April 30, 2012

Ashley Marie

I met a girl in the grocery store the other day.  She was missing some fingers.  She was trying to open a bag, so of course I snatched it and opened it for her, and gave her a big smile.  She had some kind of contraption on her hand, and she mumbled something about her fingers.  I was sans kids and actually aware of my surroundings, so I asked her what happened.  When she answered me, I thought I would fall down right there.  All the air left my body, and I got dizzy.  Because as the words came out of her mouth, I suddenly knew what she was going to say, before she even said it.  She had HIB.  Not HIV…but HIB.  Haemophilus Influenza Type B.  Our kids are vaccinated for this disease now.  But we weren’t.  I know this….because I had HIB too.  And you never meet anyone else who’s ever had it.  I know of only one other relative of a friend who has had it.  She is a young mom of several kids, and she is missing both hands.  Haemophilis actually means “blood loving”, so it gets into your bloodstream and causes either sepsis or meningitis.  In my case, I was entering my 2nd trimester of pregnancy, with a baby that was to be born between my oldest and my middle darling.  I think I was 15 weeks pregnant, already showing and wearing maternity clothes, and already feeling the first flutters in my belly.  Then suddenly, I woke up one morning with the worst sore throat ever.  It was unbearable.  I remember laying in bed, drooling on my pillow, because I simply could not swallow.  The pain was ridiculous.  I was spraying chloroseptic in my throat every 5 minutes and living with cough drops in my mouth.  I was gargling with salt water and Listerine…anything to stop the pain.  A couple days later I woke up and my throat was completely better.  Only I felt like I had the flu.  The worst flu ever.  I went to the doctor.  I remember laying down in the waiting room.  I couldn’t even sit up.  What the fuck was wrong with me?  I was freaked out about the baby.  They listened for the heartbeat on the dopplar and couldn’t find it.  I panicked.  I called Dave while I was waiting for the u/s.  I felt so horrible, I didn’t think I could drive home, and I was pretty convinced the baby was dead.  Thankfully, the u/s showed the little baby to be fine.  They told me I had the flu, and sent me home saying to take Tylenol and drink as much water as possible.  I did that.  Religiously.  Only I began to notice after a day or two that the Tylenol wasn’t working…it wasn’t bringing the fever down.  And then I started spotting.  My O.B. sent me to the E.R.  The E.R. worked me up and actually tried to send me home, saying maybe I had bronchitis.  I remember the E.R. doc calling my O.B. and saying he was sending me home.  I remember him hanging up and then ordering more tests.  My O.B. saved my life that night…by insisting something else was really wrong with me.  They sent me to a room and did a pelvic exam.  I remember the doctor’s demeanor when his hand was still inside me and he said, “It’s coming from your uterus.”  I looked at Dave and said, “This isn’t good.  Something is very wrong.”  My blood pressure was low, my pulse was high.  Blood tests revealed over the next couple hours that my white blood count was over 40,000.  I remember hearing the doctor outside the door gasp, and say “She’s very sick.” Not knowing yet what was causing the illness, I was given a dose of broad spectrum antibiotics.  My entire body went into some kind of shock.  I turned beet red, started sweating profusely, and was so thirsty I thought I would die on the spot.  I asked for water.  They were busy and said they would get it.  I waited all of five seconds before I started screaming.  These fuckers did not understand, I felt like I had walked across the Sahara Desert.  The lavatory in the room did not work, of course.  I was about to start licking people, I needed water so badly.  I finally got some and they asked me for a urine specimen.  Only I couldn’t pee.  They catheterized me, and nothing came out.  But my bladder was full.  I could feel it, and so could the nurse.  I remember the look on her face, she knew something was wrong.  