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Back on January 1st I married two of my friends in their home, in front of their children and two witnesses.  Today was the big, in front of family and friends ceremony at a historical landmark with the flowers and the white dress and cake and candles…  It was lovely.  Simple, elegant, beautiful and full of love and smiles all around.

I stayed up until 2 am last night researching different wedding ceremonies, vows, ring exchanges and what not, putting them into some semblance of order and storing them on my tablet so that I could read off it for the ceremony.

The bridesmaids were beautiful, all in perfectly matching cerulean blue dresses of different styles and the groomsmen had vivid, matching blue shirts and bow ties.  The groom had nervously handed me his vows before the ceremony to get my opinion and I thought they were great, heartfelt and sincere.  His voice broke a little as he read them to her.

I did all right with the ceremony, there were a few awkward moments when I forgot the papers with the bride’s vows and the couple’s vows to the four children and had to take a few steps to the side to go get them.

I did less all right with the song, it’s a hard song to sing to begin with, Jordan Feliz’s “Beloved”.  So beautiful but it goes very low on the verses and into the perfect range for me (on the raised version of the accompaniment track) for the chorus and the bridge, which are the majority of the song.  The sound system provided was less than stellar and as I practiced with it about an hour before the ceremony was to start I realized that if I sang too loudly into the mike the music cut out… ugh.  I have a very loud voice but not for the lower parts so I wound up using the mike for the verses and turning it off for the remainder of the song.  And I also missed words in several places, being really distracted by the sound system and not having a monitor to hear myself in, lol.  Everybody seemed to love it though and gave me lots of compliments afterwards, which made me feel better.

After the ceremony there was lunch served by a food truck, a little bit of dancing by the bride and groom, the bouquet toss – rigged to be caught by a young girl because apparently she was the only single female there, I had become invisible at that point, lol.  Lots of visiting and then lots of help to clean up and everybody left.

It was beautiful and a wonderful reminder of what love can do in people’s lives.

I cried afterwards, a lot.

Not because it was so beautiful but because I am so alone.

I feel bad letting my friend’s happy moment make me so sad, my own personal guilt trip is telling me I’m so selfish that I can’t even be happy for her, all I can do is focus on myself and my own problems…  And then I am miserable AND embarrassed.

I cry more.

The struggle bus is real and today I was it’s driver.

Why can’t I just be happy for her and trust that God will give me a good relationship when I’m ready – and when he’s ready?

I have Kyle, even though I’ve been in a completely different state for almost a month now he messages me faithfully every single day and sends me a picture of himself.  I (save every picture to look at over and over again) message him as well and send him my picture.  Our friendship has grown more intense? is perhaps the word to use, while I’ve been gone but I’m beginning to realize that hearing every day that he loves me and misses me helps me soooo much but it isn’t enough.  He doesn’t ask me questions.  Like hardly at all.  Occasionally he will but I’ve even asked him to ask me questions and he won’t.

And yes, I fully recognize that Kyle is NOT my boyfriend and I don’t even want him to be but I need more love than even he gives me – and he gives me so much more love than I’ve ever had from any man in my life, more than all the men in my entire life combined actually.  And if his love isn’t enough is there even hope that another man exists who can love me more than Kyle does?  It creates a kind of hopelessness that makes me want to throw every effort into doing whatever it takes to make sure Kyle never stops being my Gay Best Friend, my Cwtch, my Not-Boyfriend Love Of My Life… because if I lose him I lose so very, very much – and yet it is that exact desperate thinking that ruins relationships almost the precise moment you act upon it…  So I balance delicately on a wire, constantly worrying that he will run away screaming if I share one more thing about myself or how I feel about him and yet completely unable to stop myself.  It’s like a train-wreck, my own life’s train-wreck and I can’t look away… But he hasn’t run away screaming yet either and I’ve been more open and honest with him than any other guy I’ve ever known so just maybe this could last forever like a “normal” best friendship…  Please God…

So I’ve learned something about myself… I need questions to feel loved.  Who knew?  Just simple stuff like: “How was your day?” “How did that make you feel?” “What are you doing tomorrow?” “Are you OK?” “Why do you want to know what brand of cigarettes I smoke?”  “What’s your favorite…???”  “What did you eat for dinner?”

I also need answers to feel loved.  When I ask questions, and they don’t get answered then I feel ignored.  I feel like I am “too much” and “overwhelming”.  I feel like – now that I am more myself than I ever have been in my whole 43 years of living – I feel like I love too hard, too deep and too fast.  I drown people, particularly men, with the way I love.  And I’ve never seen anybody love another person the way I love.  And I’m so very weary, I pour out and out and out and get so little in return.

Not because people won’t give in return but because they can’t.  They literally can’t.

