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“Doesn’t play well with others”

It might as well be tattooed onto my forehead.

In an effort to meet people my age who might have the same interests, I joined a Facebook group. I lurked for awhile to get a feel for the group and it seemed fine. The people are of both sexes and the only requirements are that they live in Oregon and be over 40. Sounds good, right?

And it was until a woman posted that her divorce was final that day, and while she left with her children because of his substance abuse, she still felt sad about the end of her marriage. She left when she realized that she had “stopped living” and his constant demands for money (she worked, he, of course, did not) meant that her kids were going hungry.

I was in the middle of composing a, “Way to go! Congratulations! You did the right thing for you and your children,” response when someone else (a woman, surprisingly) jumped in with a caustic paragraph condemning the newly-liberated woman for leaving her man when he was at his lowest. “You wouldn’t leave if he had cancer, would you? Alcoholism is the same thing. You’re a horrible person who will burn in hell.” or words to that effect.

Red flag in front of a bull! To compare substance abuse to cancer is not only ignorant, but cruel to a person who is still raw from being a victim of it at the hands of the man she meant to spend the rest of her life with.

I fired off an “I call bullshit on your comparison and here’s why…” reply and sat back to see what would happen. Several others joined in to tell Sarah Sunshine (yes, that’s her name) she was wrong to abuse another member of the group and that she needed to back off. She kept on, berating everyone who disagreed with her in rapidly escalating language. And then she started throwing around the c-word. Yep. She called three women posting to the thread cunts and said that she would rather shoot up a speed ball and follow it with a shot of vodka than be in a relationship with any of us narrow-minded, judgmental cunts.

That’s when the moderator of the group deleted the post.

Okay, fine. It did get out of control and name calling is the lowest form of debate. But then he posted (twice) telling everyone that he wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior and blah, blah, blah. Okay, I get it, but he was rather condescending, and to post twice? Really? He posted again this morning saying that he had some new moderators and there would be a crackdown on “inappropriate content.” Several people started asking in the comments what exactly that meant (as if he hadn’t already outlined his New Rules in the previous posts.) It got silly very quickly and I commented that I would never post anything I wouldn’t say to anyone’s face and couldn’t we all just act like adults?

My comment was deleted about ten minutes later. No warning, no questions asked, just gone. The new moderator posted an apology to another member for deleting his comment before reading it thoroughly. What? Someone else chimed in, asking WTF was going on with the comment deleting and I asked why my comment had been deleted as it was a harmless eye-roll.

I was told, with a shout out for all to see, that I was welcome to leave if I didn’t like my comments being deleted for no reason.

And so I left the group. This always happens. I’m also a thread killer – if I comment on something, very soon everyone quits posting. I dunno. I don’t think I’m especially combative online – I really don’t type anything I wouldn’t say to your face and I don’t mean to piss people off or whatever it is I do, but there ya go.

What say you? Did I do the right thing? Am I just being paranoid and/or crazy?

 

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“Relax” Part Whatever

Thankfully The Flood has abated. Who knew telling 900+ people all about the workings of my Lady Bits would shut the faucet off? Obviously I need to be telling y’all every little thing – maybe shit would start to happen 🙂

Before we get to my scheduled post, just let me relate one more work-related irritation. On Friday, the server went down at the office. No problem – I saved my drawings to my hard drive. When the problem hadn’t been fixed by 11:30 and my work was done, I left. I saw The Boss’ truck parked in front of the office on Sunday but didn’t have time to stop by to tell him the latest drawings were on my hard drive because I had somewhere more interesting to be. I don’t keep his cell phone number in my phone, so I didn’t bother to call, either. WTF he was doing at the office on a Sunday defies all logic anyway.

So I came in to work this morning and went immediately into his office (before the weekly staff/planning meeting I am no longer invited to) to ask if he’d changed the drawings and to explain the situation. Turns out he HAD made changes to the drawings and appeared a bit irritated that I hadn’t let him know I’d saved the files on my hard drive. BUT the architect changed his floor plan (again – surprise!) necessitating a bunch of changes that voided all the work I’d done on Friday. Of course, The Boss asked me what I’d done on Friday (your redlines, duh!) and was not happy about the situation, but in the end no harm, no foul.

No biggie, right? Well…no, it’s just fine with me to get paid to do the exact same work over and over again, but the $ doesn’t make up for the irritation and frustration my job makes me feel. I gotta get something more stimulating going on or I will lose my mind.

Ahem. Okay. Where was I? Oh, yes. The Thing I haven’t written about at all. For awhile there was A Boy. No, that’s not a misnomer – he turned out to be nothing more than a lying little child. No, he’s not the cause of any of my stress (which is considerably diminished thanks to getting it all out there on the blog) but now he’s gone I have a little less.

Let me explain. We met online. He seemed normal enough, a bit quirky, but in a good way. He gave off none of the Red Flag vibes I’m hyper aware of. I figured, why not have a fling? We’re all adults here and I can do what I want, right? So long as we’re both on the same page it’s all good, right?

He lives 90 minutes North of me, so I drove to see him. I never invited him to see me because Towanda is a Penis-Free Zone (until now, what with The Kid living there and all, but it’s different, right?) and I didn’t want to go there anyway.

