tHe haPPy grOUch

tHe haPPy grOUch

Friday, September 27, 2013

Life is funny.
Although it's no funnier than it was during my last blog a few days ago. Life is status quo. 
Still funny.

I continue to spend time with my estranged husband. All the while trying to make the most of that time, enjoy the moment(s), play pretend.
Pretend that this isn't the most unusual circumstance I've ever been in. One of the most bittersweet. One of the most painful.

I still don't know if the "ultimate goal" will ever be realized. 
Primarily because I don't know if it's even possible. We enjoy our time together, we love one another. In fact, I love him more than I've loved any man. But let's face it, we are separated (again) for valid reasons. Perhaps this truly is irreconcilable.
Secondly, because I'm not sure that I can make it to that point, if it is possible. Saying goodbye to him every time we are together is proving to be very difficult. The constant wondering if this is truly going to work. The incessant analyzing of every single situation (does he still love me, is he thinking about giving up, am I doing this right, or that right, or this wrong, where is he and what is he doing, should I hold back, am I too invested, am I invested enough..). The ceaseless worry about whether or not it's right to be spending time with our children. And the risk of it not working may be the worst. The fear of that pain, all over again.
And I question my own faith.
Which, considering how hurtful and disruptive (and frequent) this has been, is completely normal I suppose.
I am sure of my love for him. It seems it's everything else that I'm unsure of.

Love is a big thing (understatement).. It's all encompassing. It's monumental. But I'm learning that "everything else" is just as big.  It's kind of late in life to be learning this hard lesson. But it is learned. Even this skeptic used to hold fast to the notion that The Beatles were right, that love was all you needed; that through love, all things were possible.  It's quite depressing, actually... To realize at 40, that somewhere deep down in this pessimistic heart and soul of mine, there was still that Disney-edge hope that "love conquers all"... Guess I never really grew up.
I was searching for an epiphany. 
That was one I could have done without.
The Beatles LIED.
Bastards.








Wednesday, September 25, 2013


I don't want to teach my children that spouses "quit" once and a while, live apart from one another, and visit when it's convenient. That this is how love works, or how a marriage operates. But then again, I want to teach them that forgiveness can be found in love and strength; that love endures all things. That love, no matter what, prevails.
Conundrum.

That was something I posted on Facebook the other day.
I haven't yet figured out the dilemma; I'm not sure I ever will.
And in the meantime, I constantly worry about the message I am sending to my children.
And perhaps, the message I am giving myself.

We talk. We text. We visit.
We go out in public; it's no secret that neither one of us can bear to actually let go.
We discuss that this is (possibly, hopefully) temporary.
We discuss the issues. We discuss our love for one another.
We discuss the (possible) "ultimate goal"... Reconciling our marriage.
We've spent time with our respective step-children..
The two of us have had overnights.
Sometimes here, at home. Sometimes at the apartment.
- I italicize that because it seems the only way to convey the absolute profound bitterness associated with it. It is still something I have not been able to accept. The place that theoretically should provide us with some "alone time", (or apart time, for that matter), does nothing but represent dissidence and discord for me. I can't relax there. I can't enjoy myself, the time, or the company. I'm not sure that that will ever change.
And unfortunately, our visits here at home usually end in bitterness as well. Well, at least for me. One moment he's here, we're having dinner, watching tv, we're going to soccer, everything's... "normal"... and nice.. wonderful.. But the next minute, his pillows are packed, and he's gone. Back to the apartment. Back to our separate lives.
And I sit here...
This hurts... It's downright sickeningly painful..
It is so much harder than I thought it would be. Than it seems it should be.
Is the "end worth the means"... Is the "ultimate goal" even possible...
Can I do this? Can I?

This entire thing seems so bizarre. So unnatural. So abnormal.
And then, in talking with my therapist, she says it's actually quite normal. People (married couples), do it-separate- more often than you'd think. She's counseled hundreds of couples.
Seriously??? And how the HELL do THEY live through it? Is there a book on this somewhere that I can read?? Are there case studies somewhere that I can analyze??
WHAT IS THE END RESULT????

Can I do this...

Most times, I've realized, it is much like (subconsciously) playing pretend.
At the apartment, I am pretending that it is a get-away, a mini-vacation, a hotel, perhaps.
At home, I pretend that everything is normal. That we are a united family. That my husband lives here.
But pretend play only lasts so long. Only as long as the moment itself.
And then, reality hits. Violently. Like a brick in the face.