In the end, what should have been a joyful day full of happiness and cheer and bright, shiny rainbows and puppy kisses became this introspective dive into a deep, dark misery and hopelessness.  Know how to have a good time, I do… heh, heh…  <rolling my eyes>  I did my best to keep my friend from knowing how I felt and she was so busy with her other friends that I think I succeeded.  She deserves happiness and I’m glad she found it.

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So here’s someplace I never thought life would take me, I am now legally able to perform weddings!  It was several months ago that a friend of mine asked me to officiate her marriage to her fiance as they are not very “churchy” people and were uncomfortable trying to find a pastor they didn’t know.

I had to stop and think about it for a minute or two.  It was a huge honor to be asked but wow, it’s also a huge responsibility…  In the end I decided to do it and help my friend so they could bed legally married.  It was easy for me to get ordained online to perform weddings – it was free and took 10 minutes.  I did purchase the certificate package and they mailed me a very nice certificate of ordination and letter of good standing to meet state requirements for performing weddings.

The wedding was held in their home with two witnesses and their combined children.  We were all nervous but I had everything written down and was able to follow my notes.  Two of the boys held the rings until it was time and there was an adorable amount of confusion over which boy had which ring…  She cried during the vows and it was very tender.  The whole thing lasted 10 minutes and was very real and precious.

Tomorrow I need to mail the marriage license and a copy of my ordination certificate to the state and the process will be complete.

At end of the day I was glad I accepted the honor of officiating their wedding.  I’m not looking to do another anytime soon but it isn’t a one time license and has no expiration date so I guess I could marry lots of folks.

You never know where you’ll be called in life to go but I guess now I’m ready for one more thing that I wasn’t expecting to be able to do – ever.  And that’s pretty awesome.

This has been such a crazy but really good year, wow!

For outward accomplishments: I started working towards moving to Montana, I took two trips to the ocean, went to Las Vegas and three trips up to see friends and family.  I fixed up and sold my little trailer house, paid off 98% of my debts and went to live with friends for the last 2 1/2 months of the year.  I got a Montana Nail Tech license, applied for cosmetology school in Montana and quit my job.

My internal accomplishments are a little harder to measure but I have to say they are the ones I am most proud of.

The one year anniversary of my divorce came and went without bothering me.  I didn’t even remember it until a day or two afterwards. I even survived seeing my ex for the first time since we filed for divorce at my twin nieces high school graduation where he and his mother rolled waves of anger in my direction and she glared at me (at MY brother’s children’s graduation, really?) until I left early – but I survived, lol!

The announcement of my ex-husband’s engagement filled me with relief, I wasn’t at all unhappy or bitter about it (which kind of surprised me).

I feel like I’ve made a good connection with my older daughter.  It’s not as good as I hoped to have but it’s far better than what it was when we started this year and I am very grateful.  She has started texting “I love you” back to me when  I text it first (still won’t say it to my face” and just once, last week, out of the blue she texted “I love you” to me without me having texted it first so I think we are going to be OK.

My younger daughter is almost finished with her alternative high school and will be graduating on Feb 2nd.  I am very proud of her!  Just recently she has decided that she would like to move to Montana and be with me in July, after the lease on her apartment runs out.  I am excited but not holding my breath.  There’s a lot of time between now and then and the minute she gets a boyfriend I know she’ll change her mind but I’d really like it if she moved up to be with me.  We get along really well and enjoy hanging out together.

Going through several rounds of Angry Asian Bosses throughout the year cured me of any romantic illusions I still harbored about the older brother while at the same time gave me the courage and skills I needed to stand fast in the hurricane of anger the older two siblings at the shop (brother and sister) directed towards me.  This was probably the most important lesson I learned this year and is possibly the reason God delayed my move to Montana until now.  Standing up to angry people is a strength I never had, not ever.  Not with my mom, not with my ex husband, not with my brothers, not with my bosses or co-workers…  not with anyone.  Anger has always overwhelmed me and I melt into a puddle on the floor when other people’s anger touches me.  Even strangers angry at other strangers around me has brought me to tears many times.  Yes, I’m overly sensitive to in a lot of areas, I know…  But the Asian culture is so different from anything I’ve ever known.  These guys truly are my family and have honestly treated me better than my own brothers have.  They all love me very much and I know that without a shadow of a doubt.  They take care of me in so many ways and all of them, but one of the sisters in particular, has probably spent more money on me by buying me clothing, jewelry, meals and  the trip to Vegas in the last 2 years than my ex-husband spent on me in gifts over the 20 years we were married.  But when they are angry they get very angry very fast and it doesn’t matter if they’re angry about incorrect information because they won’t listen to me try to explain – they see trying to explain as being disrespectful.  So I have to sit there and listen to them be angry at me and saying the same things over and over again until their anger has finally died out.  And then when they’re done being angry it’s over in an instant and we’re back to rainbows and unicorns again, gives me frickin whiplash… It’s a painful process.  Questions are allowed and will be answered but they will absolutely not believe me when I say that when I was whispering to a customer or another white worker I was NOT saying bad things about them – or giving them my phone number and trying to steal their customer… in their culture whispers are automatically something bad and never just trying to keep certain bits of a person’s life story private.  <sigh>  But I think I can do it now.  I think I can raise my shield and deflect the anger enough to have a mature conversation with an angry person and walk away knowing for certain whether or not I was truly at fault and that I have done all I can do to fix the situation.  That was a lesson I have needed to learn all my life so I guess now is better than never!

