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There comes a time when you just have to lay all your cards on the table and acknowledge reality for what it is. This is me, my self-assessment, so to speak.

I go by Blue now – I have blue hair, blue eyes, wear a lot of blue clothes and I even have a blue car.  A friend at work gave me the nickname because there is another girl there with the same name as me and I have come to embrace it.

I am a list person.  I like to think things through and make plans.  When I have repetitive tasks I try to do them in a certain order so that I don’t forget anything.  Mostly I do seemingly random things for a reason.  I would guess that 80 percent of the time if you ask me why I do something a certain way I can give you a logical reason for it.  That doesn’t mean I can’t do anything spontaneously – I can and do. But I have a better time when I’ve planned things out and know that the important things are taken care of.

And while I may be quite logical in my planning and daily life I normally make decisions with my heart and not my head.  Quite the conundrum I am… Relationships are the most important thing to me and so I chose to keep the peace over standing up for myself.  Chose to please others over my own happiness.  I have a need – so strong that right or wrong I have come to define myself by it – to make others in my life comfortable and happy. And I use my planning and logic strengths to make that happen, lol.  But seriously, if you are the least bit important to me and you are uncomfortable in my presence I want to fix it.  I have to fix it.  Whether you are too cold, too hot, hungry, thirsty, uncomfortable with what’s playing on the radio or television, disturbed by the presence of another person in the room… I will know and do my best to fix it until you are comfortable again.  It is one of the most common complements I get – “your house is so peaceful”, “I feel so at home here”, “it’s so comfortable here”,, “you’re so easy to talk to”.  I. Need. You. To. Be. OK. Otherwise I am not OK and my soul writhes until either you are OK or we part ways.  I would like to find a man who feels the same way about me…

When I say I know how you feel when you are uncomfortable I mean it – I Know Things. (Wooooooo…)  These past few years I have read books and done research and I have come to believe that I have empathic tenancies.  My counselor had a different name for it, tracking maybe?  She said it was a survival skill developed from a traumatic childhood.  That I totally believe as I am best at sensing when people are dangerous, angry, uncomfortable or unhappy.  Sensing when others are happy is not as strong a feeling for me and never has been.  I would like to learn more about being an empath and learn how to hone my skills to feel more and be more accurate with sensing all emotions, not just the negative ones.  Someday, when I have more time, I will find a teacher.

Which leads me to speak of how I feel like I hardly have time to breathe, lol.  Because I am a responsible adult (dammit) I have found myself currently working 3 jobs, leaving me no real time to cook, or clean – or even make a mess at home, really – lol.  I get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep, which is enough to keep me going but not enough to feel rested so I cherish those rare days off from my morning job when I can sleep in and will frequently sleep 12 – 14 hours.  I awake feeling better but still have no time to have a life.  My goal for 2019 is to find a job – Just One Job – that will pay the bills and let me have a life.  And then maybe I can start to date seriously and – hopefully – find my soulmate and live Happily Ever After. Ha, ha, ha, ha…

As to why I am single – I was married for almost 21 years.  I have two daughters, both in their early 20’s  now, and I left him after the younger one was out of high school because he was a bully.  He didn’t hit me or the children, he didn’t yell and scream at us, but I became depressed because of our relationship and reached a point where I knew if I did not divorce him I would commit suicide so I chose to live. It was not easy and I walked away with hardly anything.  I was homeless, sleeping on my sister’s couch for 5 months.  He didn’t think there was anything wrong with our relationship and seemed to feel that I just up and walked out for no reason.  In the last almost 4 years I have stopped taking my anti-depressants because I don’t need them any more.  I have found myself – someone I never dared to be before.  I have never looked back and never regretted leaving him but I would like to experience a good relationship, to have my love returned and live peacefully with someone I care for.  I have only gone on 9 dates and have chatted with probably that same number of men online since I became single.  I know that’s not very many but I’ve come to realize that I would rather be lonely than be with someone just so that I’m not alone.  I think that is called maturity 😀

Even though I married the third man I dated and have only dated a relatively few times since I became single I have “fallen in love” several times in my life and no, none of the times was with my husband.  I know, he deserved better but so did I.  Research suggests I am demi-sexual, which a quick Google search defines as:  “A demisexual is a person who does not experience sexual attraction unless they form an emotional connection. It’s more commonly seen in, but by no means confined, to romantic relationships. The term demisexual comes from the orientation being “halfway between” sexual and asexual.”  That has always been the case for me although let me clarify that I also have an exceptionally low sex drive so “falling in love” for me does NOT include wanting to sleep that person.  I want affection and cuddling for the most part, kind words and loving smiles.  If I like you enough to love you then I will tell you I love you often – and I love easily.  If I hug you then I am more comfortable with you and I trust you.  If I  kiss your neck or your cheek – or allow you to kiss mine – then I love you deeply and consider you at the very least family.  IF I love you enough to actually fall in love with you then I would like to touch you often – your face, your chest and back, hugs, random kisses of affection here and there, hold hands, wrap my arm around your waist with yours around mine, sit close enough to touch, sit with my legs over yours, rest my head on your chest or yours on mine, spooning… all manner of affection.  Give me oodles of affection and you will have my heart completely and I will want to make love with you.

Alas, no man I have ever fallen in love with has fallen in love with me so that’s essentially my fairy tale… but it’s never actually happened.  I have slept with one man my entire 45 years and it was never good.  I might never find my soul mate and I’ve stopped searching so hard for him but if he happens to find me, well then… yes please.

Ah, “yes please”… something else about me, I’m polite.  And kind.  And I’m probably on a poster somewhere for Good Girls R Us…  Having standards, a good work ethic, being responsible and keeping my word are very important to me.  I love to laugh but not at the expense of others.  I love to help people.  I swear a little bit but mostly to myself and rarely around others.  I don’t judge others – or at least I try very hard not to, I suppose there’s no stopping it completely as there is no trust without some measure of judging.  Being “good”, doing the right thing – these things are another way I define myself.

I’m reserved when I first meet people.  I’ve spent most of my life hiding who I am so I still stay quiet and observe before I open up too much but I am but I am getting better about letting people see the real me sooner than later.  Lucky them?

A few things I dislike about myself:  I snore.  Loudly.  I, in fact, have sleep apnea so I wear a CPAP machine to bed, giving me the delightful appearance of an elephant/alien hybrid gone wrong and causing me to sound like Darth Vader is breathing beside you all night long, yep, gunna be single forever…  Also, I am not a terribly good cook.  I used to think I was so perhaps I have completely lost my touch since I became single or it’s entirely possible I never had the touch in the first place…  As far as looks go, this body has had two children and a lot of donuts with no regrets…  making my 5’3″ frame look far too much like Shreck’s – my legs are fine and my head’s pretty normal but I’ve got a bit of a belly on me, lol.  Add to that the fact I never learned how to hold my stomach in as a child and and all I would need to do is have green skin to complete my ogre bod.  While I’m working on pulling my stomach in now it requires a degree of focus that I haven’t quite mastered yet and for some reason I catch myself actively pushing my belly out, as though I’m trying to hold up pants that are too big for me – very counterproductive, ugh.  So in combination with trying to suck the gut in I am also trying to love my body just the way it is… uh huh.  Another work in progress.

All in all my life is good.  Fairly difficult at the moment but good.  I may or may not find love and I’m learning to be OK with the “may not” part of that.  I’m not amazing nor am I horrible.  I am myself, which is someone I’m still discovering and getting to know.  I still have faith in God, I do my best every day and I know that everything will be OK.

It amazes me that when I start to write things like this out I usually begin in some degree of despair, trying to force myself to accept that this is how it is and nothing will ever change.  Yet in the process of setting who I am on paper I realize that I have changed and I will change again.  Nothing is as bad out in the air as it was in my head – oxygen does wonders for worries.  And so I keep writing 🙂

 

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Last Friday morning my daughter, Tina, gave birth to  a healthy baby girl, RJ, at the same time as the dawn came.  She had about 7 hours of productive contractions and 45 minutes of actual pushing with the doctor present.  Sean was there the whole time and I thought he was amazing – he was supportive, he wasn’t pushy but he did anything she or the doctor asked him to do, I was so proud of him.

