Today was one of those days I needed a pep talk rather than music. The music was really bringing me down actually.. so I switched to podcasts. This one wasn’t as much a pep talk as it was funny.

“It’s not your fucking job to satisfy him sexually enough that he will not cheat on you or watch porn.”

“It’s not your job to dye your hair, get a boob job, cut your hair, lose weight, gain weight, exercise unless you fucking want to.”

“It’s not your fucking job to keep his dick out of other women.”

It’s not your f*cking job

Love it!

Upon realizing that this is how my marriage was ending, I felt intense regret. As if by reflex, I regretted ever thinking this was a marriage worth saving after I had been betrayed the first time 15 years ago. But that regret has changed. Yes, maybe we should have called it quits then. But if we had, Ethan would not exist today and I could never regret having him.

I can’t regret my husband’s decisions for him. I can only regret my own. So what I regret is not being a better wife. I regret not being more affectionate towards him. I regret not doing something more to fix my own self-image: finding a therapist, exercise, losing weight, etc. I regret not making any friends here in Texas. I regret not trying harder to socialize with my neighbors. I regret all the troubles I have within myself even tho I can’t do anything to change who I am fundamentally. I regret not trying harder to be a better version of myself. Where my marriage is concerned, I regret allowing myself to accept things as they were. I regret letting myself be intimidated by his anger and not pushing harder for change.

And I don’t regret these things just for myself or just for my marriage, I also regret it all for my kids. My daughters specifically. Because I feel embarrassed for them that they have a mom who was dumped by their dad. I’m embarrassed for all the moments of weakness they’ve had to witness me have since d-day. I’m embarrassed that they got to see me at my worst and at my lowest moments. I regret not having been able to give them the best example of what a woman should be by striving to be the best that I could be.

Even tho I hadn’t given up on my marriage, I regret giving up on myself. I regret relying on my husband to give me what I should have been giving myself. And I regret that my daughters had to watch it happen.

I couldn’t stop pacing the house. I walked out the front door to the front porch and sat on the bench. I stood back up and walked back inside and into the kitchen. Then back to my bedroom then back out of my bedroom and out the backdoor to the yard. This didn’t feel right so I walked back inside the house thru the hallway and back out the front door. The only place I was able to stand without moving for more than 10 seconds was on the walkway from the driveway up to the front porch. Standing there looking out at the street in the cold, I could feel myself stabilize there. Before long, neighbors walking their dogs started to get closer. I didn’t want them to see me so I walked back into the house again.

I needed someone. Anyone. I needed someone who loved me. But I was in Texas and the only person I had for the last 21 years who loved me was gone. He was no longer available to me. So I needed someone. I needed a hug from someone who loved me.

I kept pacing and pacing, sitting down and standing up, pacing. Looking at our furniture. Everything symbolized rejection. I needed someone. Then I realized the only people in the house who loved me were my kids. So I walked to their bedroom doors, standing there, and thought about knocking. I wasn’t sure if they were awake so I didn’t. Then back downstairs and out the front door. Back inside and into the kitchen. Back upstairs and to their doors. I needed someone who loved me.

Then I walked into my son’s room where he was sleeping. I took one of his little chairs and sat in it watching him. I was shaking and crying. I needed a hug from someone who loved me. I thought how his little world was about to come crashing down. I thought about how badly he was going to be hurt. I could no longer stay in that room looking at him. My heart was breaking for him and my crying was going to wake him up.

I got up and went back downstairs and out the front door and stood on the walkway. It was cold out there. I needed someone. I kept stopping at random places throughout the house when my sobbing wouldn’t let me keep walking. I was beginning to get desperate. Really really desperate. I had to die. To make this stop I had to die. The floor was gone from under me. I couldn’t feel what I was walking on anymore. I needed a hug from someone who loved me.

I went back upstairs and by the girl’s bedroom doors. I walked back thru the gameroom to go back downstairs. This is where Dennis was laying on the couch watching me and sighing. I needed someone who loved me.

With what I’m sure was a cracked voice I asked him if he thought the girls were awake. I don’t remember his answer. I said out loud “I need someone. I need someone.” I think he asked me if I needed a hug. I said “No! I need a hug from someone who loves me.” I broke down there and sobbed. I was afraid they would hear me.

