tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Got a comfy chair?
‘Cause this is a lengthy one…

One week till Christmas, and I have the holiday bug…
I’m chipper, excited, merry.. I know- whoda thunk, right??

I have been itching to write these last couple weeks, but honestly, I have been waiting for the figurative other shoe to drop, and so I have resisted.
I don’t want to curse myself.
Even now, as I’m about to write this, I’m afraid that I’m speaking too soon, counting my chickens, per say...
But since when have I ever acted rationally?
So, on with it.

These last several days, I’ve been so at peace.
I’ve wondered every day if it were a true emotion, or if my brain just finally had enough turmoil, and went and checked out.
I hope it’s the former. 

I have a theory. And I hope that it is correct.
I think that I had to live these last three months, to discover where I was truly supposed to be in my life.

Without further ado, the entirety of the story went like this…

In the beginning of September, Craig magically reappeared, after having left us two years ago. Not a word for two years; not seeing him, hearing from him, or even randomly running into him.
I was assaulted by the memory of him, of our life together, of how much I loved him.
Not only did he magically reappear, but he wanted me. He wanted our family. He wanted to come home. Begin again.
I was literally dumfounded. I’ve never been so irrationally swept away in my life. Overwhelmed. Astounded. So awestruck, so affected, that I could think of nothing else.
And so, without much hesitation, I ended my relationship with Troy to explore the possibility of a life, again, with Craig.
And I won’t lie; it was a very nice three months. I spent the last two years forgiving Craig for leaving us. He is a wonderful man. I loved him then, I love him now, and will always love him.

But what I had forgotten, what I had neglected to consider in my astonishment, was how I loved Troy. How Troy loved me.
And my amazed stupor didn’t last long.
Slowly, I began to remember that I had a relationship, a family, a life, before Craig came back…
And I missed it.

Over the next couple of months, Troy and I texted. We talked on the phone. We met for coffee.
And every time, I left those conversations with a hole in my heart. I told him, and myself, that I had made my decision. I had to stay the course. That it was right.
I continued planning my future with Craig.
He was moving back home. We were going to be married.
I stopped speaking to Troy.
And I kept staying the course.

I loved Craig. I loved Troy. I was cracking. I literally thought I was going crazy. It sounds silly, overdramatic even, but I haven’t hurt that much in as long as I can remember.

And a few weeks ago, I couldn’t stay the course any longer.
I missed Troy too much. I missed Kayli. I missed my family. I missed my life.

I had to end my relationship with Craig. Cut off my own arm, as I mentioned in my last blog. He was so hurt, so surprised. He didn’t understand. Why would he? I had gone along so well and so long without letting him know how torn I was. It was horrible.
And it wasn’t only horrible for him.
I was saying goodbye to a man that I loved dearly. Again. This time by my choice.
And afterwards, I sobbed for an entire day. Somehow, I managed to work that night. With tomatoes for eyes.

But after that night, something terribly unusual and unexpected occurred.
I stopped crying.
And I haven’t cried since.
Like I mentioned above, I have felt very... at peace with my decision.
Now, this does not mean that I am not still sad and disheartened…
But, aside from the occasional fond memory, or the occasional painful one; I am at peace.
I believe I am where I am supposed to be.
And whether or not this is truly joyful peacefulness, or just my brain leaving the scene of an accident, I will take it.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Confessions"

A few days after writing that not-so-thankful Thanksgiving blog, I ended my relationship with Craig.
In that same moment, I gave in to my secret compulsion (which I had been fighting for weeks, even months), and made contact with Troy.
(Once again I find myself writing)- I’ll pause here and allow you all to gasp, cough, and choke.
Shake your heads. Form opinions. Pass judgments.

It’s ok. I would be doing the same if I were you.
Part of why I’ve been so quiet (at least with personal stuff, which I usually am pretty public about…), is because I’ve been concerned about the reaction.
And yet I have always claimed that I don’t give a shit what other people think.
How ironic.
Perhaps it’s because I know what I would think if I were watching someone in my shoes...
Why can’t that woman make up her mind? What is she doing to these men? What this must be doing to her children??
I would be thinking all those things. Forming opinions. Passing judgment.
So go ahead. 
Get out the guillotine.