I introduced myself to him as Sofia and somehow I neglected to tell him my real name until it became awkward to do so. He was a bit shocked, but by that time he’d been telling me little white lies for awhile and I refused to be upset by it. Even his mother said, “that boy was born with a Tall Tale on his lips!” And therein lies the reason I’m no longer seeing him – he’s a compulsive liar. About everything. Oh, it’s not all malicious, but we had agreed early on to be honest with each other, and I had been. Maybe even a little bit mean if he asked for my opinion.

Anyway. It was fun. Then it wasn’t. I was done in January after we went to Las Vegas to stay at one of his timeshares. I’d never been and he talked like we were going to have a great five days. It would be an adventure! I paid $250 for Sabu to go to Sleep-Away Camp and drove up to his place. When I arrived he was in bed. He had “thrown out [his] back” and needed to go to the chiropractor before we left for the airport. Fine. I drove. He was obviously in pain. I offered to cancel the trip but he insisted that he would be fine once his back was fixed – this had happened before.

We got to the chiropractor’s office. He did not have an appointment but they take walk-ins. The receptionist asked to see his insurance card. He claimed to have forgotten his wallet (I had seen him put it in his pocket) and told her he would call her with the info as soon as he got home. He also lied about where he worked (he was laid off at the time) and gave some other false info. Uh-huh. The Doc took him into another building and I got creeped out by the looks I was getting in the waiting room so I went to wait by the car. I kept an eye out so I could tell him I wasn’t in the waiting room when he came out and when he saw me, he came directly to the car and did not check back in with the receptionist. Since the info he gave her was false, he just got himself a free chiropractor appointment. I was livid, but he was in pain and pain can make people do odd things.

So. The trip should have been cancelled, but we went and he basically slept the whole time. When he was awake, he was a dick to everyone we encountered. We had a war over the thermostat in the room (he wanted it cranked all the way up with the tub filled with boiling hot water – it was like a sauna and I couldn’t breathe) he refused to go out for food but we did to the “Party Weekend” dinner and show* and he dragged me on the rides at the top of the Stratosphere (just to laugh at me, I’m convinced) but otherwise he was asleep. He hadn’t packed any clean clothes or underwear (who does that?!?) It was just awful. I understand he was not feeling well, but he should have cancelled the trip instead of being such a dick. He should have gone to a doctor like I asked, but he’s a grown man, right? I couldn’t force him to seek treatment so I kept my mouth shut.

Anyway. I didn’t hear much from him the following week and went up to see how he was feeling on the following Saturday. He was not awake. At 11:00 in the morning. He knew I was coming and he couldn’t be bothered to be awake? I figured he must be really ill and set off the house alarm so he’d be forced to get up. Long story about the alarm. He stumbled out, let me in and apologized about the mess. I won’t even go there. He was obviously drugged to the gills. He couldn’t stay awake and refused to go to the emergency room. He said all he needed was sleep. The house was a wreck and I was pissed, so I left. Sad texts from him later so I lied and said that he told me to leave. I told him to text me when he was feeling better and that, I thought, was that.

The following week I get a text from him saying that he’s in hospital and has been for five days. WTF? He didn’t seem that bad off when I saw him last. Or is this another lie to get sympathy? You see, the stories he told should have been verifiable online (they were that big) and they were not, so I questioned everything he’d ever said. I asked what hospital, etc. and called to make sure he was indeed there. He was. Well, crap. Now I felt bad. I promised to go up the next weekend and see him.

The next weekend arrived and I drove up. He was in the ICU – his bowels had quit working and they’d done emergency surgery the night before. I met his step-dad and got the whole sad story. I thought maybe having a near-death experience would change him. He said he felt like he was getting a second chance and that he wanted to be a better person, etc. etc. etc. So I visited regularly during his hospital stay and even drove three hours (each way) to visit him at his parent’s house. They are nice people, but not really my kind of people. I felt obligated, though.

He was finally cleared to go home and take care of himself and I went to see him. He was asleep when I got there. He slept most of the time I was there but I spent the night because it was too late to drive home (I don’t like driving in the dark for any long distance.) Next weekend, wash, rinse, repeat. I suffered through one more weekend so I could use his power tools to make a pair of sawhorses. Hey, I’m no dummy and he owed me, dammit!

He was cleared to start work and took a job for a “friend” who has an old house that needed some plumbing repairs. The Boy is a bit of a Jack-of-all-Trades and could not yet resume full time work. He told me that this guy, Jerry, has a 1920’s shower that needed a new faucet-gizmo. He gave The Boy $150 and instructions to order it from a specialty restoration company. The Boy went on eBay and found “the same part” for one third the price and pocketed the money. He was bragging when he told this story.

I was aghast. I said, “you’re cheating this guy and it’s gonna come back to bite you on the ass…”

“No, it won’t! I do this stuff all the time! If people are stupid enough to pay stupid-high prices when they could shop eBay, they deserve to lose their money.” He was proud of himself!

I was all done feeling bad for The Boy at this point, but curious to see how this little farce would play out, so I found reasons not to visit the next few weeks but stayed in touch via text. And then the lies came home to roost.

Via text –

Him: Once again I made a mistake and misread a person.

Me: What’s up?

