Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 23

At what point does a relationship get so close to death that you just look at it as you would a very old, very sick relative and just wait for it to exhale for the last time?

I feel like I've been on life support for the last couple years with an occasional reflexive finger twitch that gives me a momentary glimmer of hope. But then the doctor comes in and says 'It's just nerves firing in the brain, stored electrical energy. It can't hear you. It doesn't know you're in the room.' and my hope fades again.

My husband said tonight he was going to bed and I stopped him in the kitchen and put my arms around him to hug him. He put his arms around me but there was no reciprocation in the gesture, just nerves firing in the brain, stored electrical energy. I don't think he ever downloaded that ebook about keeping a marriage alive after the birth of a child and that was nearly 3 weeks ago that I told him about it and asked him to download and read it. I don't want to ask him about it because I want to see if it means enough to him to remember to do it himself.

He's resorted to either completely tuning me out or not bothering to pay enough attention to me when I talk so that when I bring things up later, he's completely and totally unaware of the conversation and claims to have no memory of it at all. We had to make plans for what we were doing for Christmas and since I have to work Christmas day, wrangling times was a bit tricky. *HE* said that once I finalized things with his sister, *HE* would call his mom to let her know. I asked him today (yesterday, the 23rd) if he'd called her and he said no, he was unaware that he was going to do that, or that he was supposed to do it.

Rather than fighting with him about it, I called her myself. I mistakenly dialed her cell phone so I had to speak rather loudly in order for her to hear me and he overheard the conversation. When I hung up the phone he said, 'So, 11:00?' I said 'Yes, that's what I ....please don't tell me you don't remember that either.' He said he did not and blamed the fact that he'd been sick for the last couple of days and it had "wiped out" his memory. I reminded him that this was decided before he got sick and was summarily dismissed with the usual eye-roll in response.

Forget the fact that we had a 15 minute conversation about it when the decision was made because of my daughter's nap schedule and how it impacts the time that we are going to have to do things on Christmas day.

I'm tired of feeling like I'm sitting unnoticed in a room, watching machines blip and bleep away the electrical impulses firing off in the brain. I'm tired of wondering when it's going to be ok to decide to turn off the machines, see if there's any life left and if there isn't, just let it die peacefully. And I'm tired of feeling like I'm the only one who cares enough to keep the machines going because of that faint glimmer of hope I have every time a finger twitches.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 19

Yah yah I know I'm not posting every day. Still a hell of a lot better than past blogs have been and at least it's not posts full of crap but actually posts where I have something to say.

Like today! Today I have something to say to all the assholes out there who think it's "bad parenting" to actually want to control the behavior and actions of your children. I linked a story I read on CNN to my facebook recently about a journalist who is lambasting the parents participating in the lawsuit against McDonald's and their Happy Meal Toys.

Here's a protip for all you lazy ass parents out there: It is not the retailers of this country's (or world's) job to raise your children! That's YOUR JOB!

I'll give you a moment to digest that. Yes, you as parents are actually expected to raise your children. It is the job of retailers to make money, to keep our economy going, to keep our capitalist society humming busily along so that you have the freedom and cash to file frivolous lawsuits against people because they won't raise your children for you.

If your child is fat, take the fucking cookie out of their hand, give them an apple or a piece of celery, turn off the TV and tell them to go outside and climb a tree or something. Stop blaming fast food restaurants because you can't say no to your child.

The fat merchants of this land do not need a lesson in how to better cater to your whims as a dysfunctional parent. YOU need lessons on how to not be a lazy, blame passing asshat of a child rearer. Stop looking for every available excuse as to why your child is fucked up and start looking in your own back yard. PARENT YOUR CHILDREN! It is not MY job to raise your child any more than it is YOUR job to raise mine.

And for the love of Christ, stop allowing your child to run roughshod all over God's green earth while you're out in the world among the 3 dimensional people. It is not the job of retailers to babysit your child while you shop. A store is not a daycare center. Candy displays are not all you can eat free buffets. If you're too busy to watch your child and your child opens up candy, you bet your sweet bippy I'm adding that onto your bill when your dumbass is done shopping. I don't give a shit whether you wanted your child to have it or not, fact is, it's yours now. Deal with it. Cuz if your child gets snatched up by some pervert while you're too busy flipping through magazines to watch them and you have the unmitigated gall to claim you only turned your back for a second while you cry into the camera on the 10 o'clock news, I'm calling the station and I will flat out call you a big fat liar.

