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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.

 

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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.

First things first, I’m fine now, it was just one bad day and I got over it, yay!  All my bad days are usually exactly one day long, I just don’t get around to blogging the positive turn-around the next day, sorry… Thanks for caring…  😀

I’m not sure that I posted about what I’m actually doing for the month of June – I am back in the town I came from and working for my Vietnamese family/bosses AND living with them, which has been a riot!  Let me see if I can draw a picture for you…

The house is very nice, newer construction, four bedrooms upstairs, one full bathroom upstairs and a half bath downstairs.  The den/office downstairs is also being used as a bedroom.  There are 6 adults living here right now.  The oldest brother, his two sisters, one of them has a boyfriend, a completely unrelated Vietnamese guy and me – the only white girl\person they’ve ever adopted as far as I know.  The master bedroom has it’s own bathroom but only the sisters get to use it.  That means the other 4 adults in the house (myself included) get to share the upstairs bathroom when we need to shower.  My mornings go like this:

At 7:35 am my first alarm goes off and I swipe my phone screen to turn it off.  At 7:45 my second alarm goes off and I have to decide – am I going to turn it off or hit the snooze button for 5 more minutes?  This is largely determined by A) how tired I am and B) if I have heard anybody take a shower yet…  Did I forget to mention that my room is right next to the bathroom?  Why yes, yes it is.  I can hear EVERYTHING a person does in the bathroom, at any hour of the day, unless you turn then fan on and then I can only hear MOSTLY everything, lol.  So I wait to hear the door shut, the shower turn on, then off, then the door open again and feet pattering down the carpeted stairs.  That would be the oldest brother.  I’ve called him Hank here before so I’m going to stick with that.  I wait a few minutes just in case someone else needs to dash into the bathroom now that Hank’s out.  No?  Ok, my turn.  I am in my nightie, clutching my clothes for the day, my towel and my little makeup bag and I slip out of my room into the bathroom.

Just as an FYI, even though I’m (always) a little self-conscious I’m totally safe here.  I could probably run around naked and these sweet boys would turn around and stare at the ceiling while they try to hand me the shirt off their back to cover up with… I’m absolutely not going to do that, it’s just an example but when I am with them I know I am perfectly, completely safe, they’re wonderful people!

Anyway, back to my morning routine.  I do the whole shower, makeup, hair thing and am in and out of there in roughly 15 minutes.  I am seriously the best roommate ever, I have practically mastered the art of invisible living…  I fiddle around in my room until it’s about 8:30 am and then I wander downstairs to see if one of the sisters wants to ride with me.  A couple of times we’ve ridden together but most of the time we drive separately and I’ve found I enjoy the alone time.

That’s a snapshot of my normal morning here.  Three of us from the house work together all day with a few others at the nail shop.  After work sometimes we all go out to eat and other times I go visit my girls, sister or friends and don’t get back to the house until around midnight.  I am never the last one to bed – I don’t know how they do it!  These people work 6 – 7 days a week, 10 hour days M – Sat and 6 hour days on Sundays with very little food or sleep as far as I can tell.  They’re amazing with a little dash of crazy…

When we go out to eat, that’s always fun too.  This trip we’ve gone to two different Chinese buffets and one steak house.  I am never allowed to pay, trust me, I’ve tried.  I can’t pay for myself and I can’t pay for everyone, it is Not Allowed.  As far as I can tell their reasoning seems to be from a mixture of things – they love me, they have adopted me and therefore view me as someone to provide for AND I don’t have a man in my life to look after me and pay for things so they seem to have a double sense of urgency to make sure I’m taken care of, especially when it comes to eating out.

