blatherings about life, the universe & everything.... or more likely just books, students, family, & someday politics, religion and those more esoteric themes related to self actualization. Trying to be optomistic, but raised w/ Tricky Dick, bumbling Ford, Teflon Ron, Waffling-Read-My-Lips Bush & Slick Willie as her formative Presidents. Could we once again have intelligence & integrity in our nation's capital & capitol?

Friday, October 17, 2008

A kid of mine died.
I technically should call him a student, but I always call my students my kids, unless my 3 biological kids are listening.

I know it might seem odd, but I grow attached to these kids of mine. I see them a few hours a week, and I find myself spending more time in prayer about them than I do my own three. Sure they outnumber my 3 by a few hundred every year, but it's not just because of the number of them. It's because I believe my biological kids to be safe, to be ok, to not have the issues of my students, my kids. Oh, sometimes I believe my youngest does what he does just to get me to pray for him more, but he doesn't live in a world of drive by shootings. His parents might be divorced, but except for a few bad days we aren't bad parents. I know that deep down my son will be ok unless he choses to screw up.

But Tarrell... I know nothing about him really. He's been in my classroom for a few weeks; every other day for 90 minutes. There have been over 50 kids in that class since the beginning of the school year, & even though we're down to only about 25 on the roster, I still don't know the kids like I'd like to. There have been a few days I've blown up & most probably created distance & slowed down the getting to know them. I am not a perfect teacher... I'd have a halo already if I were.

But Tarrell... What do I know? I know that at first he didn't even pretend to do the work. I know that he has always been polite to me, if not obedient. I know that lately he was doing more of the work. I know that he was beginning to act like he might have something to learn in my class.

I know that last night, the night he died, I told a friend about him. You see Tarrell realized that during the silent reading time in class he might fall asleep, so he found a good strategy. He started out sitting, but then he would stand leaning against a wall, or a file cabinet, or leaning over a desk or bookshelf, he would walk quietly & slowly so as to not lose his place in the book. He read.

He read.

No, I don't think he took the notes he was supposed to after he read. But he could talk about what he read.

My students in that class complain about how boring the books are. Classic history-changing books. Narrative of Frederick Douglass, Up From Slavery by Booker T. Washington; Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs/Linda Trent; I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou; Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown; Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston... and Watson's go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis... ok it hasn't changed history, but it does have a history changing moment recalled in it.Some read, some don't.

Tarrell had started to be one of the readers. I was proud of him & bragged about him & now he's dead.& I don't know why.

I don't know how he was in the world. I don't know. But in my room, he was one of my good kids. He was even fun.

Early in the year we teachers tend to sort kids into three categories: The good; the followers; & the bad. & that sounds worse than it is... The bad are the ones we actually try to get to know the best the fastest. If we can get "the bad" to behave better... to care about their education, then the followers won't join the bad. The good? They do their work no matter what. & so I pray a lot for " the bad."

By the end of the year, I don't have "bad kids." Ok, not all are good students, but what I do have are... the kid with an anger chip on his shoulder cuz mom died a couple of weeks before school died.; the kid whose dad beats on him, the girl who is pregnant; the kid whose parents are mad because of homosexuality; the woman who works 40 hours & pays the rent even though she's only 16; the girl who writes poetry about suicide; the boy whose father has a couple of girlfriends on the side & a mom who finds out about it; the girl who wishes she had never had that first drink; the boy who sees his brother die & doesn't expect to live to be 18.

They aren't bad kids, ever. I just don't know why school is not a focus for them at first. I don't know why they don't have respect for their own futures. Why they don't see how school will benefit them.

Though I'm statistically one of the very few folks on this planet with a Masters degree, I don't earn the serious money that education suppposedly promises. I can not tell them that education will make them rich. Oh, I have the statistics to show that it is true, but I don't even earn 43K a year. A year or so ago my kids & I could have qualified for free & reduced lunches too, if their father was a deadbeat... fortunately he isn't. So I can't say study to be money wealthy.

I struggle to figure out how to tell them that education frees the brain & the soul.

It removes chains.
It keeps people from being able to jerk you around with their lies & propaganda & persuasive tricks.
It gives you the freedom of feeling confident about your decisions.
It gives you choices.

How to explain that when the books that say it clearly are "boring"?Boring because 70% of today's youth of all races & wealth read below grade level & do not understand what they are reading. Boring because it's more comfortable to say that than "it's too hard." & yes for my students the percentage of below level readers is higher.

I try to offer a variety of levels of books, but some of the "good" students this year decided to take the easy road & took the easy books. As Emerson would say they are chosing not to till the plot that has been given to them. They are not doing what they know is their best and it will not satisfy them. Usually the "good " students don't get away with it. Usually I take the time to fix the lists of who is reading what to prevent that. I forgot this year.

But meanwhile... Tarrell began to read.

I don't really know what level of book he should have had. I don't know if he is a high reader or low reader. & now it doesn't matter.

But he had begun to read.

The other day a colleague & I just happened to be discussing the distressing idea that some of our students don't expect to live to be 25... that some of our students don't expect their lives to go by with out jail time. Heck, some have been there already... or are wearing the ankle bracelets of home arrest or supervised parole.

Did Tarrell expect to live? I don't know.
Did he expect to stay out of jail? I don't know.

But because of how he had begun to try to do some classwork, I think he did expect to live. I think he wanted to live & stay out of jail. I think he did.

Had he always? I don't know.
Had he always shown respect for his own future? I don't know.

But this I do know.