Him: The guy I’m working for refused to pay me. Since it’s under the table I have no license, bond, insurance. I’m not the leg breaking kind of guy so he gets off scott free. I should have known better.

Me: Are you telling me the whole story? Surely there’s more to it than that?

Him: Nope. Everything was fine yesterday and now today he won’t pay me.

Me: Did he give a reason?

Him: No. He just kept saying ‘get off my property, you’re trespassing’ over and over again.

Me: Ah! Is this the plumbing job?

Him: Yes.

Me: Well…you cheated him. You went on eBay and found “the same part” and kept the extra money. Where else did you cut corners?

Him: True. Karma?

Me: Ah…yeah. You fucked this one up all by yourself.

Him: So I can’t play the victim part here, huh?

Me: No, not with me. Surely this has happened to you before?

Him: No. This is the first time.

Me: You’re splitting hairs. You’ve done this sort of shit before and been caught. You’re denying it to make yourself look good and I don’t buy it.

Him: True. Guess I need to get my head on straight…

And nothing else for a couple of days. Then I get a text saying he wants to tell me something but he can’t do it via text. It’s a phone conversation. Fine. Whatevs. I didn’t care and was still fuming over him thinking I’m gonna give him sympathy about his little cheating scam.

He scheduled the call three evenings in a row but failed to call at the appointed time. Always had an excuse via text. I really didn’t care.

Finally he called, late, but he did call. He started in about “misjudging people” and how something else had happend and OMG life is so hard, blah, blah, blah, again and I just lost it.

“I don’t even care about that,” I said. “I need to go back to the plumbing job. We need to talk about that.”

He was plainly not prepared to shower me with lies about that. “Uh…okay…”

I repeated the story as I knew it. “Is that right?” I asked.

“Well, yes, but you make it sound so bad…I don’t even know what to say here…”

“Right. That whole mess is a deal-breaker for me. I don’t have people in my life who think it’s okay to cheat people that way. Good bye.” And I hung up.

He didn’t even have the wits to apologize. For anything. It was fun for awhile, but damn am I glad I’m still single!

There were many more instances that should have ended it for me, but I was curious to see where he would go when I started to call him on his bullshit. I mean, honesty was our bargain in the beginning and I kept to my part no matter what, which felt really great, I have to say, but he couldn’t tell the truth about anything, even stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. I refuse to have that kind of crap in my life. Unless it’s related by blood, apparently, because The Kid is still on my couch.

So I gave The Kid his ultimatum on Thursday evening when I was sure he was sober. August 3 is his move-out date unless he’s working and paying me $200 per month rent. Six months is long enough for anyone to find some kind of paying work if they apply themselves and I’m soooo done with this Mom Gig. I told him I would drive him back to The Big City and drop him off or he could just walk out the door but he would no longer be welcome to live with me. He hid his panic pretty well and I haven’t mentioned it since. If he thinks I’ve forgotten he’ll get a very rude awakening come August 3 when I show him the door. Let’s see if this lights a fire under his ass 🙂

*Jeff Dunham. Fantastic!

 

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“Relax…” Part Two

A lot of things have been going on here that I haven’t blogged about, mainly because I am tired. So very tired. All you men can just stop reading here unless you want way too much information about the workings of the female reproductive system.

Okay?

Those who are squeamish have left, right?

Good. That leaves the sympathetic and the curious. Perfect.

So. I’m 46 this year. We all know what that means, right? I’m of the age where all those wonderful Changes start happening that herald the end of my child-bearing years and the beginning of Real Freedom from the plagues of women. Right? What a load of horseshit!

I want to lodge an official complaint to who-the-fuck-ever informs society about the “most common” symptoms of menopause. Dude, you suck!

Oh, sure, we’ve all heard about Hot Flashes, right? Great news – only about 30% of women experience hot flashes, and that’s the most common symptom we all hear about. Hot flashes and night sweats. I’m usually cold, so those don’t sound so bad. And, no, that’s not what I’m talking about today. Nope.

You occasionally hear that your periods will get lighter, irregular, and then stop altogether. When you haven’t had a period for 12 consecutive months, you’re officially in menopause and done with all that messy business. Right?

WELL! The symptoms no one talks about (except women on various internet boards who are all shocked and horrified, apparently) are the two I’m experiencing at the moment – flooding periods and peri-menopausal rage. I don’t know if one isn’t caused by the other, but I suspect they go hand-in-hand.

I’ve had regular periods all my life. Like you could set your watch by them. Seriously, totally predictable. A few years ago I went in for my usual Yearly Exam. The doc told me I could expect my periods to get erratic and likely much lighter in the next few years. It’s like the words went from her lips directly to my uterus and the irregularities began. Nothing too shocking, just not on schedule, but lighter, so that was a great bonus!

Not long after I left the narc, I missed completely for three months. There was no way I was pregnant, so I counted my blessings and was a bit disappointed when they started up again, slightly irregular, but back to my normal.

I missed February, March and April this year and was pleasantly surprised, but since there was no way I was pregnant, I didn’t think too much about it. In May it  came back a little more severe – more PMS than usual, heavier bleeding, but nothing too strange.

But then! June 7 (about a week early) it started. With a vengeance. At first I didn’t make much of it. Maybe it was a little heavier than usual, but no biggie, right?