But they do more for me too, before I moved to Montana this family bought me a MK purse with matching wallet, 2 Pandora bracelets with a bunch of charms, a watch, rings, necklaces, earrings, business supplies, clothing, more lunches while working than I can count, a microwave, an all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas… they are such givers!   I estimate that in the two years that I have known them and worked for them the dollar amount of the gifts they have given and money they have spent on me exceeds the amount my ex-husband spent on me in the almost 21 years we were married.  Huh.  And I’m not sleeping with a single one of them.  I’m not even having to fight them off or tell them no, it’s never even been a question.  They have simply adopted me without any strings attached.  The four siblings (the youngest brother lives elsewhere) call me their sister, love me like their sister, take care of me like their sister and tease me like their sister.  We are truly family and they have brought so much healing to my life since I became single, I am very grateful for them!  (And just so you know, I don’t only take and take, I help them as much as I can with everything under the sun.  English, Dr appointments, phone calls, computer work, shopping, communicating with customers and business people/vendors… I do everything I can to make their business and personal lives successful and show them I love them too.)

I am extremely blessed to have so many people who love me, especially this family group.  Honestly, I should never have a single sad, lonely day, I really shouldn’t.  After they’re over I feel bad that I do because I truly have a multitude of people who love me, provide for me and take very good care of me.  I don’t deserve any of them (but I’m not going to send any of them away either…) and will remain forever grateful for each and every one of them.

Now it’s your turn.  Go adopt somebody.  Make a difference in some pale and pasty white girl’s life – the one who has blue and purple hair because she’s going to beauty school… oh wait, that’s me… just go make a difference in somebody – anybody’s – life.  Go do it!  Do it now.  Are you feeling purposeless?  Unloved yourself?  Get your butt off the couch and go care about someone else.  You’ll find love and a purpose all wrapped up together.  Maybe you just need to start small?  So go start complementing people.  Say “You look nice today.”  It’s quick, it’s easy and you’ll be shocked at the smiles you get in return.  It will be like the sun broke through the clouds into your gloomy little heart.  Oh wait, me again… Seriously though, go be nice to other people.  Just do it.  Do it now.

The End.

I took a quick look back over my posts so far this year and realized that I haven’t said much, if anything about Beauty School and it’s become such an important part of my life!  So here’s an overview from the beginning:

I walked into school for the very first time right after I moved to Montana.  A man was at the front desk, (later I learn his name is Rayalf), and he called one of the teachers up (who turned out to be Kammi).  While I’m waiting for Kammi I notice a tall man with blue hair – that was Kyle, who turns out to be my Cwtch…

Kammi takes me back to her office and tells me a little bit about the school, introduces me to the owner, Misty, as “the girl with the nail hours”, assures me I am all set to start with the next class.

The school is much smaller than I expected it to be, in the bigger city I left I used to go to beauty schools all the time to get my hair done and this school is barely a quarter of the size of any of those and yet there’s between 30 and 40 students and three instructors, hmm, this could be interesting…

Fast forward about 3 weeks, I show up to the school and meet my 8 other classmates.  All nice girls and we range in age from 18 to me at 43.  The girl who was in her 30’s dropped out after a couple of months so now it’s just me and the younger ones, lol.  We spent roughly 8 weeks in the back room doing book work and practicing on mannequin heads before we were allowed to move to the front and work on the public.

Just writing this out I realize that none of this is the important part.  The people there, the other students and the instructors are what has made this experience so life-changing for me.

There’s lots of swearing, even from the instructors.  Anything that can be turned into a sexual innuendo is done so with a vengeance and everybody laughs like it’s the funniest thing in the world.  Rayalf, in particular, loves practical jokes and almost everyone affectionately calls each other Bitch or Dude, depending on the mood they’re in.  It’s a circus of chaos and craziness.  But here’s the thing – these people are a family.  They’re real.  In spite of the bickering and the arguing they get along most of the time.  They share their supplies and food with each other.  They listen to each other’s stories,  empathize and hug.  And aside from their moral standards being vastly different than my own they have a much healthier outlook on sex and sexuality than I do.  Granted, probably 99% of all people out there have a healthier view of sex than I do but these people are open and honest about it while at the same time being accepting of me and my beliefs, encouraging me to heal but not pushing me to go outside my moral boundaries.