I did too.  I kept looking at Dave and saying, “The baby cannot be surviving this, there is no way.”  Surreal.  I was wheeled up to the maternity floor, the same floor that I delivered the first darling.  I knew I wasn’t coming home with a baby.  I suddenly hated everyone there, all the baby noises, the flowers, the happiness.  I don’t think I slept that night.  How could I?  What the fuck was happening to me? The next day was uneventful and we were still somewhat hopeful that things might be ok.  I didn’t sleep that night, because I didn’t want to die in my sleep.  Sometime during the next day they identified the bacteria, and things got serious.  Antibiotics were changed, a picc line was inserted into my arm and I started to realize that the baby was really going to die, and if she didn’t, there would be a world and a lifetime of trouble.  I spotted a chart next to my bed identifying the dosage as ‘life threatening’.  Christ, I’m fucking dying.  I didn’t sleep that night either.  I was too scared to sleep.  I knew that if I closed my eyes, I would die.  I was that sick.  The next day, my water broke, and what came out did not look normal.  The nurses tried to convince me that maybe it was something to do with the weirdness going on with my bladder.  I knew what it was.  I’d already had a baby.  I felt the familiar pop, and the gush.  And I knew my baby was dying.  They wanted to do an u/s, so they could tell me the sex of the baby.  I told them I didn’t want to know.  In my mind, I had already decided the baby was a girl, and her name was Ashley.  We had only picked out a girl’s name.  The pregnancy felt so different than the first darling’s had, and truthfully I was never sick a day with any of my boys.  This pregnancy had me sick every day for the whole 15 weeks.  When they confirmed that it was indeed my water that had broken, Dave cried.  I’ve only seen him cry with the births of our babies.  I guess he only cries for babies.  When they are born, and when they die.  They wheeled me up for a D&C, and my O.B. wasn’t there to do it.  The female doctor, who went on to deliver my next two babies, had to do it, and she was five months pregnant.  I felt horrible, knowing what she was about to do.  She was basically performing an abortion.  Cutting up a fetus, and removing it.  While pregnant.  We both cried afterwards.  I cried for her, and she cried for me.  My uterus bore the brunt of the infection, the blood loving bacteria flocked to the most vascular part of my body.  I have the skills of my current O.B. to thank that I ever went on to have 2 more kids.  They told me later that the baby probably saved my life.  Her life, for mine.  Her life, for my bladder and kidneys.  Her life, for my limbs.  I stayed in the hospital a week.  After a few days I sent Dave home to stay with the oldest darling.  The nurses stayed with me.  All night.  They gave me medicine to sleep, only I wouldn’t.  I couldn’t.  I was so convinced I was dying.   They stroked me and talked to me and convinced me to sleep.  Convinced me I wouldn’t die.  I could tell which ones were coming and going during the night, because one of them smoked and one of them smelled like gardenias.  I had weird neck pain and a headache, which necessitated a whole flurry of activity, because HIB can cause your throat to swell and suffocate you.  I couldn’t get out of bed to have any tests, I was too weak.  They brought some huge ass machine in and did tests right there.  By day 5, I had slept some and was getting better.  By day 7, I was released with a home health nurse, to come and do the rocephin injections for the next 2 weeks into my picc line.  I went home with a tube hanging out of my arm.  I looked like a heroin addict for a solid year.  I was so anemic and had lost so much blood I could barely hold my head up.  I was depressed and pathetic, and stayed that way a long time.  A few months ago someone told me they had visions of Dave, rocking a baby, and calling her Ashley.  No one knew we had named her that.  I had only ever written it on a piece of paper, over and over….Ashley Marie….in fancy letters.