By then I could hear that they were awake in their rooms. I wasn’t sure if I should knock. I knew they’d want to know what happened and I’d have to tell them. But maybe I should do it anyway. I needed someone who loved me.

Finally I went downstairs to my bedroom and shut the door. I sat on my bed and texted our group chat. “I need a hug”. A few seconds later Maya came downstairs and into my bedroom and gave me a hug. I sobbed and hugged her. I cried as she hugged me again. I knew right away I had done the wrong thing. I was transferring my pain to her. She asked why I was crying and I told her the truth.

“Your dad just told me that he doesn’t love me anymore”.

So, what did I expect would happen?

Our marriage had ups and downs like any other. A handful of those downs were really really down and dangerously close to divorce but I was always fully aware of the state of affairs those times. None of them were surprises to me. (except maybe the first time which …. ..yeah)

So what I expected was the same shit that has happened every other time we’ve had to sit down and have a serious talk about our relationship over the last 21 years. OK, there was ONE time when it went sideways and we ended up separated. That’s the week Ethan was conceived. Go figure.

No, what I thought would happen this time was that we’d talk about it in depth, he would reassure me that he was not giving up and then we’d talk about what the doctor told me and we’d try again. THAT’S what I thought would happen.

But what actually did happen was disaster: The kids were in bed, we went into our room and he started talking first and the first thing out of his mouth was.. “I love you as the mother of my children. I love you as a person. But I don’t love you as a husband should love a wife.” This is when the shock started coming on. Disbelief. Was I hearing this right? I thought just keep talking because maybe it will start making sense as you go on…

He said “I don’t like the person you’ve become.” “I don’t approve of your hobbies. Your interest in the birds… I just keep seeing money being spent.” “You never want to go out anywhere. I come home and you’re in the same position you were when I left.” “You don’t shower. You go days with the same shirt on.” “You’ve let yourself go.”

And the pièce de résistance, the one that hurt the most that night: “I know I could never be happy married to you.”

There was more dialogue in between those statements, but they are unimportant to me. Irrelevent. Those statements highlighted above are enough and I will never forget them. Was there truth in his words? The ones that speak of me, not of his personal opinions?

Yes, they are all true. But if you’ve sat around discussing how I screwed up this marriage, regardless of which side you’re on (M or B), perhaps a little extra context might help reveal more truth behind it. Things are rarely as cut and dry as those statements above imply.

  • I bought Zuzu a new cage. It cost $800. I love birds. I only have one currently… namely Zuzu, my African Grey. I have plans on getting two more smaller birds later this year. The divorce wont change that. We’ve had three birds for years until 2 of them died earlier this year. When we met in 2000 I had an African Grey and I’ve continued to have birds and various exotic pets pretty much non-stop since then. So yes, it’s true. But he accepted me, the pet lover, 21 years ago and chose to stay with me all those years never once telling me that he “disapproved” of the birds.
  • I never want to go anywhere. That’s true. I have social anxiety and who knows whatever else makes it hard for me to socialize. I socialized waaay more in Florida than I have here. I depended on him too much to be the one on the social front: taking the kids to birthday parties and making friends with the neighbors. I was glad he could do it easily, but I was envious too. So yes, that’s true. But it’s also true that I’ve always struggled on that front. This was nothing new for me or him.
  • I will go days without showering. It’s true. Since the beginning of time, if I’m holed up inside my house without leaving it, I just don’t shower every day. If I notice any stink on myself, I go shower. If I think I’m gonna be intimate or want to be, I shower. If someone is coming over, I shower. I have asked him if it bothered him many MANY times. I even asked the kids because I would get a little paranoid sometimes, but not paranoid enough to just shower every day. It never bothered *me* personally. But it would have bothered me if I thought it bothered them. I was never told that it bothered anybody even when I asked them point blank. So I kept on keeping on as I had always kept on. The only time I heard criticism about it was the week prior to this moment. When he mentioned something about my 4-day old shirt. I went and took a shower and put on clean clothes after that. No, I’m not proud of it. But I wasn’t completely squalorous and bereft of caring about it. I would never leave the house without showering and putting on clean clothes. We’d even get into arguments over it because he’d ask me to run out and pick Ethan up or do whatever and I’d say, “I need to go shower first. I can’t just run out.” He couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just go as-is. Had I known it was a problem I would have adjusted my behaviour. So yes, that’s true. But the statement also implies that he had complained about it and that I had not cared and THAT is not true.
  • I have a spot I like to lie in on my bed. When I don’t lie there I sit on the couch in the living room. But I generally will fluctuate between the two spots when I’m at rest. Meaning… not moving around or cooking dinner or eating it at the dinner table.. or working in the office. If I’m not working, cooking, or doing whatever else, THAT’S where I’m at. So am I in the same spot as I was when he left? Usually yes. So yes, that’s true. Does it mean I have not MOVED from that spot all day? On some weekends, yes it does mean that. Any other day. Not likely.
  • So… While everything he said was true, I was still completely blindsided by this news that any of it bothered him to the extent that he would dump me over them. And without any warning to boot.