Some days are hard because I can get overwhelmed with all of the emotions that go on in a building of 30 women and 2 men ranging from 17 – 60.  Even though everyone is always nice to me I can still be affected by the people around me being negative and petty to each other.  I have gone outside and cried many times.  I’ve even gone back on the happy pills because school can be so stressful.  I don’t like being on the happy pills again, I was very proud of myself for having gotten off them but I’m realizing that my body doesn’t handle stress yet the way it should.  It handles stress better than it did when I was married, way better, but it’s still not back to completely healthy… so happy pills it is.  I even stayed home one day as a “mental health” day and it was totally worth it.  I plan to take three days off a month to help preserve my sanity even though it will lengthen my time at school and cost me about $1400 in overages at the end.  Ugh.

In the end though, it is a crazy, insane kind of world and ultimately I love it.  My hair is blue with purple roots and for the first time in my life I have shaped eyebrows and fake eyelashes.  At school I have friends who love me and hug me and care about me and tell me I’m beautiful and that they’re glad I’m there.  I’ve been able to share my past with some of them and they empathize with me and are very supportive.  My favorite teacher, Kammi, just offered to rent me her spare room and be a part of her family, which I think will be lots of fun.

This group of people – this group of unchurched, largely immoral, profanity professionals loves, respects and accepts me more than any other group I’ve ever been a part of and none of them require me to become like them before being willing to give me their love and affection.

Being around these people both destroys me and builds me back up, but they build me up far more often than they make me cry.

I know I am who and where I am supposed to be.  I know I am doing what I am supposed to do.  Sometimes the being and the doing is hard but the knowing, the knowing makes it all worth it.

 

 

I have come to realize that I Am Home.

I lived here for several years in grade school and hated leaving Montana when my folks split.  When my mother left my dad we went to Spokane and would make the drive back to see my dad several times.  For years I claimed I could tell, by the sheer feeling alone, when we had crossed the boarder back into Montana.  The skies were bluer, the mountains were taller, the air was sweeter…  For years and years Montana was home and I longed to move back there.  Until I had been away so long I couldn’t feel the change as I crossed over that border and then that memory of “Home” faded into distant memory and I began to feel that home wasn’t anywhere.

I caught glimpses of Home here and there, mostly with people like my best friend from high school, but only in one other place – the Oregon Coast.  Sigh.  I still love it there…

In the month since I officially moved here I have made two trips back to the city I came from, once to get a few more things out of mini storage for my  nail business and once to attend my younger daughter’s high school graduation.  This last trip back I was shocked to find that my old town wasn’t “Home” but simply a place I knew my way around.  That both pleased and concerned me slightly.  I had spent just over 10 years there, my kids had spent almost half their lives there.  Heck, my kids still live there!  I have more friends, good friends, there than I can shake a stick at and enough people who have offered me a place to stay on future visits that I will never, ever need to get a hotel or sleep on my sister’s couch. I have a tiny church there that I hold dear to my heart… but it isn’t home and I’m not sure that I want to live there again like I thought I would before I left.

Huh.

What a fascinating revelation.  I will continue to think on this…

But first a quick review of the graduation.  I was smiling so broadly the term “grinning like an idiot” probably applied but I was sooooo proud of my younger daughter!  She did it!  She actually graduated high school with a diploma and not just a GED.  She got to walk across a stage in her cap and gown and get her picture taken with a school official and she is ready to start the rest of her life.  I am so happy for her!

What was less happy was seeing my former in-laws, ex-husband and his fiance.  Actually let me clarify, seeing the fiance and his father was great.  He and his mother were, still, obviously angry with me and while they were kinder to me than they had been in June at my twin nieces graduation they still rattled me bad enough that I skedaddled out of there as quick as I could after hugging my newly-graduated daughter and telling her I would see her the next day.

Yes, that’s right, somehow he still gets to me so much that I ran away from my own daughter’s graduation as soon as I politely could.