Other couples do this? People ACTUALLY do this?

Often, I feel like I am simply floating along, waiting to gain proverbial consciousness.
Waiting for the moment in which my catatonic brain awakens, shakes me silly, and screams-
"What are you doing?!? Quit doing this to yourself! Get a grip!! Crista, YOU ARE DONE!!"

Perhaps I am hoping for that moment of clarity.
Or any moment of clarity, for that matter. A sign. An epiphany. Something. Anything.
Just give me something, for christ sake.... Please.

Can I do this...

I am waiting to find "the beginning".
I don't yet know what it is.




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I haven't been doing much blogging as of late. Mostly music videos, quotes, and a lame attempt at some creative writing.

My husband finished moving out this week.
Unless you've ever been in this position, I can't POSSIBLY help you to understand how painful it is. Not just for me. For Dawson. For Logan (although she doesn't say much, other than to express how angry she is).
Perhaps even for my husband and step-daughter; but I cannot speak for them. On the surface, of course, it appears to be very easy for them. I mean, he is the one that left. Abruptly. Again. And is now settled into his new apartment. And (based on the children's conversations) my step-daughter seems to have adjusted to the idea even before they were gone.
Anyway, I digress...
Poor Dawson... He has slept in my bed for the last two weeks (I know, what a terrible habit to form. Especially considering he's almost 12. Oh well). He's more distraught about this than any of my other failed relationship adventures. He talks about it every night. He is having a hard time sleeping. He mentions that he thinks about it in school, out of the blue. He is having a (more than usual) hard time focusing. He recognizes (and verbalizes) that this is affecting him "more than before", or, "more than he thought it would"... He is so sad. He keeps saying "I just want him to come home. I want things to be back to normal"... He wants to play with Kayli. He wants to see Troy.
I could entertain that.
We are talking.
Talking about.... what? I don't know. Things. Ideas. Stuff.
Why?
I did say- If you leave again, there is no going back. You are dead to us.
Those were the words I spoke.
Perhaps harsh, but that was the promise I made to myself.
Someone told me recently, "those are the easiest to break"... Perhaps they were right.
It is a very odd emotional position to be in... to love someone so much, and want nothing more than to be with them... and to be so hurt by them, and angry with them, at the same time.
Such an unusual conflict.

Anyway...

The job search continues.
No word from last week's interview. Even though I thought it went very well. Even though the human resources woman said she would let candidates know one way or the other.
I had another interview yesterday with a local credit union. The interview went well (although that's what I thought about the last one). I have banking experience. I should be a shoe-in. But then again, probably so are a bunch of the other pursuers. I won't hear anything on this one until sometime mid-end of next week.
Pretty soon I won't be able to be so particular in my job search... I really don't want to work at Dunkin, or Marshall's, or Job Lots (etc, etc, etc)...

Funny how something as simple as a job search can add to the bitterness. And not just the financial aspect (although that of course is a huge deal, which I will probably complain about later)...
I enjoyed being home. Working the bar on weekends. I used to complain of how bored I was. I thought of getting another part time job, more for entertainment purposes than financial reasons. I wasn't lazy. I worked, earned an income. Took care of the household.
In retrospect, I enjoyed it. Being home for my little guy when he gets on and off the bus. Being available if he was sick. Seeing Logan between classes (as that seems the only time I see her). Puttering around the house during the day. Running errands. Writing. Doing laundry. Getting groceries. Mowing. Doing whatever.
Now I'll be an overworked schmuck, hardly seeing my kids, getting little sleep, rubbing pennies together, just to put gas in my car to get to my two jobs, in order to barely pay the bills. If I'm lucky.
(And in comes the financial complaints)...
Sell my dream car to catch up on piles of overdue bills. Pay rent for one or two more months to keep the roof over our heads. Hope that the oil tank doesn't run dry. Spend out of savings to buy my son a decent birthday present, dog food, new work clothes...  And wait, it gets better, because Christmas is just around the corner... Sigh.
My savings is running out. And the bills/expenses keep coming in.

And then there's my broken heart.