I think he had hope and dreams, so damn the bastards that shot him. Not only because they took his life and his future, but also because now some other kid of mine thinks that cuz Tarrell died, maybe there is no reason to do school work or respect his own future, cuz he won't live to be 18 let alone 25 either. One of my kids might now think that because he can't control what some bastard with a protected by the 2nd amendment gun can do, why should he even try.

What the hell good do Emerson & Faulkner & Booker T. Washington, Frederick Douglass, Hurston, Jacobs, Brown & Angelou have to say to some one who is in a coffin before age 18?

I don't know.

I do know that they can give those who are still alive reason to hope to stay alive. Reason to believe that those trials and tribulations that make it easy to give up can be survived.

Those who read can be given the hope and the courage to prevail and not just barely survive. They who read can see the honor and sacrifice and pride and pity and compassion that help us to endure with out having to learn everything the hard way themselves.

So damn the man, boy, girl, child, mental infant that shot that blasted gun... & yes I know I told a kid of mine today not to use damn cuz the Bible tells us not to...Yes I know it. But how dare that so called human rob hope from my kids. How dare that subhuman hurt my kids more... How dare it not show respect for the future of all of my kids by robbing one of my kids of his next day & his ever brightening future.

and so I grieve for a boy named Tarrell that I barely knew, and all of my kids who are hurt by his death.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

As I warned myself & others warned me. If he would lie to her; he would lie to me.

I knew something was wrong for a couple of weeks, but couldn't get him to talk as much, which was a symptom that something was wrong, too.

He told me he was giving up the rented house so that he & I could afford life together better. See each other more, have less debt, etc. He was going to see about renting from my mom & work off part of the rent instead of $. But then he changed that into just moving into the semi-abandoned farm house he stayed in last winter.

His stories about where he was sleeping during the moving process had holes & contradictions. Then Monday night his eldest daughter texted me & asked what our status was. I told her that if he was living w/ wife we were over. If he was at that farmhouse, even then I wasn't positive cuz he wasn't giving me updates either.

Yesterday, Tuesday their pastor called me on my cell phone during school. Wife got my number off her home phone, but didn't call it herself. Asked pastor to confirm whether it was a contractor or not like FBE told her it was. Pastor told me FBE had moved back in w/ wife & was blowin on her in church like she was his best gal.

FBE tried calling while I talked to pastor. I texted him that I was talking to pastor. FBE & I talked afterwards. He tried to tell me he was just doing it for short term so he wouldn't get screwed in the divorce. He tried to tell me about how he needed to avoid alimony & extra child support he couldn't afford. He tried to tell me it was so we could be together in the long run. I just pointed out that he lied to me & that he knew how I would feel about him living with her.

Later he texted "lets just call it quits." I already had taken off the ring. It's a pretty ring.

We texted during school & talked afterwards. He still loves me he says, but he wants his kids too. He doesn't know how to have both.

I've told him & his daughter that its over, but if/when he changes his mind & has nothing to lie about, he knows how to find me.

I want wife to know the extent of the lies he told her.
I need to figure out what to do with his clothes & stuff.
I just tried to shut off his credit card on the account we shared, which is technically only in my name. For some reason they can't guarantee that he can't use it any more.

Damn it. I broke every common sense rule. Every common sense rule that every woman knows. I thought it didn't apply to us.

I can't eat. I can't sleep & I can't cry enough.

& I saw it coming. I knew something was wrong. I felt the lies of omission, heard the evasions. I know how he made moving to the farmhouse not a real lie to himself. He did move stuff back into it that he took from it. He just didn't move himself there.

I told him in a text last week when he wouldn't answer the phone, that I had watched him for a year avoid her calls, & delay responding to her texts, tell her 1/2 truths. I told him I noticed him doing it to me & it made me worry.

May you remember common sense & trust your instincts. Don't tell the rules & your guts that they are wrong. Listen. God gave us a brain & intuition for a reason. Use them.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The last week has been a roller coaster, but here's the short version. I'm wearing a shiny pretty ring with diamonds. Supposedly divorce court date is September 8.

Have to go back to school & get my classroom ready this week. Teaching a different class that has a brand new textbook, that I've not seen. But I should see a lot of last year's freshman in this class which is sophomore English, so I won't be struggling to learn as many names, hopefully... just refreshing my memory. Gawd, I hope they grew up more than I recall.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Shit is just fertilizer

Ah, it's been a rough few days, but it's working out for the better.

FBE was wiped out & feeling guilty when he saw Wife's pain & got all wishy-washy about the divorce.

Tuesday (the day after I spoke with WIFE), I left my key to his place at his place & brought home most of my personal stuff. I left the key under a letter that told him that I love him & want our lives to be interconnected, but wasn't going to be the one calling or e-mailing or visiting him.

He picked up the letter to read it, noticed the key, assumed I was gone FOREVER and did not actually read the letter until after he & youngest daughter had a really "good" cry. Because they had places to go & things to do to get ready for the county fair contests it was not until a few hours later that he & she actually read the letter & the letter I wrote to all three kids. These two letters made them feel somewhat better, but FBE knew that he & I were at serious risk.

So he called 2-3 times that night, even after 10 pm which we almost never do cuz we get up so early. I listened, explained as needed, but held firm that I wasn't going to be with a wishy-washy. He needed to make up his mind ONCE & FOR ALL. I thought we had already been throught this crap before. First I assumed he had thought it all through & was resolved when he actually filed for the divorce, then we reprocessed it in March, and it seems like I had pointed out to him a few times that if he was truly giving me direct quotes of what he had said, that it sounded as though he still had doubts, so would he make up his mind. He wasn't hearing the ambiguity in what he was saying, but I was & I was certain that WIFE would hear it too, cuz she was needing it to keep her denial going.