When the baby came he cut the cord and then they laid RJ on Tina’s chest and they both cried happy tears of joy.  After the delivery Tina looked over at him and said a coupe of different times “Look what we made!” and then later she said “You get to carry the next one” to which he agreed if it were possible, lol.

I hold some small, tiny hope that they may get back together yet…

RJ was 7 lbs, 14 oz, so a nice size – not too small and not too big. She doesn’t cry too much and has large, dark blue eyes presently that look around at everything as though she’s seen it before.  I think that she is a very old soul indeed and I look forward to getting to know her as she grows older.

Tina and RJ got to come home from the hospital Sunday afternoon and Sean came with them.  I was a little worried I would wind up doing a lot of the care for little RJ but they are doing quite well together.  He sleeps on the couch and holds her as much as he can, helps Tina as needed and now that she’s started pumping and storing breast milk he is able to feed her now as well, which I think he really enjoys.  They get up at night and do all of the holding and rocking when she fusses and I get to sleep all night long, it’s fabulous!

A fly in the ointment – Tina is still legally married and Montana state law says that the husband is legally and financially responsible for any children the wife has while they are married, whether it’s his or not.  That means that legally they won’t put Sean’s name on the birth certificate and wanted to put Tina’s husband’s name there.  That’s a big nope.  She wouldn’t even give them his name so right now RJ’s birth certificate has a blank spot where the father’s name is, granting her (at least legally) immaculate conception status.  Someday that will be funny…  But right now it’s absolutely devastated Sean and Tina is completely shocked, blindsided and feeling horrible for not doing the divorce paperwork sooner like she was supposed to.  I’m grieving for Sean’s deep wounding and angry with Tina for not getting it done in the last 10 months that she’s had the paperwork but in the end it doesn’t have anything to do with me, I can’t change it or control it and so I’m trying to separate myself from the emotions of the situation and let them figure it out like the kinda sorta adults they are.  Hopefully it can be fixed with a minimum of effort but ultimately, we all know that Sean is RJ’s father and the birth certificate is just a (freakishly important) piece of paper.

One more sad thing is connected with RJ’s birth.  My sister came up to be here with us for a couple of days right after RJ was born and when she got home she discovered her girlfriend had moved out of her apartment and broke up with her right when my sister got back from visiting us.  Unbelievably rude.  Apparently they were talking and texting all lovey-dovey the whole trip – while the girlfriend was packing – and then my sister gets home to find her moved out and she’s all of a sudden single again. As my gay best friend, Kyle would say “Lesbians!”  But I feel super bad for my sister, she’s emotionally been run over by a semi and trying to sort through that now, bless her heart.

Anyway, I’m sure there will be lots more about the baby to come but it’s just so nice to be on the other side of a safe, relatively easy delivery and little RJ is just the sweetest girl ever.  I’m so happy to be a Glamma!

So I totally thought I posted an update in August, my bad, sorry!  Let’s try to catch up…

I was freaking out about my job and trying to find a new one in July.  I put a couple of applications in and the next thing I know I am no longer afraid of the restaurant owner.  Curious that.  Because I had the mindset of “I’m leaving” I lost my fear of him.

To be fair, he’s actually a pretty decent boss, he even gave everyone a crisp $100 bill in our paychecks last week as a bonus!  The only reasons I was afraid of him is: 1. He looks angry all the time.  His Resting Bitch Face is more of a Resting Volcano Face and I spent 21 years married to a man who oozed anger so I’m more than a little ill-at-ease around angry men now.  Unfortunately it’s still a trigger for me.  So I avoided the owner as much as possible without looking like I was avoiding him.  2.  He fired a cook and my daughter, Tina, within a month or so of each other and no real reason given to either one.  After that I, and a few other employees, lived in fear of being fired over any/every tiny mistake I made or that he might think I made.  This job pays the bills and the stress of thinking “what if I get fired” was eating me up inside.  But when I took steps to work elsewhere those fears vanished like magic!

And when I stopped being afraid I realized that I actually have a very good job.  My co-workers are wonderful, we are like family.  I also asked the manager/scheduling waitress to please give me more hours and if she couldn’t do something about it I was going to have to do something about it.  She jumped right on that and added two more days of work to my schedule on the next week and every week after that she has given me the hours I need.  That made me feel really good, like I was wanted there.  AND my request to go work in the casino has been approved and I will be starting there sometime this month after a couple of people get back from vacation which will be a huge blessing.  In the casino it will be more one-on-one interaction with the customers and no more carrying heavy food trays but still getting tips – and the possibility of getting two or three more times the tips that I can do in a night of waitressingSo all in all the work issue has been resolved, I grew a spine and confronted my fears as well as stood up for myself in asking for more hours and a change of job duties.  Oh, and I started using colored pens at work and for some strange reason that helps me enjoy my job more as well Yay me!

August 12th was my daughter’s baby shower and Sean’s mom and I co-hosted it. Let me be clear, I do like Sean’s mom but she has a very strong personality and tends to focus on the negative – of everything – first.  It makes it difficult for me to really be friends with her, she drags me down quickly when I am with her.  She is so strongly opinionated and I am so non-confrontational that it probably really good for me to hang out with her but less fun, lol.  Her ideas for the shower were very close to mine so even though she ran over me and just took control of the party planning I let her because she pretty much did what I would have done anyway.  We’ve had two road trips together before the shower, just her and I, and even though I like her more and more after each trip I really don’t want to plan another party with her.  Ever.

The shower itself went really well, we expected 45 people and had about 35 people attend (it was co-ed/family so we had lots of couples and a few kids there as well).  My ex husband, his wife and my oldest daughter made the trip up to come and I was really happy they did.  I wasn’t sure he would want to be there since I obviously was going to be there but he came to support Tina so I was very thankful for that.  His dad also came and one of my brothers and 4 of my nieces/nephews so that was really nice to see everyone! (My brother brought me a kitten!  She’s soooo much fun!)

The ex’s wife, KC, seems to be a really nice person and I like her.  I thanked them both for coming, she gave me a big hug and said “Thank you for inviting us, I know it’s hard for you to have us here”.

<blank stare> What the hell?  Why would she even think that?

A little background – I’ve been trying to be her friend for almost two years now, I started by passing a message through my older daughter to her saying I would like to be her friend.  My ex responded to that with an angry phone call, telling me there was no reason for me to talk to her, why did I want to be her friend?

Obviously to tell her all the horrible things I think about him, duh…. Oh wait, that’s what he’s thinking and I keep forgetting, he doesn’t know me at all – and never has, if I’m being honest.

In that angry phone call two years ago I told my ex I would like to be her friend because she was another mom to my girls and we should at least be friendly.  He grudgingly agreed to introduce us at Tina’s HS graduation.  I was genuinely happy to meet her the graduation so all I can guess is that she’s only gets information from him and my older daughter so what are they saying?

So back to the shower:  I caught myself starting that automatic agreement, “Oh no it’s fine, really…” but I stopped myself before I said a single word, looked her in the eye and said “But it’s not, it’s not hard for me at all to have you here.  I’m really glad you came and I’m truly happy for you both.”  I think – I hope – she believed me.  I also told her, to her face, finally, “I would like to be your friend.  I don’t need to be your best friend but I think we should be friendly.”  She seemed OK with that statement and said “Well now you have my number” because she had texted me their RSVP to the shower.  So hopefully this is the beginning of some good communication with her.  I have, since the shower, texted her about an ultrasound that Tina had (all good/normal) and she responded to that so I’ll start with basic communication for now.

At the shower I also thanked the ex for coming and he looked startled and said “Thank you for inviting us” like he was surprised to even have been invited.  He’s so strange.  I don’t hate him, I just don’t have any reason to stay in touch with him and he seems to think that my not reaching out to him is a “refusal to have anything to do with him” and also means I hate him and can’t stand him.

Yes, life is still all about him… <rolling my eyes>  always has been, probably always will be.