And my heart… I think I’m more open to another relationship than I was at the beginning of the year.  If I do get a boyfriend and consider marrying him I fully expect to have sex before getting married simply because I’m still petrified of tying myself to another marriage bed.  I had sex once, it lasted 20 years and I’m not at all anxious to repeat the experience.  If I wait until marriage, like a good little girl, and then find out it isn’t the partner but sex itself that I can’t stand then I am sunk.  I might as well kill myself the day after the wedding because my life will be a living hell from that point forward.  So yeah.  I’m going to have sex outside of marriage at some point.  Phew!  That was hard to say.  It completely goes against everything I’ve been taught and believed my whole life but I don’t see another way around it.  Maybe I’ll just stay single, but I don’t want to.  I want to love somebody fiercely and be loved extravagantly in return.

I was going to leave for Montana today and go tomorrow to talk to the beauty school about financial aid but they are closed until Monday for the holidays, so I am waiting to leave until next week.  This is such a huge step for me, it’s terrifyingly exciting and I’m getting anxious to go.  There is a homeless shelter in the same town as the beauty school, it’s a Christian ministry designed to help people get back on their feet and I’m hoping that they will let me stay there until my financial aid kicks in and I can afford housing on my own.  Otherwise it’s pretty much going to be living in my car for a month or so because I just don’t have enough to live and pay rent.  But big change requires big sacrifices and this change will be worth it, I just have to get through these next few months, lol.  Pray for me…

Happy New Year’s everyone and many blessings upon your 2017!

Forgive me friends, for I have been busy, it’s been 8 months since my last blog…

Since November, in mostly chronological order, all of this stuff has happened:

In early December I had a hysterectomy – it went well, I recovered quickly and my life-long anemia is gone, yay!  Sadly, my need to chew ice is also gone which means I’m not drinking enough water anymore <sigh>.  Overall it was a super good trade though, especially since there is an entire row in the grocery store I can avoid now, whoo hoo!

I went to visit my dad twice, once in December and again in April.  Both trips were good and made me realize that moving to be near him is definitely the right thing to do.

Christmas was a little disappointing, mostly because my household of kiddos left me for their parents homes so it wound up just being me and my sister for most of the day, binge watching Netflix and missing the bounty of a holiday table prepared for lots of people.  It made me realize that being able – or not being able – to give isn’t what lost the Christmas “magic” for me, it was being with people I love and who love me back and that honestly hasn’t happened for years and years… and years.

Online dating, yes, that happened too.  I tried three different sites – I started with Christian Mingle, figuring that I would be most comfortable there and found Tom.  We were chatting up a storm using their online messenger service and I was really enjoying his writing style, I felt like we were clicking and had been messaging each other for a good hour when all of a sudden he blocked me.  It was so weird, I hit send to post my latest response to our conversation and the website informed me that he had blocked me.  Rude!  Beyond that there just didn’t seem to be very many guys on Christian Mingle so I kept my membership there and started a second one with eHarmony.  They are soooo expensive!  Dang!  It was the day before my hysterectomy that I found Mike.  He was a Russian man living in Oregon (the Oregon coast is my happy place) he was nice and kind and sweet and gave all the right answers… until he started to ask me questions about sex.  Now I know that I have a hang up in this area because of my ex – I’m starting to realize that most of the sex I had in my almost 21 year marriage could probably qualify as date rape and I should probably go see a counselor – so when Mike started by asking basic questions about sex I went along with the conversation with the thought that it would help free me from some of the chains I had been carrying.  But once the conversation turned physical Mike didn’t want to talk about anything else and I became more and more uncomfortable until I finally let him know.  He admitted that his plan for our first face-to-face encounter was picking me up at the airport, dinner and then a hotel.  Nope, nope, nope.  I ended it right there, cancelled both my eHarmony and Christian Mingle subscriptions and took a break from online dating for a few months.  Then a customer told me she was engaged to someone she met on Zoosk and said that she had a great experience with that dating site so I figured I would give it a shot and I  narrowed my search to the town my father lives in, thinking that it would be nice to get to know someone online really well before meeting in person (because it worked so well with Mike, right?  I’m not quite sure what I was thinking…)  On Zoosk I met Tony.  Nice guy, gave lengthy, real answers to my questions and we seemed to have a lot in common.  On day four of our online chatting I asked if he had any pets, he said that he lost his cat recently.  I said that must have been hard for his young daughter and he said – all in one chat bubble – that it was harder on him than his daughter and he bet I was a good kisser.  Really?  He seriously went from dead cat to kissing.  It fizzled out with Tony shortly after that and I ended my search on Zoosk.  At this point I am so close to moving that I’m just going to wait until I am in Montana before I attempt to meet any more potential boyfriends, ugh!