So Tuesday & Wednesday I gave him some mental & emotional homework:

1.) Look at his parents' relationship & Wife's parents' relationships and look for patterns that he & wife were repeating or avoiding that created their own problems. For example since he never saw his parents fight, he avoids conflict... plus it's just something that kids of alcoholics often do. Her father is very domineering & her mom takes the shit he gives.... So Wife trying to avoid being her mom, imitates her dad. I know that counselors often ask couples to do this. This forces him to look at patterns not individual instances too. Individual fights can change, but patterns rarely do. My husband changed the extremity of our pattern so that it became subtle enough I didn't notice it for a while.
2.) Create a pro & con list for staying with her.
3. Create a pro & con list for marrying me.
4.) Quantify the number of times since September (I backed it up to before he & created habits that would automatically make me win) that he reached out to her to share his thoughts, feelings & experiences; how many times he reached out to me; how many times he avoided contact with her; how many times he avoided contact with me. He groaned about the actual math of the reaching outs & the avoiding of her, but knew immediately the number of times he has avoided me. NONE. The only time he didn't answer my phone calls was when she or a boss was right in front of him, and then he called me as soon as possible. I told him estimates would do on the other.
5.) He has to share with his kids & Wife & ME his decision and WHY he made it the way he did.

I knew that with 4-6 phone calls a day to me I would win. We talk for 30-60 minutes every morning; we talk for 20-45 minutes every lunch; we talk for 15-60 minutes once we're both off work; we talk 30-60 minutes at bedtime... EVERY DAY that we are not together... PLUS if he runs errands at work, & he knows I'll be available, Plus sometimes in the mid evening if he doesn't have the kids, PLUS just some other random times.

He asked why to do the numbers... I said because standard belief is that if some one thinks they don't know what they believe, they can usually just look at their behavior & figure it out. He said, "Sweetheart, in every category you win. The only things that make me hesitate are that the kids are hurt by the divorce, and it just seems to be throwing 25 years away."

I of course asked about hadn't they had counselling a few times before during the 25 years? (I knew they had.) Hadn't he thought that "if only x happened" things would change before...(I knew he had.)

I told him that one time I had said to my mom, "Wow, this staying married is really a lot of hard work; I'm impressed that you & dad made it as long as you have." My mom said to me, "Staying married isn't something that you work at. It's just something that you do." Now, I told my counselors & couples groups etc that I struggled for a long time as to whether that was good or bad advice. And eventually decided it was good advice for little issues, and one time issues, but bad advice for ongoing & cyclical problems. So were FBE & his Wife's issues little ones, one timers, or ongoing & cyclical ?

AND so it went.

This morning he called. He hadn't slept well even though he finally had airconditioning. He was in mid sentence about how he loves me, when WIFE called. Then after awhile it was time for him to work, so I gave up on him calling back. BUT he did. He told her what he had been going to tell me. He doesn't trust her to be able to be what he needs long term & he doesn't want to go through this process again. He wants it over. He loves me and he thinks what we have is really good; that I am good for him.

Then he said that she called because her advisers had told her that she probably should have just let the divorce happen in the first place & shouldn't try to stop it anymore. AND a counselor told her that SHE probably didn't have the strength to actually make the changes SHE needed to to make the marriage work.

I AM HAPPY!!!!!!!

Oh, and FBE talked to the owner of another company, and was offered a new job starting the 21st. The project he is doing for his current boss is scheduled to be done the 18th. So he won't miss any pay. He will have to redo his insurance AGAIN. His pay is similar; he gets a credit card to buy fuel, but not a company vehicle, which is ok with him because his driveway can't really handle 4 vehicles (his truck, a company truck, his collector's car & his motorcycle.)

& in case you didn't notice it in the previous post Wife ... almost ex wife... finally got a job. She likes it. Oh, and since in this position she works lots of hours, but is still part time she won't be able to have insurance for kids for quite a while..

So now childsupport & alimony if it happens will be based on HER having income. & him carrying the kids on his insurance. Which means less of his income leaving his pocket & going to hers. HOORAY! Plus during this process he's gotten more in debt because of the lawyer, but she didn't... her daddy has deep pockets, so he looks poorer than she does, even though he does still earn more. He got an unexpected bonus a couple of weeks ago that paid off some bills that he had gotten behind on.

& one last detail I should fess up to. I went with him to his lawyer in June and we put the lawyer bill on my credit card & then I transferred it immediately to a new card w/ 0% interest until fall of 2009. The plan is to pay it off with the divorce settlement money. His credit cards don't have enough credit to let him make that big of a charge. He assured me all this week that I would get paid back every penny no matter what happened. I believed him. I had offered money to pay rent & bought groceries a few times along the way. AND he HATED it. It bugged him big time, when he had no other choice. So I told him in June that what I was about to offer would get me in trouble with every one, but that I was willing to put the lawyer on my credit card. He took a couple of weeks to decide he was desparate enough to get it over & done with that he would let me do it. He said afterwards, "You must really love me a lot to do that." I said, "love's got nothing to do with it." He said, "huh?" I said, " I love my kids, but I'm not giving them the money. I loved the ex, but I would never have done something like that for him; I love a dear friend who is unemployed & about to go into foreclosure & probably bankruptcy, but I don't trust them with MONEY." I trust him about money.