After the shower I was emotionally and physically wiped out.  Sadly, I had a good amount of salon appointments the next week and if I had been thinking I would have scheduled all of them for the afternoons but noooo, I had to be at the shop at 11 am every day that week on top of waitressing until 11:30 at night.  The next week I didn’t have hardly any appointments so I did a lot of sleeping in, which really helped me recover my energy.

The week after that was my birthday.  My 45th birthday.  I was NOT excited about it.  There was no party and the only person available to do anything with me on my birthday was my daughter, Tina.  All of my friends here are from work and they were, well, working.  Sean didn’t even ask for the day off (I asked for his birthday off) and I was slightly afraid that I would wind up at dinner with me, Tina and Sean’s mom – not my idea of a good time for my birthday. My parent’s hadn’t contacted me since right after the shower and I didn’t feel like driving to their town and hoping they would have the time to have dinner with me on my birthday. I was going to try to ignore it and just stay home all day but Tina wasn’t having it so at 10 pm the night before I decided to go sapphire hunting.

We live a couple of hours from a sapphire mine so it was a nice day trip and it made spending the day with my daughter my choice instead of my last resort/only option.  We drove over some crazy roads, found 43+ carats of sapphires in our bucket of dirt, had BBQ lunch and visited 2 amazing candy stores and stopped at a couple of waterfalls on the way home.  I had a lot more fun than I expected to and the grumpy mood that I woke up with turned into a fairly cheery disposition.  When we got back to the town we live in she took me to a local restaurant where I consumed 2, count them t-w-o, alcoholic beverages and a couple of appetizers.  The drinks were in pint glasses.  I have never drank so much at one time in my entire life but I still did not get drunk, was not even tipsy and I didn’t even feel buzzed.  But I did let her drive home since she’s preggers and can’t drink anyway.  It was the safe thing to do and I’m all about safety.

I’m beginning to wonder how high my alcohol tolerance is, this could be a fun experiment…

In the end I received lots of birthday greetings on Facebook and some by text message but my father, who I moved to Montana to be closer to, did not wish me a happy birthday at all on the day or anytime after.  Since my step-mother did text me a happy birthday that means that she either told him and he chose not to message me or she didn’t tell him and he forgot.  Either way, it made me sad.

And that pretty much ended August.  Stay tuned for the next post where we talk about me getting back into online dating, waiting on Kevin Costner, my upcoming ocean vacation, the Anxiety and Phobia Workbook and new insights about Sean.  😀

My laptop has been trying to die and therefore blogging has been difficult so I will try to catch up since Easter in a brief and succinct fashion… to be brief and amazing, so to speak, ha, ha…

It took almost 6 weeks to get my cosmetology license, after 4 weeks I emailed the state to find out what was taking so long and they replied with “oh, we need more information”.  Apparently they needed confirmation – again – of my Idaho nail license, the same one they already verified to give me my Montana nail license 2 years ago.  Sooo frustrating…  but I requested the information that they required and my license was emailed to me the next day so all’s well that ends well I guess, right?

The day I got my license I started getting sick, which turned out to be the B strain of the flu virus – the worst strain, this year – and kept me out of working both of my jobs for a week – AND – I gave the flu to my pregnant daughter.  That was terrifying for me, the thought that harm may come to her and the baby because of me but she was diagnosed early enough in the course of it that she could take the Tamiflu whereas I was stubborn about going to the doctor and waited too long so I could only tough it out.  I have never been so sick in my life and I feel a wee bit lied to.  I didn’t throw up once so how could it have possibly been the flu?  That’s why I didn’t go to the doctor right away, I thought I just had a bad cold… ugh.  An unfortunate side-effect of having the flu and being out of work for a week was that I could not afford to go to my oldest daughter’s graduation from the little college her church has.  I really wanted to be there to show her that I was there for her, that I am willing to travel and spend the time and money to be as much a part of her life as she will let me and because of a virus she probably thinks that I just didn’t want to go and made up being sick to get out of it.

This whole month of May has been very defeating for me overall…

I’ve gotten better at waitressing and as much as it is NOT the job I want for the rest of my life I have accepted that it pays the bills and is a necessary part of my life for the foreseeable future.  It is also very much like going to the gym and getting paid for being there as it is more exercise than I will ever get cutting hair or doing nails, lol.  The shift in my mindset seems to have improved my service at the restaurant and the managing waitresses have noticed so that is good and tips have been better too so that’s one for the plus side!

Tina and Sean will probably never get back together, that is becoming more and more clear.  Sean seems to have stopped gambling and has cut back his drinking again to focus more on his music and creative endeavors.  They both go to the doctor appointments together and the ultrasounds – she’s having a girl, by the way, I’m so excited! – and they’re getting along fairly well.

Sean and I, on the other hand, have become fairly close.  We communicate almost every day and we are there for each other in life’s little ups and downs.  It bothers Tina something fierce and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it.  He has become a dear friend – nothing more and nothing less – but I don’t want to give that up just to make her feel better.  We all have to get along for the rest of our lives because of the baby, why not get along well?  She is the only one who struggles with he and I getting along.  His mom and I are starting to be friends as well and Tina definitely struggles to have a relationship with Sean’s mom, she is a very black-and-white sort of person and I think it reminds her too much of her father and sister.

I haven’t gone back to FetLife for a while but the Montana man and I have continued emailing.  I found out, after 7 weeks of emailing him, that he was married.  I was starting to think we could be more than friends and so when I found out I immediately friend-zoned him, which he accepted fairly graciously and we have continued to email back and forth several times a week.  I do enjoy having a simple, normal conversation with him – even though he would still like it if we could meet up and “cuddle” – but he is not pushy about it so that’s probably as good as it’s going to get for me right now.

Tina and I were invited, at the last minute, to my father’s birthday dinner and it was nice to see him, my step-mother and my step-sister along with her son and finance.  My step-mother paid for everyone’s meals but ours and then texted me the next day apologizing for the fiance who talked non-stop about the wedding that Tina and I aren’t invited to.  It was a crazy dinner and they all had obviously given my father his gifts earlier, at his home, without us.  I’m sorry I ever moved to Montana to get to know my dad.  He was happy to see Tina and me at his dinner but nobody else was and I cannot get closer to him without his suffering repercussions from his wife so I have less of a relationship with him than ever.  I should have moved to the Oregon Coast like I wanted to, dammit.

But if I had never moved here I would not be having a granddaughter and everything inside me screams that it is very important she exists.  I believe she is going to change the world.  But how?

I am also enjoying living just a few hours from my best friend, instead of the 8 hour drive it was before I moved to Montana.  She still lives in the same city we both moved to after graduating high school and even though I swore to never live there again it has become a tempting thought to me to go back just to be closer to her and other friends from high school, I could have a social life and girlfriends again, maybe even find someone to date…

The beginning of June Tina and I are going to attend my nephew’s high schoo graduation and spend time with my best friend. Also in attendance will be my ex-husband, his wife and my former in-laws. I am not expecting to have a good time at the graduation – or at the BBQ at my own brother’s house afterwards – because of them.  Hopefully I am wrong…

Forgive me, I am not in bright spirits right now.

I signed up on Match.com and it’s been the weirdest thing – when I was on the free dating sites I received  many messages and quite a bit of interest from the men there.  The minute I pay for a membership at a site with a better reputation every little bit of interest dried up like I was suddenly in the middle of the salt flats of Utah.  I finally stepped out of my comfort zone and initiated contact with 5 men.  One of them sent a polite “no thank you” and one responded, we had a coffee date and then he sent me a message saying that we were not a good match.  The other three did not respond at all.

There is a slim chance that a nice man I used to work with likes me.  I feel like he likes me and I have become very fond of him.  He is tall and handsome, a gentle soul, kind of introverted – like me – and a man of few words.  I could love him easily.  The catch is that he is only 26 and I suspect that no matter how much he may like – or love – me, it is not enough to overcome the 18 years of difference between us, something I have been considering in depth recently and have decided that I don’t care about an age gap anymore.  If a man is of a character that I would date him then it doesn’t matter what age he is.