In April I took 10 glorious days off of work and went to the Oregon Coast with my best friend from high school for 5 days and then went to visit my father for 3 days, it was a great vacation, very relaxing and reestablished my desire to live in either Newport or Lincoln City someday!

Just before Mother’s Day I ran into my ex husband at the movie theater and my, oh my, wasn’t that exciting!  My bosses took me to see the new Captain America movie that he and my older daughter just happened to attend as well.  He marched up to me and said in a very grumpy voice “I just want to say Happy Mother’s Day” and also told me that he had given a piece of paper to our younger daughter earlier to give to me.  I asked if he wanted to meet my bosses and he curled his lip as though he had just eaten something extremely distasteful, said no and then turned around and marched away.  My older daughter never once turned to look at me, say hi or even wave.  Huh.  They were with a group of people from their church and a few of them were friendly to me and said hi, which was nice but the very best part of the entire evening was when my Vietnamese bosses – who are from San Jose, CA – asked if my ex was a gang member.  They have a lot of experience with gangs (and have been victims of gang activities) and based on their experience and what they saw at the movie theater – the way he approached me, stood and spoke to me and marched away – they thought he was in a gang!  I nearly laughed my head off!  So much for the love of Christ shining through him, they saw him for what he was, a very angry man with no love or compassion in his heart towards those he doesn’t believe deserve it.  That frankly, was the highlight of my month!

My twin nieces graduated high school at the beginning of June and I took a few more days off work to attend their ceremony and party afterwards, which my ex also attended.  I knew he would be there so I was a little more prepared to see him but he did his best to avoid me at both the graduation and the party.  The graduation was busy but it was obvious that he refused to look at me and wouldn’t even come stand with the entire family once I joined then.  Then at the party my brother held at his home my ex and older daughter arrived after I did and it didn’t seem right to just jump up and greet him warmly when he got there but I tried to catch his eye here and there so that I could smile and say hi but he still refused to look at me.  I did, however, go and stand next to my older daughter as she spoke with her cousins for about two minutes and she never did turn around to say hi or acknowledge that I was there in any way.  I finally gave up and went to sit down at a table on the outer edge of the party area.  Then his parents showed up, which I thought was odd because it was my brother’s children’s graduation party… but I went over to say hi to his father knowing my ex was standing nearby and figuring I could greet him then – except that he moved away as I approached his dad.  His father was very kind and gracious, he gave me several warm hugs and we had a nice conversation for probably 15 – 20 minutes.  Which was, by the way, the only time at the entire graduation weekend that my older daughter spoke to me at all or even looked my way was when she and I were both speaking to her grandfather.  My ex’s mother was a different story entirely, I said hello and she said my name in a way that made me feel icicles stabbing my heart.  When dinner was ready my ex was serving the meat to everyone in line.  I debated whether or not I should get in line because it seemed obvious to me that he didn’t want to speak to me but then I decided to be the adult, get in the food line and say hi to him once my turn was up because then at least he couldn’t run away from me.  My sister was ahead of me and she said “Hi” and “Thank you” when it was her turn to get the meat but he did not look at her or speak to her.  I thought he was very rude to her.  I also said “Hi” and “Thank you” and he stopped what he was doing, looked at me and said with anger in his voice “I’m surprised you’re speaking to me”.  I’m sure my jaw hit the floor, from everything I could tell he was the one avoiding me and yet he was obviously angry that I was avoiding him.  The only thing I managed to stutter was “I wasn’t trying not to”.  I think I said that twice and then after opening and closing my  mouth like a guppy several times I turned and walked away from the food line because I was so shocked.  I left the party shortly after that, it was just to awkward to stay.  At my own brother’s house.  It’s actually rather irritating that he made me so uncomfortable that I left and he and his parents stayed to visit with my family.   Just one more testament to the fact that my brothers don’t really care that much about me I guess.  I made sure to tell him goodbye and that I was sorry he thought I was avoiding him.  Seriously?  I saw a meme on Facebook that said “You destroyed me and I apologized”.  Yep, I just did it again.  Crap.  His father gave me another big hug and his mother gave me a slightly less icy glare.  My father walked me to my car and said “I’m sorry to say this but I think maybe your marriage should have ended 10 years ago”.  Damn right!  But I wasn’t the person I needed to be in order to leave 10 years ago… but I am where God wants me to be right now.  My biggest hope is that since my father saw it maybe my brothers also saw how my ex treated me that weekend and that maybe their eyes opened a wee bit as to why I left him.  Although in the end that is not super important either, I know I did the right thing.