He & I have discussed how money should be handled since October, & he has good money sense. He has just had some circumstances that got them behind: wife's illness & unemployment; a wife relunctant to use an inheritance to pay off debt caused by her illness & unemployment; he left a job due to an ethical situation ( the boss was unethical) and the replacement job paid less. And then of course the divorce lawyer kept costing more than originally expected and the price of fuel has doubled (& so did his travel... to see me.) All along I've found ways to pay my fair share. For example if he drove to see me, I paid for our food & entertainment. Then I paid to refill his truck for the drive home as prices rose. I also pay for the turnpike fees through an automatic payment system. On his part? He drove his motorcycle as soon as the weather was almost warm enough; he still paid for our dates in his town when I did the driving. He does chores for me.
Now for totally unrelated. My 9 year old dog got ran over Tuesday morning while I was packing & doing dishes etc at FBE's house. I had let him out to go potty, but never really worried about him because I have actually seen him check traffic before crossing a street. I heard him barking & went to the door to whistle him back into the house when I heard a heavy knocking on the door. I thought it was WIFE again, but it was a police officer. He told me that Yoki had been hit. I looked at my 14 pound terrier chihauhau mix that was running all over the house & jumping up on the couch because there was a stranger at the door, and did not believe him. He swore he saw it with his own eyes that the trailer behind a vehicle had gone over the dog. He advised that I take him in to get checked out for internal injuries. So I started trying to track down a vet. That little hamlet of a town has NO VET.... 2000 people plus farms & country developments & no VET!!! So eventually I found one in the near by big city's phone book that was on a road I knew, near an intersection I knew in a closer part of the city than other adressess.

I didn't realize just how much this stupid dog that I've only had 2 years, that sheds fur, & scatters his food & doesn't always do his pottying outside means to me. I have actually offered to give him to other people cuz he can be such a pain. I was shaken. I guess I love the dumb dog after all.

Yoki is going to be okey dokey. Bumps, bruises, scrapes, aches. Nothing long lasting. The vet gave him a shot for the shock & prescriptions for pain & infections. Yoki is stiff when he has lain around a long time & he is laying around a lot more. But he still chases Rabbits, and he tries to have some enthusiasm for playing with his toys. He'll fetch them once or twice, but then he is done.

So in the past 10 days: I feared pregnancy (took the test a 2nd time after a long stretch between peeing & still got the result that I am not.) Had to talk with FBE's WIFE. Almost lost FBE to wife. Had to worry about a ran over dog. That adds up to a ton of stress.

It's kind of hard to believe that on June 28th he & I went to an amusement park without any kids and had a BLAST! It was carefree & wonderful & like in a movie. He hadn't been to such a place ever... oh he'd done county & state fairs rides some, but you know they aren't all that spectacular. I am not known to be a daredevil. BUT when we went online to buy the tickets, we found out that some of the "scarey" roller coasters are only 2 minutes long. Hey, we can survive just about anything for 2 minutes we decided. So we rode every roller coaster except one twice, and we rode one of them 3 times. Ok, he gets to tease me for the rest of our lives about how I close my eyes so I can't get scared.... but I like roller coasters! & I love him.

May your lives not be filled with serious emotional roller coasters like my last 10 days have been, but may it have enough highs & lows that you truly appreciate the highs, and know that you can survive the lows.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Shit hits the fan today

Ok, so ... a tough place to begin.... where oh where to begin.

I had a yearly physical on July 1st. My doctor kept noticing & mentioning that my last period was the first week of May. Yup, June did not happen. But I told her that I have one ovary that doesn't know how to count & that the other one kicks in when it is supposed to. Yes, it's been a long time since one was completely missed & not just a week or so late. So she said to me, "It it doesn't start this week, take a pregnancy test." Now this was after she poked & prodded me down there in lots of ways I'm not describing. I figure if a doctor can't tell, then I'm not pregnant. I'm just having the "bad ovary" month. When FBE asks how the appointment went, I tell him what she said, but that I'm not concerned.

But as the week progressed & the period didn't come, I ... wellI was going to take the test this morning when FBE & I woke up (I'm at his house), but I could NOT sleep. I had to pee at 12, gave up on sleeping through the need & got up at 12:30. But then at 2 I needed to pee again... Now I know these tests say take it in the morning assuming that you won't have peed for a long time come morning.... so I try again to stall, but at 3:15 am I was still stressed out so I got up finally & I took the test. Now whether 3 hour pee has enough hormone or not I didn't care any more. I needed SLEEP & wasn't going to get it until my brain was at rest. It said I am not pregnant. FBE asked me when I came back to bed if I was ok. I gave him the update & then we slept.

Now, to back up several hours. I arrived in this hamlet between 6:30 & 7 pm. I started to pull into his driveway because we do that to empty my stuff before we move the car farther away. He comes out shirtless & waves me away. I go to the gas station next door & finally figure out before I got out of the car, that his wife was across the street in his car that she drives since she wrecked her own. He called when the coast was clear. I came we unloaded the dog & left to get him some supper, check on his worksite & get me some pillows. She called around 9 because the youngest daughter left something in his house. He just tells her that he's out with a friend and that's why his vehicles are there... Oh, the barking dog that she heard? He is dogsitting for a friend. I tell him that these lies & half truth shit is shit. He just needs to tell her some truths.

At 10:50 pm WIFE pounds on his front door. The dog? He didn't bark until she was knocking... that's what kind of an alert dog he was last night. I was smart enough to keep my mouth shut & let only him tell the dog to shut up. I knew it was her. I dressed in his closet while he dressed on the way to answer the door. He went outside to talk with her. He told her the dog story again.

