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Yep, that’s a phrase I overheard while giving someone a pedicure today.  It was spoken with sympathy and hopeless for the man the two women were discussing.  At first I laughed (only in my head, I didn’t want to seem like I was eavesdropping on their obviously private conversation) because it’s a funny word picture… but tonight it makes me cry because it pretty much describes me and embodies all my fears of being intimate in a future relationship.

My ex told our youngest daughter that I was “horrible” in bed.  It’s totally true, I will own that statement.  Our sex life was all about feeding his addiction and therefore not at all about meeting my sexual needs, not that I even knew I had sexual needs for the majority of our marriage…  Couple that with my childhood teaching that all sex outside of marriage was bad alongside no teaching whatsoever about what sex within marriage was supposed to consist of and my poor ex husband had 20+ years of me laying there like a log while he got his fix, sometimes multiple times a day.  A few times a year he would insist on bringing me to orgasm and a even fewer of those times it actually worked but it was a mechanical sort of thing on my end and a pride-soothing accomplishment on his.  So I own it, I am Bad In Bed.  But for him to tell our daughter makes him an outright Ass, something he refuses to own, although not what this post is about…

So one of the biggest reasons for staying single for the rest of my life is that I will never be made fun of or described to another person as being Bad In Bed.  I will never again feel that my sexual pleasure is more effort than it’s worth to another human being.  And honestly, my ex – being the one and only man I’ve ever slept with – he never really gave me any true sexual pleasure so if I went the rest of my life without it I wouldn’t really know what I’m missing and therefore be (mostly) ok with it.

Or at least that’s what I tell myself.

My friends at school looked at me with pity, love and concern when I told them I had 20 years of Wham, Bam, Thank You Ma’am.  One gal said “Oh honey, somebody’s going to rock your world!” and then they all tried to think of who they knew that I could date… <insert flat stare here>

But if my world is never rocked it will be easier to be alone.  I can stay a sack of potatoes in bed, breathing through my inspiration-for-alien-movies CPAP mask while tossing and turning all night long, so much so that my FitBit said I walked 50 steps last night…  All of this won’t bother anybody if there isn’t anybody to bother.

There isn’t even anybody to ask about having sex, especially again, after divorce.  Nobody in the church will talk about it, I can’t find a counselor who takes appointments in the evenings, when I’m out of school and I’m not comfortable talking to any of my friends about it.  So what do I do?  Watch porn as an instructional aid?  I mean I’ve seen it before, mostly in the earlier years of our marriage with the ex and it just never seemed like it was real, it’s so much of a show and a lot of yelling.  But seriously, I have no clue where to get this information – how am I going to know what guys like?  I’m not even sure what I like, how can I tell a guy what to do for me?  Are there rules about good sexual etiquette anywhere – should I be shaving or waxing or ???

I kind of feel like I need a class, or what would be really helpful is a sex therapist or maybe even a surrogate – someone to practice with that I have no emotional connection to so they could teach me what to do – and what not to do, help me get over my insecurities through practice and encouragement…  But that would probably be the most unacceptable thing of all, at least in the church anyway.  It would come down to paying for sex, soliciting a male prostitute… But I feel like it’s what I need.  Regardless though, I wouldn’t even know where to find one so that’s kind of a moot point.

In the end, I am that sack of potatoes.  I don’t know how to be anything else, I’m not sure I CAN be anything else without help and there’s no help out there.  So, if I ever manage to date someone… and it develops into a real relationship… and I trust him… and he loves me as much or more than my best friends do… then yes, I plan on sleeping with him.  Or should I be completely transparent – I plan on having sex with him.  Because the one thing I refuse to do ever again is to chain myself to another marriage bed occupied by a sex addict.  So if I have sex with this future, possibly non-existent guy AND he doesn’t run away screaming… and I don’t run away screaming… then, maybe, I’ll marry him.  Poor bastard.

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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!