I’m feeling tired, worn out with no end in sight and very, very alone.  Forever alone…

I’m in a tiny town with hardly any chance of meeting anyone new, male or female, for dating or for friendship.  My purpose in moving to Montana has been defeated by my father’s wife.  What’s best for me would to be closer to my support network of my best friend and high school friends but if I move I either lose the closeness I’ve gained with Tina and will miss out on being a part of her daughter’s life – OR – she moves with me, I am never have space of my own again and Sean misses out on being a part of his daughter’s life.  There is no win-win here.  My leaving to better my own life costs other people. My staying costs me but would make sure my daughter has help and support with her infant after delivery will also ensure that the child will be safe and taken care of in spite of the fact that my daughter has little to no experience with children, especially infants.  Both Tina and Sean like to drink and smoke pot.  Tina has not drank a drop since she learned she was pregnant but she continues to smoke cigarettes, although less of them, and she still smokes pot, but again, less of it than before she was pregnant.  Will she go back to these things once she delivers?  Probably.  Will Sean be safe to leave his child in his care or will he drink and smoke pot while he has her?  I firmly believe that he would never purposefully endanger his child but I also wonder if he might think that his taking a hit here, a drink there wouldn’t affect her.

I don’t know and the not knowing is eating away at me.  It traps me here and I am entering another round of depression and hopelessness.  How can I leave and risk my grandchild’s well-being?  Staying feels like I would be, once again, devoting my entire life to another person and, in exchange, giving up any rights to a life of my own.  Somewhat like being trapped in my marriage again.  I don’t want to go back to that place in my head, in my heart again.  But if I don’t what happens to the child?  Tina’s getting pregnant has changed everything.

Everything.

And now everything is about the child. I have to keep her safe.

Yes, I named this blog entry after a soap opera because it fits…

Well then!  Just over a month since Christmas and life has done a 90 degree turn in a completely new direction, I’ll try to hit the highlights…

My step-mom was deeply offended that I went to a movie with Sean’s family on Christmas day.  She texted me, all upset then refused to continue our texting conversation when I was trying to apologize, saying that we needed to speak face to face… but when I offered to meet her at my next available time she said it was a bad time because she was having Christmas with her daughter, grandson and family.  That my daughter and I weren’t invited to and weren’t welcome to attend.  The next chance I had to get up and see them was early January, two days after Tina’s birthday that they ignored, and I tried to talk about the whole Christmas issue with her and she brushed it off saying that she was just hurt but we were OK now.  She still wouldn’t discuss it with me… at all.  So I went back home and stopped any non-essential communication with her and my father, at least for now.

New Year’s Eve weekend I had to work so that was fairly uneventful.  Work, by the way, at the restaurant, is going well.  We are all one big, happy family there, everyone gets along and we look out for each other, it’s a place I go to and feel loved and accepted.  Work is great!

School is less great.  More like not great at all, ugh.  Coming back from a week off for Christmas break was so very hard.  I literally slept 12 – 14 hours every day during Christmas break and was finally starting to feel good by the time school started again but somehow that made going to back to school and 14 hour days even harder.  On top of just being physically draining and exhausting I was shorted $860 in my final financial aid payment in a way that is completely “legal” and I have no way of disputing.  At the moment I am slated to graduate around March 15th and I cannot wait to be out of there so I force myself to go every day but I spend a lot of time hiding in the bathroom, playing on my phone just to keep my sanity.  I will never recommend that anybody goes there.  Ever.

Tina’s 21st birthday was in early January and I took the day off of school and work and Sean and I took her into the “big city” where my folks live and we went ice skating, shopping and to a movie before coming back to meet friends at their favorite bar.  Ice skating was fun, I fell down once, she fell down three or four times and Sean, who had never ice skated in his life, didn’t fall down at all, lol.  We saw Ferdinand the Bull and it was super cute, lots of fun.  She got pretty drunk at the bar, but it was her 21st and she was safe with Sean and our other friends.  I left early as it was a school night and I’m not really into the bar scene anyway.

Tina was beginning to become dissatisfied with her relationship with Sean and that made me sad, they just seem so perfect for each other, he is so good with and for her, how could she possibly have problems with him?  But she could not focus on anything but what she saw as his flaws and decided to break up with him.  It was a Thursday night and she and Sean were working at the restaurant together, he confronted her about what was wrong, she seemed to be avoiding him or mad at him or something like that and she just broke up with him right then and there, in the middle of a work shift instead of at least waiting until after work or something a little more reasonable where a proper discussion could be had.  The reason she gave him was that she “needs some space”.

She broke his heart.  He cried a lot.  And yet he still told her to continue using his vehicle because hers stopped running in October and she’s been driving his all this time.  He still wanted to be her friend and take care of her as best he could, as much as she would let him.  He made me promise him that I would keep her safe since she wouldn’t let him do it anymore…

That was January 18th.  That same night, after she got home, she took a pregnancy test and lo and behold, I am going to be a grandma!

Sadly, that changed nothing.  She still does not want to be with him.  She doesn’t want to even talk to him about why she broke up with him so all he has are some vague, general ideas that he must have done something wrong but he doesn’t really know what.

In spite of all of this Sean still loves her dearly.  He is excited about the baby and wants to be involved in it’s life as much as she will allow.  He pursues being her friend and clings to hope that they will become more later.  We all still work together and it’s hard to tell that they’ve broken up.  There is still lots of smiles and laughter between them at work.  He does everything he can to make her happy, including pulling 98% of his affection back and treating her like any other co-worker because that’s what she asked him for.

I feel like I’m watching God try to get the fact that He loves the Israelites across to them while they wander the desert…

This has been the hardest thing for me to stand back and see without being able to really help either of them.  I think Tina is young and dumb for walking away from Sean.  He’s not perfect but neither is she and I’ve never met anyone who loves another human being so completely and deeply.  He still weeps, often, that she doesn’t seem to want to have anything to do with him as a man or a boyfriend but it doesn’t stop him from picking himself up and trying again to be a better friend to her and meet whatever needs she has and I know he will make a great father.  He even makes sure that I’m OK and helps me with whatever I tell him that I need as well.  He calls me “Glamma” and gives me lots of hugs – which I need – but it’s never weird.  Just pure affection.  I told him we are family forever now and he is my son, no matter what.

I didn’t even know love like that existed and honestly, I’ve kind of given up thinking I’m going to find it because how could there possibly be two men out there like Sean?  And if there are, what are the odds that I could possibly find the second one since my daughter has found – and rejected – the first one?  And if I ever do find him what are the chances that he’ll actually like me back?  I think I’ll have better luck winning the lotto…  I should start playing…

Speaking of dating, I did go back onto two different dating sites, wound up going on four dates with three guys (one of them asked me om a second date) before once again cancelling my memberships.  None of the guys were right for me and I need to focus on finishing school and now on my pregnant daughter.  And on my new son.

My ex-husband took the news of Tina’s pregnancy in typical ass-hat fashion.  I was sitting in the car with her when she called him and could hear everything he said.  I watched her face fall and then crumble as he said things like “I wish I could say ‘Congratulations’ and ‘I’m happy for you’ but you know that I can’t…”  He’s so hung up on the legalities of the situation, that she is not married to Sean and is in fact still legally married to that jerk in the Navy that he couldn’t even say a simple “Congratulations!  I’m excited to be a grandpa!”

I used real swear words aimed in his direction that day…

I sent her father a text, giving him a piece of my mind, reminding him that Jesus loves everyone unconditionally and his response was that  “Jesus loves PEOPLE unconditionally but never does he condone our sin.”  Because judging them is obviously his job… oh wait, isn’t there a verse that says “judge not”???

And he wonders why Tina doesn’t want to have a whole lot to do with him… grrr…

My folks are also off the Christmas card list.  I texted them the pregnancy news and she responded with a “Oh my” and an embarrassed/ashamed face emoji.  My father still hasn’t responded to that text at all and it’s been 10 days…  My brothers, at least, said the appropriately happy things and dear old Ex did send an apology text to Tina after I called him on the carpet but it was a day late and a dollar short.  All she can think of is that he doesn’t believe that her child should be born and that pisses her off something fierce.  He may never be able to repair this damage.

