Sunday, Oct. 02, 2005
The Pits and the Pendulum
No, life hasn't suddenly become all sunshine and roses today, but at least my mood's swung back into a slightly less eliptical orbit. I'm still less than thrilled with a lot of things. However, there were some salient points that I had to consider, all the way around. In the end, I figured that selling the washing machine was worth the trade-off.
It would cost me about $200 to rent a truck - plus gasoline - to go pick the darned washing machine up from Globe. Plus I'd have to find someone who could help me load and unload it. And if I'd gone to pick it up and brought it back here, it would've just sat on the gravel "floor" of my carport, gathering rust and spider webs, until further notice.
Second - one of my readers pointed something out that struck me with its succinct truth: if that's the cost of getting these people out of my life once and for all, it's a bargain. (Thanks for putting it into perspective, Scott.)
This is my ex's parents - mom and dad to the drug addict who screwed up my life, his life, and our kids' lives. His parents, Penticostal ministers, did a number on their boys' lives, though of course they'll never acknowledge any responsibility for it. There's a reason that preachers' kids have a reputation for being hellions. When you force someone to adhere to impossible standards and dole out corporal punishment for failure to achieve them, it pretty much fucks up that person for life. The ex took the road of drugs and drink and all that jazz. I skipped the chemicals but followed my own path of self-destruction, and for the same reasons.
I don't know if I will ever be able to completely get past it but I'm certainly trying.
My mother's been dead for three years now. My dad's pretty much a non-entity in my life. The only people still judgmental of me are the ex's family.
Well you know what? I owe the ex's family NOTHING. Never did. Before and after I divorced my children's father, his parents accused me of everything under the sun, from sleeping around to being responsible for their son's drug addiction. They accused me of introducing him to drugs even though their son told them he was smuggling heroin in from Mexico at the age of 17 - two years before he met me. They told my children that their dad didn't know what he was saying because the drugs had addled his brain, and that they knew I was responsible.
Fortunately my kids know better. I think they all nodded and proceeded to ignore their grandparents, dismissing pretty much everything they said about me from that point forward.
Incidentally, I've taken one hit of pot in my entire lifetime, simply to shut my ex up. And I then laughed my ass off at him when I didn't get high at all, and he had a HORRIBLE high from the remainder of the joint - shakes, sweating, the whole gamut of truly BAD. He never asked me again to get high with him. That was the beginning and the end of my foray into illicit substances and happened nearly thirty years ago.
I don't judge you if you indulge, long as you're not hurting anybody, but it definitely ain't my cuppa.
Bringing things back in line, it was long past time to burn that particular bridge behind me. The ex's parents attempted to create familial ties where there were none, but it was only some misbegotten effort to reclaim their lost son, in some way that would absolve them of guilt. For my part, it was a tie to a past that's best entombed for good. The ex is buried. I want to bury all of the peripheral crap that's been hanging on for the past ten and a half years.
I read another book a few days ago, one called Why Men Are The Way They Are. It was interesting, but not for the reasons you'd think. As I read all of the frustrations that men don't express, I found myself nodding and thinking, "I feel the same way." One man remarked that he'd worked for money and status, doing a job that wasn't really what he wanted but he felt that he had to live up to expectations. His wife of many years was filing for divorce because he'd become married to his work. He commented that while he was a financial success, he'd become a person he didn't even like; and he didn't know how to get off the merry-go-round.
That's a paraphrase but the idea hit awfully close to home.
The book said that the foremost thing on men's mind is sex, but it takes some men a lifetime to realize that they need love, too. Incidentally, guys, I agree with that assessment, at least for the majority of the men I've met. It's the way the male psyche's been wired, in no small part due to countless generations of being taught that guys don't do emotion and that your only value is in what you do for a living. Human physiology demands a sexual outlet, thanks to good ole evolution or creation or whatever you believe. It's really sad that men have been hard-wired to go and get sex at every opportunity while women are taught that to do so makes us less valid.
