Saturday, August 24, 2013

Here We Go Again

I need some advice.  I'm beginning to feel like everything in my home needs to be changed.  Painted, torn out, rebuilt,  whatever. I go through this every so often, but this time its prompted by my dining room table.  Years ago, we bought this dining room table and chairs at a furniture store that was going out of business.  Turns out, it was a really cheaply made piece of furniture and the chairs began to fall apart.  We had them fixed but the fix didn't last. 

About a month after we got the table, one of my kids spilled nail polish remover on it which messed up the finish.  Since then, damage has been done in many other ways, mostly from art projects and hot pots sitting on the unprotected wood.  Here's a picture of some damage.

I'm thinking I should just paint the whole thing.  Chairs and everything.  And here's where I need advice:  should I paint it white?  Make it look distressed?  (as if it isn't distressed enough!) paint it another color? 

Here's what the whole thing looks like. 
I see so many pieces of furniture being painted in colors like robin's egg blue, or teal but I'm thinking that would just be too much. 

I guess it won't hurt to try SOMEthing.  It sure isn't pretty how it is! 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


    Most of the time, I've forgotten how miserable it used to be. I've effectively forgotten what life was like on a day to day basis, which is either a defense mechanism or a stroke of luck. And then something happens which brings me right back there.

     I used to get left places.  I learned to take my own car because it was typical that the ex would want to leave before me.  If there was a family event, like a wedding or something, he would come but would make it plain that he didn't want to be there, and would behave in such a way that he embarrassed me.  My family felt bad; not only for me, but for themselves because they couldn't figure out what they had done to piss him off.  I remember a Christmas that was particularly bad and we ended up leaving my mom's immediately after opening up our presents.  My mom told me later that ExH and I were the topic of discussion that afternoon.  They couldn't figure out what prompted his behavior or what they had to done to deserve such treatment.  Then they couldn't figure out how I put up with it.  But being the enabler I am, I made excuses for him.

Then there was the wedding of my nephew.  The one in which he and I were Master & Mistress of Ceremonies.  He made it clear that he didn't really want to do this, and kept asking what his duties included.  Again,  being that enabler, I told him that he wouldn't have to do anything, that I would take care of everything.    So we (and by we, I mean me) helped get the ceremony underway.  Then we headed for the reception where again we (yes, me) made sure that guests knew where they were to be seated, and that things were running on schedule.  Towards the end of the evening, my kids came to me and asked if I could bring them home as they were tired.  I instructed them to go find their dad and ask him to bring them home.  "Oh, he left a while ago," was their response.  Imagine my surprise and disgust.  He couldn't even come to me and mention that he was leaving. 

A few years after that, I was left in a similar way at my class reunion.  I didn't see him leave but I saw him driving away.  Which led me to believe that I wasn't even worth the effort of saying goodbye to.  My self esteem, which wasn't great to begin with, suffered a great deal throughout this marriage. Clearly, there was something wrong with me. I thought I was a good person, and I tried really hard to be a good mom and a good friend. 

After the wedding incident, I spent hours on the computer trying to figure out why life was so miserable which ultimately led me to a website about Narcissism.  The descriptions of narcissistic people were really familiar.  However, I believed that they couldn't really be describing someone I knew.   I couldn't reconcile this information in my head.  Certainly it couldn't be true that I had married someone like this.  And in his defense, he wasn't like that when we got married.  So I let this simmer in my mind for a few years, until it became clear that I could not stay married to this man. Years later, one of our marriage counselors would confirm  to me that he believed he was was indeed, Narcissistic.  Many people are, really.  But people like this rarely succeed with therapy because they ultimately don't believe they have a problem.  

The reason I bring all of this up, is because something happened the other day which just threw this all in my face and brought back some bad memories.  A friend of mine, recently divorced, had posted to a page on Facebook about surviving Narcissistic abuse.  This then led me to check out their page, and to read post after post after post from other people in situations very similar to mine. It kind of threw me for a loop, and I found myself almost entranced by the page.  I read everything I could find; all the links, all the comments, all the personal narratives.  I felt like I was sinking into a dark, but familiar hole.   

Turns out, this wasn't such a good idea.  Or maybe it was? I've come so far in the past year, and I've learned what I will and will not accept in terms of behavior from people.  My self esteem is much better and I wake up in the morning, not stressed out but genuinely happy.  I don't dread hearing the garage door open anymore which signalled the end of the workday and the subsequent arrival of the ExH.  And most importantly, I know that I am worthy of love and worthy of being treated with respect.  I have a lot to offer. 