Stop expecting the world to parent your child. You are given that name for a reason. You're also given the ultimate gift of offspring. Don't squander it or otherwise piss it away.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 15

I'm tired. I'm tired of being tired. Tired physically, tired emotionally, tired mentally. And I would love to be able to blame new mommy syndrome for how tired I am but unfortunately I can't.

When I was in high school and living with my father, his wife, my half sister and my step brother, I used to go through this phase every day about 20 minutes before school ended. Right before the final bell rang this intense and all consuming fear would take hold of me, relentless and wouldn't let go. It would cause me to freeze up and immediately start replaying everything from the day over in my head, trying to think of any and everything I could have done that might possibly get me into even the tiniest little bit of trouble. I'd start from the second I woke up that day and run through every moment I could remember up to the present. I would then put it on a continuous loop until the moment I walked in the door when I got home.

I lived in a constant state of terror for the better part of 3 years until the morning that I slipped silently out the back door, dragging what I could carry with me, trying not to look back.

And now, at almost 40 years of age, I find myself second guessing every word and every action. Instead of behaving like the adult I am, I have regressed once again to the scared 15 year old who is more concerned with making sure that nothing she says or does upsets the person she lives with. The only place that I draw the line on this behavior is when it has direct impact and/or effect on my daughter.

And it is exhausting. Taking twice as long to do anything or say anything in an effort to make sure that it does not unduly upset my husband, throwing him further into his funk. I constantly check my own feelings and attitude at the door just so I can make sure that they don't throw more fuel on the fire of his negativity. By no means do I cower in the corner afraid to speak or act but everything in my day to day life has a prelude to it. 'If I text him about this, how long am I going to have to hear about it and how bad is it going to get?' 'If I show that I am upset about this, how far is he going to spiral out into his rage before he brings himself partially back?'

It's also frustrating to know that I'm not getting any of the same consideration in return from him. He has no problem whatsoever experiencing every single emotion he has every single moment he has them (yes that's from a movie but at the moment it escapes me which one). Not only does he have no problem throwing all this emotional waste out into the world but he seems to have little to no regard with how it will affect me. He's asked me numerous times to not text him anything negative or 'bad' while he's at work because all it does is distract him and he can't do anything about it in that situation. Unfortunately he seems to forget this every time the slightest thing upsets, unnerves or angers him while I am at work and my phone blows up with bitch fest '10.

I'm tired of anything and everything being thought of as 'OK' as long as it's followed up by 'I'm sorry.' It's like it's all fair game as long as the 'I'm sorry.' is looming at the end like his permanent get out of jail free card.

Last but not least, he has severe anger control issues. I don't think he would ever hurt or otherwise abuse our daughter but I have seen some things that have caused fairly severe alarm in me, so much so that I've physically removed her from him on more than one occasion. He has reacted with physical violence against inanimate objects in the past and I cannot help but wonder how long it might be before that progresses to violence against our daughter.

If things continue on their current course, April is looking more and more like a one way trip.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 13

Skipped a couple days, but as mentioned earlier, weekends are hard to find time to post and the hubs was off work today due to the snow dump that mother nature took on us over the weekend.

My stepson turned 18 yesterday. I've known him since he was 5 so he'd probably be hard pressed to think back to a time in his life when I haven't been with his dad. He and his brother have never lived with us and because of the relationship between their parents, we don't see them as often as we'd like. Or at least as often as I would like. He plays our video game online with us so there's a certain level of social interaction but not what it should be. It makes me sad in some ways to think about it because I want very much for them to be involved in my daughter's life but I don't want them to think that she means more to their father than they do.

They came to her first birthday party last year and I am hoping they'll come to her 2nd one next year but every time that I ask if they'd be willing to come to something like that or try to find out if they want to spend time with her and us, I can't help but feel like it might be hurting their feelings knowing that I'm seemingly more interested in them spending time with my daughter and us than I was with us spending time with them.

It's hard being a step parent to children who don't live with you. You want to make sure that you have a place in their lives and in their hearts but you don't want to overstep your bounds and intrude on an otherwise tenuous relationship. Especially when their mother is a raging bitch. Once when they were little, I got up with them to make them breakfast and got a tongue lashing over the phone from their mother afterwards for my trouble. Not to mention that my husband had a brief affair with her about 5 years into our relationship. It's all very Days Of Our Lives.

