Gosh it has been ages. I can’t seem to get much accomplished of the things that I need to and want to do, so I thought maybe a stop in here might do me good. Besides, my original intention was to BLOG regularly. Ha, yeah right. Well, I’m here now. I found the website and thankfully auto saved the password, because there is no way I would have remembered it.. Do I say that in every post? I don’t ever go back and read what I’ve previously written, unless someone comments on it. The comments are so heartfelt and true. Many I do not share because even though this is a public forum, I don’t quite feel comfortable sharing others stories that are so similar to mine. Maybe someday? Who know, right?
Well let’s see. I have a lot to say. Unfortunately there isn’t much good and happiness to share over the last couple of months. I will try to keep “on track” as much as I can as I relate my tale. I did read my last post about finally feeling happy in my home and that I had started painting again. That was all good. I must have been still getting unemployment and insurance from my former employer. That all ended last July (2013). And that seemed to be the trigger or catalyst that jump started this current road I find myself on…. As the heading says, “a long long way from home.”
When the unemployment ran out and the insurance ran out, it triggered something in Buck. We have always had our problems and ups and downs, but this was something else. Something much more serious. Without going into too much detail, I would say that the first 25 years of marriage we had a better than average sex life. Over the last five years things changed. Drastically. Stopped really. When things first started slowing down I attributed it to stress, moving, weight gain, age. All normal. But it turns out that there were a lot of layers beneath that I didn’t discover until it was too late. (I know, it’s never too late!) HA… Okay, so shoot forward to the last quarter in 2013. I had become depressed over our relationship, or lack thereof. I withdrew to my sitting room more and more and Buck parked himself in front of the TV. I stopped cooking, because he was coming home after 7 or 8 pm and I wasn’t about to cook that late. The longer this went on the angrier he became at me for not participating in the little things I used to do. I had no desire to grocery shop or cook or clean for that matter. He started doing his own laundry. The only time we communicated was when the boys were over. And often times Buck would take over and say, we are having X for dinner, and after the boys would sack out in the living room and watch movies. The youngest and Buck always headed to bed by 10. The oldest is a night owl like me and we would stay up late, reading or drawing, talking. It is so cool to have a relationship with my 10-year-old grandson. His life is so different than my childhood or even his mother’s for that matter. I mean, he begs to be on my computer. We designed an animal website for him. He loves to play games. His dad got him a cell phone for Christmas, of which, I thought he was too young, but what do I know? His friends have them, so therefore…… His mom has started leaving them two home alone after school anywhere from ½ hour to an hour. Again, which I don’t approve, but what do I know. And if I’m not available to pick them up from school, she really doesn’t have a lot of options. So in that respect, the cell phone is necessary.
I went in October to my best friend’s only child’s wedding. I am his God mother and “favorite auntie.” Even though I had fallen away over the past ten years, I was very active in their early marriage and when he was born. I have been best friends with his mom, we will call her Barb, since high school. So I was looking forward to his wedding. I knew I was going to see many old friends from our younger days of partying, camping and volleyball. People I really only see once every ten years. But we exchange Christmas cards and know what is going on in each other’s lives. But this wedding turned into a big hassle with Buck. He didn’t want to go. So I said I go with one of my other good friends. That was great. We all were looking forward to seeing each other again.
The weekend of the wedding I had a terrible fight with Buck. We had talked about getting divorced for the first time earlier that year. But we just kind of let that fall by the wayside. Anyway, it is the Saturday of the wedding and made the mistake of calling home. It got real ugly real fast and Buck stated unequivocally that he wanted a divorce. I was devastated but I had to go to this wedding. The other girlfriend I was traveling with, I’ll call her Tracy, knew what was going on, but I didn’t want to ruin Barbs big day. During the vows I burst out sobbing. I stayed as long as I could. I left before dinner and dancing and I felt terrible, but I couldn’t stop crying and everyone was drinking. I rarely drink anymore and wasn’t having any fun. I did have a nice time seeing old friends, but when you are in the frame of mind I was in, it’s just not the same. So, I called a cab and left. I should have said we flew in for the wedding in Ohio and were staying at a local hotel.
The next morning we all promised to meet up again. We decided to meet in our room, mine and Tracy’s. So Barb comes up and her old roommate and best friend along with her daughter, who used to be my girls babysitter. I know that’s confusing, but the point is, we all have a long tight history together. So I told them that I was getting divorced and how Buck had literally was leaving me basically without any financial resources. (I didn’t share that with you and it’s just a bitch to explain.) But I had signed over the computer business, all assets and removed myself from the checking accounts because I didn’t want any of that to affect my social security disability benefits. We just take our normal draw from the business into our personal account and I paid household bills with that. Well, Buck refused to transfer money into the household account. And I could no longer do the transfers or write checks. So basically I was left without a means of income. There, short n sweet. I explained that to my girlfriends and they all rallied behind me. Saying he has to pay me maintenance. Wisconsin is a 50/50 marital property law state.