About 10-15 minutes later she left. We talked some; we were really glad she hadn't been there 10 or 20 minutes earlier, cuz I had been making some loud noise at that time. We were settling down to sleep again, when she called. Why hadn't he let her in the house? Why didn't he introduce her to the dog? When he came back to bed, I told him that her inner gut knows the truth. She knows I was there.

Since I had only had 2 hours of sleep before FBE left for work, I did promise him that I would get dressed before his daughter came over this morning, but I wouldn't guarantee being awake.

WIFE called while he was dressing for work. I did not answer the phone, but I did carry it too him.

We have a daily devotional time. During the school year he reads to me while I commute. During the summer or when I'm off I read, so when I tried to call him for our daily scripture reading ( I thought Psalm 103 appropriate for the day), his phone was busy. I knew he was calling her or vice versa. About 20 minutes later we talked. The wife said that if she knew he had been going to leave that late, she would have come over in the morning to talk. (I'm really glad she didn't come over, cuz the windows were open by then & she would have heard me being noisy, which is why he left late).


After doing a few chores I came inside & laid down at about 10 til 8. The dog began barking at 8; I yell at him to shut up. There is knocking at the door. I go to answer the door, but realize it's probably WIFE, so I peak out. It is HER. I get where she can not see me through the blinds I had opened to let the air move better (air conditioner is broken, supposed to be fixed today). I very quietly call FBE & tell him. She knew he wouldn't be there; he has a job. She left. I closed the blinds. Thirty minutes later, She came back & POUNDED on the DOOR. & yells that she needs to talk to me. She uses my name. I just stay silent. My phone buzzed, it's FBE. She had called & asked him why a female was in his house. I am waiting for the air conditioner folks to come is what he told her. & Would I stick to that message & go ahead & talk to her. Because she insists that she needs to talk with ME & she won't leave until she does. The WOMAN IS POUNDING. I am NERVOUS. I delay. I peak out cuz she stops for a long time. She is on the phone with FBE. He calls me again. She knows I'm there, so just go on & talk.

When she is not right at the door, I walk out & pull the locked door behind me (keys in my pocket.) I sit on a brick flower dealymabobber that's edges the porch & is higher than the porch. I breathe calmly as I can. I feel myself shaking, but I see no evidence of it in my hands.

For ease of reading I'm going to color code her words blue cuz she was surprisingly calm voiced. My words... well I'm the sinner here so red... or because of my passion? But I too was very calm & civilized in my speech. If it stays black, I just thought it.

She asks why I am there. I tell her that I'm waiting for the air conditioner man. Why am I? Because FBE is my friend. Where was I last night? I was where I belonged & where I was welcome. So was I there last night? What does she think? What does she know ? I ask back. She says she doesn't know, that's why she is asking. I tell her calmly that she knows the answer, that's why she was here this morning when she knew he'd be gone. So why didn't I answer the door? It didn't seem wise as she sounded very angry, & I'm just here for the air conditioner man.

Now I 've lost the memory of the order of the rest of the conversation, but here are some things she told me & some of my responses.

Didn't I know that they were trying to work it out & were going to counseling? I knew they had counseling in the past & that she was still going. I knew that she thought she was trying to work it out. Didn't I know that he had been going these last two months & their last session was just 2 weeks ago? No I did not. I did want to say that I talked to him 4 times a day at least & that I knew when he saw her, but I didn't.

Did I know that he has told her that I am in his past; that he's told me to stay away & that we're over with? No. He had NOT told me that, EVER. Did she not notice that he would have had to invite me to his house to wait for the air conditioner man? & he didn't even ever say anything like that when I broke up with him decades ago. But I kept those to myself.

Did I know that he says he loves her every day? I know that he has lots of agape & compassion for her. Did I know that he sees her everyday? Yes, because then he gets to see the kids whom he misses very much. (I so wanted to tell her that he tells me that he loves me several times a day; that he talks about marrying me every day, BUT I did NOT.)

Didn't I know that she loved him ? Yes, I know that she believes that she does. But does love berate the other person? & put him down? Does love suspect him of pulling a gun & calling the police. Get a stringent restraining order? Give permission to shower, but then let him end up in handcuffs, not let him see his kids? Does love make one turn others to despising the person? Does love make the other person feel unloved, disrespected, not honored?

Did I know that he had been suicidal before? yes, because he had been berated & felt unloved disrespected & not honored.

How did I know that she did those things? He told me, the kids told me & I heard her do it. When? How? She was talking to him on the phone. & I thought, Oh shit. I shouldn't have mentioned the kids & the phone.

When did this thing between us start? After he filed for the divorce in October, but I knew that first day with in the first 20-30 minutes that he was planning the divorce. Why didn't I stay away? I did stay away at first. But he called. I gave him advice on how to stay married, the love languages, counselling, & other ideas. I told him how awful divorce is & how it is expensive. I tried to talk him into staying married. Later when he asked I gave him advice that every woman is given when she wants a divorce. Of course he didn't follow my advice and then she did everything I told him to do. Such as? Change names on accounts, credit cards, get the restraining order, etc.

I was told that she knew that he was with me when my dad was dying, right? But he couldn't come to the funeral because he had to go to court. It was the day the divorce could have been final.
Didn't I know that divorces take a long time? They take 60 days. I repeated that 3 times as she asked questions about divorce. She said something that indicated that she thought my divorce was really new, or still in process. I corrected her & said that it was a few years ago.

