.
So he would go. He would be gone and I had no idea where he was.
I knew he was drinking.
He was putting 500 or more miles on his car every single weekend.
And I suspected there was someone else.
His parents were local, but no help. His mom and dad basically just said, “It’s your problem, you need to work it out”. Of course this was in-between his mom’s comments to me about how “usually one twin dies” and my frequent hospital stays.
Drifting. I was drifting.
I lost thirty pounds. I could wear my regular blue jeans. No one who saw me could tell I was pregnant.
Not that I saw a lot of people. I didn’t have a job. I didn’t talk to anyone, except my parents who, considering the circumstances, probably grew tired of talking to me and listening to me cry. My friends were tired of it too. I imagine it gets tiring hearing about someone who is in trouble who can’t or won’t fix it. For whatever reason.
Most of my days were spent walking up and down the hall of my house. Crying and praying.
I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t get a job. I was ordered on bedrest, ordered to be safe and careful and cautious. Ordered to stay calm and not be stressed.
My heart raced twenty-four hours a day. I couldn’t sleep. I cried and prayed and cried and prayed.
I lay on my face and prayed to God.
Why are you doing this to me? WHY?
And there was no answer.
I was weak and pathetic. I was really disgustingly pathetic. I absolutely could not see that there was another answer. There was nowhere for me to go.
I wasn’t eating well, if at all. My blood pressure went higher and higher. My husband would come home periodically to ridicule me, but I never knew where he was or who he was with. I started writing, furiously, stories of a man who was cheating on his wife and tried to have her killed. The ending was always beautiful. The woman and the private eye ended up married, happy. The cheating man was in jail. The women he was cheating with never loved him at all.
I went to church and sat in the pews and felt nothing. Nothing at all.
Then, suddenly, I gained a huge amount of weight. Water weight, I thought. My feet and hands were swollen. My face looked like a basketball.
I was about six months pregnant. And I? Developed a nasty habit of passing out.
One night I passed out and fell onto my stomach on the bedroom floor. I have no idea how long I was there. Literally I don’t know if it was fifteen minutes or fifteen hours.
I woke up to my husband, kicking me in the legs.
It took me a moment to focus, to understand what was going on.
Finally I said, “Why are you kicking me?”
And he said and I will never forget these words as long as I'm alive, “I thought you were dead and I didn’t want to touch the body”.
I think he wished I was dead.
At that moment, so did I.
Monday, January 28, 2008
I thought that was as bad as it could get.
But I was wrong.
Because, “I don’t love you anymore”? Quickly became, “I never loved you at all” and was just as quickly followed by, “No one ever loved you. Your own PARENTS don’t even love you”.
Everything that I had ever shared with him because fodder for a verbal assault. Every problem I had ever had. I was fat, I was ugly, and no one would ever love me. If I ever thought that anyone would want to marry me with two babies? I was sorely mistaken. HE hadn’t wanted to marry me and I had no kids when he begrudgingly did so.
No one wants you. No one loves you. No one ever will.
Still, I clung blindly, stupidly to the hope that he was just scared. He was just afraid of having children. Once he saw the babies he would realize what a fool he was being and love me and love them and we’d finally have the family I had always dreamed of.
I was sure of it.
As bad as all that was? It got even worse.
The worst morning? Was the one in which I woke up, went to the restroom and found that I was bleeding.
I went to the doctor for yet another ultrasound. I was crying. I remember crying. I remember thinking, “I can’t lose them too” and "Why am I losing everything?"
The ultrasound tech was kind and reassuring.
“Look,” she said, pointing. “You’re okay! You are OKAY. Here’s baby A and here’s baby B and here’s baby C.”
Did she just say baby C?
The doctor came in, quickly, and took a look at the third baby.
Which, of course, was not a baby at all.
Instead? It was a tumor.
A week later, the tumor was the size of a softball. And growing.
The doctor encouraged me to have an abortion so that “thing” could come out. Because, well, we didn’t know if it would kill me or not, frankly. My mother had battled cancer. I had my own myriad of “problems”. This could be absolutely nothing, or it could be a big-ass honking cancerous tumor that killed me in six months.
And there was absolutely no way I could find out, without having an abortion.
I went home and my parents were there. I can’t remember why they were visiting, but they were there.
I could barely stand. I was so overwhelmed. I was crying so hard.
That night, after my parents went to sleep, my husband, who was forced to sleep in the same room as me because my parents were visiting said to me,
“I don’t love you, I’ve never loved you, and I never will love you. I called a lawyer about divorcing you and I can’t because you are pregnant. As soon as you have these babies, I’m divorcing you.”
I had two babies and a tumor that threatened their lives and mine. And he decided that was the day to tell me he was divorcing me.
I cried and cried. He left the house. My parents slept on.
I so desperately wanted someone to come and comfort me. Someone to hold me and tell me that everything would be okay.
But no one did.
Unlike the vast majority of people alive, I had always wanted twins. Always. When I found out that I had some fertility issues, I would pray to God to just let me have ONE baby. Just one. I didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl, I just wanted to have a baby.
It seemed like God was smiling at me, in that moment. You ask for one, I’ll give you two.
Now I’ve come to regard it as basically a one-shot deal. This was my only chance.
I didn’t know it then, though. I didn’t know a lot of things.
My marriage, already strained, got much, much worse. Very quickly.
My husband decided he would get a pager. Not a lot of people had cell phones then, but pagers were pretty popular. I thought it was stupid because I mean, really? He’s not a freaking doctor. He didn’t have a job where he had to be on call. He worked at a factory, for God’s sake. What did he need a pager for?
Then, he opened a separate bank account. In his name only.
And? He stopped putting money in the joint bank account. If I asked him for money, it was like World War III. I was asking for money for things like, the mortgage payment and groceries, not shopping at Saks. If I ever asked for money he'd tell me to go get a job.
He started sleeping on the couch.
Still, none of this seemed alarming to me, really. Maybe I just didn’t really care anymore. I don’t know.
After a while, it started to grate on me. He was gone all the time. He would go to work and not come home when he was supposed to. He started smoking, which he had never done before. He was getting beeped on the pager from people I didn’t know.
One morning I went to him. To the couch where he was sleeping. I sat next to the couch and asked him what was wrong.
He was silent for a moment and then he said.
“I don’t love you anymore”
It was Thanksgiving Day.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
What I wanted more than anything in the world had come true.
I was pregnant. Great with child, even! Finally! My life would be okay. Everything would be alright. I just knew it. I would have a little baby and that baby would love me. Finally, someone would love me. And it would all be okay. I would stay home and raise my little baby and we would have wonderful adventures. I would read her books and we would play outside. I would get her a little plastic pool and fill it with water and we would splash away our days on the deck. I would make my own baby food from the blackberries that grew on the bushes. She and I would be best friends. I just knew it.
Within an hour, the reality hit me. Hard.
I was going to have to tell my husband I was pregnant.
He? Was not going to react the way I wanted him to.
Granted, he knew I was trying to get pregnant. He said, “Okay” or whatever and didn’t really seem very concerned about it. I believe now that he just thought I probably couldn’t get pregnant due to the dreaded “female issues” and that he would just go along with it. He was getting something out of it, after all, never really expecting anything to happen. Never really expecting to become a parent.
So he came home around midnight and I asked him if I could paint the back bedroom.
He said, “Why? Are you pregnant?”
And I said, “Yes”
He looked at me for a moment and then said, “I’m going to bed.”
That was it.
I told myself it didn’t matter.
I was pregnant! With a baby! A real, live, actual human being!
I was so excited!