April 29, 2012

Opportunistic Truth Teller

I’ve been thinking the last few days about how without Dave in the picture anymore, my kids have only me to emulate.  I guess that can be good and bad.   I asked the baby why he didn’t eat his waffles this morning and he said, “Because I hate them!”  That is just so me.  For all of Dave’s shortcomings, he did have many endearing qualities.  He was a very calm person.  He didn’t get rattled easily.  When he was healthy, I would freak out about things, and he would calm me down by declaring that everything would be ok.  It was comforting.  He wasn’t a dramatic person.  We were complete opposites in that way.  I’m so verbal.  That voice in your head that stops you from saying certain things….I really don’t have that.  And it makes it impossible for me to be a liar.  Dave had that voice…and he was a man of few words.  And a lot of them were lies. 

Today we were outside all day.  I told the darlings there would be no tv, no video games, no wii.  Our days are so much better like this.  We have a bathroom downstairs off the patio, and I walked in to find an unflushed mess and loads of toilet paper filling the whole bowl.  Only when I bent over to flush, already worried it was way too much tp and envisioning the hot plumber’s muscles, I noticed it wasn’t tp at all.  It was Clorox wipes.  Like 10 of them.  One of these little darlings has wiped their ass with Clorox wipes.  Great. 

So I call all the darlings, in such a way that surely they know there is trouble.  I’m so great at disguising my feelings, right?  They sulk over and I asked who did this.  Of course none of them did it.  So then I say if someone doesn’t speak up, you’ll all be punished.  The two older darlings then blamed the baby, who wears a diaper, for shitting and wiping with Clorox wipes.  This is annoying.  So I say that whoever wiped their ass with Clorox wipes is probably going to get cancer on their ass, because the wipes are poison.  There is only silence.   The older darling is alarmed.  I can tell right away he thinks he has cancer. 

He has inherited Dave’s liar gene, and he suddenly admits that he did in fact poo, but didn’t put all those wipes in there.  I’m struck immediately by how much he looks like Dave in this moment.  So I calmly asked what he used to wipe.  I know for a fact we were out of tp down there, because I was on the patio last night with a friend and used the last of it.  Silence.  He then says he checked his butt, and didn’t need to wipe.  Really.  I suppress my laughter and ask him to show me how he can see his butt.   Because I can’t see mine.   He smirks and knows he is caught.  For punishment, he has to reach in and pull all the wipes out.  We discuss the difference between Clorox wipes and the regular flushable wipes we use to wipe our butts with.  (People, please tell me you use wipes!  Because if you stepped in dogshit in your yard, you would not simply wipe it off with toilet paper.) 

I’m suddenly in a panic that my kid is a liar.  I flash forward to his teen years, and I’m chasing him through the streets with the police.  He’s strung out on drugs and all he does is lie.  Fuck you Dave, for never learning to tell the fucking truth. 

This is what I’ve learned about lying, from living with a liar. Lying is about not being able to accept failure.  And people need to be allowed to fail.  I fucking fail every day at something.  And every day it’s a new opportunity to learn how to do it better tomorrow.  I didn’t scream at him.  I don’t want him to be afraid to fail.  More and more, I see how our responses to stress define who we are.  If you can’t fail, then you already have.  And you’re not even out the gate.  If I am nothing, nothing, then I am at least honest.  I’ve been called ‘honest to a fault’ many times.  And I despise a liar as much as anything.  I don’t really know another way to be.   I don’t know what happened to make me this way.  Maybe I’ve just failed so much that I’ve learned to embrace it.  To laugh at it.  To look at it as a gift.  Because it can be.  Because every failure is an opportunity.  And I’m an opportunist.  Life is less work that way.  Ya hurd me?

April 25, 2012

Girls Night Out

We are in the planning stages of another alter ego night.  This one is highly anticipated, because it will be on the weekend and my strict instructions to this month’s planner were: “I need to dance and cut loose in a big way!”  It’s so hard to get all these VIPs together in one room.    You know, the muthas are very powerful, and we are even in awe of our own power.  Last month, we went to a local dive bar where a fairly famous musician was playing.  We are truly blessed, in this city, to have awesome music and food on demand 24/7.  We are not talking about regular food and music either.  We are talking about the fact that our ‘just regular’ places have food and music that rivals everywhere else’s ‘awesome places’.  Anyway, I arrived late on account of the poo bubbling up from my shower and tub…if you remember, I had the hot plumber hostage at my house.  The muthas told me when I got there that the ‘famous musician’ had already approached a particular mutha, and said, “Don’t I know you?”  to which she batted her pretty li’l eyelashes and responded, “You could know me.”  She was being serious.  Mmm-kay…are you digging the awesomeness?  Me too.  So the night goes on, there is drinking and cackling and this particular mutha leaves first.  The remaining muthas then decide to write a note on a napkin that says:  “Name of famous musician: You could know me and then phone number of the cute, newly divorced mutha”.   It was just a joke, only we forget whilst drinking exactly how powerful we are, and said joke was left for famous musician.  And guess what?  You already know what, because we control the universe.  Famous musician texts cute mutha THREE TIMES the next day.  Unfortunately, this story did not end with a fabulous patio party at my house where famous musician serenaded us with his sexy voice all night long, as we had planned.  No, instead we found out famous musician is married, so, because we are so awesome, we don’t think he is as cool because now we know he’s a cheater.  Here’s a little info for the manly men:  cheating is not sexy.  We are not fans of it in any way, shape or form.  In fact, if you cheat on one of the muthas, the rest of us will bring you great cosmic harm, so please do not fuck with us in any way, ever.