Please say prayers that Tina will get over these tiny things that irritate her about Sean and at least have a conversation with him about their relationship, leading to a complete reconciliation so they can raise this child together.  Please pray Sean does not get weary in dealing with her fickleness during this time and walk away from her forever.  Please pray for a safe pregnancy – she’s already had 2 miscarriages (although I’m pretty sure her father only knows about one…) and is possibly high risk.  Please pray all the alcohol she consumed until she found out she was pregnant does not affect the baby.  Please pray for my health, energy and sanity to hold out so that I can finish school and be there for her during this time.

Please pray.

The last 20 days were a little crazy, I’m not going to lie.  Too much work, too much school, donated firewood thanks to Sean, a bad head cold with swollen eardrums and frozen pipes led up to Christmas but the bigger issue actually is that for the first time, probably ever, I have not been able to purchase a single Christmas for anybody who is important to me.

I am a gift giver, it is my nature and I feel like it is a part of what defines me.  In the past I have grieved deeply whenever a gift-giving season came – Christmas, birthdays, Easter, etc. – and I was unable to give something.  Which was pretty much all the time.  Over the years it contributed to my depression and times that were supposed to be joyful and happy filled me with guilt and shame, especially my children’s birthdays as they grew older and wanted big parties with all their friends and I just couldn’t afford to do the things they wanted.  Christmas lost it’s magic and I felt that loss deeply without realizing exactly why the holiday spirit was gone.

In previous years I have been in financial situations where I shouldn’t have bought Christmas gifts for anyone and I did anyway but this year I didn’t even have the ability to rob Peter to pay Paul… I literally have nothing extra.  Nothing.

Soooo… normally that would depress me, wound me, devastate me but – and this is how I know I’ve grown – this year I crunched the numbers, knew I couldn’t buy anything and accepted it without allowing my inability to give gifts to affect my self-esteem.

Ta dah!  Look at me go!

I still did what I could, I wrote cards to my closest friends and co-workers telling them the things I appreciated about them and gave the cards as my Christmas gifts.  One of the cooks, a former gangster from LA – now the nicest man you’ll ever meet, said they were they  most beautiful words anyone had ever said to him and there were tears in his eyes.  Others said my card was so nice it made them choke up.  And the ones that thanked me for the cards – their responses blessed me more than anyone I’ve ever given a purchased gift to.

And some of the magic came back to Christmas…

Christmas Day itself found me cooking up a storm.  Tina and Sean came over and we invited everyone at the restaurant to come who didn’t have a place to go for Christmas.  I made caramel french toast, buttermilk pancakes and homemade buttermilk syrup.  Magic punch and Reindeer Toes.  I was going to make caramel chex mix but only three people out of the 12 we invited came over so we already had too much food, lol.  It was super casual, all three were young men in their early to mid 20’s and we just sat around eating, talking and watching movies.  Later we went to Sean’s house and had dinner with his family and then we all went to watch the new Jumanji movie.  I wish I had known them before Sean’s father died, they’re nice people but it will be interesting to be a part of this family.

I did not attempt to go to my dad and step-mom’s house, not only was she was not feeling well but she went to a lot of effort to tell me that they were not expecting any presents from me or Tina because they wouldn’t be giving us any and Christmas dinner was just going to be a normal dinner, nothing special and Sean was not invited, which meant that Tina refused to go.  It was easier to say I still wasn’t feeling well myself and not go than try to deal with my step-mom and in the end my day was much nicer I think.

So this is Christmas… A very different Christmas than I’ve ever had but better. Much, much better.

Well, I survived Thanksgiving where my oldest daughter, my two brothers, their families and my dad and step-mom all met in a hotel conference room and celebrated Thanksgiving pot-luck style.  My step-sister and her boyfriend showed up for an hour or so as well and it was actually a really nice time.

My younger daughter, Tina, and I went up together and on the hour-long drive up she worried that she was unwanted because of being still married and having gotten a second tattoo recently.  Tina really struggles with feeling unwanted from both sides of her family but especially her father’s side since they care much more about “proper”.   Thankfully, this get-together was with my side of the family.  Anyway, on the drive home I asked her if it was better than she thought it would be and was happy to hear that she had a good time and didn’t feel like the black sheep she thinks everyone considers her.  She had a good time with her cousins, everyone oohed and aahhed over her new tattoo and she felt like she was able to connect with everyone a little more than previously in her life.  My two girls appeared to get along just fine, although I could tell they were both wary of the other and my older girl wasn’t interested in having any real conversations with me.  She also left the party early.

Sadly, Sean wasn’t able to come because his dad had just passed away a week before Thanksgiving.  That would have been a great time to introduce him to everyone.

Of course, everyone commented on my hair, being blue and all, and my step-mom (who had un-invited me to her home the weekend before and I still don’t know why) tried to be funny and say that it was “disgusting” how many compliments I get when were out and about together and I had a light bulb moment and realized that truly is how she feels.  She is jealous of me.  Possibly even jealous that my dad loves me.  I doubt he loves me more than he loves her, mostly because he’s so quiet and reserved that it’s hard to tell how he’s feeling about anyone or anything – except the dogs and cats.  He loves them best, they have his heart.  Possibly because they’re safe to love.  My heart breaks for him but I don’t know how to help him.

So Thanksgiving turned out better than I thought it would be overall but I’m also left feeling very alone, family-wise, and wondering if I did the right thing moving to Montana.  After I was un-invited to my stepmom’s house I wrote my folks a card, explaining that due to the financial aid problem I wouldn’t be able to keep coming up every week to go to church with them and spend time with them because I had to get a third job (again).  They should have received it just before Thanksgiving but only said “I’m sorry things are tight”.  I’m guessing my step-mom interpreted that as a request for a financial hand-out, which it wasn’t at all, but that seems to be the only thing she thinks of me, is that I’m constantly asking for things from her… ugh.

The weekend after Thanksgiving Tina and I went to Washington on Saturday to meet my brothers, their wives and my sister who came up for the weekend.  My sister was the only one not able to come up for Thanksgiving so it was nice to see her for a bit.  Sean’s dad’s funeral service was Sunday, the next day and they asked me to sing Amazing Grace and the song I sang at my own mother’s funeral.

Earlier that week my step-mom did reach out to me and ask me to come up on Sunday and do her nails, even offering to pay me, and asked if I wanted a little Christmas tree she was going to get rid of.  Fortunately I was able to say that Tina had a Christmas tree she brought with her when she moved to Montana with me and so we didn’t need her tree (I’m trying not to take things from her anymore because maybe that’s one of her hang-ups, I don’t ask her for stuff but she gives me a lot of things so maybe it’s in response to a perceived request that I didn’t actually make???) and I also apologized that I wouldn’t be able to come up and do her nails on Sunday (the only day that would work for her) because I was singing at Sean’s dad’s funeral.

Her response left me feeling like she was angry but that could just be me, texts are hard to read emotion into so I’m not totally sure. Oh, and she sent me another message saying they weren’t doing Christmas presents anymore, as in she’s not getting me or my daughter anything so we don’t have to give them anything either.  She tried to phrase it like it was a kindness to me, reducing my stress by not having to buy two more gifts but it felt like a punishment.  I’ve always thought gifts were her love language.  Possibly I was wrong given the way she’s angry with me for “asking for everything” but since she married my dad in ’91 she has always given me and my siblings and then our spouses and children wonderful gifts so yeah, it feels like a punishment.

Later my dad sent me a message saying he was “praying for (stepmom’s) heart to soften towards you and Tina”  What the hell?  Why on earth is she upset with my daughter?  And why won’t she ever say stuff like this to my/our face?  She acts like she loves us and everything is wonderful, I only hear about these things from my dad, who begs me not to tell her he told me, I’m guessing because she would make his life even more miserable than it already is.  Ugh.  At this point I’m over it.  I’m so happy to be living an hour away from her.  I wish I could be there for my dad more but I feel like my trying to be close to him is making his life more difficult with her so I’m just staying away from them both.