No one else was excited, which sucked. My husband of course wasn't excited. We didn't talk about it. He didn’t seem to care one way or another. My mom didn’t act excited at all, when I told her. She was very…calm. Later she told me that she was upset because she didn’t feel I was ready to be a mother. She didn’t say it that nicely, though. It was more like, “You had no business becoming a mother”.
I didn’t tell my husband’s mother. Not then.
The morning after I told my husband I was violently ill. I was in the bathroom throwing up and I called to him to please come and help me. All I wanted was for him to get me a washcloth out of the dryer.
He refused. He told me to get it myself. And then he said something that made my blood run absolutely cold.
“You’re the one who wanted it”
He didn’t. He called my baby an “it”. And he didn’t want “it” at all.
I went to my doctor and a blood test confirmed that I was, indeed, pregnant and my body wasn’t doing something really odd and freaky, as it was prone to do. They gave me a bag full of goodies; books and pamphlets on childbirth and what to expect and prenatal vitamins and all kinds of things.
A few days later I got a call from the doctor’s office. One of the nurses was calling to ask me if I had been really sick and vomiting a lot? And I told her, yes, in fact I had been. I threw up all the time. I couldn’t seem to keep anything down. I was losing weight.
She asked me to come in again. She made an appointment for me to have an ultrasound. It was early, for an ultrasound. But given my history it seemed like a wise idea.
My husband refused to go with me to. He wouldn’t get out of bed. He couldn’t be bothered. He said, “You can tell me about it when you get home”.
I went. It was early in the morning. The ultrasound technician was enormously pregnant. Seriously, she was a really small girl and she looked like she was about eleven and a half months pregnant. I have no idea how she was walking around like that.
I was flat on my back on the really cold table. She smeared the goop all over my stomach and was quiet for several minutes. Finally she said, in an extremely bored manner,
“Well, it’s twins”
Just like that.
I half sat up. I looked at her blankly.
“What?” I asked.
I didn’t let her finish. I screamed. I SCREAMED. I screamed so loudly that the doctor came down the hall and stuck his head in the door to see if I was okay.
Was I okay? Holy freaking crap.
I was having twins!
So we were married.
We went on a miserable honeymoon (he hated Disney World, said everything was “stupid” or “gay” and wanted to go to Daytona USA. So we went) and closed on our house a week later.
Within a week I was out of school, married, and a homeowner.
Also? Twenty years old, inexperienced and a complete mess.
My parents moved away and that was that. I was alone with a man I barely knew.
Worse yet? As I got to know him? I realized I didn’t like him. At all.
He was mean.
Mean is such a “meh” word, isn’t it? I don’t think the word “mean” really describes it, but I can’t think of any other word that’s appropriate either. Mean also seems like a childlike word, and basically? I was a child. So it seems appropriate.
So he was mean.
He enjoyed the pain of others. Once we were at a restaurant and a couple at the table next to us were fighting. Instead of enjoying our meal he spent the whole time eavesdropping on their conversation and gleefully pointing out when the girl was crying.
He was racist. He was rude to everyone. Refused to make any kind of decision. If we were going to a restaurant he absolutely refused to pick the place. He made me. Once? He stopped the car in the middle of a really busy street until I would just name a place to eat. We could have been hurt or killed, but it didn’t matter. Then? No matter where it was that I picked, he would criticize my choice and complain the entire time.
He was dirty. Showered maybe once a week. Would not clean up anything, ever. Would not even throw his tissues in the trashcan after he blew his nose in them.
Would not help me put away the groceries I bought. Complained about every single thing I ever made to eat, ever. Criticized me so harshly for the way I did laundry that I washed every single item on cold from then on and would never set the dryer above “air/fluff” because I was terrified of shrinking something of his.
If I fell down, he would laugh at me. Point and laugh and not offer to help me get up.
His birthday was in January. I saved my money so I could take him on a romantic trip to the mountains. It snowed and his car got stuck in the snow and he screamed at me, in front of everyone in the hotel lobby, about how he wasn’t going to go up there again. The hotel employees looked embarrassed for me.
He would not hold my hand in public.
He wouldn’t even talk to me.
But I was married to this man. Divorce was absolutely out of the question. This man was my husband and frankly? Time was running out. I know how ludicrous it sounds that time was running out for me, at twenty years old, but it was.
So I got a full-time job. I got a dog. I had friends over while he worked half the night. And I planned for the baby that I would have.
People around me were getting pregnant. My ex-husband had a number of male cousins and they were all right around the same age so there were a lot of weddings all at the same time (also? All the cousins married women named Jennifer. I was the only one not named Jennifer. Not surprisingly, everyone called me Jennifer anyway). All the Jennifer’s were getting pregnant.
I was not.
I was getting desperate.
I was also lonely. Terribly, dreadfully, mind-numbingly lonely. I had one good friend that I spent time with and she was completely obsessed with her boyfriend, so every single conversation was about him and what he was doing and what would happen if he said this or that. It was really exhausting.
But what could I do? I'd burned my bridges. I had made my choice. I was here, in this house, with this man. And that was that.
We went to rural West Virginia for Labor Day weekend in 1997. I woke up and it was on the news that Princess Diana had died.
I was so sick. Miserably sick. The weather was different and I was in a car on really curvy roads for hours to get to the place we were staying. I get violently carsick and always have. He knew this, yet he still drove like a maniac, shrieking around curves. He even got a speeding ticket on the way home.
I thought I was sick because of his horrible driving, but when we got home I was still sick days later. I threw up eight times in one day. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. Any little smell made me gag.
I went to the drugstore after work one night, came home, went to the restroom and three minutes later I knew.
I was pregnant.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
It was my wedding day, August 24th, 1996.
My entire chest was completely broken out in one of the most hideous rashes I’ve ever seen. It was the first time in my life that I had stress rash. It would not be the last.
I remember going to Hardees that morning to get biscuits for everyone. I don’t remember why I was the one that had to go, but everyone else was busy so I went. I only remember that because the lady at the window was a complete bitch to me and told me that since I had such a big order I should have called it in first. I remember I looked at her in a daze and said, “I’m getting married today”.
What did I expect her to say? I have no idea.
That day I kept saying, “I don’t know if he’s going to show up”.
Part of me wished he wouldn’t.
But there I was. In my white dress with flowers in my hair. Walking up the aisle with my dad.
I would not, could not look at him. I never raised my eyes to him. People commented on it later and I was pretty embarrassed. But I couldn’t look at him.
Not a lot about the wedding stands out to me. Except the fact that he never said I do. He just sort of nodded and said, “Okay”.
Then? At the reception he got really annoyed with me about something and made a really ugly face and it was on the video.
Then? When we were leaving the church? We walked out and everyone was pelting us with birdseed and instead of holding my hand, he ran off and left me to get completed pelted. The picture us leaving? Is of him and his cousin. His arm is around his cousin. I am walking alone off to the side.
For dinner that night? The night of our wedding? He stopped at Burger King. We didn’t even go in and sit down and eat.
We drove to South Carolina, on our way to Florida. We were going to Disney World. As was typical for me at that time, we had absolutely no plan. No hotel reservations, no idea where we would stay.
I cried in the hotel room that night, wondering what I had done.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I made it to the end of the spring semester, 1994. I didn’t go back for the fall.
I was tired. Emotionally, physically, spiritually. I was spent. I had nothing left to give anyone. I was so pale. Sometimes I look at pictures of me from then and think, “I look like a ghost”. I’ve never had a really good tan or anything, but then? You could see right through me.
Like I wasn’t even there.
I started to if I was crazy. Seriously, like really crazy. Like, “do I need to be in a mental institution?” crazy. Everything was so, so wrong but I kept trying to convince myself it was okay.