Why did I get involved when I knew he was married? I knew he was divorcing & I wanted an old friend back. I met him when I was 12. He was my best friend & I was in love with him. I broke up with him because I was afraid. I was afraid I wasn't grown up enough for marriage so I ran away to college. But I cried & was depressed & almost committed suicide over my breaking up with him. At first I just wanted to apologize. I had wanted to do that for over 20 years. I had written him letters to apologize that I never mailed because I couldn't find his address; I would look through the phone book for his number so I could apologize. After that I just wanted an old friendship back, nothing more. I even told myself & my friends that I should avoid him until he was divorced completely.

Why didn't I? Because he called. & she should ask HIM why.
Why did I stay involved? Why was I committing adultery? She should ask Him that. Oh, I was tempted to say that it is because I had never known sex could be that AWESOME, but I didn't.

Didn't I know that he goes to church with her? Yes, but he goes to church with me too. He travels what 2 miles tops to go to church with her; he travels 190 miles to go to church with me. She looked surprised about that. So I said, you know he visits me. You knew he was at church with me, that's why you went to 4 churches looking for him. If she knew that he was with me, then why did she go looking? Because she doesn't want to know what her soul knows deep down. Because its easier to deny it than accept it. I was tempted to point out that he is with me at church at least every other Sunday, & actually more often than that. She said something about that explaining his high gas bills.

Why don't I accept that they are still married & not work to make him want the divorce? She should ask him that. & I have told him in March to decide whether he had passion for her or compassion? Was he missing the family or missing HER? Did they have the ingredients of love as described in Corinthians Chapter 13? Did they have trust? Patience? etc. She told me to re-read it myself. I almost have the fool thing memorized from having read it for myself, for MY EX & for FBE, but I didn't say that. I was just silent.

So why didn't I stay away? She should ask Him.

Did I know that the Youngest daughter says I wanted to be her mother? I never initiated such a conversation. But she is a delightful girl, & I wouldn't mind being her stepmother.

Did I know that the kids say that I want to marry FBE? It is true. I would like to marry him. BUT I did not say that he has proposed, or planned to marry me or nothing about what I think FBE thinks of marrying me.

How did I feel about trying to justify adultry? & sitting beside a married man in church? I know that my sins are forgiven & washed away, & that being with him feels right. Didn't I know that we are to walk away from our sins? I remained silent.

Did I know that the kids were just a mess & all torn up last night ? I remained silent at first to that. I wanted to say that I knew & that they've been on my prayer list since that first meeting. Sometime along the way I did say something about how I knew that the length of the divorce process was hard on the kids, but that at first they had supported the divorce & that had been a reason I did not stay away & I did give FBE advice when he asked for it.

Did I know that a woman willing to be with a married man needed counseling?... or something like that asked with much compassion. Been there, done that. & I'm the happiest & healthiest I have ever been, and besides I expected the divorce to be over with LONG ago, because they only take 60 days.

Didn't I know they were trying to work it out? Then why was FBE still living in this house? Why hadn't he moved back in if he was wanting to stay married? I asked back.

There were times when she told me I was being evasive. I told her I knew that, but that some things she has to be told by FBE, not me. I wasn't going to lie to her.

Most of the time she spoke very quietly... we were on the Main drag of this hamlet, with a gas station & two churches with in breathing distance. She did not cry. She even once said something about having had great respect for me & my family all these years. She knew that I was raised the same way she was; that I was raised to know that my relationship with FBE was not right. I just reminded her that we did not start the relationship until after he filed for divorce & that I had never expected the divorce to take this long, or for me to have this role.

Somehow along the way, she decided from what I said that he & I became intimate, shall we call it, or at least not just friends somewhere around March. I let that just be misunderstood, because I NEVER admitted to sex. I did admit to loving him. Did I really believe that he loved me & that he & I would get together? That was another thing she would have to ask Him.

Anyway. After about 40 minutes of this she had to leave for work & I still was going to wait for the air conditioner man... and I still am. Immediately after she left I called FBE & told him that I had tried to hold the line about the aircondtioner man, but she asked lots of questions & I wasn't going to lie to her. I had not blabbed all the details. I told him that he was going to end up doing a LOT of talking today... to her & me. Why? Because she said that you 2 still are in counselling & that you tell her everyday that you love her & that you are trying to reconcile with her and when asked I told her that you have never told me that I am to stay away & oh, yeah, somewhere along the way I told her that he only had to drive a mile to go to church with her, but he drove 190 miles to attend with me.

(I mean the lady needs to think about this... If I am to stay away, why am I the one waiting for the air conditioner man? No I didn't say it outloud to any one yet.)

Got to go... oldest daughter is here.


So I'm back. I've edited & color coded. The air conditioner man never came. I suspect that he was never scheduled to be here today. I don't know. I was assured that FBE talked to the rental management folks & the air conditioner folks today that we were on the end of today's to do list & he'd get here if he could. It sounds like one of his 1/2 lies he tells her. I'm not happy.

After work he supposedly had a meeting with the lawyer. He supposedly had a "side job" of building/fixing some steps for a woman who had surgery. He's still not home. We talked on the phone. He said the Wife was coming to where he was working & wanted to talk. I asked him if he wanted to hear my version of what was said. Yes, that would be helpful. So I basically read this to him as it was in front of me any way for editing. I was going to leave a note telling him to read it before waking me up, but now I don't have to. Yes, I still haven't slept. It was 90 something outside today. The house has no air conditioning, still.