If I took the time to try and explain it all, this blog would take 4 hours to read. Not to mention, no matter what I said, there will still be those who scratch their heads. Who can’t comprehend.
Hell, some of it I can’t even comprehend.
So I won’t bother.
  
But in case you’re wondering, the children are truly okay. They are sad (well, Dawson is) and confused, of course, but they are okay.
They were (of course) my biggest concern (aside from my own heartbreak).
I had the (second) painful conversation with them this past weekend.
I assured them that even as confusing as the last few months have been, the one constant in life is the three of us. Our family. We have each other.
Regardless of whom I choose to spend my time with, I want my children to know that they come first for me. Over any relationship. Or any other thing in existence.
And I apologized. For making the mistakes I’ve made the last few months… hell, the last few years. We all sat on my big bed and cried and cried. And hugged. And exchanged “I love you’s”.
I think they forgive me.

Dawson was my main obstacle. He absolutely loved Craig. However, he also loved Troy (which I may have assumed wasn’t the case). And he absolutely worshipped Kayli.
I allowed him a play-date with Kayli yesterday. Maybe I was trying to ease his pain of losing Craig (again). What surprised me was that he was equally as happy to see Troy as he was to see Kayli. He ran to him and hugged him. Troy kissed him on his head. It was a tearful reunion.
And when we parted, he said- “I can’t believe I got to see Troy again! That was AWESOME! Just AWESOME!”….
Last night on the way home from our play-date, he said “Mom, I want Troy to move back home”.
(Which, by the way, will not be happening. Are you kidding me? Come on, you didn’t actually think I’d so something like that after screwing everything up these last few months??). J
Anyway, it was just nice to hear that come from him.

And as far as Logan is concerned…
Well, when I broke the news to her this past weekend, it allowed her the opportunity to be completely frank with me about things. And she let me have it...
(By the way, none of the following came as any surprise to me… Logan has been very cold to me since the day I told her about my decision three months ago, and that has hurt very much)…

I learned of a private conversation that she had with Craig. The details of which I didn’t really get from him. Only bits and pieces. A conversation in which Logan directly asked him what his intentions were. Asked him if he “planned to stick around this time”.  Told him that they weren’t “buddies”.  That things would never be the same between them. She related to me his side of the conversation, when he tried to explain to her that he was doing the right thing the first time he left us. Her response to that, at least to me, was (and I quote)- “Do you think you’re talking to a child? That’s BULLSHIT buddy.” She told me that after the conversation, she realized she had been clenching her teeth the whole time, and that her jaws hurt for the next three days.
She told me that she was NOT happy with my original decision, she was very angry and upset (although as I said, this I already knew). She did not care for or respect Craig, and certainly had no intentions of forgiving him anytime soon. She said that perhaps sometime in the future (her words- “ten years from now”) she could have changed her mind, but not anytime soon. And so much time had gone by anyway, that she had absolutely no interest in trying. She also said she liked Troy (which is huge for her, if you know Logan. She is much like her mother. She doesn’t like anyone. And if she does, she certainly won’t admit it). And she liked Kayli. She was fond of them. She was hurt when I broke it off. She was happy with our life. She didn’t understand why I would want to move backwards. Had no idea why I would even consider it.

It was the most honest and refreshing conversation I’ve ever had with my daughter. And I will always remember it, be thankful for it, and lover her for it.

The last three months of decision making has easily been the most painful series of events of my life. Larger than any divorce, or child custody battle, or break-up, or any other life challenge.
There is a reason that love triangles only exist in the movies, folks. And that’s because they are the most painful of all of life’s experiences.

Imagine for a second, that you had to willingly sever one of your own limbs. An arm, maybe a leg. Just cut it off. Lose it forever. No one could save you the discomfort of choice or the internal struggle and cut it off for you.  You had choose a limb, and you must sever it. There’s nothing wrong with that limb. It’s not diseased or infected. But you have to do it.