It was not okay.
I talked to him about all my problems. I told him everything, even though I never got the sense that he cared.
I told him my fears, my worries, and that I wanted to marry him.
Surprisingly, he was somewhat amiable to marrying me.
I mean, he was what, like 18 or 19? Most guys at that age aren’t thinking about marriage, I think.
When I was 19 or so I went to a jewelry store and found a ring that he could afford. I told him where it was and what it looked like and how much it cost. I’m amazed I didn’t just buy it for him.
Yes. I know how lame that makes me sound. Or makes me. Or whatever.
It is what it is.
Even then, I knew. I look at my diaries and they are full of, “I don’t know why he does this. I love him so much and he won’t pay any attention to me. Why does he hurt me like this?”
He asked me to marry him in March, 1995. Well, he didn’t so much ask me to marry him as he sort of told me he had already bought the ring after I was already upset at him for something else. He didn’t ever ask me to marry him, now that I think about it. And he couldn’t tell his parents. He gave me the ring and then one day just held my hand up and showed his mom. He never said anything to his dad, that I am aware of.
His parents were not bad people. They were really different than me and really different than anything I was used to. I grew up poor. These people were Super Poor. They had NOTHING. They had HOLES in their floors.
The odd thing? They didn’t seem concerned by this. They were resigned to this, as their life. They lived in a shack on the side of a hill. I don’t even know how people could get into their house. You had to walk down a steep hill. It was horrible in the winter. His dad was disabled. I honestly have no idea how he didn’t plunge to his death time and time again, trying to get down that hill.
I am not saying I am better than them. I’ve never thought I was better than them, or anyone.
But I cared. I wanted out. I didn’t want to be poor. I wanted to have all these things that I had always dreamed of…and most of them weren’t expensive things. I wanted a house. Not a mansion. Just a house. I wanted a baby who would grow up and be my kid. I wanted a good job. I wanted to be a mom. I wanted to be a wife.
I wanted to be normal.
And I wanted this from someone who didn’t want to be normal. Someone who didn't have the ability or desire. Someone who had no idea what normal was.
I went back to school, enrolling in a two-year program. I just wanted some skill. Writing, as I was told a million times, wasn’t a REAL job, not a REAL career and not something I should ever pin my hopes and dreams on. I had to be able to make money. I worked full-time, but I didn’t make enough money. It was never enough money.
So I went to school and became a Dental Assistant.
It’s funny to me now. Not that there is anything wrong with that job, at all. It’s just not me.
My parents were moving away. My dad’s job was taking them to North Carolina. Although I was engaged to my boyfriend, he was in no hurry whatsoever to get married. I was living with my parents, so unless I went with them, I would be homeless.
I stayed behind.
Maybe I would have met Jason then. He was already in North Carolina, waiting on me.
I don’t know. I can’t speculate on what could have been. I don’t even want to.
I was my class speaker when I graduated in August, 1996. My fiancée didn’t come to my graduation.
A week later was my rehearsal dinner.
My fiancée didn’t come to that either.
To the rehearsal dinner. For our wedding.
He couldn’t be bothered.
I remember that night at the church. My aunt got into a fight with the preacher. His parents had bought barbeque for everyone. They all sat together, talking and laughing and I sat at a table, alone.
Alone at my wedding rehearsal.
It should have been a sign. But I was not ready to see it.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
I went to college in the Fall. It was 1993.
I? Did not do well.
Life was so weird. For the first time, I couldn’t concentrate. My mom had cancer and I was really conflicted about everything. I was in college, studying nursing. It became very clear to me, very quickly that I did not belong in nursing school. Right then? I didn’t belong in college. I couldn’t focus. I was working too much. I was consumed with my boyfriend. I was focused on trying to make him love me and want to be with me.
Because really? He just wasn’t that into me.
I guess hindsight is 20/20. Now that I am in a real, loving, stable marriage I see how very odd the relationship was. He would go for days and days without talking to me or seeing me and it really didn’t seem to bother him, at all. Granted we were both busy. He had a full-time job at a factory and worked nights. I went to school during the day and worked all night. Sometimes I would see his car driving down the other side of the road as I drove from school to work. I would wave.
That was our relationship. We occasionally waved at one another.
He wasn’t interested in what I was studying or my work. He wasn’t interested in my writing or my friends or my family. Basically, anything that had to do with me? He just wasn’t involved in it.
Somehow, I convinced myself that didn’t matter.
At that time, too, I started having female problems. I loathe the words “female problems” lumped together like that, like some, I don't know, feminine angry circus clown.
I started having periods that lasted months at a time. I had a “bump” that came up. You could actually see it through my skin, through my clothes. I went to doctor after doctor after doctor and told them, “I’m bleeding all the time. I’m so tired. I’m exhausted. I need help”. They couldn’t find anything wrong. It was because I was overweight. It was normal…lots of people had periods that lasted a long time! One doctor told me it was all in my head and I snapped. I just snapped and I yelled at him “It’s not in my head, it’s in my vagina!” He was not amused. He also did not help me.
I finally met a woman, a Nurse practitioner, who was so wonderful and so fabulous and told me the truth. That my problems were real and serious and I wasn’t normal, not even a little bit. I can’t remember her exact words, but this is really, really close:
“If you want to have children, you don’t need to wait around”
Well, I wasn’t married. I wasn’t engaged. I was a freaking kid. I was seventeen years old.
And suddenly, every single second of my life felt like I was wasting time. Must find husband! Must have child! Cannot wait! Cannot waste time! MUST. FIX. THIS.
I had to get married because there was absolutely no way in hell I was going to be a single mother. No way.
(Go ahead and laugh. I laugh about this all the time)
So I, at seventeen, decided that he was The One.
The One who would marry me. Be the father of my children. Be the one to fix it. Be the one to save me.
This is hard for me to type and I don't even know if I could say it out loud.
I am horribly, horribly ashamed now, even now, years later, that the reason that he was The One?
Was simply because he was there.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
He took me to my prom. Spring, 1993.
I forget what I told the first guy, the freshman guy. Something like, “Sorry, I met someone else”. Probably much nicer than that. It wasn't like Freshman Boy and I were in love and I broke his heart to go with someone else. We had been on one date. That's it.
The freshman boy was nice. Very nice. I hope he has had a very happy life.
We went to my prom which was at a hotel. The Holiday Inn? Maybe. I can't remember. I wore a dress that was teal green. I think I had shoes that were dyed to match. I probably did. That was the style back then, in the early 90’s. I had braces on my teeth. I had my hair up, I remember. He gave me a corsage with white roses, with teal green on the tips. It seems like there was a silver ribbon.
That, I remember.
What I also remember, and did not tell my parents, was the reason I was driving him around in the white, Plymouth Horizon I had procured with my McDonalds money, was that he had been arrested for underage drinking and was not eligible to get a drivers license.
In case I haven’t mentioned it or you haven't figured it out by now, despite my propensity for calling everyone a douchebag? I’m pretty much a straight arrow. This to me was like…remember the movie “Grease”? Sandy the perky blond cheerleader gets together with Danny, the Bad Boy? Well, I had brown hair and a good fifty pounds on Sandy and I wouldn’t even SMILE at the freaking pep rally, but in all other ways, it was like that.
Still. Now, today, right this second? I have no idea why I went out with him the first time.
Well, that’s not fair, I guess. I went out with him because he was tall and I was very tall and I was really freaking tired of having to slouch down when I went on dates with boys. I didn’t think much about it, beyond that. What can I say? I was seventeen. Most seventeen year old people don’t make smart life-decisions.
