Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Sing it to me, Wino.

Amy Winehouse just does it for me right now.  I loved her from the first time I heard Back To Black, and I listened to it so much that my 6 year old knows all the words.  She's so raw on that whole album.  Maybe because I know (and am related to) so many with substance abuse issues, even when she was all whacked out and obviously sick I was rooting for her.  And when I heard that she had died it was so sad not only because she was so young but also because I wanted to be able to hear more from her.  I loved that crazy crackhead.  This song in particular I've been singing to myself a lot lately, and seems appropriate for this rainy day and my mixed up heart

Friday, September 14, 2012

And .... *Part 2*

I walked into a university classrooom for the first time as a real student.  I need to take a college level algebra and statistics class towards the degree I want (Landscape Horticulture and Design) and I took one look at the textbook for the class and felt sick to my stomach.  It may as well have been written in Swahili.

  So I am taking a "refresher" math class.  I am by farrrrrr the oldest person in there.  The other students are freshmen who didn't do well in math their last year of high school, so they are taking this non-credit class.  They went over all of this last year, they just didn't do well at it.  The last time I even thought about half of the things we're covering in class (and even then, not much) was 15 years ago when I was in high school.  Humbling.  They yell out answers while I furiously write down everything that comes out of the professor's mouth.  They finish their homework in 30 minutes, it takes me hours.  They have no idea about not being able to start your homework until after you put your kids to bed, which comes after you've worked a full day and taken care of housework and made dinner and cleaned up.   But I'm working through it and I WILL learn all this. 

Mooch's school was looking for volunteers to head up the landscaping committee, so guess who volunteered?  Yup.  It's an excuse to play in the dirt.  I'm also chairing the vegetable garden committee. 

And Mooch is now a big stinky first grader and Butterbean is a little stinky preschooler.  Bean loves school, she was so excited to start, and Mooch loves her new teacher. 

My only little garden was woefully under-utilized this year, but I intend to plant a few winter crops and get a truckload of new soil in the spring.  It's hard to get excited about the garden when things between me and the Mister are so uncertain.  The phrase "polishing brass on the Titanic" keeps popping into my thoughts.  Especially since one day we are relatively happy and the next day it hits us both how bad things are. 

I'm still exercising, but with everything going on I'm not as consistant as I was.  I'm just tired in the mornings and it's really hard to get up, but I always feel so much better when I do.  This morning I woke up at 5:40, put on my running stuff and headed out.  The temp was low 70's, it was perfect - and after 3 miles I felt recharged and a bit more peaceful.  I walked up my block and was appreciating the beds I put in on either side of my driveway and how well they've done, filled with flowers and herbs, and this phrase popped into my head and I felt like I could breathe:

Where I Am *Part 1*

Hello all, and thank you for following me to this new place.

Right now is a time of tides turning, seasons changing, all that scary/new/exciting stuff.  I've thought so much about how to present all this, but I think I just have to go straight from my heart.

If you've read my previous blog you know that my relationship with my husband has never been complete smooth sailing.  And I know every relationship is flawed in some way, I do - but we've had way more than average flaws.  Throw into that mix crazy job schedules, two kids, a dog, a cat, two fancy rats; depression and anger issues (him), simmering resentment and unfulfillment (me), two VERY different outlooks on life, and a serious breakdown in communication ... and my friends, you get a very messy situation.

Long story short, he came from an unhappy home and grew up watching an unhealthy marriage.  I grew up in a fairly happy home with parents who adore each other and are each other's best friends.  When all of our issues started piling up and the few times we tried to talk it out ended in screaming matches, we just stopped talking.  Or looking at each other.  This has been going on for the better part of a year.  To him, we were living in the same house and raising our kids together and were able to be civil when we were around each other.  He thought things were fine.  To me, everytime I was around him I was in turns angry, hurt, sad, or frustrated.  I couldn't relax, I couldn't truly enjoy my kids, I could barely concentrate on anything for a minute.  This all came to a head when he discovered I was having an emotional affair.  I honestly was at a point that I didn't think he would care, that we were both strictly there for the kids.  First lesson: don't assume.  Second lesson: always, always be honest.  Not just in marriage - once you have children together, you've created something greater than yourself and you have a higher obligation to a moral standard, no matter your beliefs. 

The full range of his anger and his simmering depression came out, and he said a lot of thing that I knew he would say.  He called me names and told me he was only there for the kids.  That he would never forgive me and that I was a horrible person.  That the person I was having the affair with could care less about me.  Then he took my wedding band back and told me to leave. 

I went to my parents house (the girls were there, thankfully both napping) I spent the day talking to them and my sister and crying my eyes out.  I physically hurt all over and was nauseous.  I couldn't stop asking why - WHY was he not satisfied, and not working harder to appreciate his wife?  Yes I did something wrong.  But as a friend said to me "You jumped off the cliff but he pushed you right to the edge".  When I returned to our home that night with the kids we put them both to bed and then stayed up talking and crying until 2 in the morning.  I got up the next morning and made the girls pancakes and had to get ready for work.  He was civil to me in front of the kids and then would whisper an insult.  I went to work and spent the day in my office with the door closed, trying to work but mostly sobbing. 

He called me mid-afternoon and said we needed to have a real talk, and I arranged for my sister to watch the girls that night for a few hours.  He and I went to the reservoir in town and walked around it for 2 hours.  All the anger had left him and he was confronted with the fact that he had been a shitty husband.  And that there is a real possibility that our marriage may be over.  That I've spent the last 12 years of my life trying to help him emotionally mature and there have only been baby steps on his part, and that I was fed up and tired.  We cried, we talked like friends.  Because we have been for the last 12 years and will always be very, very good friends.  He shocked me by saying he knew he needed individual therapy and that he was going to start going.  We are also in couples therapy because no matter how this turns out, we are NOT leaving our marriage with any issues between us that will cause our kids stress. 

Neither one of us knows what is going to happen.  But we have come to a place of honesty and communication, to the friendship that has always been our base.  We have committed to always being there as a united front for our girls. 

Marriage is weird.  I've always thought it was just one big leap of faith.  So should I ignore what's in my heart and plow along, and hope for the best?  We've been in therapy before with limited results, will this time be different?  Can working at a marraige long enough replace something that's not there, or do people just become complacent and get comfortable? 

I don't even have some of the answers.  For now I'm taking every day slowly, and trying to keep my eyes and heart open and believe that everything will work out exactly like it should.