And then it was quite a bit heavier than usual. No panic, this never lasts more than five days and I can do five days of pretty much anything.

That was when the flood began. It went on and on. And on and on. A full week. Still, no biggie, this is to be expected at this stage in my life. But it didn’t stop. It was heavy and oh-my-god-surely-I’m-dying heavy. Then nothing overnight. Whew! It’s over, right? Nope. It’s freaking Niagra Falls down there, if Niagra Falls were prominently featured in a slasher flick.

Today marks Day 18. A bit of online research reveals that it can go on much longer or stop at any time. It can never happen again or start up again at any time. Either/or and/or both at once. Lovely. AND I can expect this to go on for 4-10 years! Halla-freakin-looya. Being female sucks.

Besides the irritation of going to the toilet and having it look like a crime scene, there’s the expense of all the pads I go through.

From a website (they all agree on this info):

The usual length of menstrual bleeding is four to six days. The usual amount of blood loss per period is 10 to 35 ml. Each soaked normal-sized tampon or pad holds a teaspoon (5ml) of blood. That means it is normal to soak one to seven normal-sized pads or tampons (“sanitary products”) in a whole period.

Srsly? So I pay way too much money for pads that only soak up a teaspoon of liquid? How many drops is that? I’ll save you the Googling – one teaspoon equals 76 drops. Okay. So each pad soaks up 76 drops. Lemme tell you this – Flooding Periods can produce as much as 2 cups! How many drops is that? Yep – 4,732 drops per cup, for a total of 9,464 drops. Divide that by 76 and you get 124.52 pads. I wish I was kidding. Two pads per hour sometimes and it shows no sign of stopping. It’s a laugh riot around here, lemme tell you.

Now, being smarter than the average bear, I use a FemmeCup, which holds 7.5 – 15 ml, so more than two pads, which makes it a bit more convenient, but it still has to be emptied every couple of hours and if I miss that, well, it gets really messy, really quick. Good thing I have a good stain stick for the laundry!

If all of this becomes too inconvenient, I can opt for birth control pills (which may or may not work to bring my cycles back to a predictable rhythm and which have many terrible side effects, naturally much more severe considering my age and that I smoke) an IUD (with more side effects and which may not work but could result in a host of really nasty problems) a D&C (which may or may not work and can result in severe pain and other side effects) a hysterectomy (just what I need – invasive surgery which will knock my hormones into all kinds of insanity but will bring on menopause proper) or various other drugs that may or may not work but will have side effects that may or may not make life unbearable.

All the websites agree that I should go see the doc and have a host of tests done, some invasive, some not so much, all of which will confirm that I am indeed Peri-menopausal and this is just the beginning of the next chapter of my life. With the wait to see a doc around here, I think I’ll pass on that one.

ALSO, I’m probably anemic, which can lead to a bunch of complications, including fainting. Yay! I bought some multivitamins and iron tabs today at lunch time to try to head that off before it becomes a problem. It does explain the fatigue, though.

Which brings us back to the Peri-menopausal Rage that I mentioned. Yeah. That’s not something anyone warns you about. My moods are all over the place and I would cheerfully choke the life out of my own child if it meant my uterus would quit gushing blood for just a few hours. I’m not even kidding. So far I haven’t acted out, but I think I chipped a tooth biting back words that I really didn’t want to speak to someone with a penis who was being especially stupid in that moment. Or maybe he wasn’t being stupid. Who can even remember? It was…something…whatever. The rage has passed, for now, but I know it will be back.

The good news is that I haven’t had any hot flashes or night sweats! Yay?!? Or will that be the next cross to bear?

Oh, but wait! There’s more stress. Tune in tomorrow for Part the Third.

 

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“Relax,” she says…

I spent the weekend at Mom’s, helping with her annual neighborhood yard sale. My Sis gave me a (belated) birthday card. On the front is a cartoon woman doing yoga. It reads, “Life is a lot like Yoga. Relax. Be Flexible…” The inside reads, “…and try not to Fart.” Funny, yes? Underneath she wrote, “Really…relax a little!”

I asked a couple of friends if I seem tense. They glanced at each other, panic in their eyes, and replied that I seemed just fine, while giving me the Side Eye.

Huh. I guess people are noticing that I’m a bit…stressed? More aggressive than usual? A bit more outspoken about douchebags and their assholery? Less tolerant? Sigh.

Okay, let’s get it all out there, then, shall we? I am a bit stressed, but my reasons are sound, IMHO. Tell me if I’m wrong, ‘k?

Reason The First: My son is still on my couch. He is still unemployed. He says that he’s looking for work, but he’s been growing out of my couch for almost four-and-a-half months now. He worked for maybe one of those months. He has not paid any rent. He has food stamps for food, so he’s not draining my resources there. He has paid his cell phone bill only once since he’s been here (I can’t just stop paying it as he will need a phone to schedule all those job interviews that aren’t happening.) His feet smell because he wears an old pair of boots that probably have enough genetic material in them to become fully animate any day, therefore, Towanda smells. He does not feel the need to shower every day – it’s a waste of water, he says*, therefore the first thing I encounter when I get home from work is Man Smell.** He will not do any type of housework until I have okay-ed it. Explicitly. Yes, you can wash the dishes any time you want to – please trouble yourself to get them clean, though, ‘k?!? Yes, by all means take out the trash and recycling. Feel free to vacuum any time you get the urge, ‘k? Gaaaaahhhhhhh!