5 Great Things About Today...
Eh, fuck it.

http://youtu.be/zPcQMZLGiK8

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open windows and closed doors
silent rooms, filled with space
Vacancy lives here

Dusty outlines where pictures dwelt
empty frames with broken glass
Memories torn from their place

An abandoned bed for two
pots and pans and furniture, divided
A life pieced out

Echos of laughter
images of children at play
The haunting reminiscence

A box of memoirs
a collection of promises
Void of their worth

A house once a home
united by a family
now a structure, purposeless

A love uninterrupted
still alive, but not united
Vacancy lives here



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5NUpLdNwkg

"Not as We"

Reborn and shivering
Spat out on new terrain
Unsure unconvincing
This faint and shaky hour

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one, I'm barely making sense
for now I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again
but this time I as I, And not as We

Gun shy and quivering
Timid without a hand
Feign brave with steel intent
Little and hardly here

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one, I'm barely making sense
for now I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again
but this time I as I, And not as We

Eyes wet toward
Wide open frayed
If God's taking bets
I pray He wants to lose

Day one day one start over again
Step one step one, I'm barely making sense
for now I'm faking it 'til I'm pseudo making it
From scratch begin again
but this time I as I, And not as we

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Sail away with me honey
I put my heart in your hand
Sail away with me honey now, now, now
Sail away with me, what will be will be
I wanna hold you now, now, now...


Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013


5 Great things about yesterday (since I didn't write):

~I got a huge notch taken out of my "to get" list. Like new glassware, fry pans, plates, and bowls.
~My very sweet hairdresser (and friend) squeezed me into her very busy schedule for a trim.
~I made another batch of soap and dropped it off with Stacie (who sells it throughout the Cianchette building at EMMC), and picked up money from the batch she just sold.
~Soccer last night with Dawson and Mom
~Cuddling in bed, watching tv, and falling asleep with Dawson

Still no word yet on the job. I got antsy this morning and emailed the human resources lady to check the status... She told me that the office manager had a late interview yesterday and had not gotten back to her yet with a decision, but that she would let all the candidates know once she had.
So there is still hope. Fingers still crossed.

I have several resumes out, and I just keep sending them.
Something will come along soon. The cap to my Jones soda said so.


One thing I haven't talked about lately is my meds and the looming potential for a bipolar diagnosis. I had talked to my doc about weaning off my meds a few months ago. And so we tried it. I started feeling a bit more touchy, so I went back up on the dosage (this was shortly after dad passed). Oddly, I ran out shortly after going back up on the dosage, and forgot to refill. By the time I did refill, I had been off the Depakote for a week. So I decided to try just not going back on...
I've now been off the Depakote for a little over a month. And doing okay, especially given the circumstances. I'll have another follow-up appointment with the Doc in the near future, and be kept "in the system" just in case.
I feel very good about this. I was never convinced that medicating was the answer to my problems. But it seemed everyone around me did. For years I resisted. I finally began trials of mood stabilizers last fall, which eventually lead to the psych eval and the Depakote this year.
I never did know for sure whether or not there was a noticeable difference in how I felt, or in my demeanor. But my husband claimed there was. The only thing I noticed was that I felt "flat". Less impassioned. And yes, many true bipolars go off their meds for that very reason. And they get into trouble for it.
It's been a little over a month for me, and I haven't killed anyone yet. I jest. Seriously though, I haven't felt any differently. I feel pretty okay. "Normal".  :)

I spoke to my husband yesterday briefly on the phone about some minor details. I mentioned filing for divorce. "You're going to file??? ... I understand... But you're probably going to have to do it"...
This of course struck me in a strange way. Why would he be surprised?  In fact, I'm not sure why he wouldn't be jumping for joy. He did leave, after all. He already has a new place.  He did cite the numerous reasons he was so unhappy.  I don't understand. I'm sure I over-analyze.
Which doesn't help my mindset any.
Sigh.

Our one year anniversary is this Sunday.
Together for three years, and married for one.
And now it's lost. Just gone. Done.
Sigh.

Things are so strange here now.
Quiet, harmonious, unruffled, and generally okay, but still strange...
I often forget to be angry.
I miss him daily. I go to sleep thinking of him. I wake up thinking of him.
And dreamless sleep is a thing of the past. Some nights I skip the 75mg of benadryl, so I can just deal with the insomnia- At least that way I won't dream.
I have been trying to work on acceptance. And I'll tell you what, that's a tough one. The pain, the grief, the loneliness, the anger... as if all of that isn't enough... the acceptance part is just the cherry on top of the break-up cake.
Because one just never fully understands why.
You'll never know if the love you had was a big fat lie, or if the person you loved was just not meant for you, or if they just didn't love you enough, or if maybe you just didn't love them enough, or maybe this, or that, or some other fucking thing...