I still had 3 international business class awards tickets to use up before they expired, so I invited Barb and Tracy to come with me down to Cabo. It would be just us girls. We haven’t done anything like that for years, many years. We see each other and get together for occasions and holidays, but never off on our own away from the kids and spouses. Tracy had four kids later on in her marriage so she still has three teenagers living at home (No thank you). Anyway. The wedding was in October and we were scheduled to go to Cabo in mid-January.
Over the next two months my life was shear hell. I had to stay in the house because I was damned if I was going to leave without any money or means to support myself. Then, I found out that I was approved for the social security disability benefits and they call Buck to see if I was able to handle receipt of the settlement check (People that are bipolar and manic can do very hurtful things to themselves financially. And I had in the past.) But thank God, Buck graciously let me get the settlement. BAMB, I started making plans to get out of there.
I did a lot of research online about where to go? Buck and I had always told our kids that when we retired we would go to Albuquerque, NM. So they knew we didn’t want to spend our golden years (ha) in the frozen tundra. California and Florida were over populated and too expensive or too many people. Anyway, after search for cities within 60 miles of the east, southern or west coast, economic factors like median income, housing prices, unemployment, yadda yadda yadda. I decided to check things out on the east coast in North Caroline and South Carolina. In November I made a whirlwind tour of cities and apartments. I fell in love with Wilmington, NC almost immediately. I’m only 5 minute drive from the ocean. Just the right size. Weather is perfect (except for our recent ice storm, but that was just fun for me and happens rarely).
So when I got back home I told the girls and Buck that I would stay through the boy’s birthdays, both the last week in November (three years apart). That would let me see everyone over the thanksgiving holiday and the boy’s birthdays. And I told everyone I would be home for Christmas and would continue to be home for all the important holidays and birthdays or whatever. My girls were shocked and devastated and very angry with me. They didn’t understand why I was moving so far away. Well there is a lot they didn’t know about me or my situation. There are some things you don’t share with your kids no matter how old they are. And I knew it would be the hardest leaving my two boys, my grandsons, now 7 and 10. The youngest was in school now and they didn’t really need Gram that much (I lied to myself). But they were all I was going to miss. I wasn’t going to miss the weather, or Buck or fighting or money or headaches with one of my daughters (she has problems, let’s leave it at that).
We got through the birthdays and somewhere in there Buck and I were able to talk civil to each other. He still would agree that the equity in the home was worth what it truly is, that his tools weren’t worth anything. His forklift, and trailers and motorcycles and dirt bike and 4-wheeler and on and on and on weren’t worth anything. Fuck THAT. Anyway he was convince that not only was I not going to get half of anything, because according to him we didn’t have anything worth that much. Oh my God, if you knew us and what a wasteful live we have had and every imaginable thing you could ever imagine. Yet it was all worthless. Okay, I have to stop saying that or I’m going to get all pissed off again and way off track. I remember now where I was going with this. Somehow, Buck said he would drive the moving truck out to N Carolina for me. But all that turned in was, when we are going to go??? Well, even though I had a prorated rent on November and December paid, Buck didn’t want to go until between Christmas and New Year’s. THEN he decided what I could and couldn’t take. And what was important to me wasn’t important to him. And we argued about the size of the truck. I was paying for everything, the truck, gas, food, hotel, flight back home. He ended up, as with everything, getting his way. The truck was 16’ I knew I needed a 24’.
Okay, so now I am packed and ready to leave after Christmas on December 26th. With my 16’ truck. Which ended up with me leaving all my most important stuff behind. My books. Almost all my clothes. I wasn’t taking any of the living furniture or bedroom set or bathrooms or kitchen. Only MY STUFF. And the spare bedroom set and my sitting room, my office and painting. Whatever. I’m getting angry again because it is all sitting back there still.
So, the one daughter that I get frustrated with because I don’t agree with how she left her husband, something’s she does in disciplining the boys, and she has never been good with money and is addicted to pain meds because she also has a bad back. Which wouldn’t be bad if she could stay within her pain management guidelines, but never does. She ends up coming over by me crying and wanting my pain meds, which make me short. Or she drives down to Milwaukee and is paying street prices for oxycontin. Anyway, these are some of the issues I deal with between her and I.
