Thursday, July 20, 2017

Day Three - The Day My Life Started Over

I know I got in bed on that Saturday night. I don't know why I bothered. Who in the world could turn their brain off? Honestly it was in the following two months that the idea of using a drug or drinking sounded like bliss. How, even for an hour or two, I could forget everything. But that is not who I am.

I did not sleep and sometime in the night I decided to check out a few places that I knew he gravitated towards. I drove around the quiet city realizing how crazy the behavior was. Normal people don't do this. Normal people have dinner, watch TV, dine with friends, visit grandkids, feel happy or lonely, but now are peacefully sleeping. Only crazy people drive around a city and look for someone that doesn't want to be found.

Somewhere around 4:30 I found him. He was at his office. I parked and walked around the building, the night air chilling my tense body. I saw him in the window. He was at his desk, clearly agitated. Making phone calls, looking on his computer, repeatedly running his hands through his hair. I go back to my car to think. He is safe....should I go home and back to bed? Should I knock on the door and get him to come home? I've no idea!!!  When one is in a crazy situation, it is hard to think logically. Around 5:00 or 6:00, after wracking my brain and not coming up with a decent answer, I get a hold of my kids (except for the one that was in Germany on an exchange). All three come down and we talk. If we knock on the door and he comes out, we could all go home and continue down the rocky road we've become accustom to. If we knock and he doesn't, we all know that he owns guns and that he has been threatening to hurt himself. If we call the police, he will lose his job for sure.

Two of us stand at the window where we can see him. Two go knock on the door. The man hears and and freaks out! He shoves stuff around on his desk and runs out of the room to a place where we can no longer see him. Crazy texts begin again. Eventually, we all agree to call the police.

To say it went badly is an understatement. Eventually my children's father ended up on top of the building with us, the SWAT Team, his employer and every person who thinks it is exciting or fun to watch someones life fall apart, watching. He's blaming me and I get it. I made the wrong choice but all choices were wrong.

No one was hurt....at least not physically.

Admittedly, the insanity kept going for quite some time after they talked this poor sick man came off the rooftop. It wasn't until we (the kids and I) started getting well that any craziness that took place was mostly his. We are learning, to the best of our ability, to allow him to own that. Not perfectly but better.

Tomorrow I will try to summarize what came after the bottom. Well, after my bottom....that is the only story I have to tell. Everyone else involved have their own story. Someday I would love to hear them tell it from their point of view although I am sure it would be a painful thing to do.

It didn't feel like a new beginning. It only felt like a horrible ending, like nothing good would ever happen again. But it was and the fact that I am sitting here typing and feeling pretty content with life is proof of that.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Day Two

I cannot remember now. I can't for the life of me remember how we figured out that this man, this good man, was a junkie. That the disease of addiction had made it so that methamphetamine was more important than anything else. 

It all makes sense now. The crazy behavior, the writing checks for cash but never using it in front of me, the sores on his arm and hands, the disappearing, sleeplessness, etc etc etc. Why can't I remember? I'll have to talk to my daughter because it seems like an important detail.

We get up in the next morning....me frozen, seeing my kids in pain but being unable to do a damn thing about it because I am in shock. I am walking but cannot feel my feet. I am hearing but can't make sense of the words. The crazy texts are still coming. I hate him and the texts. I want to text back horrible things but know if the man kills himself my kids will read those texts and hold me responsible. So I don't. But I lay there, wishing he would. For the last 5 years life has been unbalanced, bewildering and sad at best. At its worst, hateful and ugly. Me angry, him being sorry. Me raging, him slowly learning how to turn that on me and deflect the attention from his behavior to mine. I remember, very close to the end, a fight...he had disappeared, he had "forgotten" we had plans to meet people for dinner. He made some comment about me and walked away. I flipped! I was here, doing what I was supposed to be doing, keeping the family together, making the hard choices, picking up the broken pieces he left everywhere he went. As he walked away the anger took hold and I ran behind him and shoved him as hard as I could. How I hoped he would fall on his face. I am not proud but I am trying to be real. I did it.

I digress. Another day of research by my poor kids, looking at emails and talking about what we should do. Son #2 remembered that our phone plan had a family to family option that allowed you to know where each phone was. He engaged it and, lo and behold, the man was in Oxnard at a massage parlor called Nicole's Spa. What goes on at Nicole's gives a new meaning to the word SPA. It was this day I learned the term "Happy Endings Massage" and wished, wholeheartedly, that I never had. Unfortunately, he was notified by the phone service that the location feature was initiated. He texted son #2, congratulating him on his cleverness and then promptly turned his phone off.

