My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, January 8, 2009

long thursday rambling post

Stubby the three legged wondercat is perched in his spot in the dead center of my bed. I'm not sure why it has to be the middle... but I find myself angling my legs around him. While talking to my (soon to be ex) husband on Sunday he commented on being replaced by a cat... hmmmm.... still to soon for those kind of jokes...

My bed doubles as my kitchen table, my desk, my sofa... if I wasn't so cozy and warm I'd take a picture to show you the carefully arranged pillows, cat, blankets, book, bible, remote control... and the bedside "table" (really just two rubbermaid containers with a blanket thrown over them) with my unsweetened iced tea, ice water, chapstick, etc... I'm settled in to watch the game and I will probably blog my way through it. I'm like that, you know?

Blogging creates a strange sort of intimacy that allows people into my deepest darkest thoughts and because I am an extrovert, (meaning that I do my "thinking" out loud) strangers from all over get to be party to my thought process. Sometimes it's disjointed and sometimes it's raw and I know I leave myself vulnerable to criticism and the opinions and suggestions of others. I intentionally put myself in that position - yet I have to admit that there are times that I get a bit indignant about the comments I get. I will stomp my foot and cross my arms and say, "that's total crap!"

Switching topics A.D.D. style - I totally cracked up last night in Bible study when our leader said, "let me cut the cheesecake". I started giggling like a 12 year old boy and said, "you said, 'cut the cheese' ". And yes, I realize that's goofy and random and a bit irreverant but ... it is what made me laugh.

People have a tendency to want to help. I love that. I appreciate the concern and advice and encouragement. I do want to share one thing that has been disturbing, though... I know that it is well-intentioned when people want to evaluate how I'm grieving... and I know it comes from a heart of pushing me toward a healthy place. I want to say, though, not just for myself but for everyone in your life that is hurting... it's hard enough to FEEEEEEL this way, don't make it harder by saying that I shouldn't feel what I feel. I have to handle this process in my own way without being concerned with what other people will think about how I feel or feeling guilty for feeling what I feel. I'm honest with you guys... I share my heart... I don't clean it up, I just put it out there. I go through mountaintop experiences and I go through deep, nasty pits of muck... and I share it with you because just acknowledging what I feel helps me heal.

One of the faces that crossed my path yesterday was an older woman who struggled with calculating what she owed for her insurance. I helped her sort it out and guided her through the process (which is my job)... she explained that her husband had always handled the bills and since he passed away five years ago, she has had a hard time taking care of things. I expressed a bit of compassion (which is not part of my job, it's just the part that I add to it) and she broke out a book of pictures dating back to her wedding... 59 years ago. I looked at them all and commented on them and allowed her to share her story of her great love. I told her I was sorry for her loss and she started to cry. It's been five years. People expect her to be over it. How do you EVER stop missing a person you spent 54+ years with? I hunger for a love like that. I know how much it hurts wishing for a love like that... I know how much it hurts to believe that I had that kind of love and find out it was .... well, just wasn't. I can't even imagine how it would feel to lose the real thing after a lifetime of loving each other.

I haven't really come out and said this but I've hinted at it... I talk to the husband of the "other woman". He first contacted me while I was still living in Jacksonville. It was on September 10th. I only know that because I blogged about it. I have little memory of any of the events those last two weeks or so. If I hadn't blogged about them, I wouldn't have a clue what had happened. He and I figured things out within a few days of each other. He called to confront Michael and as part of that conversation asked to talk to me. I'm not sure what Michael hoped to gain by putting me on the phone with him, I was definitely not in any condition to deal with it. I was numb at that point, both because of the emotional devastation I was feeling and because of the medication that my doctor had prescribed to keep me from losing it (which didn't work, by the way). He was pretty freaked out, as you can imagine. I was not much help to him that night, I was just too far gone at that point.