I can function without that limb. I know that I can. But it doesn’t ease the pain of severing it.
I just want to be able to move on now, somewhat handicapped, and find some form of happiness.

Monday, December 5, 2011

November 24, 2011

It’s thanksgiving.
And I have much to be thankful for.
Unfortunately, the holidays exacerbate my already acute affliction that I call “thinktoomuchitis”.

And so, in keeping with my traditional habits, I’ll take this time, regardless of the holiday, and be a little analytical, realistic, comparative, possibly not so optimistic, contemplative…
Aw, hell, I’ll just blog-vent.
And by the way, I woke up this morning trying to be thankful and positive. I really tried, I did.

I am thankful that I sold my Mustang just when I needed to.
Unfortunately, the money got me only this far... and Christmas is coming… and oil season is here… and this mortgage, phew…

I am thankful to have a job.
However, I don’t enjoy it like I once did. And that’s a gross understatement. I have no tolerance anymore.
As much as I enjoy seeing the “regulars” having fun and making merry, I am more disturbed by the sad ones, who have nothing but the bar and the drink… By the ones who consistently get snookered and make bad choices, and live without moral brakes… And by the just plain old morons who drink too much and act like (insert explicative here)…
I am pointedly reminded that this kind of job is no longer a welcome part of my life every time I step behind that bar.

I am thankful for reacquainting with the one man I wholly believed was the love of my life, the “one that got away”.
But sometimes, I remember him, almost bitterly, yet perhaps appropriately, as “the man who ran away”… And yet I love him still.
However, a lot can change in two years. People change. Things are different. Or maybe, some things are the same...
Sometimes, I see a glimmer of those differences, and sometimes, I am begrudgingly reminded that maybe, those differences aren’t parallel…

I am thankful for my children. I suppose that should be at the top of this list. But alas, there is no sequential order to this. There’s no “order” at all, really. But you knew that already.
I am thankful that at 16, Logan has yet to have a boyfriend. Maybe that’s what I’m most thankful for this holiday season.
However, there are times I’d like the option to trade either one of them in for a kid who actually likes me once in a while.
Seriously… a teenage girl and a pre-pubescent boy in the house at the SAME TIME.
Very challenging. Again, another gross understatement.

I’m thankful for my family. As dysfunctional as they may be, they are still mine, and they are (mostly) all still alive and around.
Mom, Dad, Nana, Sharla, Aunt Carrie, Aunt Sue, Rachael, Sarah, Randee, Morgan, Matt-man, and all the other-halves and all the little kiddos…
Family is good. I’m glad I wound up with the one I have.

I am thankful that I have this opportunity to go back to school.
Although, I’m not positive that I’ll be able to afford to stay there.
I fear I will be forced to return to work and give up the pipe dream of teaching sarcasm and profanity to our youth.

I am trying to be thankful, and happy, and optimistic, and excited… but I am finding myself slightly bitter about my own life choices as of late.
And it mainly has to do with money. Well, mostly…
Every time I am pissed off at the bar and wish that I didn’t have to be there…  or when I realize I can’t afford to buy that big gift for Dawson… or when I think- how in the hell will I make my next mortgage payment? …

And then there’s the other part… the part that doesn't have anything to do with money...
Like the eyelash that you can’t get out of your eye, the big piece of food you can’t get unstuck from your teeth, the wedgie you just can’t pick, the itch you can’t reach in the middle of your back…

I suppose I shouldn’t be shocked that I miss some things, that I mourn for some things...
But it still surprises me. I felt so decisive. So resolute.
Naturally (or at least that’s what I tell myself), there are small bits of doubt that live in the corners of conviction.

I pointedly remind myself today, on Thanksgiving, and every day- It’s my life.
Most of it by choice, hardly any of it by chance. 
The insane mortgage, the job, college, the kids, the relationships
Eat it, Crista. Sleep in it.
Be thankful for it.
Perhaps I've never been good at giving thanks.
But happy Thanksgiving anyway.
J