I was talking to my best friend from high school and think I may have figured out (part of) what goes on inside of me whenever I have contact with dear old ex-hubby.  My particular personality type is desperate for two things to be accomplished in the people around me, I want you to be happy and I want you to be comfortable.  If I can’t make you happy and/or comfortable then I have failed and this causes me distress.  A lot of distress.  Sometimes even panic-attack type stress.  I will never be able to make my ex happy OR comfortable, he still has too much anger towards me to allow himself to even smile in my presence.

It occurs to me that when you don’t believe you did anything wrong you can’t change anything about yourself that was – and continues to be – part of the problem and therefore you continue to have a problem where there may not actually be one anymore making (mostly) just yourself miserable.

How do I accept the fact that I will never succeed in my driving need to make this particular person happy and comfortable?  That’s hard and I’m working on it.  Maybe it’s less accepting that fact and more acknowledging that I can’t make it happen and That’s Okay.  It’s Okay.  I can’t make everybody in the whole entire world happy and comfortable and it’s okay.

Yeah.  That one’s still going to take some more work… but I’ll get it.

My older daughter was in Thailand on a missions trip and didn’t get home until midnight of the day that her younger sister graduated.  I texted her, welcoming her home and saying I wanted to meet with her in the next two days before I left town again.  She never responded.  I texted again, at 8:30 pm the night before I left saying sorry I didn’t get to meet with her and she finally responded – sorry I didn’t get back to you, have a nice trip home.

It’s disheartening to know she didn’t want to see me but I wasn’t terribly surprised.  Even though she had just come back from overseas after 3 weeks the whole, entire weekend was mostly about her sister and less about her for both her father and grandparents – and me.  It’s very difficult for a narcissist to deal with not being the center of attention when they think they should be and I get that.

In the end I came Home when I had planned to.  I drove the long hours and came home, listening to an audiobook of Eat. Pray. Love. and finally finishing it about an hour and a half away from Home.

I signed up for an online dating app within an hour of arriving at home, I’ve decided I need to stop hiding my head in the sand and pretending that every man out there is as bad as my ex-husband and at least talk to a few guys and see what happens.  I’m not in a hurry to hitch my star to just anyone’s wagon but it would be nice to be friendly with a guy I could  maybe, possibly see a potential future with.

School is going well, just started week three and we learned how to wrap hair for a perm today… I’m really hoping to get myself a perm here soon, either that or cut my hair short again, it’s driving me nuts, lol!

I’m off to bed, I’m not getting anywhere near enough sleep now that I’m a student again, ugh!  If you pray, pray for me for strength to get through long days of standing on my feet and never getting enough sleep because despite everything I’m still a night owl and can’t sleep when I go to bed early.

Hugs to all of you ❤

Most of August was lovely…

Life at work was good, my Vietnamese family were all fairly happy with me, work was not busy but steady, making the paychecks good enough that I managed to save up all the money I needed to pay for putting new carpet in my trailer bringing me one major step closer to moving to Montana.  My Vietnamese family took me to the fair for my birthday this year like they did last year and then I went again with my sister a few days later.  Overall it really was a nice month.

On my birthday I arrived at work to find balloons, an orchid, cheesecake and a card with money on my desk!  I was on cloud nine…  A short time later there was a scheduling glitch that the older brother boss was sure was my fault and the day went from wonderful to tense and ruined.

I realized that these episodes are happening more and more frequently.  The oldest brother and youngest sister are the ones in charge of the salon I work at.  She actually has the majority invested and is the real boss but her English isn’t very good so he runs the shop.

For a long time I was “in love” with him because he was kind and sweet and funny and to some small degree, presumably as much as he can, he does love me, he has even told me so.  To his credit he never took advantage of my healing heart, he consistently said that I was Very Good Friend and treated me very nearly as another one of his sisters.

After he became the big boss at work, however, he changed and all of the nice went away. I suspect it’s a cultural thing and he’s only emulating other Asian bosses that he’s had, believing that there is only one way to Be The Boss and that is to be large and in charge while being suspicious of everything you don’t understand.  And since English is hard there is quite a bit he doesn’t understand.  When he’s in a good mood he will recognize his own mistakes and apologize for them quickly and sincerely but when he is in a bad mood nothing is ever his fault and even just trying to explain what happened is viewed as disrespecting him because you’re arguing.