I can hear some of you asking why I stay. If I know he does 1/2 lies to her. & with the things she says he does & plans with her. Well, first she has some faulty logic. Her story doesn't add, up & if she listened to herself, she'd know it. I suspect her of some lying. His 1/2 lies to her... I understood his stategy; I have told him to stop; I never caught him actually doing it to me. There were some times I think I caught him thinking about doing it, and I called him on it . He told me the truth. Yup, we have some talking to do tonight. When he gets home.

So to close. If you know that eventually the shit is going to hit the fan, stay away from it. I knew I should have. I still have faith that it hasn't all been lies to me... the miles he has driven, the money he has spent, the compassion and passion he has shown Plus he told his brother & nephew of his plans..


Saturday, June 14, 2008


It has been months & I should update this thing...

School is over, but prom still has over $800 debt still to be paid because only 64 tickets were sold instead of the usual 115 or so. A carwash for today had to be cancelled because the Walgreen's shift managers couldn't get the store manager to confirm that he had agreed to have the carwash there.

No, the divorce is not yet final. BUT FBE is no longer having mixed emotions. He wants the divorce DONE. He wants to marry me & preferably this summer vs next summer. Truth is, with our state laws it won't happen here unless a miracle happens by July 3rd. He is open to ideas of going out of state, but since we both want family & friends & not just an elopement.... we'll see what happens after we're free to make it happen. He has a meeting with the lawyer on Tuesday. He is finally willing to incur debt to make the divorce get over with. He knows that the settlement money should pay it off and other debts too. Yes, I told him this months ago, but a man has to process his own stuff himself.

It's been rough. In love. Becoming the "other woman." I can listen & console & reassure. If asked I can advise, or I can ask if he wants advice. But can't push. Can't make a man do things he's not ready to do, cuz then it makes things not good for us. No he did not put constraints on what I can & cannot do, except he won't let me send an anonymous letter to his wife that mainly just tells her to accept God's loving forgiveness instead of living by RULES & punishments. I only put vague stuff in there, but he thinks she'd figure out it was me. I even wrote it ambiguously so it sounds like I live in town. I use people I know in town unnamed of course as sources of my knowledge.

It's a small town, people talk. You know that 6 degrees thing for the world? Well in a town of 2000 it goes faster than 6 links. Turns out my cousins were in school with her. One of them worked with her... heck, she probably was a nurse for my relatives when they were in two different nursing homes. But my grapevine in the community is small. See she has friends & pastors & relatives there. I have a mom who has almost no friends, a brother & friend who probably have more on line friends than people friends. They all three are mostly mouth shut people. But my mom knows how to listen & she has talked with relatives who don't live in state anymore for the background knowledge.


I am now on facebook. IMing with a long lost friend & this is too complicated for my vacationing brain.

Take care

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dear Ones,

It has been a month... A long yet short month. Like always, I wonder where to begin. Where to find the thread that makes the story unravel the fastest...

Well, FBE's wife lost her job. Because of this FBE had the health insurance taken out of his paycheck instead of hers. But because she is unemployed, they didn't tell the child support worksheet folks because that could mean he would owe even more child support. And she thought she'd get a job rather quickly. She hasn't.

Meanwhile, remember the mediator sent them to 2 months of counseling instead of deciding the custody situation at that time. So since she was only comfortable with the pastor as counselor for them, that's where they went... the divorce is not an option pastor. Ok, so she has her own counselor who has put her on hormones & I think something else, and they have the pastor counselor. Somewhere she hears of a "Communications Counselor" and visits him a couple of times. Then suggests that FBE go to. Well, FBE figures that he needs to talk to her at least another 7 years until the youngest is 18, so it makes more sense than the pastor, so he goes. And for balance he skips the pastor counseling... with notice and an explanation that includes her being unbearable that week too. So.... Then along the way, she reminds him that he was to get counseling, too. He doesn't remember the mediator saying three counselors were needed, but maybe in one of their personal conversations he agreed to do so. So he found a counselor to go to. I sat in the waiting room as he had his first conversation with that one this past week, after we had a nice dinner at a Texas Roadhouse.

Oh, this past week was my spring break, so I went to live with him for the week. In theory I was to work with my mom on some projects. I saw her two days & worked for her then, but probably not as much as she expected. I just wasn't in the mood to see her.

Ok, so another wrinkle to add. FBE's rental agreement states that he won't co-habitate with a woman. A church that is right next door owns the house. So my car is not parked in his driveway. It is across the street in my old church's parking lot..."Open minds, Open hearts, Open doors." It feels like a lie. True, I'm not truly co-habitating, just visiting. But also his wife can drive by. Perhaps it is best if she not KNOW my car & not KNOW where I am staying. But it still feels like a lie. Plus a bit like we are ashamed of our relationship, or at least he's ashamed of it. He says he isn't, but .... My brain understands the parking across the street. My soul has a problem with it. And I knew something didn't set well with me, but I didn't know what. As I type it now, I figure it out.

Next layer: I knew money was tight for FBE. I didn't understand how tight. Yes, he told me that he told his wife that he'd be living in his truck soon. But I knew/know he exaggerates to her. Evidently he was more truthful w/ her than me this time. On Wednesday night his eldest daughter said something about which weekend the house needs to be emptied on. This is the first I've heard of this. I restrain myself around the youngest two, but let a few comments go that let him know I'm mad, which she probably heard. Later he had to take the youngest two back to their mom. When he returned, he stated that he is surprised I'm still there. I told him that I'm not that shallow & immature. When I told him that I would marry him, I started making decisions based upon being his wife. "For better or worse, for richer or poorer" etc. Did he understand why I was mad? He actually was very good at understanding that I felt lied too, or at least deceived, that he didn't talk to me & make me part of his decision making process, that the kids knew before me. I elaborated that I had heard him berate others for poor financial decisions, but yet he would take me out to eat, drive up to see me (which costs about $100 in gas each trip with his most used vehicle), etc. instead of saving money for rent & other bills. He would put his pride before accepting help from me. I had figured that if he thought he could afford to visit me & take me out to eat, that then he was making the money stretch somehow.

