Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Freedom and Other Illusions

Funny, it doesn't feel so hot- but then again, I wasn't the one who did the dirt. I'm not into hurting people. I'm not into lying, stealing, or cheating. 

Every time I've tried to talk to my ex about it, he throws it back at me and tells me it was all my fault. 

I guess so; I put up with his bullshit for that long, so I guess I deserved it...

Wait. No. I didn't. 

So it's a one-year anniversary of not setting foot in the local steakhouse, because we ate there about every couple of weeks. It's the one year anniversary of me going to a movie here in town. In a couple of days, it'll be the one year anniversary of receiving disconnection notices for three utilities at once, due to the thousand dollars I didn't know that I owed, because that's what he was supposed to pay in lieu of rent (it was less than half the total household costs, by the way).

I should have known. He was still so angry at his mother about his childhood that he wasn't there for her when she was dying, until the shit totally hit the fan. It wasn't entirely without reason, but you know, he's not the only person who had a parent who wasn't straight up out of a Leave It to Beaver episode. Some of us still suck it up and do our duty.

A year later I'm still sore. I'm still hollow. 

He got to move on. He got to have his revenge, like some schoolyard bully. I paid for every woman who ever took a dump on him before I came into the picture. I am now the most recent Evil Bitch (by his definition) about whom he will tell sob stories to any woman stupid enough to buy his line. 

Here's the catch: it's not the truth. I knew, long ago, that although some of their motives were questionable, he probably drove every woman who kicked him out to their wit's end. I tried to tough it out and it blew up in my face.

It's hard enough. I'm not young anymore. I never had a decent body, being a 'such a pretty face' fat girl. My IQ is too high, I have too many degrees, I assert my opinions, and I don't like games. I guess I'm through with dating. In retrospect, maybe my parents should have let me join the convent way back when. I'd be just as lonely inside as out.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

There Are Things I Remember, And Things I Forget

Today would have been Margo's 51st birthday. I remember how much snow we had two years ago, when all Hell broke loose...today it is almost seventy degrees Fahrenheit and sunny. I still miss her terribly.

Yesterday was the first anniversary of my transporting a tri-color Walker Coonhound to At Risk Intervention's Waystation in Knoxville. He was a friendly dog. I finally got to meet Cyn, with whom I've corresponded at various intervals throughout my rescue career.

Today is the eighth anniversary of my visit to the animal shelter in Columbia, Kentucky, following one of the largest animal hoarder raids in the history of the state. It was overwhelming. It's also the first anniversary of Molly's rescue ride; sadly, ATRA and Jane Belle Gates, her foster mom, had to let her go due to increasing complications from cancer before she reached a year in rescue.

Tomorrow is the anniversary of betrayal.

When I stopped at the house on the day I was picking up Molly, one of my boyfriend's socks was in the driveway near his SUV. I knew what it meant, but I pushed the nausea down and waited for him to come out to go with me to get Molly, as promised. Instead, he ignored me and continued playing his electric guitar, which could be heard for about a block. I didn't have time to wait for him, so I left to get Molly. She had to be checked in by a certain time at my vet's clinic- I barely made it.

The next day, I returned to his house keys and a Dear Jane letter on the stove. The sock in the driveway meant exactly what I thought it had, but rather than tell me that he was leaving me for the woman I knew he was seeing behind my back, he packed up the last of his things and took off while I was at work.

The following afternoon, the disconnection notices for all of the utilities arrived, to the tune of almost a thousand dollars- he'd been stealing the bills out of the mail for months and concealing them, not paying them to create a nest-egg for his new life. In a panic, I borrowed the money from my father. It became my birthday gift that year when he sent me a note "forgiving the loan". The price of my ex's freedom became a reminder of his unfaithfulness and rejection two months later, as if it didn't already sting enough.

I haven't dated. I've looked, half-heartedly, at dating websites, but I still feel too numb to process the idea of letting myself in for that kind of betrayal again. Chris ("Hopkins") still makes an enormous production to servers of the fact that our restaurant tabs are separate, and it feels more humiliating every successive time it happens...this is the guy my ex thought was in love with me. Funny how one can weave a justification out of nothing.

My ex tried to tell me what hell his life was in the nine months immediately following his departure, to which I put a halt: "Why should I care about this? It's what you chose, isn't it? That hell was preferable to me." (cue crickets)

Trust me, that's a hard one to to bounce back from; it may be my life's work. I don't know if I ever really will.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

My Problems are There, but They Could be Worse

A few things have happened in the last week that are worth noting for varying reasons:

Hopkins did go to the improv show. While I was in the bathroom, Stefan's father asked him if he was blind or just stupid, and further informed him that it was awful that he didn't seem to notice or care that I looked great that night. It kind of rolled right off of him, reinforcing what I kept telling my ex to no avail: I've been down this road so many times before that I know exactly how this ends, with a big fat 'not interested'. I'm that guy at the D&D game who has boobs. This hasn't changed in thirty years and it's never going to change.

A young woman I had quite literally known since her birth died of an overdose. She was working in my father's medical group as a physician's assistant, and my dad was her preceptor physician. She grew up down the street from us, and for many years, her father was our family's veterinarian; I remember her so clearly, as a child and a teen and a young woman. This SHOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. Today I went home and looked at her lying in the casket and thought, "THIS IS BULLSHIT." You're not going to convince me otherwise. She was ten years my junior and I feel so angry and regretful that her life ended far too soon. The flowers were beautiful, by the way.

Lastly, a friend's husband died after a short but fraught battle with cancer. She is a woman of deep faith and I hope that it will sustain her through the coming difficulties. Their twin sons will graduate from high school this spring, and there is a younger son still at home. I haven't seen her in a hundred years; we reconnected through social media, so I've tried to keep up with her that way. She's one of the most truly decent people I've ever known in my life, so this has a tang of supreme unfairness to it. She had the life to which so many of us should aspire, and now she has lost her husband, who by all accounts was a nice guy. (It turns out that he was veterinarian for another friend's mother's ancient, late Boston Bull Terrier.)

Vet families have had a bad run lately, seems like.

The pastor of my home church has also relayed the information that a couple who have been integral to the congregation (and who are very special to me) are suffering. The husband has entered hospice care. What I'm not sure a great many people remember is that he has an M.Div. from the Presbyterian seminary, but chose not to seek a pulpit after completing it. I talked with him when I was in discernment and it was one of the things that showed me that I wasn't really cut out for the pastorate. While he is very quiet, I am rather strident. Neither is the right fit for ministry. He led the Session when I was called to be examined for my catechism. His wife, who for a long time was our pianist, would quietly pivot my toddler sister and send her back up the side aisle when she ran away from Mom during services.

So we wait, and I'll go home again. At least my class reunion is during Cow Days and maybe I can see some folks there instead of at the funeral home.

Recapping: Valentine's Day was a bust, although someone left a book and some candy in the mailbox at my house with a kind note. That helped. A lot. Really, it did. Hopkins was himself, per usual, and meh. Then the MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, for non-library folks) rolled out, with some nasty surprises. *sigh* Hiding under the bed's really not an option but it sounds GREAT.