I'm female and I had that same mentality drummed into me when I was a child - insofar as not being permitted to show any emotion and to the effect that my only value was in work. I wasn't allowed to cry or laugh or do anything that made noise, so I lived vicariously through books and writing. Of course I also was raised to the unrelenting message that sex was a terrible thing, something to be avoided at all costs. It took me a hell of a lot of years to figure out differently as to the sex. I'm still working out the other stuff, which is why my mood swings go from one extreme to the other. I jump from being the Queen of Denial to flinging EVERYTHING out in the open.
Lesson No. 1 in life: deny all traces of humanity and God might do something nice for you someday. If he feels like it.
I had another paragraph in here but decided to edit it out. The person it was addressed to would've just gone off again and everybody else would've gone, "Huh?" So I just said, "Fugheddaboudit."
Change of subject and new reason to go, "EWWWW!!"
Got another email from my ex-boss about the web deal and general crap. He flips back and forth between "here's what needs to be done with the web," yada yada - and "Do you remember...?"
I can understand why he continues to
harass contact me. The man's pissed off everyone he's ever spoken to and I've worked for him four times over the course of twenty years. He doesn't have any friends or family to speak of and while there I was essentially his caretaker. He probably thinks I'll eventually go back to work for him again. (All together now: "OVER MY DEAD BODY!") But his latest affectation is signing his emails, "Love, [Ex-Boss]"
Pardon me, but what the hell is that about???
I think I need to disinfect my email. This is a whole new level of computer virus.
In closing, lifting a meme from a couple of Diaryland buddies. Don't ask me to remember who right now. I'm still trying to erase the picture of the "L" word coming from the ex-boss. Sorry, I'm too busy shuddering to focus on anything else.
- I am not... good at managing my personal life.
- I hurt... more deeply than I ever admit.
- I love... cautiously.
- I hate ... cruelty in any form.
- I fear... being unable to care for myself.
- I hope... someday to own a house and a piano.
- I hear... a cricket chirping outside. (I love the sound.)
- I crave... a person to share my life as an equal partner.
- I regret... constantly working when my children were small, because they had no real supervision during that time.
- I cry... only when I'm alone or if I trust someone enough to let them see.
- I care... entirely too much for my own good.
- I always... try to treat people fairly.
- I long to... be in a mutual loving relationship.
- I feel alone... most of the time.
- I listen... to try and hear what people are really saying.
- I hide... most of my emotions.
- I drive... to blow off stress or just for the joy of touring the countryside.
- I sing... rarely any more.
- I dance... even more rarely.
- I write... because I can't NOT write.
- I breathe... the scent of the forest after a rain.
- I play... piano whenever I get the opportunity.
- I miss... spending regular time with my sister.
- I feel... much more profoundly than I generally let on.
- I know... how to fix most computer problems.
- I say... "If I don't know how to [do something], I know who to ask."
- I search... for ways to make life better for me and for my family and for my friends.
- I learn... in several ways. I ask questions but also make it a point to try what I'm told, therefore learning by trial and error.
- I succeed... professionally.
- I fail... at personal relationships.
- I dream... infrequently but vividly.
- I sleep... far less than I should.
- I wonder... what it would be like to have a stable, positive relationship.
- I want... to be a published author of a novel.
- I worry... about my children.
- I have... the ability to survive with very little.
- I give... to anyone who needs help, whether or not I can afford to give.
- I fight... when I see injustices against other people but rarely fight when there is an injustice against me.
- I wait... to get other people's responses a lot of times before speaking my mind.
- I need... to make changes if I'm ever going to be in a successful relationship. I just wish I knew what to change.
- I am... less talkative as time goes by.
- I think... I need to stop allowing people to use me for a doormat.
- I can’t help the fact that... I have a very hard time trusting.
- I stay... in bad situations far too long.
Before - After
In the grander scheme of things, no soul can truly be replaced. Each one of us has a place in the universal tapestry. We each contribute our own color and texture. When one thread is snipped too soon, it distorts all the threads around it. Other lives can unravel and tear. If the wrong thread is ripped away, the whole fabric of life becomes dangerously fragile.
- LeiLani, aka Radiogurl aka Bright Opal (1957 - )