I hurt all the time and I’ve been having troubles with my back, hips and knees so my massage lady (one of my nail customers) has recommended that I stretch more.  When I left my husband I was 217 pounds, the heaviest I’d ever been and after I left him I lost just over 30 pounds and really enjoyed the way I looked.  Then, almost exactly a year ago I had a hysterectomy and started gaining the weight back.  Somehow my tummy has become the biggest part of me and I think it’s trying to be it’s own person… I wish it would hit those teenager years and run away from home sometime soon…

To be fair, when I lost the weight I wasn’t eating well or hardly at all and so I never felt very good while I was looking nice.  After the surgery I couldn’t do much for six-ish weeks except sit, watch movies and eat so it was easy to gain the weight back again.  Now, I’ve sold my trailer-house, packed all of my earthly possessions into two mini-storage units and I’m living with a friend and her family until it’s time for me to move in January.  Bless their hearts, they don’t really have space for me but they’re letting me stay with them anyway.  I sleep on a real bed (wahoo! I’d been on an air mattress for the last 5 months) and live out of my suitcases on the floor – there is no room to stretch out and/or exercise soooooo I joined the YMCA today.

The scale at the Y put me at 218 pounds, officially at my heaviest and knowing that I am officially larger than I have ever been was very depressing and I could almost see my image in the mirror plumping outwards until saw myself as the white, fat chick version of the Pillsbury Dough Boy.

Oh dear God, save me, I’m so big…

I sat in the hot tub for a while and then I went to the not-cold pool and waved my arms and legs around under the water in an effort to accomplish this thing called exercise.  I did it until I was out of breath and figured that was a good start for a girl who hadn’t burned a purposeful calorie in most of 43 years.  Back to the locker room where I showered and changed into my comfy, baggy clothes and then, much to my delight, I found a little tiny area in the women’s locker room that had some exercise equipment in it so I didn’t have to go into the main exercise area (where there were a bunch of guys) so I used two of those machines for a little while and then I went back to my friend’s place feeling good about myself because yes I did, I exercised!

So now I’m contemplating life, the universe and everything.  I’m trying to have as little debt as possible when I  move – I’ve paid off a bunch of things and an working on the rest.  I still have to file my taxes from last year because I owe, for the first time i my life I owe on my taxes, grr!  I was not expecting that so it was one more kick in the teeth from the divorce…

Speaking of the ex, he is getting re-married in February and our younger daughter is having a really tough time with it.  I keep telling her that she needs to give her future step-mother a chance, that this gal could actually be a nice person, but it’s still difficult for my daughter to wrap her head around.  I hope he and his fiance are very happy together and that she is everything he ever wanted and needs because I know I sure wasn’t – but neither was he those things for me.

My love life is  non-existent, I’ve purposefully tried not to date (although it isn’t hard, I have yet to find a single person interested in taking me out on a date) because for the last year I’ve been planing on moving out of state and it would be just rude to start a relationship and then leave.  I have slight hopes that I will find a Cowboy Charming in Montana but ultimately I’m not expecting anything to happen.  I seem to be one of those people that “everybody” loves but nobody wants to date all at the same time.  It’s OK.  Ever since I left him I have been relieved to the point of tears that I don’t have to have sex with anyone anymore.  Ever.  Unless I Want To.  Which I haven’t…

Yep, sex is still a pretty big button with me.  Hopefully I can find a good counselor in Montana, another thing I’ve put off because “I’m moving” and didn’t want to start with a counselor here and then have to switch to someone new just after I’m starting to make some progress.  Ugh.

I’m excited about the move but I’m also nervous and a little scared.  I have no job or housing there, no friends or family in the exact town I’m moving to, as of yet I don’t have any financial aid or student loans secured because I haven’t filed my taxes from last year.  The school I plan on attending starts January 23rd and I’m planning on moving in exactly four weeks.  Oh boy.  But I’ve trusted God to get me this far and His timing has been perfect, I know He will continue to provide for me and everything will be good.

Oh Lord, help me.  My husband went out-of-state Friday and will come back late today (Monday).  On the phone he asks me  “Do you miss me?”

I had to answer yes.  It’s a lie but how could I possibly tell him “No”?

The Truth, which in this case would make my life far more difficult and complicated rather than setting me free, is that it’s been a glorious weekend without him and I didn’t miss him a bit.  It was truly a stay-cation because he was gone although saying that would be mean and uber-hurtful to him.