  • No, what I really believe happened was that he decided long ago to divorce me and used anything he could hang on to as justification for his decision which did not involve any prior discussion with me.

    Seven days ago today it was Sunday, April 18th 2021. I had just cleaned the bird cage and the floor and as the hours passed, it got closer to the time when I thought I could finish my conversation with my husband. We rarely did finish conversations like that one. As much as I tried with him he preferred to avoid finishing any difficult conversations that were started. They’d go unfinished either because it was inconvenient timing or because emotions became too heated.

    Two days prior to that, on Friday, April 16th 2021, something about his behavior prompted me to request something of him. I requested that he do me the courtesy of letting me know PRIOR to hooking up with someone else so that I could remove myself from the picture first. I said I could not do it again. I said that I had very little self-respect left as it was and that it would kill me if he did it again while we were still married. I would have to leave him if I was to be any use to the kids. As it was, my self confidence and self-worth were thru the floor. I think that fact could be seen reflected in everything around me: from the mess in the house to the mess on me. He had answered “OK” at that time but I quickly decided that was just not good enough for me. I was hoping for more than an “Ok”, but I wasn’t surprised that was all I got.

    In order to explain why, Rewind a few more weeks.. maybe a month or two.. he had mentioned “giving up” on us. I got visibly upset with that statement but then he reassured me that he was not giving up on our marriage. He was giving up on trying to initiate any physical contact with me.

    Due to issues with my self-image, I had developed issues with being intimate. Whenever he’d initiate, I would stop him. That didn’t mean that we *never* got jiggy with it… but it did mean the times were becoming more rare. I felt embarrassed and guilty for it. What was wrong with me?! Menopause? Hormones? Is my self-image really all to blame? I had gone to see my doctor about it last year and she gave me some advice which I tried to follow, but he seemed uninterested with it. I talked to him about how his disinterest wasn’t helping, but all I got was the sort of response that says “yes, I hear you. I understand what you’re saying. I get it. OK.”, but then nothing would happen on that front. He’d just continue doing things his way. It was an embarrassing topic to broach EVEN with my own husband so I didn’t push it. I never stopped wanting to try, but I did stop trying.

    So fast forward again to seven days ago. None of this do-nothing, status quo situation was good enough anymore. His “Ok” response at the start of this just wasn’t good enough anymore. I had to know that he was not giving up, because if he was it would only be a matter of time before he met someone else and I was not willing to be a placeholder for something better. So I confronted him and asked if he really had given up or not. He said he couldn’t talk then and we’d have to finish the conversation when the kids were in bed. We didn’t talk that night after the kids went to bed or the next morning either. Normally I would have dropped the unfinished conversation by then because pushing the subject often lead to emotional outbursts and him storming out of the house. But this time, I was determined to get my answer.

    I wish I could say that was the first time we had had talks like that. We’ve had similar ones over the years. I’m not sure that the phrase “giving up” was uttered before but something close, for sure.

    So, what did I expect would happen?

    Seven days ago today it was Saturday, April 17th 2021. I don’t remember everything I did that day but I know I spent the majority of my day writing a script in Python to remove duplicate DICOM objects from disk based on their SOP Instance UIDs. I was doing this for my job and I was excited to be doing something other than the mundane duties befalling my job title. My current position is one I had known was ill-suited to my skill set since very early on. But it was little projects like that one that made my job bearable and worth keeping at least for the time being. I had promised my boss that I was not going to leave for 6 months at least. He needed me and it felt good to be needed and it felt even better to be contributing in that way. It was devops projects like that one that made my job suck just a little bit less.