I received an email yesterday that some of the co-authors of Chicken Soup For the Soul are gathering contributions for a more modern version of Soup.  She asked if I would submit my blog post from yesterday.  The new anthology is called Not Your Mother’s Book, and like Chicken Soup, will branch off into other sub-categories.  I submitted a couple entries last night, but got sidetracked when I noticed that one is slated to be called “Girls Night Out”.  So I quickly submitted this, as it’s one of my favorite ‘going out’ stories of all time.  The setting is Club LaVela, arguably the largest nightclub in all of the south.  It’s in Panama City Beach, FL, where I lived for about 10 years when I was 20 something.  Most people in the South know this club.  We knew it a little bit too well because we lived on the Beach.  It was always full of beautiful people.  I was there with my best friend one night and we were just hanging out.  Before we left to go out to the club, she had changed her shirt like 10 times.  She couldn’t get comfortable.  Late into the night, it was getting hotter in the club, and truly the night had been pretty innocent until this point.  All of a sudden I look at her, and she is taking off her shirt!! What the FUCK??!! She is now sitting across from me in her bra?  Girl, what the fuck are you doing?  Innocent eyes looking back at me…she’s not understanding my surprise.  Simultaneously, guys from every direction are tapping their buddies and rushing towards us like she’s about to get totally naked or something.  I was not sure at this moment she wasn’t.  I was confused.  I had to shout above the music, “Why did you take off your shirt?”  She responds only, “I was hot!”  Further confusion.  A few seconds go by.  So then I say, “You’re in your bra!”  At first she didn’t even get what I was saying.  She thought she had two shirts on.  She wasn’t wearing what she thought she was wearing.  She looks down at her boobs, and just starts laughing.  Hysterically.  We all are.  My friend is one cool mutha.  She was not embarrassed in the least, which is why she’s my friend.  We probably spent the rest of the night teasing the guys that she would do it again. 

April 20, 2012

The Robbery Premonition

A friend recently brought up the fact that I don’t mention the robbery very much.  It made me realize how little the robbery has truly affected me, in the grand scheme of things.  The first post on this blog is called “Seriously, this really happened” and it’s my account of the armed robbery and kidnapping which occurred on the morning of my husband’s funeral. 
There’s an element of this that I’ve only shared with a few people, because I don’t want to be burned at the stake for being a witch.   But I’ve been thinking about the significance of it lately.   You see, before Dave died, for a few months actually, I kept having what I would call ‘daydreams’ about a black man walking into my bedroom to rob me.  I kept trying to figure out what I would do if this really happened.  In this premonition, he was armed, I was caught off guard, and he confronted me in the bedroom.  It turned out this is exactly how it did happen. 
What I decided every time after having one of these premonitions, was that I would trick the dumbass robber by pretending that I knew he was coming.  So here’s dumbass thug, who is a low life, robbing innocent people for a living.  He sneaks into my house, confronts me and asks for money.  He’s prepared for me to be scared out of my mind.  Start rushing around the house for money.  Only I say…”Damn, dude, I knew someone was coming to pick up this cash, but you are seriously not even going to knock on the door?  I got $1,500, you can tell that asshole there will be more as long as he keeps up his end of the deal.”  It is possible I watched too much gangsta tv in my younger days, before kids.  Now, I realize this is bizarre and people may be questioning my sanity.  I have no clue why this tape played in my head, often, during those last few months.  When it did, I thought I was just being a weirdo, and I made up my part each time and convinced myself it would work.  I figured it would catch the guy so off guard, he wouldn’t know wtf to say.  $1,500 is a damn good score for somebody who probably entered my house thinking they are getting $200.  He certainly wouldn’t say “what the fuck are you talking about?”  and he certainly wouldn’t be freaked out when I opened the safe to get the money.  But when I reached in there and pulled out a gun instead of $1,500 and blew his motherfucking head off, well, I guess he would have been surprised then.  But that’s how it went down in my head.  Months went by before I even remembered about those premonitions.  In fact, it’s only been in the last few months that I even remembered them. 