See, his rent, child support, truck & motorcycle payments & utilitites add up to more than he earns. I knew he didn't have money for the lawyer, but I figured that if he put that on the credit card then the divorce could get done & he would get the settlement money & be ok. Well... We really need for her to be employed, and the custody to be more equitable so that the child support can go down. It will help a little when the eldest graduates in May; it will reduce the child support by about 1/3, but meanwhile the pit of debt will grow.

Tomorrow he will talk to an aunt of his about some money. He is her heir. She gave him money in December when he had to get a new lawyer. We pray. I bought him some groceries while he was at work yesterday before I left to come back here, because he didn't want to accept money from me. He can't take the groceries back, so he has to accept that help anyway. I even cooked some of the food, so there... Last night when I told him that I had wanted to give him money at lunch, but didn't get to because I was waiting for the plumber to finish work at his house & he ate with his co-workers. So then I told him that I planned on mailing some money to him, but realized I didn't have his address. It's a small town, so I could always invision the house & find it w/o knowing the address. To my surprise, he told me his address. I can't send much until payday, but it should help pay a bill... a small bill. I told him that when my tax return comes in then we will talk again about what we need to do to reach our common goals.

I filed my federal taxes awhile back & expect my return of around $4K before long. So today, I get an e-mail from the EX. We had verbally & through e-mail agreed for me to claim the eldest daughter while she is in college despite the official documents saying he would this year & that I would only claim the youngest son. So I only claimed her & not the combination. Letting him have the youngest. Today's e-mail said that he thinks we should do it the way the official document sets it out. This would mean a very different filing for me. I have plans for the $4K. I e-mailed him back that I had already filed as per our verbal & e-mailed agreements. I do not trust myself to verbally speak to him at this point. I was to have already filled out FAFSA documents for the daughter too. & the only reason it isn't done is because I couldn't get the damned computer program to let me do it. She & I were to sit down together this weekend & try to get it to cooperate together. But she isn't here today as I expected her to be, so I don't know when it will get done. Esp. now with the EX having his viewpoint. If he claims her, then he has to do the FAFSA, which makes her look richer, which means she gets less financial aide. Why? oh Why did I ever marry that SOB? Because, well, I knew I probably was pregnant & I was, with yes, the eldest daughter.

So.... do you see where I am? Ah, let me add a little more background.

Last weekend FBE is up here visiting, and he asks, "So did you ever have second thoughts or mixed emotions about your divorce?" Yes, I see that he is admitting that he has some, but I answer that all of my mixed emotions were gone by the time I filed... they disappeared with the slamming of a door in my face. I had had them for almost a decade of marriage, but not when I filed. I also told FBE that even after I moved out I had times when I cried because I missed the kids & the family routine, but not because I still wanted to be married. I asked him if he was having some, yup. So we talked, & I cried & he cried. & We quit "talking" & tried to be normal, and then went back to "talking" & crying. In the end I said to FBE that he needed to figure out if he was lonely or missing HER; if he missed the family & it's routines or if he missed HER; if what he felt for HER was compassion (hey, she is anorexic looking now) or IN LOVE passionately with HER. Did he trust HER? Did he think She would ever trust him again? And what is love if it doesn't have trust? ... 1st Corinthians chapter 13 was very handy at that point. He guessed he had some thinking to do. Yes, he misses the family, and the youngest 2 even told him that they now wish he had not filed for divorce. .. The two that asked to be in our wedding. I pointed out that if the divorce was final & a real routine was established for the younger two where they saw him more, & always knew when they were seeing whom, that some of that would dissipate. I don't blame them for being frustrated with this long drawn-out drama-filled escapade of a divorce.

I also told him that usually to men's dismay a woman would say something like, "Well, we could still be friends." But I don't get that consolation prize, & I don't get to even pretend that I will. & yet, he has become my best friend these past 6 months. I tell him things I don't tell my girlfriends, let alone the blog... sorry folks. I've never had a relationship with a man who was also my best friend. My female best friends always knew more than my man did, until this time around.

He says he loves me. I love him. I asked him, "if I love something, do I set it free, or do I fight for it? & if I fight for it, how do I fight for it?" He hugged me & said he didn't know.

This was Saturday when our plan had been for us to go back to his place on Sunday for me to stay the week. I left if up to him. Should I come down there or not? He said he wanted me to come to his place. So I did... my way of fighting for him I guess: Be a wife for a week.

What a mess.

We have now gone 22 hours without talking. A first since mid-October. He had a full day planned. Checking out an extra job in the morning; going to his brother's in the afternoon to do some handyman work for him. Finding a few hours to help a best friend. & all while having custody of his kids. Oh, & maybe swinging past my mom's to check on a job or two that she has for him. Maybe supper time is over... maybe I'll quit blathering here & talk to him about this emotional shithole I 've dug myself into.

Hmm, how to end this in my usual method? That's a toughy today.

May you always have a best friend to help you shovel your emotional shit around until it's good manure that makes something beautiful grow.

Take care,