Friday was a super-late night and so Saturday I slept until 3 pm – normally by noon he can’t stand it that I’m still in bed and comes to wake me up and make me “be part of the family”, which consists of me making everyone a meal and then sitting upstairs in the living room and watching movies together for the rest of the day.  Honestly, I’d rather go back to bed and sleep the day away because between my sleep apnea and insomnia I need sleep far more than I need to sit with my family and watch movies…especially when we don’t hardly speak 10 words to each other all day.  “Family time” indeed .  Sunday I was ready to wake up at 10 am because I had actually slept enough on Saturday!  I also didn’t go to church Sunday because he wasn’t here to make me go.  (I’ve noticed that when I’m out-of-town on a Sunday, most of the time, he doesn’t go to church either so I find it somewhat hypocritical of him to feel it’s necessary for me to go all the time but whenever I’m not there he stays home…but that’s another post…)  I even got to spend some 0ne-on-one time with each of my children and also with our adopted neighbor girl, which was loads of fun and something I’ve never  been able to do before.

Even though it’s after midnight and officially Monday for me it’s still Sunday night because my pills haven’t kicked in yet and I’m not asleep… but my husband comes home “tonight”.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not dreading it, I’m just mentally mourning the end of my free time.  For all the smack I talk about him he is trying really hard to be a nicer guy, including going to counseling, telling a select group of men about his addiction and they are doing a good job of holding him accountable.  He’s railing in his temper more and apologizing when he fails to keep it under control – both to me and our girls.  He says he loves me more, which is nice but there’s no passion behind it, they’re just words in the same way that there is no passion in our intimacy, it’s just sex to keep his hormones under control.  He’s a pretty good roommate and I enjoy his company but I don’t miss him when he’s gone…or when I’m gone.

I think he has wounded me too much for me to have any kind of passion for him and I don’t think he ever knew how to have passion for a woman, not any of his past girlfriends and definitely not for me, his wife.  What he may think is his passion for me I’ve only ever seen as lust for sex.  He is finally, after 19 years of marriage, trying to dampen his sex drive and create some sort of passion but at the moment it’s too little, too late and I’m completely uninterested.

I don’t want a divorce, I don’t want a lover and I’m not homosexual.  I think I just want a little bit of space.  I want it to be OK that I don’t like sex.  I want it to be OK that I don’t want to spend every moment with my husband and children.  I want it to be OK that I like my husband and children…but not love them. I feel like wanting those things makes me ungodly and that makes me wonder if I’m really saved.

I think my heart must have a broken piece or two in it because it sure doesn’t love like everybody else’s does.  I am damaged and I’ve been in Survival Mode, or Self-Preservation Mode or whatever else you want to call it for most of my life that my real heart is buried so deep and so far away that I don’t even know how to find it.  And should I ever find it, how would I break down the walls I built around it?  It is too much for me, my walls are stronger than I am because I poured parts of myself into making the mortar and stones and now those parts are gone from me, they fortify my walls and no longer strengthen me.

“Do You Miss Me?”  My poor family, they deserve better than a broken wife and mother but I’m the only one they’ve got.  I deserve better than a dysfunctional family but they are the only one I’ve got…and my husband and I are equally responsible for its dysfunction just as my mother and father were equally responsible for the dysfunctional family I grew up in.

There must be more than this but I don’t even have the will to look for it anymore.  All I want to do is get the girls grown up and on their own and then we’ll see what sort of relationship can be built with their father when it’s just the two of us.

I made a promise, 19 years ago, till death do us part.  When your heart dies but your body lives on – does that count?  Dry Bones, you will live again – I have to believe…I just have to believe.

WARNING – VERY CANDID MARRIAGE POST…

So over the last week or so my husband has said to me several times:  “I know I’m the head of the household but I’ve let you be more in charge (of our sex life) for this period of time (the 2 months I gave him to deal with his pornography addiction and to stop being controlling and selfish – I want to see that he’s put serious effort into changing his ways)”.  That statement he has made several times makes me think that he feels like he’s “giving” me control that is rightfully his and aint he such a grand guy for doing so…  And then just the other day he said it again but added this little gem to the end “but the day after this is over we’re going to have sex 8 times.”

I wanted to throw up.

And then he tried to say it was a joke – because he’s not a young man any more and the best he can manage is twice.