The other thing that is bizarre is that when this guy walked into my bedroom, for real, I incorrectly assumed he was connected to Dave somehow.  I think that is why I wasn’t really scared of him.   That, and the fact that I was already fully numbed and protected by the element of shock.  If you’ve ever survived a truly traumatic experience, like a death that comes out of nowhere, then you know what I’m talking about.  Your mind is in survivor mode.  Because you know you really might not survive this.   I was already at the point of the most extreme overload one can achieve, so getting robbed by some punk ass in my bedroom for a few hundred dollars, well, it didn’t even register.  Didn’t even hit my fucking radar.  Try that shit magnet on for size.

The reason I thought he had something to do with Dave is because after Dave died, they gave me his phone.  Full access to the phone I was always sneaking around trying to get.  I knew something was up with Dave in the end, and damn, I couldn’t figure it out to save my life.  Or his.  In the end, he was pretty careful, bringing the phone in the bathroom with him and never leaving it exposed.  On the rare occasions when I got to it, there was nothing.  Nothing there.  No trail.  But after he died, he got a text message from a guy named Jerome saying only, “I got 40 blues.”  I didn’t know wtf 40 blues were, but I knew they were pills and I knew right then and there what his shtick was.  Bam.   I called the guy right away.  Told him what happened.  Said it’s not your fault, but I’m trying to piece together what is going on, and the guy said, “You know, Mr. Dave, he liked those vicodin.”  People have told me that vicodin are not blue.   All I know is that whatever he took, he abused, and the end result was that he was so depressed and withdrawn that he wanted to die.  Pharmacy records later revealed he was also being prescribed 190 percocet a month.  I made him go to the doctor that last week.  Told him something was wrong with him, he looked like shit, I couldn’t take it anymore, and he just needed to be well.  He did go.  Only instead of walking in there and saying he was depressed or anxious, he went in and told the doctor he ‘couldn’t concentrate at work’.  So he was prescribed adderrall.  That’s right, a 41 year old man with no history of ADD just declared himself ADD and walked out with pills.  And so, on top of his major depression caused by pain pill addiction, he got adderrall and took way too much and, well, the rest you all know. 

Those guys who robbed us went on to hit five other homes in our neighborhood in the following months, before finally getting caught.  They are currently in jail and last I heard were being charged with kidnapping, which is a federal offense.  Turns out their m.o. was that they were watching for people who were going in and out of their homes, usually smokers, knowing they weren't locking doors every time they went in/out. 

The ironic thing about all this is that I’ve only slept a few nights in this house without a loaded gun.   And that was only because the police confiscated my revolver after Dave used it to commit suicide.  And during one of those nights, I was robbed at gunpoint.  I should also add here that our front door was not locked, so we basically should have just put out a sign that said “Take what you need.”  I’m one of those people that doesn’t believe that only the bad guys should have guns.   I was raised by a man who hunts.  Growing up, my friends described my dad as Daniel Boone.  He led packs of businessmen through Montana every year on hunting trips.  He always fished and hunted.  We grew up with guns.  We knew gun safety.  When I moved out, my dad kissed me goodbye and handed me a loaded .38 that he won in a poker game.  Think it was an old police revolver.  The police have it back now, because we never went to get it and certainly don’t want it now. I have 3 little boys in this house who aren’t exactly being raised in the environment that I was raised in.  So my gun is kept in a finger print safe.  Only my fingerprint can open the safe.  It can be kept loaded that way, too.   This is a brilliant invention and if you have a gun and kids you absolutely are a fuck up if you don't have this.   I have a cousin who lost a child to a gun accident, so I am sensitive to this issue.  And of course we always lock our doors now, have a security system, and use it even when we leave only for 5 minutes.

