Tag Archives: jerks

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 dark before the dawn… I hope

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Yeah, I am trying to be hopeful. Because it only seems to get darker and darker, and that’s not just because of the massive forest fires going on around here.  (On a side note, it’s beginning to look like Los Angeles around here, the skies are so grey and murky… it’s gross.)  even though just a week ago I thought things were looking up.

 A little over a week ago, it looked like we’d finally be able to move into a place of our own… it was pretty much a matter of would we qualify to buy a house or have to rent. Also, short of something bad happening, like the car breaking down, our much-anticipated trip to Disneyland was finally, finally going to happen, in September.  Little did I suspect the ‘something bad” that was lurking around the corner.

My husband got himself fired.

Sure, his job was crappy, he complained daily, and it paid 1/3 of what he used to make. It -almost- paid the bills.  My little part-time job paid for extras (even if “extras” shouldn’t really mean underwear, but, still…). I was looking for a better job so we could move out. Now I need a better job just so we don’t go back into the hole we have been trying so hard to climb out of.

His job was supposed to just be a means-to-an-end. It was just supposed to keep paying the bills while we got the business up and running. But he is so… aarrgh!!  I don’t even know what. Proud? Stupid? He worked at a call center, and it’s all about your “stats”, all about the numbers you post. I don’t really claim to fully understand because he had started talking “work-ese” and alot of it didn’t make sense, but what I do understand is that he started doing really well… like best in the center, top 10 out of several hundred… qualified for the “big banquet” and possibly the “big getaway”… and somehow, instead of him just being content that he was doing well and would be able to keep working there until the business could support us, it somehow became all about him being the best; about not slipping out of that number one spot… and he didn’t follow policy, didn’t do something he was supposed to do, because it would cost him precious seconds and maybe his stats would suffer… basically, he “cheated” to stay on top. And he got caught. And he got fired.

To me, it feels like another slap in the face from a man who was supposed to take care of me. He couldn’t just be content to be doing well.  He had his pride to think of, that even tho he had a crappy job he was the best at it. It’s really a question of integrity, and he’s not the man I thought he was. He has screwed up – alot – over the course of our marriage.  I thought he’d learned something.  Grown up. Figured it out. Through it all, he was at least a good provider. I could stay home, raise our daughter. Homeschool her. Have a decent place to live. Now I will have to get a full time job, leave our daughter just as she enters high school, a potentially rough time for her.

I am pissed off, hurt, shocked. Disneyland is off, of course. Our daughter will have to continue living in a bedroom which is really her bed crammed into a room full of furniture that isn’t hers; not even usable to her (bookcases full of old books, a grandfather clock, an antique table… ) She’s a teen and she can’t decorate her own space. She will soon be too old to want to go to Disneyland with us…

I am trying to figure out what benefit I get from being married. He isn’t even nice to me. And now he is mopey and grumpy and feels totally sorry for himself. Instead of trying harder he just slumps away.

I feel like God just doesn’t care. I know He loves me, but I don’t understand why that doesn’t mean some help. I love my kid and would change her life if I could. But He doesn’t, and I don’t get that. Do I have to keep suffering because of my husband’s stupid, selfish choices? Is this my fate?

I am so tired of my life.

Thoughtless Sister Strikes Again

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I know, I know… I only come here to complain. Where, well else should I go? Huh??

Tomorrow is the 4th of July. Holiday and all that. So, we wanted a low-key event, family barbeque, some ‘safe and sane’ fireworks, call it good. Mom and I asked my sister if she and her family wanted to come over. Fine. Because they are coming, I told Kiki that her friend couldn’t come, because I wanted her to spend time with her cousin. My sister later told me she’d invited a gal and her two daughters (who are around Kiki’s age) and that’s fine, because we all know this family, they are going thru some really hard times right now, and they’ll be fun to have over. No problem.

This afternoon I went to the market and bought the amount of groceries I knew it would take to cover the amount of people I was expecting.

Then tonight when I got home, my mom was freaking out about the ‘extra people’ my sister has invited. A total of at least 10 more than we’d planned on! First off, isn’t it pretty rude to invite people over to someone else’s house?? Without asking first? Secondly, these are people my mom doesn’t even know. They are my sister’s friends, not family friends. I do happen to know them – and one couple I don’t like. They annoy me, and the husband annoys Alan so badly I am not even telling him that that guy will be here, because honestly, Alan might decide to go elsewhere… yeah, it’s that bad. And I know I have mentioned to my sister that we don’t really care for this particular couple. And yet….

Her comment was “well, we just have a hard time saying ‘no'”…. Really?? No to what? When someone asks what you are doing how about you reply “Oh, just a little family get-together”. And I bet that person doesn’t invite themself to your family’s event, so what is it that you’d be saying “no” to?

The truth is, my sister not only thinks ‘the more the merrier’ (a trait that my mom, my dad, my husband and myself do NOT share) she also wants to be involved in every little thing – to not miss out on anything – and the only way to not miss out on what your friends might be doing is to be sure your friends are doing it with you.