The week after we get back from the graduation my younger daughter had coffee with her father like she does every month and I took my older daughter out to dinner like I do every month.  He doesn’t even pay for my younger daughter’s coffee when they meet, he’s such a tightwad, lol.  My dinner with the older was was actually one of the nicest visits we’ve ever had, which I thought was very strange given the fact that she tried to have as little to do with me as possible just three days before…  My younger daughter’s coffee was much more exciting because her father introduced her to his girlfriend!  The girlfriend wants to be friends with our younger daughter and she’s not sure if she wants that but I told her to at least try it out – this gal might be the best thing that ever happened to her father and hopefully this girl will make him a better person.  It was curious to me that my very first emotion after hearing he has a girlfriend was relief.  I actually felt like a large stone had rolled off of my shoulders!  Maybe now he’ll stop being so angry with me – although judging by the fact that he had been dating this girl for some time before the graduation and he was still so angry with me at the graduation… that might not be a realistic hope.  I looked her up on Facebook and my second reaction was to laugh hard – she looks so young, I’ll bet she’s going to want kids!  The thought of him getting his vasectomy reversed for her and going through the whole infant and child-rearing thing again (knowing how “helpful” he was the first time around) really struck my funny bone and I just roared with laughter.  But ultimately I truly hope he finds someone that he genuinely loves and respects.  Maybe then he will become a decent human being and stop being so angry about everything all the time.  I wish him a good life with someone who loves him, I truly do.  I wish it for myself as well.

And now we’re up to the present.  Work is going well and I’ve had some amazing paychecks now that the weather is getting so hot.  I’m almost ready to list my trailer for sale and as soon as it sells I will be moving to Montana to be near my father and his wife – oh, and I started calling her Mom at Christmas.  I’m embarrassed it’s taken me this long to do it, she’s such a nice, kind lady who has always loved us kids as her own and I’m really looking forward to getting to know both her and my father better.  My bosses are still wonderful and thank God I’m not in love with either of the boys anymore, it was on-again-off-again for a while but I’m in a good place now and their entire family had a lot to do with getting me there.  They treat me like I’m a born sister to them, in fact they’re taking me with them to Las Vegas for the Fourth of July!  It’s me and six of their family members going and they’ve paid for everything – my plane ticket, hotel room, food, everything, they’re just amazing people and it will be sooo hard to leave them and not just because they buy me so much stuff but because I truly love them as my own family.

I know that I write all of this out for me, it’s how I process my life and sort things out in my head, but thank you for following me and for taking the time to read all of this.  I’m just an ordinary girl, trying to do the right thing every day.  Most of the time I feel like I succeed but some days I don’t.  I’m healthier now than I ever have been both emotionally and physically.  The one-year anniversary of the divorce came and went and I didn’t even notice it until a few days later.  I feel healed from my marriage and from my life before.  I wish you healing from your damage as well and blessings to you.

Dear Husband,

I told you I would think about our conversation on Monday and try to write you a letter so here goes. 

You asked “Why are you here?” and that’s what I’ve been thinking about most.  Why was I there?  Why do I keep agreeing to meet with you?  What am I trying to accomplish?  I really had to think about it.  You seem to believe that I hadn’t yet filed for divorce because deep down in my heart I want to commit to restoring our relationship to what it should have been.

Honesty requires that I say this is not true, as I believe I communicated to you on Monday.

So why was I still meeting with you?  Healthy communication has always been my main goal and I thought I’ve made that clear from the get-go.  But your question forced me to realize that it’s the only thing I want to accomplish from our meetings.  I don’t want to move back in with you and I don’t want our marriage to continue.  Therefore, as of today, I have stopped wearing my wedding ring and have contacted the legal team at the women’s shelter to start the process of filing for divorce.  I will not be meeting with you for dates or to talking to you about our relationship anymore. 

I’m sorry this is hurtful to you.

I will still need to pick up our younger daughter’s things from the house, if it would be more convienient to do that after I get off work on Friday, April 3rd so that you and our older daughter could be out of the house while I am loading up please let me know.  I will remove my totes of things from the house as soon as I can after returning from my trip.