The difference, I suppose, was that I was unaware that I was making a life-decision.
I didn’t have any plans. My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after my senior year of high school began. My life was an exercise in focus. Get up, get to school, get to work…make it through the day. I had no plans beyond the weekly schedule posted behind the walk-in cooler at work. Although I was a pretty good student and had good test scores I made absolutely no plans for college. I didn’t even apply to one school. Not even one. No one around me seemed concerned or alarmed by this. My parents were consumed with my mother's illness. No one was pushing me to do anything like, have a plan for the future. A number of my other family members had already said things to me like, "You aren't going to college are you? You're just going to get married and be happy, right?" As though it had to be one way or the other. As though I couldn't have both. As though being smart and making a career for myself was just ludicrous.
Maybe it was.
I believed it then, anyway.
A part of me is still angry now, all these years later, that no one in my life said to me that I needed to go to college, or that I was smart enough to do something with my life, or that I could be something more than someones wife. Don't get me wrong, I love being Jason's wife, but I also love that I have a college degree and I love that I could fully support myself and my two children absolutely on my own if I had never met Jason.
Most of all, I guess, I am angry at myself. For just letting it go and assuming it would all be okay. For having the complete inability to have a plan. Any plan.
I was skating along; not thinking, just hoping for the best. And the ice was cracking all around me.
And I? Was so desperate to have someone throw me a life-raft, that I clung to this man. This boy. This boy with whom I had nothing in common. This boy who loved himself far more than he ever loved me.
This boy that, for whatever reason, I thought was my only hope.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
I met him at McDonalds.
It was 1992. I had just started my senior year of high school and I needed a job. Okay, really? What I needed was a car. I was a HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) student and we did “rotations” in various places like nursing homes and, in my case, an emergency room. We didn’t get to do anything much (except at one nursing home? The CNA? Kept trying to get me to change a colostomy bag) but it was interesting. And we had to drive there in lieu of first and second period. And I didn’t have a car.
I had gotten around, thus far, because I had a boyfriend. I met him when I was 15 and he was 20. Or I guess I should say I met him again, because I had known him most of my life. I am going to assume that my parents trusted him since they knew his family. I will say that there is no way, ever, EVER that my fifteen year old daughter will ever date a twenty-year old man. No. Way.
Because, um, hello? What would a twenty-year old man want with a fifteen year old girl?
Don’t answer that.
Lest I get a bunch of emails from people telling me how they met their true love the day on the day that their mother popped them out of her vagina and the doctor caught them and incidentally they married the doctor when they were only sixteen and they have been married twenty years and they are just MADLY IN LOVE and I’m just a JEALOUS BITCH, I’m just saying. In general. Not a good idea. Maybe it worked for you. It did not work for me.
Along that line, the boyfriend? Abusive.
I agreed to marry him when I was seventeen. On my birthday.
A few months later, in the spring, when I was feeling desperate and lonely and horrified about the fact that I had agreed to marry this man, we broke up. I forget how. I forget why. All I remember is that we were screaming at each other outside his parent’s house (of course, he lived with his parents). I remember I had a black eye. I remember his dad coming outside and yelling at us and telling us we had to come inside. I came in, we sat, and I got up to leave. His mom said to me, very hatefully, “BYE!” Like she was just so glad to see me go. I’m sure she was. She never thought I was good enough for him, ever.
So we broke up. It was just over, just like that.
And I felt…well, a lot better.
I really wasn’t afraid. I really didn’t feel like I would never meet anyone again. I think some of my family members were worried about that, but not me.
I was, however, worried about the prom. I asked a boy I had gone out on one date with (a FRESHMAN, no less), if he would accompany me. He said yes. So that was taken care of.
But there was this guy I worked with. He was tall. He seemed nice. One of our assistant managers told him that I thought he was cute and nice. I forget who asked who out. Probably? I asked him. I was pretty bold back then.
I don’t know. I don’t remember.
I’m kind of sad that I can’t remember, even just the moment, that set my life on a totally different course.
Monday, January 21, 2008
My blog is going through some stuff right now.
I know that sounds cryptic. I can't help it. There are going to be some changes up in here.
Please be patient.
While all this crap is going on, I thought I might share some of my writing about...divorce.
I have mixed feelings on this, as I try to write about the more positive loads of crap in my life, but this? Has been weighing on me pretty heavily these days. Not sure why.
And I've never really blogged about it. Or the birth of my children or any of that. Okay, I don't remember most of what happened when my children were born. But the circumstances leading up to it? I haven't said much.
Not sure if I should.
On Friday someone at work was talking with me and somehow, it came out. A huge mess just fell out of my mouth. He was surprised. He said, "I never knew this about you".
And why would he? You know? It was all at least 10 years ago.
I can't help but feel like it's changed me. I can't help but feel like I need to get it out.
What do you think?
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Me: Doing what?
Allison: Straightening out men. Making them act right.
Me: You could totally do that.
Allison: I know! And I could call my business, "I'll straighten your ass out, Inc."
Me, mulling it over: I think that's actually called being a dominatrix.
Allison: Yeah. Maybe.
Me: Still. You could make a lot of money. Even if you aren't a slave to the wang.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
My name is in the phone book and if you Google my phone number, you could have a map to my house (good luck finding it though! There are advantages to living in the city in the Land Of One Way Streets). There are pictures of me, my husband, and my kids on this blog, and Jason is my husband's real first name. This blog? Not private. Anyone could find it. Some people have been finding it (as evidenced by Senorita Sassypants and all the rudeass comments she's been leaving lately). My husband has even been coming around lately. My husband, the most private man in America. The man who would, a year ago, have officially freaked the freak out if he knew I had a blog, now encourages me to blog my feelings and ask "the internet" their opinions on our personal situations. He still doesn't read my blog, but that's cool with me. Because sometimes I just need to talk about his bald head and not have him read it.
I post about the crap in my life. My weight, my job, my rejection letters (just one, so far, but the year is young!), and my questionable parenting skills. I haven't brought myself around yet to post about my children's birth (it sucked) or The Number Which is My Weight (too much) or the friend who used to be my friend and who isn't my friend anymore and how freaking sad it all makes me. I also hope I post about the good stuff in my life. My kids and how freaking happy they make me, mostly. My husband and how freaking happy he makes me, usually. My dog, my friends, Diet Pepsi. The best things in life.
I've made friends. I've made enemies. Well, probably not enemies. But people that don't think I'm cool.
And it's all okay.
I'm getting to the point that I'm not afraid.
Because what's good about blogging outweighs anything that might be bad. Writing here (and my therapist) helps me to not go off the deep end. Yesterday? I was thinking about how I had written about how angry and upset I'm getting in life and how things just suck. And you know? They do. Man, do they suck right now. But also yesterday? When I wasted two hours of my life that I'll never get back sitting through a meeting because someone else was a complete idiot? And I REALLY REALLY REALLY TIMES HINTY BILLION wanted to turn around to him and say, "OH MY GOD I WILL KILL YOU!" I didn't. I did nothing. I said nothing. Because I realized that wouldn't be me. And I don't have to be like that. I don't have to be so angry. I don't have to, you know, shriek at him, even though he really freaking deserved it.
I can just blog about it instead.
Because, you know, he's lucky my foot is not in his ass. Because blogging is making me a better person.
Or at least one who has something to say.
Friday, January 18, 2008
Last night, I reacted at my daughter in anger. I really try hard not to do that. I remember far more anger and yelling than good, loving, and positive things from my childhood. I want my children to remember more love. My daughter lost something expensive and I was just so frustrated and sad and overwhelmed that I got angry. I think it's okay to be angry, but I don't think it's okay to speak to anyone in anger.