April 18, 2012

Taxes, Take II

My intentions yesterday were so good.  I purposely blogged about finishing my 2010 taxes, so that officially I would feel like an asshole for not doing them.  And then I was going to really do them, and declare myself awesome.  For reals.  So, I marched back to the office, and started digging in.  I felt pretty good, except that I couldn’t find shit.  I’m a little nervous that I might have gone a little crazy and threw folders I needed away.  I was thinking back to shortly after Dave died, wondering if I took too much klonopin and just said fuck it and tossed it?   I do that sometimes, if things get too messy.  I go crazy and get into a trashing frenzy.  I don’t even know if I do it on purpose or by accident, because I’m out my mind don’t-want-to-look-at-this-shit crazy at the time.  About 30 minutes into making 2010 taxes my bitch, I realize I can’t find any of Dave’s deposit slips.  The ones where he wrote where the money came from.  I kind of need that.  It’s sort of a big piece of this, right?  I mean, I don’t want to be paying taxes on deposits that were not income! So I start digging around.  I’m only missing some,  not all.  Most of this IS done.  However, ten seconds into my dig, I find a letter.  From Dave to me.  I think it’s something our marriage therapist asked him to write after one of our sessions.  He’s sorry about hurting me, doesn’t get why I don’t forgive him, he loves me and wants a good life for us, oh fucking blah blah blah.  It’s the same as every other letter he’s ever written me, and I want to burn it and him and this whole fucking house down.  Ya hurd me?  Fuck this shit!  By the way, I haven’t written “Mean Shit Take III” this month, but in case you were wondering it’s THAT FUCKING TIME OF THE MONTH FOR ME TO BLAST AWAY AT SHIT I HATE!!!!!!! YA HURD ME?!  So I read the letter.  Haven’t seen that particular one since he wrote it years ago.  So I stood there and read it and tears just started falling.  Even though I tried to make them stop.  Are there kegel exercises for the eyes?  Something that I can do to stop the tears when I don’t want them?  More and more fell, until I was sobbing.  Then screaming.  Then cursing him out and telling him to fuck off for pulling a fucking ninja on me.  Yes, well played motherfucker, because just a few minutes prior to this, I was being a secretly crazy person by talking to him, out loud.  Saying stuff like, “Could you just fucking help me find the deposit slips, because it’s the least you can do, asshole.”  So instead of helping me to find the deposit slips, he secretly put this note in my hands.  I don’t like tricks or surprises, so I kicked shit and slammed shit around and ran into my bedroom like a teenager and cried mascara and probably $30 worth of makeup off my face.  It’s times like these that I really feel so alone.  Because this would be a time when your man would hold you, say nice shit to you, or you could at least call him at work.  But he is gone.  I’m alone.  Hug and kiss your people today!  Stroke them!  Ok?!  ‘Cause I have no one to kiss or hug that is a man, and my fucking taxes are still not done, and I’m grumpy and grouchy and hating on most everything.  I swear today, my taxes will be my bitch.  For real.  And I will be awesome.  And one day, someone will hug me and kiss me and love me.  Or I’m kicking all of your asses.  So fuck you.

April 17, 2012

Tax Day is not awesome

You may have noticed that I talk a lot about being awesome.  I think some people are even starting to buy in to my awesome schtick and feel jealous.  This actually cracks me up, because I am no more awesome than you are, or anyone is.  I’m just a girl, trying to figure life out, and more and more realizing that the awesomeness comes from simply doing the right thing as much as I can, striving to be better, always, and refusing to be beat down.  I think most of us do that.  Hence, most of us are awesome. 

The only real difference between me and most of you is that probably due to the recent ‘incident’, I really, really, really don’t give a shit at all anymore what anyone thinks or says about me.  That’s why I have the courage to blog what is, in effect, my diary. 

I’m not all that sure I ever really did care.  But I’m certain now my persona has been elevated to a place where it was not before.  It’s hard to explain.  Merely surviving has landed me on higher ground.  However, tax day is upon us.  And it reminds me, over and over, of what a loser I am. 

For my entire adult life, I have been an organized person.  My paperwork was filed away in neat folders in an organized file cabinet, just the way I like it.  The basis of my job for years was to organize and manage other company’s disasters.  But now, my own life is a disaster, my paperwork is askew, and I feel, tragically, that I’m allergic to paper.  Just touching it makes me miserable. 

For nine months I have been in avoidance mode.  Simply avoiding all things that stress me out, at any cost.  Dave and I ran two small businesses out of our home.  He was a contractor, specializing in historic renovations.  His business was booming after Hurricane Katrina.  I was the chaos queen.  I worked on oil spills, handling finance and cost management for the spillers.  Imagine my work load two years ago when there was more oil than water in the Gulf of Mexico.  My unpaid job (in addition to the mommy gig, also known as third job) was to keep us both organized, handle our finances, scream about money, funnel money from one account to another, pay bills, handle taxes, etc. 