On another (still family) front, my sister-in-law is rapidly approaching the Batshit Crazy phase of Middle Age, believing that everything is a conspiracy designed to get her to eat a big mac and get a flu shot while lying to her about the true culprits behind 9/11. Watching her rant and rave about how Big Government is out to screw over the poor organic farmers of the world and how Big Government is trying to get her to give her son autism through his vaccinations is almost more than I can stand. And almost enough to make me want to punch her in the mouth. Or at the very least hit her upside the head with a Nerf bat. I'm half expecting her next Facebook status update to include the brand new pictures of their Shack-In-The-Woods where they can start stockpiling ammunition and theorizing on exactly how the Government is going to screw them out of their organic fruit pie.

Oh how I long for the days when the most agonizing decisions I had to make revolved around which shade of eye shadow went better with my acid washed jeans and whether or not my Lee Press-ons were convincing enough to pass off as real fingernails.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Day 8

Not every day but better than how I usually do.

We got our copies of our new game and, as per usual, my husband is completely and totally firmly implanted in his rut with no signs of extraction any time soon. He's spent the last 2 days bitching at any and everyone he can (which means me) about any and everything he can (which means everything). Loaded and installed just fine but playability is lacking. Every solution I come up with he shoots down, every bright side I try to point out he immediately discounts. I was seriously to the point last night where I was once again wondering at the logistics of separation. 

Living with someone in a constant state of negative funk is not only depressing, it is physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausting. And I've said as much to him in the past but it just doesn't seem to matter or make any kind of dent in the black bubble currently (and seemingly always) surrounding him. We're going to visit my mother in April so she can meet her one and only granddaughter for the first (and perhaps) only time. At this point, I am going to have to really think about valid reasons to come back after the visit is done.

Just about the only thing in the plus column right now has nothing to do with me personally save the annoyance that another move will bring me. Otherwise, it's all about my daughter and my husband. I don't want to take yet another child, and another opportunity to raise a child, away from him. He already got screwed out of the experience of child rearing by not raising his sons who are now almost adults. I don't want to do that to him again. Our daughter absolutely adores him. When she wakes up in the middle of the night screaming bloody murder and so upset and mad that all she can do is lay on the floor kicking and screaming, 90% of the time he's the one that has to calm her down. Granted that doesn't happen all that often but when it does, his presence is invaluable. She's not saying his name yet but when he walks in the door at the end of the day from work, she takes one look at him and runs around like a chicken with its head cut off, ear to ear grin on her face, happy as a pig in shit.

The separation would be devastating for both of them. Right now, I stay because of that, and only because of that. Living like I have been, with someone who is so completely and totally submerged in their own private hell is not something that is sustainable.

I need a wingless angel to spend the night walking him around town and showing him how horrible Mr. Potter has made everything so he comes back to us with a sense of renewed hope and faith. 

I need a Christmas Miracle. For me, for him...and for the little girl who needs her daddy.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 6

The new expansion pack for World Of Warcraft comes out today. For months my husband has been constantly bitching, whining and in general being a prick about how much he hates the game, doesn't know why he continues to play, doesn't know why he wastes the money and should just go ahead and get it over with and cancel his subscription.

He sent me a text message this morning practically begging me to get this new installment as soon as possible. We were going to wait until this weekend at the earliest because funds are a little tight right now. We happen to have an emergency stash of cash though and decided it would be in our best interests to use it and replace it on Friday. It's been so long since he was actually excited about anything, let alone the game, that I'm willing to do whatever we need to do just to have a few hours of relative peace and a vacation from his constant negative attitude.

As with every stereotypical male cinematic figure who's life is going less than ideally, all he sees are the clouds and not the silver lining. He's so deeply ensconced in his rut that he's lost sight of the fact that he's actually *in* one and thinks thats just life as he knows it. Time and time again you see it in movies. The wife/mother is the strong central character and the husband/father is the one looking for greener pastures, wishing that life were different, better. Perhaps most famously George Bailey and most recently even Shrek got in on the universe altering, world changing, 'go fuck yourself' practice of never having been born. And no matter how hard the women in their lives try to point out all the good things about their situation, all they see is the bad.

Of course this all leads me to the not so silent prayer that the game will install correctly and he'll be able to log on, load and play with no issues. Because if everything from package to play does not go swimmingly, I'll be hearing about it until he turns off his computer and makes his pouty way to bed.