I regret that.
I apologized to her and she apologized to me. But I could see in her face this morning that she still felt a little wary of me. That makes me feel sick.
This morning as I walked the long cold walk up the hill to my desk I thought about how angry I am. I thought about the fact that this isn't who I want to be. That I used to be such a different person and how all these things in my life have consumed me to the point that I'm just sick with anger sometimes.
It's not who I want to be.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I don't feel that bad. At the same time, I feel even more profoundly that I suck at life.
Maybe that's why they don't want to publish me. I can't even figure myself out!
Jason looking confused and perplexed: Excuse me?
Chick, still excited: The internet! They say that you are right about your work situation and your work is wrong.
Jason, silent, mulling.
Chick: Also? They say the following, "Is the supervisor shagging her?", "Is it his baby or something?" and "Jason needs a new job!"
Jason: So the entire internet agrees? Bill Gates and everyone says that you are correct?
Chick: Well, all the important people agree.
Chick: All the people I like and care about, anyway.
Jason: It really is your world isn't it?
Chick: I just let you live in it, babe.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Jason’s supervisor? Agrees with the other employee.
He told Jason, in front of her, that he didn’t think it was fair for him to tell her she could not bring her infant in to work after he had brought his children to work.
Never mind that I was there with them, THE WHOLE TIME.
Never mind that they are almost ten years old and were doing productive work.
Never mind that we sat in the back and did not in any way interact with customers.
Never mind that no one of us got one cent for the work we did. And that we saved her ass from having to DO THAT WORK. (And frankly? Not to be snarky? But if I do work for my own employer I bill them well over $20 an hour. My time is valuable. Not that hers isn’t, but um, hello? I don’t work there. I did it FOR FREE. I came in and helped her ass on my day off FOR FREE and she’s complaining? No)
I am seriously so angry about this. I just cannot fathom how his supervisor feels this is comparable in any way.
There are other issues. Namely that the employee also complained that she has to make more telephone calls than Jason and she doesn’t think that is fair. I told Jason last night that, as evidenced in the employee handbook (which apparently I know more about than the employees of that actual company) one of her PRIMARY responsibilities is to make calls. I’m sure she DOES make more calls than he does. She’s SUPPOSED to.
But does Jason’s supervisor take his side? No. He asks him why he’s not making more calls. Jason says, “I did taxes for ten people. I wrote $X of loans. I did this and this and this and this and this”. Does he listen? No. He tells Jason that if he was doing his job that he would have time for this. In addition to everything else.
How? Honest to God, how? Unless there are like huge chunks of SOMETHING I am missing here, I just don’t see how this is possible.
One day? I went to his office to drop off the file folders that he had left in the trunk of my car. I went in, carried them to the back, left them, and left the office.
HE DID NOT EVEN REALIZE I WAS THERE. He was so engrossed in what he was doing that I, his spouse, did not even register. He called me later and said, “Were you going to drop off those files folders?” He honest to God had no idea I had even been in the room. He is one of those people who completely focus on what they are doing. Unlike me who cannot even focus long enough to watch an entire television show.
This why he married me. This is why I married him. We have to balance one another out.
In case it’s not obvious, I’m angry. I’m offended. I’m offended FOR my husband.
Because really. REALLY. Who does this crap?
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Two days in November/December, I took myself and my two children to my husband's work. One time I sat in the back with them and stuffed envelopes. They helped me stuff the envelopes. The other time? The three of us carried in a ton of Christmas things which we had purchased for the office. We got there 20 minutes before the office closed. After the office closed, we decorated the office.
Both of these incidents were on a Saturday. I was not paid in any way for this work. I did these things as favors for my husband because his office is understaffed.
One of his employees brought a complaint against him to his supervisor because he told her she could not bring her less than six month old infant to work with her. This person's job is as a customer service representative. She is the person who would greet the customers when they come in, answer the phone when someone calls, and take payments. Basically she must deal with customers all day long.
Her argument is that since Jason's children were there one day, then it should be acceptable for her to bring her infant in to work.
What do you think? Is she right or wrong? I seriously need opinions and be honest, please, because I'm about to become unglued by this whole situation and my ulcer feels like it's eating my insides.
The whole reason I started blogging is because of M and Badger Girl. So you can thank those two ladies for all these wasted hours. Or whatever.
These two ladies are two of the people that I love most in the world. They are both amazingly cool women and I'm honored to be their friend.
Because I started blogging I've "met" tons and tons of other people. I feel really lucky and fortunate for this too. I love reading blogs...I love to get to know people through what they write. I love to know people for who they are.
So today, I've picked eight random people from my Blogroll and, along with the two ladies who started this madness, I'm going to share ten of my favorite posts from other people.
Go. Read. Share the love.
1) And then there were two!-Happy Anniversary from the, oh, Worst Wife ever! Hilarious post about her 3rd wedding anniversary. With lots of pictures!
2) Pardon the Egg Salad-Recycled Child (100% post consumer content). (You have to scroll down a bit. It's posted on February 20th, 2007 and she links her archives by the month). A truly awesome account of being an adopted child. I get chills every time I think about it.
3) Adventures in Baby Fat- This Love. Beautiful, beautiful post about her husband. Who is also named Jason!
4) Gwenworld- My Night of Shame at the Topless Bar. I have to say I could link a million of Gwen's posts because a) I've been reading her blog for nearly 10 years (before it was even called a blog!) b) She is an amazingly gifted writer. But this piece? Hysterical. I laugh every single time I look at it.
5) Temporary Insanity-Motherhood and Me-dom. Reflective, excellent post.
6) Lizarita-The Faux Blogger. Great post on how sometimes bloggers put an unrealistic face to the world. Very thought provoking. Seems like it upset some people maybe. I still liked it.
7) Mum to Four-Dear Bitch in the ER. Oh. This. Made. Me. LAUGH. Because everyone works with someone like this!
8) Canadian Thoughts in Texas-It just doesn't sound good. Hilarious post about her shopping, um, addiction. Pretty much everything she says is hilarious, actually.
9) Memoirs of a Single Mom-On Being a Woman. Amira writes really beautifully and honestly about everything, but this just touched my heart because I have been where she is and it's no fun and I'm certain I wasn't as eloquent about it at the time.
10) Mrs. CPA-A very Unfortunate Choice for a Party Indicator. Okay. I admit it. I'm really a 14 year old boy. Because this? Hysterical.
What are some of your favorite posts?
Monday, January 14, 2008
Okay, maybe that's not fair. Work is not great. Work, in fact, both sucks and blows.
My marriage is good, my children are healthy, and I'm luckier than most. But works sucks, and it makes it hard to see the good things.
Today was overall okay with the exception of half an hour with an auditor who not only humorless but a complete dick. But overall, I'm sad. I'm bummed. I need to get out of the situation I'm in. I'm working on it, but I'm not there yet.
So what do I do when it gets bad?
I take a walk.
I really do love to walk, despite my complaining about the 1/2 mile I have to trek twice daily to get to my car. I like being outside and I like how I feel when I am done, even if my butt tingles while I walk. I especially like to walk with my children, because it gives us precious time that we don't necessarily get while we are home, to hash things out.
Tonight's walk topics included:
1) Why the asphalt plant really does smell like ass.
2) The correct spelling of asphalt.
3) The correct pronunciation of asphalt. Which, by the way, is not Ass Fall, as Girl Child would like you to believe.
4) Judy Blume and why her books were banned.
5) Hillary Clinton.
6) Adam and Eve and why they sinned.
7) Survival skills if you see a bear.