Sincerely,
Me

Yesterday/Monday, was… was… well it was a lot of things.  It was my one and only day off this week so I:

Deposited my check, notarized a will, picked up a hot-spot to make up for my lack of internet at my sister’s apartment and went to the local glass-blowing art studio to ask about getting a couple of dishes custom made for my acrylic powder and monomer.

All of this was on my way to my first counseling appointment at the women’s shelter.  The nice thing was that I’ve seen this counselor last year for about 4 months so it was a lot easier to catch her up to where I’m at currently than if we had never met before.  One of the questions she asked is why I’m still meeting with my husband, what am I trying to accomplish by continuing to meet with him like this? 

I pondered her question all the way to the new nail salon I’m trying to get a job at.  I met with the owners, two brothers and a sister. I did a pedicure on one of the brothers and I did an acrylic fill on the sister.  The other brother said they would need to talk amongst themselves because they are all partners but he thought everybody liked me and would let me know if I can work there soon.  It’s a MUCH better salon, everything is super sanitary, much more upscale and spa-like than where I’m at now but in spite of the higher quality most of the services are only about $5 more expensive than where I’m at now.  The owner stressed repeatedly how much they are a family and if I came to work there I would be joining their family.  The comission is also 10% higher…  I REALLY want to work there!  The downside is that it’s a new salon, only been open for about 2 months, so they’re not very busy yet.  I asked if they thought I would be able to take home at least $200/week to cover my bills and they said yes so I’m willing to give them a shot.  Hopefully they’ll give me a shot as well!

When that was done I texted my husband that I would be late to our scheduled 5 pm meeting because I was still trying out at the new salon.  His response?  “As you wish”.  That should be this romantic reference to the Princess Bride but from him all I sense is sarcasm every time he says it.  Ugh.  I called him when I was done at the new salon to let him know that I was enroute to our meeting and his voice was terse and I felt like he was upset with me.  I arrived at our dinner location to find him waiting, as stoic as ever and oozing negativity.  Ugh again.  I ordered my meal – I have got to stop buying lots of food when we meet like this because as usual, I had about four bites and then lost my appetite so that was $20 bucks down the drain – and then we sat down to talk because this was a “talking meeting”. 

He said I called the meeting so what did I want to talk about, I asked him to tell me his thoughts/response to my letter defining emotional abuse and explaining why our relationship qualified as abusive.  The long and short of it is that he continues to believe that he was not abusive and has never abused me.

Apparently to him abuse is defined by whether or not the intention of the abuser is to be abusive or not.

I began to realize we will never see eye to eye on this topic.  And even though we didn’t bring up this time, we will never be on the same page regarding his church either.

Once again he pushed me for a commitment to restoring our marriage.  I finally told him, flat out, that the answer is no.  I am not committed to restoring our marriage and I do not want to be married to him any more.

That Guy tried to show up again but I didn’t fall for it this time.

He didn’t laugh in my face but it certainly felt like he was amused.  He said “Why Are You Here?  Clearly, you haven’t filed any paperwork yet so you must want this to work out in a corner of your heart.”

Time stopped.  Having been asked the same question twice in the same day demands an answer.  Why WAS I there?  What on earth was it I was trying to accomplish by being there, by agreeing to meet with him weekly?

I’ve been doing lots of soul-searching in the last 24 hours, trying to come up with whatever it is that won’t let me just let it go and move on.  I think I know but I’m going to kick it around for another day or two before I write it down.

Last Tuesday evening was supposed to be a “date night” where we go see a movie and not talk about our relationship.  After our last meeting on Friday – where That Guy did not show up – things were OK but stressful and we knew we needed to continue that conversation so instead of 100% “date night” we were planning to talk about us after the movie.  He had asked me if his church was a deal-breaker – I see it as he chose that particular church over me and he sees it as he is following God over doing what I want and neither one of us is willing to compromise on our viewpoints. Ultimately I decided that yes, his chosing his church over me was a deal-breaker and I was going to tell him so after the movie during our relationship talk time.

Tuesday afternoon, however, while my husband was at work I went to the house to sort through my younger daughter’s things because I’m going to drive down and see her and her new husband for Easter and want to bring as much of her stuff to her as I can.  It only took an hour and a half, I thought it would take a lot longer, and I managed to condense her belongings into three less boxes than they had been packed in, yay!  I’m hoping I can fit everything in my car, lol, that girl has a lot of stuff!   I was feeling good and happy about what I had accomplished but that didn’t last long…

While I was working on that my older daughter came in the room and said with a snitty tone of voice “Dad wants you to go through the basement so please tell me what you want to keep and what you want to throw away before you go.”  Because I finished my initial task with time to spare I decided to start on the basement.  An hour into it I had made a lot of progress and decided to keep going, I told my older daughter that she and her dad might want to go through the boxes I had set aside to donate because they might want to keep some of the things I had put in the boxes.  With a great deal of attitude (which is fairly normal for her) she said “Oh, everything is down here because we don’t want it but we can’t throw it away because we’re afraid you’ll get mad.” 