We connected again after I had moved here. At first I was reluctant to talk to him. I was afraid to talk to him. I was made to feel guilty for talking to him. I was so conflicted about it... But now... I talk to him often. I talk to him almost every day, by phone and email. We were barely acquainted before all of this. He has become my friend. There are times that it's really hard for me to talk to him and he respects this. He gives me space when I need it. There are times that I look forward to hearing from him and catching up on his kids and his life. There are things that I've learned by talking to him that have hurt... there have been times that I've asked him not to tell me things. There are times that I feel like he is the ONLY person in the world who could possibly understand how I feel because he is the only person who has lived the same exact set of circumstances.

But even he and I face things from a different perspective. He has three kids. He has been married for much, much longer. The stakes are higher, the collateral damage greater. He feels anger. I feel sadness. He has confronted Michael on numerous occasions. I have only confronted her once. She said, "Heather, why are you so insecure?". He is deep into a costly divorce and custody battle. I'm in marital limbo and am likely to remain there for awhile. He has to see her frequently because of the children. I have only seen Michael twice since I moved from Jacksonville. They share a home (although they don't occupy it at the same time... when he is with the kids she lives with Michael) He is accused of being controlling and abusive. I am accused of being a "headcase" and a "pillpopper". I pray. He curses. Dean and I are friends because our spouses formed a friendship that crossed the boundaries of appropriate behavior. We didn't choose each other as allies, we didn't choose sides, we just looked up in the wake of a shipwreck and there was only one lifeboat left. We climbed in together.

My point is that nobody knows the troubles I've seen. Recovery FROM ANYTHING is a very individual thing. I'm not wallowing in self pity, quite the the opposite. Today is a great day. This whole week has been good. I'm feeling settled and comfortable and content. I'm feeling spiritually and emotionally strong. I'm engaging with my community and loving it. Today on my way to work I passed my friend Dana (Bailey's mom) on the road and we both waved like big goofballs. It started my day off with a giggle. I love that everywhere I go around here I run into a friendly and familiar face. I'm exactly where I want to be and I am so glad that life brought me here. I have plans to go SQUARE DANCING this weekend! Can you imagine? (and if you can imagine that's because you've never seen me dance... I have NO rhythm!). I had a client email Duane about me today about the great service I had given her mom, "Mom is difficult to please and she LOVED Heather. You need to give her a raise". I'm watching my favorite team play in the national championship game. I'm loving life and living large.

I still, however, grieve the loss of a dream. I still hurt. The tears are further back than they once were but there are still things that trigger them. I am healing but I am not healed. Dean will tell you that I have come a long way since he first talked to me. I've come a long way just since Christmas! Being able to acknowledge my feelings plays a huge part of that. My faith in God plays a huge part in that. I'm doing it my way! So... thank you for your comments and emails and concerns. I'll be fine.

"Tim Tebow is the unquestioned greatest leader in college football today". That's why it's great to be a Florida Gator! I'm having a blast watching this football game. "If anyone spends fifteen or twenty minutes around Tim Tebow, your life is better for it". He really is a great and rare role model.

I forgot to eat dinner. I see a pb&j in my immediate future. Oops. Out of peanut butter. Maybe toast? I have the makings for soup but not the inclination to do it.

I have some pictures to post... I've been writing this entry off and on for three hours! Love and hugs... more in a minute...


Tina of Moon Shine said...

interesting post. I hope I have not offended you with anything I have said. I don't think you were talking to me, but if I am, I am sorry.
interesting about you and Dean. I wonder what "SHE" would say to you now if confronted?
pillpopper huh? whatever. People do seem to point fingers at others instead of looking at their own actions.
take care and enjoy whatever you are getting to eat....

Anonymous said...

Aren't you glad we had square-dancing in 7th grade during PE now? You make sure you take pictures Saturday night!