So while the reminder of the past might have derailed me for a minute, it really just served to reinforce how far I've come.   And like someone said, "You can't go on to the next chapter if you keep re-reading the last one." To heck with chapters.  I'm moving on to the next book. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


      I was reminded yesterday that it has been a while since I updated this here blog thingy so here I am.  Updating. 

     So it turns out that I didn't dread Christmas this year.  Yay!  However, I wasn't that excited about it either.  There were about 5 boxes of decorations that never got put out, and there were tons of Christmas goodies that never got made.  But you know what?  We didn't even miss them.  Maybe next year (which is actually THIS year) I'll be more organized and refer to  Organized Christmas to get my stuff done.  Oh, who am I kidding?

    About 2 weeks ago, I sent my oldest off to Ecuador for 4 months.  She's studying abroad to fulfill requirements of her Spanish major at CMU.  I can't tell you how many times a day I go to text her and then realize that I can't.  Even though I'm used to her being gone a great deal of the time, she's always been just a text or phone call away.  Now we rely on e-mail and of course, Facebook.  Its been nice to see the pictures she is posting on FB so I can at least have an idea of what her life is like there.  She's still in the process of adjusting to being in a different country and she misses her family very much.  I hope this experience turns out to be something wonderful for her. 

On a personal note, it has been just about a year since my divorce. Even though I had a lot of ups and downs through the course of this year, I can honestly say that life is good.  I've figured out that there is always, always, always something to be thankful for, and there is always something that can be learned from any given situation.  One of the rough parts about getting divorced is starting to date again.  I tried and Christian Mingle but both of those sites made me feel funny.  I had one date from CM and he was nice enough, but he clearly wanted something serious right away.  So I gave those up and decided I didn't need to be looking for anyone.  However, when I wasn't looking, I discovered that my good friend was someone I really enjoyed spending time with, and we've been dating ever since.  Its so nice to be in a healthy relationship with someone that truly cares about me!

So life continues to move at an unruly pace, but I'm enjoying every bit of it. And once I can figure out how to upload pictures onto this blog again (they changed some things since I was here last) I'll start talking about things that are maybe a little more interesting.  : )

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Behold: a new blog post!


In honor of my one and only reader - my niece Kim.  : )  (hi Kim!)

It appears that Christmas is fast approaching, no matter how much I deny its impending arrival.  This means that lists must be made.  Lots of lists. 

Have you ever said a word so many times that it just sounds funny?  List.  List.  Say it.  It just sounds like a nonsensical word. 


This year the holidays will be a lot different for my kids and I.  For one thing, they will be getting a lot less presents than they've received in the past.  And I know they are ok with this, because really, Christmas is about something else entirely.  But do I continue the same traditions we had as a family?  Do I just forge on as if nothing is different?  Or do I acknowledge the huge change we have experienced and create some new traditions?  Luckily, my kids are old enough that we can discuss this issue and decide together what we should do. 

I think I've mentioned before how I've always dreaded the holidays.  I used to LOVE everything about Christmas, especially the decorating and preparing for everything involved with it.  But for the past 12 years or so, my joy was slowly stifled so much that Christmas just became another chore.  I'm hoping that this is the year I'll rediscover that excitement I used to have.  I'm hoping I can approach each Christmas related activity with the proper attitude and not view it as just another thing to get through on the way to the next activity.

So with that in mind, I'm truly looking forward to this Thursday, celebrating Thanksgiving with my favorite people:  my family.  God has blessed me in so many ways and its important to acknowledge that.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Half Way There

Happy 4th of July! 

I hope wherever you are, you are enjoying yourself and are appreciating the fact that we live in a free country!  I think we take that for granted. 

I've been adjusting to my own independence quite well lately, except I've been dealing with a great deal of anger.  I know this is one of the stages of grief, but its been a little frightening to me just how angry I've been.  It probably has something to do with finding out that some of my suspicions about my ex were true, and getting confirmation from him about it.  I just can't comprehend that someone I trusted betrayed me like that.  Well, I CAN comprehend it and that's why I've been so angry.  And angry with myself that I didn't trust my instincts. From now on, I will listen to my self and I will NOT let anyone treat me like that again.

For about two weeks, I felt like I was walking around with this cloud of hatred over my head and I couldn't reason with myself to stop feeling that way.  So it was a really nice coincidence that my vacation started just as I was feeling overwhelmed. I got to spend a week with my "original" family; my mom and all of my siblings. My son, a few nephews, a niece and my sisters-in-law were there too.  We stayed at a 7300 square foot "cabin" in Breckenridge, CO.  It was just what I needed. 