I just may take up drinking…

The next night I asked him for clarification on that statement and he came up with some gibberish about “now that I like it more” he expected we would be having sex more often than once a week (as per our current agreement) but less than we were before the two months (which was at least daily, sometimes twice).  I don’t like sex any more or less than I did before I confronted him on his addiction, which is to say I could take it or leave it and be perfectly happy either way for the rest of my life.

His heart is not changing, he’s become a wolf in sheep’s clothing to make me think that what I want is important to him too and that his addiction is not in control of him anymore.  My heart is changing.  I want this marriage to work less and less with each passing day.

The “official” Two Months ends April 6th, a mere 15 days away and the whole Prince Charming Act stopped approximately a week ago, which means he “changed” for about 5 weeks, breaking his previous record of being super nice for 3 weeks.  It was amazing while it lasted but the “I Love You’s” have almost dried completely, he rarely says it in person but he will still say it at the end of phone calls although it’s more of an afterthought now because he says “Goodbye. <pause>  I-love-you-goodbye.”

The non-sexual touching requirement started as long nightly back rubs (which were really nice) where he carefully avoided my girly areas and have now become much shorter back rubs followed by longer periods of sexual touching and then he says “We don’t have to unless you want to”.  Really?  You mean I actually have a choice after all of that?  He’s started coming into the shower with me, uninvited, so we can “soap each other up” and “spend time together”.  This morning I said no to a joint shower and he said “Well can we have sex then?”  He is still sooooooo addicted and has been trying very hard to fill that void with just seeing and touching me but it’s not working, I know where this is going – we’re headed right back to me being his blow-up doll and after that stops being enough he’ll be getting his jollies on the computer again.

He is still going to his addiction counselor but says it’s “not very helpful” and encourages me to stop going to my counselor since I’m not coming home with glowing reports of major change in my life after my sessions with her.  When I mentioned that after our 6 free sessions through the EAP were over that we should go marriage counseling together he was completely shocked and made it clear that he feels that we shouldn’t need counseling past our 6 free sessions, in fact, he isn’t sure he wants to complete the 6 free ones…

My counselor gave me a book about boundaries, it was from the 80’s and a quick easy read.  I read it and then gave it to him and he read it and said “This is anti-men and pro-feminist, why don’t you find a Christian book about this topic?”  So I went to the Christian bookstore and found “Boundaries in Marriage” by two Christian doctors – Dr Townsend(?) and Dr Cloud(?), and I read it on the bus commuting to work and it was excellent, very much based in scriptures and balanced in dealing with both men and women’s boundary issues.  After reading BIM I can totally see how I’ve never really had my own identity (they call it “boundaries” in the book) and it provides an amazing, Biblical explanation for the “Two shall become one” scripture.  The BIM book says that each person has to be a whole person in themselves, so we need “two-ness” before they can ever successfully “become one”.  I don’t think I’m putting it exactly right so please to read the book yourself but I tried to explain it to my husband this way “Because of the ‘two shall become one’ scripture I gave up being myself to be you when we got married because you are the head of the household and I thought that was what I was supposed to do.”  His response?  “No, you gave up yourself to become ‘us’, just as I gave up myself to become ‘us’.”  I was flabbergasted.  What on earth did he give up about being himself when we got married?

Now I’m just getting mad.

I gave him the BIM book to read so he reads the opening statement and then asks me in an angry sort of way “Are you having me read this because I need fixing or is this because we both need fixing?”  Wow.  The book helped me see how my upbringing has created me to be a person with very few, if any, boundaries – essentially I’ve been a giant doormat my whole life.  I told him this and that the book is helping me deal with me but I want him to read it for himself AND for us.  He says “OK, I guess I’m just a little paranoid, sorry.”  So he has the book but I never see him reading it…

Oh – to top everything off my eyelids have started twitching.  For about a month my left upper eyelid would contract randomly and just feel weird and just yesterday my right upper eyelid started doing the same thing.  I looked it up online and stress is listed as a possible cause of eyelid tics/twitches.  Wonderful.

Anyway, a miracle is still possible, I totally believe that because anything is possible with God, but if He’s going to do a miracle to fix my husband He’s also going to have to do a miracle to change my heart as well because I want less and less to be a part of this marriage as time goes by.  This isn’t worth it.