Someday I'll stop asking why.
I'm still working on acceptance.



Monday, September 9, 2013

I'll start this blog with something I began on Facebook, and never stuck to....
(In fact, I think I'll try and start every blog with this, regardless of the content. It's just good karma.)

"5 great things about today":

~I had a very good session with my therapist.
~I got a call for an interview, after submitting my resume just hours before. I interview tomorrow morning.
~I had a great dinner with Logan and Dawson, with lots of comic relief.
~Soccer season is in effect. Cold, but distracting. And fun to watch Dawson compete.
~Helping Dawson with homework, without a fight emerging between the two of us.  (This sounds simple, but is in fact a huge feat, lol)...

And so, today wasn't so bad.

Dinner with me and the two kids doesn't happen as often as I'd like (between soccer, college, work, etc)... And tonight it was downright gut-busting. But serious, in moments, as well. There was a lot of talk and laughter.
And no fighting while we do homework??? That's a near miracle.
Funny how the simplest of things, like these, can make a day so much brighter. And a future.

And I'm actually pretty excited about this interview. Maybe not so excited about the job itself... it is a bit conventional for my taste. But then again, I guess everyone has to grow up sometime. Being a receptionist isn't what I've always dreamt of being, but hell, it's not McDonald's.
I think what gets me excited is the fact that the human resource manager called me within hours after I submitted my resume and cover letter via email, and asked if I could interview tomorrow morning. I hate to assume anything, but that certainly seems like a good sign, right?
This job could be the change we need here. Keep your fingers crossed.

The call came in right before I had a very refreshing session with my therapist.
We (of course) discussed the separation and inevitable divorce.
I swore at her, cursed her office; Every time I walk through the door I need the tissue box. What is it about that office, anyway? Damnit. Anyway, I digress...
I need to find more distractions. Work would be good. Soccer is good. Getting together with friends, going out, meeting people. Watching TV, cleaning, listening to music, or even "looking online at rescue dogs" (as per my therapist's advice).  :)  Distractions will help.
And imagining helps. Imagining, for instance, that my husband did for some reason come home. What would it be like? How would I ever trust him or feel secure and safe again? How would I exist, always waiting for the other shoe to drop? What kind of reality would that be? An awful one. One that no one deserves. Especially not me and my children.
And remembering helps. Remembering that we've done this time and time again. Remembering that I've given all, and never given up. And that he hasn't, and has.
And time. Love doesn't just go away. But it will fade, with time. Time will take it away, ease the pain. Every minute of every day, as insignificant as it may seem, is the passing of time.
And having no regrets helps. I have none. My conscience is clear.

Be well, all.
Live without regret.



Take your records take your freedom
Take your memories I don't need 'em
Take your space and all your reasons
You'll think of me

Take your cat and leave my sweater
'Cause we got nothing left to weather
In fact I'll feel a whole lot better
But you'll think of me

http://youtu.be/Jk1nw4Uoxig

Sunday, September 8, 2013

It's been two weeks.
And I still have not been able to let go.

My husband's reminders of how unhappy "we" were, his talk about his new place, his claims to love and miss me- "but"... are all persuasive.
And still, I don't let go.

I will, though.
I have to.

I'll never understand how one walks away from something so special.
"Love bears all things, endures all things"...
Perhaps it wasn't the love I thought it was all along. Perhaps it was a lie. That's the only explanation there is.
It simply didn't exist. At all.

And so, I let go.

Letting go..

http://youtu.be/0gqZv0eqsnk

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Corinthians 13
The Way of Love

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful.
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.




Friday, September 6, 2013

You're gonna miss me...

http://youtu.be/X3tldsg1Yt4

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


So, the divorce diet is in full effect. 9 pounds in a week and a half.
Who needs the gym.
I guess that's what happens when your diet consists of strictly gingerale and coffee. The coffee to function, and the gingerale to (try to) appease the constant, relentless upset stomach and nausea.
I try to pick at food here and there, but it just doesn't work.
Oddly, the only time I've actually been able to eat was the brief time I spent with my husband the other night.
Go figure.