When I got in bed that night it had been about 40 hours with no sleep. Little did I know at that time just how little sleep one can actually survive on. I would learn in the months to come.

One more day to go.....

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Day One

Today is an anniversary of sorts.  What took place exactly three years ago today seems like yesterday and a life time ago at the same time.

I woke at 4:00 am and went into the bathroom in the house that held my heart. I'm unhappy as usual; life had been spiraling out of control. While in there my then husbands charging phone lights up. I look and see a picture. It's a young woman, a red head. She is smiling at me, proudly sharing her perfect cantaloupe size breasts along with everything else. I'm shaking as I scroll back and realize that my husband, my once best friend, was using porn on his phone. A lot of it. That may be normal in some relationships but it had not been part of ours.

I woke him and an argument ensues. His increasingly crazy behavior happened so slowly that by this particular day, a Friday, it was simply nuts and I'm left feeling confused and constantly wondering what the hell is going on.  I tell him I know he's not attending his AA meetings. I've checked. I told him I know he's not working as many hours he says he has been. I've checked. It gets ugly. 5:30 am comes around and, as I am still holding the proof of his transgressions, I tell him Joe the plumber is texting asking him if he is still coming. I inquire who Joe the plumber is and he says it's a guy the he meets with to go over AA stuff. Really??? Never once mentioned his name? More ugly words, he's crying, he finally grabs his phone and leaves but never shows up to work. I know, I checked.

The day unfolds. I sit and talk with three of the kids. At least two of them had walked in on him watching porn long after I've gone to bed. No one had mentioned that to me. My husband is not answering his phone or texts except sending some crazy shit about guilt and wanting to end his life but we can't find him. We go through his laptop and find that he has been emailing women, perusing Craigslist for hookups etc etc etc.  The more we look, the worse it gets. We spend the day trying to piece our lives into a complete puzzle but there are too many missing pieces. Phone records are what does him in. Hundreds and thousands of texts! The man with no friends had hundreds of texts to numbers we did not know. We start to search them. Some don't show up but others do. I stand over my sons shoulders as they find out their beloved father had been engaged in a pretty regular, for lack of a better word, relationship with Laura, a rough looking bleach blond, large fake boobs, tattoos, pictured on the "escort" service she uses, that is connected to the phone number on the bill I pay, I FUCKING PAY! She smiles at me coyly from the computer. Mocking me as she poses in her high heels, her perfect ass hanging out of the yellow string bikini that has tiny strips of material covering only her nipples.

The day ends with all four of us angry, confused and worried. The man does not come home and his texts grow crazier and more unintelligible. We all go to bed but I don't think anyone slept.

I'm told if we still need to talk about it, it means we are still grieving. This just may be the last time though.

To be continued....

Monday, July 17, 2017

Time To Get Moving

At times I get so antsy. I think I might be a lot like my grandma. She had a lot of nervous energy and quelled it by chewing Chiclets gum and smoking. Don't get me wrong, she moved around a lot but in small ways, darting here and there, making pot after pot of coffee. I too have a lot of nervous energy. There is a voice inside of me that reminds me how limited my time is on this planet and how I am way too young to start being stagnant. Sitting watching television takes a strange self discipline on my part. I often have to combine it with doing other things. Ironing is a good one, games on my iPad is another. And that is for night time TV.....daytime TV is that much harder. I kinda want to scream, "There's a great big world out there,  people to know, places to see, things to do. Why sit and pretend to live when life is outside these 4 walls?" I still want to go do cartwheels on the beach. I want to feel a warm breeze on the streets of Paris, bask in the sun on a catamaran in a bay on Sikinos, lose myself in an old bookstore. Why watch TV when you can watch a sunset? I know there is a time and place for everything but I like the TV thing to be pretty limited.

We went to our church picnic on Saturday. It was fun but I miss the way having young children easily integrates you into the social activities. As an introvert, I have to work hard at being engaged and seeking people out. I will hone in on one person and go through my mental repertoire of what I remember about them and what I can ask. After hitting a stride, hopefully I get to do what I do best, which is actually getting to know a person. Not the surface shit like what they do for a living but why they chose their profession and what they love about it. Or figure out through questions how they relate to others. I want to know what makes them tick not what they feed Fido. 