Work at the restaurant has been slow because it’s winter time and so on top of not getting all of my financial aid I haven’t been getting very big paychecks either.  I took another position, still in the same building but technically for a separate business, at the liquor store.  Now me, who is basically a non-drinker and completely clueless regarding types of alcohol and what they’re used for, is suddenly responsible for directing people to find all different types of liquor, vodka, whiskey, tequila, wines, olives, bloody mary mixes and the like.  I’m not sure this plan was very well thought out… but it’s a job and it’s not all that difficult so I’m going to do my best there just like I do everywhere else.  So far I’ve worked three shifts and all the customers have been really nice so hopefully that continues.  I think between now and Christmas, between the two jobs, I have two days off.  Go me…  but as long as it pays the bills, eh?

Speaking of bills, I’m trying desperately to stay on top of things.  The phone company is taking their automatic payment out on Wednesday, and I don’t get paid until Friday.  I called them and they won’t move it back two days.  Also, the landlords haven’t cashed their rent check for this month yet so that means there is money enough to cover the phone bill in the bank but then the rent check will bounce – and I’m terrified of what they will do if it does bounce.  I’m not confident that they wouldn’t evict me immediately, given the “trouble” they think I’ve already caused them with the firewood incident.  Talk about stress.  I’m trying to borrow money from my sister for two days but if she can’t do it then I’m going to have to swallow my pride and ask the school owner for a loan, something I think I blogged that I would rather die than do…  but this is life and you do what you have to do to survive I guess.  If neither can/will loan me the money I’ll to go the bank and ask if they can deny the phone charges and hold the money for the rent check and we’ll just go without phones for a few days until I get paid.  Adulting sucks, just sayin’.

But none of that is the worst part.  The worst part is that I am out of firewood.  It’s 8 degrees outside and I only have a few pieces left.  Since I’m hardly ever home between work and school it’s not such a big deal for me but I can’t keep my daughter warm.  It was surprisingly hard to ask her to go live with her boyfriend for a while so that she will be safe and warm until I can get on top of things again.  I cried after they left tonight.  It almost felt like I was putting her up for adoption because I can’t provide for her.

Sean was over the moon, of course, and watching him look at her is like watching a flower worship the sun.  He’s an amazing man and exactly what she needs, I’m so glad they found each other.  His mom really likes Tina too (and he lives with his mom) so it’s no problem for her to stay with them. They have just started to invite me on family outings, which has been super cool.  Tonight we went to hear his nephews sing in the Christmas concert at school and then we went out to eat.  It’s nice to get to know his mom, she’s a neat lady.

I know that I was supposed to come here to Montana but maybe it was just so that Tina and Sean would meet.  Maybe I don’t have to be here anymore.  I love this part of Montana, it’s so beautiful, but life has been nothing but hard since I came here.  I’m beginning to daydream about going back to where I came from, there are multiple people who have said I could stay with them for a bit, and I could always live with my Vietnamese family long term if I needed to.  I would have an instant job with customers who remember me and love me and I could make good money again… be that person again who goes to restaurants and orders food instead of the one serving it and praying for a good tip.  It’s very tempting to go back as I sit here in my living room, huddled underneath a blanket with my heavy winter coat on, typing with frozen fingers…  but to give up now when I’m so close to graduating would be a complete waste of the last year plus I’d have to start paying off my student loans right away without any extra license to do more than just nails.  Nope, not a good idea.  I’ll have to tough it out like I always do.  Dammit.

So just to be clear, I’m not asking anyone for money.  I made my bed and now I’m laying in it.  I’m just documenting all of this for later and getting it out of my head, this is my journal/blog, after all.

And whining a bit too, I’ll admit to that.

But in the end, I chose this life when I left my ex husband.  I decided to go it alone and even though everything pretty much sucks right now I’d still take this over staying married to him.  I can do this.  I’ve lost everything before, even if I lose it all again I will be successful in the long run and look back on these days, realizing they weren’t all that bad.  I’m going to be OK.

 

Alas, this is not the story of someone falling in love with me at first sight. Oh no, no, no, this is the story of the beautiful, long-haired, Jesus-looking man who works at the restaurant with me – falling in love with my daughter at first sight…

His name is Sean and he’s 32 years old.  Exactly 12 years younger than me and 12 years older than my daughter.  I really enjoy working with him, he is helpful, a hard worker, efficient and thorough, very clean and tidy at work.  He has a great sense of humor and cares about others.  I was trying to convince myself that maybe he liked me and trying to convince myself that I could like him back but I never succeeded in falling in love with him, which turned out to be a very good thing indeed…

The day I brought my daughter into the kitchen to introduce her to my co-workers was at least a month before she started working there with me.  Sean took her hand, bowed over it and kissed it with a grand flourish that I’d never seen him do for anyone else and she and I both looked at each other and went “Hmmm…”.  She came in a few times after that, to eat, to say hi, to hang out while I worked so that she wasn’t alone and Sean would always stop in at her table and chat with her a bit.  Then one day she got the job as a busser and her first night was a busy Friday night.  Since I was working that night too she walked in with me and we entered the kitchen to hear Sean say “There’s supposed to be a new busser tonight but I don’t know who it is”.  I said “It’s my daughter and here she is” and his response was a hearty “Hell yeah!”

She and I worked together for probably two weeks, sometimes he worked with us too, and I asked her a few times if she thought Sean liked me because of how nicely he treated me (I’m not used to that from guys who don’t want more than friends) and she kept telling me “No Mom, he treats everyone that way.”  I was still mildly hopeful though, mostly because Kyle is pretty much not in my life anymore and I need to focus on somebody or my head gets weird…  but that should probably be another post.

Sean is very generous to the bussers, us servers tip the bussers and the bartender out of our own tips, but he was especially generous to my daughter and one night we were all in the kitchen and she said “Mom!  I just need a Sugar Daddy!” and Sean said “I’m trying!” and I knew right then and there that he liked her.  I responded with a brief pause before I said “He’d be a good one.” to indicate I approved and Sean’s face brightened. then I added “A rich waiter.” to make her think about whether or not he actually fit the Sugar Daddy definition and he bust up laughing.  That was a fun night.

A short time later on a Saturday night the dishwasher hurt himself – off the job but came to work all bloody – and got sent home.  The powers that be called the other dishwasher in to finish the shift.  The replacement dishwasher informed them that he was drunk, it was his night off after all, but that he would come in and finish the shift.  So he comes in just roaring drunk but ready to work and the employee that called him in realized they had made A Big Mistake and berates him for coming in drunk.  What the?  This was entirely their fault, not his, he told them he was drunk… but I digress.  The replacement dishwasher winds up going home and my daughter, Sean and one of the cooks stay to do his job and which took until 2:30 am, after which they went to Sean’s house and proceeded to get drunk.

Yes, my daughter drinks and smokes pot too.  I don’t encourage it but I am glad she trusts me enough to tell me what she’s doing.

She didn’t come home that night.  I didn’t receive a text or a phone call from her either. I began to panic.  I was supposed to go to church with my folks that morning so I tried to call her.  The phones were shut off!  What?  I spent 20 minutes talking to the phone company, the problem was on their end but what terrible timing!  I didn’t know if she had tried to send me a message and I just didn’t get it because the phones were disconnected or if she was laying in a ditch somewhere dying. (She had sent a message, I got it 12 hours later, ugh!)

Yah, I overreacted somewhat…  Couldn’t help it.

I finally got the phones turned on and she didn’t answer my phone call, didn’t return my texts.  I checked the restaurant parking lot and her truck wasn’t there.

More panicking.

I remembered I had a phone list from work and texted Sean and the cook, asking if they knew when she left work the night before.  Sean texted me back fairly promptly – thank God – and said she was safe and sound, sleeping it off on the couch at his house.

I was so relieved I cried, like actually wept, for most of the 1-hour drive to see my folks at church.  She was alive, she was safe, she was ok.  And she had just spent the night at the house of the guy I kind of sort of liked.  The emotions were so mixed and intense, I couldn’t stop sobbing.

I went to church, spent some time with my folks but didn’t breathe a word to them about  the night before, went and saw a movie, asked Kyle if I could come over for a hug and he said no, he was busy.