I still adore him but I don’t love him anymore and I’m tired of the whiplash from his mood swings as he struggles to decide how he’s feeling and how a boss should be acting at any given moment…  I’m done with all of it and he makes me want to move to Montana tomorrow.

His sister, in fact both of his sisters, on the other hand, truly love me.  The majority owner sister with the poor English keeps buying me things – expensive things.  I think that giving gifts is her love language and I wish I could reciprocate in kind but all I can do is say thank you, give her big hugs and tell her I love her.  A lot.

The carpet gets installed in 5 days and was hoping to list my trailer for sale immediately afterwards but I still have to replace the shower walls and I have no idea how to do that, much less the time to get it done – and now I have a toothache and don’t feel like doing anything, lol.  But I know it will all work out…  When it’s supposed to…  God save me…

It’s been 560 days since I left my ex husband and changed my world.  In that time I’ve grown and become different in so many ways and I think most all of them are good…

I’ve learned how to “mow” the lawn with my weed wacker, lol!  I never had to do yard work before and I’m still not quite sure this qualifies but there it is.  I move the sprinkler around my little patch of trailer park lawn and swing the weed wacker around  – I can count that as exercise too, right?

I’ve lived within my means and yet been able to spend money on myself.  At first it was very difficult – two months after I left him I spent $120 on four new bras.  For our entire married life I had only been able to purchase one or two bras at a time and it felt scandalous, extravagant, vain and almost sinful to spend that much money on a basic necessity for myself.  (And they were practical, not even pretty!)  I did get over it and have been enjoying finding clothes, outer and under, that are both comfortable and good for the level of professionalism required at my job.  (I work at a classier salon than most Asian nail shops I’ve ever been in, I wear clothes there that I would have previously worn to church on Sunday mornings!)

Speaking of church, I stopped going to church right about a year ago.  Yes, this is one of the not-so-good things and really needs to be the subject of it’s own blog post.  I have reasons, I promise, and I fully intend to attend church faithfully with my father and step-mother when I move up there with them but for now I’m not attending church anywhere.

I’ve come to realize that money spent on fun is not wasted and as long as I am staying within my budget it is not wrong to buy myself things I enjoy, try new foods that I may or may not like and do activities that will do little more than make good memories.

I’ve also been able to spend money on others and I enjoy that very much.  I’ve been able to bless others with gifts, meals, clothing, rides, a vehicle and even a place to sleep.

I’ve gone places and seen people!  I used to do a lot of road trips, I would pack up my girls and we would go places to see people and experience things, for some reason our adventures quit happening about 8 years ago, I’m not sure why.  But in these last 560 days I’ve taken 7 road trips and 1 trip by airplane!  I’ve seen my dad, brothers and best friend more since I left my ex-husband than I had in years and I also got to go to the ocean and Las Vegas – so much fun!  I’d forgotten how much I like to drive and take trips…

I feel safe.  All the time.  My Vietnamese family has played a large part in this because they all take such good care of me and none of the guys are even a little bit romantically interested in me.  Especially, bless his heart, my flirting buddy (who has been the more than occasional subject of my post-divorce junior-high-like infatuation) is a man of such high standards that while he could have easily taken advantage of my damaged heart he has never even come close to crossing that line.  I am as much a genuine part of their family as a chubby white girl could possibly be and thanks to that treatment I am no longer worried that a male touch or look is going to end in a request (or a demand) for sex.  It’s so hard to explain but being adopted by them has been so freeing – and very healing – for me.  God knew what He was doing to put me with them and I am so grateful.

I’m sure there are more ways that I’ve changed and grown but these are the big ones for now.  Sweet dreams!

Three days ago my best friend from high school’s mom died very unexpectedly. That was Friday and today, Monday, my BFF was scheduled to have a surgery that she could not postpone so I drove the 8 hours to come stay with her children while her husband was with her in the hospital for the surgery, which went great and she is recovering nicely.