So he spends all his time, as far as I can see, playing games on his computer, using my Wi-Fi, watching TV and generally amusing himself. He doesn’t go anywhere. I don’t believe he’s looking for work but can’t prove it. He just sits there on the couch, silent for the most part, living inside his head, convinced everyone in the world is “stupid” and “useless.” There is no reason to get up, go somewhere, do something, become a functioning part of society. It’s all just a waste of time. He isn’t suicidal, though. He can be coaxed into conversation of a limited sort but would really rather be left alone. Right. It’s like I’m living with a sullen 13-year-old again. Didn’t I do this already? When does this Mom Gig end?

On top of all this, he is an alcoholic. When he’s drunk he agrees that he has a problem. Sober, he is a Special Snowflake, so special that no one in the universe could possibly understand him and his troubles, therefore making AA meetings or therapy of some sort a worthless waste of his time. Yeah, he’s pretty much said exactly that.

“Why can’t I just have a beer and relax in the evening?” is his plaintive cry.

My answer, “You are an alcoholic. One beer leads to another and another and pretty soon you’re on your lips. It happens every time. It will always be this way. You can be drunk or sober, there’s no “relaxing” in between. It sucks, but that’s the way you’re wired. Get a grip and admit you have a problem so we can move forward.”

I am sooooo over this bullshit. So. He lost his job. He wasn’t fired or laid off, he was simply not put on the schedule any more. This is a new tactic used by Slaveway and other large companies to make sure ex-employees can’t claim unemployment benefits (not that he worked long enough to get any) and have no cause to file suit for being laid off or let go for reasons other than poor performance at their job. Okay. Fine. I get it. He’s feeling sorry for himself. Whatevs.

What does he do? He starts (continues, actually, but it’s a long story) to spend all his money on beer. Not regular beer, but the fruity, 12% alcohol beers the homeless people around here drink. The kind of beer that has a stench like dorm rooms and cat shit. I can smell it the second I open the door. It pours out of his body like toxic sludge for the next couple of days as he sobers up. He drinks until he passes out. I finally took away his debit card (yeah, Slaveway doesn’t even hand out paychecks – they put your wages on a debit card that is not tied to any bank, therefore you can’t put any money on it, but they can take money out if they “make a mistake” with your pay. Cheap and crooked…) I made sure that my wallet was within my grasp at all times (I’ve been here before with his father…) and told him that there will be no drinking in my house. Period.

Things went well for a month or so. Last weekend he went with me to Mom’s. He did some yard work for her which she paid for in cash. Can you see where this is going? Oh, yes he did! I know he spent about $15 of the $40 she gave him, leaving him about $25 in his pocket. Sure enough, when I came home from work on Monday he was passed out drunk. There was no point in even talking to him – he won’t remember a word the next day, as past conversations have proven. I took to my bed with a glass of sweet tea and a book, ignoring his drunken stumbling to the bathroom some time later***.

Tuesday evening basically a repeat of Monday. The beer he likes is cheap. It takes 2.5 for him to be on his face, wasting the last .5 unless he manages to slam it down before passing out. At $2.50 each, he has about five days of being drunk before he runs out of cash.

Is this reason enough to be stressed? Wait! There’s so much more! Tune in tomorrow for Reason the Second.

* Nevermind that an RV shower is the height of efficiency, using less than 10 gallons of water per shower, compared to a “real” shower that uses as many as 4 gallons per minute. I mean, as an argument that is absurd.

** Man Smell is not a bad thing, in and of itself, I just chose to live a life without it and being forced to endure is making me really cranky. No, it’s just flat pissing me off. No need to sugarcoat, now is there?

*** I have told him that if he pukes he will be out on his ass. Period. Towanda is far too small to have a drunk puking, even in the bathroom, and he’s not known for making it to the bathroom in time. Yeah. Picture that and listen to him assert that he’s not an alcoholic.

 

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Has it really been two years?

Today marks my two year narc-free anniversary! At 11:45 AM on January 20, 2013 I drove away from the narc’s house with the last of the stuff I couldn’t live without. I was an emotional mess but determined to escape that asshole and live the life I’d always wanted for myself.

For those who are new, read last year’s synopsis here to get caught up. Ready? Okay.

I went NC with the narc about a year ago, changing my phone number and deleting my internet presence completely so he couldn’t stalk me. Oh, I hadn’t been communicating with him for months before that, but the occasional email still came through to irritate me all over again. Life has been so much more peaceful now that all communication has been cut off.

I look back and hardly believe that was my life. It’s inconceivable to me now that I allowed one person to control my every thought, my every movement. It’s almost like a bad dream, life has changed so much.

Sabu, Revy and I are still living in a 30′ travel trailer and I recommend this lifestyle to anyone who doesn’t think they can escape their abusive relationship because of financial issues or pets – I could not afford an apartment that would accept a 50-pound dog on wages from a part-time minimum wage job, but I could easily afford to buy a travel trailer and pay space rent in a nice RV park which enabled me to have my own private space and keep my dog. If I don’t like my neighbors, I simply hire a Dude with a truck and he will drag my home wherever I may want to go. I have the option of buying or renting my own truck and traveling until the land meets the sea whenever the whim may strike. I am not tied down by a rental contract or mortgage. I don’t have to do yard work or keep up with the neighbors and their new toys and gadgets. I am a modern-day gypsy who has chosen to stay in one place for awhile.