So join me in silent prayer that this little endeavor gives both of us some peace. Think of it as your good deed for the day. Your karma will thank you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 5

In the immortal words of a former co-worker, 'If it's not one thing, it's 15.'

Truer words were never spoken. It seems lately that any time we finish dealing with one crisis, another one sprouts up in its place like something out of a horror movie. Back when I was pregnant with my daughter, we got slapped in the face ON CHRISTMAS DAY by the state globbing onto our entire bank balance to cover back child support my husband hadn't paid because he (through no fault of his own) defaulted on a payment agreement. Legally, support can only take a certain percentage of your paycheck for payments but if you've entered into a previous agreement, you still have to make up the difference regardless of whether or not it puts you over that threshold. In other words, if you're supposed to pay $100 every paycheck but your check is not enough and $100 would be too much so they only autopay $50, you are STILL responsible for the other $50 regardless. So, going into Christmas (and only weeks away from our daughter's birth) we went from over $3,000 in our account to a balance of -$350.

We resolved that issue, only to be slapped by the IRS a few weeks later for what they claimed was a misfiled tax return in which we owed a couple thousand dollars. Bye bye first ever tax refund in 10 years. We then settled into a relatively pain free (if not totally stress free) year. We weren't exactly out of the financial woods but nothing was looming dramatically over our heads.

Then came the first major snowfall of the season and our apartment complex's notice of intent to plow the parking lot. All cars had to be out of the lot by a certain time so the plow could go through. Back when I was still pregnant, my husband had been in a car accident in which a woman (on her cell phone) had plowed into him with her SUV while turning out of a gas station. Completely fucked up the driver's side door. Her insurance company said she was at fault and took responsibility for the repairs. However, upon actually taking possession of the vehicle to make those repairs, they determined it would be more expensive to fix the problem than what the car was actually worth. So instead, they totaled it and sent us a check. The car was still drivable but the drivers side was still completely fucked and eventually had to be taped shut because it wouldn't stay closed.

My husband's mother loaned us money to purchase a new car (well, new to us at least, it was just as old as our old one but the owner had taken better care of it than we had of ours) so the old one sat lonely and unused in the back of the lot next to the dumpster area. Cut to plow day. My husband goes out to start the car and the battery is unsurprisingly dead. We decide we'll plead our case to the property manager though we don't hold out much hope. She tells me that no, she's very sorry but (even though the car is completely out of the way) the car will be towed if it isn't moved. We figured as much however the maintenance guy overhears the conversation and offers to jump and move it for us. Hooray!

I go back upstairs, get the key and wait for news. About half an hour later, my phone rings and it's the property manager asking if there's a special trick to getting the hood open as the maintenance guy has been trying everything and cannot get it open. (On a trip to Valvolene a couple years ago, they broke the hood latch during a routine oil change) I told them no, and resigned myself again to the fact that the car in all likelihood would be towed. I still held out a tiny bit of hope though. When I didn't hear anything for another half hour or so, I finally went downstairs to check on the situation. I could tell by the look on her face that yes, in fact the car had been towed. She apologized, gave me back the key, and that was the end of it.

The end of it until we got the bill that is. $320 for the tow, $35 for every day the towing company kept it stored on the lot. It's been more than 2 weeks and the car is still there with no signs of coming home any time soon.

Jesus wept.

I'm not really all that upset or angry about the car getting towed, and neither is my husband. We'd both kind of accepted it, like when an old sick relative finally dies. You're just glad it's over and you start looking at the bright side. "Nellie's in a better place now." "We won't have to worry about moving her next time they plow." "At least now we don't have to pay to have someone take her away." We're more upset about the attitude the property manager took with regard to the entire situation. We understand there's rules and that she can't make exceptions for people because pretty soon nobody would be moving their cars and the lot would never get plowed. But it's not like we just refused to move the car or just didn't feel like it. We did everything humanly possible to move it, as did the maintenance guy and she even got in on it herself, sitting behind the wheel of the car trying to help pop the hood, all to no avail. And as mentioned before, it's not as if it was out in the middle of the lot in the way everything and everyone. It was tucked back, practically hidden, next to the dumpster area fence.

But, whatever. Now we just have to figure out how to pay this off. Hope they like their $5 monthly installment :P