That was kind of the last straw for Kyle with me.  He has absolutely never been there for me when I need him outside of school and wasn’t always excited to be there for me in school, even for a quick 30-second hug, so I feel like I can no longer trust him with my emotional well-being.  I will always love him and care about him and any time I spend with him always puts me right back into those feelings of euphoric love for him but when it comes down to it he doesn’t, can’t, love me the way I love him.

I cried all the way back on the hour ride home from Kyle’s rejection, stopped and hugged my daughter at the restaurant where she was working and then went home and took 2 Xanex.  I was done with the day, absolutely could not stand being conscious for another minute of it, every little bit seemed horrible.

Those darn Xanex didn’t wear off for 18 hours – it’s a good thing I had planned to spend the next day at school sitting in a chair getting my  hair done…

Sean and my daughter have been together ever since.  Sean is clearly head-over-heels for her and his maturity about it makes me happy to see them together.  He told her he loved her quickly in their relationship and she was more hesitant, having been broken too many times before to trust quickly.  I gave him my blessing right away – after telling him not to lie to me again.  She told  me that she did not sleep on the couch that first night but in his (twin) bed with him, and they just cuddled.  He hemmed and hawed a bit, trying to justify his wording because they were on a futon or something… I said “Don’t lie to me again” and he agreed.

I figured it would be best to start off on the right foot with him so I was kind but very firm.  I practiced my little spiel with her ahead of time and she said I was a wee bit scary, heh, heh, heh…

Somehow my daughter has been able to convince boys to be her snuggle buddies without any sex being involved and I am a little more than mildly jealous of that…

So for three weeks they were together constantly – unless she was working at the dog groomers – and they took turns between sleeping at my house or his (he lives with his parents).  He and I have had several little chats, he assured me he was willing to take it slowly with her, he knew that she had some deep wounds from past relationships and he just wants her to be whole and healthy.  He’s very into natural everything, organic, spiritual stuff.  It was clear that he cares deeply for her and was in this for the long haul.  She was afraid to do it so after a week or so I told him she was still legally married and the details of that debacle, along with a few things from our home life when we lived with her father.  His response?  “That just makes me love her more and want to help her more.”  I like this guy, does he have an unmarried uncle somewhere?

I feel like he’s imprinted on her, like he’s already decided that She’s The One.  Just from the time I’ve known him I think he’s a great guy, he’ll be very good to and for her and I hope she can fall in love with him too.  It’s also very easy for me to be around him and them, I thought it would be harder since I was trying to like him for myself, but having him as part of our little family feels as natural as breathing.  I feel like he and I have been related for 50 years already and he’s the only one of her boyfriends that I’ve ever been comfortable enough with to wear my jammies around him – without a big, bulky bathrobe to hide under…

After three weeks of this he introduced her to someone as his girlfriend.  She then informed him that he hasn’t actually, officially asked her to be his girlfriend!  I just about died laughing when he told me.  He looked genuinely perplexed and a bit confused.  It’s only in a few areas that their age difference is really obvious…  He dresses and acts like he’s in his mid-to late 20’s and so does she but those sorts of things are still important to her, lol.

Bear in mind that they’ve spent nearly every night together, he spent $100 to replace her radiator and then her truck broke down completely and he just gave her his vehicle to use.  No hesitation whatsoever.  Even after finding out her license is suspended he still lets her drive his Durango.  I’m so impressed – this man is taking care of her like they’re already married.  He’s done nice things for me too, he’s cleaned the kitchen, emptied the garbage, chopped kindling, starts a fire in the wood stove before either her or I get out of bed, takes the dog out early in the morning, brought me home dinner when he brings food home for them, he hugs me and tells me he loves me too.  His hugs aren’t quite as good as Kyle’s but they surely help.

The next day he “officially” asked her to be his girlfriend with a potted flower/plant and licorice and she said yes.  I think she was hoping for something a little more grant but  she and I worked at the restaurant that night she started the shift by running around to everyone saying excitedly “I have a boyfriend now!’  Everyone was happy for her but a wee bit confused because we already knew this, ha, ha.  I believe that was Monday.

At that point they hadn’t even kissed or seen each other naked, although Sean does love to take his shirt off in the house and let me tell  you, when I get a wax pot we are going to take some of the body hair off that boy’s back… ahem… moving on… Anyway, he was true to his word about going as slow as she needed/wanted.  He would say that he loved her but not pressure her to say it back.  He would ask permission to kiss her but not push it when she said no and not be irritated about it in any way that either of us could tell.  I saw some hand-holding and snuggling on the couch but nothing remotely like groping or making out.  I’m more and more happy that he loves my daughter.  This is so good for her – HE is so good for her.

Wednesday was my bad day at school, when I thought I had to make a choice between financial peace and sanity.  The two of them were going to spend the night at his house but came over to keep me company when they realized that I had such a rough day.  I was so thankful for them.  They cheered me up, gave me giant hugs, brought me candy and watched movies with me until we went to bed about 1 am.

As of Wednesday night my daughter (finally?) told Sean that she loved him and their relationship became physical.  I’m grateful my daughter trusts me enough to tell me these things, I wish she would wait longer to have sex but in the end she is an adult, I can’t stop her and she has never done well alone.  Since I left her father I’ve always known that a relationship with her will include a boyfriend most of the time and Sean has offered her the first healthy, romantic relationship she’s ever been in and seems committed to forever with her already so I can’t ask for much more.

Thursday I woke up earlier than I expected to and made buttermilk pancakes with homemade buttermilk syrup.  I’ve really missed baking and cooking… He said they were better than his mom’s but I promised I’d never tell her, lol.  It was nice to hear though! Thursday is also the day that his dad went into an Urgent Care, they rushed him to the local hospital and the local hospital rushed him to the bigger hospital an hour away.  He had emergency surgery that night, followed by cardiac arrest, stabilization and then he passed away today, Friday at some point in the afternoon.  I am so sorry for Sean’s loss, and I’m sorry for my loss in never being able to meet his father.  I truly believe that our families will be joined and I wish I could have been able to meet his dad and I wish his dad could have lived long enough to see my daughter and Sean get married.

On a tangent, I have realized that I don’t like living alone anymore.  And my daughter is being a terrible roommate, always off with Sean.  It’s great for her but bad for me, lol.  So I’m seriously considering getting back on a dating site and trying to at least find a guy I can spend time with and not be home all by myself when I’m not working.  I know that’s probably not the best solution but I’m the kind of person who spends their life on others rather than themselves and now my daughter has Sean to watch over her so I don’t have to/can’t anymore.  Kyle is not a viable option and that leaves me with no one to focus on except myself – and that only sinks me deeper into my depression, all that thinking about my own life and what not…  I just need to divert my attention elsewhere.  Maybe a kitten would be sufficient?  Huh.  I’m still thinking about it.  But hopefully my love story is still on it’s way…

There’s so many things I think “I need to put this in the blog” and then the minute I have time to write I can’t think of anything to talk about.  I know, right?

It’s my first entire day off from everything – no school, no nails, no waitressing – and I’m sick with a head cold.  I tried to sleep in but I couldn’t breathe so I got up and started watching the Firefly series.  Took a Mucinex, ate chicken noodle soup, had a nap, made some eggs and toast and am back to watching Firefly with only a slight fever…  Oh the exciting life of me.  I have tomorrow off from school but I have to go to a doctor appointment in the morning and waitressing in the evening and then back to school on Wednesday.

I’m finding I dread going to school and have for a while now but the more days I take off the longer it takes me to get out of there so hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school I go.  I knew it would be hard, to go back to school for a year but I didn’t expect it to be this hard…

Dammit.