I have a great job that I love in an office full of truly Nice People. I don’t feel any stress over money and feel in control of my life in a way that I never would have believed possible. I have full autonomy. I have full say over the menu, thermostat, TV remotes, social events and ALL of the bed and blankets. I go where I want to go, see who I want to see and never even think of the consequences that used to be meted out if I stepped away from his line. Every day is a blessing and joy.

Back in July I posted that I no longer heard his voice in my head and what a relief it was. It took 1.5 years to drive his voice out of my head! If you haven’t been in an abusive relationship you have no idea how deeply the monsters sink their claws into your soul. This was a Big Deal and I quietly celebrated for a couple of weeks before deciding to step out of my comfort zone and put myself out there online as “single and looking.” I know, right? I haven’t talked about that here because if it turns out to be a disaster, well, this blogging thing is supposed to be all about the successes, right?

In some ways it’s gone well, in others it’s been the disappointment I thought it would be. There are a lot of freaks out there looking for NSA kinky sex and if that’s what I was looking for I’d have my pick of any number of Slimy Dudes, but that’s not really my thing. I’ve been told I want too much from a man. I have to shrug and think to myself, “yeah, it’s totally unreasonable to narrow my choices to men who are gainfully employed, own their own car, live in their own space (ie not with Mom,) don’t drink excessively, don’t use drugs, don’t have a huge pile of debt, aren’t already otherwise involved in relationships, don’t have small children at home (sorry if that sounds selfish, but I’m all done being Mommy, thankyouverymuch!) don’t need a Mommy or fixing in some other way and who can write and spell with something close to English grammar conventions.” I won’t be a doormat, slave, maid, cook or gardener with no return on my investment and I state that right up front. Ya ain’t gonna get free labor from me 🙂

I’ll admit it: I’m gonna be picky because I can. I am perfectly happy with my single life. It’s working for me. But I also want to know if I could “do” a relationship the way I hear it can be done. You know, where two people of opposite sex are great friends who get along and like some of the same things and respect each other. It’s just not the same with girlfriends and dammit I want it all!

Anyway. This is not the place to talk about all that stuff. Let’s just say that I’m still single, still enjoying my life and looking forward to another fantastic year.

I’ve been away from blogging for awhile because I haven’t had anything to say. Life with the narc seems so far away when I’m going about my day-to-day business as to seem irrelevant to who I am now. I’m not sure where I want this blog to go now. Suggestions? What do y’all want to hear about?

To all of you in abusive relationships: there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Be brave. Throw off your shackles and walk into the light. It’s hard. It sucks. It’s scary. But it’s worth every hardship to live a life free of abuse.

Thank you all for joining me on this journey 🙂

 

 

 
 

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More White Trash Observations

Y’all remember the white trash family that moved into the church house? No? Click here and read that post first.

Okay? Okay.

Yesterday I was taking Sabu out for her afternoon walk. There was a young man washing a tarp in the front yard. The women who frequent the house were standing around watching and not saying much. One of the older children (I think it’s a boy?) was also present.

I could tell by his body language the man was agitated.

Sabu and I reached the end of the alley where we could see the full tableau when a little hot-rod car came screaming around the corner and sped down the street at probably 50 MPH, like a drag race of one. A man was behind the wheel. The man washing the tarp started screaming obscenities and running down the street after the car, shaking his fists in the air.

He made it about 20 feet before his pants came down over his butt because he’s one of those saggy-butt-jeans-wearing assholes who love to strut around holding their pants up with one hand while fiddling with their phone with the other. You know That Guy. Dontcha hate him? Ever want to just smack some sense into his empty head?

Sorry. I digress.

Being a short block, and not wanting to get the woman of the house all riled up, Sabu and I crossed the street to put as much distance between the lunatic who doesn’t understand the function of belts and our sane selves but it was not enough that we couldn’t hear the conversation going on in front of the church house.

“I will kill that mutherfucker if he does that again!”

Laughter. “No you won’t. Don’t be stupid.” General laughter and muttering amongst the group of women. They must have thought it was cute to see him so mad.

“I’ll throw something at his car!”

“Don’t be doing that – that’s destruction of property and you WILL go to jail again for that…”

More laughter.

It went on in this vein for awhile but I got us out of there before I could say something smart-assy and get the woman of the house pissed off at me again.

I mean, really? These people have no class or charm at all. And they live 5 feet away from a church! Some people’s kids, I swear!

 
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Posted by on October 28, 2014 in Crazy, Rants, right?, You're kidding

 

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Drama at the Dog Park!

Saturday afternoon Sabu and I went to the dog park on the way to the Studio, as we do four or five days a week. We’ve never had a problem – people are respectful and the dogs tend to work things out themselves while the people talk.

This particular park has separate areas for large dogs and small dogs. Sometimes people take puppies or very shy dogs into the small dog side so they can play without getting hurt. It sometimes gets very rough on the big dog side of the park, but we all understand that dogs like to play and wrestle and so far I haven’t seen anyone hurt.