The other problem this creates is that a couple of these families have kids that Kiki’s cousin is good friends with – so now that I have told Kiki she can hang out with her cousin and therefore doesn’t need to have a friend over, her cousin will now be ditching her for the other kids. (And yes, she will, That’s how it works.)

I was really looking forward to tomorrow. Both Alan and I have the day off work, and I thought it would just be a fun little day. But once again, my sister’s selfishness has thrown a shadow over my life. I am trying to make the best of it… I am sure there will be parts of the day that will be nice. However, I am absolutely dreading the moment Alan finds out about who is coming… that could really make it crappy.

I know why America has an obesity epidemic (Hint: It’s not from 24oz sodas)

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I’ve been watching the news lately, far more often than I’d like due to my current living situation. This business about the – is it the mayor of New York? – (okay, obviously I watch the news without really paying attention!) anyway, the guy who wants to outlaw big sodas. Because that is going to make everyone suddenly thinner. Right.

Haven’t they  …”they” … been trying this? No more happy meals… no toys, anyway. Put nutritional info in the fast food stores.  Outlaw ‘supersizing’…. blah blah blah. And we are just getting fatter.

On the surface, sure, we are fat because we eat too much. It’s simple science… if you consume more calories than you burn, you get fat. Duh. Also, our processed foods, with all the chemicals and crap in them, are far worse than the “bad” foods our parents or our grandparents could chow down on if they were the sort to overeat.  But come on!! Do you really think that if you take away our soda we’ll get thinner??  As if I can’t buy soda at the grocery store and chug it down? I can honestly say, as an obese person, NONE of my weight is from sugary sodas. None. I don’t ever drink any soda but diet, and that only occasionally. So what’s my problem, huh? You are going to have to outlaw Ben and Jerrys, and cookies (homemade, so I guess you have to outlaw baking.)  Besides, how long have these items been in existance, and how long have we been so fat? Do you really think the problem is the food??  Geez. 

Maybe the problem is WHY we are eating so much. Why is a small soda, or one cookie, or a small serving of ice cream not enough? Think about that for awhile. Do you know? Do ya?

Okay, I will tell you what I think. (and as an obese person, with heavy friends, I think I’m qualified to tell you) We are freakin’ depressed. We are a nation of unhappy, unfulfilled humans, and we are cramming ourselves full of anything, anything, to try to get some satisfaction. Don’t believe me? Why do you think that even in this crappy economy, when so many of us are unemployed or underemployed that spending hasn’t gone down? Because some of you – instead of overeating – are satiating your needs with the junk you buy instead of the junk you eat. You know who you are – you look better on the outside than I do, but you are as unhappy and empty as I am. But maybe your shelves and your closets are fat.  Why do you think more poor people are fat than the wealthier folks? Because we can’t afford to buy nice stuff, or to try to make ourselves happy by a lovely dinner in a nice restaurant… so we ‘fill our needs’ with junk food. Because even tho I have very little money, I usually have enough for a candy bar.

Think about it. The farther our society gets from God… from living the right way … for Him, f0r other people, for our families, for our spouses and our children, from having people treat us right because we are unselfish and place others first…. I mean, when my husband is a jerk, I head for the pantry. When I feel like I have no friends, I always have the food.  On and on it goes.  Have you ever found yourself shopping for housewares when your home is full to the brim?  Or buying a new outfit when you have brand-new items in your closet that you will probably never wear? How many purses do you own? How many cats do you have??

We are looking for fulfillment. We are looking for relationship, for acceptance, for love. When we don’t find it in the right place, we try to find it in the wrong places… sex, drugs, stuff, food. Until we figure out how to get ourselves on track, to love ourselves for who we are without needing the acceptance of the other humans around us, until we ask the Lord to fill us up, to be our sufficiency, our fulfillment, we are going to be fat. No matter how much soda the government takes away.

Sick and tired of being sick and tired (aka: another reason I don’t like doctors)

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Lately, I have been exhausted. Often. To the point that all I want to do somedays – all I feel capable of doing – is crawling back into bed. Somedays I feel like I can never really fully wake up. On top of that, somedays I feel a little dizzy. Not room-spinning-I’m-gonna-pass-out dizzy, just a little “off”, somehow. I don’t feel sick at all, just wiped out.