I know all of that is pretty random, with the exception of the series of questions about asphalt. But that's really what is wonderful about all of it. The randomness. How they feel they can ask me anything and how we can talk about anything, anytime. How as it got darker and darker outside they drew closer and closer to me.
I love our walks in that special hour between daylight and darkness.
I love being their mom.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Well, "likes" is probably a strong word. He goes with me because he enjoys talking. Excessively. And I'll play his favorite game which is "Guess which Animal I am!" and he can totally always beat me because I say things like, "I'm small and brown and eat nuts" and he goes, "A squirrel" and then the whole game is over and it's his turn and he says something like, "I'm a flightless bird...I don't have any wings....I'm the symbol of New Zealand..." and like, two hours later I'm still guessing and he, very gently says, "Mom? Are you sure you went to college?" because he was talking about the Kiwi. Of course.
But anyway, he goes with me. And holds the coupons while I shop.
So there is this particular aisle in the store called the "Snack" aisle. On this aisle are the chips and beer.
We don't drink alcohol, but Boy Child seems to think this is hilarious and always says, "Look at me! I like chips and beer!" and pretends he's drunk.
No. I don't know where he got that. I blame television.
Anyway, today we are in the chips and beer aisle debating the merits of plain salted chips and Doritos when a man came down the aisle with approximately two hundred children, all under the age of six.
Okay, there were five of them. And they were all walking. But they were all really young.
No, he was not a youth pastor taking the children on a field trip. He was there to get his chips and beer.
Four of his five children ran into my shopping cart while I was looking at the Cool Ranch Doritos. To his credit, he apologized for his rag-tag bunch, all of whom had on short-sleeves and flip-flops.
Boy Child was watching them intently and had that LOOK on his face. At which time I began to pray.
Because as every mother of a child who sometimes speaks out of turn knows, when they get that look on your face? You better start praying. Especially if who they are thinking about looks like he might put a cap in your ass.
Thankfully, Boy Child was silent until they left the aisle, all the little children toting six packs.
"Mom?" he said. "That guy bought a lot of beer."
"Yup," I said.
"Maybe that's how he got all those kids. Gah!"
As we were driving home we were talking about what will happen when Boy Child becomes a teenager. It was all so wrong, particularly when he said, "Now, teenagers do sex, right?" but eventually the conversation came around to how he wants to get a part-time job after school, probably at Burger King, to give me money.
I explained to him that he didn't have to give me money, that I was his mother and it was my job to support him. That I thought having a part-time job was a good idea and it was always wise to learn how to earn your own money and manage it, but that I also wanted him to be able to enjoy his high-school years. That I wanted him to enjoy his life.
He was silent for a moment, that son of mine, and he said,
"Mom, don't you know? You're like, half of my life."
GAH. If I could put him in a box and keep him forever, I totally would. Just like he is today. Right now. Pretending to be drunk or not.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
I do not like, however, the fact that it takes Girl Child approximately six hours to finish a meal. I swear she is the slowest eater on the planet. I recognize that Boy Child eats like he's afraid whatever it is will run off of his plate and Jason, well, he does nearly everything fast; talking, driving, and yes, eating. So usually, Boy Child is finished first, then Jason, then me, and then Girl Child.
Last night I was feeling exhausted, annoyed, and honestly? Sorry for myself. The upshot of this past week is that I absolutely have to get a new job. As fast as possible. I don't even want to think about what will happen if I don't.
Anyway. I didn't feel like making dinner.
Instead? I took a bath.
Jason came home and said, "I'm sorry you had a bad day babe. Did you enjoy your bath? I'll take care of dinner."
And before you go, "Awww!" or anything my husband, the former CHEF, ordered pizza. So it was sweet but let's not give him more credit than he deserves.
I didn't feel right. My stomach is torn up because of the events of the last week and I didn't feel like eating much. I finished my food and got up from the table to transfer my laundry from the washer to the dryer. I heard the children and the husband talking and I heard the husband issue the standard warning of the evening:
"Girl Child, if you don't finish your food before TheAssignedTime, you will have to take the puppy out by yourself."
The children always take the dog out together. And take the trash out together. Also? Boy Child goes to Girl Scout meetings. My point is, there are pretty much attached at the hip. Having to do something alone is akin to cutting off a limb. At least when you are twins, I guess.
Every evening the warning is slightly different. But there is always a warning. Always.
Jason then turns on the television. To FOX NEWS.
I am not a fan of the Fox News. In fact, I don't care for any news on television because it just annoys me. I like to read my news; the local newspaper so I can find out who shot out what red-light cameras this week, and the internet for my CNN fix. I think the television news has just become something I really don't care for. I'll watch it from time to time, but I generally get annoyed and disgusted and turn it off.
But he likes the news. He would watch news twenty-four/seven. Because apparently and unbeknown to me, he's a two-hundred year old man who likes prunes and has prostate issues and likes to complain about things he can't change. Like the weather.
Okay, not really. But he likes the news.
Apparently the children were sneaking glances at the television while eating. Our floor plan is open and our living room and kitchen are side by side, so the television is easily visible. I heard Jason give the children a warning to stop watching television while they were eating.
And really? What did he expect? Children see the television and think, "Oooh. Shiny Picture box". They don't give a crap what's on. It's tv! Of course they will look.
It was quiet for a moment and then I heard the children protesting loudly and in unison,
"DAD! OH MY GOD! STOP! GROSS! GROOOOOOOOOSSSSSSSSSSS! DAD!!!!"
I went into the living room and there was Jason.
Standing in front of the television.
With his pants off his butt.
Mooning the children.
"Jason," I said.
That was all I could say.
Boy Child shrieked, "WE DO NOT WANT TO SEE THAT!"
Girl Child added, "YEAH! WE DO NOT NEED TO SEE DAD'S HAIRY BUTT!"
I said nothing for a moment and then,
"Exactly why....are the children seeing your hairy butt?"
He smiled, pleased with himself. "I figured they wouldn't look over here at the tv if my ass was blocking it!"
"Jason," I said. And stopped.
"It's the best plan ever!" he said, gleefully.
"Jason," I said,
"I am so blogging about this."
Friday, January 11, 2008
So I say, "Enjoy recess while you can, Boy Child. I'd give anything to get to go outside for an hour every day during work and run around like a crazy person."
He nodded, sadly. "I know. It's just this year and then next year and then? Middle school. And no more recess."
My heart? Dropped to my toes.
WHAT THE DAMN HELL?
How on EARTH could these little children that I just gave birth to like, last week, be nearly ready for middle school?
How is this even possible? How is this even FAIR?
Then? I come home, open up my Gmail and the very first message says:
"Is there a Mylastname baby due in 2008?"
WHAT THE DAMN HELL?
NO, but thank you, idiotic spammer, for making me feel horrendous about my personal fertility.
Then? My friend Allison called and said, "How are you doing?" and I began sobbing hysterically. Because I am, most decidedly, not fine. Not at all.
Then? I clicked on my blog and clicked on my Site Meter and noticed I was getting hits from Ask and Ye Shall Receive, which is a review blog.
And I started getting nervous because, well, you always put yourself out there when someone reviews your blog. Especially someone who has the f word in their URL.
So I went to the review and here is what I see:
Which, on their site means:
Four stars couldn’t do you justice! You rock it like a hurricane, and if you’re single, we’d love to do you doggy style. Rawr!
So they like me and also, apparently, want to do me. Except, you know, I have Jason.
So that made me cry most of all. Not the having Jason part, the other part.
And it was a good cry.
I needed a good cry.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Not just any rain. The super hard, flooding, pouring down rain that renders every driver in my fair city completely incapable of driving down Interstate 40 without their foot jammed firmly on the brakes of their vehicle. Because jamming your foot on the brakes in the middle of huge puddles of water is a great idea. Clearly.
