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Location: Upstate, South Carolina, United States

I think that the Meredith Brooks' song, "Bitch," summarizes me rather nicely. Or, if you prefer, X. dell says I'm a life-smart literary scholar with a low BS tolerance...that also works!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Think Happy Thoughts

I'm generally a happy person, and one of the bonuses I have in life is that I can focus on what's good rather than what's bad. That doesn't mean I can do it all the time, however.

The worst time, of course, was when my marriage failed with my ex. That was something like two years of depression before I cut loose slowly and surely with therapy and medication. Once stabilized, I was able to abandon both and resume my content life. I was 30 when it all fell apart and 33 by the time I got out and felt better. The previous incident was when I first went off to college. I was 17,and if I look back...ug...well, that depression was directly related to my ex (whom I was dating at the time) too. Should have been a clue. The only other major depression streak I ever hit up was from 14-15. I figure that one was hormones. I really hope Ari and Jared evade that one.

Any other time when I feel anxiety and sadness pretty much comes...and then goes. So, I know this one will go. All it will take is that realization that is so hard to swallow: you just can't waste time worrying over things you can't change. Eventually, it hits me, and then I sigh. I breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. And then it's gone.

Right now, though, I'm stuck in the worry mode! So, what's wrong?

1) My ex has never refinanced the house. In SC, this means I can do jack all about my credit rating related to said house until he refinances. I have explored all avenues of doing anything myself to get my name off of the old house; nothing will work. I suppose it's possible that if I had a wad of money to pay a lawyer, something might be done. But it'd take a huge wad considering my ex IS a lawyer. He tells me he'll get around to it, but it's been years and years and years. Meanwhile, he's hit upon financial difficulties, so he's missed a payment or two. My name is still on the account. And my credit rating has had a hard hit. One credit company at least put a note on my file that it's not my account legally. I have documentation to prove this whenever I apply for a mortgage (one day), a rental application, credit, whatever. But it's up to THEM to take this proof because my credit rating is shot. Several years of supporting two children off of $19k per year while my ex was unemployed...never ever having a late bill or missed payment...shot to hell because he's too lazy to get refinancing.

2) It took forever to get said ex to let me move up with the kids to Rock Hill. Now that he has, the move in June is daunting. How do I afford a mover when he's $2k behind in child support payments? He's already gotten his phone cut off and cable cut off; his electricity was cut off for a bit before he got that turned on. It's not like taking him to court would do anything. He just doesn't have the money.

3) Because I have essentially been a single parent for most of this semester--one with a part time job on top of her full time job--I'm behind on my grading. I should be grading now. It's stressful. I have no idea how I'm going to get it all done before the end of the term (but at least we're close to the end anyway!).

4) See #3 and understand why I'm incredibly low on sleep

5) My ex has not been able to get the kids much this term because his life has gone into the shitter. That's ok; I want my kids and miss them when they're over at his place for longer than 24 hrs. It's created more work, but I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with is trying to hold it all together for weeks on end--meals from scratch for the kids, soccer practices, drama, chorus, prep work for school, tidying the house, laundry, bill paying--without any help, only for him to FINALLY be able to get them for a whole week and find out (because the school called me) that he decided oh what the hell, I don't feel so hot today so it's too rough for me to drive ten min to school to get the kids there. I'll just let them play hooky for the day!

6) And he hasn't filed his taxes nor filed for an extention. When the IRS comes after his house, there goes my credit rating for the rest of my life. Or seven years. Whatever comes first.

7) Grant went into the hospital again. Last time, he nearly died. This time, it was much quicker and less life threatening, but I can't help him because he lives in Atlanta. Wait--I think I should blame that one on him. He just needs to move his ass up to Rock Hill when we move there. But I still worry now that he's trying to manage his newly diagnosed diabetes.

8) Alex has to have his wisdom teeth pulled. Two of them are starting to get infected due to their position. There's no way around that. We have good dental ins., but it only pays for half. So, next month we have $1k for that...$660 for car ins...$200 for car property tax...and did I say my ex is paying me squat for child support?

9) I had an early miscarriage a while back (since I posted last). This traumatized me. I know that it was likely a very unviable pregancy for a variety of reasons, but I worry about even being able to GET pregnant at this age. Nobody deserves to raise an infant more than Alex. What if he doesn't get to experience that joy and it's my stupid body's fault? Damnit, I thought I handled it well when it happened, but the more time goes on, the more I get upset. And it's hard to get pregnant when you're away from each other Mon-Fri, you know? That won't change until the end of June. So, I treat every period as a personal failure...and I know I shouldn't. But there you go. I start a period, and I stare at the blood and curse in every fucking language I know (ok, that's just English and French, with one or two words in Spanish).

10) We won't even go into what's going on at Clemson.

11) And today? The topper. A girl in our apartment complex is now missing. I can't stop crying. It's a little girl whom Ariana and Jared love and have played with a lot, a very sweet girl. We don't know what happened, but she's now been missing for over four hours. You know what this means? My poor daughter and son will not be allowed out of this apartment without an armed escort. And I will be forced to go to jail if I figure out somebody actually did anything to Hayley.

SOOOO! There you go. But...I now have to do a quick inventory of that which is good to remind myself of the beauty of my life, even with whatever rain falls

1) Two awesome children who are smart, funny, and kind

2) A husband who puts all other men to shame--the single most selfless person I know. He makes me laugh, he makes my life easier, he loves Ari and Jared as his own kids, and he'd do anything for all of us

3) A 17 yr old diabetic cat with kidney issues who technically should have died in Jan., yet is going strong and happy as a clam

4) we can pay our bills

5) even though Alex's company filed for bankruptcy, it looks like he's keeping his job

6) great friends and family

7) chocolate, cheese, and wine

8) I got my summer online class, so that will help out tremendously!

On the whole, it's good. That's all I need to remember.


How to traumatize your 11 yr old daughter and need her to go into therapy
(or, subtitled, $80 more to the therapy jar)

Over last weekend, we were at Alex's one bedroom apt. in Rock Hill. The sleeping arrangements are as such: kids get bedroom since they go to bed first, and we get the pullout sleeper sofa in the living room. Whenever we've done this, if we...um...ahem...wait for the kids to go to sleep, we can engage in whatever activities we want and they just sleep through them. Kids are generally sound sleepers, you know? Jared will pass out like a rock instantly; with Ari, you just have to wait a little longer, and nothing will snap her out of her coma.

So, we waited. And we then went at it. But Ari had been sick that week with bronchitis, and I suppose that made her a lighter sleeper. Suddenly a head pokes out of the doorway and calls out, "Hey! Can you guys keep it down out there?"

Woopsie! We've never been caught by her before! What to do?

So, before my mouth can be controlled by my brain (typical problem with me), I shout back, "Well, do you WANT another sibling or DON'T you???"

Alex looks surprised. There is silence. Then Ariana responds with a sigh and, "Very well. Go ahead." And then she shuts the door and goes back to bed.

I'm a bad parent, aren't I?