    Was I ignoring all my other wifely and motherly ‘duties’ that day? Define wifely and motherly duties… Did I cook? No. Did I clean? No. Did I even shower that day? I think I might have… but generally speaking I think the answer was probably No.

    If I hadn’t been writing this Python script would I have been doing any of the above duties? Honestly, No. Why? I’m sure the full answer to that is complicated, but the short answer is because I would have lacked the motivation. Try getting anything done when you have ADHD and zero motivation. People who don’t understand might think that’s a copout, but that’s like saying being a paraplegic is a copout for not walking. I’ll admit that the inability to execute action when motivation is lacking does not explain why that answer is still No. WHY isn’t there motivation? That’s a question deserving it’s own collection of posts. I’m sure I’ll spend just as many more hours psychoanalyzing myself in the future as I have in the past.  But moving on…

    The next day was Sunday.  My script was already doing the work I wrote it for but because I was using the shoot-from-the-hip design methodology, it wasn’t done morphing into what it needed to become. But I was able to step away from the desk a lot more that day.

    I walked around the house and noticed Zuzu’s cage area was really kinda gross even by my standards so I moved the cages, rolled up the paper I had laid down, vacuumed it, and then started scrubbing the floor on my knees to remove the bird poop that the paper failed to catch. Once that was done, I cleaned the bars on the new cage. He’s transitioning to a new cage so both are side-by-side. I decided it had been long enough so I swapped the cages too.

    I felt energized because of my script. I loved what I had done with that script. I knew it would blow away my coworkers and my boss (as much as a script that removes duplicate DICOM objects could blow anyone away).     But I felt proud of myself. Real proud.

    At this point, it was early evening. Life was not without it’s everyday issues, but life was good (for me).   

    INVERTER. X. X’ If X=0 then X’=1. If X=1 then X’=0. A. B. C=A·B. If A=1 AND B=1 then C=1. otherwise C=0. AND. OR. A. B. C=A+B. If A=1 OR B=1 then C=1. otherwise C=0.

    • First and foremost, at the top
    • Secondly, another item
    • Thirdly, a concise point
    • Fourth, a bit more description

    True Or False

    I find that many people have a tendency to think in absolute terms. They have pre-defined categories or boxes in their minds where every person will fit into. And going even further, every action has a pre-defined motive. The world is black and white, every question has a yes/no answer. To them the world is binary and anything that doesn’t fit is considered an aberration, a defect, or abomination. Basically, this it how many religious people think. Especially those unable to accept anything beyond male and female.

     

    The interesting thing to consider is that this is a very scientific or mathematical way of seeing the world. George Boole was a mathematician and logician who created boolean algebra. It laid the foundation for the information age. Without his work, circuit boards couldn’t have existed as we know them today. He thought every question or problem we could ask could be solved with boolean algebra which is a kind of logic in which all values can be reduced to either a true or false, which translates to an on or an off, circuits are either open or closed, values are either 1 or 0.

    The REALLY interesting thing about this guy is that he was very devout christian and believed that he could prove the existence of god using boolean logic. He tried but he failed.

    I think in very black or white terms except when thinking about people. I really don’t think you can apply this logic to people, their motives, what drives them and especially not to their spirituality.

     


    Just a thought.

     

    Seldom do I feel as unhappy and hopeless about my life/work as I do this morning.  Today is my first day back at work after a 2 week holiday hiatus/vacation.  I dreaded returning to work so much that I could not fully enjoy the second half of my vacation. I had been feeling down since early last week. It’s days like today which make me feel as if something has got to change or I’m going to break. 

    At first I thought that what I had been dreading was having to do a job I don’t feel connected to or excited about. But today I think what I’m really missing is a sense of being connected to the PEOPLE I work with.   I felt so incredibly connected to the people at my last job that they were like family.   My current coworkers don’t come close, and I doubt that any job where I’d work remotely would be different.

    But of course I have to ask…  is it just my job that has got me down?  Over the last couple days of vacation I was thinking back on how I was feeling like I was floating on air just 1 year ago.  We had just moved to a new state and into a new/rented house and we had started looking ahead at the prospects of buying a new house.  Well… fast forward to today (one year later) and here we are, living in our brand, spanking new house for the last 7 months. But I’m sad to discover that I have not shaken some of my worst old habits and I no longer feel like I’m riding that cloud.   And I’m not so sure that a different job would have been enough to keep me riding it either. 