Sabu, being Alpha, is often in the middle of a confrontation, breaking it up, maintaining order. Yeah, surprised the hell out of me the first time I saw it, but there ya go – she will have no fighting in her pack and has done some pretty strange things during our dog park adventures.

Sabu and I went through the first gate and into the little holding area. I took her leash off and opened the second gate as an older couple (and by older I just mean older than me – I have very little notion of age other than older than me, younger than me and “children” which has come to include anyone under 25, much to my dismay.) with a large Labrador-looking dog came in through the first gate.

Dog park etiquette dictates that you don’t bring your dog into the holding area or open the first gate until the dog before you has exited the second gate and it’s been closed, letting dog and human into the alley that leads to the park proper. Dogs can fight if they’re confined together before they get to know each other and most dogs are already over excited just being at the park – no need to add fuel to the fire, right?

They followed too closely and Sabu doubled back to see if they would be lax at the gate, letting her escape for a romp in the pond. I caught her and dragged her back.

“Is your dog nice?” the woman asked.

“Yes, she’s nice, but she’s a gate pusher. I’ll just hold her until you get in so she doesn’t knock you over.”

They came in, closed the gate and I let Sabu go, turning my back and calling for her to move out into the main part of the park.

The man was holding the leash and not taking it off the dog – a real no-no at the dog park as dogs on leashes can be very defensive towards dogs not on leashes. You’re supposed to take the leash off in the holding area so the dog enters the park with no leash, thereby minimizing confrontations – when Sabu doubled back again to have a sniff at the new dog. Because she’s Alpha, she bumped him on the shoulder to let him know what was what and he stumbled, causing the woman to start shrieking at me.

My back was partly turned, but as soon as I realized Sabu wasn’t at my side I whirled around and tried to grab her. She was dodging around, not at all sure what the yelling was about but not willing to move away from this new dog – he was now part of her pack and if the shrieking woman wouldn’t shut up, well, something was about to Get Done about the situation.*

I leaned down to get a grip on Sabu’s harness, noticing the woman’s feet and getting distracted. She was wearing flip flops and her feet were all twisted up. A bunch of things ran through my head and I finally settled upon “ballet dancer” as an explanation and tuned in to what she was saying. I mean, Sabu hadn’t done anything wrong and I was confused about what the woman was so upset about.

“We just spent $6000 on surgeries for this dog! We saved his life and now he could be hurt again! He’s only just been cleared to go out on a leash and now this! Get your dog under control!” and on and on in this vein at high volume.

I finally got a good grip on Sabu and looked the woman in the face.

“I’m sorry! You do realize this is an off-leash park?”

“Of course!” she snapped back at me. “It’s just that he hasn’t seen other dogs in so long we thought it would be good for him to come here but I can see that no one keeps their dogs under control and I spent all this money blah, blah, blah…”

That set me off. “You can’t expect to bring a dog to an off-leash dog park and not let it be a dog. All the other dogs here are off leash. All of the dogs are big dogs. If your dog is recovering from an injury you should not have brought it here.”

I was fuming and not about to let this entitled bitch make me feel bad about my dog being a dog.

I mean, really?!? Often the pack running in the park will bomb down the alley and crowd the gate when a new dog comes in – it’s all part of the Dog Park Experience. This woman was out of her mind bringing her injured dog inside the park.

They finally just walked it around the outside of the fence, where it got to sniff noses through the fence, which is what they should have done in the first place!

Stoopid people! Really soured the rest of my day.

* Sabu allows a certain amount of growling and barking when she’s at the park, but if a dog sounds like it’s being hurt or is squealing with fear, Sabu is right over there, sorting out who the problem dog is (not the one making the fear noises) and herding it away from its victim. It’s amazing to see. If two or more dogs are playing and they get too loud, either growling or barking, Sabu races over to be sure no one is getting hurt and if one dog is being too rough, in Sabu’s opinion, it will be corrected, severely if need be, before being allowed to continue playing.

One day there was a smaller intact male dog who was humping every other dog. I mean, he was really trying with everything that moved. This caused the other dogs to start hopping around to avoid him while still playing their game. Sabu took one look at the the situation, ran over and herded that horny little shit away from the other dogs. She then grabbed him in the middle of his back and repeatedly pushed him down onto the ground until he submitted to her. There would be no more humping while Sabu was on duty. Little Dog was not hurt and his owner was not unhappy about Sabu’s discipline (thankfully) and peace once again reigned.

 

 

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People Suck – Part Whatever

After lunch Sabu and I were on our typical walk, down the alley, around the corner and up the street. We walk this way Monday thru Thursday, rain or shine.

The first house around the corner is owned by the neighboring church and stood empty for well over a year. I believe it’s generally used to house the pastor and his family. It’s a nice house, two story, large with lots of windows.

Some months ago there was a flurry of activity as the house was readied for new tenants. I thought it would be a new pastor and family, but instead a white trash family of dubious origin and a bunch of kids ranging in age from four to OMG surly teen moved in.

Now, before you get all up in arms that I used the term white trash, let me explain. These people ARE white and they ARE trash. How do I know? The crap that has started piling up in the yard, the belligerent, tattooed miscreants smoking and drinking on the front stoop, the language coming out of the mouths of everyone over there, the damaged vehicles (looks like they like to drink AND drive for entertainment) and on and on. These are not quality people and I wonder if regular church goers are sorry they rented to them.

