Category Archives: love & marriage – yikes

The secret lives of people you thought you knew

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Do you know your friends? Really?

I thought I did. Maybe it’s because I am pretty much an open book. What you see is what you get and all that. Not that I air every piece of dirty laundry I have, or, upon meeting a new person blurt out every dark and dirty event I have ever been through, but if I have been around you for any amount of time, you’d have a pretty good idea about who I am. What I’m like.

So you can imagine my utter astonishment when the husband of one of the couples in my home group (which is a small group of people from my church who meet together once a week to study the Bible and build a deeper connection with than you might find when you go to a church like mine that has over 1500 members) anyhow – we got a call that he was in jail because he battered his wife. His wife being a woman I thought I knew pretty well. Someone I considered my friend. Shoot, I thought I knew him pretty well… he put on a really good front. And I’m pissed.

So, why am I so pissed off? Maybe it’s because I feel like I was lied to. I mean, our group has met every week for a couple of years. We have asked each other to pray for issues we’re having, opened up about hard stuff in our lives… well – some of us have. Obviously not everyone.

See, we’ve been through a lot with this family. Our kids hang out together. In fact these kids always acted like they were this happy little family when the truth is they have been hurt by and upset and disappointed with their dad pretty much their entire lives… at this point they say they never want to speak with him again, they are so tired of his manipulation and lies and hurt.

The husband has had lots of serious health issues, and we prayed and we took them meals and we kept their girls when they had to travel to hospitals out of state and our husbands drove this guy to the doctor visits out of state when the mom needed to be home with her children for special events… and never, ever, did it come up that this man was an abusive addict. We knew he had once had addiction issues… and were led to believe this was the past; dealt with. He was even a leader in our church’s addiction recovery program! Sheesh. Then he went nutso one more time and she’d finally had enough. The attack was witnessed by their kids, by two pastors who came by because one of the girls got really scared and called her youth pastor, and the arresting officers. So even though this man has denied the event (!) we all know what happened.

I don’t blame my friend for leaving her husband, even tho they’ve been married over 20 years. I don’t know why she didn’t leave him earlier, except she is this sweet Christian woman who I know was trying to do the best by her kids and I am sure in her dysfunctional way she thought if she hung in there and prayed enough she could rescue this man. I get that. What I don’t get is in all the time we’ve been friends that she never felt like she could have, at the very least, said “hey, we’re having some problems in our marriage – could  you pray for us?”  I mean, maybe she didn’t want to drag her husband through the mud, or maybe she was embarrassed about – whatever parts of it – but we other gals sure asked for help and prayers about a whole bunch of crap… so it kinda makes me mad, I guess. Hurts my feelings maybe. Like she didn’t feel I was a trustworthy friend.  I love this woman, I really do. She’s one of my best friends. I am sorry she is hurting right now.

I am also pissed that I was so misled by this man. I mean, he presented himself as this quiet, softspoken, very very wise man of God. He knew all the Scripture, had the right answers… When in fact he’s a crazy addict. And I seriously mean crazy. Some of the stuff he has said and done since the arrest and subsequent no-contact order, separation and divorce has been absolutely bat-poop-insanity. For reals.

I am not judging these people. We all mess up. We are all crazy, sin-filled people. I have had probably more than my fair share of stupidity and screw-ups.  But, I don’t know. It just makes me mad. Why do we get together as a small group of Christian friends to support one another if we aren’t going to be honest with one another? Why don’t we just play Poker then?

Which all just makes me wonder… do I really know any of the people I think I know? How many of my friends are hiding some dark secret that they think I am not able to be trusted with? Do they think I’m hiding something? Do you? Are you?

The Big 5-0 and how I messed up

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50s-black-the-big-50Shoot! My husband is turning 50 in 5 days… and I totally did not realize it was nearly June. To be fair – to me – I’ve had a lot on my mind. A dear friend is going through a nasty divorce, and had 10 days to move herself and two girls out of their lovely home into a one bedroom apartment. I can’t say how I feel about the whole situation because curse words would be involved… I will get into that another day! However, because of this I have been coordinating work days at her home to schedule people to pack and get people and vehicles to do the actual moving this weekend… as well as trying to help my poor friend not to have a complete breakdown. I’ve spent more time texting the last few days than I have in all the time I’ve actually had the ability to text… it’s been crazy. Not to mention working extra hours because this week was our big semi-annual sale, and it’s Kiki’s last week of school so we’ve been doing study guides and extra credit to pull her grades up (she has some B’s and would prefer to finish with A’s) and studying for finals… Also, she is working towards a mission trip to a foreign county in July, and her 16th birthday is this summer and I’ve been working on preparations for that for months (she wants a big to-do, so to pull that off I’ve had to take care of things in small $ amounts over several months). So in the midst of all that, I kind of forgot my husband’s big day.