Every time we spoke about money, we fought.  Every time I worked on his books, we fought.  At tax time, we fought.  He was a mess.  His filing cabinet was the seat of his truck.  He lost receipts and never had a clue whether he was making money or not.  This made me crazy.  I fought him tooth and nail about it for 10 years.  Now he’s gone.  I’ve filed extensions for two years in a row.  Still haven’t filed my 2010 taxes.  Paid a big wad of money with the extension in 2010….and have no clue whether it was enough or not.  I might owe them $10 or I might owe them $10,000.  Hell, they might even owe me money.  I don’t know.  And, sadly….I don’t care.  Because I don’t want to look at his stuff.  Don’t want to touch his stuff.  Don’t want to live through any of it anymore. 

The reason is that the days come alive when I look back at his files, his accounts, his handwriting, his notes.  And I can’t bear to relive any of those days.  I know a monkey is going to jump off my back when I put all this shit to rest.  I know the avoidance and procrastination weigh me down.  I want to be free of it…but apparently not enough to actually look at it for long periods of time.   I’m a LOSER.  On Friday I was frantically issuing 1099s to some of our workers, because I’m such a loser I avoided doing them for this long.  

The truth is that I didn’t want to deal with his workers either.  They make me cry.  They miss him so much.  They cry to me.  Some of them worked for him for a long time.  One of them has been holed up in his mom’s home for the last 9 months, suffering from agoraphobia and unable to leave the house.  I forget that this has affected other people.  I forget that, outside of my little cocoon, other people are still missing him and mourning him. 

My way of coping is to not think about it.  Not deal with his stuff.  I cleaned his desk out months ago by just dumping everything into boxes and shoving it in the closet.  FAKER.  People keep saying to me 'just bring the boxes to a CPA'.  I wish I could.   I wish filing my taxes meant just gathering W-2s, 1099s and a few other things.  We don’t have those things.  We are two self-employed people.  Millions of dollars went in and out of our accounts over the years because of our businesses.  Just so we’re clear…we didn’t MAKE that much money, it merely passed through.  Keeping track of a messy, uncaring, avoiding and addicted contractor is a nightmare. And so for the last couple years, I avoided dealing with him too. 

Today, I vow to start conquering this nightmare.  And if I do, if I get this all neat and tidy, then, I will be one awesome motherfucker.  Ya hurd me?  I will be the Queen of Awesomeland.

April 9, 2012

Hair of the dog

We started our Easter morning off in typical fashion.  The littlest of the darlings, who ate crawfish, pizza and chocolate at my brother’s crawfish boil Saturday night, HURLED all of those things into my bed at 1:25 a.m.  The vile smelling vomitus managed to splash my face, and my boobs.  I immediately began gagging.  My nose, she is quite the champion smeller.  I can smell shit from faraway lands.  This is no lie.  While gagging, I couldn’t help wondering why the darling doesn’t chew.  We quickly changed sheets, slipped into some nice, crisp, white, faintly-smelling-of-bleach sheets (heaven!) and went back to bed.  He said he felt fine and was indeed fine the whole day.  He ate candy for breakfast, lunch and dinner like a champ.  Hair of the dog, as they say.

Absent from the day were tears.  Not a single tear fell.  As I put the candy and gifts into their baskets Saturday night, I thought of Dave.  He always did the baskets.  I remember how wasted he was last Easter, trying to put their candy out.  I remember how annoyed and pissed I was.  Why couldn’t he just be sober?  Normal?  I remembered how his voice used to sound, when he was drinking too much or taking pills.  I HATED IT.  And I remember how I would always ask him wtf he was doing?  Why did his voice sound that way?  And he would always lie.  Such a good liar, he was.  Faker.   I don’t miss that part.  At all.  Who would?  As I sat there divvying up the candy, I thought how our marriage was way harder than it needed to be.  We mostly didn’t bring out the best in one another.  I wonder how much is my fault, how much is his, and how much any of it even really matters now?  The only thing that matters to me is that I never go through bullshit like that again.  I never want to be responsible for making another person miserable.  I never want to be in a horrible relationship again.  I don’t want to be frustrated and angry and bored.  I don’t want to be left wanting more and never getting it, and feeling insignificant and taken for granted.  What a waste of me!  A waste of the person I am.  I want to take every ounce of my wisdom and courage and strength and humor and awesomeness and hand it to a man who wants it, and loves it, and appreciates it.  And I want a big strong hand to lift me to a higher ground too.  I guess we all really start out with those intentions.  I certainly did with Dave.  I did all those things.  And he resented every single minute of it.  Why?  Why do the things that you initially love about someone turn into the very things you abhor about them?  Why does love turn to hate?  I can’t do this again until I figure that out.  Because I so cannot ever go there again.  When I married Dave, I thought we would be such a good team.  I really did.  But I never factored into the equation that he would become so resentful of me.  I was about to say the reason he became resentful is because he changed.  But he didn’t change.  He was always the person he was.  The problem is that person was a trickster.  He tricked me.  He tricked me into thinking he was normal.  And he wasn’t.  He was a sneaky fuck.  He pretended to be something he wasn’t.  I didn’t change.  I’m the same person I was when we got married.  Because if I'm not fucking real, then real does not exist.  Ya hurd me?  I don’t have regrets though.  I’m not living my life that way.