But it didn't matter. Yesterday, I was great. Today, I was going to be even better.
Traffic was an absolute nightmare, but as I got closer and closer to my office, the rain started clearing. Because today? I was going to be great.
There was absolutely no parking anywhere. I couldn't even find a spot in the dirt lot that I sometimes resign myself to parking in. I had to park somewhere in approximately Canada and hoof it up a really big hill to my office.
No matter, I told myself. It's good exercise. It's not that hot today. Today? I am going to be great!
Less than 1/4 of the way up the ginormous hill? It started raining again.
Really, really hard.
No matter, I told myself. I have a hood on my jacket. I'll just pull it over my head so my hair doesn't frizz. Because today? I'm going to be great.
It was raining so hard I could barely see in front of me. For some reason, perhaps Satan's influence on the cruel world, there were absolutely no trees in the area I was walking so I couldn't even shelter in place. I had to continue walking up the hill. In my Crocs, which were arguably my worst choice for the day. My socks got wet. I stepped in a huge mud puddle and my socks were not only wet, but covered in mud. My pants legs were so wet I could literally wring the water from them. My underwear was soaked.
No matter. It was going to be a good day. I was determined.
My jacket became so wet that it weighed about five pounds. I was soaked from head to toe. Even my hair got completely soaked. Unfortunate, I thought. But not the end of the world. My hair, even when a bit frizzy, is totally banging. Besides. I was going to be great.
My co-worker chuckled at how wet I was and I said, "I know! I'm a fright. Good thing I'm so damn sexy and it doesn't even matter."
In front of the project manager and an auditor.
But it doesn't matter, I thought. Because today was going to be great.
I slipped on a huge puddle of water in the hall, skidded about fifteen feet, and landed, firmly, into an enormous FireKing cabinet. My co-worker declared me a safety violation and made me a yellow and black label that said "Hazardous", which he stuck to the back of my shirt. I went to the bathroom and looked at the huge, purple bruise on my boob.
But I thought to myself, somewhat desperately, today was going to be great! Right? Wasn't it?
I went to the morning meeting and the auditor did not mention any issues that seemed notable. Some minor crap, but nothing big. So even though my pants were dripping as though I had peed them, I was certain, once again, it would be a good day.
The auditor then took me into an office and told me for three hours how much I suck.
Yesterday I was the windshield. Today I was the bug.
But I didn't cry. I held my head up high.
Even though it was really, really, really not a good day.
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
Mostly I most decidedly DO NOT rock, so the fact that I did today? Sweet.
And today was huge. It was important. I'm huge every day, but today I was also important.
I was in a room of Important People. My knees shook so hard they nearly knocked together. But? I spoke clearly. I did not whisper. I did not hesitate. I was concise. I was accurate. I did well.
Do I know exactly what I'm doing all the time? No. But today I faked it like a porn star.
AND I CAN'T FREAKING TALK ABOUT THE DETAILS ON THE INTERNET. STUPID SECRETIVE JOB.
Gah! My one good moment this week and I can't even blog about it. It just figures.
But seriously. You'll have to take my word for it. I rocked.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Mostly? Because everyone is acting so, so wrong.
Here are the things I am currently sick of:
2) More audits
3) Having one audit and then having ANOTHER audit team come in THE SAME WEEK. NOT COOL.
4) People who say, "You should just be grateful for the two kids you already have!" in reference to me being infertile. Well hello fuzzy, if I didn't like the kids I already have I sure the hell wouldn't want another. Duh.
5) Did I mention audits?
6) Getting paid only once a month. It would be different if I ever got paid on the same DAY. One month it's the third, the next month it's the 10th, the next month, who knows? It's all so random
7) People who assume I will make them coffee or staple their papers merely because I have a vagina.
8) People who I believe in that leave me with a PROFOUND FEELING OF DISAPPOINTMENT after speaking to them.
9) Not feeling like I belong anywhere.
10) Wondering if I ever will belong anywhere.
11) Oh yeah, AUDITS.
12) Having a cookie sale meeting at 7pm tonight. I know how to sell cookies. You say, "Hey, I have Girl Scout cookies" and people fling money at you. It's easy.
13) Having to deal with someone on a daily basis that I genuinely hate. It's crossed over from dislike or "Bless his heart he's a huge dumbass." I sincerely hate this person. I wish harm would befall him.
14) People who do not read for clarity.
15) That chick who, apparently, used to date my husband and has made it her mission to be my personal stalker and leave me really weird and bitchy comments. If she would just email me we could hash this all out like nice ladies, but she? Is not nice.
17) Not getting enough sleep
18) People who do not respect me because I'm 32 years old as opposed to being, I don't know, 100 or however old they are.
19) People who do not respect me because I'm a nice, decent person and likely to smile at people in the hallway instead of shouting obscenities at them. I would rather shout, but I'm a Girl Scout and we don't do crap like that.
20) AUDITS. OH MY FREAKING COW. STOP WITH THE AUDITS.
Monday, January 07, 2008
Last night was the other 1.5%.
I have an audit this week. Yes, another one. I was/am feeling really antsy and uncomfortable about the whole thing because frankly? I do not test well. Have I prepared for this particular audit as much as humanly possible? Well, yes. Do I feel ready? Um, no. Because I don't like situations in which I don't really know what's going to happen. Call it human nature, or call me a freak. Either way.
For several weeks, including over Christmas, I've had a low-grade anxiety regarding this. Not that I didn't think the auditors would come in and find problems and not that I wasn't already fully, completely, 100% aware of the problems that we have. I mean, DUH. I know, right? It's basically just explaining to the 200th person, "Yes. We have problems. Yes. We know about the problems. Perhaps if you could stop auditing us every single freaking month then we might have time to, you know, actually FIX some of these problems instead of writing condition reports on ourselves explaining how messed up we are."
But I'm not allowed to say that.
Anyway, the point is, I've been anxious.
Also? Other things have been making anxious. The whole thing that happened on Friday? Sent me to the ceiling. The work I've been doing in therapy? Catapulted me to the roof. And also? I'm on Weight Watchers and if I have to calculate one more Points value? Well, I might do physical harm to someone.
But I've been really making a sincere effort to be a better wife. Because that's one of those things I want to be, despite how the outside world is going. In my house and in my heart, I want to be a better wife.
So yesterday, I mentioned very casually that I needed to go to the market. For a quick trip so, basically, the children would have lunch today.
And so it began.
Jason: "Hey Babe, since you are going to the grocery store can you please get 8 gallons of water?"
Okay, so we drink a lot of water. Eight gallons lasts us about a week. Okay, fine.
Jason: "Oh, and also baby? Can you please get me some orange juice?"
He's been sick. Fine. He needs orange juice.
Okay, what he actually needs is to take his ass to the doctor. But he hasn't, and probably won't because clearly, orange juice cures everything.
But fine. Orange juice.
Jason: "Oh and since you are going? Can you buy me some cigarettes?"
I argued that one, a bit, because I really don't like buying cigarettes. I just don't. The sheer amount of money that is spent on them makes me really, really twitchy. And also? I don't smoke. So it makes me irritated when the store I'm at doesn't have them and I have to drive to YET ANOTHER store and get them.
But fine. I'm being a good wife, right? So I agree to get the cigarettes, IF the store I am at has them. If not, I will not make another trip. Because, you know, he leaves the house every single day and he can go elsewhere and get them, if need be.