A day or two before Christmas she is talking to me on the phone and says she is done Christmas shopping but that the boys are going to be disappointed in Santa this year. Ouch. I always over compensated my childhood with my girls at Christmas and I’m afraid I passed that onto her. So, I of course feel bad for the boys. I hadn’t finished my Christmas shopping yet and told her that I had set aside $200 for each boy and $100 for her and her sister. I would give her her $100 plus the $400 for the boys. She was to get one BIG present from GRAM for each of the boys and the rest could be from Santa. She was so grateful and I felt good too. Some of it was a relief because I wasn’t looking forward to the last minute shopping so it really was a good solution.
We have always spent Christmas Eve up at the lake. Even before Buck and I were married I spent Christmas Eve with him. And my girls had all their Christmas’ up at the lake. And now they are bringing their kids up to the lake. But since Buck’s mom and dad died, and Buck’s youngest sister and her husband bought the lake house and well, let’s just say, things change and people change when you get older. I had to admit it because I still feel like I’m in my thirties. I had to move MY birthday up from 29 when my daughter turned 30. So like all the things I’ve tried to give my girls growing up that I never had. I wanted to instill tradition. Tradition, sorry we have to back up a week or to here…..
Buck didn’t want to put a tree up and that made me very angry. The boys would come over and they knew I had all the village houses and Doogie wanted to know where all my big nut cracker soldiers were. I have tons of Christmas treasures for little boys and girls to play with and marvel at. Anyway, Christmas, besides going up to the lake house was always started the same way. We would trim the tree and I would make the first batch of chili for the season and we would crank Elvis Blue Christmas album on the stereo. EVERY year, but not this year. And I always made cut out Christmas cookies so the girls, and then my grandsons could decorate. So no cookies, no fruitcake, no tree, no chili, no Elvis.
I had the boys overnight the Friday 2 weeks before Christmas, just me, Buck went up north. We had a great time, big breakfast as always. Then we went to the Library, they love that. Anyway Saturday morning when I was taking them home, my youngest daughter’s car is there. So I knew she was in town but just dropped the boys off and told my oldest daughter I wasn’t coming in, I had to run. I don’t know why exactly, but it just hurt me that my youngest daughter was in town and I didn’t know about it. Normally I would. Normally she would have stopped over to see me. Anyway, the next day, on Sunday, I went on facebook and there are all these pictures of my two girls and my two grandsons down at my youngest daughters house making and decorating all these cutout Christmas cookies and they didn’t invite me. It ripped my heart out. I was devastated. I made a smart remark about tradition under the pictures and discontinued my facebook page. Which is really sad because both girls post tons of pictures on there. That is the only way I knew what is going on my younger daughters life and I love to see my boys on my oldest daughters site. I learn more about my girls from facebook than anywhere else. So, that was one tradition hurt.
Next weekend, my oldest daughters’ boyfriend comes over to in the morning to get our tree stand. I said, “wait, wait, you can’t trim your tree without Elvis.” And I ran and grabbed my CD. I don’t know why, but I just thought for sure she was going to call me up and invite me over to trim the tree. I didn’t get a call. And I was just being stubborn. I knew I could have called. That was tradition hurt number two.
And in retrospect, both the girls and Buck said they probably would have thought I would say no I wasn’t interested and would rather sit in my room and read books. So not true. Yes, I did hide in my room when depressed and read books. And yes there were times maybe I shouldn’t have. But dammit, they don’t live with the depression I was in at the time. And they didn’t have a husband that after 33 years of marriage doesn’t love you anymore, to the point of not caring whether I have financial means to care for myself or not. And many more hurtful things about me personally. Primarily my weight was a big factor. Well, shit, HE has gained way more weight than I have, yet I’m not pleasing to him anymore? F’ That. ….breath…. sorry….. take a break.
So, I invited each of my daughters over to have a heart to heart with them. I didn’t want to leave on a bad note. The oldest is fine with everything. Maybe a little too okay with it, but I can’t have it both ways. The youngest proceeds to tell me how she feels I am demonstrating that I don’t love her nor care about her by leaving the state and moving so far away. I tried explaining about how miserable I was, and why I was leaving and that if I didn’t get to where I wanted to be, I might not have a second chance financially to pick up and move. And I desperately needed warm weather and sunshine. So, we hugged and said we loved each other, but that she didn’t understand, doesn’t think it’s right, that I don’t have to do it, that DAD really didn’t want me to go…. On and on. She really had no clue what I was going through, and I wasn’t going to convince her that what I was doing was right for me. Especially since I was not only leaving her, whom I would see occasionally because she is a hard worker, a hard partier and a social butterfly and always going somewhere. We literally have to make appointments in advance to see her. Unless it’s someone’s birthday. Birthdays are a very big deal with my family. Another carry over from my less than stellar childhood.
God I’m whining. I’m tired. This is getting too long. And if you’re still reading this, I promise to come back and finish later. It does turn out “okay” in the end.
To be continued….
Take Care and God Bless,