For your listening pleasure, a little PINK, poignant words, stuck in my head, as usual.  I release them to you.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=2WoIP8yCdaM&NR=1
Made a wrong turn, Once or twice
Dug my way out, Blood and fire
Bad decisions, That's alright
Welcome to my silly life

Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss "no way, it's all good", It didn't slow me down
Mistaken, Always second guessing
Under estimated, Look, I'm still around

Pretty, pretty please
Don't you ever, ever feel
Like your less than Fuckin' perfect.
Pretty, pretty please
If you ever, ever feel
Like your nothing
You're fuckin' perfect to me.

You're so mean,
When you talk, About yourself, You are wrong.
Change the voices, In your head
Make them like you Instead.

So complicated,
Look happy, You'll make it!
Filled with so much hatred
Such a tired game.
It's enough, I've done all I can think of
Chased down all my demons, I've seen you do the same.
[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsty.com/pink-perfect-lyrics.html ]

The whole world stares so I swallow the fear,
The only thing I should be drinking is an ice cold beer.
So cool in line and we try, try, try,
But we try too hard, it's a waste of my time.
Done looking for the critics, cause they're everywhere
They don't like my jeans, they don't get my hair
We change ourselves and we do it all the time

Why do we do that? Why do I do that?
(Why do I do that?)

April 4, 2012

Director of Awesomeness

I’ve been thinking about something for the last few days.  About how I keep saying I’m a shit magnet.  I worried that my declaration, even in jest, would somehow magnetize even more shit my way.  I may have been correct, because we started popping up sick with the stomach flu right after that.  It has involved, you guessed it….SHIT.  This is turning into a shit opera.  A shit fest.  A blog about….shit.   However, I do have a genuine belief that I control my destiny, and perhaps the entire universe, with my thoughts.   Of course I’m being silly, but there is merit to some of it.  Someone responded to my shit magnet post by encouraging me to direct amazing things my way by believing that I am amazing.  As it happens, it was the exact thought I myself had been pondering for days.

The truth is that I don’t really believe I’m a shit magnet.  I’ve been victim to a fair share of unfortunate circumstances (fate), but what I know is that I haven’t released a magnitude of negative energy into the universe because of it.  Quite the opposite.  I’ve accepted my fate, done a bang up job of spinning it, and released it back.  Queen of spin.  I am a positive thinker, and I genuinely believe that we are surviving as well as we are because we are so damned sure that things will be awesome.  I affirm this to my boys daily.  I’ve said repeatedly that ‘this’ won’t define us.  I won’t let it.  Of that I am sure.  No one thing will hold us down.  Not even a string of many bad things.  Because we are survivors.   Here is something I know about survivors.  They laugh.  They laugh at inappropriate times.  They find humor in dark places.  They talk about stuff, deep stuff, like it’s no big deal.  Because it’s life.  They don’t care, at all, what people think.  No matter what happens, they believe they control their own destiny.  They hit rock bottom, and immediately begin digging their way out. I’m not talking about preempting fate…but controlling how we react to it. Everyone has that power.

At this point in my life, I have very little fear.   I know that things will be ok.  I just know they will.  Hand to God.  I know deep down we are good awesomeness personified.  I responded to the poster this morning by saying that I would start directing awesomeness my way by declaring that we shall be fabulously happy today and every day, my boys shall have fabulous happy lives and I shall be pursued by dozens of fabulous, hot, rich men who want to be awesome role models to my boys.  That’s a start, right?  I’ll report back soon with some awesome tales.  None of which will involve the word SHIT.