Until today, when my mom asked when we were doing “the birthdays”. It’s always been sort of a 1-2 punch, as my dad’s birthday is one day after my husband’s, so we usually celebrate them together, with a family get-together of some sort. Which is fine, they both like that… but this year, since it was his 50th, I wanted to do something… special. Not huge, but special. And I spaced. And I’m not sure what to do about it at this point.

On the flip side, my daughter’s birthday is going to be fabulous!! Oops.

Wait…. whoa! Stop! I’m not ready for this ride!

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My daughter has a boyfriend.

Okay, well, she has a boy who really likes her. Who calls her. Texts her.

She likes him back, but I suspect (and she admits) part of the reason she likes him is because he likes her and that feels kinda nice. He’s a classmate, and they’ve been friends for awhile now (she actually prefers the boys in her class because… well, because they aren’t like the girls! Petty, judgmental, fickle… if you’ve ever been or ever known a teenage girl you know what I’m talking about.)  However, he’s not the boy she’s been crushing on for the last year… (who is a church friend; doesn’t go to her school. And who does not seem to like her back…)

But. She’s 14. In the 8th grade. Too soon for a boyfriend.

It’s not like she can date or anything, and we (her, me, her dad) have had extensive talks on protecting her heart, and staying true to her beliefs and well, to be honest, regrets, and how not to have them. Still… she’s 14. I remember how I felt at 14… in fact, in my 8th grade year I was madly in love with a boy, and he with me. We made plans for our senior prom (yes, years away) and how many kids we would have one day – as if we had a clue! But we thought we did… and we did some serious kissing!! I am pretty much telling my daughter “do as I say not as I did”.   Because I know how the other end of it feels… all these years later I am still missing a little piece of my heart.

But, part of me thinks it’s cute, and sweet… so I am really torn on just how to proceed.  Do I monitor her calls? Read her texts? Leave her be?  I trust her, and I know her desire is to do the right thing. On the other hand, she can be a bit of a follower, and the few times she’s been in serious trouble it’s been because she’s allowed a friend to talk her into doing something that she knew darn well ahead of time she was not to do.  So, its a concern.

Oh, how I miss miss miss the days of toddlerhood! Even she said to me the other day “Why can’t I still be 5 years old? Life was so much easier then.”

How do you find yourself, once you become really, truly lost?

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This mire which is my so-called life has become murkier and deeper as of late. It feels as mucky as the early spring mud which sucked my boots right off my feet when I’d head out to the barn to feed the horses. (Not much is grosser than stepping ankle deep into slimy mud clad only in stockinged feet…) I feel trapped with no obvious way out. Don’t know which direction to head. How to even start.

Maybe some of this has to do with the fact that we have now been living with my parents for over a year and a half. It was supposed to be for about 6 months, maybe less. Worse, I see no immediate end to the situation. No way out. I need a full-time job, and how do you do that and homeschool your kid? Also, how do you get a decent full-time job when you haven’t really worked since your child was born, almost 15 years ago? Not to mention all the taxi-service I do for her…

Then there is my weight. Other than feeling bad about it, I am doing nothing at all. It is my addiction, to dull the pain. It hurts in the long run, but don’t all addictions work that way?

Then there is my child’s education. This past year at our co-op has worn me out. I don’t want to do it any longer. I don’t feel qualified to homeschool her completely on my own (we all know how that went over in Virginia) and I want her to at least somewhat enjoy her high school years, unlike me.

Oh, and my sister.  Ugh with the vegan-ism and the adorable outfits and the “ooh guess what we are getting a trip to Cancun this year” and oh-dear-lord what I wouldn’t give to have my little sister back so we could gripe about it together! No one else truly understands how much I can love my older sister yet hate her at that same time.

My husband is no help at all. He’s not doing anything bad, just so wrapped up in his own issues that I can’t get him to spend a moment at least trying to give me some help on mine.

I finally get why moms run away from home. Honestly, it’s all I can do some days not to just toss some stuff in a bag, hop in my car, and start driving. To – anywhere. If I had more than two nickels to rub together I’d probably go. Chances are pretty good that I’d eventually return… but maybe with my head on a little bit straighter.