Afterwards we went home and the Boy Scout napped. I got disgruntled, feeling antsy again, and picked a little fight that, thankfully, was over quickly. I need to find ways to burn my energy on my own. When my life started over at 51, I thought I might find someone that would be really active like me. But I fell in love with a guy who is far more kick back and whose body has been beat up by life. His laid back attitude is a very good compliment to my tightly strung self. I am grateful. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Let's Probe This A Little Deeper

Frank is a very personal friend of mine....

Well not really but I have known him for 27 years. I started seeing him after experiencing 4 miscarriages and, lo and behold, found myself pregnant. My OB Gyn sent me to see Frank. He is the ultrasound tech for my group. We started out pretty young, Frank and I. I was 25, he was probably a little over 30. I was a shy Mormon raised girl....he was a man with a mission. TV and movies usually show the tech using a tranducer that looks like this:












I was one of the lucky ones that got this:
















After my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer I started visiting Frank yearly. You would think that after 27 years of sticking that thing where the sun don't shine that Frank would remember, if not my name, at least my face.  Every year, year after year, I enter and first thing he says is, "Have you been here before?".  This year I just said, "We are old friends Frank....I know the drill....let's get this thing done."

It no longer bothers me like the first few did. After 4 kids and more exams than I could count, I don't give it any more thought than getting my nails done. One of my sisters feels kind of sick for a week prior to her yearly. She just hates it. 

When finished I almost asked Frank if he wanted to go out and have a cigarette but the humor might have fallen short. Got my results....all is clear as best as they can tell. I don't borrow trouble so I'll see my good friend Frank next June.

Too personal?  Ah well.....it is what it is.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Let's Smooth Things Over

Yesterday we had friends over for dinner. The Boy Scout outdid himself with wonderful Indian food. We had chicken tikka marsala, a fabulous curry cauliflower and a cucumber tomato salad with cilantro and mint. The one thing he did not make was naan so I headed over to one of our favorite Indian restaurant to pick that up.

Around 4:00 I made my way through the crowds of our busy and bustling downtown area. The summer out-of-towners are here. I was waiting for the light to change just outside a store called Blue Moon, which is geared towards very young gals with a leaning towards boho. I love me some boho so I stop in on occasion but it's rare I ever buy anything, mainly because most of it just doesn't cover enough of my 53 year old skin. I took notice of a small group coming out of the shop. This group consisted of a man that looked to be about 35ish and a much older gent that might have been his father...and a third person carrying two bags of Blue Moon merchandise. I did a double take just because sometimes my brain requires me to make sense of what I am looking at. On second glance I realized the third person was probably the younger gents mother. She had all that makings of a much older gal; a bit frail, partially stooped and careful steps but any other resemblance stopped there. 

This lady, who had to be in excess of 75, looked a tremendous amount like Olivia Newton John in her Xanadu days, which means approximately 30 or 35. Her plastic surgeon is to be commended for a job well done. Her skin was a taut as a chubby babies bottom. Her make up was meticulous and her plump lips sported bright cherry red. She was happy as could be with her bags and her two men by her side.

But there is something so sad to me that we have old, old people walking around with faces to look like my 30 year old daughter. I don't judge the gal....that's not what this is about. I just feel sad that our society breeds discontent and contempt for the elderly and what comes with it. I am sorry that it is not uncommon for young women to spend thousands of dollars doing what they call "preventative" cosmetic procedures in order not to look any older than 20 something.  

I don't know what else to say about that. If you have had procedures, please know that I am not criticizing...just observing. I buys creams and potions to lessen the wrinkles. I am not immune but wouldn't it be nice if we all thought wrinkles were well earned and beautiful?




Okay....so a little humor









Monday, July 10, 2017

Friends Not Fences

We are beginning the process of planning our front yard landscape. The Boy Scout has just finished up a major clean up, working day in and day out removing grass and crabgrass by hand. The drought made the previous jungle (I mean garden) untenable. The first water bill that came close to the $400.00 mark made that clear as a bell.

Previously it looked like this:



It had it's appeal but not really for me.  Now it looks like this:
Unbelievable!!

Now it's time to start planning water-wise landscaping. This California drought is probably never going to be over. Not really. Can't wait to start researching and creating but not the way I once did. The House That Once Held My Heart was a huge part of our lives....changing, planting, painting. Now a days I recognize that a house doesn't love you back and your best efforts should be put into your community; building relationships not fences.

Trying to keep cool on this warm California day.....hope yours is going well too.