Do you remember the pastor who married Doug and me? Brother Prince . . . he passed away in 1996 . . . he often quoted Ryan saying that "God is omnipotent" . . . he loved it and that it came from a 3-year-old. Anyway, he died in 1996 after a long struggle with cancer and Lyme Disease. One of the best men I have ever met and I was so glad that he was part of my life. His wife, Mrs. Prince, was just a saint and she was my "adopted" grandmother. I didn't live close to my own grandmothers, but she didn't live too far from me and she treated me as if I was her own grandchild. Anyway (and I know this is rambling, but I'm watching the game, too), Mrs. Prince passed away in June of 2007. She was such a sweet, sweet, soul. She grieved Bro. Prince's passing for the entire 10 1/2 years it took her to join him . . . I mean, she was just so sad, tears would form in her eyes when she would talk about him . . . they had such good memories together and she missed him so. She truly was a pastor's wife and ministered to any congregation he pastored just as much as he ever did. And she so could not wait to join him in eternity. She wasn't suicidal by any means, and she didn't wish for her own death, but she grieved him so and felt so lonely without him there with her . . . even with her five children and tons of grandchildren there. She said she never could get used to not having him there with her. They had been married for over 50 years. Sounds so much like your client.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... Heather, Pill Popper. No.

Next: Square Dancing and Contra Dancing are fun. I encourage them.

Next: Re the hurt... Ever heard the song "The Weight"? It sounds as though your cheating spouses, those insane louses, desecrating their houses... (sorry about that) put the weight right on you.

Do your best to let it go. Be glad you and yours got out in one piece.

As for dinner, you honey child, may be in more desperate need of Trader Joe's than anyone else I know.

*Tracy* said...

always love your honesty! i hope you have a great friday! hugs

Myra said...

The most interesting thing about your marriage is how can MJD go about living with another woman, showing her affection and loving her, when he wouldn't do that to his own wife! Why were you so unlovable (his opinion)? He never seemed like much of a talker, and maybe you had to use his actions to indicate his feeling, "actions speak louder than words". Ironic that you and the other injured spouse would forge a must be so painful to hear about "their" life. You are exactly where you need to be. Take care...

Anonymous said...

I no you have come along why Heather You are very different from the women who post before You seem to have alot more contentment I wish you all the love and Blessings your heart can handle and I think it is great that you are friends with the womens x But be careful cause it can keep you in that drama and you really want to pull your self away from all that Really letting go of it all is a beautiful release I no you might not be ready for that yet But remember Heather you are so worth loving. My brother reads your blog and he is taken away bye you He feels you are strong and full of love and said he would love to meet a women like you so belive me there are men who can and will love you But you cant move forward till you let go of the past Love you take care so glad you are having many good days and I wish for many more for you God Bless Kat:)

Peaceful Epiphany said...

I am glad that you have "come out of the closet" so to speak, about you and Dean. It needed to be out there. It needed to be spoken.

If it HURTS the other parties involded, well, tough titties. THEY didn't care who THEY were hurting when they started THEIR "relationship."

It's not like you and Dean have anything more going on than two wounded victims trying to reach out to each other in the midde of the battlefield, grabbing each others wounds and wrapping them up as tight as you can, while watching and waiting to see who "bleeds out" first. Not a fun way to spend the day, but in the end, if it's all you got, then it's quite all right!

You do what you gotta do to hold yourself together Heather. If this is the way, then so be it. Don't let ANYONE tell you how to survive this war. Don't let anyone tell you that you are fighting it the wrong way! There is no right or wrong way in battle. It's your damn war!! And you gotta fight it the way you need to fight battle at a time.

NO ONE will be able to fight this war for you. Don't let peope tell you they CAN. Only people who have fought the same war can tell you how hard it is...but they will NEVER be able to match you battle for battle.

Dean is fighting his OWN battles. You may be fighting the same WAR, but you are both fighting different BATTLES.

Yeah, others have fought the same WAR, but NO ONE has fught the same battles. NO ONE. So don't let ANY ONE TELL YOU THAT THEY HAVE!

I could write a book on this...but I won't. All I will say is that you just continue to do what you need to do to remain SANE through all of this. If it's confiding in Dean, if it's loving Barry, if it's befriending the pocket mexican? then do it. But keep true to YOURSELF. Always keep true to YOU.