I feel like I live in three different worlds – one world is at school, another world is the restaurant and the third world is with my folks.  School I endure, I have mostly acquaintance friends there, with a couple of closer friends.  The new girls, called “Back Class” because they have to stay back in the classroom until they’ve hit 300 hours, all seem to look up to me.  They all know my name and seem to treat me with great deference, which is both sweet and intriguing because I wonder who said what to them about me to make them act that way.  But I am bone-weary at school, all day every day now.  My favorite teacher left in mid August and the teacher that was left is trying her best to be king of the hill – she seems to have a personal grudge against me, scrutinizes my work more than most of the other students and nit-picks even the tiniest details of what I do on the mannequin head to fulfill my requirement sheet items.  The teacher that replaced my favorite teacher is the owner’s daughter and she’s a nice lady, seems to like me just fine but she’s only there a few days a week.  The owner has her favorites and while I’m not one of them I’m also not on her black list so I just kind of float along as much under her radar as I can.  I just try to keep my head down, get my work done and put my hours in but it’s become a miserable existence for 38 hours a week.  My dream of being cosmetology teacher is waning away into nothingness…

At the restaurant it’s a completely different world.  I show up 15 – 20 minutes early, work hard, am appreciated by my co-workers, we laugh and joke together, I help them, they help me and I get energy from working with all my customers, walk so much I’m losing weight, make money and go home happy, smiling and excited.  One of the servers is a fascinating man with the most beautiful long hair – when he lets it down he seriously looks just like all those paintings of Jesus and I’ve always been a sucker for long haired men, lol.  I think he might like me and I think it would be easy to like him, really easy.  But my daughter just started working at the restaurant with me as a busser and she says he treats everyone the way he treats me – as in, I’m not special to him, lol.  But he’s a joy to work with, kind, funny, a hard worker, helps everyone and has overcome a crazy past.  I like him very much but I’m not sure we would be right for each other, maybe that’s why I’m looking for signs he might like me too.  Although I’m pretty sure one of the cooks actually does like me and he while he seems like a nice guy I’m pretty positive that he isn’t for me.

At my folks I am quiet.  I mostly listen.  I do a lot of turtling.  Sometimes we go to lunch after church with their friends and I try to mainly smile and nodd.  I feel like my step-mom gets jealous of any attention I get from her friends – and from the strangers who approach me frequently to complement me on my hair – so I try to be quiet.  Every other week I give my step-mom an acrylic fill for which she thanks me but neither pays nor tips me.  At first it didn’t bother me because she let me live with them rent-free for 5 months but I must admit it is becoming annoying because she doesn’t seem to recognize that not only am I saving her a bunch of money by doing her fills for free but it actually costs me product and gas.

I moved to Montana to be closer to my dad specifically but I wanted to get to know both of them.  She and I have had very few conflicts over the last 26 years that she’s been married to my dad but since I moved here I’ve seen much more of her true character.  She is probably the most insecure person I’ve ever met and takes pretty much everything personally.  Case in point, I was at church with them one day and asked one of their friends (who knew me when I was a little girl so he’s been friends with my dad a long time) to pray for something that was going on.  I was thinking that he would just pray throughout the week but he said “Let’s pray right now” and put his arm around me and started praying.  That was cool, I wasn’t asking for or expecting prayer right that instant but it was really nice of him to do that.  I get a phone call from my dad the next week saying his wife was offended that she (and my dad) weren’t invited to pray with us that Sunday.  He stressed that he didn’t think I did anything wrong but that it made her feel left out and to please be aware of it for the future…  Dad has also told me that she gets upset when I post something on Facebook before telling them first – to the point that I suspect she made my dad give up his Facebook page completely as she didn’t even have her own page but kept checking his…  Since I see them once a week I preferred to just tell them my news in person so we could chat face to face instead of me texting them things throughout the week, in all my spare time, ugh.  She is kind and gracious to my face but I can only imagine how she must carry on to my dad before he finally calls me and tells me what I did that upset her and he always begs me not to tell her that he talked to me.  And once when I was still living with her my dad tried to fix something and made it worse instead – it really wasn’t a big deal – but she berated him and called him pathetic and made fun of him for even attempting to fix it.  She did this to him in front of me and in front of his friend that came to help him fix it.  Then she continued to rant and rave about him to me when he left to go to the hardware store for the part.  I was so shocked that I could only try to redirect the conversation.  She did stop and we talked about something else and then apologized for what she said but when my dad got back with the part she started up on him again.  They left to go see my brothers the next day for a long weekend and I wept for most of Saturday and Sunday to the point that I couldn’t even sing on the worship team and could barely continue playing the piano.  That was Mother’s Day weekend and I decided to move out from their house because of how she talked to my dad.

I am so glad I moved an hour away from them, it’s much easier to be less involved with her now and I won’t ever hear her say things like that to or about my dad again.  Now that I don’t live there I can try to stand up to her and then just leave.  Since I quit my movie theater job I don’t have to go in to see them every Sunday for the last month so I’ve missed a few Sundays lately and will probably not go every week anymore.  Honestly, I wish I was rich and could afford a big house with enough space to let him live with me and away from her…  I’m not sure he would actually take me up on such an offer but I wish I could at least offer him a space away from her.

I miss my movie theater job, or at least the people there.  That was a fourth world… I went back and saw a movie yesterday, got to say hi to some of my favorites and one nice young man, Jared, invited me and my daughter to dinner this Thursday here in the town where we live.  Does that qualify as a date?  And with which one of us?  I feel like he and I have connected on a deeper level than just friends and you don’t drive an hour to have dinner with someone and then turn around and drive an hour home just for fun normally…  He is an amazing man, tall and handsome (he’s Native American, of course. I have thought Natives were the most beautiful people in the world since I was a child), a hard worker and going to school for psychology.  I really, really enjoy working with him.  The problem is that he’s only 26.  He’s met my daughter a couple of times and I did mention that she was single now so I’m hoping that he’s wanting to date her and then maybe they’ll get married and have super cute babies and I’ll have him as a son forever…  <dreaming>

So, I live in three different worlds and I’m only really happy in one of them, when I’m working hard and interacting with the public.  School will be over in early March as long as I don’t take any extra days off and that, hopefully, will change the largest part of my day.  In the meantime, I’m in survival mode.  Again.  But this time it won’t last 21 years, lol.

It began a week before I was scheduled to leave – my younger daughter announced “I’m moving with you!”

Sadly, my first response was panic rather than joy…

In May I had asked her repeatedly to make a final decision on whether or not she was going to move up to Montana with me and she decided no, she was not.  So I decided to rent a room with my teacher closer to my school instead of pursuing an entire apartment or house on my own.  Now, at the end of June she decides she’s moving up with me after all and I have nowhere for her to live.

Panic.

She decides she’ll camp in her pickup truck with her dog until she can find a place to live.

Less panic but still panic.

I’m not going to say no.  Getting away from her current situation is probably the best thing for her as far as I can see… So she starts packing up her stuff and condensing so that it all fits into her pickup truck and the back of my car.  All of one mini storage unit manages to fit into the biggest UHaul trailer they had and she and I trade cars because she’s never pulled a trailer before.

The day comes to leave and we spend probably an hour trying to figure out how to reattach the trailer to the pickup truck… lol.  I had left it at a good friend’s house so that I wasn’t driving all around town with this heavy trailer for the few days between when I loaded it up and we left, my daughter called her boyfriend over and none of the four of us could figure it out so my friend called her husband and he had it hooked up in 10 minutes flat!  He looks like Duane Johnson’s younger brother, great guy 🙂

Anyway, we air up the tires, fill up with gas and head out of town.  We maybe got 30 miles from my friend’s house and I noticed a funny smell… I had been keeping an eye on the heat gauge but it smelled like the truck was overheating.  Oh, but wait, I was actually looking at the oil pressure gauge and NOT the heat one…  The heat gauge was actually alllll the way up to the “H” for HOT and steam was starting to come out from under the hood…

I actually swore…

I turned the heater on full blast, pulled off at the next exit and desperately prayed to find some shade in the 100 degree weather before the engine blew up.  God is faithful and there was a gas station with an overhang above the pumps so we pulled in there, popped the hood and waited for an hour for it to cool down so we could put some water into the radiator.

This scenario was repeated about 6 times, turning what was normally a 7 hour trip into a two day, 17 hour trip.  Curiously, it wasn’t until our last stop, right after we had crossed the Montana border that a single person pulled over to see if we were OK or needed any help.

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