Well then.

I was really upset from her attitude and also because I knew that he intended to throw away everything I set aside to donate, just because he believes it’s easier, and my anger grew stronger. I probably could have started my own thrift store with what was in the donate pile, there was so much! I started working harder and faster and decided that I would stay at the house, working on the basement, until he came home about 5 pm and then I would tell him no movie, it’s over and I will be filing for divorce.

He came home and was surprised that I was still there.  My older daughter followed him into the basement when he came to say hi to me.  Can this child not give us some privacy?  I’m not going to talk about our relationship in front of her and I’m especially not going to inform him I’m filing for divorce in front of her so I keep working and give him short, brusk responses to his questions.  I am livid and clearly expressing it in my body language and tone of voice.  He slips away to take a shower and when he comes back to talk to me our older daughter is still upstairs.  Finally!

He says that it looks like I’ve made a decision and am separating my stuff to leave.  I tell him I’m angry about our older daughter’s words and attitude.  I also tell him that I’ve thought about it and yes, the church issue is a deal-breaker and it’s over.  I’m still grabbing things and flinging them into totes at this point.

“Don’t give up now just because you’re angry.”  He says.

Whaaaaaaat?  The anger allowed me to say my decision with unnatural  boldness but I certinaly didn’t make this choice in anger.

That Guy shows up again.  He asks what he can do.  I tell him that I want him to load his truck up with all the things I’ve set aside to donate and actually donate them and not throw them away like he normally does.  He doesn’t know where to donate them.  I tell him I’ll show him where to go.

By the time we get everything loaded into the truck my anger has completely spent my strength.  I am physically and emotionally worn out and I can tell that my brain is starting to shut down.  That Guy is still there.  I tell him I’m done talking about our relationship for the night.  We drop the stuff off at the thrift store and he offers to buy me dinner since we never made it to the movie.  I’m exhausted and hungry so I accept.

That Guy stayed for the rest of the evening and we had a very pleasant dinner.   I caught myself reaching for his hand walking out of the resturant to the car and managed to keep my hands at my side before he noticed.  We made arrangements to meet once a week and alternate “date nights” with talking about our relationship.

I got home and realized that I went from intending to end my marriage to meeting with him, not every two weeks like we previously agreed on, but EVERY WEEK! 

Apparently he can talk me into – or out of – just about anything…  I am suddenly wary of him and want to just send him a letter and end it all right now.

But I’m also really curious – did That Guy show up again because I was super, super angry?  If so I cannot maintain that level of anger for the rest of my life just to get That Guy to hang around.

I want to find out so I’ve invited my husband to accompany me to a movie tonight.  This is the first time I’ve initiated spending time together since I moved out so he’s probably on cloud nine right now but this really is a test.  Date Night rules will apply (no talking about our relationship, just fun and light-hearted spending time together, no holding hands) and I want to see who shows up – That Guy or my husband. The fact that there is a difference is heartbreaking and pretty much tells me that I need to start the filing process but in the meantime, I’m going to a movie and we’ll see who meets me there…

I had never seen any of the Pride and Prejudice movies so my sister introduced me to the one with Kiera Knightly in it.  My heart stirred, the love portrayed between Lizzy and Mr Darcy was so tender.  Is it possible there’s even a single grain of reality in it?  I want to weep at the sweetness of his love for her, and for my own loss at never experiencing it myself, but I dare not.  There’s a song that says “she fears if she cries that first tear the tears will not stop raining down” and that is exactly how I feel.  My best friend from high school tells me that not all men are like my husband and although she has never lied to me before this one is difficult for me to believe.  But oh, to be loved like that and to feel that love for them in return…

When is it OK to say I’ve tried hard enough and move on?

We met again at the resturant last night – same chain but a different location.  That Guy who met me last week did not show up tonight. 

Of course, that could possibly be laid at my feet (mostly) this time…  I wanted to meet him face to face to explain something I had done that I knew he wouldn’t be happy about and rather than pussyfoot around it all evening I started the night off with it.  In short – I did our taxes, as I have for nearly every year of our marriage, and what we decided to do with the tax return (before I left him) was to fix the bathrooms in the house.  The showers in both bathrooms were getting moldy and needed to be torn out and replaced.  He got a quote to repair them and said he needed X amount of dollars.  I did the taxes and lo and behold, they came out to a couple of hundred more than he said he needed.  Once again, God provides, yay!