It was outpatient so she came home and went straight to bed.  I decided to go visit one of my brothers who lived about an hour away because he was really wanting to get together since I was in the area – and that’s a bit unusual for him, honestly.

It was a good visit, it really was.  We talked about lots of stuff, work, kids, dogs, horses, the usual…  I asked them if they knew my ex was engaged and not only did they know but they had met her.  He brought her all the way up to have dinner with my two brothers and their wives on the same trip he took her home to introduce her to his parents.

Why in God’s name did that make me cry the entire hour I drove back to my friend’s house?

I had to really think about it.

Before I go any further I should explain my position on my ex-husband’s new relational status. I left him at the end of January, 2015, we were still trying to “work things out” up until April of 2015 and our divorce was finalized in mid-May 2015.  That means he has been legally single for fourteen and a half months and I was absolutely expecting him to be dating by now because he has never done well on his own and with his sexual addiction a celibate life just won’t work for him.  But to be engaged right now, that blew me away.  Huh.  Although it does tell me that he was over me a long time before I left him in order to meet, date and propose to someone else this quickly.  So I totally did the right thing in leaving because his heart hadn’t been in trying to make our marriage work for years but he was continuing to do so out of duty and obligation, as was I.  That’s a recipe for hell on earth right there in my humble opinion…

So aside from being a wee bit bitter that I had to be the one to leave in spite of his wanting to move on as much or more than I did I think it’s funny that physically she’s shaped a lot like me and looks similar enough to me that I’m sure people will mistake her as the natural mother of our firstborn daughter – or worse – her sister because she looks closer in age to our oldest daughter than to him, lol!

But honest-to-God, the primary feeling I have about his engagement is overwhelming relief.  Over. Whelming.  Relief.  Hopefully he will stop being mad at me now that he has someone else in his life.  And believe it or not, I’m happy for him.  I wish them well and I hope that she will stand up to him and make him a better man, that she won’t put up with the things that make him a bully and that she’ll improve his relationship with his children, especially our youngest, whom I keep telling to give her future step-mom an honest chance and try to be her friend because she could be the best thing that ever happened to him and hopefully she is exactly who he needs.  I know I wasn’t.

I said as much to my brothers (not the bitter or funny part, just the happy for him and told my daughter to give her a chance part) and I could tell they were startled by my words but why, dear God, why won’t they actually ask me the questions they want to know the answers to?  They just won’t ask any questions at all about how I’m feeling or what I think about situations.  Ugh, brothers!

But back to why I cried all the way home, I was trying to pinpoint the source of my soul-hurt and this is what I realized:

My brothers like him more than me.  Truth accepted.

My brothers are more on his side than mine in all things, the divorce, our beliefs in God, parenting, etc.  Truth accepted.

Introducing her to MY brothers and not just his relatives on their we-just-got-engaged trip makes me feel cut out of my own family.  Absolute truth although probably not done intentionally but still very hurtful.

It’s not enough that his family hates me but he wants mine to completely dislike me as well because he’s the righteous one and I’m the evil sinner so he’s trying to get my own brothers to replace me with her.  99.9% probability that this is not truth but I could definitely see him thinking that way.  Extremely hurtful.

My brothers value their friendship with him over their relationship with me and have a stronger sense of loyalty to him than to me because they participated in an event that could only make me feel excluded AND they made a big outing of it at a fancy and very expensive restaurant.  They didn’t tell him that meeting her would be like saying he was their brother more than I was their sister and so they must regretfully decline.  They didn’t say it was not a good idea because they are his ex-wife’s family, not  his family and it would be awkward, for them and for his fiancé, to spend a dinner together.  They didn’t stand up for me, even the tiniest bit.

Aaahhh… there it is, that is why I cried for an hour.  I feel betrayed by my brothers in favor of him.

Life is hard sometimes and then it gets better.  And then worse and then better again.  This is one of those worse days but soon life will be good more than it’s hard… I’m looking forward to that!