There does not appear to be a male head-of-household, only an assortment of young-ish men half-dressed and smoking on the front step most mornings. No, they aren’t all the same guy. Sigh. It’s ugly.

Anyway. I’m not usually one to judge so harshly, but I’ve had a couple of run-ins with the woman in charge that make no sense and leave me angry and wanting to hit someone.

The first time, I was pulling my car from the alley onto the street. There’s a hedge that partially obscures the sidewalk until you’re right up on it. She was pushing a stroller with her 4-year-old daughter walking alongside. I came up on the sidewalk and she yelled at me for pulling up in front of her.

What? She was 10 feet back, was in no danger of being hit and I was moving at a crawl anyway. I looked into my driver’s side mirror to see if it was clear to back up when she started yelling again, this time calling names. Sabu started to snarl and claw at the window, so I pulled out into the street to her curses and bellowing.

WTF? That’s some high-class parenting right there! I couldn’t believe she was so nasty over nothing.

Today Sabu and I had another run-in with her. We were walking by her yard (strewn with lawn chairs on their sides and assorted broken toys and bits of trash) as she was pulling up in her (barely running) car with a child in the back.

Sabu did what dogs do – she peed on the edge of the grass. OMG! You would think she left a big, wet pile of crap for the reaction we got.

“Do you let that dog do that on everybody’s yard?” She was red-faced and shouting at me, gesturing at the grass.

“She just peed. If she’d pooped I would pick it up…” Stunned by her reaction, I kept walking.

“You didn’t pick it up last time! You never pick it up, blah, blah, blah…..”

I was getting angry now and turned fully around to look her in the face. “I always pick up her poop. Always!”

“You didn’t the other day!” She’s really winding up now and I’m getting mad enough to do something I’ll regret.

“It wasn’t me. It wasn’t this dog…” walking away now, trying to hold my tongue.

“I have five witnesses in the house who saw you! It was YOU!!!”

Fighting to stay calm, I said, “You’re wrong. It wasn’t me and it wasn’t this dog,” before turning and walking away.

She continued to shout at me but I tuned her out.

WTF? I’ve had people stop, in their cars, to thank me for picking up my dog’s poop. I am known for picking up after my dog in a neighborhood where no one bothers. Why does this woman have such a chip on her shoulder for me? What did I ever do to her but let her daughter pet my dog?

Gaaaahhhhhh!!! People like that give this town a bad name. What a crappy way to end my lunch break on a Monday afternoon.

 

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Feminism Isn’t Hard

There has been so much riot mongering in the press lately about gender issues that I’ve gone on a news blackout. One absurd story after another that does nothing more than get both sides of every issue ranting at each other and I’ve had enough. I have no doubt it’s a great diversionary tactic. Anyone know what’s happening over seas? How many soldiers died today in a senseless war that’s not at all about oil (wink, wink)? How many states passed legislation limiting the birth control options of women? I could go on and on, but, hey! Football!

This guy breaks it down in easy to understand terms. Especially at 2:23-ish. Srsly folks, get a grip!

If I end up talking with someone about sexist issues, I prefer to use the term “non-sexist” instead of “feminist” because saying the word “feminist” has such a violent reaction from people on both sides of the issue. If a woman has short hair and declares herself a feminist she will likely be called a lesbian. How does that even make sense? Has everyone gone crazy? I know The Golden Rule is hopelessly old-fashioned, so how about we adhere to Wheaton’s Law? Wouldn’t the world be a better place?

I can’t even write coherently about this subject today because of all the freaking out by people who would know better if they just closed their mouths and thought about it for one second. If you’re a “friend” of mine on social media and suddenly you find yourself dropped from my news feed, yes, it was done on purpose. Quit yer bullshit people bashing!

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 2, 2014 in Battle of the Sexes, Crazy, Rants, right?

 

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This is why I shouldn’t go outside…

I almost never post pictures of myself here. I’m usually behind the camera and there aren’t many photo taking opportunities, but Saturday found Awana and I at an outdoor Fiber Event. I thought the natural light would be great for taking pictures and Awana was willing to take some shots.

I wore my favorite yellow linen tunic – the one that makes me look thinner than I really am. I was very careful with breakfast so as not to slobber all over myself.

We arrived at the venue unsoiled. And then IT happened. We were putting up the pop-up for the first time and I managed to whack myself square in the mouth with the top of the upright while trying to make it “snap easily into place.”

Awana says I cried a little, but I have no memory of that part. I do remember feeling carefully with my tongue and being grateful I hadn’t broken a tooth. Fuck! My lips started swelling on the spot and I hoped that I wouldn’t end up looking like a loser in a boxing match.

20140802_102044Favorite shirt? Check. New prescription shades? Check. Big ol’ fat lip? Also check.

Sigh. The shades are cool, though, right?

20140802_102136Where did all those gray hairs come from? What about the “anti-glare coating” these glasses are supposed to have?

Gaaaahhhhhhh!!!

I did get hit on by a lesbian, so it must not have looked that bad…

 
12 Comments

Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Crazy, Fiber Arts, Friends, right?, You're kidding

 

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