I had to go to the doctor – because, well, I’m a female and it’s been a year. You know. (Actually it’s been over a year but let’s not discuss that, shall we?) Anyhoo, she was a new doctor recommended by a friend. On the one hand, she was very thorough and she was gentle, so it wasn’t horrible even though she had a student “observer”.  Yeah, ’cause what woman doesn’t want an audience for that little procedure, huh? On the other hand… she is obviously a doctor who feels pharmaceuticals are the answer to all of mans’ (or women’s’) woes. She couldn’t understand why I would quit taking the reflux meds if they made me feel better – even tho I have accomplished a great deal by changing my diet.  She told me meds I could take for other symptoms. Worst of all, she refuses to believe that the problems I am having with my no-longer-opposable thumb and weakness in my arm is from the stupid antibiotics I had the horrible reaction to. In fact, towards the end of the appointment, she told me she wanted me to go in for an MRI because I possibly have MS.  What…wait…WHAT???  Oh-my-freakin’-gosh!!  If you go to WebMD and put in my symptoms, there are about 2 dozen possible issues that could be the problem.  Several of them pretty mild and treatable (one is even just “stress”) all the way to the most serious which would be MS.  So, seriously!!  If you are a doctor, would you not first try to eliminate the most basic of issues, and work your way up from there if nothing pans out?  Or do you just throw out a diagnosis of a progressive, non-curable, debilitating disease right off the bat??!!

I am so angry right now. I’ll admit, also a little scared. Although I think I am fine… but, still. That seed has been planted. So, it’s there. And it’s bothering me. I can’t afford an MRI so I can’t eliminate the fear.

I took a blood test to check for all the basic stuff and I am waiting right now for a call from the doctor. I am praying they find something easy to fix, like I’m anemic or hypothyroid or something…

I’ll let you know.

Update:

There is not a darn thing wrong with me.  Well, nothing a blood test can detect, anyway. No anemia, no thyroid problems, no blood sugar level issues, no inflammation, no infections, lalalalala.

I am just tired. And lightheaded. But fine. Hmmmm…

If flute lessons don’t kill me, parenting a teen probably will

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Constant drama.  Lord, how tired of it I am! I am way too old to put up with this silliness, honestly.  A whole lot of it is just  ridiculous, you know?  The stuff that, at 50, you know doesn’t really matter.  However, the latest trauma happened just yesterday, and it’s a little harder to deal with – a school friend asked to hang out with her,  then later told Kiki that her mom said “no”  because the mom (a teacher at the school) doesn’t like her daughter to hang out with mine because mine is too “crazy” and she doesn’t like how her daughter behaves around mine.  Wow.  Wow.  How do you react to that?  Seriously?!  I mean, yeah, Kiki is crazy – in a fun, laughable way.  Yes, she’s goofy and somewhat annoying I suppose, if you’re not into fun.  She’s a great, sweet, reasonably well-behaved kid.  This just blows me away.  Or, not really, when I consider the source.  This mom – this teacher – is someone who seems about as un-fun as they come.  We have been in the same, tiny little school for the whole 8 years, and she still barely acknowledges me when I walk by.  She’s never been Kiki’s teacher (she teaches high school math) but still… my kid has never been in any kind of trouble at the school – or anywhere (besides home!).  I can’t believe she wouldn’t allow her kid to hang with mine.  Could the story have not been taken quite straight? I know kids have a way of misunderstanding – or not really listening – when we talk with them.  This friend of Kiki’s has gotten into a little trouble (very minor) hanging out with other kids at the school after hours… could that have been the intent?  Kiki swears her friend said this, word for word.  She’s upset, of course.  So what do I do?  Do I talk to the mom?  (Please say no.  I am kind of afraid of her!) Do we just let it go?

I really miss the toddler days, when I could fix any problem she had with a band-aid, a needle and thread, or a kiss.  sigh

If the USA (and maybe the whole world) is going to hell in a handbasket – should I really waste time trying to lose weight??

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I think there is too much news-watching and political-talk-show watching going on around my house.  Seriously.  Because it seems like everyone around here is talking about how this is the end of life as we know it and related horrid stuff.  Which I really don’t want to hear. Or think about.  You know, I have really been hoping our business is going to take off and we will eventually make more money, get to have our own home, finally take our kid to Disneyland (for the first time in her 14 years…) You know, that we can go back to living the American Dream.  So, what if that’s never going to happen?  What if the crazies down on Wall Street succeed in turning our country into some socialist/communist country?  (Even tho every one of those people I have heard interviewed doesn’t even seem to know what they’re doing down there… just a bunch of unhappy morons.) Or we have to live as Muslims? Or China takes us over in some military coup or something?

I don’t try to worry about this crap.  I try to thinkhappy thoughts of how my life is going to turn around one day, and I will quit being miserable (Yeah, I know, it’s a state of mind.  I moved out of that state.) or, at least, I will live in my own home with my own stuff and be slightly happier.  But what if the paranoids are correct?  What if our country has only got 15 or so more years before we go down the drain, as other countries have?  What does that mean to my child?  That she’ll never have a good life? 

I don’t know why this is upsetting me so much, except maybe because I am so unhappy about my life situation right now, and the one thing that makes me feel a little better is sweet, sweet sugary food, and yet I am trying so hard to give that stuff up so I won’t be all fat and unhealthy.  So that , when life turns around and gets better I will look better! But what if that’s never gonna happen?  Should I just keep eating, and therefore feeling happy in those brief, sugar-filled moments?

Sigh.  Some pundit is on TV as I write, and I just don’t want to hear it.  I think I will leave the house.  And maybe go buy a donut.