Today was essentially the cherry on top of the cake of my week, when the brakes went in the truck I'm borrowing from Mom. I need to find a vehicle. Again. I hate vehicle shopping (especially under such circumstances.. I'm sure that makes it that much more enjoyable).
I have just so much money to work with, and I am hesitant to spend much of it on a vehicle, thinking I could hold onto some to help get through until I find work. But then again, you get what you pay for.
Conundrum.

Unfortunately, I'm miserable to be around. This is evident by the amount of time Dawson is choosing to spend at his Dad's. He decided to go tonight. After we were arguing. Mostly about homework and his attitude.. but I'm sure my lack of tolerance and patience is contributing to our butting heads. He is angry that I am not myself.
I am trying to be. I really am. Most times I've been much better than this at masking everything and being the same old Mom.
This time it seems I am failing. That sucks. I need to figure out how to manage it.

Logan isn't home enough to deal with me, I guess. Between school and work. Although, her, Dawson, mom and Nana were all here for dinner last night. I wasn't much of a hostess.
Logan has a lot going on right now in her own life. She just started college. My first baby, in college. Sigh.
And this stupid ex-boyfriend of hers, who I thought was actually out of the picture, keeps trying to weasel his way back in again. Especially when he needs something. Like a ride to his court date. Sigh.
I hope she is a smart girl.
Lord knows her mother is not a great example of successful management of love and relationships.

It's about 7 o'clock.
No kids are here. I'm alone. It's eerily quiet.
What to do with myself?
Same thing I always do. Sit around. Walk the house aimlessly.
Cry. Watch Duck Dynasty to try not to.
Take a bunch of benadryl. Sleep.
Hopefully, dreamlessly.







Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Addendum...

We are not responsible for the happiness of a human being.
Real love loves without exception, period.
Your husband is blaming you for his own misery and inability to create his own happiness. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to "make him happy"... Only he can do that with how he chooses to manage himself.
Don't fall for the lie and wonder what would have happened "if you just... (fill in the blank)". It would not have made a difference.
By blaming you, he does not have to hold himself responsible for his own actions.

Wise words.

So, last week I was making jokes about gearing up for my first of many "bad decisions".
I didn't think by that I meant my estranged husband.
One weak moment and I'm agreeing to dinner and "talk".
Which turned out not to be "talk" at all.
Thank goodness I had the intestinal fortitude to put the brakes on, because in the end, all I heard about was how mean I was, how I never loved him enough, how things never changed enough, how I didn't show him enough love, how poorly I treated him, how down right awful things were.
All this after the talk that wasn't really a talk.
Thank goodness I wasn't that stupid.

I would love to be strictly furious about this. I would love to use it as fuel for how angry I am, how much I hate him, how I'll always hate him.
But unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way.
All I feel is a deep sadness. An emptiness.
Don't get me wrong, I'm angry. Just not angry enough, I guess. Not right this second, anyway.
But I'll get there.
I just need reminding.
Last night was a good reminder.




Sunday, September 1, 2013

Preamble:
This is not PG rated.
Commence.

Today can go suck a big bag of dicks.
Days like today had better come further and further apart, and far less frequently, or I may just lose my mind.
What did I accomplish today?
Well, I sat around feeling sorry for myself for most of the day. Missing my stupid husband. Wishing we were off on one of our Sunday drives, exploring the coast, poppin' tags, eating unhealthy, decadent Thai food. Etc, etc, etc.
Fuck you, brain.

And so I went to town.
I went to Ocean State Job Lots, where I had to cut my shopping experience short because all I could think of was how we used to shop there.
Piss off, Job Lots.
I went to the grocery store, where I held back the tears while picking out life water. And who knew buying bacon could be so painful. Cheesey eggs and bacon...
Fuck you, Hannaford.
I went to Dunkin, where I choked up at the drive-thru because I couldn't decide whether or not I wanted hazelnut coffee or a pumpkin latte.
Fuck you too, Dunkin Donuts.
I went to Tractor Supply. Seems safe, right? I do the shopping for the dogs, no memories there, right? Not so much. Him loading the million pound dog food bags...
So yeah, you guessed it. Fuck you too, Tractor Supply.

And so, I came back home.
And cried.
And here I sit.

Yeah, I'm doing fucking awesome.