That wasn’t the part where I did something he wouldn’t like.  That part comes in as I was going over the taxes one last time trying to make sure I didn’t have any errors that would cause it to be rejected.  I found some errors, for our girls I had clicked a wrong button that caused the tax software to say that our two children did not qualify as dependents.  When I unclicked the button the software counted them as dependents and, viola, more money was added to our tax return.  I fixed one more error and the total of “extra” money was $1100.  Yippee!  I decided to not tell him about the extra money, have it deposited into my personal bank account and use it to make a payment on my beauty school bill that I still owe $2,000 on.  The reason I decided not to tell him about my keeping the money to make a school payment with it is because he has never been the least interested in paying that bill with “our” money.  I have sold my personal possessions ( against his wishes) to make payments on that bill and because it is not paid in full the owners of the school have threatened to have my license revoked, something I didn’t know they could do.  Since I became a nail tech I have not yet made enough money to survive and pay my school bill but I fully intend to do so as soon as I can.  But back to the tax money, I really didn’t think he would find out about it…  the darn government sent two letters, one for each of us saying they had deposisted the money into two different accounts.  He opened his and then called me about it, all confused.  Yes, yes, I know, be sure your sins will find you out and all that…

So maybe the reason I didn’t see That Guy from last week was because I opened our conversation by jumping right into what I had done with the taxes. 

From there the conversation went to how dissapointed he was that I obviously didn’t trust him, why hadn’t just told him what I wanted to do with the extra money – he would have said yes to paying the school bill (yeah, right), how could he ever trust me when he keeps finding out things that I’ve done and hidden from him, yada yada, yada…

Yeah, it all went downhill pretty fast.

After that I decided to bite the bullet and talk about his church.  It was immediately obvious that neither of us had – or was going to – change our views on his church and then all chances of seeing That Guy again, probably for a very long time, dissapeared like mist after the sun rises.  After discussing his church for 5 – 10 minutes he decided that we would stop talking about the church because it was clear that nothing positive would come from the conversation.  Yes, you read that right, he decided to end that conversation and move on, not me.

From that point on we managed to have a fairly good conversation about other aspects of our relationship.  We even agreed to keep our “date” for this coming Tuesday.  I had previously agreed to go to a movie with him on the conditions that “dates” were to be fun, friendly hang-out times and that I would not be discussing relationship issues during those times.

Several things became very clear to me last night and I’m mulling them over and trying to decide what to do.  In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy the “dates” while they last and I’ve been invited to visit my younger daughter and her new husband for Easter so my time and attention will now be directed towards preparing for that trip.

My sister and I just finished watching “This Means War” with Chris Pine, Tom Hardy and Reese Witherspoon and if I had been her I would have totally chosen Tom Hardy’s character instead of Chris Pine’s character.  Last night my sister and I watched “Failure to Launch” and this whole last week or so has been full of movies that have happy, romantic endings.  No, we don’t have much else to do in this teeny, tiny apartment except watch movies all night…

I realized while watching these movies that I’ve never been “swept off my feet, head-over-heels in love”, except once in high school.  He was a senior and I was a junior and my mom told me I couldn’t date until after I graduated high so I told him I couldn’t go out with him.  That’s one thing I would change if I had my life to live over again.  Then again, he promptly stopped paying any attention to me and started dating a freshman so even though it seemed like true love at the time for me it obviously wasn’t true love for him.  Last I heard he had just gotten married to his second wife. 

I know some of my friends have found their one true love and while I’m happy for each of them I tend to view their relationship with their spouses as more of a fluke of nature than any sort of attainable goal.  Therefore, “happily ever after” movies make me suspcious of the hero and a little part of my heart is always screaming at the girl who’s swept off her feet “Don’t Do It!  It won’t last!  It’s not worth it!” 

I have great angst, I think I need a Xanax…  or two…  Stupid movies…

I really, really, really enjoyed the conversation I had with my husband at the resturant last week.  If he would just be that guy all the time there would be some serious potential for our relationship.  Because of his humble attitude and the things he said to me – not romantic things but honest things – I actually gave him my sister’s address where I am staying on the condition that he would not come to the door without an express invitation.  Now I kind of wish I hadn’t, I’m wondering if I can really trust him not to bang on the apartment door if he thinks we really need to talk.  I’m hoping he stays that guy he was at the resturant and that I can trust him but I’m honestly expecting that he’ll only stay “nice” for another few weeks and then go back to being that angry, wounded, selfish guy I’ve always known. 

Enough of me yearns for a relationship like I see in the movies to keep watching them and torturing myself with what I will probably never have in this lifetime.  The rest of me is so distrustful of men… I just don’t think it will ever happen.

Ever.