Reason # – oh, probably 873 – why men are annoying

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Yesterday morning, my husband says “I can’t believe no one around here is capable of refilling the soap dispenser in the bathroom.  Is it really that difficult?”  My response was that I had been unable to find the refill in the storage room and therefore assumed we were out and needed to buy more.  No, it seems the refill is out in the garage by the work sink…. ok, so fill it up, huh?  Nope.  He knows where it is, is perfectly willing to gripe about the soap dispenser being empty, but isn’t about to fill the thing himself.  That, aparently, is a job for myself or our daughter. 

Annoying.

Traveling ~ moving ~ with cats and dogs

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If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know that in the past two years, we moved across the country – and back again.  Yeah, we’re dumb like that.  Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time!  That is, the first move.  The second move was more in the line of desperation – “Dear Lord get us out of here!!” 

I thought I’d post some pics from our cross-country move;  today, featuring our cat and our dog.  To be honest, it wasn’t all that difficult traveling with them.  The dog loves car trips, long or short.  The cat, well, not so much, but give him a couple traquilizers and let him hide under the seat and he does okay.  The hardest part was probably finding hotel rooms that will accept 1) a big dog.  Most hotels these days seem to take little dogs, even though in my experience they are more destructive (or annoying) than big dogs.  But I don’t get to make the rules. 2) cats.  Finding a room that will take a cat is even harder than one that will take big dogs!  Thank the Lord and AAA, we did fine.  A shout out here to La Quinta!!  We used them all the way across the country – they were absolutely awesome!

One of the difficulties of pet-travel is that there doesn’t seem to be enough room in the car for everything.  I mean, geez, we have a 7 passenger vehicle with only 3 human beings in it, and yet with the animals in the car and all the paraphanelia that goes along with that, you end up with this:

Yeah.  All that interior space, and our luggage had to be on the outside.  Since the East seems to get ridiculous amounts of rain even in the middle of the summer (ick!) we had to make sure it was as water-tight as possible.  Alan and I got really good at packing this up every day!

The interior looked kinda like this:

Huh.  Can’t find the really messy interior shots… which is cool.  See, we had to take this giant crate for the dog (they have to be crated in the hotel room) and also her ramp because we have to be careful getting her into and out of the car since she had her knee surgery. 

So then we have them in the room with us.  Really, we have well-behaved pets.  (I wouldn’t tolerate any other kind!) They didn’t cause any trouble, except on the very last day.  I guess the dog had just plain had enough, and when we left to go have our hotel breakfast that morning she started barking as soon as we left the room and would not stop for anything… which is not like her at all.  We ended up having to take her to breakfast with us – thank goodness the weather was wonderful and the hotel had a patio area, so it ended up alright.

 

 You really need to be prepared when you travel with pets!

The room was nice and big so the crate fit fine.

The cat, of course, was curious.

They both seemed to enjoy the view.

These pictures were all taken on our last night, which we spent in Denver, Colorado.  I will try to post pictures of the entire trip, maybe one day at a time.  All of our moving has been a big pain in the haunches, and yet I am not sorry for the experiences we have had.  I’d be pretty happy to never move again, though.  Well, after we move out of my parents’ home and into one of our own!  Sheesh, I’m not ready to stay here forever!!  God forbid it!  Lol.

So…. it’s Tuesday

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Yeah.  Which means what?  Nothing.  I haven’t posted in awhile so I just figured I should check in. 

We have been kind of busy trying to get our business up and running.  We had a coupon on one of those online sites, so we were kind of swamped… for about a week.  We are at that spot of trying to figure out how to grow the business quickly when we have no advertising budget.  I haven’t a clue.  And it’s really hard for my husband to be doing the business as well as working his full time (sucky-paying) job.  He’s killing himself off, sort of.  And in reality, he should be using his time that he’s not actually “working” in the field to be drumming up more business.  But, without the sucky-paying job, we couldn’t even pay the small bills we currently have…. It’s a catch-22 situation of sorts.  The reality is that if things don’t change drastically, the business will continue to grow slowly and in a year or so we will have built up enough customer base for him to do that work exclusively.  Which sounds fine until you understand that means him having to work basically 2 full-time jobs for that entire year, as well as the fact we wouldn’t be able to move out into a place of our own for many more months… and it’s been 8 months already, and I am soooo done with this situation!

Sigh.  Why does life have to be so hard?