So I take Boy Child to the store. Boy Child wants to play, "Guess what animal I am!" which is a game he made up and I completely suck at. I always say something like, "I'm big and I live in Africa," and he's all like, "An elephant!" and then the game is over. And he always picks dinosaurs and bugs, and I know nothing about either of those.
We get all of our crap, including the offending cigarettes, and come home. I'm trying to carry all this crap into the house and I realize that Jason had decided to take a nap.
Okay, fine. He's sick and he's been working a lot. I will not think, oh, not even to MYSELF, that I've worked just as much as he has and perhaps even more and I would really love to have a nap.
Instead, I busy myself putting away the groceries, lugging in the 8 gallons of water, and making dinner.
Later, I am tired. Very tired. I don't sleep well, particularly with looming audits, but I am tired and I go to bed at around 10pm. I fell asleep with the television on, as I often do, and I woke up at around 1am and turned it off since it was annoying me.
Jason came into the room around 1:30am, and turned the television back on.
At 2am? He decided to take a shower.
Now, can I just mention that our bathroom is IN our bedroom? Meaning that there is no other entrance unless you go through our bedroom?
Then, at about 3am he opened the bathroom door, all the lights going, and was standing there in front of the mirror.
Brushing his beard.
NO, I AM NOT KIDDING.
I gave him a look that basically said, "OH MY GOD I WILL KILL YOU," and he said, "I'm sorry! The bathroom was all hot and I had to open the door to let the steam out."
I said, "OH MY GOD, I WILL KILL YOU. TURN OFF THAT LIGHT RIGHT NOW!"
He said, and I swear to Frog, I cannot even MAKE THIS STUFF UP, "Then I won't be able to see to brush my beard."
NO, I AM NOT KIDDING.
I said, very calmly,"Jason, if you do not turn out that light RIGHT NOW you will have to extract that hairbrush from your ass. And also? Probably my foot."
He turned the light out.
He is so lucky my foot is not in his ass.
Also? It's a good thing that "being a good wife" was one of my goals and nothing set in stone. Because really? I can only be so good.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
Anyway. Here's my guess of what's going to happen this year. This guess is largely infused with a little thing we will call, "wishful thinking":
1) Some people are going to find out about my blog.
And not like in a, yay these people with money and privilege have found my blog and want to pay me money to write in it way! Probably? It's going to be some people that I don't want to find out, like my ex-husband and my husband's family. Oh and some of my own family, I imagine.
But actually? Maybe they already know. I get a lot of hits from the city in which my husband's family lives. My sister lives there too, so I know at least some of them are her (hi smoopie!), but surely she's not reading my blog THAT much. I mean, she does have a life and three children and all. So the point is, maybe they are already reading it so they can keep up with what Jason is doing. I don't know.
The bigger point is? I don't care.
No really. I don't care. Let 'em read it. Nothing I say is untrue.
As for my ex-husband? Well, if he's reading it that's fine too. He hasn't wanted anything to do with Boy and Girl Child since, well, ever. I imagine he's not chomping at the bit to find out information on them.
Also? Screw him. He doesn't scare me. Not anymore.
2) I'm going to say my real name.
Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't already, unintentionally. I am forever typing conversations between Jason and I and having to go out and replace Myrealname with "Chick". Someday, I'm going to forget.
Also? I said once that if I published something I would do the big reveal, and I think I probably would. Partially because, well, I'm a huge attention whore apparently, and secondly? Because I really think that there at least some people who care about me who just read this blog and haven't met me yet. I mean, there have been five people in the past few days who have sent me links to writing contests, book publishers, literary journals and, especially, notes of encouragement. For God knows what reason, these sweet people actually care about me. I don't think I even deserve it, but I'll take it. I'll take it graciously and, hopefully, give back as much as they give me.
Now I'm choking up. GAH!
3) Get over my fear of meeting people and meet some bloggers!
One, in particular, lives probably fifteen minutes from me and I've never met her. And she's fabulous and I really need to go have dinner with her.
Others live further away. Some probably so far that it's prohibitive, but others? I could make it work. I need to make it work. I need to put faces with words. I need to give hugs.
I need to know that people are real. Not that they are lying, but for me? It's really hard when someone cares about me and I don't know them in real life. Seeing them, meeting them, knowing them face to face will help me. I think. Unless they hate me. That would be pretty depressing.
4) I'm going to get out of the bad employment situation I am in.
I don't know how yet. But I know I will. I know I have to, for my own mental health and my own well-being.
Also? It's much easier since some of the people I cared about and trusted have proved to me in the past few days they really don't give a crap about me. So, you know, why continue making them money? Why continue putting my heart and time into people who really don't care about me and my well-being at all?
So. Forget that. I did my best. I really believed what I was being told. Now I know better.
Call it growing up. Whatever.
5) I will celebrate five years of marriage with Jason.
There were times last year? I wasn't so sure.
Now, I'm sure.
6) Something big is going to happen.
It's just a feeling. I don't even know why. Or what. Or even if it will be good or bad. I've just been feeling for the past few days that this year is going to be a year that something really huge happens.
Maybe I'll start selling my writing. Maybe I'll get an amazing job. Maybe someone close to me will die. Maybe I'll finally accept my infertility. Maybe I'll adopt a baby.
I don't know. Maybe none of it will happen.
But something will.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
The best thing to do when you are confronted with toxic people is to get them out of your life, right? You drop the idealistic hippie crap and come to the realization that while you understood that most people truly suck, even sometimes people you thought were good truly suck. And what's the best way to deal with these people?
You get away from them.
So, since getting away from these people means a lot of things to me, including quitting my job and, you know, wasting my education, I decided to do the one thing that would solve all my problems.
I sat down and I wrote.
I Googled. I found publishers, contests, opportunities. And I started emailing and addressing envelopes.
Because, by God, if I'm going to sit here wasting my life? I might as well go all the way.
In for a penny, in for a pound or whatever the hell that old saying is.
And if nothing comes of it? What difference does it make anyway? Nothing comes of anything I try to do, apparently.
Friday, January 04, 2008
You really hurt me today. I sat in front of you and poured my heart out. You looked me right in the face and nodded your head like you understand, but you don't. You didn't hear me. Oh, you were listening, but you didn't hear me. At all.
I thought I could trust you, but you have shown me your opinion of my worth. Now I feel like a fool for ever having believed what you said in the first place.
From now on, I will not confide in you. If you ask me how I am and how things are going, I will be friendly and pleasant and tell you everything is fine. Because that is what you want to hear...all you will hear.
I am so, so deeply disappointed in you. In humanity. In everything I thought you stood for.
Dear person I used to think was a decent human being,
You and I were never what I would call friends, but I believed you were a good person. A few years ago you and I did some volunteer work together and, based on that, I believed that you were a good and decent person.
You've proven me wrong.
I am ashamed of you. I am horrified by how you have treated others. I am appalled at your lack of respect. I am mortified that you can not only justify your behavior, but convince others that you were justified.
You were not justified. You were dead wrong.
I am ashamed of you. I am ashamed to be associated with you in anyway.
It was so nice to see you today. Because? You are a good person. You were so happy to get the Christmas card I gave you (LATE). You asked about Boy and Girl Child and their Taekwondo. You loved the photos I showed you. You asked how I was and genuinely cared about what my response was.
So thank you. For that.
I'm sorry, for what you have went through in the last two years. I'm sorry that someone you loved hurt you. If I had any single friends that lived close by? I would totally fix you up. Because you? Are fabulous.
I'm sorry that you are hurting. Because you don't deserve to hurt.
I love you.
Thank you for hearing me and wanting for things to be easier for me.
It would be much easier to deal with all these other people if I just stopped caring. Thank you for recognizing that it's just not that easy.