    I have always said -and I still believe- that I am my own worst enemy.  I’m in a new state and in a new house and in a new job and I still continue to sabotage myself in the same ways I did back in Florida.  I make plans for something or other but I don’t follow thru, I start projects that I don’t finish, I make promises to myself and to my kids that I don’t keep.  Call it ADHD or a brain rewired by clinical depression and anti-depressants.. it makes no difference to me.  Whatever the label I give it, it continues to fuel a defeatist undercurrent in my personality and in my life.  Moving several states away may have helped for a short time, but I’m not even mildly surprised that running away from my gremlins didn’t work.

    I’m not sure what it’s going to take to silence my ‘demon’ or if I ever will be able to.  I keep wondering whether I will ever get the upper hand on it before my life comes to an end.  I know it’s a grim thought, but I’m 46 years old now and that’s a big effing number.  I still can’t believe I’m that many years old and don’t know where the time went.  Thankfully, the passage of time has calmed my fears of the inevitable.   I’m no longer as afraid of death and dying as I was 20 years ago.   Instead, what I worry about is the suitcase full of regret and the weight it will add to my deathbed.  If my own fat ass doesn’t crush the bed frame, my regrets will certainly crush me.

    I have a very short two-item list of things that would put a smile on my face as I go gentle into that good night; Firstly, to know that my kids have grown to be good people.  And secondly, to know that I have finally succeeded in telling that self-sabotaging inner-voice of mine to fuck off and go suck a bag of dicks.

    Let’s see if 2019 will bring more constructive blog posts…. unlike 2018, which brought zero.

     

    It has been a full month and a week since I last posted.    A lot has happened in 5 weeks.   I have started packing and have 42 boxes so far, 37 of them sealed.  Many more to go but that is good progress.   I should dedicate a post on how I am inventorying all our belongings for this move.

    Thanks to word of mouth (and my buddy ‘ol pal, Gabe), I have been employed working remotely for another NTT Group sister company to NTT Communications.   Ironically it is for a company that has been aquired by NTT Data that was originallly started by Ross Perot.   Ironic because my first serious job ever was for EDS, another company started by Ross Perot.  What are the odds?

    Well, Today is my 3rd day working for the company and I can’t say I feel like I have truly started yet.  I JUST received the work laptop, but thanks to issues with my email, I’m typing this up instead of actually working.  At any rate,  it feels fucking awesome to be working and earning an income again.   

    My work is cut out for me with this move because, altho I have made good progress packing so far, I still have a lot left to do and I have to do it while learning and holding a new full time job.  I have furniture to sell, more items to pack, cleaning to do, a moving company to decide on and sign a contract with… and so much more.  But I have about 7 weeks to do it all in.   We have decided to move before the house sells and probably even before it gets listed.   I made sure to find a real estate agent who is on her game and who we can trust to get it all done after we have left the state.  Now that I’m employed again, we can afford to continue paying the mortgage whilst also paying for rent on a house to live in in Austin. 

    It has been 22 days since the hubby left the state to start his new life in Texas.  It has been a long 22 days between the rat poison scare, preparing for hurricane Irma, enduring 5 days without power and then cleaning up from the whole ordeal once the power returned.  We’ve had about 5 days of normalcy now I think these past 3 weeks has finally caught up to me.  It has not been easy but it also wasn’t hard for me to get motivated, get up, and just get things done.  That said, this weekend has been the toughest on me psychologically.  I ran out of my ADHD pills early last week and now I’m struggling.  I haven’t been able to cut myself any slack either so I have been beating myself up non-stop.   I look around and all I see is a mountain of things I still haven’t taken care of.

    I interviewed for a job a couple days before the hurricane hit and I heard last week that they want to hire me.  There has been some delay in getting an offer out to me but I expect it will be coming early this coming week. That is great news for us and provides financial relief but it still adds extra pressure on me to get a lot of work completed before I begin the job.  

    Now I’m trying to gather my thoughts and make a plan, a thing that rarely has worked for me on its own especially when I feel a thick cloud of uncertainty and confusion in my mind.   Again, a thing that happens most often when I have run out of my ADHD medication.  I regard my need for this medication with the same disdain as I feel towards my need for glasses.   Glasses used to be optional or me.  Now I have 2 pairs of them.  One for close up work, another transition bifocals.  At any rate, it’s tough to create a plan and direction for myself when I lack direction.