The first morning there, the sun rose and it was such a beautiful day that I decided to go for a walk by myself.  And whenever I'm alone, my thoughts go to how my ex betrayed me, and how angry I am.  So I decided to run to work off some of my anger and it worked.  At one point, I looked up and saw this beautiful sight:

Instead of being overwhelmed by anger, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of what was in front of me.  Actually, if you take the time to look around, beauty is everywhere but we just take THAT for granted too. 

Spending time with people who love me was like medicine for me.  We played a lot of cribbage, did a lot of talking and a LOT of laughing.  Those wonderful people let me talk and talk and reason things out and patiently let me express my feelings without judging me.  I still found myself very angry whenever I was alone, especially when I went to bed.  But by the time the week was up, that was getting better too. 

We took a lot of hikes and saw some truly beautiful scenery.  Humor me and look at the pictures.  : )

It was also really nice to spend the week with my son. It isn't often that he and I get to do things alone (other than go to Dr appointments) so I really enjoyed that.  I missed my two girls and wish they could've come with us, but in the scheme of things, I think he needs a little more attention right now.  As a 16 year old boy, he needs his mom more than his older sisters do.  I think it was good for him to spend time with his aunts and uncles too.  He needed to have that love and support just as much as I did. 

Anyway, I'm feeling a lot better about my situation, and I am much less overwhelmed by anger.  If my ex can't see what a great catch he had, thats his problem.  And he isn't my problem any more.  That sentence right there, is epic, my friends.  It took me 23 years to figure that out and believe it. 

And right now, I'm thinking life looks pretty good!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Tough Day

Today was a day I've been dreading since Monday. 

That was the day that one of my good friends lost her 6 year old son in a truly tragic way.  While playing on the playground, Nik somehow got a stone into his mouth and it lodged in his airway.  Just one, 1 cm stone.  It was so small that the emergency personnel that tried to pass a breathing tube into his airway didn't see it.  So small that the Medical Examiner couldn't see it either. Not at first, anyway. 

I've thought about my friend, her husband Dave and their 10 year old son Lucas on an almost constant basis since it happened.  I can't imagine the pain they are experiencing.  Well, I CAN imagine it, but I can't imagine how they could possibly live through it. They are living through every parent's nightmare. 

So today was Nik's funeral. 

I can't tell you how much I dreaded going to that funeral.  I don't think anyone necessarily enjoys going to funerals, but in certain cases, where a person has been sick a really long time, or they are 99 years old, funerals are a logical event in the procession of things.  But 6 year old, healthy little boys don't fit into that category.  I found that throughout the week, when I would call Lisa or go visit her, I had put up some sort of barrier around my heart so I didn't let it get to me too badly.  So today, I knew I would be confronted with the realization that this was all too real. 

And it was really, really hard to sit in that church and say goodbye to a sweet 6 year old boy that I really didn't know all that well.  What I DID know about him was that he always had a smile on his face, and he loved life. Like most kids do.  The pastor of the church did such a nice job of making some sense out of this tragedy.  He reminded us that Nik was exactly what God tells us to be like.  Nik loved his neighbors and visited most of them quite often.  He had the gift of hospitality and made others feel welcome wherever he went.  He also had the gift of joy and spread it like crazy to others around him. He was an example of what love looks like.  Nik's Uncle Scott also spoke and really gave a clear picture of just the kind of kid he was.  I was laughing and crying at the same time. 

It turns out, I needed to go to that funeral.  I'm a big "everything happens for a reason" kind of person, so this whole event didn't really fit into that philosophy, and I was struggling with it.  Right before I left I was saying goodbye to Lisa.  This woman, who had just said goodbye to her baby ended up comforting ME.  "I don't think God causes people to die", she said.  "I think people get cancer, and people die in tragedies not because of something God allows to happen, but that He will be there to take them home when they die. I don't think God caused Nik to swallow that stone, but I'm convinced that He was there waiting to take him to heaven when he did."  That makes sense to me.  I can live with that philosophy too.  Maybe sometimes things just happen. 

Friday, April 27, 2012


It's the end of April... Which means its time to start thinking about my garden. I have about 12 square feet to work with so I need to decide what I really want to grow. If I think about what my ideal garden would contain, it starts to resemble my failed rental garden experience. Maybe I need to think about this tiny little plot in terms of real estate. What will provide the most return for my money? (or my time?) Home grown carrots always look so appealing in pictures, but once you plant them, there's nothing to show for it until you harvest them. And melons always taste so much sweeter when they're grown at home. But they take up so much room. I need something that will produce veggies on a continuous basis. Stuff like tomatoes, cucumbers and beans would work. Herbs too. It was 48 degrees here today. Very un-garden-like. But warmer days are on their way. Thank goodness!